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Former Master Cutler to become new Chair of St Luke’s Board of Trustees

A LEADING member of Sheffield’s business community has been appointed the new Chair of the Board of Trustees at St Luke’s.

Former Master Cutler Neil MacDonald will take over from Alex Pettifer MBE, who is retiring in September after eight years as Chair of the St Luke’s Board.

“The past eight years have been a time of enormous change for St Luke’s and it is a time of transition that I am extremely proud to have been a part of,” said Alex, the former Director of Estates and Facilities at Sheffield Hallam University.

“In that time we have seen St Luke’s regain its position as a national leader of the hospice movement with the launch of our new £5 million In Patient Centre, a project that could not have been completed without the support and enthusiasm of the people of Sheffield, together with investment in an expanded community nursing and medical team, helping more patients and families in their homes around Sheffield.

“More recently, I have enjoyed enormously being part of the purchase and development of Clifford House, which will provide a vital new approach to caring for the needs of the whole Sheffield community.

“And to have seen St Luke’s rated as an ‘Outstanding’ provider by the Care Quality Commission at the start of 2017 is the accolade that makes the past eight years of work seem even more worthwhile.

“The patients and families I have met have been inspirational and humbling, and to work with the volunteer and staff team at St Luke’s has been a wonderful experience.

“My passion for St Luke’s won’t be diminished and I’ll be a champion for their vision to help anyone affected by terminal illness in the future.”

Alex will now be taking up a place as a trustee of the South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation, which has supported thousands of charitable groups in South Yorkshire over the last 30 years, to improve the lives of local people.

Alex hands over the role of chairman to current deputy chair Neil MacDonald, a Sheffield University graduate and qualified Chartered Accountant, who spent most of his career in advanced manufacturing companies, being a former Finance Director at Firth Rixson and then AES Engineering.

He retired from Executive life before becoming Master Cutler in 2012 and now has a portfolio of roles including being an independent governor and pro Chancellor at Sheffield Hallam University, a trustee at Museums Sheffield and a non-executive director at Sheffield Children's Hospital.

“Having been a member of the St Luke’s board since 2012 I am very much looking forward to stepping up into this new role,” he said.

“The opening of Clifford House this year sees the start of a new and exciting chapter in the St Luke’s story and I know that the whole board is eager to tackle the challenges of taking St Luke’s forward to help people in new ways, whilst always retaining the highest quality care for Sheffield people that Alex has championed.”

Peter Hartland, our Chief Executive, paid tribute to Alex’s work and welcomed Neil’s appointment.

“Over the last eight years Alex has brought his well-known energy, dedication and no-nonsense approach to helping St Luke’s and the team here develop into a national leader in palliative care once again, something that our late Founder, Professor Eric Wilkes, would have had great pride in,” Peter said.

“Alex has helped St Luke’s to set new standards, and develop a new vision, whilst ensuring that we have a solid base for the future.

“Everyone in Sheffield should be very grateful for his efforts - we’ll miss him, and we wish him happiness for the future.

“We’re delighted that Neil MacDonald has agreed to take over from Alex, and we know that he, our board of trustees, and all our volunteers and staff will be here to build on these foundations for the future, for all those affected by terminal illness in Sheffield.”