Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust recruits new chief people officer

Guy’s and St Thomas’Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust has appointed Crystal Akass as its new chief people officer, with a starting date of 5 August.

Currently chief people officer at Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, a post she has held since 2021, Akass will succeed current chief people officer Julie Screaton, who is leaving the trust after seven years.

Before joining the NHS, Akass spent 18 years in the UK Civil Service, joining the Home Office and progressing through HR and organisational development roles both there and in the Ministry of Justice. She went on to hold the role of HR director at the Cabinet Office and director of people at the Department for Work and Pensions.

Akass said: “I am so proud to be joining Guy’s and St Thomas’, a much admired and world-renowned organisation with a rich history and such ambition for healthcare excellence, innovation and transformation. I am really looking forward to meeting the brilliant people making this happen every day in the individual sites and services, and excited to become part of the team.”

Professor Ian Abbs, chief executive of Guy’s and St Thomas’ said: “I am delighted to be welcoming Crystal to Guy’s and St Thomas’. Her skills and experience, both in the NHS and wider public services, will be vital as we continue to develop and support our diverse and talented staff.

“With one of the largest and most diverse workforces in the NHS, we are all too aware of the staffing challenges facing the NHS at the moment. But this also provides us with an opportunity to make a real difference in how we attract, retain and develop the best people so that we can provide the best possible care to patients.”