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The NHS belongs to the people of Stafford and its surrounding areas but if we are to sustain a high quality, free at the point of need health and social care service, there are significant challenges we must address.

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14 October 2016

Crikey what a week! There’s been lots going on and lots to reflect on, but first it’s been a strange week for me personally as on Tuesday I attended my interview as a nominee for the HSJ Chief Executive of the year award.

Thankfully I was accompanied by Dr Hannigan and Ian Baines (I am grateful to them both) and they made the case for why I should win. It was a little embarrassing to listen to colleagues who I respect immensely spending ten minutes extolling my virtues when I know I have many foibles. I then spent twenty minutes being questioned about my style of leadership. An interesting experience and no matter what the outcome at the awards night on the 23 November 2016 in my view we (and you will notice the ‘we’) have won already. The submission involved lots of people, you got me on the shortlist and I am very honoured to work with such supportive colleagues.

My retirement plans

On Wednesday I announced my retirement plans; to remind you I have decided to retire at the end of April next year. Hopefully it wasn’t too much of a shock for most people as I have said for a good while now that I would retire in September 2017 at the latest. I guess there are a number of things I wanted to say in announcing my retirement that are difficult to capture in a press release or generic note to staff. So I thought in this note I would try and reflect on the last 40 years (argh you all say!).

I am not going to write about the last 40 years but I think it is worth saying I am proud of many things that I have achieved in my career and there are many highlights for me; perhaps more of these at some point in the future. One of my proudest moments was being asked to be the nominated Accountable Officer for Stafford and Cannock and set up the two CCGs, steer them through authorisation and recruit and develop a team of people, most of which are still here today. Then being asked to work across three CCGs in August 2015 was another a proud moment. Little did I know at the time I was getting an additional group of people who were committed to the cause and have stuck with us through a very torrid period. I have also had some fantastic opportunities to work at all levels of the NHS and work international with other governments on healthcare. All in all I have been very lucky to do some great jobs working with great people.

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