WORKFORCE: The chief executive of South Tyneside Foundation Trust is to retire after 18 years in the role.

Lorraine Lambert is due to step down from her position in September.

The search for a new chief executive “will begin immediately”, the trust has said.

Lorraine Lambert South Tyneside Foundation Trust chief executive

Lorraine Lambert is retiring after 36 years working in the NHS

During Ms Lambert’s time as chief executive the organisation achieved foundation trust status in 2005. It acquired community services across Gateshead, Sunderland and South Tyneside in 2011, doubling its size.

Ms Lambert’s career in the NHS spans 36 years. She was previously chief executive of Priory Healthcare Wearside.

Prior to that she was head of local community health services and managed mental health and rehabilitation services in Sunderland.

She was also responsible for commissioning Palmer Community Hospital in Jarrow when it opened to patients in 1986, and before that was in charge of ancillary services at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead.

Ms Lambert began working in the NHS in administration with Gateshead Health Authority in 1979.  

South Tyneside FT chair Peter Davidson said: “We will be immensely sad to see Lorraine leave us.

“She has led the trust with absolute commitment and dedication throughout her time in post.

Ms Lambert said: “Having decided that this is the right time to retire, I feel I can do so knowing that we have had many outstanding achievements during my time as chief executive… and that we have well developed plans for a strong, successful and exciting future to hand on to the next generation of leaders.”