Mary is Pelican Cancer Foundation’s Chair of Trustees. She took up this role in July 2018 and joins as the 10th member of the board.
Mary trained as a nurse in London and had various roles in clinical practice before moving into management. She brings expert knowledge of the NHS to the role, having been the Chief Executive of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust from 2003—2016. Mary oversaw the successful transition of the organisation from the former NHS Trust into the new Foundation Trust and led the process to bring together Basingstoke, Winchester and Andover hospitals to create Hampshire Hospitals.
5 minutes with Mary
I am married with two sons, one of whom lives in Australia, one in London. I retired from the NHS in 2016 after 38 years and I am now a governor of the University of Winchester, as well as the chair of Trustees here at Pelican Cancer Foundation. My passion outside work is sport, in particular hockey. I also enjoy travelling and my first trip post-retirement was a round the world tour including Hong Kong, Australia, California and Texas to see family and friends.
What was the favourite part of your job as CEO at Hampshire Hospitals?
There are far too many wonderful parts to choose. A favourite part of my job was the ability to wander around the wards and departments and chat to staff delivering the service. They all made me walk away with a beaming smile. I also loved talking to patients; hearing them describe what amazing care they received from all of our staff, and not just the clinical ones, was a real privilege of the job.
What made you want to be a trustee of a charity?
When I retired, I knew that I wanted to still be involved in the health sector having worked all of my life in this area. I felt that I had skills and expertise to make a meaningful contribution and I knew that volunteering within the third sector would enable me to fulfil this and still contribute to improving health care.
What made you interested in being part of Pelican Cancer Foundation?
I was aware of the fantastic work of Pelican from my time in Hampshire Hospitals and was delighted to be approached to help with this amazing charity.
Pelican builds on the skills of great clinicians by enabling them to share their knowledge and expertise with fellow colleagues across the country. Their goal is to constantly improve the treatment of patients with below the belt cancers and to push the boundaries to improve survival; so the decision to accept was easy, as their work and aims resonate with me.
How do you approach your role as the Chair of Trustees?
I see my role as supporting the team who do the day to day work in Pelican, by chairing a great team of trustees who strive to steer the charity in the best possible way.
I endeavour to ensure that we meet the standards expected of any well-organised charity and maintain focus on our key aims and objectives – advancing
research, education and treatment of below the belt cancers, to helping cancer patients to live for longer with a better quality of life.
What expertise do you bring to the Trustee board?
I bring many years of experience in the NHS, working with clinical and support staff of all types as well as a long career as an executive and board member of a large organisation. These experiences have given me a strong understanding of the need for good governance, stewardship and transparency when dealing with public money.
What is your ambition for Pelican Cancer Foundation?
I would love to see Pelican continue to develop, so that the care and treatment for patients with below the belt cancers is greatly enhanced and the data shows that more patients are living longer and well after a cancer diagnosis.