Saturday, 13 August 2022

Health centre nurse says goodbye after 25 years

AN award-winning practice nurse at Sonning Common Health Centre is to retire after almost 25 years.

AN award-winning practice nurse at Sonning Common Health Centre is to retire after almost 25 years.

Jane Proctor, 65, from Gallowstree Common, joined the Wood Lane health centre in 1991 and her length of service is bettered only by senior partner Dr Andrew Burnett. She will leave on October 31.

"I love it here in the village," she said. "I’ve got to know everybody who comes into the practice. You get to know whole families.

"Some people I have known for 25 years after working with them and their babies and now I’m helping their children with their babies.

"It was a lovely place to bring up our kids as well."

Mrs Proctor is married to Roy, also 65, and they have four children, Christopher, Catherine, Caroline and Viki, who attended Kidmore End Primary School and Chiltern Edge School in Sonning Common. The couple moved to Gallowstree Common in 1974 because of its proximity to Heathrow Airport, where Mr Proctor was a British Airways pilot.

Christoper, who was then four, is now 41 and working as a radiologist in Australia. Catherine and Viki followed their mother and became nurses, while Caroline is a teacher.

Mrs Proctor said: "I do not know if I influenced any of them. Chris was always interesting in physics and medical conditions but I do not know about the girls.

"I have nine grandchildren who mostly live close by, so retiring means I will get to spend more time with them. It’ll also be nice not having to rush back when we’ve been on holiday."

Mr and Mrs Proctor both grew up in Essex and moved to Egham in Surrey after she had completed her training as a nurse at the London Hospital, now known as the Royal London Hospital.

When they came to Gallowstree Common Mrs Proctor worked in the cardiac unit at the former Battle Hospital in Reading.

She said: "I was there for 30 years and after 1991 combined my time there with the health centre. I stopped working there in 2005.

"I loved it at the hospital. When you’re there you feel like you can make a huge difference to someone’s life in one night, especially in the cardiac unit where they might have had a heart attack."

Mrs Proctor said that retiring would be more difficult than if she had an office job because of the relationships she built up with patients.

"It’s such a life change," she said. "Nursing was all I ever wanted to do when I was growing up and all I’ve done since I was 17. I have never not nursed and even when I had the children I would still do bits here and there. I will miss the people I work with and all the families I know.

"Of course, I will still see them when I am around the village. Even now when I’m not working people stop me in the Co-op and ask me to look at this and that for them."

In 1995, Mrs Proctor was named practice nurse of the year by Practice Nurse magazine for her work setting up and running a weekly rheumatology group for patients with acute arthritis.

She said: "A lot of people who came to the first group still come now. We pick up patients from the doctors who point out people who need help."

Mrs Proctor will mark her retirement by hosting a coffee morning and raffle at Sonning Common village hall in Wood Lane on Saturday, November 7, from 10am to noon. Entry is free.

Mrs Proctor said: "It’s just coffee and cake for anyone who wants to drop in. Any money we make from the raffle will go to Macmillan nurses."

More News:

POLL: Have your say