TWO nurses at Barnsley Hospital who have clocked up more than 80 years’ experience between them say they have no intentions of stopping - despite a ‘turbulent’ year.

Debby Horbury, 63, of Worsbrough, and Julie Deakin, 65, of Redbrook, are both nurses at the vascular access service at the hospital who received their long service awards last month.

Debby started as a cadet nurse in 1974 at St Helen and The Beckett Hospital before starting at the new venue, on Gawber Road, once it had been built.

She feels that the work and innovation at the town’s hospital often goes unnoticed because of the county’s ‘bigger’ hospitals.

Debby told the Chronicle: “There’s certainly been a lot of innovation in Barnsley over the years.

“When I’ve gone to national events I’ve seen things shown that we’ve already been doing, but perhaps we don’t get the credit because of the size of the hospital.

“Throughout my career I have seen many changes, as healthcare has become supported by new innovations, technology and evidence-based practice.”

Despite working in the industry for 45 years, Debby admits that the past year has been tough, though the spirit throughout Barnsley Hospital has not wavered.

“It’s been difficult throughout the pandemic but the support from our colleagues has been amazing,” she added.

“But it just something that we have to get on with - it’s what Barnsley does best.

“There’s been some terrible tragedies as it’s absolutely awful having to witness patients not being able to see their loved ones.”

Throughout her time at the hospital Debby says that she has enjoyed almost every day, and she’s not showing any signs of stopping any time soon.

“Over the years I have made some great friends, worked with amazing colleagues and met some inspirational people, it’s been a great pleasure to come to work most days,” she added.

“I’m not thinking of slowing down any time soon, whilst I’m feeling up to it I’ll be here.”

Julie, who has spent 49 years working at the hospital, also received her 40-year continuous service award last month and, after testing positive for Covid earlier in the year, hopes to continue her career at the hospital.

“I feel really proud to receive the award - I’m so lucky that I’m able to work at a job I actually love,” she said.

“I could never imagine doing anything else, there’s ups and downs but it’s something that I enjoy doing.

“I still look forward to coming into work every day and I’ve got no intention of leaving - they’d have to kick me out first.”

Throughout Covid Julie has worked at the vascular access service - the same unit as Debby - and admits that the experience has been ‘scary’.

“Working throughout the pandemic has been really scary, but we’ve all managed to get through it,” she added.

“I did get Covid but I wasn’t ill through the virus which is lucky.

“I’ve met and made some fantastic friends over the years, and worked with some really wonderful people.”