News

Jacqui Smith resigns as Barts Health chair after government appointment

The former Labour home secretary, who was given a peerage at the weekend, was appointed education minister, reports Marco Marcelline

Jacqui Smith, Credit: Barts Health

Jacqui Smith has stepped down as chair of Barts Health NHS Trust after being appointed as an education minister by prime minister Sir Keir Starmer’s new government.

The former home secretary was given a peerage at the weekend so that she could take up the post.

Announcing her resignation to Barts colleagues over the weekend, Smith said: “I am enormously proud that the new prime minister has asked me to join the government as the minister for skills, further and higher education.”

She continued: “Whilst I’m absolutely delighted, I’m sad that it means that I’ll need to resign my role as chair-in-common of Barts Health and Barking and Havering and Redbridge University Trust (BHRUT) with immediate effect. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with all of you and I’m proud of what we’ve achieved together.”

Barts Health runs Whipps Cross Hospital, The Royal London Hospital, Newham University Hospital, Mile End Hospital and St Bartholomew’s Hospital.


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Adam Sharples, Barts vice-chair will take over as acting chair for Barts Health and BHRUT vice chair Mehboob Khan will perform a comparable role at BHRUT.

Shane DeGaris, CEO of Barts Health and BHRUT said: “We are enormously sad to lose Jacqui and have benefited greatly from her experience and skills, but we wish her well in her new role.”

He added that her replacement will be a matter of discussion for NHS England and the North East London Integrated Care Board.

Barts Health runs Whipps Cross Hospital, The Royal London Hospital, Newham University Hospital, Mile End Hospital and St Bartholomew’s Hospital.

In January it was announced that a planned merger of the executive teams of Barts Health and BHRUT into a single group had been paused.

Combined, the trusts manage seven hospitals that provide planned and emergency hospital treatment to more than two million East Londoners.

At the time, the trusts said they will “take forward on the scope” of a three-way collaboration that also includes Homerton Healthcare in Hackney.

Barts Health was contacted for an update on the merger.


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