Midwife Maureen Miles has retired after providing 50 years of support to Walsall families and her own colleagues alike.
Maureen began training in 1971 and started community midwifery when she qualified in 1973. She has been amazed at all the advances in midwifery over the years but also how the core values of “with woman” have remained even through changes.
She said: “Back in the day we were on our own and on duty 24 hours, five days a week. We had no pager, no phone and no communications. We had a list of times and addresses of all the houses we would visit on the day and stuck it on our door. When a woman was about to go into labour her husband would look at that list and see what house I was going to on my route and come and find me to notify me.”
She has also been a labour ward midwife since 1992 and has “thoroughly enjoyed the mixture of colleagues as you don’t always get that in community” and has seen many changes of staff too.
Maureen has also delivered some of the midwives which she says “makes me feel very old!”
After many years of providing exceptional care and support, she is also stepping down to pave the way for senior midwives to progress in their role too.
When asked what she would miss the most Maureen said: “I will miss my colleagues and the teamwork. I will also miss caring for patients and being there for the woman.
“However, I am not retiring completely as I will be taking a role in Phlebotomy and have secured a position as a Covid-19 vaccinator so I will still be caring for patients but in a different way.”
When she retires which her family “thinks is about time” Maureen has a few things she would like to achieve.
She explains: “Firstly, I have always wanted a small holding with chickens running around in the garden. Secondly, I would like to start a homemade chutney/ pickle/ jam production business and develop in this area and lastly, I want to convert our garage into an air bnb but it might be a while before that happens!”
Delivery Suite Ward Manager Leanne O’Flaherty said: “Maureen is the epitome of a midwife. She is perfect, old school, a team player and is always centred around the woman. We will all miss her very much and wish her a long, happy and well-earned retirement.”