It is with great sadness that we can confirm that our Chairman, Andrew Foster CBE, has passed away following a short illness.
On behalf of Manx Care, we would like to offer our sincere and heartfelt condolences to Andrew’s wife, Sara, his children and grandchildren, and his broader circle of family and friends who are very much in our thoughts today.
We would also like to recognise our own colleagues and our many counterparts in the UK NHS who were privileged to work with Andrew during his long and very distinguished career, and whose lives and careers he touched with his warmth and wisdom. We recognise how this news will also affect them.
Andrew Foster was a consummate Chairman, leading the Manx Care Board with clarity of thought, and compassion for patients and service users. A strong and influential leader, he was a real advocate for engaging with his colleagues in order to create a culture of openness, improvement and transparency. Within Manx Care he has laid firm foundations for high standards of care, transparency and accountability, and it was his vision and determination that led us all on the start of our journey to become the best small Island health and social care system in the world. He was dedicated to his role, and we are all devastated that we have lost him so quickly and far too soon.
Andrew was, at his heart, a family man. He told us this on our first Board development session in the winter of 2020, held over Teams due to the Covid restrictions in place at the time. Patting his left shoulder, he said:
‘I’m never happier than when I am carrying my baby grandchildren on my shoulder’.
He talked a lot about his family and the importance he placed on them in his life.
As a person, he was a truly wonderful and kind man. He was incredibly modest and passionate about his career, and had the somewhat unique experience of having worked for years as a very successful Chief Executive in the UK NHS, followed by years of experience as a Chair. He had such a comprehensive insight into the intricacies of health service leadership, and always empowered and supported his colleagues across all levels of the organisation at every opportunity. He made such an impression on so many people, without ever fully realising the impact that his sound, sage and thoughtful advice had on them.
Andrew will be sorely missed by many, none more so than his family.
As a Board, we will miss his friendship, his leadership, and his unrelenting commitment to improvement within the health and social care system. His legacy will live on through the significant contribution he has made both here on the Island, and further afield in the UK.
Sarah Pinch (Interim Chair), Teresa Cope (CEO)