Tunnocks! Our new Director of Nursing Ellen Armistead talks teacakes and much much more


Ellen Armistead is our new Director of Nursing and Deputy Chief Executive.  She joins us from the CQC where she was Deputy Chief Inspector  having started her career as a nursing auxiliary. She is married to Chris and they have two sons Alistair and Paddy, one grandson Arthur and a dog called Dottie. Here she reveals more about hersef and  a truly lovely story about why Tunnocks teacakes will always be special. It will make you go awwwww. She's our latest Hello My Name Is...

Hello My Name Is.... Ellen Armistead.

What is your position?  

I am Executive Director of Nursing/Deputy Chief Executive.

Summarise your career background
I decided to become a nurse when I was about eight-years-old having spent a lot of time in hospital visiting my Grandad who had suffered numerous strokes and heart attacks. I was also a massive fan of the Sue Barton nurse books (showing my age!). I started my career in nursing as a nursing auxiliary in a care home for the elderly living with dementia. I went on to do my nurse training working mainly in surgery.  I became a ward sister in 1989 eventually becoming a Chief Nurse in 2002.  Since then I have worked in acute and community settings and spent the last five years working as Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals at CQC. 

What is the highlight of your career so far?

There have been many special moments and things I am proud of however the fact that 25 years after I looked after a lady on vascular surgery she sent me a pack of Tunnocks teacakes every Christmas until she sadly died remains to this day something special.

Sum up your role in three words

Best job ever !

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A nurse !

Who is your hero/heroine and why?I am a big fan of Michelle Obama, she used her position as first lady wisely and champions and supports worthy causes. In addition to which she can rock a Gucci frock.

When you are not at work, how do you relax?
I walk, run and workout at the gym.  I walk for a dog rescue at the weekend and like nothing more than looking after my beloved rescue pooches.

What is your favourite place?

Embleton Bay in Northumberland and the South Tyrol

What would people be surprised to know about you?

A few things possibly, I was born with one kidney, I am a big softie and will cry at any old nonsense on the TV and I'm a cheese addict.