A HEALTH worker who has served the NHS for nearly 60 years was hailed as “one in a million” after she called it a day.
Rita Bywater (75), from Conisbrough, joined the health service in 1958 aged 16 when she started work at the Western Hospital in Balby.
She marked her final day in her last role as a medical secretary earlier this month with friends and colleagues from across the Women’s and Children’s Hospital at Doncaster Royal Infirmary who gave her a big send-off.
Eki Emovon, children and families care group director, said: “Rita has earned the respect of everyone she meets — secretaries, patients, nurses and consultants.
“She has taken the other younger secretaries under her wing and shown them the ropes.
“I don’t think there will ever be another Rita, she is one in a million, and we will miss her very dearly.”
Rita began working at the Maternity Hospital — now the Women’s and Children’s Hospital — on the day that it opened on February 19, 1969.
She said: “It was an exciting time for me. Stepping through the doors of the Women’s Hospital on my first day at work just when the new hospital opened was something I have never forgotten.
“I am glad to say that some 49 years later we are both still going strong.
“Technology has come a long way. In those days we used a manual typewriter which required precision accuracy. There was no autocorrect like there is today. You had to get it right, first time, or retype it again.
“I still have my first payslip, the grand total of £3.11 a week, and I was very grateful for it.
“I have enjoyed my time here and have been very fortunate to work with such a great bunch of people over the years. I will miss them all very much.”