Hospice UK is pleased to welcome Paul Jennings as its new Chair, bringing with him a breadth of experience across the NHS and end of life sector.

Mr Jennings, who has 40 years of experience across a range of NHS organisations, including critical care and services for older people, was made a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health in 2010 for his work to address inequality in health and social care. He supported the ExtraCare Charitable Trust, which offers unique lifestyle opportunities for care and residential home residents for ten years, with three years as Chair.

During the past two years, Mr Jennings has led the Chief Executive’s Group for Health and Local Government across Birmingham and Solihull, and was at the forefront of a merger of three Clinical Commissioning Groups to create the largest CCG in England.

He was pivotal in transforming older people’s services in Walsall, establishing a community-based system based on intermediate and domiciliary care, as well as commissioning the building of the first hospice in Walsall, which opened in 2011.

In addition, he is Chair of Hospice UK’s Gold Standards Framework (GSF), which delivers essential training and education in end of life care in a range of health and care settings.

He said: “I am honoured to be appointed as Chair of Hospice UK. My commitment to GSF has enabled me to gain an understanding of many end of life issues such as advanced care planning and the importance of training and educating staff in a wide range of settings with respect to end of life and palliative care.

“Over the last two years leading Birmingham and Solihull CCG, I have promoted the importance of addressing end of life issues and as part of this I invited the local Hospices to take the chair and lead in developing our end of life strategy. This has proven to be successful with an emerging agreed strategy and an understanding of how an end of life offer needs to span the boundaries of organisations.”

Hospice UK CEO, Tracey Bleakley, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Paul as Hospice UK chair. His knowledge, experience and dedication to the sector goes before him, and he will be a huge asset to the organisation.”

Mr Jennings replaces Interim Chair, Tony Collins, CEO of Saint Michael’s Hospice and Deputy Chair of Hospice UK. Former Chair, ITV journalist, Robert Peston stood down in February 2020, but remains an active supporter and advocate as the organisation’s Vice President.