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Lead for 40 new NHS facilities appointed

08 January 2021

The UK government has announced the appointment of Natalie Forrest to lead the £4.9bn construction of 40 new NHS hospital facilities.

Ms Forrest has worked for the NHS for more than 30 years, with the last 12 spent in senior leadership roles, including construction and operational focuses.

Her most recent success involved the creation of NHS Nightingale London facility in response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Prior to this, Ms Forrest served as the Chase Farm Hospital chief executive in North London, where she oversaw the design and build of an innovative new hospital facility.

This was delivered on time, within budget and was completed without interruption to essential health services, according to Infrastructure Intelligence.

Speaking of her role as senior responsible officer for the new hospital programme, which begins this month, Ms Forrest said:

“I am determined to build trust in our national capability in planning and delivering hospitals, not just with health and construction stakeholders but with the staff and patients who will benefit from them on a daily basis.

“My goal will be to deliver these new hospitals cost-effectively and at speed, and to foster an ecosystem that owns, learns from and improves healthcare design.”

She will oversee a delivery board across the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England and Improvement, which will work closely with a network of NHS trusts.

Health and Social Care secretary Matt Hancock complemented Ms Forrest’s “unrivalled experience in health management and nursing, but also the construction and project management knowledge that helped turn the Excel conference centre into a Nightingale Hospital in just nine days”.

He additionally included Ms Forrest’s success in the Chase Farm Hospital project in his endorsement.

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