Sue Ryder announces new Chief Executive

24 Apr 2024

Sue Ryder, the national healthcare charity has appointed James Sanderson as the new Chief Executive. James will be joining Sue Ryder in August and will lead the charity to deliver its new long-term vision and strategy.

James is currently the National Director of Community Health Services, Personalised Care, and Palliative and End of Life Care at NHS England and brings a wealth of experience across the NHS and not-for-profit sector.

Speaking about his appointment, James said:

"I am delighted to be joining the brilliant team at Sue Ryder, to help lead the organisation in furthering its goal to ensure that no one should face death or grief alone. Every single one of us will one day have to face the end of our lives and most probably bereavement, and it is this universal certainty that drives the organisation in delivering the best possible outcomes for people.

“I am looking forward to working with staff, volunteers and everyone involved with Sue Ryder to grow the organisation and its impact, find innovative ways to continue to deliver the vision, and above all build a society where everyone who is dying or grieving can access the support they need.”

James’ announcement comes after the current Chief Executive, Heidi Travis, made the decision to semi-retire, following 14 years with the charity.

During Heidi’s time as Chief Executive, Sue Ryder has significantly expanded its palliative and end of life care, transformed itself into a leading bereavement support provider and reached millions of people across the UK via its brand and influencing campaigns. Heidi steered the organisation through the coronavirus pandemic and recently launched its ambitious new vision and strategy.

Rima Makarem, Chair of Trustees for Sue Ryder, said:

“Heidi leaves Sue Ryder in a strong position with an exciting future and will be greatly missed by the staff and volunteers.

“I am very excited to welcome James to Sue Ryder, and he brings a wealth of experience from across the NHS and the not-for-profit sector, including in palliative and end-of-life care. His experience means he will be held in high regard by our key audiences, including MPs and policy makers. His personal values align well with Sue Ryder's, and we are looking forward to working with him on delivering our vision and strategy.”

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About Sue Ryder
For over 65 years Sue Ryder's doctors, nurses and carers have given people the compassion and expert care they need to help them live the best life they possibly can.