Chief Executive set for new challenge

03 January 2012

Heather Lawrence OBE, Chief Executive of one of the country’s best performing NHS trusts, has announced that she will be leaving Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust this summer after 12 years at the helm.

bio-heather.jpgHeather Lawrence OBE, Chief Executive of one of the country’s best performing NHS trusts, has announced that she will be leaving Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust this summer after 12 years at the helm.

Heather said: “I feel very privileged to have been able to work with so many talented and dedicated staff who have helped make us one of the best performing and highly regarded NHS trusts in the country. This has been a real team effort thanks to staff at all levels of seniority.

“Chelsea and Westminster consistently ranks as one of the best providers of high quality clinical care nationally, as demonstrated recently by the Dr Foster Hospital Guide naming us as the best hospital in England for low mortality rates.

“Our financial stability has enabled us to become a Foundation Trust and invest in significant improvements to patient care including a new Lower Ground Floor Outpatients Department which opened last year and new Paediatrics and HIV facilities which are due to be completed later this month.

“I am proud to have led Chelsea and Westminster over the last 12 years and I am confident that the Trust will enjoy continued success under new leadership which will be able to build on the strong foundations provided by the hard work of all staff.”

In the short-term Heather will divide her time between her role as Chief Executive at Chelsea and Westminster and a new challenge, following her appointment by NHS London to head up a new unit focused on improving the productivity of NHS trusts in the capital and supporting them to achieve Foundation Trust status.

Professor Sir Christopher Edwards, Chairman of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I would like to thank Heather for everything she has done to make Chelsea and Westminster a real success story.

“She is one of the most respected and experienced chief executives in the NHS which is why I can think of no one better to help London’s NHS meet the twin challenges of improving quality and increasing efficiency.”

Heather Lawrence’s leaving date will be confirmed in due course but in the meantime the Chairman will lead a process to recruit her replacement.

bio-amanda.jpgAmanda Pritchard, the Trust’s Deputy Chief Executive, is also moving on to a new challenge following her appointment to the role of Chief Operating Officer at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

Heather Lawrence said: “We are sorry to see Amanda go but I would like to congratulate Amanda on her appointment and to say thank you for her considerable contribution to Chelsea and Westminster as Deputy Chief Executive since September 2006.”

Biography

Heather Lawrence trained and worked as a nurse before moving into health service management. She has more than 20 years' experience at NHS Trust Board level, having served as Chief Executive of both Hounslow and Spelthorne Community and Mental Health Trust and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust before being appointed Chief Executive at Chelsea and Westminster in May 2000.

She has also held a number of national positions, for example as NHS Employers' lead negotiator for the three-year pay deal for staff on Agenda for Change and as a member of the Government's Nursing and Midwifery Commission through which she and 15 other members advised the Government on the future roles of nurses and midwives.

Heather was awarded the OBE in the New Year's Honours 2009 for services to healthcare.