Former council boss appointed as Trust Chair

Former local authority CEO Merran McRae has been appointed as the new Chair of Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT) – taking up this important leadership role from 1 January 2023.

A picture of Merran McRae Merran (pictured) will take over from Dr Sue Proctor who comes to the end of her six-year tenure in December 2022. Sue recently blogged about her reflections of her time in office on our website.

Dr Sara Munro, Chief Executive of LYPFT, said: “I’m delighted to announce that Merran is going to be our new Chair.

“Merran has already provided fantastic support to us as a non-executive director for nearly a year. As a former director of adult social care and chief exec of two different councils, she has the skills, experience and leadership qualities for this role and I am very much looking forward to working with her and learning from her.

“Merran follows in the footsteps of Sue Proctor who not only brought incredible experience and rigour to the Board, but also compassion and pragmatism too. Sue will be missed, and we wish her well for the future.”

Merran McRae commented: “LYPFT is a fantastic organisation and I’m proud and excited to be part of leading its future.

“I’m keen to focus on getting to grips with all the partnership working in West Yorkshire, helping LYPFT play its part, and making sure it has positive impact for our service users and staff. I also want to focus on workforce challenges, and work hard to understand how we attract and keep colleagues, making sure we are a great place to work.

“A major attraction of the role for me is also the involvement of service users and I’m keen to look at how we embed co-production in how our services develop. I was also very drawn by the commitment of colleagues right across the organisation and the imagination and care they show every day.

“I’m looking forward to getting to know staff teams in more depth and to working with the governors and fellow directors to help LYPFT to continue to shine in the future.”

The Trust’s Council of Governors ratified Merran’s appointment as Chair of the Trust earlier in November after a rigorous recruitment and selection process.

Les France, Lead Governor at LYPFT, commented: “I very much welcome Merran’s appointment as Trust Chair. We were impressed with her focus on people, service users and staff alike.

“Merran demonstrated her leadership qualities and attention to detail which gave us confidence she was the right person for the job.

“Under Merran’s leadership I believe we’ll build on the outstanding legacy that Sue leaves, enabling us to meet the challenges and the opportunities we have as we strive to provide high quality mental health services for the communities we serve.”

Merran came into post as a Non-Executive Director at LYPFT on 1 January 2022. Since then, she has Chaired our Mental Health Legislation Committee, and sat on our Workforce Committee.

Merran has over thirty years’ experience in local government and has held the positions of Director of Adult Social Care and Chief Executive at both Calderdale and Wakefield Councils. She’s led services across housing, social care, culture and community development.

Merran has professional qualification in housing, an MBA and is also a qualified executive coach. She retired from her full-time career in 2020 to undertake short term consultancy and interim work in the public sector, as well as being on the Boards of several charities.

Merran will take over as Chair of the Trust on 1 January 2023. Until then our Non-Executive Director Helen Grantham will be Acting Chair.