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Health reporter bows out after 25 years at newspaper

A long-serving health reporter has opted to take early retirement after 25 years at a regional daily.

Marina Berry joined the Oldham Chronicle from the Rochdale Observer in 1989 and has been health correspondent for more than 20 years.

In that time she has covered everything from Prince Charles visiting the Royal Oldham Hospital to the first laparoscopic operation there, actually going into theatre to watch the procedure.

Marina, 54, has now decided to take early retirement and is looking forward to pursue her hobbies of gardening, fellwalking and riding.

Marina Berry, foreground, pictured with Oldham Chronicle colleagues

Chronicle managing editor David Whaley said: ³Marina has been a very popular member of staff. Time and again she came back with in-depth stories.

“She asked all the right questions but, just as importantly, she was a fantastic listener and able to put the information into a very readable form. That is a lesson many young reporters could learn.”

In 2012, she wrote a week-long series of harrowing stories highlighting the poor standards of care that people had received at the hospital.

This prompted health bosses to invite a reporter and photographer onto the wards to see for themselves the work going on.

Marina has also written countless moving stories about people who have struggled against the odds to battle illness and adversity, and reported extensively on Dr Kershaw¹s Hospice.

She said:  “My favourite part of the job has been going out and meeting ordinary people in Oldham. It has been a privilege me to be welcomed into their homes and hear to their stories, which has often been difficult for them to tell.

“I have met a lot people who I now regard as friends in the last 25 years – both in and out of the office – and I will miss them all.”

Marina enjoys walking in her free time and her next ambition is to bag all the Wainwright peaks in the Lake District.