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Chief Operating Officer appointment

Posted: 26 February 2024

Rachel Tustin New Chief Operating Officer Rachel Tustin

We are pleased to announce that West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has appointed Rachel Tustin as Chief Operating Officer. Rachel is currently the Chief Operational Information Officer at the Royal Marsden and will be joining us from 6 May 2024.

Rachel has a wealth of experience in NHS operational leadership, having been with the Marsden since 2020 where she ran the internationally renowned private patients division, and then led the operational delivery of their new Digital Health Record trust-wide. Prior to this Rachel led the Division of Medicine and Emergency Care at Hillingdon Hospital, held a sector transformation role for North West London Integrated Care System, and has worked with a range of trusts in consultancy roles.

Matthew Coats, Chief Executive, said: "Rachel has led service transformations and improvement programmes across a range of issues including: patient flow, new referral and outpatient pathways, ambulatory emergency care units, and covid recovery, as well as leading the operational design and launch of a new hospital. So she has crucial experience in, and will be familiar with, some of our biggest priorities.

"Rachel describes herself as being passionate, driven and caring deeply about improving healthcare. That was recognisable throughout the recruitment process and I’m confident Rachel will fit into the role quickly and be a great asset for the Trust."

Commenting on her appointment, Rachel said: "I’m delighted to be appointed as Chief Operating Officer for West Herts, an impressive organisation with an exciting set of ambitions for its future.

"I’m really looking forward to meeting staff and patients across the trust as well as our system partners, building on the numerous successes delivered in recent years to support improved access and effective care pathways for our communities."

Matthew added his thanks to Mary Bhatti who has been acting Chief Operating Officer, saying: "I’d like to thank Mary for all that she’s done whilst covering the role. She’s making a big contribution to the trust, particularly on patient flow. It has been a time of significant operational challenges across winter, industrial action, business planning and strategy development. The operations team made good progress under Mary’s leadership and she has been a valued member of the executive team and Board."


  1. For more information, please contact the communications team on: 01923 436280 or email: Out of hours, 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 600,000 people and is one of the largest employers locally, with around 5,800 staff and volunteers.
  3. For more information about our hospitals, visit You can also join us on Facebook, X (Twitter), YouTube and LinkedIn @WestHertsNHS