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      July 2019



Chief executive retires

This month the Trust says goodbye to Mike Proctor, a man whose astonishing career in the NHS demonstrates how, with hard work and commitment, it really is possible to work your way to the top.

The past four decades have seen Mike rise from his first job as a trainee operating department assistant in Sheffield in 1975, to become chief executive of an NHS trust employing around 9,000 people. In the early days Mike’s commitment to patient care and his determination to continue to develop professionally saw him go on to train as a nurse, spending time as a nurse educator then as an external examiner for Hull University and the University of Sheffield.

A variety of senior management roles, followed leading to him becoming director of nursing in 1998, chief operating officer and then deputy chief executive of the Trust in 2007. Mike’s ‘hands on’ approach stems from his time as a nurse, and his passion for delivering high quality care has never faltered even when he has progressed to more senior roles.
He has taken this experience with him to the board and his commitment to patients is well recognised and respected by his board level colleagues.
Mike said: “I consider my time in the NHS and especially the last 26 years in York to have been a privilege. I know it is time for me to hand over the reins of our fantastic organisation to someone else but I do know I will miss the work and my colleagues massively."
As well as playing a major role at the Trust, Mike has become a significant senior management figure in the local NHS, building strong links with commissioners and other providers to deliver the best possible services to local people.

August start for new chief executive

New chief executive Simon Morritt will join the Trust on Monday 5 August.

Simon has more than 25 years’ experience in the NHS and has worked in various senior positions across Yorkshire. His first chief executive post was at Doncaster Central Primary Care Trust in October 2000. He has also led NHS Bradford and Airedale and Sheffield Children’s Hospital and joins the Trust from Chesterfield Royal Hospital Foundation Trust where he was chief executive from 2016.

New chief nurse

New chief nurse, Heather McNair has joined the Trust from Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, after working there for nine years as director of nursing and quality and urgent care.

Heather is a graduate nurse and midwife from Leeds University and gained her masters degree from Bradford University. She became Head of Midwifery at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHSFT in 1998 before becoming Deputy Director of Nursing there in 2001, a post she held for 10 years.
Originally born in York, Heather returns to her roots to take up her new challenge at the Trust.

New non-executive directors

Two new non-executive directors have joined the Trust this month, each bringing their own unique skills and experience to the Board.

Until his recent retirement, Jim Dillon was chief executive at Scarborough Borough Council for many years, and prior to that a director at Ipswich Borough Council. Jim has been involved, at a strategic level, with the health and wellbeing agenda at both local and regional levels for many years. He has a strong passion for Scarborough and is keen to continue to contribute to improving the quality of life of the community.
Steve Holmberg has been a doctor in the NHS for over 40 years with more than 25 years' experience in direct patient care. Recently retired, Steve was a consultant cardiologist, as well as executive medical director for the last five years at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.
He brings extensive experience as a previous Trust Board executive, and also senior roles in other NHS organisations and the charitable sector. Steve has a strong interest in education in health care and also the development of safety and quality in patient care.

Spotlight on scientists

The spotlight was on the Trust’s 315 laboratory medicine staff this month when they celebrated national Biomedical Science Day, promoting the crucial contribution science makes to patient care. The hidden world of laboratory medicine, also known as pathology, plays a huge role behind the scenes testing clinical specimens to help diagnose, treat and prevent disease in patients right across the region.
York and Scarborough hospital labs handle a staggering two million patient samples every year, providing services to the Trust and other local healthcare providers.
Lab tests are vital in diagnosing health conditions and the skilled services of laboratory staff helps get the best results and treatment for patients. The labs process blood tests in biochemistry and haematology, blood transfusion tests, microbiology tests, histology tests and cytology tests as well as tissue samples.
Helen Palmer, Advanced Practitioner in Histological Dissection, explained how some of the latest lab equipment is dramatically improving the flow of patient diagnosis with fast turnaround times. Helen said: “New equipment like the cryostat operates at low temperatures and allows urgent sections to be processed quickly. For example if a patient was in major surgery to remove a tumour under anaesthetic, the tissue sample could be processed using the cryostat, with results back to the surgeon in approximately 20 minutes to see if more tissue needs to be removed or not during that surgery.
“This can all be done during one surgical procedure to save the patient having to go through another surgery, and in turn creating a slicker process for patients needing surgery.”

