COULD this medical secretary be one of the longest serving members of staff in the NHS?

Suzie Curtin, who works in the gynaecology directorate office, has a total of 54 years service in the NHS. At 70, she also shares her year of birth with the founding of the NHS. She told the Penarth Times her story.

“I came to work in the NHS straight from typing school and started my training in Llandough Hospital," said Mrs Curtin.

"I’ve only ever known working for the NHS. I love it.

“I hadn’t thought about being a medical secretary and found it very difficult to learn all the medical terminology.

"When I started in the 60s as a shorthand typist in a typing pool, I was put to work with a vascular surgeon and plastic surgeon. In those days we had to do three months in each speciality, both medicine and surgical, before becoming a medical secretary.

"I then moved to gynaecology on E4 in Llandough and have worked in gynaecology ever since."

The 70-year-old said she has received awards for her service throughout her career and is still working as a medical secretary today.

She said: “I have loved my job, meeting lots of lovely patients and colleagues throughout my career and although I missed Llandough when gynaecology moved to the Heath four years ago, I am still enjoying working for the NHS at the age of 70.”

This year marks 70 years of the NHS, which was spear-headed by the minister of health Aneurin Bevan.

The NHS was born out of a long-held ideal that good healthcare should be available to all, regardless of wealth. At its launch by the then minister of health, Aneurin Bevan, on July 5, 1948, it had at its heart three core principles:

  • That it meet the needs of everyone

  • That it be free at the point of delivery

  • That it be based on clinical need, not ability to pay.

Hundreds of people turned up to Bevan's home town of Tredegar to mark the 70 years since the establishment of the NHS on Sunday.