THE chief executive of University Hospitals Dorset, Debbie Fleming, has announced her retirement and will step down from her post in March.

She said: “I feel incredibly privileged to be chief executive of such a fantastic organisation, made up of so many talented, skilled and dedicated people.

"I am confident that having successfully achieved our merger and established a strong platform for our new organisation, our Trust is now well-placed to appoint a new chief executive, who will take UHD through the next important phase of its development as it continues to go from strength to strength.”

She was appointed chief executive at Poole Hospital in 2014 where she served for five years before also being appointed as chief executive to the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals.

David Moss, chairman of UHD. said: “Debbie has been a phenomenal leader, managing our hospitals through the Covid pandemic, our merger with the creation of UHD, and a very ambitious transformation programme to help improve our hospitals for the future care of the people of our region."

Ms Fleming has been an NHS chief executive for 20 years, both within the acute sector and a number of commissioning organisations.

She was formerly chief executive for Bournemouth and Poole Primary Care Trust (PCT) then in 2010 was appointed chief executive for Hampshire PCT.