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Barts Health backs apprenticeships for board members

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Barts Health is taking a lead role in a national programme to find and support the next generation of talented women and people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities to become non-executive directors in the NHS. 

Kim Kinnaird and Ashantel Lachhani will be joining Barts Health for up to 12 months as part of the NExT Director scheme, spearheaded by NHS Improvement. It gives individuals the opportunity to learn first-hand about the challenges and opportunities associated with being a non-executive director in the NHS today. 

A qualified lawyer, Kim has progressed swiftly in a range of different roles at the Lloyds Banking Group with a focus on performance, risk management and people management. Ashantel has worked in numerous NHS and voluntary-sector roles, specialising in information governance.

Ian Peters, Chair of Barts Health, said: “Our own development programme for our current black, Asian and minority ethnic staff has already been nationally recognised, but we’re very clear that there is much more to do in this area. That’s why I’m delighted to be able to play a key role in this national programme to help support the leaders of the future.”

Barts Health has also announced two new high calibre non-executive appointments to its board.

Natalie Howard and Margaret Exley will join the Trust in January after an open recruitment process to fill two vacancies following the departures of Karen West and Tracey Fletcher earlier in the year. 

Natalie brings deep expertise in property development and finance with over 30 years’ experience in national and international corporations such as Barclays and Morgan Stanley. Margaret has had an extensive career in organisational development and change management across the private and public sector. She brings a wealth of board experience including with Government departments and within the NHS.

Ian Peters added: “I am very happy to have secured such high calibre members of the Board with skills highly relevant to our strategy and priorities. I am confident they will make a great impression as we look to build on our recent progress. I would like to place on record my thanks to Karen and Tracey for their contribution to the organisation during their tenures.”

NHS Improvement has also confirmed extensions to the tenure of Dr Thoreya Swage, Professor Steve Thornton and Gautam Dalal, who will continue on the board in their current non-executive roles until 2020. 

  • The remuneration of non-executive appointments to NHS trusts is made by NHS Improvement and is subject to the Governance Code for Public Appointments
  • NHS Improvement ensure that all appointments to NHS trust boards throughout England are made in a way that is open, transparent and fair to candidates.
  • For more information on the NExT Director scheme visit the NHS Improvement website.


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  1. Patricia Richards Wednesday, 23 March 2022 at 10:08 AM

    Is the NeXT Director Scheme still active and looking for participants?