Express & Star

'Dedicated' housekeeper who helped to look after sick babies for 47 years on hospital unit retires

A “modest and dedicated” housekeeper who has served the same Wolverhampton hospital unit for more than 45 years, helping to look after sick babies, has retired.

Carol Brown

Carol Brown has served more than 47 years on the neonatal unit at New Cross Hospital after starting work on September 1, 1976.

Along with maintaining stock, the 66-year-old from Cannock cleaned large specialist equipment and made sure all neonatal specialist linen was laundered.

The mother-of-three also supported the senior sisters team and patients’ families, ensuring they had all they needed when staying overnight with their babies, and even organised parents’ presents for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

“I was only 18 when I started and I just settled. As I had a family, my job fitted nicely around family life,” said Carol.

“There have been a lot of changes over the years and some have come full circle.

"I will miss being close to the girls I work with because I’ve got some really close friends.”

Sarah Crowshaw, neonatal ward manager, has known Carol 27 years and has managed her since May 2021.

“Carol’s very modest, with a shy smile but she has a great sense of humour,” said Sarah.

“She’s been a valued team member, and if you want to celebrate other colleagues’ events, you need her to do the collection as she always gets a good amount.

“Carol always makes personal touches to gifts for collections or celebrations.

"She’s also a great shopper who will find unusual gifts, and loves a plastic storage box.”

Carol organised sweepstakes for the Grand National, World Cup etc, and Secret Santa, and in days gone by, coach trips.

Her popularity was underlined with tributes from three senior sisters.

Fiona Partington, who has known her for 28 years, said: “If you need to ask/find something, Carol will know. I always joked if something happened to her, I wouldn’t know where anything was.

“Her hard work, dedication, wit, humour and love of plastic boxes will definitely be missed the most.”

A colleague for 42 years, Angela Luton-Morrison said: “Carol’s very modest, humble and well respected.

“Carol’s always been a ‘mother figure’, and a shoulder to lean on. She’s a truly loyal colleague and friend who will be greatly missed.”

Kerry Harnett, who has known Carol for 26 years, added: “She’s become a very valued friend.

“I’ve always been amazed at how well she can source, box and stock equipment. I think this is how I developed my love for Tupperware! Carol’s given so much to her ‘work family’.”

Carol has been on leave after losing her mum and now intends to spend time looking after her dad, 89.

With husband of 42 years Chris, she plans to visit their caravan in Caerwys, North Wales more often and see their two grandchildren.