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Health & Wellbeing

Popular local nurse retires after 48 years service

By Helen Gilbert:
A popular diabetes specialist nurse has hung up her uniform for the last
time after serving 48 years with the NHS.

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Dolly Gilbert, 68, from Horley in Surrey began working as a nurse at the age of 20 when her wages were just £36 a month.

The medical worker, who is married to former supermarket department manager Barrie, with whom she shares two grown-up daughters, retired on Thursday [31 January].

“I’ll miss my colleagues and patients very much, she said.  “It’s the end of an era.”

Dolly, who originally hails from Guyana in South America, arrived in the UK on Christmas Eve in 1970.

She rejected a student nurse placement in Brooklyn, New York in favour of
Dorking Hospital and within 18 months had qualified as a state enrolled
nurse before quickly rising through the ranks to Registered General Nurse
(RGN) and Registered Nurse Child Brand (RNCB) grades.

The keen table tennis player, who represents Crawley-based club the
Foresters, then met her husband in 1972 before giving birth to her first daughter in 1975.

“Back there wasn’t very much maternity leave,” Dolly recalls. “I went back
to work when my first child was six weeks old, and three months after my
second daughter was born. I changed my shifts from days to nights so that I
could look after them.”

During the 1990s, Dolly worked as a sister on the children’s ward at
Crawley Hospital before specialising in paediatric and adolescent diabetes
19 years ago.

In 2016 her diabetes team was a finalist in the BMJ Awards, which recognise the inspirational work done by doctors and their teams in the NHS and private practice.

“Dolly always went above and beyond to make a difference, especially
showing empathy and compassion to the children and young people she cared for at the hospital,”
Jane Dickson, chief nurse at Surrey and Sussex
Healthcare NHS Trust, said.


“She was a valuable and inspirational member of staff, who will be greatly
missed by the teams she worked with. We would like to thank Dolly for her
commitment to care and wish her all the best in her retirement”


Dolly, who has volunteered at her local Oxfam shop for the past 30 years, and will now also assist charity Grocery Aid in her spare time, added: 

“I’ve always enjoyed helping people and have met some lovely families over the years. I’m so touched by all the thank you letters and the kind messages
I’ve received. Some patients have said they don’t want me to leave but I
feel like it’s finally time for me to go.  I’ll really miss everyone but
I’m looking forward to travelling a lot more, playing more table tennis and bowls and spending more time in the garden.


Health & Wellbeing

Don’t miss out on the Lymphoedema Awareness Workshop at Crawley Hospital

The workshop is being held in March.

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As part of Lymphoedema Awareness Week 2019, which is 3rd – 9th March, the Olive Tree Cancer Support Centre is holding a Lymphoedema Information and Education Workshop on Wednesday 6th March 2-4 p.m at
The Olive Tree Cancer Support Centre, Wentworth House, Crawley Hospital, West Green Drive, Crawley RH11 7DH.

This workshop will be led by Yvette Jordan, UK Lymphology Clinics Training Director and she will be supported by Olive Tree volunteer therapists Anna Parsons and Juliette Cross.

Affecting 1 in 5 patients, lymphoedema is a distressing condition and a known side effect of cancer treatment. It is caused because the flow of fluid within the lymphatic system has been disrupted because of surgery and having lymph nodes removed. 

This makes it harder for the lymph fluid to drain away which means that this excess fluid can then build up between the tissues and cause swelling of the arm, leg or surrounding area. 

Lymphoedema can develop weeks, months or even years after cancer treatment but early diagnosis by healthcare professionals and treatment by specialist lymphoedema therapists can help to reduce the severity of the condition.

Attendance will be of great value to anyone affected by cancer, including patients and healthcare professionals and will provide everything they need to know about lymphoedema. 

Topics covered will include:

• What is Lymphoedema?

• How does Lymphoedema happen?

• Who is most at risk?

• Recognising clinical signs of early Lymphoedema

• Best methods and early applications for a preventative approach

• Questions and answers

Yvette Jordan, who will be leading the workshop said:

“Much more awareness is needed with early intervention which is essential to help patients manage this disabling disease”.

To book your place on this informative workshop for 2-4 p.m. please call 01293 534465

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