IF 11-month-old George goes on to be an emergency medical technician like his dad or a senior sister like his mum some day, he will be the fifth generation of his family to work in the NHS.

George’s mum Kirsty Maurer’s great-grandmother Minnie Melrose, 94, started a proud tradition of four generations working in the health service.

George’s grandad Stuart Roberts is a dental technician and while he runs his own business, about 95 per cent of his work comes from NHS dentists.

“The world will be his oyster,” Kirsty, 30, said whose maternal grandmother was also a nurse.

Kirsty said: “It’s all I’ve ever known.

“I remember I had to fight my parents to do my A-levels.

“I wanted to do a diploma in nursing but mum said I had to do my A-levels first just in case.

“I’m proud to be a nurse,” she added, while George’s great-grandmother Patricia Roberts, 75, nods in agreement.

“You have to be. I don’t think you can go into it half-heartedly.”


Minnie sat between Kirsty and another great-granddaughter Holly Bird, 22, who is doing her Masters to become a mental health nurse.

Minnie began nursing when her daughter, Patricia, was five-years-old.

Originally from near Leiston in Suffolk, she moved with her husband Robert Melrose and a young Patricia to Scotland.

Patricia, of St Andrew’s Avenue, Colchester, said: “Mum had been married a year when we moved there.

“She’d always done nursing but she didn’t do her training until about 1969 at the Eastern General Hospital in Edinburgh.

“I began nursing at the Queen Alexandra’s Hospital in Aldershot, when I was 17-and-a-half.

“I only had 18 months of training in the Army, because I met my husband, and it took 20 years to get back to it again.

“I tried to do it after I got married, but once they heard you were in the Army they wouldn’t train you because it wouldn’t be worth their while as you’d move again.

“I didn’t think it was fair but I could see where they were coming from.”

The family did not have much money, mum-of-two Patricia explained, so for extra money Minnie would work two nights a week as an auxiliary nurse.

Her NHS career ended 20 years ago when she retired.

Her daughter added: “When I was first going into nursing, they said you needed a good all-round education, not just O-levels or A-levels .

“You didn’t need them because in those days, they thought nursing was just a continuation from looking after children.”

Under Minnie are four women who love being part of the NHS, including Patricia’s daughter Melanie, who is head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Anglia Ruskin, and Melanie’s daughter Holly.

Unlike the others, Holly never aspired to work in primary care as a nurse, but is passionate about mental health, psychology, and healthcare being free for all.

And what the future holds for George is anyone’s guess.

However, as helping others seems to be in the blood, the NHS can expect another recruit....in about 20 years.