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London Nurse and Former Sprinter Retires After Nearly Five Decades of NHS Service

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Rose Amankwaah met the then Prince Charles when he visited the hospital
Rose Amankwaah met the then Prince Charles when he visited the hospital

A London nurse, once hailed as the “fastest woman in Africa,” is bidding farewell to nearly five decades of service in the NHS. Rose Amankwaah, 72, who represented Ghana in the 1974 Commonwealth Games, commenced her NHS journey in 1975.

Initially granted weekends off to pursue her athletics training, Amankwaah trained alongside a young Linford Christie. She dedicated her entire medical career to Central Middlesex Hospital, starting as a staff nurse and eventually ascending to the role of theatre matron.

Rose Amankwaah met the then Prince Charles when he visited the hospital
Rose Amankwaah met the then Prince Charles when he visited the hospital

Amankwaah’s athletic prowess earned her a bronze medal at the 1974 Commonwealth Games and, nearly five decades later, she was honored with the NHS Silver Medal Award by England’s chief nurse, Dame Ruth May, in 2023.

Reflecting on her retirement, Amankwaah expressed a mix of emotions, acknowledging the sense of loss at leaving behind a lifelong commitment while embracing the prospect of spending more time with her family.

Rose Amankwaah, then Asiedua, won a medal in the 1974 Commonwealth Games
Rose Amankwaah, then Asiedua, won a medal in the 1974 Commonwealth Games

Throughout her tenure, Amankwaah witnessed remarkable advancements in surgical techniques, from traditional “open” procedures to the widespread adoption of laparoscopic and robotic surgery.

As she embarks on her retirement journey, Amankwaah looks forward to visiting her sister in Ghana and enjoying leisurely trips. Retirement also grants her the opportunity to watch the Paris Olympics in the summer, reminiscing on her sprinting career that began in secondary school in Ghana in 1958.

Rose Amankwaah, pictured with Tony Blair in 1999, has seen surgery change from open, to keyhole, to robotic
Rose Amankwaah, pictured with Tony Blair in 1999, has seen surgery change from open, to keyhole, to robotic

A spokesperson for London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust praised Amankwaah’s dedication and contribution, emphasizing her enduring impact on colleagues and patients alike after 49 years of service.

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