Tributes paid to hospital manager

Tributes paid to hospital manager

3 August 2022

THE manager of the Downe Hospital’s out-of-hours GP service has retired.

Mark Armstrong, who was the South Eastern Trust’s unscheduled care manager, has retired after 37 years’ service.

He started his career in 1985 as a clerical officer in Bangor Hospital before moving to manage the administration team in James Street offices in Newtownards in 1990. 

Six years later, Mark was appointed to manage the newly formed North Down and Ards Doctors on Call service and moving on in 2006, he was seconded to manage the so-called ‘ICATS’ and GP out of hours projects, including the service provided at the Downe Hospital. 

In 2007, Mark took up his current position as unscheduled care manager, where he managed the health trust’s GP out-of-hours service, Ards  & Bangor GP Wards and Ards & Bangor Minor Injury Units.   

Throughout the years, he has been a highly respected  member of staff, not only by his health trust colleagues, but further afield across many health and social care organisations and is known for his strong decisive leadership, character and sense of humour.

“Working in health and social care has been an important part of my life,” said Mark on his retirement.

“I met my wife in Bangor hospital many years ago and my family have been a part of it.  It has been the most amazing career and I have been incredibly blessed to work with so many different teams. It has been a privilege and I will miss everyone dearly.”

Wishing Mark well in his retirement, the health trust’s assistant director of primary care, Clare-Marie Dickson, said the gap that he will leave in primary care will be “immense”. 

She continued: “Mark will be sorely missed by myself and many colleagues who have worked alongside him for a considerable number of years.  

“His knowledge, expertise and skills will be widely missed right across the organisation. Mark was a one-off and we wish him all the best for a long and healthy retirement.”

The South Eastern Trust’s clinical director of primary care and general practitioner, Dr Eddie Harney, said he had known Mark for 20 years.

“Mark’s professionalism and expertise but, most importantly, his warm charisma and sense of humour is what made him such an outstanding manager. He was well respected across the region, and will be very much missed,” added Dr Harney.