Manx Care's chairman, Andrew Foster CBE, has died following a short illness.

Manx Care offered its 'sincere and heartfelt condolences' to Mr Foster’s wife, Sara, his children and grandchildren, and his broader circle of family and friends.

A spokesman for the organisation, which is responsible for day-to-day health operations, said: '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.'

The spokesman added that Mr Foster was a family man at his heart.

'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,' the spokesman.

'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.'

Manx Care added: '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.'