Christine Ollerton is a Registered Mental Health Nurse from our Wigan Mental Health Urgent Response Team. She has worked for the NHS since 1977, and is the #BestofNursing, returning part-time after retiring.
“I have worked for the NHS for since 1977. I trained at Winwick Hospital in Warrington - now part of the ground where the main hospital once stood is a housing estate and some mental health wards under Mersey Care.
“I loved my training which is different to nurse training now. I went to the theatre they had and watched different operations being carried out. They had their own physical health wards, and lovely grounds where they would hold a Summer Fate. On Sundays we were assigned to take patients to church, which was also on the grounds.
“At Christmas social therapy staff would put on a show for patients, and during the week social therapy would take part in activities for different wards in turn. There was a social club for staff on site across from the hospital.
“I had to attend physical health wards, dementia wards, secure wards and acute/long stay wards and course work all held in one place. I took part in social and industrial therapy work - I loved it! The patients had their own shop/bank and café.
“I loved my work and still do.”
“From 1980 I moved to another mental health unit and later became a Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN). In 2003, I moved to a new up and coming role in St Helens as a Dual Diagnosis Worker. I did this for 13 years and met lots of new friends and patients. Gaining an award for our work by the Big Issue and St Helens Positive Action Group - this was to help prevent stigma and prompt awareness in mental health/substances.
Wigan Mental Health Urgent Response Team (MHURT)
“I moved to the All Age Mental Health Liaison Team in Wigan for a few years, and then the Wigan Mental Health Urgent Response Team (MHURT). I love my job in the MHURT - despite it being very busy. I retired at aged 65 and now work for the MHURT part time.
“I would like to say despite mental health being hard work at times it can be and has been for me a lovely journey and rewarding. I feel I have met some lovely patients and would not change what I have done.
“I was a trained dental nurse before going into mental health and this has beat it hands down. I would like to share my experience with other nurses and up and coming students. Enjoy your training - despite the bad days there is always support out there and what you put in means your patients will have the best care.”