WORKFORCE: Carole Wood has been appointed as the new director of public health for Gateshead.

She will take over when the current post holder, Alyson Learmonth, retires in May.

Alan Baty, chair of Gateshead Primary Care Trust, which is part of the NHS South of Tyne and Wear cluster, said: “Carole has come from an established role in Cumbria and her background leading public health programmes and policy development is well suited to this role.

“Carole also has experience working on specific programmes around health inequalities, children’s health and obesity, all key areas we want to focus on in Gateshead.”

Ms Wood has worked in a variety of health-related roles in the UK, Australia and New Zealand over the past 30 years.

She started her career as a dietician in clinical settings but spent most of her early adult life living and working in Australia and New Zealand.

She lead a policy team to develop a 10-year plan for the reform of Queensland’s mental health system and worked on a national project as part of Australia’s mental health development strategy.

On returning to the UK in 1997, Ms Wood worked in Cumbria to co-ordinate and organise a development project to build capacity in the voluntary sector.

From 2000, she has held several senior positions in public health within South Cumbria, and since 2007 has worked as associate director of public health for NHS Cumbria.