A FRIENDLY and reassuring face to many patients at Cardigan Health Centre will soon be missed as practice nurse Anita Harries retires after 35 years.

Anita, 66, will call it a day on Friday (November 30) when she hangs up her uniform for the final time.

She started work at the health centre for Drs Rees, Rendle and Griffiths on January 3, 1983 as a receptionist in the morning and practice nurse in the evening and continued this split shift for 31 years, before nursing only for the last four years.

Anita started nursing at Llanelli Hospital when she was 16 as a pre-nursing student and then trained as a state registered nurse in Glangwili Hospital, Carmarthen.

“I not only qualified there in 1973 but also met and nursed my husband there, Alan. We recently celebrated our 45th anniversary” said Anita, who has two sons, Paul and Anthony.

She has seen many changes over the years, with the practice progressing from vast amounts of paper records and files to computers but it is the increase in the sheer volume of work that stands out the most.

“When I started here it was like a little family but now there is so much more to do and it seems it is increasing in all aspects as well,” said Anita.

“During my time as receptionist I was responsible for telephone triage, appointments and home visits, which helped if you knew the directions to the patient’s home.

“I will be sad to leave and have mixed emotions but I think it is now the right time. There are big changes coming with the move to the new building and because I started working here, I would like to finish working here.

“I have enjoyed simply helping patients and doing my best for them all. I would like to think I have treated people as I would like to be treated myself and I would like to take this opportunity to thank past and present staff for being part of the health centre team and wish them well for the future.”

Anita is looking forward to indulging her love of crafts and painting and spending more time at home.

“Maybe my husband will have his supper ready now when he comes home!” she added. “Without his support I would not have been able to work the shifts I did.”

Staff at the health centre paid tribute to Anita and said: “Anita has been an amazing and valuable member of the team for many years. She was a kind and caring senior receptionist and an experienced and professional nurse who always acted with the utmost integrity.

“We would like to thank her for many years of service to the doctors and staff at Cardigan health centre and to the people of Cardigan.

“We will miss her immensely, especially her infectious laugh. We wish you a happy and healthy retirement.”