A hospital leader led tributes to a nursing director who has sadly died at the age of just 61.
Cath Siddle, who lived in Hutton Henry, worked her way up from a nurse cadet at 17 to become director of nursing, patient safety and quality with North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.
The popular mum of four and grandmother died last Friday after being ill for a number of months.
Tributes were paid to her at Thursday’s hospital trust board meeting.
Trust chairman Paul Garvin said: “It really has been a sad time for the trust this last week.
“I would like to express our condolences to Cath’s husband Graham and children Louisa, Jack, Julia and Stephen.
“Cath was one of those big characters that we will all really miss. Our hearts go out to her family.”
In 2013, Cath won the Long Term Achievement of the Year award at the Mail’s Best of Health Awards.
She dedicated more than 30 years to the health service and inspired two of her children to follow in her footsteps.
Cath was nominated for the health award by daughter Louisa, who said at the time: “She is a beautiful person inside and out, with the kindest of hearts, and I can think of no one more deserving of this award and recognition than her.
“She has dedicated her life and career to the National Health Service and the patients within it.”
Her funeral was taking place on Fridayap at Holy Trinity Church in Wingate.