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Warneford Hospital nurses reunited for first time in 12 years

Carmel Sleeman was hosting a reunion party for nursing staff who trained at the former Warneford Hospital in Leamington between 1964-1968. NNL-140623-103014009

Carmel Sleeman was hosting a reunion party for nursing staff who trained at the former Warneford Hospital in Leamington between 1964-1968. NNL-140623-103014009

Nurses who once worked at the former Warneford Hospital in Leamington have been reunited for the first time in 12 years.

The former staff, who trained at the hospital between 1964 and 1968, gathered at the house of Carmel Sleeman (nee Cunniffe) in Warwick on Saturday and shared stories from their days at the Radford Road site, which closed in 1993.

Mrs Sleeman, who retired from nursing five years ago and spent most of her career as a sister at Myton Hospice in Warwick, said things were different for trainees in the 1960s than they are today.

She said: “It was great fun but we did have rules and regulations, our matron was strict.

“We were all very young, most of us started at 18 and we were learning all the time.

“We didn’t have much life experience before we started.”

The nurses, of whom 24 attended the reunion and most are still married to the men they met back then, would work between Warneford and Warwick Hospitals.

Life expectancy was not as long and death on the wards was more frequent prior to advances in medicine.

Mrs Sleeman said: “Some of our experiences were quite frightening and we saw people dying at a very young age.

“There was also an awful lot of amputations due to diabetes but you hardly see any these days.”

The nurses first had a reunion in 1990 and then 2002 but they are now planning to meet on an annual basis.

 

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