A WOMAN known to thousands of people simply as Dr Liz has retired.
Guests crowded in to say farewell when Dr Liz Higgins, Kirkwood Hospice's medical director, stepped down after 16 years.
She has worked at the Dalton hospice from the first day it opened in 1987.
Over the last 16 years, Dr Higgins - who says she has had a fantastic career - has made many friends and provided care for the people of Kirklees who have needed the hospice's services.
Dr Higgins, of Huddersfield Road, Mirfield, has also been a source of information for other Kirklees health professionals working in palliative care - specialist help for patients who cannot be cured.
She also expanded the hospice's role as a centre for this type of work.
Christine Springthorpe, the hospice's director of clinical services, said: "Dr Higgins has done so much for Kirkwood and for the people of Kirklees during her 16 years here. This is our chance to thank her for her hard work and dedication."
In addition to working at the hospice, Dr Higgins worked at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary for 35 years. She worked a few sessions a week in the diabetic clinic as a clinical assistant.
She retired from the Infirmary in 1998 and for the past three years was primarily concerned with in-patients at the hospice.
Dr Higgins, who has worked beyond the official retirement age at the hospice, has four grown-up children and five grandchildren.
She received a wealth of flowers and gifts from colleagues and patients.
Her future plans are undecided as yet. "At the moment I'm having three months to think about which door is going to open for me," she said.