They keep me grounded. Owen on his family, being a BAME CEO and a "cholesterol rebel" on his 7th anniversary at CHFT.

The Williamses: left to right Finlay, Vaughn, Jason and Heather


It's seven years this week since we welcomed our CEO Owen Williams to  the CHFT family.

It's been a time of real change, achievement and development for the Trust as we strive the provide the very best compassionate care for our patients and their families and he hails his family  - pictured  - for being "everything" to him.

Since 2012 he has set up his  hotline Ask Owen which has had around 400 direct questions from colleagues and presented nearly every Star Award for four years - a personal highlight for him. He also loves invitations to join the ward teams to support and promote their good work as he did for this Hand Hygiene photo with our Infection Control team - small insert.

Now one of the longest-serving CEOs in the Yorks and Humber, here he shares his thoughts on his time at the helm here.

How do you think CHFT has changed in your 7 years. I think we have a good blend of learning from each other as well as learning from elsewhere. The “Go See” pillar has played a strong part in changing our outlook.


What has given you your biggest sense of pride? In my time in the Trust I don’t think we have ever lost sight of why we are here ie providing compassionate care and looking after each other.


What has made you smile? Seeing colleagues develop and receiving external validation that we are improving the care we provide for local people.


Favourite memory so far? The warmth of colleagues regardless of whether they are in a clinical hospital setting, doing office based work or providing care in the community.


You’re a regular in the staff restaurants. Fave breakfast and why? Crunchy nut cornflakes to start with and scrambled or fried eggs on toast with loads of butter. The restaurants are a great place to say hello to people and I like being a cholesterol rebel!


Why short-sleeved shirts all the time – even in winter? Simplest way of doing the ‘must do’ of being bear below the elbow. Means that I can quickly visit most areas following washing my hands and using a bit of hand gel.


Tell us about your thesis and how you will celebrate after it’s finished. Five years of research into meeting the challenge of increasing the number of Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) CEOs across NHS provider organisations and local government. The current number of BAME CEOs is around 1% - 2% of the total CEO population - so rather than just standing there looking wide-eyed and parroting the problem, I thought I’d try and make a difference – so we’ll see.


What does family support mean to you away from work? Everything really – it’s what keeps me grounded and ensures that I ever don’t get ahead of the tips of my skis.