AN 'INSPIRATIONAL' Kendal man has hung up his scrubs for the last time after more than 40 years of NHS service.

Les Murray, Senior Anatomical Pathology Technician, at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT), started his career as a porter in Edinburgh and Newcastle.

He then joined the mortuary team at Westmorland County Hospital in 1981, worked at Westmorland General Hospital when it opened in 1991 and finally moved into what would be his last role at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

His day-to-day role involved liaising with relatives who have lost loved ones and assisting pathologists to carry out post mortems.

Les said: “It was a trend in those days for porting staff to move into mortuary roles. I have very much enjoyed the career and never looked back.

“I have lots of great memories of working with a whole range of pathologists over the years, they all know who they are. I have also worked with lots of external agencies, namely the police and scenes of crime officers whom I have a great fondness for.

“Some parts of the NHS have definitely changed for the better in terms of the technology advances and new specialist procedures, including post mortem Computed Tomography (CT) scanning, the introduction of quality management systems and the human tissue authority. Education and training is definitely much different compared to the old days. I would definitely encourage someone thinking about a career in health to join the NHS as it is a good organisation to work for with many different avenues to go down.”

Fiona Meyer, Senior Anatomical Pathology Technician at FGH, UHMBT, praised the 'compassion' that she had seen Les show to relatives.

“For the last 14 years Les has taught me not just about the technical side of the job but more importantly watching and listening to how he spoke and comforted relatives, his experience, kindness, compassion and the little details that mean such a lot to the families, helped me with how I approach what is the hardest, most difficult part of the job." she said. "Always somebody to talk to about anything and everything, not just a colleague but a good friend.”

And Joe Ogle, Mortuary Manager, UHMBT, said that Les had been 'inspirational' and 'pivotal' for advice and guidance.

"His passion for the whole service and supporting families is second to none, something that to the team is irreplaceable," he said. "After 44 years it is time to hang up his scrubs and wind down.”