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Married trust CEO and ICS chair pair to step down

Published on: 18 Jul 2022

A mental health trust CEO has announced she is to retire after a 35-year career in the NHS, while her husband is also leaving his ICS chair role at the end of the year. 

Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber Foundation Trust chief executive Kathryn Singh will retire at Christmas after joining the trust seven years ago. The process to appoint a new CEO will begin in the coming weeks.

The departing CEO said she had made the decision to retire with her husband, Prem Singh, who also announced he would step down as chair of the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent ICS.

Ms Singh, who previously held leadership roles at Derbyshire Healthcare Trust, said: “After much thought and discussion with my husband, we have agreed that after my 35 years and his 47 years of working in the NHS, it is now time to retire and focus our time on the next chapter of our lives together… 

“I have had the pleasure of working with some immensely talented people who have both inspired and humbled me in equal measure.

“The challenges of the last two years with covid-19 have been made bearable through the enormous dedication and commitment I have seen in our RDaSH people.”

RDaSH chair Dave Vallance said: “It has been and still is a privilege to work alongside Kathryn. She is a very talented, dedicated and caring chief executive and will be missed by so many…

“Closer to the time I will be wishing her and her husband all the best in their joint retirements, but for the time being it will be business as usual as Kathryn serves a six-month notice period.”

Meanwhile, Mr Singh will stay on at Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent ICS until December to oversee the first few months of the new organisation, including the appointment of a substantive CEO and the establishment of the new integrated care partnership committee.

The long-serving former nurse will also be retiring from his role as Derbyshire Community Healthcare Trust chair. He was previously chair of George Eliot Hospital until 2019 and, in the early 2000s, was joint CEO of the former Central and Greater Derby primary care trusts.

Announcing his retirement, he said: “After successfully launching the new integrated care board, I am confident that I will be leaving the system in a strong position that will deliver better health and care for local people.

“This has been a joint decision taken with my wife, as we make plans to focus our time and energy on our family and the next chapter of our lives together.

“The scale of the task ahead to embed these new ways of working, whilst also leading the covid-19 recovery programme, is significant. I believe this requires a three to five year time commitment, which will not be possible with my personal life plans.”

He added: “I feel privileged to have worked with many excellent and dedicated people, over the years, and to have been part of welcoming this new era for health and care services.”

Peter Axon, interim CEO at Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent ICS, said: “I would like to thank Prem for his dedication and care, not just in our system but across his long service in health and social care. Prem will leave a strong legacy behind, and I wish him and his wife a very happy and fulfilling retirement.

“Prem will continue to work with us until December, embedding our new organisation and actively championing our long-term priorities, including reducing inequalities and working towards truly integrated health and care services.”

NHS England will oversee recruitment of a new ICS chair.