Hospital worker celebrates 50 years in the NHS

Date: 20 April 2022

50years news

A long-serving audiologist based at Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham, Kent, has celebrated an incredible 50 years of working in the NHS.

Sue Meathrel, 71, began her NHS audiology career on 4 April 1972 at St Thomas' Hospital in London, before spending time at hospitals in Southampton, Berkshire, and finally Kent, where she was instrumental in creating Medway NHS Foundation Trust’s Audiology Department in 2000.

To mark the special 50-year NHS anniversary, Sue’s hospital colleagues presented her with flowers, a cake, and other gifts at a surprise celebration event. Reflecting on her achievement, Sue said:

‘’It’s been fantastic to have spent my entire career working with so many brilliant people and teams across the NHS, including here at Medway, and I feel very proud to have reached this milestone. The NHS is a wonderful organisation that looks after so many people – long may it continue!   

‘’Over the years I have seen lots of changes – especially in the field of audiology where hearing aids have come on leaps and bounds. We are noticing regular updates and improvements to the technology, which helps our patients improve the management of their condition and overall experience of care.’’

Sue’s usual day-to-day activities involve caring for people with hearing problems, including fitting and maintaining hearing devices for patients at hospitals across Kent and Medway, although during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic she spent time away from audiology helping to support other areas of the hospital that were most at need. Sue added:

‘’It’s been an incredibly rewarding job and career which I would recommend to anyone – usually we see our patients not just once or twice, but for the rest of their lives, including for check-ups and device maintenance. You see the sparkle in their eyes when they are first fitted with a hearing aid – this interaction with my patients and colleagues is something I will miss immensely when I do decide to retire.’’

George Findlay, Chief Executive at Medway NHS Foundation Trust, said:

‘’I want to pay tribute to Sue who has reached an amazing 50 years of working in the NHS, with 22 of those spent at Medway. Sue has assisted countless patients to manage their hearing conditions and regain hearing through the use of audiology equipment, and we are very thankful to her for the years of dedication she has shown to the Trust and the wider health service. On behalf of everyone at Medway NHS Foundation Trust, we send our congratulations to Sue on this fantastic achievement!’’

As a keen traveller, Sue is looking forward to visiting Austria this summer on her first overseas holiday since the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Summary:

    Sue Meathrel, a long-serving audiologist based at Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham, Kent, has celebrated an incredible 50 years of working in the NHS.