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Labour of love for nurse Loma.

Byline: Alison Dayani

A MIDWIFE who has delivered thousands of babies in Birmingham is retiring after nearly four decades in the NHS.

Popular Loma Patel has worked at City Hospital, in Winson Green, for so long that she is now delivering children of the babies she helped bring into this world.

The dedicated nurse even took responsibility for delivering her sister Sukeshi Thomson's two children when they arrived.

But at the age of 55, Seychelles-born Loma has decided to finally hang up her nurse's uniform.

It comes after spending an incredible 36 years in maternity wards. Pauline Miles, manager of Labour Ward M2 at City Hospital, said: "Loma has worked in all departments spending many years on the labour ward delivering, at a guess, thousands of babies.

"Some of them are now back producing little ones of their own. So I guess Loma is a 'grandmidwife'."

"The mums think very highly of her, and many of them return to see Loma on the ward after they have gone home," added Pauline.

"She has made friends of some of them too. I know I will miss her as she is 100 per cent reliable, efficient and hard working."

Caring Loma, originally came to England from the Seychelles when she was just 18 to complete her nurse training at Edgbaston's Queen Elizabeth Hospital. She then joined City Hospital in 1978 to do her midwifery training and never looked back after falling in love with the job.

Loma, from Harborne, said: "It's been a great job - I love babies and the mums are wonderful.

"It is the great friends the I've made here at the hospital that I will miss the most though."

The midwife said she planned to spend her retirement taking lots of holidays and seeing more of her parents, who live in the Seychelles. A party was held for Loma in the maternity unit at City Hospital with a second Bollywood-style leaving do planned in February, so more people she delivered are able to give her a final farewell.

When Loma first started working in the NHS's maternity units in the late 1970s, conditions were very different to those of today.

Premature babies had much less chance of survival but, through the decades, Loma and other midwives have worked with medical advances to see more and more of the most vulnerable and small tots pull through.

Staff who worked with Loma or were mentored by her at City Hospital pulled together to give the midwife a swansong to her decades in the health service in Birmingham.

CAPTION(S):

Last day: From left, Helen McMullin, from City Hospital Skin Laser Centre, Loma Patel, ward manager Pauline Miles and Loma's sister Sukeshi Thomson.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Dec 9, 2009
Words:451
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