Published on 29 July 2020
Carolyn Sutton has been working at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford since before it opened its doors to patients.
But now, after 42 years supporting patients and staff, she is retiring to spend more time with her family.
Carolyn has worked as a cashier, in relative support, managing the bed bureau and then as an operational manager for the head and neck team.
Her most recent role is operations manager for pathology across the Trust – and the coronavirus pandemic has meant it’s been a particularly busy time for staff working in the labs.
She said: “My role has been to keep the ship afloat and make sure we are recruiting enough staff to handle the workload.
“It has meant doing a lot of interviews via video, which initially I was a bit unsure of but actually they are amazing.
“It means we have been able to interview biomedical scientists from across the country without the need for them to travel to east Kent.”
Video conferencing and even email were unheard of when Carolyn first started working, and all patient notes were recorded on paper.
The hospital had a social club where the management offices are now, as well as tennis courts – now the renal unit.
She said: “It was a different time then. And now is a very strange time – I’ve been working from home since March, and I miss the camaraderie of the office.
“At least it means I am used to being at home though, so when I retire it won’t be too much of a shock.
“I’m looking forward to being able to spend more time with my family, and I love reading and gardening so it will be good to be able to do more of those things too.
“I think I’ll need to find something to stimulate my brain but it will be nice not to have to set the alarm in the mornings!”