The chief executive of the South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust has announced she will be taking voluntary early retirement after 25 years NHS service. Judith Young has been the chief executive of the Trust since it was set up in April 2002.
Judith began her career as a residential social worker in both mental health and learning disability services before becoming a clinical psychologist and working in practice for around ten years. She has also worked as a commissioner of services, including as a Health Authority chief executive.
Speaking about her retirement Judith said, "I have had a fantastic career in the NHS going back to 1981 and I have had the privilege of working both with individuals as a practitioner and at a strategic level to create better NHS services for the people of Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield.
"The last four years have been a particular highlight of my career. I am pleased to be leaving behind a sound organisation with a culture of openness and engagement which has delivered many improvements so that people with mental health problems and learning disabilities can lead fulfilling lives.
"I am enormously grateful for the support and encouragement I have received from the many people I have come into contact with during my time in the NHS, including, staff, people who use our services, their carers, colleagues in partner organisations and the voluntary sector, union representatives and politicians. I will be sad to leave the NHS, but feel I have reached a stage in my life when I want to be able to pursue other personal interests."
Chairman of the Trust Sukhdev Sharma said, "I would like to thank Judith for her hard work and dedication to the Trust during the past four and a half years in which she has helped to create a sound, well run organisation. Thanks to her leadership the Trust has a well deserved reputation for involving service users, carers, staff and stakeholders to create better services for people with mental health problems and learning disabilities. On behalf of everyone at the Trust I would like to wish Judith all the best for the future."
Steven Michael – who is currently deputy chief executive of the Trust – will become acting chief executive until a formal appointment process takes place.