Chief Officer’s Blog 26 November 2021


Hello everyone, Sheena here!

I’m sure you are now aware that Graham Urwin has been appointed to the role of Designate Chief Executive of Cheshire and Merseyside Integrated Care Board, so I’d like to begin this message with a warm welcome to him. He takes up the position on 1 December and I will then return to my substantive job as Chief Executive at Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP). Consequently, this is my last blog as interim Chief Officer at Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership, and it is something of a ‘goodbye and thank you’!

I have very much enjoyed my time here. It has been a real privilege to be part of the ICS development at this exciting – albeit challenging – time. I have been incredibly impressed by all my colleagues, within the HCP, CCGs , and beyond, and their total commitment to the task in hand – the ongoing transition to a statutory Integrated Care Board – as well as to the population of Cheshire and Merseyside. The transition is no easy task and involves the safe and effective closedown of nine CCGs and the establishment of the new ICB. We held our first ‘System Oversight Board’ this week – the precursor to the formal ICB – and I likened the task to designing the plane while flying it, and in bad weather! But we haven’t crashed, and our final destination is in sight. However, it is a significant undertaking, and the scale of the changes, which are ultimately about all of us involved in health and care (in the NHS, local authorities and the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector) working together to reduce inequalities, improve outcomes and increase value, should not be underestimated.


To everyone I have worked with on this, you are doing an amazing job and I want to thank you all sincerely for making me so welcome; for being so supportive to me; and for being so effective in your work. I’d particularly like to thank David Flory who, as interim Independent Chair of the Health and Care Partnership, has been a great partner to work with and a wise counsel. I am glad that I will, of course, remain firmly within the Partnership in my role with CWP so it’s more of a ‘see you soon’ than an actual ‘goodbye’!

I am delighted to be handing over the baton to Graham, who many of you will know already. There is no doubt he is the right man for the job and I know he is going to be a great success.

My final plea is that you continue to Be Kind. Look after yourselves, and each other. This is a very challenging time for many people. Organisational change is never easy and, for many, it is very stressful.  Remember, it is ok to not be ok and you are encouraged to talk and seek support if you need it. It is available to you.

So, once again, thank you and my very best wishes to you all.


Interim Chief Officer, CMHCP

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