A senior director at outsourcing giant Serco is to step down from her role to become the chief executive of the Huntercombe Group, a hospital and specialist care centre provider.

Valerie Michie, currently managing director of Serco Health, will join the company, a subsidiary of Four Seasons Health Care in the summer.

Ms Michie is due to leave Serco Health in June, the company confirmed in a statement.

Ms Michie has previously worked in Alfred McAlpine Business Services and KPMG consulting. She is a board member of HealthcareUK and chair of the Confederation of British Industry’s health committee.

The Huntercombe Group provides specialist treatment for brain injury rehabilitation and mental health issues to adults, children and adolescents. It treats 1,200 NHS-referred patients a year.

Ms Michie will be the first manager to take up the newly-created role of chief executive. The group’s managing director of seven years, Margaret Cudmore, recently informed colleagues of her intention to step down from the company, HSJ understands.

Ms Michie said: “There is nothing more important to me than improving the lives of the people that we serve and supporting our staff to give of their best. I am excited to be joining the Huntercombe Group team and look forward to contributing to its ongoing success story.

“Huntercombe’s reputation is founded on clinical excellence and innovation and I will continue to hold those attributes dear.”​

The announcement comes as the group’s parent company, which cares for 22,000 patients across the country, told HSJ that it plans to bid for NHS work in the older care market.

Four Seasons’ chairman Ian Smith said that he wanted to work with other firms to provide an “integrated solution” for NHS-funded older person care.

Mr Smith added that the company looks to bid as a prime contractor with a handful of partners, providing home care, residential care and other specialist services for frail elderly patients.

He said it had already established “a relationship with one of the biggest providers of domiciliary care in the country”.

The company refused to be drawn on the scale of its ambitions.

Speaking about Ms Michie’s appointment, Mr Smith said: “Valerie has a successful track record in the health sector and in leading businesses providing critical services that people rely on.

“Valerie will bring valuable expertise to our Group and I look forward to working with her.”

Andrew White, chief executive of Serco’s local and regional government division, said: “Valerie Michie will be leaving her role as managing director of Serco Healthcare in June to take up a new role as CEO of The Huntercombe Group.

“I wish her well as she takes on this new and exciting challenge.”

He added: “Serco remains committed to the health market, and I look forward to appointing a successor who is passionate about high-quality healthcare services and who shares our ethos of delivering by listening to clients, patients and our staff.’