A NURSE who has dedicated 46 years to her patients is looking forward to putting her feet up.

Marie Sutherland, 65, qualified in 1975 after training in York and South Tees.

In the intervening years, she has worked for South Tees NHS Foundation Trust, the Butterwick Hospice and for the last 15 years at the University of North Tees in outpatients.

She said: “I’ll miss the patients. It’s a very rewarding job. It’s a challenge for sure, but rewarding.

“We’ve got a good team here and everyone works together. Everyone has been really willing to work extra hard during the Covid-19 pandemic and find new ways to help our patients.”

Marie, who has been married to retired steel worker Peter for 45 years and has two daughters, trainee nurse Laura and HR officer Natalie, completed her final shift working with gynaecological patients and carrying out training.

She is now looking forward to relaxing and walking her spaniel Belle.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust said it made an emotional goodbye to the dedicated member of staff.

Outpatients manager Michael Butler said: “The NHS is built on people like Marie, who has dedicated the last 46 years to helping others.

“Marie is a much loved and highly respected member of this team, evidenced by ex- colleagues taking the time and effort to attend her retirement lunch to wish her well.

“Everyone in outpatients wishes Marie a wonderful retirement. She’s certainly earned it.”