A LABOUR ward manager who has worked at Northallerton’s Friarage Hospital for 30 years has retired.

Kay Hutchinson enjoyed a party yesterday (Thurs, February 21) lunchtime on the ward with her colleagues and said she has loved every minute of doing her dream job at the hospital.

“I started as a cadet nurse when I was 16 in 1974 in Hartlepool, and after completing my training I did stints doing general nursing before starting midwifery,” she said.

“When I came to Northallerton thirty years ago I knew straight away it was for me, it is a fantastic place to work.”

Mrs Hutchinson added: “As a midwife you need to have good communication and emotional skills, and have to work on an individual basis with each woman.

“We have a very low epidural rate at the Friarage because the team is very good at supporting women and making them feel at ease.

“My last delivery today will be a lady whose second baby I delivered, so I will also deliver her third. “When I saw her name on the board it was a lovely feeling and she recognised me straight away.

“I also like seeing women and their babies in the market in Northallerton – that’s what you get with a small town hospital, the personal touches and the community feel.”

Mrs Hutchinson said she and her colleagues past and present will complete her send-off with a ceilidh at Solberge Hall tonight (Friday, February 22).

She will also remain on the Family and Birth Forum to pass on her years of experience.