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Trust chair to step down

Sheila Childerhouse will step down from her role as chair of the organisation in January 2022.

Sheila Childerhouse said: “It is with great sadness that I have taken the decision to step down as chair of the Trust. I recognise and take personal accountability for the failings identified in the independent review into whistleblowing, and believe it is in the best interests of the organisation, our staff, patients and community that I do. It is important that the Trust is not distracted as we move forward, rebuild and continue our work to create an open, fair and inclusive organisation. The last two years have been exhausting for all involved and I remain sincerely sorry to the staff and families affected.

“It has been an honour to serve the Trust and the communities we care for since 2017. I am immensely proud of our staff and the outstanding, compassionate care we provide. I have met many brilliant people over the years and thank my colleagues for their support and friendship. I wish you all well for the future and look forward to seeing the exciting new hospital developments that our patients, staff and community so deserve, come to fruition.”

Our Council of Governors will proceed with the appointment of an interim chair whilst a recruitment process for the long-term post takes place over the coming months.

Liz Steele, lead governor for our Council of Governors, said: “On behalf of the Council of Governors we thank Sheila for her service to the Trust. We will look to appoint an interim chair while we get underway with a full recruitment process for the position. As we look to the future, we are motivated to help make a difference, represent the voice of staff and patients and make improvements that will support the organisation and those it cares for as we move forward.”

Interim chief executive Craig Black said: “Over the years Sheila has played a lead role in the successful integration of community services within the Trust, and has ensured, through her involvement in the Suffolk and North East Essex integrated care system’s chairs group, that the West Suffolk has had a voice when looking to the future of local health and care services. This is especially true in all the work she has done in the background in relation to the proposed new hospital.

“On behalf of the Board, thank you Sheila and very best wishes for the future.”

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Sheila Childerhouse will step down from her role as chair of the organisation in January 2022.

Sheila Childerhouse will step down from her role as chair of the organisation in January 2022.