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New Chair for Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust

Marie Gabriel CBE has been appointed as Chair of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT).

Marie, who replaces acting NSFT Chair Tim Newcomb, will continue in her role as Chair of East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT), which is rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission. 

The appointment is part of a broadened package of support, drawing on the experience and expertise from ELFT, to make sustainable quality improvements for patients, service users and their families. 

ELFT has been ‘buddying’ with NSFT - which provides mental health and learning disability services across Norfolk and Suffolk - since it was placed into special measures for the second time in 2017. 

Dr Kathy McLean, Executive Medical Director and Chief Operating Officer at NHS Improvement said: “As Chair of ELFT, Marie leads one of the country’s top mental health trusts. Her expertise and leadership will be invaluable in her new role as NSFT works to make the sustainable changes needed to improve services for patients and service users.” 

Marie, who has been Chair of ELFT since October 2012, has more than 20 years of experience in senior roles within local government and the third sector. 

She said: “It is a huge honour to be joining NSFT as Chair and to be strengthening the support provided by ELFT. 

“I truly look forward to working with staff, service users, carers, partners and Board colleagues on our journey out of special measures, building on what the trust does well and drawing on ELFT’s successful improvement experience.”

NHS Improvement will continue to work closely with both trusts to ensure the enhanced support arrangement is working well. 

Antek Lejk, Chief Executive at NSFT, said: “We are delighted to welcome Marie to NSFT. She brings with her a wealth of experience after spending more than six years at the helm of a mental health trust which is rated ‘outstanding’, and we look forward to drawing on her knowledge and expertise as we continue to drive through improvements locally.

“We know that we need to ensure consistent good practice across the trust and bring all of our services up to the standard our patients and carers deserve. We will work closely with Marie and learn from the best practice which is in place at ELFT as we continue to transform our trust so that we can ensure we are providing safe, effective care for everyone in Norfolk and Suffolk.”

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