I qualified in medicine at Guy’s Hospital in 1971 and worked in London and Worcestershire before deciding on Paediatrics as a speciality after post graduate training at Warwick University. I became a Consultant Community Paediatrician in South Staffordshire with a particular interest in Social Paediatrics and was the lead for Child Protection. I particularly enjoyed the multidisciplinary nature of the role working closely with Social Services, Education, Police and many other agencies including the voluntary sector. I frequently appeared as an expert witness in family and criminal courts. Together with other experts at the Department of Health I was involved in producing the first guidelines for the Pre -Trial treatment of Child Witnesses.
I was also part of the Child and Family Psychiatric Team working with victims of Child Sexual Abuse after specialised training at Great Ormond Street Hospital. I also initiated a service to treat teenage alcoholics and drug users which was challenging but very necessary.
During these years, I was heavily involved with the British Medical Association, chairing committees and representing community paediatric doctors as the speciality evolved. These experiences were useful in learning committee and negotiating skills as well as ensuring that I kept in touch with grass roots opinions through frequent visits and lectures to other parts of the country.
I became involved with First Aid Training and delivery when asked to become the Medical Officer for the local St John’s Ambulance, a role I enjoyed for 10 years being honoured with rank of Serving Sister.
Although I looked after many children with learning difficulties, I was particularly delighted when asked to become a Governor of a school specialising in educating young people with these problems and I subsequently became the Chair of Governors for 10 Years, a difficult but very rewarding task.
During the last years of my NHS work and then subsequently, I became the Medical Advisor for Adoption and Fostering to Action for Children in the Midlands and only gave this up 2 years ago.
In 2011, having both retired, we moved from Staffordshire to Oxfordshire to be closer to our 2 children and 6 grandchildren. This has been a very successful change with close involvement with our local community. I have become a Parish Councillor and instigated the placement of 2 defibrillators in the village with the help and support of SCAS. I am also a Trustee with Bee Free Young Carers, a charity looking after young carers in South Oxfordshire. I undertake admission and transport appeals for Oxfordshire Education Department. Hobbies include gardening, bridge and foreign travel.
Both professionally and as a carer for my late mother, I have always had enormous respect for the ambulance service and I hope the varied experiences of my career will be useful in participating in the governance of the Trust in the difficult demographic and financial climate in which the NHS finds itself.
If you would like to get in touch with Loretta, you should do so at the following address:
South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
7-8 Talisman Business Centre
Or you can send an email to email@example.com.