THE man who has been at the helm of Sheffield’s Children’s Hospital for the past 15 years is stepping down after dedicating more than four decades of his life to the NHS.
Chris Sharratt, chief executive of Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, will stand down this weekend - but will continue to use his skills and experience on a number of high profile Department of Health projects involving children’s services.
The 60-year-old led the hospital through the transition to create the trust, which now incorporates Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and more recently Children’s Community Services, which include health visitors and school nurses.
His leadership has been key in encouraging the development of the hospital into various specialist areas - resulting in its growth to become one of the most successful hospitals in the country, serving 330,000 patients a year from across the world.
Chris said: “Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust has been a fantastic place to work. I’ve overseen many changes in the last decade and feel that now is a good time for me to step back.
“The trust is a top-performing organisation and one of the best providers of children’s healthcare in the world, excelling in its service in many areas including neurosciences, orthopaedics, bone disease, oncology, bone marrow transplantation and genetics and will strive to stay at the forefront of new developments.”
The father-of-two said he could not pick a favourite moment from his 15 years at the hospital.
He added: “Just working here has been the highlight - the trust is a one-off.
“It really is a special place filled with staff and patients who bring hope and inspiration to families from across the country.
“The focus is on the children and the staff work over and above the call of duty for an obviously rewarding goal which is helping the children here.”
Chris officially leaves the trust on Sunday, and will be replaced by Simon Morritt, who joins from NHS Bradford and Airedale, on Monday. He will continue to live in Sheffield with his wife Karen.
He added: “I would like to pay tribute to the dedicated staff of the trust and to the local community for its marvellous support.
“The trust plays a key role in the hearts of many people. At one time or another most people will have visited us either as a patient, parent, staff member or visitor.
“I will be very sad to leave although I am of course looking forward to the new challenges ahead.”