Tributes to North Yorkshire health boss in charge of Covid response as he leaves for new job
The man in charge of North Yorkshire's coronavirus response is stepping down after eight years in his role.
Dr Lincoln Sargeant, the county's director of public health, is moving to a new post in the south west of England and will be replaced by Louise Wallace.
As well as leading the Covid-19 response, Dr Sargeant has played a key role in developing the county's nationally mandated health services for areas including sexual health and substance misuse.
He has also played an important role in creating prevention programmes to improve physical and mental health.
Richard Webb, North Yorkshire County Council’s corporate director of health and adult services, paid tribute to the work of Dr Sargeant.
He said: "Lincoln has worked hard in providing public health leadership and expertise as we respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. We are grateful for all of his endeavours.
"I am sure everyone will join me in thanking Lincoln for his crucial work over the last few years and in wishing him well for his future in the south west."
Dr Sargeant's replacement Ms Wallace was director of public health for Hartlepool from 2012 to 2017 and is currently assistant director for health and integration in North Yorkshire.
She will continue with her health and integration responsibilities as part of her new director role.
Mr Webb said: "Louise has played a critical role in working with NHS colleagues over the last few years and during the pandemic has been a core part of our Covid-19 response team on issues such as securing more local testing within the county
"She was Hartlepool’s first director of public health, where she took on the challenging role of tackling health inequalities and significant health issues in the area.
“Louise takes on this role at a critical time for public health in North Yorkshire. At this stage in the pandemic, after many long months, we must maintain our resolve and support for people in reducing the infection rate and therefore helping to save lives, delivering effective outbreak management and preparing for mass vaccination.
"Louise will take on this role with her usual upbeat energy and ability as a first-rate team player and effective leader.”
By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter