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Jackie and Ian retire after a lifetime in the labs

Press release – April 23 2021


When Jackie and Ian Hancock met as fresh-faced starters on their first day at the County Hospital in October 1979, little did they know the chemistry was there for romance.

Within a handful of years the pair, who have worked in the Haematology and then in later years, the Blood Sciences team all their working lives, found love in the labs and tied the knot.

This week, two children and 42 years later, they’re hanging up their lab coats for the last time as they head off for retirement after a lifetime working at the hospital clocking up an amazing 84 years between them.

In the year they started, transistor radios rang out with songs such as “Hot stuff,” “Ring my bell,” and “Good times.”

It was also the time when samples were checked into the labs by hand on request forms.

“The difference is amazing. Everything was manual and done by hand. Things have changed so much over the years you would hardly recognise these as the same labs today,” Ian commented.

“And one of the other big differences is the amount of work we get through and the fact that we are now running a 24/7 service working night shifts whereas before it was an on-call service.”

“There’s no doubt that the advances in science and tighter regulations mean the service is so much better for patients now that it ever has been, added Jackie Haematology section manager”

As they head into retirement, it will be the people and the faces that they’ll miss the most – although the colleagues they leave behind won’t be able to forget them too quickly as their son, Matthew, continues the family tradition and continues to work in the blood sciences lab.

“We’ve made lots of good friends over the years and we’re really going to miss them, but we know it’s time to retire and we shall still see them from time to time as we’ll be helping out on the Bank until they recruit to fill our positions,” said Ian, Blood Bank section manager


Notes to Editors WVT:

  • Wye Valley NHS Trust is a provider of health services across Herefordshire and beyond. The Trust exists to improve the wellbeing, independence and health of the people we serve.
  • By working closely with our partners, we can make good our promise to deliver a quality of care we would want for ourselves, our families and our friends.
  • With an estimated annual turnover of around £185 million, we employ around 3,000 staff. We aim to build new relationships between our staff, patients, service users and their carers with the wider community.

For further information please contact:

Fiona Gurney, communications officer, or John Burnett, Communication and Engagement Manager, Wye Valley NHS Trust: 01432 372928

Contact Details

John Burnett
Communication and engagement manager
Tel: 01432 372928

Amanda Millichip
Communications officer
Tel: 01432 372928

Fiona Gurney
Communications officer
Tel: 01432 372928


Postal address:

Wye Valley NHS Trust
The County Hospital
Trust Headquarters
Union Walk

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