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New chair appointed

We are delighted to have appointed Sheila Childerhouse as our new chair.

Sheila, who has vast experience of both the public and voluntary sector, will replace Mr Roger Quince, whose term ends in December.

Having served on various local and regional health bodies since 1984 in non-executive and chair roles, most recently at the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) and Anglian Community Enterprise, Sheila brings a wealth of expertise to the position.

Commenting on her appointment, Sheila said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as chair of the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust. This is very much my local system on which my own family depend.

“This is a challenging time for all NHS organisations but west Suffolk is in a strong place and has demonstrated some exceptional performance in relation to staff engagement and quality of care. I believe passionately in a more integrated system of health and care and welcome the progress they have made in this.”

The chair is responsible for leading the Board, Council of Governors, and representing the interests of patients and the organisation locally, regionally and nationally.

Chief executive Stephen Dunn, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Sheila’s appointment and I am confident that the Trust will benefit hugely from her extensive experience and expertise.

“We are looking forward to working closely with Sheila to ensure our services are the best they can be for our patients. I have no doubt Sheila will be fundamental in helping us overcome our next challenge of fully integrating our community services, and that together this new leadership will help us to build on our strengths, our future direction, and ways of working.”

Prior to joining EEAST in 2013, Sheila was chair of NHS Norfolk and Waveney and deputy chair of the East of England Development Agency. She has also held roles as interim chair of The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Trust (2005), and chair of the national NHS Confederation Rural Sub Group (20014-2012).

Current chairman Roger, who is stepping down after a successful 10-year tenure at the Trust, said: “I truly welcome this excellent appointment. With Sheila’s wide range of NHS experience, I know that she will be exceptionally well-placed to help carry the Trust forward, and to help it meet the challenges ahead.”

Stephen added: “I would also like to express my sincere thanks to Roger on behalf of everyone at our trust. As a chair he has gone above and beyond, and we are immensely grateful for his unwavering dedication to, and leadership of, our hospital and services.”

Sheila’s appointment was ratified at the Trust's governors’ meeting last night (Wednesday, 11 October). Sheila hopes to take up the role in January 2018.


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Sheila Childerhouse, West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust's new chair

Sheila Childerhouse, West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust's new chair