Swansong From Santa’s Little Helper

Clinical Co-ordinator Cathy Johnston celebrated her retirement from the NHS by singing a few lines from The Sound of Music. She ended with a poem she wrote, which looked back over her 43 years service with the NHS, with a few bars from ‘So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, goodbye.’

Cathy started her NHS career in 1975 as a cardiology technician in Ninewells Hospital before training as a nurse. She worked in orthopaedic theatres then moved to the University of Amsterdam Hospital as an anaesthetic and theatre nurse, becoming fluent in Dutch.

Cathy returned to Scotland in l985, working in Glasgow and Dundee as a theatre staff nurse and then as ophthalmology theatre sister. This was followed by a period as theatre charge nurse in private sector theatres, but missing mince and tatties and Dundee ‘pehs’ (pies) Cathy came back to Stirling Royal Infirmary in 2003 as a Clinical Co-ordinator in the Surgical Unit.

With restructuring, she moved to the Medical Directorate, redesigning rotas and supporting trainee doctors.

Wearing her other hat Cathy gained a reputation in the festive season as Santa’s Little Helper, dressed in an elf suit and handing out gifts. She now plans to spend more time with her family.