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ABMU Chairman announces he is stepping down after six years

ABM University Health Board chairman, Andrew Davies, has announced he is stepping down after six years at the helm.

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He made his announcement at the final board meeting of ABM UHB before it becomes Swansea Bay University Health Board on 1st April.

However, Andrew, pictured below, will be staying in post over the next few months until a new chairman is appointed.

He said: “My decision to step down has been influenced by several factors. Being chairman of a health board in Wales is a demanding job, and I have spent nearly 40 years in public life and politics at a fairly senior level.


“Having put in place a new, impressive Board and a stable and effective Executive Team, very ably led by our Chief Executive, Tracy Myhill, I now feel it’s the right time to hand over the baton. In my experience, many people stay too long in their jobs and I am minded of HG Wells when he said, ‘Leaders should lead as far as they can and then vanish. Their ashes should not choke the fire they have lit’.

“The son of a nurse and teacher, public service is in my DNA and blood. However I am now in my late 60s and I am taken with the words of Welsh poet WH Davies when he said, ‘What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare’.

“I believe it is time for me to stand and stare, and hand over to someone new, with fresh ideas and perhaps greater energy than I can now summon.

“As colleagues know, I also got married last year and it would be good to have more time to enjoy my new state with Zou after 30 years of single hood!”

Andrew is also writing a book with a colleague from Swansea University on the first 20 years of devolution in Wales, which would be difficult to publish while still holding public office.

Announcing his departure as the health board moved on to its next phase seemed the natural time.

Andrew Davies

Andrew added: “I feel I can hand over the reins as I believe this health board is now in a safe and much more stable position than it was when I became chairman, and on an improving trajectory. We effectively have a new board, as strong as any I’ve seen, with a stable and effective team and a dynamic Chief Executive in Tracy, who has brought real leadership and grip to the organisation.”

During his time as chairman Andrew successfully steered the organisation through a number of significant challenges, including the 2013 measles outbreak and the 2014 Trusted to Care report and Targeted Intervention in 2016.

He oversaw the development of the health board’s values – caring for each other, working together and always improving. More than 6,000 patients, staff and carers took part in this over several months; proving it to be an outstanding exercise in engagement and collaborative working.

Andrew was also instrumental in forging stronger links between the health board and its partners, particularly local councils and Swansea University, and closer partnership working with Hywel Dda University Health Board. He is also chairman of ARCH (A Regional Collaboration for Health).

Andrew also introduced the Chairman’s Values into Practice Awards to recognise staff who have gone above and beyond; along with the Patient Choice Awards and also the staff Long Service Awards.

Chief Executive, Tracy Myhill, said: “Andrew leaves us with a powerful legacy, and we thank him for his hard work and strong leadership over the past six years.

“His vision to develop a 21st century collaborative health economy, delivering first class health and social care is now well underway, and we hope that he will take great satisfaction in watching it develop still further in the years ahead.

“We wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”