My NHS story - Judith Forward

People have shared their wonderful memories of the NHS over the last 75 years to help celebrate the NHS's 75th Birthday

Judith shares her NHS memories

Judith talks about her career in the NHS.


When did you start?



Why did you choose to work in the NHS?

My great aunt was Alice Bingle a registered nurse living in London who became the first public health school nurse in UK. She wrote a book about her nursing experience in 1958, A Woman's Diary describing how she became a nurse . She emigrated to US and became head of nursing at a hospital in Yellow Springs OHIO where she was Lady Alice. I met her at my grandmothers (when I was aged 7 years), they were sisters. I was fascinated by her American accent, we used to talk about her being a nurse and wrote to each other often and she encouraged me to go into nursing.

My grandmother was also a St Johns nurse during the first world war and acted in support of the doctor for all midwifery deliveries in her village. She was awarded the long service medal by Lady Mountbatten for her work.

I joined the Red Cross aged 7 years. I was interviewed by matron at RBH Reading aged 14 years to ask about going in for nursing. I was offered a place if I got 5 GCE's. I started work aged 17 years as a pre student in a community hospital just outside Reading after having volunteered and worked as a Red Cross VAD at the same community hospital from aged 16 years. I gained my RN 1969 with district nurse qualification.


What do you do?

I'm a CHC Assessor now after retiring from nurse education. I enjoy working with the team I am in. I enjoy working with patients and family to get the best outcome for them in CHC.


What would you tell someone who was thinking about a career in the NHS?

It can offer a very rewarding and interesting career. May not be the best paid, but never was, but can offer great job satisfaction.


Describe the NHS in one word?





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