A HOSPITAL boss from Washington is retiring after serving the NHS for 36 years.
Lorraine Lambert, the chief executive of South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, will be calling it a day in September.
Mrs Lambert has spent 20 years at South Tyneside District Hospital in South Shields, with the last 18 in her current role.
Mrs Lambert, who is mum to pop star Jamie, 24, who stars in the boy band Collabro, and fourth-year medical student, Caytee, 22, said: “I am very sad to be leaving what has been a lifelong and deeply-happy career, doing a job that I love in an organisation of which I am incredibly proud.
“I am extremely proud to have had the opportunity to be a chief executive in the NHS, which I regard as the finest institution in the world.
“In all my time in the NHS I have constantly been amazed by the caring, dedicated staff, who are always willing to go above and beyond the call of duty, and nowhere is that more evident than at South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust.”
Mrs Lambert started her NHS career in administration with Gateshead Health Authority in 1979.
From there, she went to Gateshead’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where she looked after ancillary services, such as portering and domestic staff.
Her next move was to South Tyneside, where she was in charge of commissioning the new Palmer Community Hospital in Jarrow, which opened to patients in 1986. She became head of local community health services and then managed mental health and rehabilitation services in Sunderland, becoming chief executive of Priority Healthcare Wearside, based at Cherry Knowle Hospital.
When she returned to South Tyneside it was as chief executive of South Tyneside Health Care Trust, and she led the organisation to Foundation Trust status 10 years ago. Trust chairman Peter Davidson, said: “We will be immensely sad to see Lorraine leave us.
“She has led the Trust with absolute commitment and dedication throughout her time in post. She is a fierce advocate of the NHS and of high-quality patient care. Her support for NHS staff and services is renowned and she leaves an outstanding legacy for her replacement.”