Former NHS executive returns to support ex-employer during pandemic

John Lowes (002)
(Last Updated On: May 19, 2020)

A former senior executive of Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust has returned to his former employer to support the COVID-19 response.

John Lowes, whose wife, daughter, son and his son’s wife all have professional links with the NHS, volunteered to come out of retirement to work with the Trust’s senior management team.

John’s wife Anne is a retired GP and volunteered to return and is looking forward to helping when called. Their daughter Hannah has been working as a consultant pathologist in Bristol, prior to moving to London.

Their son David is a trainee neurosurgeon in Cardiff and has been working with COVID-19 admissions. His fiancee Gabrielle (their April wedding has been postponed due to the pandemic) is working as a trainee paediatrician in Swansea.

John said: “All five of us in the family either work or have worked in the NHS and really does feel as if it is part of our DNA!

“I had been retired from the Trust for a couple of years when I could see the growing problem of the Covid-19 pandemic starting in the Far East and concerns about how it would affect my family and myself.

“The younger members of the family are very much in the frontline I felt that having only stopped working a couple of years ago, I still had something to offer that might be of value.”

John’s career with the Trust began in 1993 as a Consultant Gastroenterologist, followed by roles including Director of Education, Medical Director and Interim Chief Executive. He finished his time at work as an Acute Physician in the Emergency Admission Units and Acute Medical Unit.

“Initially, during this pandemic, all the focus was on how Torbay Hospital would cope with the challenges of large numbers of acutely sick people.

“It is now clear that it is a much more complex process that requires a response that addresses the whole community, including people’s homes, residential and care homes, community hospitals and the acute services provided by Torbay Hospital.

“The real challenge now is to develop a health and care system that will safely deliver in the new world, where COVID is going to be around for some time.”

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