Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust appoints new Chair

Posted on: Thursday 27 Jan 2022

Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust (HDFT), one of the north of England’s leading healthcare providers, has appointed Sarah Armstrong as its new chair of the board.

The appointment was approved by HDFT’s Council of Governors on Monday 17 January following a rigorous selection process. Sarah succeeds Angela Schofield who is retiring having been in the role since November 2017.

HDFT cares for the population in Harrogate, as well as across North Yorkshire and Leeds through its acute and community services. It is also the largest provider of 0-19 children’s services in England providing care for young people across North Yorkshire and the North East in County Durham, Darlington, Middlesbrough, Stockton-on Tees, Gateshead, Sunderland and Northumberland.

Sarah who has been a Non-Executive Director of the Trust since October 2018 will take up her new role from 1 April 2022. She is also a Non-Executive Director of Harrogate Integrated Facilities (HIF), a wholly owned subsidiary company of HDFT that supplies services to Harrogate District Hospital and the Trust’s community services, and acts as the Non-Executive Lead for Wellbeing at HDFT and HIF.

Sarah has a wealth of senior experience to bring to the role. She is an experienced leader in the charity sector, having been a senior manager for a national charity leading in volunteering policy and practice, and Chief Executive for a charity raising aspirations for young people with a disability.  She has previously held roles as Chief Executive of York Centre for Voluntary Service (CVS), an ambitious social action organisation which supports and champions the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector to strengthen communities, and as Director of Operations at Healthwatch England.

Speaking on her new role Sarah said: “I am delighted to be appointed Chair of HDFT. Being a Non-Executive Director over the last few years has enabled me to understand the work that the Trust does, and the difference it makes. I feel extremely proud to be part of HDFT and very much look forward to undertaking this new role.”

Steve Russell, Chief Executive of HDFT, said: “Sarah’s vast knowledge and experience has been invaluable since she joined the Trust’s three years ago and I am looking forward to working with her in her new role. The energy and enthusiasm she brings is infectious and her inquisitive, challenging nature keeps us on our toes and ensures we are always striving to provide the best possible healthcare for our community.

“Angela will certainly be a tough act to follow. The board and I would like to thank her for her leadership over the last four years and wish her well in her future endeavours. It has been a privilege and a pleasure working with her and I know that she will be very much missed by everyone.”

Angela Schofield, current Chair of HDFT, said: I would like to give my very best wishes to Sarah who I am sure will be a highly effective Chair.  She knows HDFT very well and is deeply committed to ensuring that colleagues are well supported and that patients and services users receive great care.  She will lead the Board of Directors and Council of Governors with kindness and integrity.”