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Trusts’ Chair John MacDonald announces retirement plans after 35 years’ NHS service

John MacDonald, joint Chair of the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL) and the University Hospitals of Northamptonshire NHS Group (UHN), has today, Thursday 14 March, announced his plans to retire after a health service career spanning 35 years.

John MacDonald (Chairman)
John MacDonald (Chairman)

John initially joined UHL as an interim Chair in 2021, strengthening the organisation’s leadership and ways of working. He became the Chair of UHN in April 2023, formalising the partnership between the Trusts for the benefit of patients and communities.

In a message to colleagues today, John said:

"After 35 years in the NHS, I have decided the time is right for me to retire. It has been an honour and a privilege to Chair UHL for the past three years. In that time, I have worked with some exceptional people, and seen the organisation change for the better.

"While there remains a lot to do, UHL’s recovery phase is now well underway, and recent improvements in patient waiting times are just one testament to that. The growing partnership between UHL and UHN represents a huge opportunity to make a difference at scale and strengthen patient services.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank every colleague at UHL and UHN for their dedication and commitment, and the members of the public I have learnt so much from. The diversity and pride in our communities brings a vibrancy that we must foster, recognise, and value.”

Joint Chief Executive for UHL and UHN, Richard Mitchell, said:

“John has been an exemplary Chair, bringing a breadth of experience to our Boards. He has led UHL out of challenge and into recovery, laying the foundations for the clear improvements we are now making. He has taken the same collaborative and rigorous approach to bringing our UHL and UHN partnership together, always keeping the focus on better care for patients.

"I have worked with John for seven years now and have learnt a great deal from him in that time. We have all benefitted enormously from his calm and compassionate leadership and wish him all the very best for his retirement.”

John will undertake his final Board meetings in June 2024. The recruitment for a new joint Chair for UHL and UHN will begin with advertising of the post next week. 

For more information, please contact communications@uhl-tr.nhs.uk.