Media Release

QEH appoints new substantive Chair

Chris Lawrence has been appointed the Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust’s (QEH) new substantive Chair following a competitive recruitment exercise.

Chris – who lives in Norfolk – has extensive experience in the NHS, private and charitable sectors spanning over four decades. He will provide strong leadership to the Board of Directors and Council of Governors in the next phase of the Trust’s improvement journey.

He has served as a Non-Executive Director at West Suffolk Hospital NHS Foundation Trust since 2021, prior to which he completed two full terms as chair of Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, during which time it was rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and named Health Service Journal’s Mental Health Trust of the Year for its work in mental health and learning disabilities across Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Norfolk and Essex.

Chris’s previous roles include managing director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and senior positions at banking firms including Lloyds, Citicorp, and Rothschild. He specialised in international mergers and acquisitions and was a senior partner and member of the leadership team that managed the international mergers of Price Waterhouse and Coopers and Lybrand in over 100 countries.

Chris said: “I consider myself as an East Anglian man, having lived in Norfolk for over 20-years, as well as having seen the development of NHS services across the region.

“My decade of experience in the NHS in Chair and Non-Executive roles has given me much insight into the NHS locally and nationally. I am very much looking forward to leading The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in the next stage of its hugely exciting journey, as we look to build on our recent Care Quality Commission success, further improve patient and staff experience, secure a new hospital and work more closely across the integrated care systems in Norfolk and Waveney, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire for the benefit of our patients and the communities we serve.”

Chris will take over as Chair on 31 October 2022 from Graham Ward, who has been Acting Chair at QEH since April of this year.

QEH’s Lead Governor, Esme Corner, said: “We are delighted to be appointing a Chair of Chris’s calibre and we look forward to benefiting from his vast experience in the NHS, in the charity sector, and in the commercial sector.

“With strong foundations in place, our task now is to sustain and build on our recent successes and work to see QEH moving from ‘Requires Improvement’ to a CQC ‘Good’ rated hospital. Chris is very well-equipped to lead QEH in the next phase of our improvement journey, so that we can move even closer to achieving our vision of being the best rural District General Hospital for patient and staff experience.

“I would also like to pay tribute and thank Graham Ward for his significant contributions over the last seven months. Graham’s commitment and leadership has ensured continuity and focus during this period, for which we are grateful.”

Chris’s appointment as substantive Chair was approved by the Trust’s Council of Governors at its meeting on Wednesday 5 October 2022, following a rigorous competitive recruitment process involving Governors, external stakeholders and system partners and leaders, staff and the hospital’s Regulator.


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