South London and Maudsley plans transition as Dr Matthew Patrick announces his intention to retire as chief executive in the summer of 2019

Roger Paffard Chair, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) has announced that Dr Matthew Patrick will be retiring from his role as chief executive in July 2019, after six very successful years at the helm.

Matthew has decided to step down from the role of chief executive after 34 years in the NHS, including twelve years as a chief executive – as he wishes to reduce his working commitments, while ensuring an orderly and smooth transition for his successor.

Matthew originally trained as a psychiatrist at the Maudsley and subsequently trained as a psychoanalyst. He held a number of senior clinical and managerial posts before becoming chief executive of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in 2007. He took up his role as chief executive of SLaM in 2013, still combining clinical leadership with management.

He has contributed widely to national mental health strategy and policy over many years through his roles including as: chair of key Royal College of Psychiatry reference groups; positions on the board of two Academic Health Science Centres (University College London and King’s Health Partners); as mental health director for NHS England London Region (2012-2015); as a member of the south east London STP executive and co-chair of both the mental health work stream and the clinical programme board.

More recently Matthew chaired the London Mental Health Mental Health Response to Major incidents Board - set up to oversee and co-ordinate London’s NHS response to terrorist events in the capital after the London Bridge terror attack.

Matthew’s current board roles outside of SLaM include: the oversight Board for Thrive London; the Board of the South London CLAHRC, the board of the Cicely Saunders Institute, the Board of the Maudsley Charity, and the steering group established to advise the Duchess of Cambridge on early years’ mental health.

Dr Matthew Patrick said:
“It has been an absolute privilege to work for my whole professional career within the NHS, an institution that I love dearly. To have had the opportunity within the NHS to have an academic, a clinical and a managerial career feels remarkably lucky. It has been a great honour to have been the chief executive of two organisations of international repute and lead such talented and committed staff who day in day out do their utmost to deliver excellent care to our patients and service users. I am making the decision now as it feels like the right time for me and my family.

“I am still keen to contribute to the NHS and healthcare more broadly and am looking forward to new opportunities and challenges, and to continuing to make a contribution for as long as that is valuable.”

Roger Paffard said:
“Matthew is an inspirational leader. He can feel justifiably proud of the progress this trust has made on both the national and international stage in championing mental health, and in driving clinical improvements and innovation. He is an outstanding chief executive, and a delight to work with. He is an inspiration to other clinicians considering a role in executive leadership.

“In his six-year tenure, huge strides have been made in system collaboration and partnership working in south London, delivering real improvements to the 1.3 million population we serve. His leadership role in the development of pioneering new vehicles in integrated care, including the South London Mental Health and Community Partnership and the population-based alliances in Lambeth and Croydon, is widely recognised and appreciated by our partners.
“The search for Matthew’s successor will now start with immediate effect.”

Matthew will be continuing to be full-time chief executive of SLaM until July 2019, to allow the trust time to appoint his successor and ensure a smooth transition. From July, he will then provide longer-term continuity as Senior Executive Director – Young People and International. In this role, he will be responsible for two stand-alone developments that will be launched in 2019, and will require dedicated leadership and oversight.

The first is an ambitious vision for improving the mental health of children and young people, linked with a new Centre for Young People’s Mental Health. The programme of research and clinical innovation will be led by a powerful collaboration of the trust with the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London, part of King’s Health Partners. The second is contributing to the development of the Maudsley brand and work internationally, including the provision of clinical services, training and education.

In both roles, Matthew will provide the continuity of leadership to ensure that these important new initiatives have a real impact on the health and wellbeing of our local communities.