A HOLY man who has imparted words of wisdom and support to thousands of patients and staff at Burton’s Queen’s Hospital is to retire.
Reverend Paul Barrett, who is head of spiritual care services (chaplaincy and bereavement), will leave his role after nearly nine years – and just a day before his 65th birthday – in July.
He told the Mail he would take with him memories of people who showed such ‘strength and courage’ in the face of terrible adversity, as well as times working with ‘simply outstanding’ colleagues.
Rev Barrett said: “With a heavy heart I can say that I will soon be leaving my role and heading off into retirement.
“I have had so many special times at the hospital and so many memories that I will take from my time here.
“I have been working in this field for 42 years now and I just felt that the time was right.
“I have no specific plans at the moment, but I intend to take some time to rest, play the piano, go to the gym and eventually spend some time volunteering.”
Rev Barrett arrived at Queen’s Hospital in September 2005, after his wife took on a similar position at Derby High School.
He had previously worked as a priest for 33 years before taking a career sidestep to work with patients and staff at the hospital.
He told the Mail that one of his proudest achievements, and the legacy he will leave at the site, will be the chaplaincy visiting team that he helped to launch.
He said: “It has been great to see how this has developed over the years and it will be something that will hopefully carry on for many years to come.
“What will stick with me the most is the patients who show such strength and courage through terminal sickness and terrible ordeals.
“The staff are also simply outstanding.
“I have had some great times here that I will never, ever forget.”
Rev Barrett was recently handed the dedicated service award at the annual Queen’s Hospital PRIDE event for his work at the Belvedere Road site.