by Jeremy Wright, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Ashford & St. Peter’s NHS Trust 1985-2011
Sue Bateman took up her appointment at St. Peter’s Hospital, now Ashford & St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in October 1987 at a time when there were no female consultant obstetricians or gynaecologists at Ashford, Frimley or Guildford She rapidly became part of an enduring and happy partnership with the two incumbents to run a successful and happy department delivering high quality care to the community which we then served.
She was known for her quiet competence, commonsense and sympathetic empathy with all she came in contact with, always being responsive to the needs of her patients and requests for help from doctors in the community. In those days, as probably now, she could never be separated from her diary which held all-important information and allowed her to run a seamless high quality service. She can look back with satisfaction on a virtually incident free 29-year run of service to the community and a calm unflappability in acute situations.
As clinical director she has overseen the rapid growth of the obstetric and gynaecological services to the busy and thriving unit it is today, and her time at the helm will be remembered for wise counsel and an all embracing inclusive culture.
She stepped down from this role and took early retirement to return and to continue to oversee a service for those having difficulty to conceive, which in her typical way combined compassion with robust common sense and an efficient and timely passage through the sometimes arduous journey that is the investigation and treatment of these matters.
She deserves a long and happy retirement and there are may that will remember her as a steadfastly loyal, honest and compassionate friend, colleague and doctor. She will be sorely missed but equally will have more time for her new responsibilities as adoring grandmother.