3 July 2023

First of three generations of NHS workers remembers life before the NHS

Our first story comes from Maureen, a retired Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust colleague was the first of three generations of NHS workers.


Maureen Kirby, 84, from Hillsborough, was the first of three generations to have NHS careers. Maureen worked in the Theatre Surgical Sterile Unit (TSSU) at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital for 22 years and spent six years working at Middlewood Hospital in Laundry before that. Her daughter, Susan (pictured with Maureen), who has over 40 years NHS service, also spent time working at the TSSU at the Hallamshire before going on to become a Consultant Anaesthetist in London. Maureen’s three granddaughters Laura, Emma and Amy also work at STH in Critical Care and Communications and have almost 40 years of service between them.

Other people in Maureen’s family who work in the NHS include her grandson Karl (pictured below with his mum Dr Susan), who is a Operating Department Practitioner who has been working in the NHS since 2008, her niece Debbie who is PA to a Consultant at the Hallamsire Hospital, her daughter in law, Sue, who worked as a Receptionist at the Northern General Metabolic Bone Unit for 16 years, her son-in-law, Andrew, who is a Professor Nephrologist and her grandson-in law, Rob, who is a GP.

Maureen said: “I can remember being a little girl and my mam having to pay a shilling for me to have a check up - if you didn’t have the money you had to go without, so I can fully appreciate what the NHS does for us all. It’s absolutely marvellous that we have these fantastic services which have saved the lives of my loved ones many times over the years for which I am truly thankful.”

“I am proud to have worked at the Hallamshire for a big part of my working life, the TSSU was a great place to work, my job was to clean the instruments for the theatres. I remember a surgeon once invited me to walk round the wards with him as part of the team, he introduced me to patients and said I made a real difference to the workings of the hospital.”

“I am also so pleased that my family have made careers doing all sorts of different jobs here in Sheffield and down in London. Happy Birthday NHS!”



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