Cambridgeshire health chief to retire after 38 years with the NHS

Chief executive of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust

Tracy Dowling, chief executive of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust. - Credit: Archant

The chief executive of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) has announced she will retire later in the year.

Tracy Dowling’s career with the NHS spans 38 years, and she will leave her present role in November.

The search for her successor is already underway.

Reflecting on her four years at the helm of CPFT, Tracy said it had been a "true honour" to have led the trust.

She said: " that time, I have been inspired and humbled by the incredible commitment, expertise and kindness of my colleagues.

“The last 18 months dealing with the pandemic has been particularly tough on us all.

“I have been so impressed and proud of how our staff have risen to the challenge, demonstrating incredible strength, compassion and determination to advocate for our patients and carers in the most extreme circumstances.”

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Tracy started her NHS career as a radiographer before moving into operations and health service management, including 16 years at boardroom level.

Since joining CPFT as the chief executive in 2017, she has championed the need for health, social care and third sector providers to work together for patients.

In that time, the Care Quality Commission rated the services as “good” during their 2018 and 2019 inspections.

Tracy has focused on making equality, diversity and inclusion a priority at the trust.

She has also been a champion and advocate for research.

Under her leadership, CPFT has become the second highest performing trust for mental health research and is consistently in the top five research trusts in the East of England.

Julie Spence, chair of CPFT, said: “On behalf of the board I would like to thank Tracy for her unwavering dedication to the Trust, our patients and staff.

“She has been a phenomenal chief executive, and her vision, leadership and relentless determination has transformed services for people living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

“Tracy has successfully led CPFT through its greatest ever challenge – the worst pandemic in a century - while continuing to promote and support innovation and research, shining a light on CPFT’s work on a regional and national stage.”