09 June 2016
Trust Chair to retire
Tony Gallagher will retire from his role as AWP Chair
when his 4 year term of office ends on 11 July.
Tony joined our Board as a Non Executive Director in April 2008,
becoming our Chair in 2012, following the departure of the then
Chief Executive and Chair.
He took on the role of Chair at a time of great uncertainty for
the organisation and with very clear goals. As he told us (Ourvoice Summer 2012): "I want to allow all of
our staff the space to think about service users and carers." This
was the priority rather than "thinking about business units or
Tony led significant change, with the Trust becoming more
clearly accountable to the local communities it serves and he
committed the organisation to becoming more open and transparent
with its service users, carers and stakeholders. He supported the
involvement of service users and carers to ensure their voices were
better heard and latterly chaired the Trustwide Involvement Group,
attended the Carers Forum, and through this brought groups of
people together to share their views to begin to make a real
During his term of office, Tony has used his considerable
experience as a business leader to ensure the Trust has met its key
objectives and he has worked tirelessly to ensure that we always
aspired for improvement, never settling for less than 100%. As
Chair he has encouraged public participation at Board meetings
while ensuring that Board business gets done.
Tony said: "My tenure as Chair was coming to an end and, after
eight years on the Board of AWP, I felt that the organisation had
grown in maturity and confidence and the goals set at the start
have been achieved, with much credit going to all the staff and
management of AWP who have been on this journey with me. With
Hayley and the Board in good shape the Trust had the right level of
stability to continue on to the next phase of its journey under a
"Now is the right time to make this announcement after our
recent CQC inspection. The way all of our staff and my senior
colleagues have worked to achieve the high standards which our
service users and carers should expect from us, is something that I
am immensely proud of."
29th June will be Tony's final Board meeting as Chair
but he will be in the Trust until 11 July and hopes to have an
opportunity to say 'goodbye' and 'thank you' to as many staff as he
He said: "When you've been in an organisation and seen it
progress and change so much you don't suddenly stop being
interested and caring about it.
"I believe we are a stronger organisation now, with a great
commitment to service users, carers and, importantly, our staff. We
are also part of successful partnerships and have strong
relationships with our CCGs. I am enormously grateful to everyone
for playing their part in this."
Hayley Richards said: "Tony has been an outstanding leader and
just what this Trust needed: someone strong, committed and
absolutely unshakeable in his belief that we can do better. With
his leadership, we have been able to make great headway in reaching
for higher standards and the entire Trust wishes him well."
Susan Thompson, our Vice Chair, has agreed to act as Chair from
12 July 2016 while we work with NHS Improvement on the recruitment
of Tony's successor as Chair.
Ruth Brunt will also step into the role of acting Vice-Chair as
well as continuing with her role as Senior Independent