Director of Nursing retires after nearly 40-year career in Lincolnshire

Published on: 24th March 2023

Having worked for the NHS in Lincolnshire for almost 40 years, Anita started as a ‘dinner lady’ at Rauceby Hospital, moving on to doing her nurse training and developing a successful career in the county.

From humble beginnings in the canteen, Anita now holds the post as Director of Nursing, where she oversees the support and development of nursing, allied health professionals, social workers, and psychology across the broad range of mental health, learning disability and autism services Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT) provides.

She has had a number of different jobs supporting Lincolnshire’s mental health services, working at Boston hospital and Stamford resource centre, the Grantham assertive outreach team and in a Trust-wide clinical nurse specialist role.

Colleagues describe Anita as a genuinely caring person and someone who always demonstrates commitment to patient care.

Her positive “can do” approach has helped drive innovations and improvements to patient care and she has been the force behind a number of new services and the significant transformation in local adult mental health hospital and crisis care She was also responsible for starting the journey to reducing the number of people needing hospital care or going out of the area for hospital care.

Through the years, Anita has worked closely with Lincolnshire Police to reduce the numbers of mental health patients taken to custody as a place of safety and feels passionately that mental health should not be “criminalised”. During her time as Divisional Manager for adult inpatient and crisis services she introduced initiatives such as Lincolnshire’s triage car, health-based place of safety, psychiatric decisions unit and a mental health nurse in the Police Control Room.  This initiative gained widespread backing, supporting police officers and other health colleagues such as paramedics and A&E staff to help protect and care for  our most vulnerable people at times of crisis.

In recent times, Anita has also spearheaded LPFT’s pandemic response, ensuring our staff and service users were kept safe during one of the most challenging periods for the NHS. Not only specialising in mental health, but now fluent in infection prevention and control measures.

Anita said:

“I’ve been so incredibly grateful for the range of opportunities I’ve had over the years.  There is something very special about LPFT and I’ve been so proud and privileged to have been a nurse and part of supporting so many patients and their families.

“I’ve been particularly humbled to have been Director of Nursing these last four years, in what has been a challenging but important period for the NHS. I know our Trust will go on to continue to do great things and do even more for our local community.”

Sarah Connery, Chief Executive, added:

“Anita’s passion and energy will very much be missed across the organisation and on the Board. We are very grateful that she chose to build her career and stay here in Lincolnshire and that she has been so committed to LPFT and our patients and carers over these many years.

“Thank you Anita, for all you have done for LPFT and the population of Lincolnshire over your long and distinguished career.”

The role of Director of Nursing and Quality will now be held by Sharon Harvey, who has also worked large parts of her career in Lincolnshire, as well as senior nursing roles in the NHS England team.