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Tenure extended for NHS trust chairman

Posted: 24 April 2023

Picture Phil Townsend, Chairman of West Herts Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

The chairman of West Herts Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust Phil Townsend has had his tenure extended until 2025.

He said: "It is an honour to chair West Herts Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and contribute to our vision of providing the best care possible, every single day. I am delighted to be part of this brilliant team and I look forward to more successes and in particular to being able to progress our redevelopment plans."

The re-appointment of the chairman (who has been in post since 2020) has been warmly welcomed by trust chief executive Matthew Coats.

"Its great news for the trust that Phil had been reappointed. Hes used his considerable skills and expertise from a long career in industry to help steer the trust through a period of sustained improvement. Im delighted that he will continue to lead our board as we support our fantastic hard-working staff to deliver safe and high-quality patient care.

Hes made a huge contribution to the trust and his leadership has already covered some formative events, including the challenge of the pandemic, switching to an electronic patient record system and achieving national and international recognition for our virtual hospital. Phil has taken a strong interest in our redevelopment plans, which he has promoted at every opportunity. Personally, Im very grateful for all of his support to me since I joined the trust last year."

He continued: "Phils role includes chairing our board meetings and consultant recruitment panels, as well as maintaining great working relationships with MPs, business leaders and partners in our local health system. He is well known to our staff for his regular visits across the trust and for the pleasure he takes in awarding our monthly and annual Star of Herts staff awards."

Phil, who lives in St Albans, joined the trust as a non-executive director in 2011 and became vice chairman in 2014, a post he held until 2019. He was appointed interim chair in 2019 and was made permanent in 2020.


  1. For media enquiries, please contact the communications team on: 01923 436280 or email: For out of hours media enquiries please call the Watford General Hospital switchboard on 01923 244366 and ask for the on call communications manager.
  2. West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust serves people from across Hertfordshire, north London and further afield. It operates from three hospitals; Watford General, St Albans City and Hemel Hempstead. The trust has a catchment area of over 500,000 people and is one of the largest employers locally, with around 5,000 staff and volunteers.
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