NHS at 70: ‘Terrible twins’ clock up 30 years’ service
For three decades the ‘terrible twins’ have worked in the NHS – starting work on the exact same day.
Walsall Healthcare colleagues Karen Goodall and Lynne Walker got their nickname for their mischievous sense of humour and they also have 30 years of NHS service in common.
They both did their medical interviews on the same day and worked together for 15 years before moving to different departments.
Both started as domestic staff and while Lynne has continued in that support services role, working in the NEC building in Pleck Road, Karen is now a data ward clerk on the Manor Hospital’s Intensive Therapy Unit.
Karen, aged 61, of Walsall, said: “We both clocked up our 30 years’ service on Wednesday, June 13, this year and we have got so many memories between us. We had our medicals and interviews on the same day as each other and I worked for 15 years on the Lincoln Ward, a gynaecology ward.
“I have also worked in imaging and x-ray and as cancer team secretary. I changed my job around eight years ago, moving to critical care but Lynne and I have stayed in touch.”
Lynne, 57, of Willenhall, worked on the Clayton Ward, and across breast cancer, gynaecology and ear nose and throat.
She said: “We always got the work done but have had a lot of fun over the years. There have been a lot of changes in that time and we have been fortunate enough to work with some lovely people but we will never forget the laughs we have had. We have definitely become a work family.
They were known as the ‘Kim and Aggie’ of their day, too – that’s a reference to the Channel 4 show How Clean is Your House? – as they kept the kitchens immaculate.
Karen added: “There were a couple of fires during that time – people left the hot plate on and no-one knew and unfortunately put a plastic tray on there. You can imagine the mess that made.” In their spare time, the nans enjoy being with their families and catching up with each other for a good old chin wag.
Both women hope to finish work on the same day, too, when they decide to end their NHS careers. Lynne added: “It wouldn’t seem right otherwise.
“We often say we could write a comedy book about our time here.”