How does a Foundation Trust work?

The Trust was granted its licence as a Foundation Trust on 1 April 2007.
Although still part of the National Health Service family and subject to NHS quality standards, performance ratings and systems of inspection we are not directed or controlled by the Secretary of State for Health.
One of the greatest benefits of being an NHS Foundation Trust is that the structure helps us to work more closely with local people and service users to help us respond to the needs of our communities.
Other benefits include the chance to maximise financial freedoms, have more control over our money to improve facilities and achieve a better balance between national and local priorities.
There are three main components to the way an NHS Foundation Trust is structured:
A membership community made up of local people, patients, carers, staff from partner organisation and staff employed by the Foundation Trust.
Council of Governors elected from the membership community and also including representatives from the trusts key partners in health and social care (the term Board of Governors is also used by some foundation trusts to describe this body).
A Board of Directors made up of a chair and non-executive directors (appointed by the Council of Governors) a chief executive (appointed by the non-executive directors) and executive directors (appointed by the chief executive and non-executive directors).
Further information about foundation trusts can be obtained here.


  In brief  


Board of Directors
Wednesday 31 July 2019
York Hospital

Read the latest Board papers

Council of Governors


The next Council of Governors is on Tuesday 3 September 2019 at Malton Rugby Club, between 1.30pm-3.00pm.


The Council of Governors meet four times a year in public and is chaired by the Trust Chair.  Trust members and members of the public are very welcome to attend as observers, and in addition there is an opportunity to speak to governors informally between 1.00pm-1.30pm, to ask questions.


If you cannot attend a meeting but would like to submit a question, please contact us five working days in advance of the meeting by emailing


Who's who

To learn more about our current governors please visit our website for more details.

Star Award finalists


All our staff and volunteers deserve recognition - but there are many that go above and beyond the call of duty to make the Trust a better service - with hard work, exciting new ideas and simply by putting patients first.


Our monthly star award finalists recognise outstanding individuals or teams who have innovated, impressed and made a real difference to how the Trust provides care for our patients.


Click here to read why they were nominated and learn how they made a difference.


If you'd like to nominate someone for a Star Award complete the form here


Open Days 2019


This September, both York and Scarborough hospitals will be opening their doors to the public, as the Trust hosts two fantastic open days.


This unique event will enable visitors to discover more about the daily workings of the hospital and the services provided. It also includes interactive tours and seminars, giving people a rare opportunity to find out what goes on behind the scenes within the hospital, not normally seen by the public.
Information stands will provide an insider’s guide to some of the hospital’s more specialised services such as theatres, critical care, audiology and family health, amongst others.


This is a great opportunity to learn more about what takes place within the hospital on a daily basis and included tours and seminars that you can book.

The search is on for new governors

The Trust is looking to recruit new governors to help influence the future of its health services.

A great opportunity has arisen to become the ‘voice’ of local people as a governor for the City of York, Ryedale and East Yorkshire, Selby, Bridlington and Hambleton areas. This special role will help set the direction for the future of health services.


Responsibilities include providing support and advice to ensure that the trust delivers services that best meet the needs of patients and the communities and provides high quality, effective and patient-focused services. The position requires some time and commitment, an interest in the NHS and the key issues facing the trust.

Governors play a critical role and provide an important link between the trust and the community; helping the trust to gather views from local people and feeding back to them what is happening. Click here to learn more.

York Hospital Teaching Charity


York Teaching Hospital Charity raise vital funds to improve patient care around the Trust.

Click on the link below to read more about what they and their supporters have done over the last few months in their summer newsletter.

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