Sunderland NHS boss retires after more than 45 years of service

City Hospitals Sunderland will say goodbye to its deputy chief executive today as she retires from the NHS after more than 45 years.

Wednesday, 29th August 2018, 6:00 am

Carol Harries, who is also director of corporate affairs and trust secretary, picked up the Special Recognition Award at the trust’s award ceremony in November.

She joined the NHS in 1972 as a regional administrative trainee.

Following the birth of her children she returned as an auxiliary part time on a care of the elderly ward, while also caring for her young family.

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She went on to work across County Durham as she climbed the ranks to business manager and then unit general manager at South Durham Healthcare NHS Trust in 1994.

After returning to Sunderland in 1996, Carol became director of corporate affairs and trust secretary and would later be appointed as deputy chief executive.

She has overseen five royal visits, including HRH the Queen, and was central to the successful alliance between City Hospitals Sunderland and South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trusts.

Ken Bremner, chief executive of City Hospitals Sunderland and South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trusts, said: “Carol’s retirement is certainly a bittersweet milestone for us.

“After more than 40 years working to improve healthcare in our region, we know that this is the right time for Carol to retire, but we are also aware of the huge hole that she will leave in the organisation.

“Having worked with Carol for over 20 years, I know how much she will be missed by the teams at Sunderland and South Tyneside. Carol has been not just a strong leader, mentor, confidant and advisor; but also a supporter and friend to so many.

“On behalf of everyone at City Hospitals Sunderland and South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trusts, I would like to wish Carol the very best for her retirement.

“She is a great ambassador for Sunderland and I personally want to thank her for the outstanding contribution that she has made to the NHS and the City over the years.”  

Carol, who is a trustee of Age UK Sunderland, is renowned for her compere role at the Reward and Recognition Awards and is a valued member of the judging panel for the Sunderland Echo and Shields Gazette ‘Best of Health Awards’.

Carol was central to the response to the cyber-attack in 2017 and ‘the Beast from the East’ winter weather, galvanising teams and ensuring that patient care was never compromised.