After three decades of dedicated service, Bedfordshire’s first lymphoedema hospice nurse has decided to retire.
Janet Jeffs, 65, said: “Although I’m very sad to be leaving, I know the time is right.
“Ill miss my patients and colleagues and I’ll always be proud of what we’ve done at St John’s.
“But retiring means I can spend more time on my garden, seeing friends and – most important – with my children and grandchildren.”
Janet – the longest serving nurse at the hospice – started her training in 1972. She joined the inpatient unit as a staff nurse in 1989, seeing it as an opportunity to work in palliative care and a return to offering hands-on nursing care.
She explained: “I’d always wanted to work in a hospice or home, as it was called then.
“I loved my time on the ward and my interest in lymphoedema was sparked when I met patients with swollen arms and legs. I just wanted to do more for them.”
With the matron’s encouragement, Janet launched the lymphoedema service at Moggerhanger in 1998.
She recalled: “I started the clinic with just tubi grip and a flowtron machine and 20 patients.
“Now, 18 years later, we’ve seen more than 1,500. Nursing and the equipment we use have changed considerably and patients have better treatment options.”
St John’s director Mike Coward said: “Janet has always been dedicated to her patients. She should be proud of what she has achieved, as it is a key part of our service. She will be greatly missed.”