Harrogate's longest-standing nurse thanked for nearly 50 years service in NHS

Monica celebrated her 70th birthday surrounded by family and friends from Harrogate District Hospital.
Monica celebrated her 70th birthday surrounded by family and friends from Harrogate District Hospital.

The longest-serving nurse at Harrogate District Hospital has received a personal ‘thank you’ from the Chairman of the NHS Trust, as she celebrated  her birthday in the same week the NHS marked its 70th milestone.

Born in Trinidad on July 6, 1948, Monica Sharpe turned 70 years old the day after the National Health Service celebrated 70 years since the day it was founded.

But having left Trinidad to become a nurse in Harrogate at just 21 years old, Monica has dedicated more time to the NHS than any other staff member working at Harrogate District NHS Foundation Trust.

Boasting an incredible 49 years’ service, Monica was featured in this newspaper last week as part of the NHS70 celebrations in Harrogate, which prompted many to wish her a happy birthday, including the Chairman of the Trust.

In a personal letter to Monica, Chairman at HDFT, Angela Schofield wrote: “It is lovely to see the story and photograph celebrating your birthday in today’s Harrogate Advertiser.

“It is really fitting that you should share the date (almost) with the NHS which you have been a part of for nearly 50 years.

“I hear that you are having a special celebration on your birthday with colleagues, family and friends. I hope that you have a wonderful evening and enjoy being in the limelight.

“On behalf of the board of Directors and the Council of Governors, thank you very much for being a part of this fantastic hospital (and its predecessors) and the NHS for so long.”

On Friday, July 6, Monica was surprised by family members who flew from Trinidad to join her 70th celebrations at the Cedar Court Hotel in Harrogate.

Monica said: “I want to say thank you to everyone who came to my party and made my day very special, especially my sister Lucy and my brother-in-law, who flew all the way from Trindad and Tobago.

“Thanks to my two daughters, sons-in-law and five lovely grandchildren, all my friends and colleagues including Dr Law and Steph for their lovely speech which had me in tears. I will never forget my 70th it has been the best birthday ever.”

Now Monica, who still works as a nurse in Harrogate’s A&E department is looking forward to her holiday cruise with work pal, Stephanie Davis.