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Search begins for a new Chair as Gary Page comes to the end of his Term of Office

​After nearly seven years serving on the Board Gary Page will come to the end of his current Term of Office as Chair of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) in the first quarter of next year.

Gary has spent nearly six years heading up the Board as Chair, and one year before that as a Non-Executive Director. As a foundation trust, the task of appointing a new Chair sits with the Trust's elected Council of Governors (COG), and in order to ensure a smooth transition the recruitment process has now begun.

Panels of stakeholders incorporating staff, service users, carers and partner organisations, will meet candidates shortlisted for the role and provide feedback to the interview panel, led by the Senior Independent Director, Tim Newcomb. Following a recommendation from the panel, it is expected that the CoG will approve a new Chair in December, who will then take over from Gary after a short handover period.

At the Board meeting today, Gary said: "This has been a very difficult few years for the Trust but I have always been enormously proud of the hard work and dedication of our amazing staff who do an incredible job in often very difficult circumstances. Over the last six months, we have rebuilt the Executive Team and I am convinced that the foundations have been laid for the Trust to move forward and build on the improvements that have already been made to services.

"Mental Health services are now being given the priority that they deserve and I hope this will further support the Trust in providing the services which local people are entitled to expect.

"During my tenure as Chair I have met some truly inspirational people among our staff, service users and carers and it has been a privilege to have been Chair during a time when the NHS and our Trust has faced some real challenges.

"I will always be committed to the NHS and will always be a champion of this Trust but having come to the end of my term it is now time to move on. I will fully support the new incumbent and, in the meantime, I look forward to the coming months supporting NSFT's continued work to improve our services and the Trust as a place to work."

Lead Governor, Catherine Wells, said: "Over the past six years as Chair, Gary has played a key role within the Trust, co-leading its efforts to improve services for service users and their families.

"His significant contribution during a very difficult period has provided continuity and stability. This is reflected in the high esteem with which he is held, and many people will be sad to see him leave the role.

"His professional support enabled me to take on the role as Lead Governor, and so I would like to add my own personal thanks.

"We are focusing our efforts on recruiting and appointing a new Chair of the same high calibre as Gary to continue to lead the CoG and Board of the Trust."

Two other Non-Executive Directors are now being recruited to replace vacancies on the Board and are expected to join the Trust in the autumn.

In November, Chief Nurse Diane Hull will join NSFT, and along with the new Chair and NEDs, this will complete the Board's recent transformation, which began with Antek Lejk's appointment as CEO in May.

Caption: Gary Page

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