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The Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell will leave his role as chair of the NHS Confederation later this year, it has been announced.
Mr Dorrell, who has held the role since October 2015, has now decided to step down to dedicate more time to political activities.
A former secretary of state for health from 1995 to 1997, Mr Dorrell is chair of European Movement – an organisation in favour of European integration and reform of the European Union.
He also ran as a candidate on the Change UK list in the West Midlands in the recent European Parliament Election.
As NHS Confederation chair, he recruited the chief executive Niall Dickson and helped the organisation take on a leadership role in the health sector.
NHS Confederation will start looking for Mr Dorrell’s successor this month.
Mr Dorrell said: ‘It has been a privilege and an honour to lead the NHS Confederation at this critical time in the evolution of the health service.
‘I know the Confederation will continue to make a vital contribution, both in terms of our support for members and in speaking truth to power.’
Commenting on Mr Dorrell’s departure, Mr Dickson said that his expertise and knowledge ‘have greatly benefited the Confederation and our members’.
He said: ‘He helped steer us through a new strategy and vision for the organisation that will ensure we provide greater support to our members and exert greater influence on their behalf with national policy-makers.
‘We are grateful to him for his support and guidance over the past four years, and he will leave strong foundations for our next chair to build on.’