Struggling mental health trust appoints new chair

PUBLISHED: 22:25 28 January 2019 | UPDATED: 07:49 29 January 2019

Marie Gabriel CBE has been appointed as chair of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) Picture: NSFT

Marie Gabriel CBE has been appointed as chair of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) Picture: NSFT


Marie Gabriel CBE has been appointed as the new chair of the struggling Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT).

Mrs Gabriel, who will replace acting chairman Tim Newcomb, will continue her work as chair of the East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT), which has been rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission, alongside her work in Norfolk and Suffolk.

The London health trust has been ‘buddying’ with NSFT - which provides mental health and learning disability services across Norfolk and Suffolk - since NSFT was placed into special measures for the second time in 2017.

Dr Kathy McLean, executive medical director and chief operating officer at NHS Improvement said: “As Chair of ELFT, Marie leads one of the country’s top mental health trusts.

“Her expertise and leadership will be invaluable in her new role as NSFT works to make the sustainable changes needed to improve services for patients and service users.”

Mrs Gabriel, who has been chair of ELFTsince OCtober 2012, has more than 20 years experience in senior roles in local government and the voluntary sector.

She said: “It is a huge honour to be joining NSFT as Chair and to be strengthening the support provided by ELFT.

“I truly look forward to working with staff, service users, carers, partners and Board colleagues on our journey out of special measures, building on what the trust does well and drawing on ELFT’s successful improvement experience.”

Antek Lejk, chief executive at NSFT, said: “We are delighted to welcome Marie to NSFT.

“She brings with her a wealth of experience after spending more than six years at the helm of a mental health trust which is rated ‘outstanding’, and we look forward to drawing on her knowledge and expertise as we continue to drive through improvements locally.

“We know that we need to ensure consistent good practice across the trust and bring all of our services up to the standard our patients and carers deserve.

“We will work closely with Marie and learn from the best practice which is in place at ELFT as we continue to transform our trust so that we can ensure we are providing safe, effective care for everyone in Norfolk and Suffolk.”

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