The recently retired chairman of Brighton’s main hospital trust has died after a short illness.
Julian Lee, 70, stepped down in May after almost seven years as chairman of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust. The trust runs the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.
Mr Lee died suddenly last Thursday (22 September) at East Surrey Hospital, his family said.
He was a chartered accountant by background, rising to become a partner at Arthur Andersen. He then held senior positions in the private sector before becoming the chairman of NHS Brighton and Hove – the old primary care trust – for three years from 2006 to 2009.
In July 2009 he succeeded Glyn Jones as the chairman of the hospital trust and subsequently became a member of the General Medical Council (GMC) governing body.
Both of his parents were doctors and two of his five children pursued medical careers. Eleven more of his relatives were also doctors.Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals chief executive Gillian Fairfield said in a message to staff: “It is with great sadness that I have to tell you that the trust’s former chair Julian Lee passed away last week.
“Julian stepped down as chair of the board at the trust in May of this year after almost seven years, during which time he played a major role in helping to secure the £485 million funding for the redevelopment of the County Hospital.
“He made significant contributions to the local NHS in the last ten years, both at BSUH and in his previous role as chair of Brighton and Hove City Primary Care Trust.
“Julian’s family are holding a private funeral but will be organising a celebration of his life at some point over the next few weeks as well as a charity for people to donate to.
“I’m sure I speak for everyone at the trust when I say that all our heartfelt thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”
A former colleague said: “Everyone liked and respected him.”He joined the accountants Arthur Andersen in 1969, becoming an international tax partner, before leaving in 1981 to become international chief operating officer of the trading business Phibro Salomon. The firm was based in London and New York.
In 1985 Mr Lee was appointed joint managing director of British and Commonwealth, which owned Bristow Helicopters, spending just over a year in the post.
At the same time he became chief executive of British and Commonwealth’s Bricom offshoot, staying for almost seven years before a 10-year spell as the chairman of Allied Carpets.
He also served as a non-executive director of the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Legal Services Commission and, more recently, the Parole Board.
When he retired from Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals in May he said: “It has been a privilege to have been chair of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust over the last seven years and I feel proud to have been able to play a part in some of the good work that has been achieved during this time.
“In particular, securing the £485 million funding for the redevelopment of the Royal Sussex County Hospital was a significant milestone in the history of the trust and one that will bring long-lasting benefits to future generations.”
He is survived by his widow Lesley, their five children and five grandchildren.
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