Scores of family, friends and colleagues turned out at Hinchingbrooke Hospital to say a moving farewell to Dr Anitha Mathews who had worked at the Trust for almost 20 years.
Staff lined the front of the hospital last Wednesday as Dr Mathews’ cortege made a special stop so people could pay their respects
Dr Mathews, who is survived by her husband John and sons Johnny and Abraham, died on July 14 after a nine month battle with pancreatic cancer, which involved treatment at Hinchingbrooke.
After arriving at Hinchingbrooke in 2002, Dr Mathews was instrumental in the development of an award-winning diabetes team and was proud that in 2007 the hospital was one of only eight in the country given validation to deliver the “DAFNE” patient education course for people with Type 1 diabetes which is now delivered nationally and worldwide.
The team also received a series of awards between 2015 and 2019 for its work around hypo-awareness and insulin safety.
Dr Mathews, whose husband John is a retired surgeon from Hinchingbrooke, always strove to be at the forefront of developments in diabetes care and as lead diabetologist and endocrinologist for ante-natal care helped hundreds of pregnant women with diabetes and thyroid problems to have safe pregnancies and healthy babies.
A colleague paid tribute saying: “Her passion, vision and dedication to providing high standards of care was infectious. All those who have been fortunate to have worked with Anitha over the years, not only in her own team but throughout the Hinchingbrooke family, will remember her with great fondness.”
Her family said: “She loved the hospital first as a doctor and more recently as a patient. She had been instrumental in progressing the regional care of diabetic patients to the national award winning service it is today.
“She also worked in the capacity of clinical director of medicine, clinical lead for drugs & therapeutics and Royal College tutor and examiner. She touched the lives of many of her patients and colleagues with her drive, empathy and infectious smile.”
Dr Kanchan Rege, medical director for the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Hinchingbrooke Hospital, said: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Dr Anitha Mathews and our thoughts are with her family and friends.
“She was a key part of developing the adolescent diabetes service as well as promoting care in the community. She also played an active part in the obstetric diabetes clinics.
“She was extremely supportive of the junior staff and was a mentor to many of the consultants over the past few years. Her knowledge and skills were a great support to all and she will be greatly missed.”