QEH nurse retires after 44 years

Director of Nursing Catherine Morgan, left, congratulates Linda Sumner on her retirement: Pictures Q

Director of Nursing Catherine Morgan, left, congratulates Linda Sumner on her retirement: Pictures QEH - Credit: Archant

Auxiliary nurse Linda Sumner is retiring after 44 years of helping to bring countless babies into the world at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn.

Now helping her second generation of mothers to give birth, she was taken on as a nursing auxiliary in 1972 at the former maternity hospital, which is now the Fermoy unit, before later moving into the current building.

She completed her final shift yesterday, and said: 'It has been a tremendous privilege to see all of those babies come into the world. The first birth I helped with was a Caesarean section.

'I do still really enjoy the job, especially the interaction and helping the new mums.

'I am going to miss my job and my colleagues. It is going to be a big wrench for me to leave but I think now is the right time as I have so much I would like to do.'

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Mrs Sumner, who lives in Walpole Cross Keys, has spent most of her career working nightshifts in the delivery suite.

She said: 'I am a night owl and it is going to be a struggle to go to bed at a normal time.

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'I have seen a number of changes over the years. Fathers were not allowed into the delivery room when I started, but now they are.

'I think this is one of the most important changes I have seen, as they feel and are, much more involved now, it means they can bond with their baby immediately along with mum. I think it's lovely for them to be at the birth to welcome their baby into the world.'

Mrs Sumner is a member of the King's Lynn Rock Choir, which will be performing at the hospital's open day on Sunday, and has also taken up salsa dancing. She will be celebrating her retirement with a party in King's Lynn town hall in October. The hospital's director of nursing, Catherine Morgan, said: 'Linda has been a reassuring presence in the delivery suite and has helped countless new mothers and their babies.'

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