A top medic has retired from a major role making sure people in Hartlepool recover injuries and conditions more than two decades after joining the hospital trust.
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has bid farewell to well respected A&E consultant David Emerton, who retires after joining the trust over 26 years ago.
Colleagues and friends gathered to recognise and celebrate the ambitions of Mr Emerton, who was originally appointed as an Accident and Emergency Consultant at North Tees hospital in 1993.
He retired on Tuesday and in a presentation led by Andy Simpson, Emergency Medicine Consultant, recollections were made of a time at the North Tees hospital site when Mr Emerton was the only A&E consultant.
Mr Simpson said: "Since that time the department has changed tremendously overseen by David, we now have four resuscitation bays, a completely separate paediatric area and 16 major cubicles."
Mr Emerton leaves the trust having undertaken duties as Clinical Director of Emergency Care for six years, across both the Stockton and Hartlepool sites, and Medical Director for a further six years during his tenure.
Mr Simpson added: "David carried out his role with consideration, clarity of thought, impeccable discretion and an ability to listen to all sides before making a decision."
Julie Gillon, chief executive for the trust addressed guests, recalling her own experiences working with Mr Emerton: "Throughout my 18 years at this trust, David has embodied the values of our organisation, it has been a privilege to work alongside such professionalism and dedication.
"Our trust will miss such energy and dedication."
Mr Emerton thanked guests and colleagues for the support and friendships throughout his 26 years at the trust, and spoke of retirement plans ahead, adding that although he had no immediate plans to locum, until his GMC registration expires he may be available for emergency cover.
Since Mr Emerton joined the trust in 1993, he and colleagues have witnessed 11 Secretaries of State for Health, five Prime Ministers and a host of changes for the NHS.
Closing his celebration speech, he said: "I wish all at this trust and beyond the very best. It has been a privilege to work alongside you."