July 31 2014 Latest news:
Adam Gretton, Health correspondent
Saturday, May 31, 2014
A former nurse, who worked his way up the NHS, has spoken of his pride after becoming the new chief executive of a community healthcare provider in Waveney and Great Yarmouth.
Jonathan Williams, who began working in the health service as an auxiliary nurse in London in 1982, will take up his new post as CEO of East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH) next week.
The 53-year-old said he hoped his new role would inspire others working on the front-line to get involved in the running and management of the NHS as executives.
The social enterprise, which is based in Beccles, provides a range of services in the Yarmouth and Waveney area including district nursing, health visiting, community in-patient services, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, specialist nursing care, palliative care, a GP surgery, breastfeeding support, contraceptive and sexual health services, school nursing and public health services.
Some of the 900 staff that work for the Community Interest Company played their part in the recruitment process.
Mr Williams had more than 17 years’ service in clinical practice before moving into senior management. He has been an NHS director for more than 15 years in Norfolk in a variety of organisations and executive director of quality and assurance at ECCH since it launched in October 2011. He has been joint acting CEO since December 2013.
He added that he was very excited to be appointed in his first chief executive post.
“I remember ten years ago the Department of Health and Prime Minister were talking about nurses and doctors becoming chief executives and I look around and I can not see them. To be one myself is crazy. It is really tough because you have to develop a steely side that is not natural when you are in the caring profession.”
Mr Williams said he was looking forward to overseeing an expansion in community health services in Yarmouth and Waveney. The organisation has already established an out of hospital team in Lowestoft to help frail patients to receive treatment and support at home to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions. He hopes to extend that scheme to Yarmouth and the coastal villages. ECCH has contracts with the NHS and Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils.
“Our services are the glue that holds everything together and we have to do things better in the community and services will get bigger.
“I want us to be seen as a key partner to all local organisations involved in the delivery of health and social care, seeking to design and improve services to better meet the needs of patients and ensure the best possible services for the people of Great Yarmouth and Waveney.”
Paul Steward, ECCH’s chairman, said: “I couldn’t be more delighted to have someone of Jonathan’s calibre and experience leading the organisation. He brings energy and enthusiasm combined with strong leadership and practical experience of the NHS to the role. He has played a key role in making our social enterprise the success it is today and I believe he is someone who will enable us to move forwards and grow from strength to strength.”