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Nursing professor appointed as new chair of specialist trust

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Professor Donna Mead has been appointed as the new chair of Velindre NHS Trust in Cardiff, saying she has “very big shoes to fill”.

She takes over from Dr Rosemary Kennedy at the trust, which provides specialist cancer and blood services across South and Mid Wales through Velindre Cancer Centre and the Welsh Blood Service. Ms Kennedy was chief nursing officer for Wales from 1999 to 2010, and a former director of nursing.

“Professor Mead brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of the NHS to this role”

Vaughan Gething

As a registered nurse too, Professor Mead also brings more than 40 years-service in the NHS and education and has been an independent member in several NHS organisations. She is also a trustee of St John (Cymru) Wales and a governor at Neath Port Talbot Group College.

Her academic credentials include a PhD and recently received an honorary doctorate of science from Swansea University. She received an OBE in the 2009 New Year honours list.

The announcement of her new appointment was made by health secretary for Wales Vaughan Gething. He said: “Professor Mead brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of the NHS to this role.

“It is an important and challenging time for the NHS in Wales as we look to deliver a health service fit for the future and Professor Mead’s enthusiasm and knowledge will help drive that work forward,” he said.

“I realise that the outgoing chair, Rosemary Kennedy, has left me with very big shoes to fill”

Donna Mead

Speaking on her new role, Professor Mead said: “I am absolutely delighted to be appointed chair of Velindre NHS Trust.

“Like everyone who lives in Wales and beyond I am aware of the awesome reputation that all aspects of the trust has for service delivery,” she said.

Professor Mead said she considered it a “huge privilege” to be given the opportunity to serve the staff, patients and blood donors who received services from Velindre Trust.

“I realise that the outgoing chair, Rosemary Kennedy, has left me with very big shoes to fill and that will be one of my challenges,” she said.

Rosemary Kennedy

Rosemary Kennedy

“I am joining the trust at an exciting time and look forward to seeing the many important plans come to fruition,” she added.

The trust described Dr Kennedy, who is retiring after eight years as chair, as an “influential and inspirational leader”.

In a statement, it said: “Rosemary has played such a vital role in getting our trust to where it is today – respected, admired and loved by people inside and outside of NHS Wales – it is hard to imagine things without her at the helm of the our trust board.

“Characteristically, not wanting any fuss, Rosemary has said her many goodbyes and has gone off to start a new and exciting chapter of her life,” it added.

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