Nurses Reunite After 60 Years to Celebrate Ulster Hospital

15th June 2022
Helen Kerr (Former Director of Nursing), Nicki Patterson (Deputy Chief Executive & Director of Nursing, Older People & Primary Care) & Roisin Coulter (Chief Executive)

Around 190 nurses have reunited at the Ulster Hospital after 60 years to mark a major milestone  in the celebrations of the Ulster Hospital anniversary.

The Ulster Hospital first opened its doors as a hospital for Women and Sick Children in 1872 and was initially located on Chichester Street in Belfast, but later moved to Templemore Avenue in Mountpottinger in 1892. In 1962, it was relocated to Dundonald and renamed the Ulster Hospital where it remains today.

To mark the 60th anniversary of the Ulster Hospital, a group of nurses who trained together, lived together and worked together have reunited for an afternoon tea event that provided an opportunity for many to  chat and reminisce of their years working and training  in the Ulster Hospital.  The afternoon also provided the chance for many to reconnect and share special memories, especially as some nurses attending, travelled from afar as Canada.

A Facebook group called ‘Ulster Hospital Nurses’ was created in 2015 by former nurse, Frances Gilmore which now has over 300 members, this provided an opportunity to share information on the afternoon event for many former nursing staff of the hospital.  Anybody who has trained, previously worked or is currently a nurse in the Ulster Hospital can join the group.

Former nurse, Frances Gilmore said the afternoon was a great success in marking the Ulster Hospital anniversary and said “The reunion event was a great celebration to acknowledge the hospital has been on the current site for 60 years now.  It was lovely to see so many former nurses come together who trained and lived on the current site, it provided us with a chance to reconnect and share some special memories that we still hold dear.  I am also thrilled that some nurses travelled across the world to be here to take part in this wonderful celebration.”

Eileen Ardis, Former Paediatric Nursing Sister who started her Nursing career in 1962 and attended the event stated “This is one of the best days of my life since I started Nursing, to be able to meet up with so many former colleagues.  I feel very honoured and fortunate to have worked in the Ulster Hospital.”

Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Nursing, Primary Care & Older People in the South Eastern HSC Trust added “60 years of Nursing at the Ulster Hospital is an incredible milestone.  In 1996, I took up post as Ward Sister in the Medical Assessment Unit in the hospital and was fortunate to work alongside some wonderful Nurses.  Here at the Ulster Hospital, we are one big family and are incredibly fortunate to have the Nurses that we do.    I would like to thank all those Nursing staff, both current and former, who have contributed over the years.”