A North East hospital boss has told of his pride after being recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Ken Bremner, chief executive of City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust and South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, has been awarded an MBE for his services to NHS leadership.
One of the region’s longest serving NHS chief executives, Mr Bremner has spent his entire 36-year career in the service.
He joined as a graduate finance trainee in 1982 and began working in the NHS in Sunderland in 1988 - initially working with Sunderland Health Authority - before joining City Hospitals Sunderland where he was director of finance and deputy chief executive.
He was appointed to the post of chief executive in 2004.
Since 2016 he has also been chief executive at South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust as part of the strategic alliance formed between the two Trusts - known as the South Tyneside and Sunderland Healthcare Group.
Mr Bremner said: “I am extremely humbled and delighted to receive such an honour.
“I am very proud to work in the NHS and would like to thank all those colleagues who have guided and supported me with their wise council and expertise throughout the years.
“I am very grateful for the unwavering support of my family which has been a constant source of reassurance throughout my career and helped to make my achievements possible.”
He added: “It really is a privilege to work alongside such dedicated and caring teams in South Tyneside and Sunderland and I would like to thank all of our frontline teams for their tremendous work and for the care and support they provide for patients every single day.”
Leading over 8,500 NHS staff working across South Tyneside and Sunderland, Mr Bremner has been one of the driving forces behind the Pathway to Excellence plan which is proposing controversial changes to the way health care services are delivered in South Tyneside and Sunderland.
Some of his key achievements in Sunderland in recent years have included the opening of a new emergency care department in 2017.
Under his leadership the Trust is also to open a new specialist treatment centre on the outskirts of Durham City in July 2018.
In South Tyneside over the past two years, he has helped secure over £5 million investment into South Tyneside to embrace digital technology and improve patient information systems.
John Anderson QAEP CBE, chairman of City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Ken works tirelessly for the benefit of others, always putting patients and the public at the heart of all conversations.”
Neil Mundy, chairman of South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, said: “His commitment to the NHS has had a hugely positive impact and helped deliver many improvements in patient care over the years.”