Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (BCHFT) has made two new appointments to their Board.

Lydia Jones will join the Trust as director of therapies, whilst Dr Laura McGowan has been named as chief clinical information officer (CCIO).

Lydia started her career in the NHS as an apprentice at the age of 17, progressing into more senior roles since graduating as a physiotherapist, and she joins the Trust from Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust.

Lydia commented: “After qualifying as a physiotherapist, I initially specialised in stroke and neurological rehabilitation.

“It was after I had been in a number of team and service lead roles that my passion for leadership and service improvement was further ignited – which led me to additional studies and a master’s degree in leadership.

“I am really looking forward to joining BCHFT and bringing the new clinical strategy to life with teams and services across the Trust. Together we can improve patient experience and create positive outcomes for the population of the Black Country and beyond, so I am really excited to be a part of this.”

Laura is a clinical psychologist who works within the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) in Wolverhampton. Her appointment as CCIO is an important step forward as the organisation looks to launch a new digital strategy, ensuring that the needs of patients are at the heart of it.

Laura said: “I am delighted to take up the position of CCIO within the Trust. It brings together my passions for high quality healthcare, modernisation of services and inclusion. 

“Digital health is now upon us all and staff and patient engagement will be vitally important in the implementation of our digital strategy to effectively achieve our clinical vision.”

Chief Executive, Mark Axcell added: “We are delighted to appoint Lydia and Laura to these key roles. They bring a fantastic skillset and abundance of knowledge which will be invaluable to us achieving our vision as a trust moving forward, and to provide outstanding care to the population we serve.

“As we continue to develop mental health, learning disability, and children’s services across the Black Country, having Lydia’s expertise from a therapeutic perspective will only strengthen this work, and we are very much looking forward to her joining our senior team.

“Likewise, Laura has worked in the organisation for many years and brings with her a wealth of knowledge. She has a real passion for service improvement, co-production and IT and we can’t wait for her to start in her new role next month.”