‘It was odd’: Nurse who battled breast cancer retires after 30 years


Pippa (left) at her retirement with BHRUT consultant anaesthetist and director for equality, diversity and inclusion, Remi Odejinmi. - Credit: BHRUT

A Romford nurse who battled breast cancer and raised thousands for the King George and Queen’s Hospitals Charity has retired from her role after over 30 years.  

Pippa Ward has retired as a senior sister in King George's operating theatres.

However, she will continue part-time as a surgical assistant at the Independent Treatment Centre based at King George Hospital. 

Beginning her training with the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust (BHRUT) in 1984, Pippa qualified as a nurse in 1986.  

Since then she has gone on to raise thousands for the King George and Queen’s Hospitals Charity with her sons Matthew, 29; Robert, 27; and Adam, 24; as well as granddaughter Emily, three.

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In 2010, after being diagnosed with breast cancer, Pippa experienced King George Hospital in Goodmayes and Queen’s Hospital in Romford as a patient.  

The 55-year-old went on to raise £100,000 over several years for the trust’s hospitals, which was spent on a number of improvements including a lipofilling machine for breast cancer patients.  

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Pippa also secured the donation used to buy an iPod docking station in the radiotherapy department at Queen’s Hospital, which patients can use to listen to music during treatment.  

She said: “It was very odd to be treated at the hospital where I worked but they looked after me so well I wanted to do what I could do and raise money for the department.   

“I used to run a mother and toddler group at a church and fundraised for the church, and I’d raised £5,000 for a cancer charity after my dad had prostate cancer – I like to immerse myself in stuff.

"I planned to raise around £1,000, however, it got to £100,000.”

Pippa now gives talks to raise awareness about breast cancer – and was thrilled when one woman told her she went for her first mammogram after hearing from Pippa. 

“I’ve been very fortunate to have had a lovely career and met amazing people," she said.

“Given I’ve had a lot of illness along the way, now is the time to retire and enjoy life and spend more time with my family.”

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