Issue 1June 2018

Invitation to our AGM on July 19 and a welcome from our new Chair, Philip Lewer.

It is my great pleasure to be writing my first welcome to CHFT’s Foundation News.

I was very proud to have been appointed Chair at this Trust in April succeeding Andrew Haigh and I thank him for all his friendship and support in my early days.

It has certainly been a case of hitting the ground running as on April 3, 4 and 5 we had the Care Quality Commission (CQC) visit our hospital sites. As you can imagine, that could be very daunting for everyone who works here as all my colleagues only want to give the inspectors the very best show of the compassionate care we are providing for our local communities.

So, it was tremendous that when the CQC report came back they raised this Trust’s overall rating to Good.  I have only been here three months but my early impression is that it is very well-deserved indeed.  Of course, in the NHS there will always be areas to improve on, however a “good” rating is a tremendous achievement and it is my pleasure to thank my 6,000 colleagues for that start.

Looking ahead, the ongoing work with our partners to reshape the way we deliver care at our hospitals and in communities continues and more decisions are due later this year.  We are also very aware of the challenging financial background which continues.

I also note this is the first Foundation News we’ve produced in this digital version and I hope you enjoy reading about the highlights of the past six months in this format.  During the rest of the year you can also read about the key developments at the Trust on Facebook and Twitter @CHFTNHS.

It is early days for me and I must say how much I am looking forward to the challenges and achievements which lie ahead for CHFT.  I am looking forward to working with our Governors and also our volunteers who do such a terrific job supporting the Trust.

I sign off with an invitation to our Annual General Meeting on Thursday July 19 at the Large Training Room, in the Learning Centre at CRH.  The meeting starts at 6 pm but please join us for a cup of tea from 5 pm onwards.  I hope to welcome you and meet you at the event and if you can make it please book on first by e-mailing or calling 01484 347342.  



Philip is a Lancastrian, started work on a market stall when he was just 14 before becoming a social worker and joining the NHS aged 18. He has  since worked for  the NHS in many roles at regional and national levels.  Here's his first impressions of our Trust and much more besides.

"I was nervous and did not sleep much the night before. I met some staff as I walked to the office on my first day and they smiled so that helped make me feel better and give me confidence.  I was welcomed by Owen and his team and began to smile.  I got lost trying to find the board room.  By the end of Day 3 I was tired as I had chaired my first Board meeting, managed to remember most people's names, had been "CQCed" and had  joined the tea fund!. I went to bed soon on Friday night very tired.  So far so good - I just know I am going to enjoy working with the people at this Trust."

He is married to Janette and they met when they were 16.  They have one daughter (Kate) and four granddaughters (Maddison, Isabelle, Darcy and Scarlet - see attached photo).

Philip enjoys living in Yorkshire (Harden, near Bingley) and has lived there nearly 40 years. He adds: "I need to confess that I was born in Lancashire." He studied in Leeds and qualified as a Social Worker in 1972.  He gained a Masters Degree in Management in 1990 from Lancaster University. Here's more from him.


What is your position?
Chair of the Board at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS FT from 1.4.18.

Tell us about your career background
I started my working life at the age of 14 as a market trader.  I had an outside market stall and it was hard work – I can never remember being warm.  I was fortunate to be appointed as Trainee Mental Welfare Officer by the Health Service when I was 18.

I have worked with City of Bradford Council, Calderdale Council, NHS Improvement, the Department of Health and the NHS, regionally and locally.  I am very fortunate to have worked with people l like and admire.  Although there have been challenges I have always found that the people I worked with and the people I served as a public servant helped make my career fun and enjoyable.

What are the best bits about your job?
Working with and meeting people.

What is the career highlight so far?
Becoming Chair of Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust.

Sum up your role in three words
A public servant.

What did you want to do when you were growing up?
I just wanted to work with people.  I knew I did not want to work in the local cotton mill as a weaver, something I had done and failed at.

Who is your hero/heroine and why?
Martin Luther King – he inspired his people and made brave decisions.  ‘I have a dream’ speech is brilliant.

When not at work
I have an eclectic taste in music, Motown, Chopin, Beatles.  I love and look forward to Car Karaoke with my grandchildren on the way to and from the gym.  It started with “Frozen” and is currently “The Greatest Showman”.

What is your favourite place?
Monda – a little village with 2000 people in Andalucia, Spain.

What will people be surprised to know about you?
Approximately 20 years ago, I once leased with some friends a 1952 London Transport double decker bus for three years, and provided wedding transport for some colleagues – it was on my bucket list.


Philip succeeds Andrew Haigh who left us after seven years at the helm and we have now have updated our Executive Board photo board to include him. 

Article Attachments

Philip with his grandchildren
Philip with his grandchildren

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Vanessa Henderson is our Membership and Engagement manager.

Contact her on 01484 347342 or email her at
This newsletter has been compiled jointly by the Membership Office and the Trust’s Communications team.