A care assistant has retired after almost 40 years of service for the NHS.

Tracey Hill became a well-loved face among generations of families across Somerset working at Taunton and Bridgwater maternity units.

She worked at the former Mary Stanley maternity home in Bridgwater, before transferring to the town hospital’s maternity unit – also called Mary Stanley.

Tracey then spent the last five years of her career at Musgrove Park Hospital’s Bracken birthing ward.

Hospital staff said they had nothing but love and admiration for Tracey and said she should be proud of giving so many years of dedicated service to parents in Somerset.

Hayley Murray, a community midwife based at Bridgwater Hospital, said: “We all want to thank Tracey for touching our hearts, and those of generations of families that she’s cared for across Taunton, Bridgwater and Somerset. She has left some very big boots to fill.”

Somerset County Gazette:

Sallyann King, a maternity matron at Musgrove Park Hospital, said: “Tracey has always been a vital part of our maternity team. She is a real character, has the driest sense of humour and is always making us laugh. It has been a real pleasure working with her.”

Tracey’s says her love of children drew her to working in maternity, and the excellent team around her which made her want to stay at the unit for so many years.

“I love my job and am really going to miss it,” she said. “The staff here are truly amazing and they just can’t do enough for you.”

Even though Tracey has retired, there’s not much relaxing planned.

“I’m going to Holland next week, and then Ireland within the next few months. I’m also going to judge a few dog shows and will be training horses,” she added.