People's History of the NHS


Portrait of Patricia and Jennifer Simpson

Patricia Simpson (r) told interviewer INÈS ELSA DALAL:

I was a senior staff nurse at Birmingham City Hospital Trust, I’ve since then retired.

I’ve been working in the NHS for the past twenty-two years, thoroughly enjoyed my experience.

I basically took over from my mother when she finished on one of the gynaecology wards here (audio recorded at City Hospital on Dudley Road) I think it was D27 at the time. I stepped into her shoes.

I have other sisters that are nurses also… one of them who’s sat beside me right now!

It’s been a most pleasurable experience; I’ve been inspired not only by my mother and my sister but also other nurses from another time. Black nurses and the path that they paved for us to come through to continue the work.

I have had my challenges, good and bad, but that’s all part of the learning cycle. Nursing is a great realm of experiences, whether it’s children, adults or mental health: it’s all incorporated as one for us to experience it all.

I retired for the reasons being that my twin sister, who was also a midwife for 22 years, sadly passed away at the end of 2016 on the 8th of November. It was for that reason that I retired, I just couldn’t do it any more, in the realm that I was doing it in before… I’ve just chosen to - I’m still working for the NHS - but I’m working more as a bank nurse than a contracted nurse if you like. I just work now when it suits me. It’s working very well really, it was a long process to adapt to that after working in the NHS for so long and then adapting to my own thing if you like - but I’m getting there.

(Since retiring) I’ve joined my sister’s charity, which is the Sick Be Nourished project, and that has taken all my focus actually and it’s just so much better now. I mean it’s still a learning process as well, for me - but it’s something that I really enjoy. I’m still giving, as it were, in a nursing format, if you wanna put it like that but it’s in a different capacity. As a charity we’re actually donating medical supplies to third-world countries, around the world. I find that a fascinating experience, even more so that it’s with my sister, it’s just unbelievable and I’ve enjoyed every moment so far.

All photographs copyright of Inès Elsa Dalal © 2019 Commissioned by Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, 2018. No photographs or text may be referenced or published elsewhere, without prior permission.

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