Chief Executive Tracy Dowling to retire | News

Chief Executive Tracy Dowling to retire

Tracy Dowling has today announced that she is to retire as Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust. 

She is to leave her role in November after serving more than four years as CEO of the Trust and 38 years within the NHS.

Paying tribute to staff at CPFT, Tracy said: “It has been a true honour to have led the Trust since 2017, and in 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.

“I will continue to work hard with colleagues and partners between now and November to improve how together we address the needs of the people we serve.”

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. 

“She has worked tirelessly to build strong relationships within the local system enabling CPFT to be in a position where we’re respected for the contribution we make to improving the lives of the people we serve.

“She has been a committed, caring and compassionate leader, who has taken the time to listen and has been a real champion for our staff and patients - committed to doing the right thing by them.

“The Board is in the process of appointing a new Chief Executive who will continue to build on Tracy’s legacy, championing our services and staff, and continuing to build strong partnerships.”

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

Since joining as Chief Executive in 2017, Tracy has been at the forefront of how services are delivered across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, championing the need for health, social care and third sector providers to work together to ensure patients receive the very best care.  

During her time as Chief Executive, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated CPFT services as “good” during inspections in 2018 and 2019.

Tracy has also made the focus on equality, diversity and inclusion a top priority within the Trust, to ensure CPFT is a just, fair and equal place for everybody.

Tracy has been a champion and advocate for research, chairing the East of England Clinical Research Network and the Applied Research Collaboration. 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. In 2019 CPFT was commended by the Care Quality Commission as ‘outstanding’ for its research activity. 

The CPFT Board will seek to appoint a successor in September to enable a smooth transition before Tracy leaves in November. 

CPFT employs more than 4,000 staff who provide community physical healthcare for older people and those with long-term conditions, mental healthcare for children and adults, children’s health services in Peterborough, learning disability support and social care support.


For more information please contact:
Andrea Grosbois
Head of Communications and Engagement

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