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New CEO for ACE

19th July 2019

Anglian Community Enterprise (ACE) is pleased to announce the appointment of its new Chief Executive Officer.  Frank Sims will be taking up the post in October 2019.  Frank will succeed Lynne Woodcock who, after 46 years in the NHS, is embarking on her well-earned retirement. 

Frank is a highly experienced NHS leader.  He is also very familiar with North East Essex and the surrounding areas, and is well-known to many local health and well-being partners with whom ACE works so closely.  Much of Frank’s career has been spent in community services, although some will remember he spent a few months during 2016 leading Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust in the run up to it linking with Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust. 

As well as leading service delivery organisations, Frank has headed up CCGs in Sussex and Norfolk.  In recent times, Frank has also worked at the regulatory level for NHS Improvement.  Amongst other things, Frank is currently heavily involved, on behalf of Norfolk & Waveney STP, in strengthening the delivery of mental health services across Suffolk and Norfolk. 

With the recently published NHS Long Term Plan providing such a boost to community and primary care services, and with the service integration agenda being of such importance across North East Essex, Frank’s institutional and system leadership experience will be immensely valuable, both to ACE and to our system partners. 

We’re expecting Frank to join ACE’s Board in October 2019.  At this time, he will be joined by two other high-calibre recruits to ACE’s Board.  With two existing non-executive directors due to step down at the end of September 2019, ACE is very pleased to announce the appointment, from October 2019, of Julie Young and Dr Noreen Cushen-Brewster. 

Replacing Lawrie Payne, Julie Young is a member of Colchester Borough Council and an ex-Mayor of Colchester.  Julie is very well-known across North East Essex and indeed, is a past non-executive director of the “old” Colchester Primary Care Trust. 

We are looking forward to Julie joining us and, in particular, benefiting from Julie’s expertise in connecting with local people and helping them have a strong voice in the way we promote and provide services. 

Julie will also take up the role of Chair of Anglian Community Trust.  Her ability to connect with local businesses, and to mobilise them to work constructively with statutory and voluntary bodies to achieve social good will add real value.

Replacing Anne Thain, Dr Noreen Cushen-Brewster will inherit non-executive leadership of ACE’s service quality and clinical safety agenda.  Currently Executive Director of Quality at East Coast Community Healthcare CIC, Noreen has an impressive academic and practical record of driving service improvement and clinical safety in the NHS. 

ACE’s Chairman, David Harrison, commented:

 “ACE has benefited from a high-quality and stable Board since it was first created in 2011.  With ACE fast-approaching its 10th birthday, we knew that, this year, we would need to refresh both our executive and non-executive leadership teams. 

 I think we have “struck gold” in making these three excellent appointments and from a pleasingly impressive field of candidates on each occasion. 

 A new Board will bring new perspectives into ACE at a time of rapid change.  We’re really looking forward to benefiting from three fresh pairs of eyes making ACE even stronger but, more importantly, ensuring we deliver the highest quality of care in the right place and at the right time to the people we serve. 

 I would also like to pay tribute to, and thank, Lynne, Lawrie and Anne for the massive contribution each has made in creating and establishing ACE as a key player in the local health economy.  They leave ACE in a much stronger position than when we all embarked on this journey together in 2011.  They have also been instrumental in planting the firmest of foundations for us which we will exploit to further achieve our social mission.” 

Frank Sims said:

“I’m thrilled to have the privilege to work with ACE, our system partners and patients across North East Essex to help transform out of hospital care.  I have been impressed by the staff I’ve met and their commitment to continuous improvement and I am looking forward to joining a great team.

Ed Garratt, North East Essex’s CCG’s accountable officer and also executive lead for the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System said:

“I’m really looking forward to working with ACE’s new Board.  I know Frank Sims well and have worked closely with him in various different guises in recent years.  Frank is an impressive leader and well known to many system partners across both North East Essex and Suffolk.  I am convinced he will strike just the right balance between strong institutional leadership for ACE and imaginative and objective system leadership across Suffolk and North East Essex. 

 Julie Young and Dr Noreen Cushen-Brewster look to be very valuable additions to ACE’s Board, whilst also making some scarce skills and some broader experience available to the wider North East Essex health and well-being system.  All in all, these changes can only strengthen the quality of the services we are seeking to design and deliver for the people we’re all trying to serve.”

Mark Jarman-Howe, Executive Lead for the North East Essex Health and Wellbeing Alliance said:

“It was great to be involved in ACE’s selection process for their new CEO.  What impressed me most about Frank was his commitment to work across organisational boundaries to improve the health and wellbeing of the people of North East Essex. 

 Julie Young and Dr Noreen Cushen-Brewster look to be very strong appointments.  Non-executives have much to contribute to our system-level work, and both possess skills and experience that will benefit both ACE and the wider Alliance.”

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