Hospital Chaplain to retire after 17 years in post

Release Date: 30/01/2019

Hospital Chaplain to retire after 17 years in post

A Hospital Chaplain who has provided support and spiritual guidance to countless people during his 17 years in the role is preparing to say farewell to enjoy a well-earned retirement.

Adrian Bailey, 61, who has worked in the Chaplaincy at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) since 2001, will retire from his post this week.

From supporting patients and their relatives to officiating wedding and memorial services, as well as leading the Sunday services, Mr Bailey’s role as Hospital Chaplain at RJAH has been a varied one.

Mr Bailey said he has enjoyed every minute of his job at the Oswestry-based hospital.

He said: “This job is interesting and challenging, both in equal measure. It’s an extremely person-centred role, it’s about supporting those who may be worried about theirs or a family members’ health, and helping them to find hope and courage within themselves.

“It’s a job, which encounters both ends of the scale – from the happier, more joyful occasions such as a wedding ceremony to the more sombre times, organising a memorial service or lending a listening ear, when a patient needs it most.

“A real standout memory for me was when I’d just started in the role, the 9/11 attacks happened in the USA, and I organised a memorial service and the book of condolence from that was eventually sent to the American ambassador. You don’t forget times like those.

“One thing that’s never changed in my opinion during my time at the hospital is the sense of compassion throughout.

“It’s been a real privilege to do this job at such a special place, the staff are absolutely wonderful – the comments I’ve always heard from patients is how staff are friendly, kind and helpful, how nothing is ever too much trouble. Patients expect effective treatment as a matter of course but it’s how staff make them feel, which is what they really remember.”

During his time at the hospital, Mr Bailey has also provided support on a number of committees, as well as serving as a Public Governor for a number of years.

Despite retiring this week, Mr Bailey says he doesn’t plan on slowing down completely, with plans to join the local Rambers and Twinning groups, write his second book and get involved with the local music scene.

Mr Bailey also says he intends to support the hospital in a voluntary capacity, once he’s taken a break.

Helen Cooper, Ludlow Ward Manager, said: “Adrian’s been a wonderful source of support for patients and staff alike over the years. He’s a truly brilliant man, with a fantastic sense of humour. He will be so very missed by everyone at the hospital.”

Praising Mr Bailey for his “calm and consistent manner”, Donna St John, Oswald Ward Manager, said: “Adrian consistently brings a real sense of calm with him for both patients and staff, when it’s been busy on the ward.

“He always shows consideration of patients, regardless of their spirituality, I think that’s really important, and I think that’s why patients feel comfortable speaking to him.”

Mark Brandreth, RJAH Chief Executive, said: “On behalf of everyone at the hospital, I’d like to thank Adrian for everything he’s done during his time at RJAH. He’s been there for both our patients and our staff, and for that we are all grateful. It’s going to be very strange without him here, we will miss him.”


Picture caption: Adrian’s retirement gathering at the hospital took place yesterday. From left, Mark Brandreth, Chief Executive; Adrian Bailey; and Bev Tabernacle, Director of Nursing and Deputy Chief Executive. 

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