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East Midlands trust appoints former MP as new chair

Published on: 4 Oct 2021

Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust has appointed a former Labour MP as its new chair.

Claire Ward has been interim chair of the trust since April 2021, when its long-standing chair John Macdonald was seconded to University Hospitals of Leicester Trust.

Ms Ward has been a member of the Sherwood Forest board since 2013, during which time the trust improved from being in special measures and rated “inadequate” by the Care Quality Commission to having its main hospital site rated “outstanding” .

Ms Ward is a qualified solicitor who served as the Labour MP for Watford for 13 years, and served as a justice minister.

Over the last decade she also held a number of executive and non-executive roles in the community pharmacy sector and continues to work as a director with the Pharmacists Defence Association. She is also chief executive of the Institute for Collaborative Working and on the board of governors of at Hertfordshire University.

Ms Ward said of her substantive appointment: “I joined the board in 2013 in challenging times and have been part of the journey to where we are now. I am incredibly proud of the organisation and its people.”

Paul Robinson, interim CEO at Sherwood Forest Hospitals, said: “Clare has been a key part of our trust board for many years and over the past six months has led us with talent, compassion and a commitment to continuing to make things better for our colleagues and patients.”

The trust’s chief executive of four years Richard Mitchell left last month to lead UHL. Sherwood is yet to announce a substantive replacement.