A legacy of compassionate care – Medical Director lays down his stethoscope.

Gateshead Health's Medical Director is retiring after almost 30 years with the Trust. Here he looks back over his career.

Head and shoulders photo of Andy Beeby against a white background.
Andy Beeby, medical director

Gateshead Health’s Medical Director and Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Andy Beeby, is retiring after almost 30 years with the Trust. Andy looks back over his career with the Trust and how it has changed.

“I started with Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust (called QE Gateshead back then) 29 years ago. On my first day couldn’t find out how to get into the maternity block due to building work! I eventually found a way in and discovered I was doing a clinic in the morning and the afternoon, while covering the labour ward and that I was on-call that night! The induction and settling-in period was very different then! There weren’t as many computers around the Trust then either and mobile phones looked like bricks and didn’t really work.

“The Queen Elizabeth Hospital is almost unrecognisable from when I started – there has been lots of service development, staff expansion and new buildings. From an obstetrician perspective I’ve been delighted to see how the maternity service has become arguably one of the best maternity units in the country. Central to this has been the great relationship between midwives and obstetricians and a real working together ethos. Add to this great support from the anaesthetic service and neonatal services and it makes for a great working environment and a top-class service for our patients.  Also, the labour ward kitchen does the best toast in the world, especially at four in the morning!

“I’ve been privileged and proud to serve as Medical Director for Gateshead Health for over seven years. This has been an amazing time learning about all the phenomenal work going on across the Trust and doing my best to listen to and support the clinical voice and make sure that patient care is kept at the centre of everything we do. There have been multiple challenges during that time (including a pandemic!) but I’ve always been lucky to work with such great people for whom patient care and looking after staff is always the top priorities. I have been proud of our consistently great track record on providing high quality care and our enviable reputation for medical training.

“I have had some wonderful feedback from colleagues in the run up to my retirement, but I have been most humbled of all by former patients who have expressed their appreciation in the responses to various Facebook posts. I feel incredibly proud of having a positive impact in their lives, at some of the most difficult times, and for me that is what it is all about. It makes me feel blessed that I was able to train as a doctor and have such a wonderful career serving the public, especially the people of Gateshead.

“There are of course, aspects of my role that I won’t miss, the emergency calls in the middle of the night and sifting through the many emails. What I will miss most of all, though are all the fantastic people I’ve worked with – there are so many genuinely very special people working at the Trust and it has a true family feel. I have never thought about working anywhere else in all the time I’ve worked here.

“In my view the Trust continues to perform incredibly well, meeting the multiple challenges that come with running a complex organisation. This a testament to the commitment and can-do ethos of the staff and I hope the Trust continues to thrive. As an obstetrician, I’m particularly pleased to see the Trust ambition to be a Women’s Centre of Excellence and I’m also delighted that we have an ambition to deliver even more of our excellent diagnostic services to the wider system while further enhance our role as an exemplary District General Hospital.”