A COMMUNITY midwife is celebrating 50 years of service to the NHS.
Jayne Booy, who is based at the Downend Clinic in Buckingham Gardens, has helped thousands of women on their journey into motherhood.
Jayne started her career as a trainee nurse at Bristol Royal Infirmary in 1973, qualifying as a State Registered Nurse three years later and working in general nursing before moving to the then Manor Park Hospital in Blackberry Hill, Fishponds, as a staff nurse on a geriatric ward.
In 1978 she began her midwifery training at Bath’s St Martin’s maternity hospital and Royal United Hospital, winning the Student Midwife of the Year award before joining the Frenchay Community Midwives team in 1979.
Over the 44 years since then, Jayne has provided antenatal and postnatal care and advice for women in clinics and on home visits, and delivered hundreds of babies in home births.
Based at Kingswood Health Centre and then Cadbury Heath Health Centre, she spent many years attached to the Oldland and Close Farm GP surgeries in Oldland Common and North Common, where many families will remember her as Jayne Quintin.
In 2012 Jayne was diagnosed with bowel cancer and had to take six months off work, returning to work part-time in 2013 after successful radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment.
She has been based at the Downend Clinic since 2018 and, despite reaching her half century of service at the age of 68, she has no intention of retiring just yet.
Jayne said: “When I started I was the youngest midwife at 22 – now I’m the oldest in the whole area.
“Working keeps your brain going. It keeps me active and I’m still enjoying it – I don’t know what I would do at home all day.
“My experience helps my younger colleagues, who also like hearing how it used to be. I get help from them with the computer!”
The nature of the job has changed since Jayne’s early days, with the emphasis now mainly on running clinics, breastfeeding support and parental education sessions.
Jayne said: “We used to visit mums at home so much more, and go along for home births.
“You used to just run up the road and deliver a baby, and at weekends you’d pick up the pager on Friday night and give it back on Monday morning.
“You used to be on call 24/7 – it really was ‘Call the Midwife’ then.
“One Saturday we had three home births, morning into night. That was how it used to be – you would get back into bed and get called again.
“Because I lived in the same area I worked in, you would see the mums in the school playground.
“Now the ladies come to us in the clinic and there’s a home birth team.
“It’s more computerised work and more corporate.”
Jayne, who grew up in Patchway, now lives in Stoke Gifford.
During her career she has had four children of her own and has been the birth partner for her daughters in law when they had her grandchildren.
Jayne’s team leader at Downend Clinic, Bethany Rowsell, said: “Jayne is the centre of all knowledge in our team and we are proud to be her professional friends.
“She has a warm presence and always comes to work with a smile on her face.
“Jayne has a good rapport with the women and families in her care – this is evident from feedback received.
“As a team, we are grateful to have Jayne with us and we are glad she is not retiring yet!”