North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has bid adieu to a well-loved and dedicated colleague in April, who has retired after 25 years’ service.
Steve Pett, care group manager for healthy lives, shared an emotional farewell with socially distanced colleagues across the Trust. Many colleagues joined the event virtually to share stories of working alongside Steve and gave their overwhelming thanks for his unwavering support in their own careers.
Steve joined the Trust as a mature student back in august of 1995. Working his way up from a junior physiotherapist he had a career spanning roles in physiotherapy, leading clinical teams across ITU and Surgery, acting deputy head of physio, operational lead for therapy and wheelchair services to special service manager, before finally taking on the role of a care group manager for healthy lives.
Steve shared how overwhelmed and touched he was by all the heartfelt messages sent in by colleagues past and present. Thanking colleagues and family for attending the event and speaking about how much pride he felt for the job.
“It’s really wonderful how much effort everyone has gone to sharing their well wishes and I’m really overwhelmed by all the lovely comments.
“I would categorically say that my greatest achievement, besides my family, has been my successful career within the NHS. I feel proud to say that I’ve worked in a career and within an organisation that has given me joy, that has given value and to which I can truly say I have contributed something worthwhile.
“It’s really a special organisation to work for, and I’ve had some amazing colleagues to work alongside. Colleagues who I hope go on to do some truly amazing things – and that I’ll soon be able to boast that I’ve had a hand in supporting their careers!”
First to welcome guests and share her thoughts was retired care group director Julie Parkes. Julie left the Trust in March 2020 and previously managed Steve. She spoke about him being a well-loved individual, with huge passion for the job: “Steve is a larger than life character; he was truly dedicated in working on the very best outcomes for his patients and developing and supporting his workforce.
“He took huge pride in the job and his hard work and humour will, I have no doubt, be missed throughout the Trust. He was someone who cared deeply about supporting his staff and giving them the opportunity to progress their own careers.”
“Huge congratulations from myself and colleagues on your retirement and all the best for the next chapter.”
Emotional farewell videos were played during the celebration, colleagues from across the Trust and from external partners, took the time to record and share their messages for Steve. Many spoke about how he will be a missed and irreplaceable family member and not just another work colleague.
Julie Gillon, chief executive for the Trust also attended the retirement celebrations and praised Steve for the legacy he was leaving behind: “I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of working alongside Steve for many years. I believe he is a credit to the allied health profession – sharing his wealth of knowledge and experience with the organisation for many years.”
Reflecting upon Steve’s management style, Julie mentioned his skill in managing staff’s pastoral care “you not only worked hard to know your team professionally, but wanted to know the person behind the job, ensuring you could look after and support their career development.
“It is a real skill to have that level of compassion and empathy, but you ensured your team was invested in what they were doing and built trust and loyalty. You leave behind a legacy and a strong team who will continue to work hard to provide the very best healthcare outcomes for our patients.”