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Former nurse who became well-respected NHS chief exec to retire

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Former nurse Dame Julie Moore, chief executive of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and a senior figure in the NHS, has revealed that she is to retire later this year.

Consistently rates as one of the best leaders in the NHS, Dame Julie spent 10 years as a nurse in clinical practice, before moving into nursing management and later becoming a director of nursing. 

“It is now time that I hand on the reins of this single organisation to a successor”

Julie Moore

She became a director at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in 1998 and then moved to Birmingham in 2002, taking up her current post in 2006.

During her career, she was also seconded to work at the Department of Health on developing nursing roles. In 2011 she was asked by the government to be a member of the NHS Future Forum to lead on proposals for education and training reform and later that year was asked to lead the follow-up report.

In 2013, she was named among the 100 most powerful women in the UK by Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and has frequently been named in Health Service Journal’s top chief executives list. She was made a dame in the 2012 New Year honours.

In a letter to her trust’s staff, Dame Julie said she would be leaving later this summer after 12 years as chief executive of the Midlands acute provider.

During her tenure, she has overseen the building of the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital and more recently the organisation’s merger with its neighbour Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust.

The merger of University Hospitals Birmingham and Heart of England went ahead on 1 April. It now runs the Queen Elizabeth Hospital along with Heartlands, Good Hope and Solihull hospitals.

On the merger, Ms Moore said: “We have now reached a landmark in the development of healthcare services in Birmingham and Solihull. It will also mean greater opportunities for our staff.

“It is, therefore, now time that I hand on the reins of this single organisation to a successor,” she said, noting she had originally intended to retire two years ago but stayed to oversee the merger.

“Her dedication to our patients, our staff and our trust has inspired enormous admiration”

Jacqui Smith

Paying tribute to her staff, she said: “To work with such skilled, talented and professional people doing work of real value to people, has been, and still is, an honour and a privilege.”

“I am immensely proud of all we have achieved for our patients,” she said. “When I arrived here, there was a huge surface car park where the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham now stands.

“I would like to thank each one of you for all that you do to deliver and support the delivery of such high-quality patient care day in, day out, and being such wonderful colleagues,” said Dame Julie to her message to trust staff.

She added: “I have not finalised my leaving date but it will be towards the end of this summer.”

Trust chair Jacqui Smith paid tribute to Dame Julie, saying she had played a “critical role in the success, development and growth” of the organisation, especially its planned merger.

“Doing the right thing by our patients and the staff who deliver their care is what drives her,” she said. “Her dedication to our patients, our staff and our trust has inspired enormous admiration.”

Ms Smith added: “It has been both a great honour and great fun to work with Julie. I will miss her hugely. I know this will be a view shared by our staff, board members and stakeholders.

“We cannot thank Julie enough for the dedication, passion and personality she has brought to University Hospitals Birmingham and to the wider NHS,” she said.

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