New chairman for Western Sussex Hospitals trust announced

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THE new chairman of the trust which runs Worthing, Southlands and St Richard’s hospitals has been announced.

The Appointments Commission has appointed Mike Viggers as the chairman of Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust.

Mike has been the trust’s interim chairman since May, 2011, when Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust agreed he could take a temporary leave of absence from his post as its deputy chairman.

His permanent position as chairman is for four years, and having started on January 12 this year, it will end on January 11, 2016. Mike was previously a senior director for blue chip companies in the private sector, including Parker Pen, Gillette and Newell Rubbermaid.

These past roles include working as operations director for Parker Pen, as well as his experience as deputy chair and senior independent director at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Marianne Griffiths, chief executive of Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “I am delighted that Mike has been appointed as our permanent chairman. It has been a pleasure working with him in recent months, and I have no doubt that he will continue to offer myself and the rest of the board the benefit of his great experience and knowledge. We know that he is totally focused on improving patient care, and that is an ambition we all share.”

Non-executive director posts within the NHS are part-time positions, with the chairman expected to spend three days per week on NHS business, although it is said it is often considerably more than this. The post attracts a taxable remuneration of £23,366 per annum. The posts are given to people from the local community, so they have local knowledge, and the trust said they are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process.

Mike, who is married with two children and lives in Seaford, East Sussex, is a keen walker, runner and badminton player. He said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for me to contribute to the work of a trust which serves a local population of more than 500,000 people.

“The staff at the trust do incredible things every day, and it is a privilege to be given this chance to be involved in their vital work.”