As colleagues across CHFT celebrated Nurses' Day yesterday, Ophthalmology Sister, Diane Lee, looks back on a career spanning 40 years - and tells how some patients treat her like a long-lost relative when they come to clinic. Here's more from Diane:

"When I arrived at the nurses' home at HRI on 7th May 1984 to start my nursing training, I didn't know what to expect. I must admit nursing was not my first choice of career (I went through a phase of wanting to be a lumberjack!).

When I qualified in July 1987, my first job was at Mill Hill Hospital looking after the elderly (or long-term geriatric in those days), and I came to the wonderful world of ophthalmology in March 1998, where I've been ever since.

A few of the patients I got to know well. One patient and his wife (he died a few years ago, but she still comes to clinic now) treated me like a long-lost relative and gave me a big hug and kiss every time they came to clinic. She still does it now if I am on when she attends 26 years later.

I’ve seen many changes over time. It was Huddersfield Health Authority when I started, and I have seen the development of the Huddersfield Trust and then the combined CHT and then finally the attainment of Foundation status. Also, with the growth and expansion of the department over these last 20 odd years I have seen doctors come and go, and the numbers of consultants, nurses and orthoptists increase. I’ve seen doctors who have worked here as juniors and registrars finally working here as consultants.

The best bit of advice that one of the nurse tutors gave me when I started my nursing was “whatever happens during your career the important thing is “not to lose your sense of humour”. And he was correct.

I also didn't realise how fulfilling nursing is – despite some ups and downs. I have enjoyed my time in nursing and in the NHS. We are so lucky to have this service.

You have good days and bad days, happy days and sad days, busy days and quiet days but no matter what day you are having, at the end of that day you know that you have made a difference to your patients' lives no matter how small."

Ophthalmology Service Manager, Abi Rawnsley, said: “Diane is well known in the world of outpatients for her knowledge, compassion, dedication and wit. As Diane has mentioned, we're so lucky to have the NHS, but I think the NHS is lucky to have Diane!

“Congratulations and a huge thank you for your service, not just in the NHS, but in Ophthalmology!”