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East Cheshire NHS Trust is delighted to announce that Aislinn O’Dwyer has been appointed to the role of Chair

6 February 2023

NHS England has confirmed the appointment of Aislinn O’Dwyer as Chair of East Cheshire NHS Trust.  

Working with Chief Executive, Ged Murphy, and system partners, Aislinn will now lead the organisation to deliver the five-year Trust Strategy - ‘Our Healthy Future Together’.

Aislinn is passionate about improving the healthcare system by promoting preventative measures as well as treating those who require support. She is equally passionate about looking after the health and wellbeing of the NHS workforce so that they feel enabled to provide the best possible health and social care to our communities. She is well respected and well known throughout the NHS and as a public health professional with a community nursing background, Aislinn holds more than 30 years strategic management experience across the NHS, local government and academia.

Aislinn is an experienced Non-Executive Director across the health sector, education and the voluntary sector, having previously been on the Board of Edge Hill University, as well as currently the Chair of Savera UK, a leading Liverpool-based charity that tackles culturally-specific abuse and harmful practices. She is deeply committed to human rights and reducing health and social inequalities.

Aislinn will be taking over from Dr Andrew Smith, who is returning to his role as a Non-Executive Director after holding the position of Acting Chair of the Board on an interim basis since November 2022.

Aislinn said: ‘I am excited to be joining the team at East Cheshire NHS Trust and am really looking forward to working with them all. I have followed the Trust’s work for many years and recognise the invaluable services they provide. East Cheshire has an ambitious five-year strategy; a real commitment to high quality care for patients, service users and local communities; a large, dedicated and compassionate workforce; and a firm commitment to staff development, support and wellbeing.”

“I am immensely proud to be joining colleagues who have responded with such professionalism and compassion over the past few challenging years and who are providing such fantastic care to East Cheshire NHS Trust’s patients.”

Chief Executive, Ged Murphy, said: “On behalf of the Board of Directors, we welcome Aislinn’s appointment as Chair. Her vast experience of the NHS and collaboration with partners will be hugely beneficial to our efforts to develop and improve services. I look forward to working closely with her as we bring our strategy, which puts the communities we serve at the heart of all we do, to life. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Dr Andrew Smith for stepping in as Interim Chair whilst recruitment took place.’

Chair of the NHS Cheshire and Merseyside Integrated Care Board (ICB), Raj Jain, said: "I am delighted to welcome Aislinn to the Cheshire and Merseyside Chairs Team.  Her achievements, experience and values will be invaluable to partnership working needed to support staff and deliver quality care for patients."

Non-executive appointments to NHS Trusts are made by NHS England and made in accordance to the Governance Code for Public Appointments. NHS England ensure that all appointments to NHS trust boards are made in a way that is open, transparent and fair to candidates. 

Aislinn has been appointed from March 2023 and will receive remuneration of £43k pa. She has not declared any political activity in the last five years.

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Contact: Rachel Wallace, Head of Communications and Engagement, East Cheshire NHS Trust for interviews and further information.

Note to editors: Biography: Aislinn O’Dwyer

Aislinn has been a Non-Executive Director of Mersey Care NHS FT since October 2018. In this capacity she was Chair of the People Committee, Health & Wellbeing Guardian and member of the Ethical Advisory Group. She is also a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health and a qualified District Nurse, Registered Midwife, Health Visitor, and has a Master’s in Public Health and Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance.

Aislinn O’Dwyer’s roles have included being a Consultant in Public Health supporting the NHS in the North West and also Lancashire County Council. As a Consultant in Public Health for UK Med she was also a member of the Quality Assurance Team in Sierra Leone and she supported NHS professionals.

She notably developed and implemented the recruitment process for NHS professionals to support the UK Government-led response to Ebola in Sierra Leone and was awarded the Ebola Medal by Her Majesty the Queen.

She was previously Director of Public Health at West Lancashire PCT and Interim Director of Public Health at Blackburn with Darwen PCT.

She is currently Chair of Savera UK, a leading charity based in Liverpool that tackles culturally-specific abuse and harmful practices in the UK.

She is also a Fundraiser and supporter of Freedom from Torture and Save the Children.