A CONSULTANT who formerly worked at Airedale Hospital has retired after a career spanning over 40 years.

Dr Chris Day, a consultant neonatologist, joined the NHS straight out of medical school in Leeds.

His choice of profession had been inspired by his father – a medical physicist at Newcastle General Hospital – but also through knowledge of the circumstances that had surrounded his own birth.

“When pregnant with me my mother had a condition called rhesus haemolytic disease and back in the day that resulted in the baby getting really anaemic and jaundiced – with a real risk of dying in the neonatal period,” said Chris.

“Treatment for this only developed in the 1950s. I was born in 1956 and was treated in the Princess Mary Maternity Hospital – which was part of the Royal Victoria Infirmary and was ahead of its time. We were in the first few years for pioneering intensive care for babies at this time.

“I was in hospital for a couple of weeks and returned for a transfusion. Thankfully it’s not a problem we see very often now as colleagues in maternity have worked out how to prevent it. I like to think that this spurred my interest and why I am a neonatologist.”

Chris studied medicine at Leeds University between 1974 and 1980.

He then started work in the NHS, attending Bradford Teaching Hospitals as a foundation year doctor before going on to train at Airedale, Newcastle, Leeds and Sheffield hospitals as a paediatrician.

It was at Airedale Hospital in 1992 that he secured his first post as a consultant paediatrician, before moving to Bradford Royal Infirmary’s new neonatal unit – and he has remained in the city since.

“Neonatology has become much more established – progressing from being part of paediatrics to a speciality in its own right,” said Chris. “We’ve been continually learning how to look after our sickest babies and I am delighted to say that there have been enormous improvements in outcomes. Babies now survive at much lower gestations than would have been possible 20 years ago.”

Chris added: “There are some really good people coming behind me in neonatology so I leave the unit in good hands. I know I will miss them more than they will miss me.”