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Top CEO announces retirement

Published on: 31 Aug 2022

The chief executive of Gateshead Health Foundation Trust, Yvonne Ormston, has announced her retirement.

Ms Ormston, who has spent almost 38 years in the NHS and was awarded an MBE in 2018 for services to health, will step down at the end of March 2023, the trust has announced.

She has led Gateshead Health FT since 2019, replacing former chief executive Ian Renwick who was sacked in September 2018 following a disciplinary hearing. Ms Ormston led the small North East trust through the covid-19 pandemic, as well as playing a leading role in coordinating the pathology services across the North East and North Cumbria.

Ms Ormston said she has been “incredibly proud” to lead Gateshead FT for the last three years.

She added: “When I took the chief executive role in 2019, I had no idea that any plans or aspirations I had for the trust would be overtaken by the covid pandemic.

“Through this, our executive team, our leaders and staff have delivered phenomenal work that has gone into ensuring that we did our very best for Gateshead. I could not be prouder of everyone I work with and wanted to thank them for everything they have done.

“Whilst I’m sad to be leaving, having now set the new trust’s strategy, it feels the right time to be handing over to a new chief executive for this next stage in our trust’s development. We have an exciting future and a key part to play in the local health and social care system.”

Ms Ormston began her career in 1985 as a higher clerical officer for Newcastle Health Authority’s community services working with people with learning disabilities. She has held a wide variety of roles across sectors including acute, community, primary care, mental health, ambulance, commissioning, and provider. She has also previously been chief executive of North East Ambulance Service FT.

Along with her MBE in 2018, Ms Ormston also won the North East glass slipper outstanding business leader award in 2019 and has featured in the HSJ top 50 CEOs since 2018.

In 2021, Ms Ormston wrote a piece for HSJ about the challenges of being a chief executive during the pandemic, and how her diagnosis of breast cancer had given her a new perspective on patient care.

The trust said recruitment for its new chief executive has now begun with a handover planned for early next year.