Trust colleague retires after almost five decades caring for thousands of patients across the North East

A patient safety coordinator and former nurse is today saying her goodbyes as she retires after almost five decades working in health care in the North East.

Lynn Armstrong, 65, began her career in nursing in Sunderland in 1973, aged just 17-years-old. Almost 48 years later, Lynn is saying her goodbyes to her much-loved colleagues after 20 years at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.

During her years as a ward sister in Sunderland, Lynn even worked alongside then-nurse and now-Chief Executive at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust Julie Gillon.

Lynn, from Murton, enjoyed a lengthy nursing career in Sunderland before relocating her professional life to Teesside.

In 2001 she made the move to the newly-renamed University Hospital of Hartlepool before joining the patient safety team in 2011, working tirelessly to make sure patients have a positive experience in the Trust’s hospitals.

Now, retiring just days after her 65th birthday, Lynn is looking back on the thousands of patients she has helped throughout her time in health care.

Lynn said: “The game of time is wonderful. It doesn’t seem but five minutes since I was young and starting out on my nursing career. Now here I am saying goodbye with lots of lovely memories.

“I would like to say thank you to my friends and colleagues throughout the Trust for making my retirement so special and for being a part of my amazing nursing journey. It has been my pleasure and a privilege to work with you all.”

Now that she is retired, Lynn is looking forward to making trips on her boat and spending more time with her family, including her two grandchildren, aged 8-years-old and just 18-weeks.

Her colleagues, from not only the patient safety team but spanning right across the Trust, bid an emotional farewell to her, spoiling her with cards, flowers, presents and moving speeches.

Lynn continued: “After 20 years at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, I have been totally overwhelmed by the best wishes, cards and beautiful gifts I’ve received for my retirement.

“I’ve got a lot of thank this organisation for – it’s been a lovely journey.”

Despite Lynn’s departure, she is succeeded in the Trust by her son Iain, a student nurse in the Trust’s emergency assessment unit.

He joined in with her retirement celebrations alongside Lynn’s colleagues in patient safety and Trust Chief Executive Julie Gillon who started her career in health care alongside Lynn.

Julie said: “It’s been a pleasure working alongside Lynn all these years – she has made an incredible contribution to patients not only at our Trust, but across the North East.

“On behalf of everyone at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, I’d like to wish Lynn a happy and healthy retirement.”

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