1. ITV Report

Then and now: former nurse returns to hospital where she worked before NHS began

As the NHS turns 70 next week one of its former nurses has returned to her roots with a visit to Sheffield's Northern General Hospital.

Bobby Chambers, now aged 86, left school at 16 and in 1947 went to work as a nurse on a maternity ward before the NHS even began.

Bobby back in her nursing days Credit: ITV News

Aged 17 she successfully applied to train to be a nurse at the now defunct Sheffield Infirmary - and stayed in the NHS in the city until retiring aged 60.

As a young nurse, she worked on all the infirmary wards, lived in as trainee and earned just £4.90 a month. When she did nights, they were all shipped off to a nurses home out of the city and had to stay there all day until next shift. When the consultant did ward rounds, all wheels on the beds had to face the same direction.

Bobby talks to student nurses about how it was in her day Credit: ITV News

Now Bobby has met the latest crop of student nurses at Sheffield's Northern General Hospital. She said: "Everything is different really. 70 years ago the pace was much slower. Definitely we had a lot of hard work to do.

We were terrified of the surgeons because they used to shout at us! Now all the treatments have advance from things that were not even thought of 70 years ago. You are out of hospital in a couple of days not kept in for 10. When I saw nurses though I just want to do it. I just thought I could do that I could look after people.

– Bobby Chambers

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