A DEDICATED nurse has ended her long career in the unusual and trying circumstances of the coronavirus.

Norah Lowerson’s 47 years at the ‘frontline’ in both hospital and care settings, culminated in some of the most testing weeks she has witnessed.

But, when she called if a day after her final shift as deputy nurse manager of Belmont Grange Nursing and Residential Home, in Belmont, Durham, this week, the Perfect Care-run premises had not seen any deaths from coronavirus.

Home manager June Shaw said with Mrs Lowerson’s long clinical experience, and the preparedness of Perfect Care, in terms of equipment supplies and early lockdown measures, Belmont Grange has fared better than many care settings during the crisis.

She said those residents who have suffered Covid-19 during the outbreak have recovered, but all staff were staying vigilant to ensure that remains the case.

“We've been lucky. But we're not getting blase, this is far from over."

Mrs Lowerson's first 27 years’ nursing were at the former Dryburn Hospital, now University Hospital of North Durham, where she began as a nurse cadet in 1973.

She left the hospital in 2000 and moved into the care sector, the last 17 years at Belmont Grange.

The 64-year-old grandmother-of-six, from Sacriston, thanked colleagues and residents for her array of retirement gifts.

She is looking forward to spending more time with husband Ray and the rest of her family, with plenty of babysitting shifts beckoning.