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Bertie (Roberta) Swan – Public Governor for Elmbridge

Bertie Swan

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the unexpected death of our friend and ASPH Governor colleague, Bertie Swan. Bertie was in her second term as Public Governor for Elmbridge, a role which she had started in December 2016.

It has been a shock, not only for us, but for her Governor colleagues too, as they had recently either spoken with her or attended a meeting together. Governors and Trust staff remember how enthusiastic and hard-working she was, often being first in line to volunteer for any additional membership activities.

Bertie was also great fun and had a wonderful sense of humour, often bringing some much needed light-heartedness to discussions.


Lead Governor Danny Sparkes said:

“I knew Bertie for over 30 years on and off whilst we both worked within ASPH. She had been a Sister on Day Ward at St Peter's Hospital, then in Occupational Health and more latterly working at The Runnymede Hospital.”

“I caught up with her again when she was elected as the Public Governor for Elmbridge in 2016. She was enthusiastic and very keen to learn about being a Governor, and making a difference especially from the patient point of view. She frequently joined in with events at the Hospital and was a member of the Patient Panel and the Patient Experience Group, and several other committees. She felt however, that one of her more important 'jobs' was on the Pastoral Care Team / End of Life Team at the hospitals. She also worked in the Maternity Unit as a 'listening ear' and volunteered at the Princess Alice Hospice.”

“She was a colourful person and we spent many a happy hour or three talking, talking, talking over coffee, lunch and tea (with cake, of course) at the local garden centre and were really looking forward to being able to do this again.”

“Bertie was always very generous in her gratitude to Trust staff and, being a retired nurse herself, she appreciated the pressures staff were under, especially more recently with the pandemic. She was always the first at Council of Governor meetings to round off with praise for the hard work of the executives, non-executives and of course the staff.”

“Bertie will be greatly missed by us all.”


Laurence Gamlen, Chaplain at ASPH, said:

“Bertie was a well loved and respected member of the Trust’s Chaplaincy volunteer team. She converted to Judaism quite late in her life, and her faith brought her great comfort. As part of the team, she would visit Abbey Wing and enjoyed spending time in the maternity unit. She will be greatly missed.”

Our thoughts are very much with Bertie’s loved ones at this difficult time.

Andy Field, Chairman
Suzanne Rankin, Chief Executive