Stephen Retires After 50 Incredible Years With The NHS

A STAFF member of NHS Dumfries and Galloway has retired after five full decades of service – just days ahead of the National Health Service’s 75th birthday. 

Stephen Kirk was 16 years old when he left school and started working with the organisation as a grass cutter in 1973. On Friday, he officially retired on his 66th birthday.

Over the years he worked in the Pharmacy and Stores departments.

Friends and colleagues said he was always known for going the extra mile every day, and that no work task has ever been a problem to him.

Stephen said: “I have worked in all three main hospitals and witnessed great change. I have made lifelong friends from work over the years.”

Last month, Stephen was presented with a special Sanquhar tartan sash from the Cornet’s Lass during the Guid Nychburris visit to DGRI.

On top of his work, Stephen has volunteered with the annual Guid Nychburris celebrations for the past 40 years.

Gillian Sturrock, Lead Procurement Officer in Pharmacy, said: “Stephen is not only a colleague but a good friend.

“He will be greatly missed, especially his nuggets of knowledge of working with the organisation for so long.”
Shirley Campbell, Senior Pharmacy Technician, said: “Nothing is ever a problem to Stephen and he is always first to arrive in to work and always goes the extra mile.”

Former Senior Charge Nurse John Little said: “I first met Stephen in 1975. I started working at the Surgical Stores in my Easter holiday and one could say that Stephen was my first mentor in the NHS.

“We delivered drugs to the wards, made up orders and unloaded deliveries.
“At that time there was great excitement as the new hospital was about to open and a brand-new pharmacy department to be commissioned. I remember standing with Stephen at the x-ray corridor as HM The Queen passed by on the official opening day, 4 July 1975.
“Everyone knows Stephen and when I met him on his rounds he always stopped for a chat and we would reminisce about the old place and he would tell me of his travels to New York to visit his brother.
“Stephen’s long service in the NHS probably means he is one of the last employees to have worked in the three DGRIs.”




Stephen Kirk shaking the hand of Lead Pharmacist Acute and Diagnostics Alison Bell


Stephen Kirk with colleagues

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