“The NHS is a leveller for everyone” – Interview with Anneke de Boer, Governor
As part of a new series of interviews getting to know the Trust’s governors, we met with Anneke de Boer.
Anneke has been a governor since 2013 and was one of the first people elected following our move to Foundation Trust status. She told us why she wanted to get involved, her connection to the NHS and what she enjoys about the role.
What have been your experiences of the NHS?
“I moved to London from the US, where the healthcare system is very different. Living here made me appreciate how the NHS is a leveller for everyone.
“Both my children were born on the NHS and when my eldest son was born, it was the same week that Madonna had flown back to the US as she didn’t want to give birth in an NHS hospital.
“So as an American, I ended up being interviewed by the television media as a new mum who was proud to have my child in an NHS hospital!”
Why did you want to become a governor at the Trust?
“My background is in investment banking rather than healthcare, but I was looking for a project or organisation to get involved in where I could put my analytical and people skills to good use.
“On top of this, my family and I have been treated at St George’s, so when the opportunity arose to be a governor, I was interested in giving something back.”
What do you enjoy about being a governor?
“You can have a real influence on who is overseeing the hospital. For instance, I sit on the nomination and remuneration committee and was involved in the appointments of Gillian Norton and many of the current Non-Executive Directors. I am also involved in annually evaluating their performance.
“I’ve been impressed with the way the Board has faced challenges as well as their focus on turning things around and focussing St George’s on the right path.
“Personally I’ve found the role very rewarding and educational – I’ve learnt so much about the nitty gritty of running a hospital and the challenges the NHS is facing.”
Finally, what do you think is unique about the Trust?
“The calibre and the kindness of staff never fails to impress me. It has been a difficult few years and the resilience of staff is amazing. My family and I have all been treated at St George’s, both in Tooting and at Queen Mary’s, so I have seen first-hand how staff put patients first to deliver the best possible care.”