‘Determined advocate for her patients’

Margaret Giddy
16 August 1938 – 29 July 2006

The many friends of Margaret Giddy will be saddened to hear of her recent death after an illness of six months’ duration.

Margaret was Director of Nursing at Trundle District Hospital during the 1970s. She will be remembered as an excellent nurse and a determined advocate for her patients who never compromised the quality of care given.

Margaret was never fearful of change. Indeed, when there were opportunities for action to improve health service procedures, within the hospital or community, she enthusiastically embraced them.

Her extensive range of nursing qualifi-cations and experience were often instrumental in saving lives in at least a dozen towns and cities from Darwin to Perth.

To Trundle’s benefit, she came here from the position of Nurse Unit Manager of the children’s section of The Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick.

Margaret came to Trundle in January 1971 with her eight-month-old son, Jonathon, for a home, security and the supportive community of a small country town. They both loved Trundle and Jonathon still thinks of this town as his real home  – a tribute to the many people involved in his early life.

Further opportunities presented themselves after Margaret left Trundle in 1978. She took up the position of Nurse Unit Manager of Bathurst’s district nursing services – introducing extensive staff development opportunities and flexible district nursing hours to more adequately meet the needs of those in need, for example, palliative care services. She revolutionised a vital service often neglected by hospital management, and provided a model for other District Nursing Services in the region.

After Jonathon finished school in Bathurst, Margaret moved back to her home village, Bilambil, near Tweed Heads, built a lovely home and settled in again to the demanding advocacy needed as Discharge Planner for Murwillumbah/Tweed Heads area hospitals. This was a typical role after her years of patient advocacy, and woe to those wanting a patient discharged to an unsupported environment!

This time last year, Margaret was at Jonathon’s wedding to Dianna in the Lakes District in England. It was a beautiful wedding, in every way perfect. Margaret was so very happy to see her beloved son embraced within a warm extended family in the UK.

As Jonathon so aptly put it, ‘after a lifetime of restless adventure, she is settled.’ Margaret passed away on Saturday, 29 July 2006 following a long illness and her funeral was held at Tweed Heads followed by interment in the Tweed Heads Cemetery.

By Robyn O’Bryan, Trundle District Hospital