A NURSE who has spent almost five decades at Barnsley Hospital bid a fond farewell as she retired this week.

Helen Taylor started her career as a nurse in 1971 when she was just 15 years old.

She began as a cadet at Montague Hospital in Mexborough and then transferred to Barnsley Hospital in 1974 where she became a pupil nurse.

Since then, Helen has worked her way through the nursing profession, and helped to set up a new ward - ward 23 - which aids the hospital during the winter months to prevent the service from being overwhelmed.

“We all love Helen,” said colleague, Lizzie Megraw. “We call her the Queen because she is so lovely and she knows everything.

“She’s always on hand for advice and to share her knowledge.

“She has worked throughout the pandemic and hasn’t taken a day off - she really deserves to enjoy her retirement.”

Lizzie revealed hat Helen is looking forward to spending time with her husband, Bryan, and going travelling in their motor home.

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“We will all really miss her,” Lizzie added. “We can all see how much she loves her job and it’s a testament to that that she has been at Barnsley Hospital for 47 years.”