A BACK specialist is retiring after more than 40 years working for the NHS.
Tina Alexander, nurse consultant for back pain at the Conquest Hospital, left on Friday bidding farewell to her friends and colleagues.
She has worked in Hastings since 1998 and was originally employed on a fixed-term contract for a year. She estimates that she has seen more than 14,000 patients from all over East Sussex over the last 14 years.
Her career started at St Thomas’ in 1965 where she worked as a physiotherapist before deciding to pursue a career in nursing. Tina then stayed at St Thomas’ for 22 years, before moving first to the Intensive Care Unit at the Kent and Sussex Hospital in Tunbridge Wells, Kent and then to Intensive Care and the Surgical Admissions Unit at the Royal East Sussex Hospital in Hastings.
She then became a clinical matron at St Helen’s before returning to St Thomas’ as an orthopaedic ward sister. In 1991 she moved into a role in clinical audit at the newly merged Guy’s and St Thomas’ before taking up her current role in East Sussex in 1998.
Tina, who lives in Winchelsea, said: “Things have changed so much since I started nursing, back then the ward sister couldn’t be married so she could devote her time to her profession and we all lived in awe of the matron. Everything was very much focused on the patient though and we didn’t have to deal with the bureaucracy that there is now.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time working in East Sussex and would like to thank colleagues who have been very supportive, I’ve met some lovely people and we’ve had lots of laughs, I’ve really enjoyed my time at work.”
Tina’s plans for retirement include walking her dogs and training at the gym, cooking and reading. She is also chairman of Hastings’ branch of the National Osteoporosis Society.