New chair in common named by London NHS trusts

Barking, Havering, and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) and Barts Health Group have named Right Honourable Jacqui Smith as their new chair in common. 

The two trusts have been working closely during the COVID-19 pandemic and are linked together by an Integrated Care System (ICS). It’s hoped the post will mean greater collaboration between the two organisations and lead to improved services in the north London area.  

Jacqui Smith, the new chair in common, said: “I’m excited about getting to know BHRUT and Barts and helping them to build on their strengths and identify ways they can work more effectively together. I’m looking forward to joining the diverse and vibrant communities of north east London and getting out to listen and to learn how the two trusts can play their full part as NHS partners.  

 “As we develop our closer collaboration, my guiding principles will be to ensure we bring people with us and that it delivers tangible benefits for our staff and for all the residents we serve.” 

During the past eight years, Smith has been the chair of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust. She will start her new role on 1 October. 

The two trusts will remain separate bodies with a separate board structure. Ian Peters is stepping down from his role at the Barts Health Group and will chair the new UK Health Security Agency. While Mike Bell, BHRUT’s chair, will continue to lead services in his role as chair at Croydon Health Services NHS Trust and look to build a fully-integrated care system in south west London.  

Marie Gabriel CBE, chair of the North East London Integrated Care System, said: “I would like to welcome Jacqui to north east London. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Ian Peters for his leadership of Barts Health and for guiding us through one of the most challenging times faced by the NHS, and to Mike Bell for his leadership of BHRUT in recent months.”