Maureen Abraham

Working as a Scrub Nurse, Maureen assisted Sir John with the instrumentation for the operation, ensuring that it was sterile and well maintained.

Maureen remembers the high standards Sir John Charnley insisted people worked to and his career-long quest to improve every part of the surgical process.


  • 1968-9: Wrightington General Nurse
  • 1969-79 Wrightington Scrub Nurse

A longer version of this interview can be seen at Wrightington Hospital in Hip Histories. The exhibition is set in Sir John Charnley's biomechanics laboratory and tells the story of his pioneering work in orthopaedic surgery.

Maureen Abraham was interviewed by Dr Francis Neary.

Quotation mark

Sir John was a perfectionist when it came to surgical instruments and he would not be satisfied until an instrument did exactly what he wanted it to in his mind.

He designed 17 different types of wire tighteners. He would often shelve a current instrument in favour of a more recent idea, only to come back to it months later and further modify it.

Quotation mark

Maureen Abraham

More memories

Chris Faux

Chris Faux was a trainee surgeon toward the end of Sir John's career.
Watch video of Chris Faux

Dr Hugh Howorth

Dr Hugh Howorth designed the pioneering clean air operating theatre.
Watch video of Dr Hugh Howorth

Harry Craven

Harry Craven was responsible for testing and manufacturing new prostheses.
Watch video of Harry Craven