Castlederg Nurse Hilary Patterson Retires after 42 years of Service

Shauna Healy

Colleagues past and present came to celebrate and say farewell to highly respected Nurse Hilary Patterson from Castlederg, Co Tyrone at a surprise retirement party held last week at Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex. Hilary is one of the longest serving members of staff at the Western Trust with an incredible 42 years of dedicated service! 

Paying tribute to Hilary for her dedication and commitment to diabetes services in the Western Trust Brid McGirr, Community Diabetes Specialist Nurse Team Leader said: “Today marks the celebration of a very special woman and her 42 years of dedication to life as a nurse with the Western Trust. The time has come for our very dear colleague and friend Hilary Patterson to retire. A group of us have come together to bid farewell and thank you for your expertise and excellence throughout the years. I know that so many others would want to be here with us for this celebration today but due to Covid -19 sadly cannot, however, many of them have send messages and best wishes.

Hilary commenced her nursing career in September 1978 aged 18 years old and trained in Altnagelvin Hospital, Londonderry and the Tyrone County Hospital, Omagh. Hilary took up her first post as a staff nurse in Ward 5 (Surgical Ward) at Tyrone County Hospital before taking up a position in Derg Valley Hospital in 1986 until the hospital closed its doors in 1998. Well as the saying goes when one door closes another opens and this was certainly true as Hilary then began a new chapter of her nursing career in the Renal Unit in Omagh. Diligent and conscientious in nature, Hilary always strived to become more proficient and while working there she completed her Diploma in Renal Studies and this growing expertise soon earned her the position of Team Leader in the Unit.

It was in 2005 when Hilary found her true calling in nursing as it was then she completed her Diabetes Specialist Practice Post Grad Course and the following year she secured a full-time position as a Community Diabetes Specialist Nurse (DSN). Hilary is an integral factor behind the success of our Community Diabetes Team as a whole. Her dedication to her role and to her team is nothing less than extra ordinary. Her straight-talking, no-nonsense approach, underpinned with empathy and loyalty has been paramount in establishing the high calibre of professionalism and respect that we have for her. Hilary also completed her supplementary Independent Nurse prescribing in 2010 a role which she has continued until her retirement. She will always go that last mile to help her patients, work colleagues and friends. Her patients love her as she gives them all the highest standard of care and attention and treats them all with the utmost of respect. She will be missed by many.”


Some of the messages coming through from colleagues included: “It has been an immense pleasure to have worked with you for many years. Your dedication and passion to your Nursing role is commendable, you have given so much kindness and tenderness to the therapeutic relationships with patients and families with your gentle personality and calming nature.”

“It has been a pleasure knowing you as one of the most dedicated and conscientious DSN I have known. Your patients love you and I have lost count of the times they have expressed this to me during the clinics. I wish you happiness on your journey forward and don't forget to take plenty of well-deserved rest. We will miss you greatly in Omagh.”

Brid continued: “Hilary is an exceptional, dedicated and caring nurse who has provided excellent patient centred care over the past four decades. On behalf of my colleagues and staff who have worked with Hilary over the past 42 years I would like to thank her for her enormous contribution to the health and well-being of patients in the Western Trust area. Hilary will be greatly missed by her patients and colleagues and we wish her good health and happiness in her retirement.

“Enjoy spending quality time with your family and friends Hilary and thank you for everything!”


Trust Communications Post