Former minister Dr Stephen Ladyman appointed Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust chairman
Former health minister Dr Stephen Ladyman has been appointed chairman of Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
The former Labour MP for South Thanet, who lives at Pilton, near Glastonbury, will replace Linda Nash when her term of office comes to an end on April 30.
The trust’s latest set of accounts show the role comes with an allowance of between £40,000 and £45,000.
Dr Ladyman was a health minister in the Labour government from June 2003 until May 2005 before being appointed a transport minister.
Before becoming an MP in the general election of 1997, in which he ousted Jonathan Aitken, Dr Ladyman, a research scientist and IT consultant by profession, worked for a range of private and public-sector medical research centres, spending five years working with the Mathilda and Terence Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, the Arthritis and Rheumatism Research Council and the Charing Cross Sunley Research Centre.
He later spent a year as an IT consultant at Pfizer Central Research, advising scientists on the design of computer systems.
He said: “I’m greatly looking forward to working with the board, all the staff and volunteers who contribute to the work of the Somerset Partnership Trust.
“They deliver the best possible services for our patients, their carers and our local communities.
“Under Linda Nash’s leadership the Trust has achieved a huge amount and I hope to build on that success in the years ahead.”
Mrs Nash has chaired the 4,000-strong trust since September 2004, in which time it has achieved Foundation status and more recently acquired the county’s NHS community health services. The merger more than doubled the size of the organisation, bringing together mental health and learning disability services with the county’s NHS community health services. Its £147 million annual budget now includes the management of 13 community hospitals, four inpatient mental health sites and a range of community based services.
Mrs Nash expressed her congratulations to Dr Ladyman, saying: “I am very proud of the achievements of Somerset Partnership. The commitment and dedication of staff, governors, volunteers and the board has ensured that the trust has gone from strength to strength, always putting patients at the heart of services.
“The trust and NHS faces many new challenges but I am confident, under Stephen’s stewardship, it will continue to deliver the high-quality, caring services patients have come to expect.”