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Former NHS England chief appointed chair of four trusts

Published on: 8 Feb 2022

Former NHS England deputy chief executive Matthew Swindells has been appointed chair of all north west London’s acute trusts.

He will chair Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Foundation Trust, The Hillingdon Hospitals FT, Imperial College Healthcare Trust and London North West University Healthcare Trust from April 2022.

Mr Swindells held the post of NHSE deputy CEO from 2015 until he left during the controversial re-organisation of the NHS England and NHS Improvement leadership in the spring of 2019.

He was previously a senior policy adviser to then health secretary Patricia Hewitt before becoming the NHS’s first chief information officer and then a senior executive at healthcare IT giant Cerner.

Mr Swindells will be the only chair to be responsible for four trusts. His appointment is in line with the trend of providers moving to shared leadership arrangements, particularly in London.  

He said: “I am delighted to take up this role, particularly as someone who lives and uses health services in north west London.

“The scale of opportunity we have to improve health by working together is huge. We already have brilliant staff and teams, strong local leadership and high-quality research.

“Combined with the successful collaboration we have seen to date, these are the pillars we need to develop our health system in north west London to be one of the most outstanding health systems globally.

“I look forward to returning to the NHS to work closely with colleagues across the patch, who I know share my passion for working with local communities to achieve the best possible health and care for everyone.”

The four acute trusts see the appointment of a joint chair as a “key next step in strengthening collaboration” ahead of a move towards becoming a formal acute care collaborative. All four will remain separate organisations.

Steve Gill has served as interim chair of CWHFT since March 2021 in anticipation of the recent appointment of a joint chair across the four north west London acute trusts, as has Bob Alexander at ICHT since April of the same year.

Lord Amyas Morse, who has served as joint chair of THHFT and LNWUHFT since January 2020, is seeing out the end of his term.