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News & Media

Media Release

Date: 12 March 2019

New chair appointed to RUH Trust

The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust has announced it has appointed Alison Ryan as its new chair. She will take over from Brian Stables, who is stepping down after nine years in the role, from 1 April.

Ms Ryan has 30 years strategic and executive experience in the health and social care sector. She was most recently a Non-Executive Director at the University Hospital Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, chairing its Quality and Outcomes Committee between 2014-17, during which the Trust moved from 'Requires Improvement' to 'Outstanding' after inspection by the CQC.

Previously she held Non-Executive Director positions on the boards of the Somerset Partnership NHS Mental Health Trust, and at NHS Southwest and NHS South of England Strategic Health Authorities.

Ms Ryan has lived and worked in the South West for 40 years and currently lives near Wincanton, although she will be moving to Bath this summer. She is a keen yachtswoman and took a year out to sail around the world in the 2017/18 Clipper Round the World Race. Her normal hobby is classical music – she plays piano and organ and also sings regularly.

Ms Ryan said: "I'm delighted to be joining the RUH Trust team at what is an exciting time and challenging time for the NHS and for the Trust itself. We have some major development projects in the pipeline, and some coming to fruition, that will help make the RUH fit for the future and further improve the services we offer to our patients.

"As chair I am committed to listening to our patients and their families, our staff and our communities and partners, and to act on what we hear. I have already found out that our directors and governors are a talented, caring and committed team and I look forward to working with them very much."

Joanna Hole, Trust Vice Chairman and Senior Independent Director, said: "We are delighted to welcome Alison to the Trust. She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of health and social care, and we are sure she will be an inspiring leader in her new role.

"I would also like thank and to pay tribute to Brian Stables, who is leaving us after nine momentous years. Among his many achievements, he helped to steer the RUH to achieve Foundation Trust status in 2014, and developed both the Board of Directors and the Council of Governors to support the patient centred culture and modern services that we now provide."

Outgoing chair Brian Stables said: "My best wishes go to Alison in her new role – she will bring enormous experience and enthusiasm and I know she will be of huge benefit to the Trust".

Notes to Editor
More about Alison Ryan
  • Alison Ryan was Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Horticultural Therapy (now Thrive) from 1985-1998, CEO for the Princess Royal Trust for Carers (now the Carers' Trust).
  • From 1999-2004 and then Chief Executive at Weldmar Hospicecare Trust from 2004-2016, an organisation that provides end of life services in rural Dorset.
  • Her earlier career was with the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority between 1976-1985, where latterly she was responsible for major international nuclear research and development contracts and intergovernmental research agreements.
  • Her husband, Ian, died five years ago, having been disabled and an invalid all his life, and they had no children.
About the RUH
  • The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust provides acute treatment and care for a catchment population of around 500,000 people in Bath, and the surrounding towns and villages in North East Somerset and Western Wiltshire. The hospital provides healthcare to the population served by four Clinical Commissioning Groups: Bath & North East Somerset CCG, Wiltshire CCG, Somerset CCG and South Gloucestershire CCG.
  • The Trust has 759 beds and a comprehensive range of acute services including medicine and surgery, services for women and children, accident and emergency services, and diagnostic and clinical support services.
  • In 2015 The Royal United Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust acquired the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD) NHS Foundation Trust. The RNHRD treats patients from across the country offering services in rheumatology, chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome/ME, cancer related fatigue and fatigue linked to other long term conditions such as multiple sclerosis.
  • The RUH is changing - we have an exciting programme of redevelopment underway transforming our site and further improving the services we provide. The Trust is building a purpose built RNHRD and Therapies Centre and is now working towards a new Dyson Cancer Centre. For more details visit:

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