Health chief retires after 33 years
ROYAL Bolton Hospital is bidding farewell to one of its most experienced directors after working for more than 30 years in healthcare in the town.
Ann Schenk, originally from Nottingham, first became interested in the NHS when working for the North West Regional Health Authority at a temp in neurosurgery.
The 57-year-old later started working for the authority in Bolton in 1980 before eventually becom-ing director of strategy and improvement in 1996.
Mrs Schenk says her commitment to the NHS and healthcare in the town is down to the “will and ability” of the people she has worked with over the years.
The mum-of-two expla-ined: “I am very proud to work for the NHS but I am not blind to the fact that it does have its short-comings.
“I really think there’s both a will and an ability in Bolton to keep getting better and to keep solving problems. That is a huge asset.
“The past year has been really testing and at times awful for the trust.
“I think coming out of the past 12 months on the back of that really shows how much stronger we are. There have been a lot of people coming and going but I think all of that instability has left the system.
“I genuinely believe there is a real quality to this trust and that’s down to good people who want to work together and really move on from what has happened.”
Dr Jackie Bene, Acting Chief Executive at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Ann has given long and loyal service to health care in Bolton.
“She has supported the trust through a number of important transitions including becoming a maternity and children’s supercentre under the Making It Better programme.
“She has also been especially prominent in quality improvement, helping the trust gain international recognition.
“Ann’s hard work and commitment to the trust, its staff and patients have earned her great respect and we all wish her well for the future.”
Mrs Schenk also remains optimistic about the future of the Bolton NHS Foundation Trust.
She added: “There are going to be big changes to healthcare in Greater Manchester and it will have an impact on Bolton. But I am really confident about two things we have got to get right.
“The first thing is keeping people better supported in the community and secondly to ensure Bolton is a really strong hospital provider in Greater Manchester.”
Mrs Schenk, who lives in Heaton with her husband, admits adapting to retired life will take time but is looking forward to taking on some new challenges, such as learning to teach English as a foreign language.
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