Midwives retire after delivering thousands of babies in west Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 09:20 02 April 2019 | UPDATED: 09:34 02 April 2019
Four midwives are hanging up their uniforms after delivering thousands of babies and giving a combined total of 140 years to a Norfolk hospital.
Tracey Stafford, Christine Harvey, Tracy Cross and Patricia Wolstanholme were wished a well-earned retirement at a party in the maternity unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn.
Antenatal and newborn screening coordinator Tracy Cross has made a huge impact on families across west Norfolk during her 36 year career.
She has delivered hundreds of babies over the years but she has also made a tremendous difference to the families during difficult pregnancies.
Over the last six years, Tracy has been working with women and their partners whose babies have died before birth or are facing severe disabilities.
She said: “The best bit about being a midwife is being able to give a positive experience to women and children in West Norfolk.
“Sometimes the families just need to know that they can ring you at any time to get advice or if you put them in contact with support networks.
“After supporting the mum and the family through the difficult time along with the next pregnancy and then you see them holding their new baby – it’s the best feeling in the world.
“It is a huge privilege to be a midwife and I’m not ready to give up entirely yet but I am going to reduce my hours.”
Community midwife Tracey Stafford has helped countless generations of new mums and babies in West Norfolk since joining the QEH in 1983.
She completed her general nursing training her before later taking an additional 18 months training to become a midwife.
Tracey is among the community midwives who provide the home birth service.
She said: “I really enjoyed home births as it is always an honour to be there when the baby is born but you are also part of a family event.
“Every day has been a highlight and I have always learned something new. It has been a lovely job but I’m looking forward to my retirement.”
Senior midwife Christine Harvey has been part of the team for nearly 40 years and has delivered 957 babies.
Christine joined in 1980 and undertook her general nursing training before going onto take the additional midwifery qualifications and is retiring as the delivery suite coordinator.
She said: “One of the things I have enjoyed most as a midwife and seeing trainee midwives progress. They arrive nervous and then go onto develop their expertise.”
Practice development support worker Patricia Wolstanholme has seen a number of changes during her 29 years with the Trust and is hoping to return on a part-time basis.
She said: “I have enjoyed my 29 years here and have seen a lot of changes. There have been a lot of highlights.
“I am returning to carry on my role as an NVQ assessor which I have been doing for the last eight years.”
Chief Nurse Emma Hardwick, who is also a midwife, added: “I would like to make a personal thank you to Tracy, Christine, Tracey and Patricia for their many years of service to the women and children of west Norfolk.”