How married mum who unexpectedly fell in love became an NHS role model

Tracy Myhill shares her experiences with Adrian Masters on 'Face To Face'

A woman who fell in love with her personal assistant has shared how her experience of coming out to her family helped her make the NHS more inclusive.

Tracy Myhill, from Tonypandy, started her career as a receptionist in Cardiff's dental hospital. From there, she went into HR and then began taking on senior leadership roles.

While working as an HR director, Tracy met her PA, Dee. The pair were both married with two young children each. Tracy and Dee fell in love, and this meant coming out to both their families and to their colleagues.

Tracy, who went on to be the chief executive of Swansea Bay University Health Board and the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: "It was a really scary time... we knew we had to do something about what was happening.

Tracy and Dee are now married and have four adult children Credit: Tracy Myhill

"It was really, really interesting and strange, but very, very strong."

Tracy said initially her mother had a difficult time accepting her sexuality but there was a turning point, which led to them rebuilding their relationship.

Tracy said her personal experiences have influenced the kind of leader she has become. In 2015, she was named Stonewall's 'Role Model of the Year'.

She said: "I think the reason people thought I was a role model was because I was open and I would tell my story a lot to encourage people.

"I've been supporting LGBT networks in the health service, supporting LGBT research nationally and things like that. And I supported the transgender community to bring as much of that service into Wales as we could, with the creation of the Welsh gender team.

"So either through personal sharing of stories or leading pieces of work, I would try to use my influence to help."

Tracy said the NHS is "unrecognisable" compared to when she started working 36 years ago.

"When I told my boss I was worried, I thought I might be marginalised 20 years ago, I wasn't, thankfully.

"Now I do think it's much, much better with many more role models in the NHS. There's always more to do but it's definitely, from my experience, a much more positive place to be able to be yourself."

Tracy Myhill was chief executive of Swansea Bay University Health Board during the pandemic Credit: Tracy Myhill/Swansea Bay University Health Board

Tracy stepped down as the chief executive of Swansea Bay University Health Board in December last year. She decided to retire earlier than planned because of illness in her family.

Tracy told ITV Cymru Wales that her mother died from cancer in 2019 and in the same year, her son who was 25 at the time, was also diagnosed with cancer. She says she is now doing well.

Tracy said: "That just shook me to the core and it still does. And that just changed my perspective."

"He has a CT scan at Velindre Hospital in Cardiff every year and bloods every six months, and he's had fantastic care from the NHS."

  • Find out more from Tracy Myhill on ITV Cymru Wales' Face To Face, presented by Adrian Masters. Watch the full episode tonight at 11.20pm and later online.