THE Royal Bolton Hospital is bidding farewell to one of its longest-serving neonatal nurses.

Margaret Watt has been nursing tiny babies in Bolton for more than 35 years and has witnessed first hand the leaps in neonatal technology since she was trained.

Mrs Watt initially worked as a midwife in the delivery suite — but when she started work on the neonatal unit seven years later, she knew she had found her calling.

Mrs Watt, aged 61 from Egerton, said: “It has been the most rewarding and enjoyable job you could imagine.

“It’s the caring for the babies, watching them grow and then go home. It’s supporting the parents, carers and families. It has been the most wonderful experience for me.

“I have people recognise me in supermarkets from when their tiny baby was in the neonatal ward and it’s lovely to hear how their children are growing up and getting on.” But Mrs Watt admits the technology available in neotnatal care has been transformed since she first started.

Mrs Watt, who has four step-children said: “When I first started we had very basic technology. I can remember when we got our first ventilator in 1981 and it actually broke down.

“Now the amount of technology we have is staggering.”

Now she is retired, Mrs Watt is looking forward to planning some new adventures.

She added: “I will miss my colleagues terribly because they have been wonderful to work with.

“But I did wake up one day and knew it was time to go. I am going to see the Norwegian fjords in May and I am hoping to see the Northern Lights.”