Equipment ashore 9 - "Nobody would do that these days" 1960s

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Julian Massey 1968Julia Massey

Service: 1968 - 1996

Rate: Captain

Julia Massey joined the QARNNS (Queen Alexandra Royal Naval Nursing Service) in July 1968 and worked at Royal Naval Hospital Haslar, a number of medical facilities in Malta, RNH Plymouth, HMS Pembroke and RNH Hong Kong. In 1982, she was part of the nursing team embarked on SS Uganda for the Falklands War and during the Gulf War she was responsible for allocating nurses to RFA Argus. In 1994 she was involved with the Defence Cost Studies Report which led to the closure of the RN Hospitals, the establishment of tri-service training and the reduction of the QARNNS by nearly a half.

What did Julia think of the equipment and working hours in the 1960s?

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Extract Text (Duration 1.18)

I thought that the naval hospital was very well equipped compared to UCH where I had been, certainly the equipment that we had and there seemed to be no shortage of equipment.  The hours were not really very good.  Hmmm, we used to go on at eight o'clock every morning and one of the sisters would come off at ten and go back again at 1300 and work through until 2000.  And the next day we would go on at eight o'clock and come off at 1300.  Though alternate days were long days and at the weekends it was from eight o'clock until 2000 in the evening.  Night duty was bad.  And in my first year in Haslar, I did five lots of night duty, five or six lots, and that was a fortnight, 14 nights from 2000 in the evening until eight the next morning.  And my first year in the Navy I went on night duty on Christmas Eve and so I worked for Christmas, New Year and my birthday, and nobody would do that these days.

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