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chief executive Sir Andrew MorrisTrust chief executive Sir Andrew Morris heads the annual list of top leaders of NHS trusts, published this week by health management journal the HSJ.

Sir Andrew, who is CEO of hospital services at Frimley Park Hospital near Camberley, Wexham Park near Slough and Heatherwood in Ascot, is number one in the list of the top 50 chief executives.

He has been rated in the top 10 since the list was first compiled in 2014, and was ranked fourth last year. This is the first time he has topped it.

Pradip Patel, chairman of Frimley Health NHS FT, said: “It is an absolute pleasure and privilege for me to work with a chief executive who is such a great leader and truly leads by example, not just in Frimley Health but in the wider local and national health and care system.”

The judging panel comprised eminent healthcare leaders from across the UK. In its editorial, the HSJ said Sir Andrew received praise from judges as much for his commitment to mentoring fellow chief executives and others as his success in running great hospitals.

Sir Andrew is one of the longest serving chief executives in the NHS, having taken over at Frimley Park Hospital in 1989.

He led through the establishment of the Ministry of Defence unit at Frimley Park in 1996 and the trust’s successful application to become one of the first to acquire foundation status in 2005.

He was in charge when Frimley Park Hospital NHS FT was the first in the country to be rated as ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission.

In 2014 he led the acquisition of Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospital NHS FT and has overseen a turnaround in performance that has been described by the Chief Inspector of Hospitals Prof Sir Mike Richards as ‘the most impressive example of improvement’ he had seen.

He was recently appointed to lead the transformation of all health and social care services in the region’s sustainability and transformation plan (STP) and in 2016 he was made an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.

He was knighted in the 2015 New Year’s Honours for services to healthcare.

Pradip added: “Sir Andrew truly lives and breathes doing the very best for our people and our patients 24/7.

“Our three values - working together, committed to excellence and facing the future - define what Sir Andrew is all about. They are in his DNA.”

Frimley Health continues to perform as one of the best hospital trusts in England in spite of increasing demands across the NHS.