Les Murray, Senior Anatomical Pathology Technician, at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) is hanging up his scrubs for the last time on 20 September 2018 after 44 years’ service to spend more time with his family.
Les, of Kendal, started his career in the NHS as a porter in Edinburgh and Newcastle before joining the mortuary team at Westmorland County Hospital in 1981. He worked at Westmorland General Hospital when it opened in 1991 before moving into his current role at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
His day-to-day role involves liaising with relatives who have lost loved ones and assisting pathologists to carry out post mortems.
Les said: “It was a trend in those days for porting staff to move into mortuary roles. I have very much enjoyed the career and never looked back.
“I have lots of great memories of working with a whole range of pathologists over the years, they all know who they are. I have also worked with lots of external agencies, namely the police and scenes of crime officers who I have a great fondness for.
“Some parts of the NHS have definitely changed for the better in terms of the technology advances and new specialist procedures, including post mortem Computed Tomography (CT) scanning, the introduction of quality management systems and the Human Tissue authority. Education and training is definitely much different compared to the old days. I would definitely encourage someone thinking about a career in health to join the NHS as it is a good organisation to work for with many different avenues to go down.”
Mikala Barsby, Senior Anatomical Pathology Technician at RLI, UHMBT, said: “I have loved working with Les for the past 17 years. I have him to thank for giving me my dream job and believing in me. I have learned lots from Les throughout the years, passing his skills, knowledge, experience and stories on to us all. He is amazing with families, a part of the job that cannot be taught. I have lots of memories working with him, some happy, some sad. We have seen a lot and worked together through some tough times and situations. We have laughed and cried together, supporting each other on personal situations as well as work situations. For that I can’t thank him enough.”
Fiona Meyer, Senior Anatomical Pathology Technician at FGH, UHMBT, said: “For the last 14 years Les has taught me not just about the technical side of the job but more importantly watching and listening to how he spoke and comforted relatives, his experience, kindness, compassion and the little details that mean such a lot to the families, helped me with how I approach what is the hardest, most difficult part of the job. Always somebody to talk to about anything and everything, not just a colleague but a good friend.”
Joe Ogle, Mortuary Manager, UHMBT, said: “Les has been inspirational and pivotal for advice and guidance to all staff because of his expertise and experience in the role. His passion for the whole service and supporting families is second to none, something that to the team is irreplaceable. After 44 years it is time to hang up his scrubs and wind down.”
David Wilkinson, Director of People and Organisation Development, UHMBT, said: “Les has worked for a staggering 44 years in the NHS, locally and around the country. He has been a real asset to the mortuary team and to the Trust. I wish him all the best for the future.”
On 5 July 2018, the Trust joined other health organisations around the country to mark 70 years of the NHS as part of NHS England’s NHS 70 celebrations. As part of our celebrations we are sharing stories from our long-serving members of staff. The Trust is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.