South Tyneside health worker retires after 45 years

Marilyn Wilkinson, holding flowers, with , left to right, Ultrasound Manager Jayne Richardson, Clinical Business Manager Bronia Fleet, Radiology Service Lead Karen Green and Consultant Radiologists Dr Oliver Schulte and Dr Lance Cope.
Marilyn Wilkinson, holding flowers, with , left to right, Ultrasound Manager Jayne Richardson, Clinical Business Manager Bronia Fleet, Radiology Service Lead Karen Green and Consultant Radiologists Dr Oliver Schulte and Dr Lance Cope.
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A health worker who was instrumental in setting up the NHS ultrasound service for South Tyneside has retired.

Marilyn Wilkinson’s expertise led to her being asked to provide examples of 4D scanning for the world-famous Gray’s Anatomy textbook of human anatomy and to her being invited by a hospital in Qatar to review its ultrasound obstetrics service.

Her career in radiology spans more than 45 years, yet she came to it by chance after spotting a job advert in The Shields Gazette for a student radiographer in 1970.

She was offered a place on the training course at Sunderland Royal Infirmary.

In 1975, she joined the staff at the then-South Shields General Hospital.

She was selected to do ultrasound training in 1979 and was part of the team which established the ultrasound service.

She was promoted to superintendent radiographer at South Tyneside District Hospital in the early 1990s.

She retired in 2012, but came back part-time, working as a sonographer doing ultrasound scans.

Marilyn, of South Shields, said: “I have had a lot of job satisfaction over the years because I was in a position to make a difference for the patients.

“There is a real community in the radiology department, and in South Tyneside District Hospital generally, and I always worked closely with the consultants and was able to instigate further investigations when I thought it necessary.

“I have made a lot of lifelong friends, many of whom have been in the department as long as me.”

Clinical business manager Bronia Fleet said: “She is hardworking and professional and has done her utmost to ensure that the ultrasound service provided to the patients is second to none.

“She will be a great miss.”