Royal Berks Chairman to start 24 August

Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust has appointed its new chairman, following an official meeting of the Trust’s Council of Governors.

Graham Sims, will begin his role as Trust chairman on 24 August, replacing acting chair, Janet Rutherford. 

Graham brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in global corporate finance, operations, HR and leadership. He has held roles as Chairman, executive and non-executive Director within corporate businesses including for example BP, Compass and Little Chef. Graham has also sat on a number of charity boards and committees in the Home Office.

 David Cooper, Lead Governor for Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We were extremely impressed by Graham's, extensive experience and knowledge of managing large organisations through transformational and cultural change, placing the needs of staff and local communities at the heart of all that he does. Graham is a real people's person, passionate about the NHS and local health services. We, as the council of governors are committed to working with Graham, and the board of directors in fulfilling our role in holding the Board to account.

“I would like to thank Janet Rutherford for her commitment, leadership of the Trust Board, over the past five months.”

Graham Sims, on his appointment as chairman for the Trust, said: “I feel truly honoured to be taking on the role of chairman for the Trust and working with everyone. Despite the challenges the Trust faces, I know staff feel very proud to work here and we have a great reputation for providing safe and caring services for local people. From what I have seen so far, the Trust is evolving; a really positive response to what would be a challenging future. I am looking forward to being an ambassador for the Trust whilst supporting Chief Executive, Jean O’Callaghan and the team in working with all our partners to develop our shared vision of healthcare services for Berkshire.”



Working with us

NHS best places to work

Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust has been named by Health Service Journal and Nursing Times, in association with NHS Employers, as one of the top 100 NHS places to work. The list includes acute trusts, community trusts, and mental health trusts across England.

On top of this success, consultant in elderly care, Professor David Oliver, has been recognised in the HSJ top 100 Clinical Leaders list. As well as a doctor at the Trust, Professor David Oliver is the President of the British Geriatrics Society and was recognised for his national work to improve care for older people.

Patient partner Carol Munt was also recognised; in the HSJ top 50 Patient Leaders list. Patient partners work with trusts to give a patient’s perspective on how care can be improved.

Jean O’Callaghan, Chief Executive, says: “I am thrilled that we are one of the best NHS employers in the country. I certainly feel proud to work here. It is testament to the fact that we have motivated staff who enjoy working here, and are proud of the care we provide for patients. We are also privileged to have people like Dr Oliver and Carol working with us.”

Last year’s staff survey showed that:

  • Staff at the Trust are highly motivated

  • Staff are satisfied with their quality of work and patient care

  • Staff agree that their role makes a difference to patients

  • Staff feel their role makes a difference to patients.

The Trust employs around 5,500 staff. 

Getting in touch

Our telephone numbers have changed

If you need to call the hospital about an appointment, or you have a query about your care, from today (Monday 6 July), our numbers are changing.

Instead of calling the Patient Services number (0845 900 7000), your appointment letter will show  a new telephone number. The new number will take you through to a dedicated administration team for your medical speciality. This team will be able to deal with any questions about appointments, and direct any medical queries to the team overseeing your care.

If you are an existing patient, or have not received an appointment letter showing the relevant telephone number, click here to see our new numbers.

The Patient Services number will continue to operate but please note: if you call this number, you will now be transferred to the dedicated administration team for your medical speciality. This number will be phased out over the coming months.

Please bear with us while we continue to update all our telephone numbers on the rest of our website.


Incident update 

In the early hours on Thursday, 30 July, a burst pipe caused a power outage in parts of the Royal Berkshire Hospital (North Block and Battle Block). While essential electrical equipment was not affected thanks to generator backup, there were some wards and corridors without overhead lighting. Emergency backup generators brought onto our site soon after the incident rectified this problem. 

In a separate, unrelated incident around the same time, a small fire broke out in a cabinet of our Coronary Care Unit. While there was no direct risk to patients from the fire, we took the decision to move patients from this unit and a neighbouring ward to other parts of the hospital. 

On Friday 1 August we called a 'Major Incident' because of the continuing loss of power. To help us to provide the best care possible for our existing patients and because we were unable to use some wards affected by the incident, we diverted non-life threatening cases from our A&E On Friday 1 August. We also arranged with our SCAS colleagues to divert cardiac and stroke patients to neighbouring hospitals. We cancelled the diverts for stroke patients on Sunday 3 August, and for cardiac patients on Monday 4 August. We would like to clarify that despite some media reports, A&E did not lose power, and patients from affected areas were not evacuated into A&E. 

For one week, the hospital ran on generator power. We are pleased to say that on Thursday 6 August, after careful planning and preparation, we were able to safely return to mains power. 

We want to thank our staff for managing the situation so well and working incredibly hard to keep our patients safe throughout. We also want to thank our patients and visitors for bearing with us, and to the Red Cross, SCAS, and local hospitals for providing support.

If you were affected by the incident, you are invited to visit our Chaplaincy at the hospital, or contact our PALS team on 0118 322 8338, by letter or at talktous@royalberkshire.nhs.uk 



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  • CONTACT DETAILS: Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, London Road, Reading RG1 5AN
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