New People Director appointed at Evelina London

Last updated: Monday, 27 February 2023

Children's models

Cheryl Samuels has been appointed as the new People Director to lead Evelina London’s Women’s and Children’s Services, part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. She will take on the role from 3 April 2023.

Cheryl has over 20 years’ experience working in HR at a senior level in the NHS at both a regional and national level. She is currently the Deputy Director of Workforce Transformation at NHS England, providing strategic leadership helping with the smooth transition of the closure of five clinical commissioning groups replacing them with new Integrated Care Boards.

She has also contributed significantly to the design of the International Medical Graduate induction programme, supporting its implementation with the aim of reducing inequalities, improving the experience of overseas doctors who join the NHS. In addition, she has worked as a workforce advisor in the London regional team establishing assurance around service reconfiguration programmes such as the North West London Elective Orthopaedic Centre.

Prior to her regional role, she was the national health and wellbeing lead, responsible for organising a range of psychological interventions to support 1.3 million staff across the NHS during the pandemic. Some of these included free access to apps such as Headspace, Unmind, and Liberate, with over 130,000 staff accessing the apps to support them through the difficult times. She also devised Understanding Cultural Bereavement guidance at a time when line managers needed to support a diverse workforce with differing bereavement practices.

Cheryl is also a driver for transformation with a strong ethos that centres around equity, equality, diversity and inclusion. As the co-founder of #InclusiveHR a social movement, in collaboration with the London Healthcare People Management Association, she has sought to acknowledge and address the racial inequalities that exist within the HR and organisational development profession, encouraging action to improve the lived experiences of Black, Asian Minority Ethnic staff. She won the national BAME Health and Care Award for the most outstanding contribution to healthcare for this social movement and was also named nationally in the HSJ Top 50 Most Influential BAME leaders in 2022. In addition to these accolades, she was also recognised more broadly across all sectors by HR Magazine as one of the Most Influential HR Practitioners 2022.

Commenting on Cheryl’s appointment, Dr Sara Hanna, Interim Chief Executive at Evelina London said: “We are delighted to have appointed Cheryl to this important leadership role at Evelina London. People make Evelina London the special place it is, and everyday I am in awe of the passion and dedication colleagues bring to work to do their best for babies, children, women and families.

Cheryl said: “I am excited to be joining Evelina London at a time of much change in the NHS as we come out of the pandemic, as this is an opportunity to lead by example, nurture our staff and help them to realise their personal and professional ambitions. It is only through our people that we can aspire to deliver high quality services, reduce inequalities and innovate. When staff are happy so are the women and children in our care.”

Evelina London's Women's and Children's Services provide care for women, children, young people and their families throughout their lives, from before conception and birth, throughout childhood, and into adult services as part of Guy's and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. Evelina London Children’s Hospital is rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission.

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