I imagined I would only write that line at the point of retirement, but after 16 years in Pennine Care (and previously Stockport’s mental health services) I am moving on. Today is my last day and tomorrow I start my new role, as interim Chief Executive to lead the team to build a new Local Care Organisation (LCO) in the city of Manchester. There is a procurement process to go through before we can fully mobilise the new organisation, but its scale and ambition led me to agree to move to the new role.
On Friday night I went for dinner with the executive team and a few of my longest and closest colleagues, who have become friends over the many years we have worked together. Then last night I had a leaving presentation and was joined by many colleagues and friends, past and present. Martin Roe, our Director of Finance and Deputy Chief Executive, gave a speech which was both very funny and moving. Lots of jokes at my expense! The Chairman said some very kind words and I said a few words too. I must record my deepest gratitude for a number of very generous leaving presents, thank you everyone.
I would like to thank everyone for their support and hard work over the last 16 years. It was emotional to look around the room and see so many familiar faces. It reminded me what a great organisation Pennine Care is, we don’t enjoy the resources, profile or the support at times you see some trusts receive. What we do though, is deliver the best possible care we can manage with what we have. The hallmark of this organisation is the dedication of staff to provide high quality care and the collective values we all share to achieve the best we can. As a group of people we have always kept patients and carers central to our goals and ambitions.
I am proud to have been apart of the many achievements we have had together. In my first blog over three years ago I said how proud I was to be given the opportunity to be the Trust's Chief Executive. I have carried that pride with me every day and feel lucky to have worked with such able, talented and caring people. It has been an absolute privilege and I hope we can stay in touch. I won’t be far away and I will follow the Trust's onward journey with great interest and support.
I would like to thank the Chairman, the Board and the Council of Governors for their support and sponsorship in my time at Pennine Care. Please keep pushing forward for ever better services for people who need our help, especially mental health to make sure it receives the attention and investment it needs and deserves.
Whilst writing this final blog I have people calling in to say goodbye and also cards with lovely warm and emotional words wishing me well and saying goodbye. Today is a terribly sad wrench for me now that it comes to finally moving on and saying goodbye, it is a measure of the importance of the work we do, for it to attract such emotion and meaning between us all.
Pennine Care is a fantastic organisation and there will be a lot of interest in the Chief Executive post when it is advertised. I wish everyone all the best for the future, take care and good luck. It has been an honour to work with you all.