March 27, 2023 7.00 am This story is over 15 months old

Lincolnshire nursing director retiring after 40 year career

Dedicated to mental health services in Lincolnshire

A Director of Nursing who has spent her entire nearly 40-year career dedicated to mental health services in Lincolnshire has retired.

Anita Lewin, Director of Nursing, Allied Health Professionals and Quality, started as a ‘dinner lady’ in the canteen at Rauceby Hospital before moving on to doing her nurse training and developing a successful career in the county.

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.

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.”

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

Anita worked for the NHS in Lincolnshire for almost 40 years. | Photo: LPFT

Her positive “can do” approach is said to have helped drive innovations and improvements to patient care. She is also described as the ‘force behind a number of new services and the signification transformation in local adult mental health and crisis care’.

The Trust said she was also responsible for starting the journey to reduce the number of people needing hospital care or going out of the area for it.

Anita has also worked closely with Lincolnshire Police over the years to reduce the numbers of mental health patients taken to custody as a place of safety. She 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.

In recent times, Anita also spearheaded LPFT’s pandemic response, ensuring staff and service users were kept safe.

Sarah Connery, Chief Executive of LPTF, said: “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 in senior nursing roles in the NHS England team.

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