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‘Mac the Knife’ to retire after nearly 50 years in health service

Published on: 11 May 2023

An integrated care board chief executive who has spent nearly five decades working in the health service has announced his retirement.

Anthony “Mac” McKeever will be leaving his role at Mid and South Essex ICB at the end of the year. 

As well as overseeing the launch of the ICB, he has held a number of NHS senior leadership roles, including chief executive of Royal Shrewsbury Hospitals Trust and Bexley Care Trust. 

Mr McKeever also earned the nickname “Mac the Knife” as the head of the government’s 1992 taskforce to cut waiting times. 

Mid and South Essex ICB chair Michael Thorne said: “Under Mac’s leadership we have successfully set up the [ICB] and have laid the foundations for genuine partnership working across our system.

“I want to thank him for his determination and hard work which has brought us so far. I have personally enjoyed working with Mac in every way and have benefited hugely from his years of experience in the health service”

Mr McKeever worked as a fast stream civil servant from the 1970s at the Department of Health and Social Care. He spent time as the private secretary to then NHS chief executive Sir Len Peach in the late 1980s.

He went on to hold a series of chief executive roles at both trusts and commissioning bodies during his 48 years in the health service.

He was the director general of health and community services in Jersey before moving to the Mid and South Essex health and care system in 2020 as interim system lead in 2020 and later becoming the ICB chief executive

Mid and South Essex ICB said Mr McKeever would remain in post while it starts the recruitment process for a new chief executive.