THE matron of Stroud General Hospital has bid a fond farewell to staff and patients after three years running the wards.

Kay Haughton, who recently celebrated her 50th birthday, said goodbye to work colleagues and friends at a leaving do held at the hospital on Friday, September 28.

A popular figure on the wards, the mother-of-two will now take up a new job as a clinical development manager with Gloucestershire Primary Care Trust in Brockworth.

Since qualifying in 1985, Kay has worked in the day surgery unit at Swindon Hospital and enjoyed brief spells as a school nurse and practice nurse.

She spent a year working as an anaesthetic nurse in Brisbane, Australia, before returning to the UK, where she worked firstly in the plastic surgery department at Frenchay and then in Bath Hospital's emergency theatre.

After a number of promotions, Kay left Bath to become the matron at Stroud General and Vale Community Hospital in Dursley.

"I have really enjoyed the time that I have spent in Stroud and Dursley and I will miss all my friends and colleagues," she said.

"I will also miss the interaction with the patients and their relatives but I am hoping I will continue to be involved with the public in my new job."