A career dedicated to the NHS, its patients and staff

The Chief Executive who took Lincolnshire’s acute hospitals Trust through the COVID-19 pandemic, out of double special measures and onto its biggest capital investment programme has retired after 42 years in the NHS.

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During his career, Andrew Morgan had 19 jobs across 14 organisations all over the country. In that time, he was a chief executive officer at eight different organisations. His earlier NHS career also included a range of director posts at NHS organisations around the country, including in commissioning, performance management, strategy and service improvement.

Andrew most recently worked at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) and was instrumental in the formation of a Group arrangement with Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS). Prior to joining ULHT Andrew was the Chief Executive at LCHS when it received an outstanding CQC rating.

Andrew said the time was right for him to step back and hand over the reins to his Group Deputy Chief Executive, Professor Karen Dunderdale.

Andrew said: “After working in the NHS for 42 years, I am absolutely going to miss it. I’ll miss the people and the value we add to the lives of patients living in Lincolnshire.

“I remember my first day back in August 1982 Clerical Officer in a finance department down in Dorset, pre-computers and before emails, and I can’t quite believe 42 years has gone by. I love the NHS and I have devoted my entire working life to it.

“Despite all of the difficulties, and my goodness we had some real difficulties in recent years, from the pandemic to coming out of double special measures, I still knew when I went home at night that the place I worked for had had a positive impact on the lives of thousands of people that day. We would have saved lives, taken people out of pain, put minds at rest and shown huge compassion to people. I cannot think of a better way to spend 42 years of your life.”

Andrew spent his last few weeks handing over to Karen. He added: “I am delighted Karen got the Group Chief Executive role, I know she’ll be absolutely fantastic at it. Karen went through a really rigorous national recruitment process that involved NHS England.

“I like to think I left both LCHS and ULHT better than I found them when I first came to Lincolnshire back in 2014; and I know Karen has her own ideas on how we can keep moving forward for a much improved future.”

At the start of this financial year, LCHS and ULHT came together in a Group arrangement known as Lincolnshire Community and Hospitals NHS Group (LCHG). This does not constitute a formal merger of the two organisations, but brings the Trusts together under a single Board and Executive Leadership Team, with the goal of improving the care that is provided to patients both in the community and in hospitals across Lincolnshire.

Karen said: “I am very proud to be the first substantive Chief Executive of the Group. The Group signals something different for the population of Lincolnshire and for all of the colleagues that provide care. We absolutely should be striving for being excellent at care and innovation, looking at how we can deliver services differently, because we know that continuing to do what we do now in the way that we do it isn’t something that is sustainable in the long term.

“We need to look at how to make sure people don’t get as ill and as sick as they perhaps do now and actually identify how we can look after them earlier on in their illness or disease progression.

“Andrew always said that his role was to find great people who will do great things for other people’s loved ones. This is a mantra I definitely want to continue.”

Andrew is looking forward to a well-deserved rest before considering what he would like to do next.

He added: “I love the NHS and it is, in my view, the best bit of our society. If we didn’t have it, we would have to invent it. So as we have already got it, let’s cherish it and make it better than it is. I know Karen will do that.”

A video recording with Karen and Andrew is available to view below: