Former Health Service Director is New MayorPublished Wednesday, 20 May 2015
A former health service director and public health champion is Ribble Valley’s new mayor.
Born and brought up a stone’s throw from the famous Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, Bridget Hilton trained as a nurse and midwife at Birch Hill Hospital in Rochdale.
It was during midwifery training that Bridget witnessed the effect of poor social conditions on people’s health and wellbeing, which sparked a lifelong interest in public health.
Bridget then undertook further professional training at Bradford University, before working as a health visitor in South Kensington. Two years later, she took up her first management post and spent the rest of her career in health sector management.
After working in London for 10 years, she moved to Guildford in Surrey and in 1981 took up a senior management post with the then Blackburn, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley District Health Authority.
Following NHS reorganisation, she was appointed to the post of director of operational services with the newly-established Communicare NHS Trust, which became the Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Primary Care Trust in 1995, where Bridget was appointed executive director of service provision.
It was at her retirement presentation that former Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Chris Holtom suggested Bridget should stand as a borough councillor and she was duly elected to represent the Waddington and West Bradford in the local elections of 2007.
In 2013, Bridget was appointed chairman of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s health and housing committee and nominated to sit on the statutory health and wellbeing board at Lancashire County Council. She has been a co-opted member of the county council’s health scrutiny committee since 2006.
Bridget has one adult son who lives and works in Manchester. Her mayoress is Mrs Kathleen Hill and her chosen charities are Dementia Care and Macmillan Cancer Support, both for services in Ribble Valley.