TWO long serving nurses are celebrating caring for patients for a total of 90 years.

Marjorie Quilty and Susan Simpson have worked at Fairfield General Hospital, part of the Bury and Rochdale Care Organisation, since they left school in 1973.

They both attended Bury Technical College for twelve months and were released to work half a day on a Friday as cadet nurses on the wards until they were 17 years old.

In 1975 they started their nursing training, which was very different to how nurses are trained now.

After her training Susan moved to an elderly persons’ ward and gained her sister post in 1980 on Ward 11. In 1999 she moved to intensive care as a staff nurse.

Marjorie joined the gynaecology ward when qualified and three years later moved to outpatients, joining the endoscopy unit, becoming a sister in 2013.

Both Susan and Marjorie have seen a lot of changes at Fairfield General Hospital over the last 45 years.

Marjorie said: “I didn’t recognise the changes as they were happening because I was always so busy with my work, but now I look back I can see how far we have come.

“The hospital buildings have really changed. The wards used to be based in an old workhouse, and now there aren’t even many of those buildings left.

"Some of the patients didn’t even want to stay on those wards because they had the stigma of being in a workhouse.”

Susan said: “When I think back to the equipment we used, it is amazing how things have changed.

"When I first started we would clean and reuse everything as there was nothing disposable or single use.

“All the patient records were handwritten then too and now everything is electronic.

"We also had to time observations carefully and make a note, whereas nowadays the machines tell you when to do them.”

Both Marjorie and Susan have raised their families alongside their nursing commitments, returning to nursing after just six weeks maternity leave. They say that a career in the NHS has worked well with their family lives.

Marjorie said: “We are both really proud of our hospital and the care that we have provided, for what must be thousands of patients over the years.

“There have also been many fun times when we have let our hair down. I remember once when we were student nurses in 1975 we pushed a hospital bed from Fairfield General Hospital to Blackpool Tower for charity.

Susan added: “We made the trip just in time for tea. I remember sitting down for a lovely meal in Blackpool and then catching the bus back home to Bury.”

Tyrone Roberts, director of nursing at the Bury and Rochdale Care Organisation said: “Marjorie and Susan are a true inspiration. I would like to thank them both for the years they have given to the NHS and to Fairfield General Hospital in particular.”