Farewell to nurse Pat, who helped hundreds of children in long career

ECCH colleagues wish Pat Sarson (centre) a happy retirement Picture: East Coast Community Healthcar

ECCH colleagues wish Pat Sarson (centre) a happy retirement Picture: East Coast Community Healthcare - Credit: Archant

A nurse from East Coast Community Healthcare, who has helped hundreds of children and families across Waveney during her long career, has retired.

Pat Sarson had worked in the School Health Service in the area since the 1980s, mainly as a specialist in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) until recently when she returned to mainstream school nursing.

She was responsible for working with consultants to set up the ADHD service for Waveney and has since worked with children from scores of schools – from Somerleyton to Bungay. Mrs Sarson admits to being stopped in the street by families she has supported over the years who want to thank her for making a difference to their lives.

ADHD is a behavioural disorder that includes symptoms such as inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. As an ADHD nurse, Mrs Sarson worked with children, their families and teachers to help them understand and manage the condition in order to improve their emotional wellbeing, achievements at school, behaviour and life chances.

She said: 'People see me as a good friend because I listen to them and act as a bridge between the family and the school, bringing them together to help the children. Working with families is the best thing about my job – being with children who have struggled in school and seeing them make great strides. It's great for the children and their families – and very rewarding for me.'

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Mrs Sarson qualified as a nurse at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and initially became a midwife. She later worked in a variety of nursing roles at hospitals in Leicester and Nottingham before moving to Lowestoft with her husband and son and training as a school nurse.

She said: 'I always wanted to be a nurse. When I was small all my teddies and dolls had bandages all over them. I always wanted to do it and I'm blessed that I was able to. The training has changed a lot. You didn't go to university to do a degree when I started. We did the same exams but while we were working. We spent more time on the wards and sometimes we had 40 bed wards so it could be quite busy.'

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Now she is looking forward to spending more time with her family, going for lunches with her friends, bowling once a week and 'sorting out' her garden.

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