Popular Solihull Hospital chaplain Reverend Alan Boyd has announced his retirement after dedicating 26 years service to local patients.
Mr Boyd, aged 63, from Dorridge, has worked in the chaplaincy at the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust since 1989 and became the first full-time chaplain at Solihull Hospital when it opened in 1994.
Rev Boyd is due to retire on October 22, the day after his 64th birthday.
He said: “Over the years I have met many lovely and interesting people and I have found the work to be very rewarding. You meet individuals who may be in hospital for weeks at a time as well as people who you just meet overnight in A&E.
“As chaplains we are always on call and are sadly often called to the special care baby unit or the Intensive Treatment Unit (ITU) when people are at their lowest ebb.
“It is difficult but people sometimes just need someone to talk to.
“We are here for the spiritual and religious needs of the patients, relatives and the staff but it is not about religion. I don’t think I have ever asked a patient what their religion is.
“The work is interesting and challenging. It is very person-centred. It is about supporting people who may be worried about theirs or a relative’s health or about the future, and helping them find hope, peace and courage.”
Mr Boyd, whose wife Jenny works at Solihull Sixth Form College, will still continue to work in the community around Solihull as a trained psychotherapist – a role he said has enriched his skills as a chaplain.
He added: “I am looking forward to the next chapter of my life but I will miss being a part of the hospital community. I will miss the role but I will particularly miss the people I come into contact with every day.”