Retired West Sussex midwifery sister returns to work to support the NHS: “I couldn’t not come back and help”

After 38 years of working in the NHS, midwifery sister Angela Marjoram had been looking forward to celebrating her retirement with a summer holiday in June.

Monday, 4th May 2020, 12:27 pm
Angela Marjoram at her retirement celebration

Angela and her husband, who live in Lancing, West Sussex, had been planning to go to Lindos in Rhodes, where they spent their honeymoon 32 years ago.

Instead, Angela is likely to be back in Worthing Hospital, after signing up to return to work and support her colleagues in the NHS during the coronavirus crisis.

She is one of the more than 20,000 former NHS staff to return to the service following an NHS plea.

Angela Marjoram has spent 38 years working in the NHS

After Angela retired as planned on March 31 – which she said was a ‘strange’ celebration considering the circumstances – she immediately joined the bank of staff who will be called upon to help out with shifts when required.

She said: “I couldn’t not come and help, having been in the NHS for 38 years, you can’t suddenly abandon ship when the need is there.”

Angela started her career as a nurse, before becoming a midwife, working at various hospitals including Southlands before coming to Worthing Hospital.

For the last 11 and a half years, she has been one of the sisters in charge.

She said it was a good career and a friendly profession, adding: “We look after eachother and that’s really important to me.”

Angela said witnessing the outpouring of support for the NHS and the clapping every Thursday night was ‘a really lovely feeling’.

“It moves me, and my colleagues are the same, it’s quite emotional,” she said.

“Over the years, there’s been ups and downs and there’s been times when the NHS has not been appreciated.

“So it’s lovely to have the appreciation and support of everyone, it’s nice to have that recognition.”

While it’s back to work for now, Angela is looking forward to seeing her two children, who live in Brighton and Bristol, when she can.

But it remains to be seen whether the big retirement trip she and her husband had planned for the end of the year – a two-and-a-half-month long holiday in Australia and New Zealand – will go ahead.

“We will wait and see really,” she said.

Prerana Issar, chief people officer for the NHS, said they had been ‘hugely inspired by the sheer number of returning NHS staff’ and by ‘their commitment and willingness to help provide great care’.

Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England, said former NHS colleagues were bringing ‘a wealth of experience and compassion’ back to the front line.

“To those who have returned, I want to say a massive thank you,” she said.

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