23rd Sep, 2021

A fond farewell as Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust chief retires after 37 years in the NHS

THE CHIEF Executive of Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust (CWPT), Simon Gilby, has retired today after 37 years of service to the NHS.

Simon joined the Trust in 2015 and during this time he has made a significant difference, including taking the organisation from ‘requires improvement’ to an overall ‘good’ rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and improving staff survey results year on year.

During his career he has worked in senior roles at national, regional and local levels and served as an independent governor of Nottingham Trent University and as Independent Chairman of Social Enterprise Network (Liverpool city region).

In July 2019, he was recognised for his outstanding contribution to public office within the health service when he was awarded a Doctor of Public Administration by the University of Nottingham.

It was announced in November 2020 that Mel Coombes, the current Chief Nurse and Operating Officer at CWPT, will take over as Chief Executive.

As a registered nurse, Mel brings extensive board level experience to the role and 36 years’ experience of working in the NHS. She also holds several national positions, which include Chair of the National Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Nurse Directors Forum.

Mel held the role of Director of Nursing, Quality, and Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust for seven years before joining the Trust in October 2019.

Mr Gilby said: “It’s been a huge pleasure and privilege to be part of the NHS for the last 37 years, and to serve the communities of Coventry and Warwickshire for the past five years.

“I am grateful for the support of everyone in the organisation in the success we have achieved, particularly over this last extremely challenging year.

“I am proud to have been a part of how the NHS has responded to the pandemic and now the rollout of the Covid vaccination programme.

“I have had the pleasure and good fortune of working on with many exceptional people.

“I would also like to take the opportunity to congratulate my successor, Mel Coombes, and wish her the all the best in taking over as Chief Executive of Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust. I know I am leaving the Trust in very capable hands.”

Jagtar Singh, Chair at CWPT said: “It is my pleasure to thank Simon Gilby on his retirement and providing 37 years of outstanding public service to the NHS, and the public.”

She added she wanted to publicly record her thanks and appreciation on behalf of the CWPT Board to Mr Gilby for providing strategic leadership that has been clear and value led with clear focus on providing excellent care for all our communities.

“I know I and the staff will miss him as he always has a smile and a kind word for staff when out and about supporting partnership working, or thanking staff delivering care in over 60 sites across Coventry and Warwickshire.

“During the pandemic Simon has been a pillar of support for everyone ensuring staff are safe and the patients get the best safe care.

“I am sure the staff at CWPT would join me in wishing Simon a happy and long retirement, and the best of luck in whatever he plans to do in the coming years.”

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