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Ann James steps down as Chief Executive of University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust

Ann James After more than 12 years leading the Trust and 35 years in the NHS, Ann James has taken the decision to stand down from her post as our Chief Executive.

Ann began her NHS career as a management trainee in 1989 and held many key leadership positions across the NHS in the south west, before taking up her current post in September 2012. She has been an exemplary and incredibly driven, public servant and made a significant contribution to improving healthcare across Devon and Cornwall, most notably in Plymouth, in very challenging circumstances.

Chair James Brent said: “I want to lead the thanks to Ann for her commitment, dedication, professionalism and her very values-driven leadership but I know I will not be alone in thanking her. Many colleagues and indeed colleagues in partner organisations appreciate Ann’s collaborative and personal approach. She has been a passionate advocate for equity and fairness, in terms of protected characteristics but also focusing on reducing inequity arising from deprivation.  

“Under Ann’s leadership UHP has achieved so much – often in difficult circumstances – including her leadership through the difficult pandemic period, her embodiment of the values that are the beating heart of this organisation, her passionate support of UHP’s role as a teaching hospital and military city; her development of the Healthy Lives Partnership with Livewell Southwest and securing in excess of £300m investment for capital developments such as a new REI and the new Community Diagnostic Centre as well as for the Urgent and Emergency Care Centre (Phase 1 of Future Hospitals). She has also led regionally during this time, for example chairing the Peninsula Pathology Network, the Peninsula Cancer Alliance and has been Chair of the Southwest Leadership and Talent Academy.

 “We are all hugely grateful to Ann for her commitment to the Trust, its staff and the communities that we serve and we wish her the very best as she heads into the next phase of her journey.”

Ann said: “It has been the greatest honour to play a part in the incredible journey of UHP and it was never going to be easy, or feel like the right time, to step away from being Chief Executive. The teams at UHP lead with compassion, give outstanding care and work hard every day to deliver clinical excellence despite many challenges. It has been a heartfelt honour to be part of that and of all my 35 years in the NHS, the time I spent at UHP will undoubtedly be the years I will treasure and remember the most. University Hospitals Plymouth has a very exciting future ahead, with so many wonderful people working in the organisation and I wish all of my colleagues all the very best for the next 12 years and beyond.”

Ann will step down as Chief Executive on 31 March 2024 and the recruitment process to appoint an interim and then substantive successor will begin shortly.

Ann James at Project Search event

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