OSJCT resident recalls her career as a midwife, as the NHS celebrates its 70th birthday
Mary Familton is a resident at The Orders of St John Care Trust's (OSJCT) Athelstan House in Malmesbury, Wiltshire.
However, before Mary joined Athelstan House she spent 35 years working as a midwife for the NHS in the north east of the country. At the young age of 27, Mary made the decision to become a midwife as she wanted to work in a role that made a difference to people.
In 1947, Mary began her training in a nursing home in her home city of Dublin, where she also went on to do her midwifery training.
She then went on to working for the NHS when they first started in 1948. “I saw the advert and I rang up, and I said I’m phoning about the vacancy, and they said come at once! So, I did!” Mary said, as this was post war and they were desperate times. During her career, Mary delivered hundreds of babies, which usually took place at the home of the family. Mary recalls one time where she had to walk across fields in the Northumberland countryside to deliver a baby. She retired at the age of 63.
Mary describes her time with the NHS as positive but felt that the NHS was taken for granted in its early days by her local community. However, Mary is incredibly grateful for the NHS and the services she can access now she has retired.