Hartlepool nurse retires from health trust after beginning her ‘temporary’ job more than three decades ago

A beloved Hartlepool nurse is this week saying her goodbyes after more than 30 years working in Stockton-on-Tees and Hartlepool hospitals.

Outpatients sister and nurse Amanda Southcott, 60 from Hartlepool, began her career in 1979 as a student nurse at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton. Shortly after, she met her husband John and the pair married in 1981.

She continued working in nursing until John’s work whisked the couple away to Germany in 1983. Here they had both of their children, Gareth and Charlotte, and Amanda enjoyed her time as a stay-at-home mum until after their return to the UK five years later.

In 1988, Amanda returned to her love of nursing and began a temporary contract at North Tees General Hospital – as it was known at the time.

Her ‘temporary contract’ became a lifelong career, spanning over the University Hospital of North Tees and the University Hospital of Hartlepool, both run by North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.

After working in several wards, the stroke unit and the medical rehab unit, she eventually settled down in 2010 as a sister in the outpatients department at the University Hospital of Hartlepool, where she has been a valued member of the team ever since.

Amanda said: “I always wanted to be a nurse, ever since I was five-years-old. That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do – just look after people.

“The thing I’m going to miss the most is the patients.”

After semi-retiring five years ago, Amanda carried on at the hospital in a flexible role as both a staff nurse and a sister.

Known to her colleagues as “an absolute pleasure”, she has seen many changes over her years at the Trust but has maintained a dedicated part of the team.

Amanda continued: “I’ve spent a lot of time at work over my life. Your colleagues become almost like your second family and I’ll miss them all very much.”

Where her colleagues once became her family, her family are becoming her new colleagues as Amanda is looking forward to helping out with her husband and son’s family marine business, North East Safety Boats, in her retirement.

With her free time, she is planning to keep busy by helping to plan and organise her daughter’s wedding, taking place in June 2022.

Jackie Devine is the sister in the outpatients department at the University Hospital of North Tees and a close colleague of Amanda’s. Jackie said: “Amanda has been a very hard working and valued staff member. It has been an absolute pleasure to work alongside her and we’ll all miss her dearly.”

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