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Long-serving nursing director Denise Hagel steps down

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One of the UK’s longest serving directors of nursing, Denise Hagel, retires this week.

Denise Hagel joined the trust that runs Colchester General Hospital for the second time on 1 August 1998 as director of quality improvement and nursing. She steps down this week after 11 years – she had previously worked for the organisation from 1989 to 1995.

Ms Hagel will be replaced by Julie Firth, who joined Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust from University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust where she was deputy chief nurse for the past five years.

Ms Hagel, 57, said: ‘During my many years in nursing, Colchester has been the best place I’ve worked because it has been so friendly and welcoming.

‘Two of the highlights for me were being one of the first trusts in 2001 to bring back matrons after a gap of almost 30 years and being in the first wave of trusts to introduce nurse consultants,’ she added.

Ms Hagel has also been involved in nursing at a national level, most recently as a member of the UK Coalition Board for Modernising Nursing Careers, a member of the NHS Employers’ professional board and a committee member of the Nurse Directors Association. Between 1994 and 1996, she was chair of the Health Visitors’ Association.

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