One of the North’s most senior nurses, Helen Lamont, retires after 44 years of NHS service

Helen Lamont, the Newcastle Hospitals’ director of nursing and patient services retires today (Thursday 29th March 2018) after a long and varied career which has taken her from a student nurse in the early 70s to the top nursing role in one of the country’s best performing Trusts.

Helen officially retires after 44 years in the NHS.

Speaking at her second informal leaving do this week, Helen said: “It will feel strange leaving the hospitals for the last time today after walking through the doors for so many years in many different roles.

“I will certainly miss the place, but most of all I will miss the people. Many of them aren’t just work colleagues - I’ve made many very good friends here.”

Helen Lamont, director of nursing and patient services

Louise Robson, joint acting chief executive paid tribute to Helen’s career in Newcastle: “I’ve only known Helen for five and half years, yet during that time, her passion for her profession and ensuring that the best possible patient care could be attained across our services has absolutely shone through.

“I joined the Trust from another NHS organisation and can categorically say that Newcastle has an enviable reputation when it comes to standards of patient care it’s very clear that exemplary nursing practice, under Helen’s watchful eye, has been crucial to this.  

“She will certainly be a huge miss and we wish her all the very best for the future.”

The exemplary nursing practice was a key factor in the Trust’s rating as ‘Outstanding’, announced by the Care Quality Commission following their inspection of Newcastle Hospitals in 2016.

A ‘Career Nurse’ who is very proud of her profession, Helen trained at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle between 1973 and 1976 before training as a midwife at Princess Mary’s Maternity Hospital.

She moved to the Freeman Hospital in 1978 as a staff nurse, becoming a ward sister in 1981, a post she held for almost ten years before progressing to service manager for orthopaedics in 1990.

Helen continued to move up the ranks and was appointed Nursing and Patient Services Director in April 2009.

Helen said: “I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have worked with some fantastic people throughout my career.

“And of course I may be biased but I believe the nurses, midwives and all the other teams of staff at Newcastle are second to none when it comes to their dedication and commitment. 

“While I’m really excited to now move on to a new phase in my life, I will really miss them all.”

A fitness fanatic, Helen was instrumental in the establishment of the Newcastle Hospitals’ sports and social club, now the staff social club which has over 7,000 members.

She will continue to run and says she’s sure she’s got a marathon in her legs yet!

As well travelling around the world, Helen now intends to spend more time with her family and friends, especially her husband Hugh and their cats.

Her colleagues at the Newcastle Hospitals wish her a long and healthy retirement.

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