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King's Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital's Caroline Shaw to step down as chief executive



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The chief executive of Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital is set to leave after three and a half years in the role.

Caroline Shaw CBE, who led the Trust through the Covid-19 pandemic and out of special measures, said her time at the QEH had been the 'most challenging' but 'most rewarding' of her career to date.

"I could not be prouder of what Team QEH has achieved and how far we have come over the last few years," she said.

Caroline Shaw, CBE, chief executive of the QEH is stepping down after three and a half years in the role
Caroline Shaw, CBE, chief executive of the QEH is stepping down after three and a half years in the role

Mrs Shaw joined the QEH as CEO in January 2019 and aimed to get the Trust out of special measures - an aim which was achieved with its latest CQC report published earlier this year rating it as 'good' for being caring, well-led and effective.

She is now set to take on the role as chief operating officer of the global health and wellbeing company Evergreen Life.

"After almost four decades of service to the NHS, I now feel ready to look to my next and likely final stage of my career and I know now is the right time to end my chapter at QEH and move on to make a positive difference to people and healthcare in a different way," she said.

Caroline Shaw, will leave Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital at the end of September. Photo: Joshua Yates
Caroline Shaw, will leave Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital at the end of September. Photo: Joshua Yates

"I am really excited that I have been asked to join a forward-thinking health and wellbeing company called Evergreen Life which is all about using digital technology to innovate NHS services and improve people’s personal healthcare and support people to stay well and healthy, which I am hugely passionate about.

"After over three and a half memorable years, now is the right time for a new and exciting chapter in my career which will see me being based back at home in Manchester.

“I leave with so many fond memories of my time at QEH and this organisation and local community will always have a very special place in my heart."

The outgoing chief executive, who has been at the forefront of calls for a new hospital for the area, said there was 'strength and depth' at the QEH and she knows 'the best is yet to come' for the team.

Caroline Shaw pictured at the opening of the Butterfly Suite
Caroline Shaw pictured at the opening of the Butterfly Suite

"I look forward now to watching QEH fly as an organisation as it pursues its journey to ‘Good’ and ‘Outstanding’ and I also look forward to QEH securing the new hospital it deserves," she added.

Graham Ward, acting chair at the Trust, said: “Caroline has led QEH superbly for over three and a half years and has been instrumental in putting in place the foundations that are necessary to ensure sustainable change for our patients, their families and staff."

He paid tribute to Mrs Shaw's 'impressive achievements', including her vision for a new School of Nursing become a reality and the delivery of a £44m capital programme which is 'changing the face of the QEH', including the opening of the new West Norfolk Eye Centre, Emerson (outpatient Unit and soon their state-of-the-art Endoscopy Unit.

"This of course follows the successful acquisition of the Sandringham Unit," he added.

Graham Ward, chairman of the QEH Trust
Graham Ward, chairman of the QEH Trust

"She has superbly led work that has seen the Trust develop a national reputation for research and innovation, staff engagement and wellbeing and openness and transparency.

"Caroline has also been at the forefront of pushing the Trust’s compelling case for a new hospital on the local, regional and national stage. Caroline’s influence and compassionate leadership has benefitted patients across Norfolk and Waveney, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire.

"She has successfully led the Elective Recovery programme for Norfolk and Waveney, with impressive results.

"And last but by no means least, Caroline has championed and consistently role-modelled the Trust’s values of kindness, wellness and fairness and has ensured the Trust and Team QEH have had a relentless focus on the delivery of safe and compassionate care to patients and their families.

“We wish Caroline well for the future and all the best in her exciting new role.”

Alice Webster, QEH’s chief nurse, will be acting CEO from October 1, with Mrs Shaw leaving the Trust at the end of September.

The hospital boss led the Trust through the Covid-19 pandemic and out of special measures
The hospital boss led the Trust through the Covid-19 pandemic and out of special measures

A QEH spokesperson said: "We will soon describe the Interim Chief Nurse arrangements to backfill Alice.

"Recruitment for a substantive CEO will commence in the months to come, following recruitment to our substantive Chair, a process which is underway."



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