Sunderland and South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust has paid thanks to the five doctors who worked in its Gynaecology and Obstetrics department.
They have helped lead women’s health services across the community for a total of 195 years between them, 150 of which were as consultants.
Helen Cameron, James Nwabenelli, Cathy Emmerson, Craig Steele and Kim Hinshaw each had their own celebrations as they began their retirement.
They and their wider team of midwives, anaesthetists, nurses, healthcare assistants and theatre team members then gathered together with colleagues from the past to mark their achievements with a bigger party.
Since their departure, new team members have joined the department, which is based across Sunderland Royal Hospital and South Tyneside District Hospital.
Helen began at Sunderland Royal in 1993 and helped antenatal services before concentrating on supporting women with high risk pregnancies alongside Kim. She also supported couples who had lost a baby and helping them during future pregnancies.
Kim also worked alongside her to lead on clinical research and fetal medicine following his start with the Trust in 1994. He continues to use his experience to support the department through a non-clinical role with its Quality and Safety Team.
Cathy moved to the Trust in 2004 following her first consultant post at the University Hospital of Hartlepool from 1996. She has helped develop its maternal medicine and a service for women with diabetes, while her passion for teaching and training has seen her mentor undergraduates from Newcastle University.
James began as a consultant in uro-gynaecology at South Tyneside District Hospital in 1995 and spent 25 years as a consultant, fulfilling his career aspirations.
Craig became a consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 1994, forging a close working relationship with a team which took in admin staff, nurses, midwives, other clinicians and managers.
As he started his retirement, he paid tribute to his “unswerving and unstinting” support from his secretary Roseanne Urwin.
In addition to his work as a consultant, Craig also spent several years as the Clinical Director of the department.
Sarahjane Gatiss is the team’s Clinical Director. She said: “These long-serving consultants were a huge part of our team and I want to take this chance to thank each one of them for their years of service.
“Between them, they cared for thousands and thousands of patients. They offered treatment which made a difference to their wellbeing, helped bring new life into the world and were there when patients faced some difficult times.
“They have been part of our team for so long and remain our friends. They all left a slightly different times, so it seemed fitting that we brought everyone together for one big celebration. We’re grateful to Nicola Ramshaw, one of our consultants, who planned the party to give them the thank you they deserved.
“It also gave us the chance to bring lots of other former colleagues together for the evening and it was a fantastic chance to catch up.
“Our team has also welcomed newcomers, who bring their experience, passion and a new perspective to the department. We know they have some great ideas about how we can develop our service to help patients in the years ahead.”
Among the new consultants to join the team are Rania El Gendy, who is the Trust’s lead for foetal medicine and works alongside Kim to develop areas of care including its pre-term birth service and telemedicine.
Hannah Gamblin, who is from Sunderland, has returned to the Trust following her foundation and speciality training with the organisation. She brings laparoscopic operative skills and obstetric experience to the department.
Sheila Kay, Rachael Nicholson, Jennifer Johnson and Sarah Figuerido also join the Trust. The latter two add to the foetal medicine team with Rania, which will ensure year-round cover for high-risk pregnancies, expertise scanning and complex management plans.
More about the Trust’s Gynaecology Department can be found via https://www.stsft.nhs.uk/services/gynaecology.