Deborah Lee, the Chief Executive of Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS FT, has announced her decision to stand down after seven years in post.
Deborah, who guided the Hospitals Trust to its first ever ‘Good’ CQC rating in 2019, said it was time to hand the baton on and will step down in March 2024 – ensuring time for a smooth transition.
She said: “The timing of this decision has not been an easy one but I shall be 60 in January and, having been fortunate to have recovered so well following my stroke, with an eye on the future as we come to the end of our five-year strategy and begin to think about the next chapter, this feels like the right time for the organisation and for me.
“My period as Chief Executive has, without doubt, been the most challenging and yet the most rewarding of my 40-year career. From the early days of financial and performance recovery to our first CQC ‘Good’ rating, the development of an ambitious strategy which led to substantial investments in our estate and digital care, and a successful consultation on a radical clinical strategy leading to our vision of two Centres of Excellence.
“I shall look back with sadness at the impact of the pandemic on so many lives but also with immense pride on what we achieved during that period. I feel incredibly privileged to have had the opportunity to lead and to serve this great organisation, through such a momentous time in the NHS’s 75-year history.”
Deborah regularly features in the prestigious Health Service Journal’s top 50 Chief Executives, is a Trustee on the Board of NHS Providers and received an Honorary Fellowship award from the University of Gloucestershire in 2021 in recognition of the way she led during the pandemic.
Reflecting on the challenges ahead, Deborah added: “The recent staff survey laid bare the challenges ahead and there is much to do to improve the experience of both colleagues and patients alike.
“We have embarked upon an ambitious programme of cultural and operational improvement and I am determined to use every day of my final year with the Trust to leave a positive legacy for my successor to build upon.”
Recruitment for a new Chief Executive Officer is underway.