Meet the Sunderland nurse who has tended to the sick since the 60s

A much-loved Sunderland nurse is in the running for an award after a fantastic 49 years in health care.

Monday, 26th March 2018, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 26th March 2018, 2:50 pm
Best of Health Awards nominee Dorothea Low.

A string of nominations - around a dozen of them - have been submitted for Dorothea Low, who has been nominated for a Best of Wearside trophy.

One nominee called her “an exceptional person with the ability to see good in everyone”.

Best of Health Awards nominee Dorothea Low.

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“Extremely dedicated,” said another, while a third described her as “an amazing nurse with unique qualities”.

For Dorothea, it’s a “fantastic” honour just to have been nominated, she said as she looked back on a lifetime of care.

“I have never wanted to do anything else,” she said. “I just felt it was in my blood.”

Her love of healthcare began, she believes, when she was a child and used to watch the hustle and bustle of hospitals while she waited as her sister was treated for eye problems.

Best of Health Awards nominee Dorothea Low.

Her own career began 1969 when she completed a pre-nursing college course and apprenticeship as a cadet nurse.

She spent the next three years training as a State Registered Nurse at the then-Sunderland General Hospital,

She secured her first Sister’s post in the operating theatres at the newly-redeveloped Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Then, she realised her dream of seeing the world when she served as a civilian nurse in the British Army and went to Oman.

She returned to her hometown when her first child was born and worked in health centre treatment rooms across Sunderland.

After that, her role changed down the years, including working for the recovery-at-home team.

She now works for the Sunderland and South Tyneside Primary Care Trust from a base at Leechmere Industrial Estate, but one thing never changes - her love for the job.

She admitted: “I would do it all again. I never wanted to do anything else. From as early as I can remember, I wanted to be a nurse.

“To me, the biggest thing that stands out is the patients. It is seeing people get well and seeing people come out the other end and everything is all right.”

People stop her in the street to pass on their thanks for the care she has given to loved ones.

Dorothea admitted: “The whole job is a rollercoaster and it is life changing for some people - and career changing for me.

“If I won an award I would be elated, but it is nice just to be nominated. It is such a privilege.

“Winning would be the icing on the cake.”

Winning would also mean the Trust would be highlighted and so would the “dynamic team that I work in, not just me,” said Dorothea.

And it would be a chance to raise awarneness of the “amazing service” which is available to the people of Sunderland.


The sponsors for this year’s awards are South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, and the Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group.

The deadline for all nominations to be submitted is Monday, April 2, and the judges will meet the following week to decide on the shortlist.

The final will be held at the Roker Hotel, in Sunderland, on Thursday, April 26.

To nominate, send your name, address and phone number, as well as your email address, if applicable.

Remember to include the category you are putting your nominated cause into.

Also send the name of the person you wish to nominate, along with their address, telephone number and email (if known).

Send all the details to Lynn Wild by no later than Monday, April 2.

Email those entries to [email protected] or send them to Lynn Wild, Alexander House, Second Floor, Rainton Bridge Business Park, Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland, DH4 5RA.

GP/Practice of the Year.

Hospital Doctor of the Year.

Nurse of the Year.

Community Nurse of the Year.

Dentist/Practice of the Year.

Optometrist of the Year.

Therapist of the Year.

Care worker of the Year.

Dental Nurse of the Year.

Midwife of the Year.

Pharmacist of the Year.

Team of the Year.

Customer Service/Unsung hero Award.

Long-term Achievement.