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New Non-Executive Appointments for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

The Chairman of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, Sir David Nicholson, has welcomed a series of appointments to Non-Executive Director (NED) posts on the Trust Board.

Current NED Dr Bill Tunnicliffe has had his term on the Board extended, and two new appointments have also been made – Waqar Azmi as a Non-Executive Director and Sharon Thompson as an Associate NED.

Sir David Nicholson says: “The fact that we are able to attract people of the calibre of Bill, Waqar and Sharon to our Board speaks volumes about the progress we have made in recent years to improve the performance and reputation of our Trust.

“I have no doubt that the wide ranging skills, knowledge, experience and commitment to public service they bring will make an invaluable contribution to helping us build on that progress for the benefit of our patients, our staff and our partners in the local health and care system.

“As well as a continuing focus on the quality, safety and efficiency of the care we provide, they will have a key role to play in helping us ensure that our services are planned, developed and delivered in a way which best meets the needs and wishes of everyone in the diverse communities we serve, and every colleague in the diverse workforce that we employ.”

Dr Bill Tunnicliffe is a Consultant in Adult Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust. He has a wealth of experience both as a doctor and senior clinical manager. He lives with his family in Worcestershire.

He says: "We have made some great strides forward while also responding incredibly well over the past months to the challenges posed by the COVID pandemic and I am very glad to be a part of it – as a Board member at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals as well as in my clinical role at UHB.

“The improvements that have been realised for our patients are very important and I know are down to the hard work and dedication of the amazing staff who work across the hospital sites. I am sure that having a stable board has helped, along with the great leadership of our senior team.

“Quite rightly we are all aiming to continue on our programme of improvement, putting patients first and looking towards becoming an outstanding organisation, and with this in mind I am delighted to have been asked to continue as a member of the board.

“I would also like to congratulate and welcome our new board appointees and look forward to working closely with them. I would also like to thank all our staff members, because without them we could not have achieved what we have during a very challenging year.”

Waqar Azmi OBE has extensive board level experience in the commercial, public and charity sectors. A Worcestershire resident for more than 20 years he is a former Chief Executive of the county’s Racial Equality Council and also served in the Cabinet Office as the Government’s Chief Diversity Advisor.

More recently he was a managing partner with the Waterhouse Consulting Group and since 2015 he has Chaired Remembering Srebrenica, a joint charitable initiative funded by the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Remembering Srebrenica delivers among other activities more than 2,000 community action projects to raise awareness of the consequences of hatred, racism and racial injustice across the UK.

Waqar Azmi says: “I am delighted to join the Board of my local hospital Trust at such a challenging but also exciting time.

“Making sure that we have the best, most inclusive health and care services locally is more important now than ever. I look forward to working with my new Board colleagues to help make sure that, together with our partners, we deliver services that meet the needs of patients in all parts of our community.”

Sharon Thompson is a Labour Councillor for North Edgbaston on Birmingham City Council and the council’s cabinet member for homes and neighbourhoods, a role which carries executive leadership responsibilities for the largest housing portfolio in local government. She holds a number of other notable board and civic positions including membership of the Commonwealth Games 2022 Legacy and Benefits Committee.

She says: “Community engagement is one of my passions. Being able to bring my knowledge of the insights, tools and strategies for engaging service users to the NHS is a wonderful opportunity.

“I am excited to be joining the Board and helping them continue to drive change and innovation in the services provided for the benefits of patients, their families and Trust staff.”

Bill Tunnicliffe’s reappointment by NHS England and NHS Improvement as a Non-Executive Director took effect on 23 November and runs until 22 November 2024

Waqar Azmi’s appointment by NHS England and NHS Improvement as a Non-Executive Director took effect on 1 January 2021 and runs until 31 December 2022

Sharon Thompson’s appointment by the Trust as an Associate Non-Executive Director took effect on 1 January 2021 and runs until 31 December 2022

All Non-Executive Directors, including Associate NEDs, are entitled to receive a remuneration of £11,500 per year, which will rise to £13,000 per year from 1 April 2021 in line with national NHS guidance.

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