BETWEEN them they have clocked up more than 100 years of NHS service.
But after treating thousands of patients, Jim and Annie Strudwick have finally hung up their coats.
The husband and wife, formerly of Elm Leigh, Midhurst, were a popular duo at King Edward VII hospital and St Richard’s.
“It’s been a fascinating transition of medicine,” said Annie, 71. “We watched the whole thing evolve.”
Jim, 74, a biomedical scientist, said: “We have both contributed greatly to saving lives and diagnosing illness.”
The couple met in 1960 when Annie was a nurse on the children’s ward at St Richard’s and Jim was carrying out tests on patients. They have two children, John, 49, and Chris, 51, who is bar manager at Cowdray Golf Club, as well as five grandchildren.
Jim attended Midhurst Grammar School before working at KEVII for 27 years, from 1973 until 2000.
The pioneering hospital was expanding rapidly, with a research unit being set up and the creation of a regional chest surgery unit. It was the first in the county to have CT and MRI scanners, and offer radiotherapy treatment. Surgeons from around the world were based there, and patients were often transferred from St Richards. “They wanted me to create a modern laboratory,” said Jim. “I also got involved in research. My wife was head nurse in the laboratory, and worked part time in the Midhurst pharmacy.” Professor Sir John Charnley, who pioneered the hip replacement operation, worked alongside Jim.
“We treated a lot of famous patients. It was a fascinating and challenging life. We even did open heart surgery, unique in this part of the world. It really was something special.”
Jim’s was also secretary of the hospital social club for 23 years, putting on entertainment for patients and staff. He was last month awarded a 50-year silver medal for services to science by the Institute of Biomedical Science and both were awarded certificates by the NHS.