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New Non Executive Directors

28 January 2021


A former head of one of East Anglia’s largest residential providers and a management consultant with over 30 years’ experience in finance have just joined the board of directors at the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Karen Knight and John Hennessey have been appointed by the Trust’s Council of Governors as Non Executive Directors for an three-year term of office.

Karen Knight Non Executive Director    John Hennessey Non Executive Director

The role of Non Executive Director is crucial to the function of the board, ensuring that it acts in the best interests of patients, the community and wider public.

Among the key responsibilities are constructively challenging and contributing to the development of strategy as well as scrutinising the performance of Executive Directors in meeting agreed goals and objectives and holding them to account.

Ms Knight is retired, following a long career working in many roles within health and social care. For nine years, she was an Executive and Non Executive Director of the NorseGroup, the country’s largest local authority trading company. She has also been the Managing Director of Norsecare, leading one of East Anglia’s largest residential care providers to achieve outstanding CQC ratings.

She said: “I am delighted to be joining the James Paget, which has demonstrated its commitment to providing high quality patient care by achieving successive ‘good’ ratings from the Care Quality Commission, with clear evidence of service improvement between inspections.

“My aim is to help the Trust maintain its focus on continuous improvement, working closely with our health and social care partners.”

Mr Hennessey grew up in Minnesota in the USA before moving to the UK in 1990. He worked for business consultancy Deloitte before joining the NHS in 1993. He was an NHS Finance Director for 24 years, working at several London-based organisations including Great Ormond Street Hospital. His last NHS post was at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital where he was Chief Financial Officer from 2018-20 as well as the Norfolk and Waveney STP Finance Director. 

He said: “While the Trust is currently facing the unprecedented challenge of the pandemic, it is also looking at an exciting future which includes the development of a new hospital - and I am looking forward to playing my part in ensuring that the local community’s healthcare needs are met both now and in the years ahead.”

Ms Knight and Mr Hennessey attended their first virtual board meeting last week.

Trust Chair Anna Davidson said: “We are delighted to welcome both Karen and John to the James Paget and look forward to working with them. Their diverse skills and experience will help strengthen our Board as we continue to develop our services for patients and ensure that the James Paget remains a great place for staff to work.”