New man at head of health trust

Joseph Bulmer

A new chairman has been appointed to the helm of Northern Devon Healthcare Trust.

Roger French takes over from Brian Sherwin when the outgoing chairman steps down at the end of this month following the conclusion of his four year fixed term of office.

Mr French has been a non-executive director of NHS Devon for the past three-and-a-half years.

He was chairman of the Prison Partnership Board and DPS Patient Safety and Quality Committee and was a member of the Audit and Assurance Committee. He has now resigned from NHS Devon, with effect from January 31.

Now retired, he spent 30 years as managing director, chief executive or chairman of a variety of companies in transport, food services and the computer industry. A qualified mechanical engineer, he started his working life in civil air transport.

He was vice chairman and a Trustee of Dogs Trust for 12 years, ran the Kennel Club as Chief Executive for seven years, and is an independent member of Torridge District Council’s overview and scrutiny committee.

He succeeds Mr Sherwin at a time when the Trust is bidding for Foundation Trust status and preparing to take over the management of community services in east, central and mid Devon from NHS Devon.

“Brian will be a tough act to follow, but I am looking forward to the obvious challenge of integrating the business in east and west Devon, which I am familiar with, having been closely associated with the provider arm of NHS Devon,” said Mr French.

“I am also aware I am joining a successful team and will do my utmost to complement them in the years that lie ahead.”

Trust chief executive Jac Kelly added: “We are delighted to welcome Roger to the board. He joins us at an exciting time, and will play a key role in the integration of the community services across Devon and will ensure the continued development of the organisation.

“During Brian’s time as Chair, the organisation has moved into financial balance and consistently performs in the top quarter of trusts in all nationally-measured standards.

“He oversaw the integration of community health and social care services and helped the organisation make an excellent start to securing its future by working towards Foundation Trust status.”

Mr French’s four year fixed term of office runs from February 1, 2011 to January 31, 2015. His remuneration is set at �18,437 a year. He is married, with three adult daughters and lives at Parkham Ash, near Bideford.