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'I'm saying goodbye after delivering thousands of babies – I've loved looking after families during the most special moments'

A Wolverhampton midwife, retiring after almost 30 years in the NHS, says it has been “a real privilege” to look after families during one of the most special moments of their lives.

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Shirley Spencer-Brown, 66, has delivered thousands of babies in the city over her long and distinguished career.

She started her nursing training in 1994 and after working in Scotland and in other parts of the country, she came back to join The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust’s (RWT) midwifery team in 2008.

The grandmother-of-two said she has had a wonderful career and enjoyed working at the trust.

She said: “I must have delivered thousands of babies. I have loved looking after pregnant women during the most special moments of their lives. It has been a real privilege.

“One of my favourite baby name choices was a woman who gave birth to twins and named them after her favourite drink – Tia and Maria. I loved that and I will always remember them.”

In 2022 Shirley was awarded an Exceeding Expectation Award from Professor David Loughton, the trust's group chief executive.

She was nominated by a member of the public after she delivered her baby which arrived 14 weeks early.

The care the woman received was outstanding and Shirley made the patient and her family at ease during a very difficult time.

Shirley added: “Winning the award was one of my career highlights. It was a proud moment.

“I have seen so many changes during my working career and a lot of technological advancements.

“I am very lucky to have worked with an amazing team. They are a fantastic group of people and everyone is so friendly. They all put their patients first and even though we are very busy we always work to the highest standard.

“I will miss the team and the job very much.”

Kate Cheshire, head of midwifery and neonatal services at RWT, said: “Shirley has been a valued part of the maternity family for many years.

“She always works hard for families in her care, going the extra mile to make every moment matter. She will be missed for this but also for the compassion and commitment she has shown to the team, plus a lot of laughs along the way.

“Working alongside Shirley has been a privilege and I personally wish her well in her new chapter.”

Shirley plans to spend her retirement with her family, spending time with her grandchildren Theo and Carter and also starting to train for a swimming teacher’s qualification.