75 Years of NHS: Dumfries hospital porter celebrates retirement after 50 years at DGRI

A hospital porter from Dumfries who has worked for the NHS for 50 years has been given a special send off for his retirement.

Colleagues and friends gathered in the Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary to wish Stephen Kirk a happy retirement on his 66th birthday.

Stephen began his career as a grass cutter aged 16, and is one of the only employees to have worked across all three of the town's hospitals. He said: "I got in through my dad because he was the chief medical officer so that's why I could get in because you had to know folk when I started"

Shirley Campbell, one of Stephen's colleagues, said: " He has always a smile on his face and his main response when you ask him to do anything is 'no problem.'"

Stephen has witnessed many changes during his long service with the NHS, alongside watching the introduction of robotic medicine dispensers, he witnessed the late Queen opening the former Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary.

As a key worker, he also continued to work through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking about his long career, which has seen two thirds of the lifetime of the NHS, Stephen said: "I Just really enjoyed it."

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