'I enjoy working too much': Long-serving NHS officer from Halifax has no plans to retire from her Scarborough hospital role as she prepares to turn 75
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Gill Faulding, who will be 75 in December, works as a mental health legislation officer for Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust.
“I believe that working really helps to keep your brain ticking over, and I also enjoy the camaraderie with colleagues and patients,” she said.
“The NHS is a national treasure. I was born just a few months after it was launched, and it has been looking after my family for generations, giving them peace of mind.”
Gill initially trained in reception and hotel administration after leaving school – working as a reception manager, PA, conference and banking co-ordinator and in human resources.
Her career took her around the country, as well as abroad, where she worked mainly in Switzerland.
“I took a break after having two children, then started looking for a job. The rest is history,” she said.
"No-one in my family works directly for the NHS, but I just felt drawn to it.”
Gill, who is originally from Halifax, was living in Filey when she secured her first NHS role as a team secretary and, from there, she moved into an admin role.
At 50, however, she became a Mental Health Act officer – ensuring that those detained under the act in hospital or in the community were treated in accordance with the rules.
“It was quite a lot of work to check that all the I’s were dotted and all the T’s were crossed, but it was worth it. It really was an interesting role to take on,” she said.
As time went on, Gill also took on responsibility for access to records and data protection, in addition to becoming a PALs officer and talking to patients with issues to raise and resolve.
The caseload increased so much that she had to relinquish PALs and data protection, instead concentrating on mental health provision right across North Yorkshire.
She was part of the team which helped support both York and Harrogate when they joined the trust – working across sites in both York and Scarborough.
“I left at 70 in 2018 but found myself missing work. So I came back part-time just a few months later – which increased to almost full-time during Covid,” she said.
“I have no plans to put my feet up just yet - I enjoy working too much.
"It has been a fantastic learning curve working here – I think the NHS is a wonderful employer.”
Gill is currently based at Cross Lane Hospital in Scarborough, which she remembers being built.
She also witnessed the creation of the trust’s other new hospitals – Foss Park at York and Roseberry Park in Middlesbrough – during site visits.
“The NHS really has changed the treatment of everyone,” she said.
"Families often couldn’t afford to see a doctor before I was born and would come up with all kinds of weird cures.
“To have been born in the year the NHS was founded is special.
"I feel proud to have done my bit for the NHS, as it has helped me over the years, and I’m pleased to still be helping it too.”