Staff nurse retires after spending four decades caring for babies

A neonatal nurse who has been working at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust for 44 years is today saying her goodbyes as she retires.

Margaret Carter, 66, began working at North Tees General Hospital – as it was known at the time – in 1977 as a 22-year-old student nurse.

In 1980 she trained to be a midwife and has been working in the Trust’s neonatal departments ever since, most recently as a staff nurse on the special care baby unit caring for poorly or premature babies.

During her time at the hospital, Margaret has seen many changes, from new technology and buildings to big organisational progress within the Trust.

She said: “I’ve been able to work with a fantastic team all these years and merging with Hartlepool hospital has only enhanced us.

“When I walk through the hospital now I can see all the changes that have happened since I started. That being said, the Trust has always looked after me and I’ve always felt well supported by the Trust and my team.”

Through all the changes and technological advancements Margaret has seen, one aspect of the job remained – her love for her tiny patients in the neonatal wards.

From her own estimate, Margaret has cared for hundreds, if not thousands, of babies in her 44 years.

Margaret continued: “I will definitely miss being around the babies but they’re in the best hands they possibly could be with this fabulous team.”

Now that she is retired, she is looking forward to spending more time on her hobbies and interests, including her love of history. First and foremost, she is looking forward to a lie in and no more alarm clocks.

Jan Atkinson, ward matron on the unit, commented: “It’s sad to see Margaret go after so many years of service. We have really appreciated her dedication to the team and to the families who come through the ward.

“She will be missed.”

Margaret’s colleagues said farewell to her during her last shift on the unit, spoiling her with cards and presents, and even decorating the ward with banners and posters. She has been treated to perfume, jewellery and a new handbag; a testament to her commitment to her team.

Lindsey Robertson, chief nurse at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Margaret has made a huge contribution to the care of babies and to neonatal services across the organisation. We wish her all the best in her retirement.”

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