St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has appointed Paul da Gama as its new Chief People Officer.

Paul will join the team at St George’s next year from West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, where he has been Chief People Officer since 2014.

Prior to joining West Herts, Paul was Director of Human Resources at Hinchingbrooke Hospital. Paul began his career as a teacher, working in Japan and Poland, before joining banking group, HSBC, where he worked for 10 years.

He has also worked at Royal Mail Group, where he held a variety of different senior HR roles.

During his time at West Herts, Paul oversaw an improvement in staff engagement scores, and a major reduction in vacancy rates for band 5 nurses. He also helped West Herts secure the prestigious Nursing Times Best UK Employer of the Year Award in 2019 and, this year, the HPMA Best Human Resource Team.

Paul said: “I am really excited to be joining St George’s. I grew up locally and St George’s has cared for members of my family, so I have a real personal affection for the organisation.

“St George’s has a strong reputation for excellence, so I am looking forward to doing everything I can to improve the working lives of staff, and making the Trust a truly outstanding place for people to develop their careers.”

Jacqueline Totterdell, Chief Executive, said: “Paul’s extensive career in the NHS, and experience of other sectors, will be a key part of our improvement journey going forward. We have come a long way in recent years, but I know there is more we can do to improve the experience of staff who work at the Trust, which has a positive impact on the care we provide for patients.”

“I know Paul is absolutely focussed on improving the experience of staff through culture change, and helping staff be the very best they can be – these were key factors in his appointment, and I look forward to him joining the team here at St George’s next year.”

Paul will join St George’s in February 2021, and Elizabeth Nyawade and Humaira Ashraf will continue in their roles as joint Acting Chief People Officers until he takes up his role at the Trust.