FOUR women who have devoted themselves to caring for those in Bolton Hospice are retiring this spring.

The group, Sue Houghton, Lata Chauhan, Jill Entwistle and Sheila Archibald have put in a collective 96 years at the hospice.

Ms Archibald has been at the hospice since it opened in March 1992.

She spent 17 years working nights on the inpatient unit, she said: “I chose to work at Bolton Hospice because I can give total care for my patients.

“You’ve got time to give them that, where in hospitals you don’t. It is a total holistic way to take care of your patients. Spending time with them and their families. Not being rushed.”

She remembered Princess Diana visiting the hospice in March 1993. Ms Archibald said: “We were a bit in awe really because she was so normal. I’ve got lovely memories of her.”

All of the nurses spoke of their joy working at the hospice and the changes they had seen in their time.

Mr Houghton said: “There have been many changes since I started 21 years ago; for example the rooms didn’t have en suites and only had curtains separating them!”

Ms Entwistle was positive about the future of hospice care and was proud to have worked there. She said: “I grew up in Bolton and I have been very fortunate to work in such a place. I’ve loved every role I have had here.

Ms Chauhan said: “Over my time here there have been lots of changes, all for the better, the hospice has evolved and grown so much!”

The group are looking forward to their retirements and planning to make the most of them.