A WORKING life spent in the NHS will come to an end next week when Professor Idris Williams retires, reports Michaela Robinson-Tate.

Prof Williams is leaving Morecambe Bay Hospitals NHS Trust, of which he has been chairman since it was created in 1998.

He was a medical student in 1948 when the NHS was formed, and was previously a non-executive director at the former Furness Hospitals.

He became chairman following a huge merger of three organisations into the current one trust which runs Kendal's Westmorland General Hospital, the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, and Furness General Hospital in Barrow and has continued to oversee big changes.

As chairman, Prof Williams, 75, has been a non-executive director, and has been responsible for running the board.

He said it was the unexpected such as the outbreak of legionnaires' disease in Barrow in 2002 - which provided some of the biggest challenges. The trust ultimately coped very effectively, which Prof Williams said was because of the ability of his hospital manager board colleagues.

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