Published: 01/12/2005 Volume 115 No. 5984 Page 7

Hospital laboratory assistant Alma Harding has received a letter from prime minister Tony Blair in recognition of her 45 years of loyal service to the NHS. The letter was presented to Alma at the Lewisham Hospital trust's longservice awards.

The awards honoured members of staff who have worked at the trust for more than 25 years. At 45 years, Ms Harding won the prize for the longestserving employee.