A midwife with 53 years of service in the NHS has been honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award as the service marks its 75th birthday.
Eileen Shaw was the unanimous choice of the judges for the prestigious title at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals’ annual Celebrating Success staff awards.
The NHS was only in its 21st year when she began her career as a student nurse in Northern Ireland in 1969 – before many of her current colleagues were even born.
She qualified as a midwife in 1973 and joined the team at Blackpool the following year.
Since then, she has been at the birth of hundreds of babies – sometimes helping deliver babies of women she delivered years earlier themselves.
Reflecting on her years of service, Eileen said: “I’ve learned to take every day as it comes, learn something each day from everyone, and then go home and reflect on what you’ve done. If you feel overwhelmed, speak to someone about it because we’re all growing whether we’re experienced midwives or new to the profession.”
Chief Executive Trish-Armstrong Child said people like Eileen often had a record of achievement they didn’t even realise.
“These are the sorts of people who will say ‘oh, I was only doing my job’. But over the decades their care, kindness and professionalism touches the lives of countless patients and colleagues.
“This is the most humbling part of being in the service of the public in any role. Your kindness at a patient’s greatest moment of need will be remembered by them, talked about and treasured long after it’s faded from your memory.”
… now share your NHS75 story
We’re counting down the 75 days to the 75th anniversary of the founding of the NHS on 5 July – and Trust colleagues, patients and the local community can all take part.
We also want to hear what you love about the NHS as well as your stories and memories – and thank you to everyone who has been in touch so far.
How has the NHS changed you or your family’s life for the better?
- Do you have pictures of times past at our hospitals and sites you’d like to share?
- Did you have family or friends who were with the NHS at its start in 1948?
- What inspired you to work in the NHS? Tell us if you are just one of many generations to work in the NHS