A manager at Ysbyty Gwynedd was given an emotional send-off when she retired last week, after 32 years of dedicated service at the hospital.
Llinos Thomas, from Cefniwrch on Anglesey, started her career as a student nurse at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in 1981 and four years later began her orthopaedic nurse training in Gobowen.
In September 1986 Llinos started her first post as staff nurse in Ysbyty Gwynedd and worked on the trauma, orthopaedic and casualty wards.
Between 1990 – 2002 she worked as a Ward Sister on Prysor Ward and later progressed to the post of senior nurse.
Working on the wards was a memorable time for Llinos where she made life-long friends and gained her most valuable experience.
She said: “I always enjoyed working on the orthopaedic wards and at the time I was rotating between the trauma ward and also casualty, known today as the Emergency Department.
“It was very different back then to how things are today in our Emergency Department. Although it was a 24 hour service we were able to close the door at 2am and anyone who came into the department rang a bell to be seen – so it wasn’t the 24 hour service we have now!
“I always look back on those days and remember how much I enjoyed my role. There was always a lot of comradeship between colleagues and patients stayed in hospital a lot longer then so there was much more time to allow staff to get to know their patients.
“Although I haven’t worked on the wards for a few years now, I’ll always be a nurse at heart.”
Between 2002-2010 Llinos accepted a theatre manager role before moving further up the ladder to Head of Nursing in the Surgical & Anaesthetic Directorate.
In November 2015 Llinos accepted the post of Directorate General Manager of Unscheduled Care at Ysbyty Gwynedd and has been part of the hospital management team which are involved with making the key decisions for the site.
An emotional retirement party was held by her colleagues on her final day to wish her well for the future.
Sandra Robinson-Clark, Matron at Ysbyty Gwynedd, who has worked with Llinos for a number of years, said: “Llinos never forgot her roots and always shows integrity both professionally and personally with her natural warm personality which has inspired colleagues who have had the good fortune to work with her across all the professions and specialities within the Health Board.
“We will miss her and would like to wish her well in all her new adventures in the next chapter of her life.”
Llinos added: “I’m going to miss my job and in particular my colleagues of whom there have been many along the years, it is like a family here in Ysbyty Gwynedd.
“All the teams I have worked with over the years have been fantastic, I am very proud to have worked at Ysbyty Gwynedd.
“Everyone knows each other here and even though the work can be very challenging at times, we still know it’s important to have some laughter in the day as well! – it’s important to get the balance right.
“There is something very special about this hospital, many people have worked here all their working lives so it says a lot about the place.
“When you join the NHS you are in it for life, I feel very privileged to have been able to provide care and service to people of all walks of life, sometimes at their most vulnerable time in life. Many have left a memorable impression on me, which has been very humbling.”
Ysbyty Gwynedd Hospital Director, Meinir Williams added: “It’s been an emotional farewell to a very valued friend and colleague today.
“Llinos has served the people of North West Wales for over 30 years and her enthusiasm, empathy and compassion is as strong today as it was back in 1986 when she first joined the Ysbyty Gwynedd family.
“Her energy, focus and drive have set an example for us all, always with a smile on her face and kindness in her heart.
“Not only will she be missed by all who’ve been blessed to have worked with her, but by me personally as she has stood faithfully by my side through good times and bad for almost 10 years.
“Ever supporting, never wavering in her commitment to always do the right thing. She has been my inspiration and my rock.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for 32 years of selfless service, and to remind her that she will always be part of our Ysbyty Gwynedd family. Her legacy is woven into the DNA of our wonderful hospital. Diolch o galon Llinos.”
Llinos Thomas with Barry Williams, who will take on her former role of Directorate General Manager of Unscheduled Care at Ysbyty Gwynedd