A Trip Down Memory and New Lanes

26 September 2018

On the 26th September 7 members of the January 1968 intake to the John Radcliffe School of Nursing, Radcliffe Infirmary, Woodstock Road Oxford met up for a reunion visit to mark more than 50 years since starting our training on the 5th January 1968.

We started the day with a tour of what remains of the original 1770 Georgian Radcliffe Infirmary. The site now belongs to Oxford University and the original facade and remaining rooms, have been beautifully restored by the University. What was the hospital ( behind the Georgian facade ) is now a series of modern buildings housing various University Schools.

We were very fortunate in having a guided tour of the site given by Mrs Aileen Peverell, Senior Facilities Manager. Although little remains of the old infirmary the tour was both evocative of times past and impressive in its’ modern day use - Thank You Aileen!

In the afternoon we arrived at Oxford Brookes University School of Nursing & Midwifery, based in what was the Oxford Poly-technical College during our time in Oxford. We were met by Ms Mollie Ashley, Alumni Engagement Officer for Brookes.

Hanne Webster

Ms Ashley had kindly arranged for Student Ambassador Charlotte van Walwyk (2nd year Paediatrics) to give us a guided tour of the School.The tour was completed by a lively discussion of present day training with Ms Sarah Snow, Deputy Director OSN&M. Both Ms Van Walwyk and Ms Snow were inspiring talkers and so generous with their time. As was Ms Ashley in arranging the tour and by accompanying us during it.

All of us were impressed by the modern day dynamism of the School of Nursing and the more informal staff/student relationships. So different from our rather formal and sedate training and professional relationships of 50 years ago!

Yet despite all the advancements and high powered technology in modern nurse training, some things remain the same. Student nurses willingly giving more time than the allotted hours when caring for patients; TTOs continue taking ‘forever’; staff retention difficulties and too little suitable accommodation for the trainees/newly qualified. Just as it was for us 50 years ago!

We would like to say a very big Thank You to Ms Ashley, Ms van Walwyk and Ms Snow for a very interesting and enjoyable time in the present day OSN&M.

Best wishes, Hanne Webster '71 (nee Wewil), Helen Simpson '71 (nee Green), Annabel Mulvany '71 (nee Royes), Molly Holt '71 (nee Johnson), Jenny Robin '71 (nee Townsend), Bridget James '71 (nee Mulvany) and Jennifer Byrne '71 (nee Madill).