Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn Foundation Trust has appointed a former banker as chair as it rebuilds a top team following the departures of its chair and chief executive.
Chris Lawrence, a non-executive director at West Suffolk Hospital FT since 2021, will replace Steve Barnett, who left the Norfolk DGH to become chair of North West Anglia FT.
Mr Lawrence has over a decade’s worth of experience in NHS non-executive director roles, having completed two full terms as chair of Hertfordshire Partnership University FT as well as his stint at WSHFT.
Before that, he had several notable executive roles, including in the financial services sector.
A trust statement said: “Mr Lawrence’s previous roles include managing director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and senior positions at banking firms including Lloyds, Citicorp, and Rothschild.
“He specialised in international mergers and acquisitions and was a senior partner and member of the leadership team that managed the international mergers of Price Waterhouse and Coopers and Lybrand in over 100 countries.”
Norfolk resident Mr Lawrence will officially take up the post in October, taking over from Graham Ward, who has been acting chair since April.
Top of the in-tray will be finding a new chief executive following the departure of Caroline Shaw, who recently departed to join become chief operating officer at health tech firm Evergreen Life.
Ms Shaw and Mr Barnett left on a high with the trust taken out of special measures in February after four years in the regulatory quality regime. The Care Quality Commission upgraded the trust’s overall rating from “inadequate” to “requires improvement”.
But with an incredibly tough winter ahead, the new leadership duo face a huge challenge to maintain improvements and build towards getting the trust rated good.
The trust statement added: “During [Mr Lawrence’s tenure at HPUFT] it was rated ‘outstanding’ by the CQC and named Health Service Journal’s mental health trust of the year for its work in mental health and learning disabilities across Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Norfolk and Essex.”
Mr Lawrence said: “I consider myself as an East Anglian man, having lived in Norfolk for over 20 years, as well as having seen the development of NHS services across the region.
“My decade of experience in the NHS in chair and non-executive roles has given me much insight into the NHS locally and nationally.
”I am very much looking forward to leading The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in the next stage of its hugely exciting journey, as we look to build on our recent Care Quality Commission success, further improve patient and staff experience, secure a new hospital and work more closely across the integrated care systems in Norfolk and Waveney, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire for the benefit of our patients and the communities we serve.”