Skip to content
18 March 2024

St Michael's Hospice Chief Executive Mike Keel to retire

Mike Keel to retire as St Michael's Hospice Chief Executive

Mike Keel to stand down after eight years at the helm

The Chief Executive of St Michael’s Hospice has announced his retirement after eight years at the helm.

Mike Keel will leave his role at the Bartestree-based Hospice at the end of this month. During his tenure, Mr Keel has overseen the charity’s extended reach to the point where last year it was caring for more people than at any point in its 40-year history.

Mr Keel will be replaced by Matt Fellows, previously Chief Executive at Age UK Gloucestershire. 

“It’s been an enormous privilege to have held this role, and I will miss everyone at St Michael’s,” said Mr Keel. “A lot has happened in the last eight years, but what hasn’t changed is the importance of delivering high-quality palliative and end-of-life care. I’ve witnessed this throughout my time here, and I leave knowing the community is in safe hands thanks to the quality and compassion of our clinical staff, the dedication of our fundraising team, and the unwavering loyalty and generosity of our community.” 

Despite caring for 2,500 people in Herefordshire and its borders each year, less than a quarter of the charity’s care costs are covered by the government. The shortfall is delivered through fundraising by the community.

“What will forever stay with me is the determination and commitment from St Michael’s supporters,” added Mr Keel. “Their loyalty to the Hospice is inspiring, and never ceases to amaze me.”

Mr Keel took up the role in 2015 from Nicky West. Around this time, Hospice services saw their biggest expansion with the opening of the new 20-bed Inpatient Unit, followed in 2016 by the Hospice at Home service which was rolled out across the county. Today, the majority of St Michael’s patients are cared for in their own homes through this service. Mr Keel leaves as St Michael’s begins celebrations to mark its 40th year. He says the milestone is an ideal opportunity to remember the hard work of the small team of pioneers who almost half a century ago developed the idea for a hospice in Herefordshire.

“The whole community has an enormous amount to thank Freda Pearce, Richard Miller and Jeff Kramer for. Their foresight was the catalyst for what we have today,” he said. “The world has changed a lot since 1984, but what stands out to me is what hasn’t changed, and that’s the core purpose and ethos of St Michael’s. Throughout this time, it has provided quality free-of-charge end-of-life care to anyone in our community, whenever they require it. I’ve every confidence this will continue long into the future.”

Mr Keel will retire at the end of March, with Matt Fellows officially taking over from 1st April.

To find out more about events marking the Hospice’s 40th year, click here

Sign up now to hear about how we care for families across Herefordshire and beyond and how you can help