A midwife who has delivered more than a thousand babies over three decades finally hung up her stethoscope last week to plan for her retirement…looking after babies.

Debbie Dunn, a midwife at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, was described as an “inspiration” and the “perfect role model” by colleagues on Friday (November 21) as she prepared to leave the job she began as a fledgling nurse in 1977.

During her career, Debbie has delivered babies in lay-bys, in houses with no hot water, in the car park at Hinchingbrooke Hospital and the bonniest of the lot weighed in at a hefty 12lbs 2oz.

She told The Hunts Post that although the job had changed dramatically over 30 years she still felt a thrill at the birth of a new baby.

“Even now after all these years I still have a lovely warm feeling when I exam a pregnant woman for the first time and hear the baby's heartbeat. “During the pregnancy you become very close to the mother, we see them from when they are six weeks' pregnant until the baby is four week's old, so we build up a strong and close relationship. When the baby finally arrives it is a very special moment. I love to hear that first cry and see the look on the parents' faces.”

Debbie started out as a general nurse, taking up midwifery after seven years to gain a second qualification, but decided to continue full-time as she enjoyed it so much. She joined Hinchingbrooke Hospital in 1993 and as well as being a community midwife, Debbie was the chosen midwife for more than 40 healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses and other midwives.

“I feel really honoured to have worked with such a fantastic team of people and I will miss all the mums and babies, but it is definitely the right decision for me to go now and explore other things.”

Debbie is going to have three months off work and will then look into the possibility of fostering babies, dog walking and other part-time work. Fellow midwife, Leila Dancer, said: “She has been a great role model and a huge inspiration to so many people. I honestly wouldn't be half the midwife I am today if it wasn't for Debbie's professionalism and dedication.”