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Hospital trust chief executive announces retirement

The chief executive of Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust has declared he has ‘unfinished business’ despite announcing his decision to retire in February next year after 29 years in charge.

Sir Andrew Morris has worked in the NHS for 43 years and is one of the longest standing hospital chief executives in England.

The 62-year-old said: “It has been a privilege to work for our local hospitals.

“For me, healthcare is a people business and I have worked with some outstanding colleagues.

“I am proud of what we have achieved together over the years.”

Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust is responsible for Wexham Park Hospital in Slough, Heatherwood Hospital in Ascot and Frimley Park Hospital close to Camberley.

Sir Andrew joined the NHS in 1974 aged 19, where he progressed through a number of roles in the Midlands and was appointed general manager of Frimley Park Hospital in February 1989 – becoming its chief executive in 1991.

He then led Frimley Park’s successful application to become one of the first foundation trusts in 2005.

Last year he led the creation of the Frimley Health and Care Accountable Care System (ACS) in an unpaid capacity and will continue to focus on the ACS in a part-time capacity.

An ACS aims to bring together GPs, hospitals, physical and mental health services , social care and the voluntary sector in the same area to provide a more coordinated care system.

On the ACS, he said: “The NHS has talked about integrated care for a long time but the way the system was set up made it hard to work collaboratively.

“Now we have a chance to make serious progress and we have to do it, not least for our growing older population.

“For me, this is unfinished business.

“We have already made great progress with the Frimley system and we have been identified as an area that can pioneer improvements the rest of the country can follow.

“I want to help make that happen.

“For our patients, it will mean more joined-up services and faster progress in areas that really matter - like making it easier to see a GP and getting faster access to mental health care.”

He also led the acquisition of Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to create Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust in 2014 and was knighted in January 2015 for services to public health.

The trust’s chairman Pradip Patel said: “Sir Andrew will be a hard act to follow and I am determined to find the right person who can build on the legacy that he will leave behind.”

Jim Mackey, chief executive of NHS Improvement, added: “Sir Andrew is a great example of what NHS leadership should be.

“He cares deeply about patient care, the service generally and the staff he leads, and he displays NHS values in everything that he does.”

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