The Chair of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) has stepped down a few weeks earlier than originally planned, and will leave the Trust with immediate effect.
Gary Page was due to leave NSFT early next year when his latest term of office comes to an end, but has made the decision to stand down early to allow the Trust’s new leadership team to drive forward improvement work.
Current Vice Chair Tim Newcomb will act up as Chair of both the Board of Directors and Council of Governors until a permanent Chair is appointed in December.
Mr Page, who joined NSFT as a Non-Executive Director in 2012, said: “I believe it is in the best interests of the Trust for me to make way now so that those who are going to be part of the new leadership team can take forward the work that needs to be done to address the challenges which continue to face the Trust.
“It has been a great privilege to be Chair of NSFT. I have seen first-hand the amazing work which our staff do to support some of the most vulnerable people in Norfolk and Suffolk, often in the most difficult of circumstances. Whilst significant challenges remain, I believe the new team we have in place has the experience, drive and commitment to make the necessary changes in order to deliver the quality of care which our service users deserve. I wish them every success in the future.”
Antek Lejk, Chief Executive, said: “On behalf of both our Board and staff, I would like to thank Gary for the commitment and determination he has shown to improving our Trust for the benefit of service users, carers and staff over the past seven years.
“During his time in office, mental health services have been given increasing priority and the importance of fair funding has risen up the agenda, both locally and nationally. Over the last six months, Gary has also played a key role in helping to build our new Executive Team and recruit three new Non-Executive Directors, in turn laying firm foundations on which we can build over the coming months and years.
“Although we fully appreciate that there are still challenges ahead, we are confident that we have the right skills and experience in place to drive through improvements while retaining our focus on providing safe, effective services which meet the needs of local people.”
The process to appoint Mr Page’s replacement began in September after he announced his decision to stand down. Stakeholders, including staff, service users, carers and partner organisations, will be given the chance to meet shortlisted candidates, as well as the opportunity to provide feedback to the interview panel.
The panel will then make a recommendation to the Council of Governors, who are expected to approve a new Chair in December.
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