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Former GBC Leader to Become Chair of the Royal Surrey’s Board of Directors

Published on: 18 Dec, 2022
Updated on: 20 Dec, 2022

The RSCH Trust’s announcement of Joss Bigmore as their new board chair.

By Martin Giles

Joss Bigmore, until October the leader of Guildford Borough Council, is to become chair of the Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Trust’s board of directors.

The announcement has surprised some given his continuing role as deputy leader of the borough council but he brushed off concerns saying: “I’m not worried about the time commitment, I worked 60-hour weeks for the best part of 20 years in the City, I’m used to working hard and I’m good at time management and I think the relationships I have built as council leader can help the Trust.”

Asked if he still intended to stand as a borough councillor in May 2023 and remain as R4GV leader, he said: “I will be standing in 2023, and have no intention of giving up the leadership of R4GV [Residents for Guildford & Villages].

“My ward, Christchurch, is disappearing, under the recent boundary review, so I will be standing in either Merrow or Burpham as parts of Christchurch have moved into those wards.”

Pressed if taking on the new responsibility meant that he didn’t expect R4GV to be the largest party after the election next year, obviating the need for him to be the council leader, he responded: “I absolutely expect R4GV to be the largest party after the elections, we are the only group with a vision for Guildford and the only group that is focussed on delivering that vision.

“I don’t see why I can’t do both jobs, it will be far easier when we achieve a majority as managing the politics of a coalition is time-consuming and frankly a distraction from getting on with what we need to do. There are council leaders across the county that have full-time jobs alongside leadership.”

Bigmore will replace, Sue Sjuve as the current chair of the board. In February 2023 she will complete her second three-year term. Lead Governor Dave Chuter said: “…after six years of exceptional service at Royal Surrey, she will be moving on to pursue other interests.

See more about the role of the RSCH’s Board of Directors here.

“Over the last three months, we have undertaken a rigorous recruitment process to appoint a new chair.

“I am delighted to announce that we have appointed a successful candidate and Joss Bigmore will be joining us as Trust Chair from March 1.

“Until October, Joss was Leader of Guildford Borough Council.  He is currently Deputy Leader with responsibility for Finance and Planning, having previously led on Governance. Prior to this he was a managing director of an investment bank trading equity derivatives, and also has experience investing in early-stage companies.

“There was widespread agreement across those taking part in the recruitment process that Joss was an exceptional candidate. We are confident that he will bring great insight into the role at Royal Surrey and his experience in collaboration gained within the local authority will prove beneficial as we develop closer ties with Surrey Heartlands and our neighbouring providers and partners.”

In accepting the position, which attracts a salary believed to be in the region of £45 -50,000, Joss said: “I am very pleased to be joining the Royal Surrey. The chance to try and help the Trust face the challenges of the future is inspiring and I can’t wait to start.

“The potential for increased collaboration with our partners encouraged by the Health and Care Act 2022 [see video below] is something that really interests me and I hope to make use of the relationships I have built when GBC Council Leader to leverage those opportunities.

The Health and Care Act encourages hospitals to work much closer together to maximise resources and quality of service to patients. Bigmore explained: “This is very similar to the collaboration work we are doing with Waverley at GBC. There is also a recognition that within Integrated Care Systems there needs to be much more coordination between all the different Healthcare providers.

“I would like to thank Sue Sjuve for her incredible service to Royal Surrey; she is a very tough act to follow, and I hope to learn as much as possible from her before I start next year.”

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test One Response to Former GBC Leader to Become Chair of the Royal Surrey’s Board of Directors

  1. Keith Francis Reply

    December 19, 2022 at 2:05 am

    When did the trust’s members’ public consultation take place? It sounds like Surrey County Council and London Road all over again.

    I see the effect of “collaboration with local authorities” elsewhere and Surrey Heartlands appears to have abandoned where I live.

    Has it now stopped arguing about the replacement for Weybridge hospital and doctors’ practices premises which were lost in a fire about five years ago?

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