THERE will be a new face at the helm of Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust (Shropcom) from next year.

Patricia Davies is joining Shropcom as its new chief executive on 1 April 2021, replacing David Stout – who will leave at the end of March.

She joins the Trust from Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes CCG, where she is accountable officer.

It marks a return to Shropshire for the experienced leader, who initially trained as a nurse in the 1990s and began her career as a district nurse in Shrewsbury.

She moved into general management and has held a number of director level posts across both acute and commissioning organisations before going to Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes, where she has led a system transformation programme and successfully brought together the three clinical commissioning groups.

Nuala O'Kane, chairman of Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust, said she was happy to welcome Patricia to the role.

"I am delighted to have been able to appoint someone of Patricia's calibre and experience to this role," she said.

"We had a strong field of candidates but Patricia – with her clinical background and impressive leadership record – really stood out.

"She joins us at a crucial time for our health system, as we continue to deal with the coronavirus pandemic alongside our important work with partners to move towards an integrated care system.

"I am sure she is the right person at the right time, and I look forward very much to working with her for the benefit of our service users, our communities, and of course, our staff.

"I would like to say a huge thank you to David, he had no idea when he agreed to take on this role that he would be leading us through a pandemic.

"His leadership during what is surely the most challenging period the NHS has ever known, has been inspirational."

Meanwhile Patricia said: "I am delighted to take up the position of chief executive of Shropcom and return to my roots.

"The recent pandemic has provided us with many opportunities to redraw partnership working between the NHS, local authorities and other system partners and I look forward to working with staff, clinicians and residents to deliver high quality services locally to meet the needs of our people now and in the future."