Introducing our new Chairman

31 October 2007

Professor Christopher Edwards, who succeeded Juggy Pandit as the new Trust Chairman on November 1, is already well known to many staff at Chelsea and Westminster.

Professor Christopher Edwards, who succeeded Juggy Pandit as the new Trust Chairman on November 1, is already well known to many staff at Chelsea and Westminster.

He was the first Principal of the hospital’s academic partner, Imperial College School of Medicine, from 1995 to 2000 before becoming Vice-Chancellor of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne where he led a major restructuring to make it one of the top universities in the UK.

During a distinguished medical and academic career, Professor Edwards has held numerous senior positions including President of the Association of Physicians of Great Britain and Ireland and Chairman of the Council of Heads of Medical Schools.

Professor Edwards says: “I am delighted and honoured to have been appointed as the Chairman of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

“I believe that, with the complementary strengths of the Trust and Imperial College, it is possible to build something extraordinary here in West London – outstanding service to patients together with world class teaching and research. I shall do my best to make sure that we achieve this.”

What are our new Chairman’s first impressions of Chelsea and Westminster?

He says: “The hospital is already a very successful organisation and I believe that we have particular strengths in a number of specific areas. For example, Chelsea and Westminster has a special focus on and a world reputation for its work on HIV and sexual health. It is certainly the most important hospital in London as far as that area of healthcare is concerned.

“Secondly, it is a major London teaching hospital and is responsible for the clinical studies of about a third of Imperial College’s medical students.

“Thirdly, Chelsea and Westminster has a key role to play in terms of NHS services in West London as a more general hospital with close links to primary care and to the specialist skills of the Royal Marsden and the Royal Brompton.”

Professor Edwards also believes that Foundation Trust status can have positive benefits for the hospital and the population that it serves.

He explains: “Foundation Trusts can restore a sense of ownership and pride for their local hospital to the communities to which they are accountable. I hope that as a Foundation Trust we can recognise what the community needs and deliver that in the best and most cost-effective way.

“The relationship between a Chairman and Chief Executive is a crucial one. I am particularly looking forward to working with Heather Lawrence and her team. And I am also anxious to meet the staff whose expertise and dedication make Chelsea and Westminster such a successful and welcoming hospital.”

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