Dave Bruce started his role as a porter in 1974 along with his mum, dad and brother after he was temporarily laid-off from his brick-laying job. Dave was 20 at the time and is now retiring after extending his intended six-week placement to 44 years and 10 months.
Dave said: “When I joined my family here it was only supposed to be a temporary job but I enjoyed it so much I stayed. At first we were a small team and the comradery was fantastic. Over the years I’ve seen the hospital grow and expand and it’s busier than ever before. Now, on a day-to-day basis I can cover up to 20,000 steps (around 10 miles) in a shift.”
Dave’s role, first as a porter and later as a service assistant, involved moving patients around to various departments in the hospital and the time he spent with them on these journeys was his favourite aspect of his work. He said: “I will miss the patients when I go. The years of making chit-chat with them has meant that I talk to anyone and everyone now. I can’t go to the pub without striking up a conversation with a stranger.”
During his time at the Trust Dave trained to be a plaster technician in the Fracture Clinic and also specialised in the sterilisation of ventilators during a stint in the Medical Equipment department.
To mark his retirement, Dave is relocating to a rural wooden lodge with his wife Michele where they plan to spend time with their new grandson.
Service Assistants at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals have recently been credited with creating one of the best environments for patient care. In the most recent Patient-Led Assessment of the Care Environment (PLACE), DBTH was ranked the best in the region for cleanliness, appearance and maintenance.
Dr Kirsty Edmondson-Jones, Director of Estates and Facilities at the Trust, said: “On behalf of the Trust I would like to thank Dave for his hard work over the years. It’s the dedication of people like Dave that create a positive and caring atmosphere for our patients. We wish him a long and happy retirement and some well-deserved relaxation, he’ll be missed.”