Ipswich: NHS chair joins social services firm Sanctuary Personnel

AN NHS big wheel is set to join one of the largest social work firms in the country as chairman.

Andrew Williamson, who was awarded a CBE in 1999 in recognition of his services to social work and is currently chair of NHS Cornwall and Isle of Scilly, joins Ipswich Waterfront-based Sanctuary Personnel.

He will be joining five other directors on Sanctuary’s executive team, meaning overall control of the board now rests with qualified social workers.

Sanctuary, which has an annual turnover of �38million, employs 95 staff and is one of the largest social work-led organisations in Britain. It employs more practitioners than most local authorities.

It supplies qualified social workers to more than 170 councils and to the NSPCC and Cafcass on a national level. It also carries out the assessments and fieldwork for thousands of vulnerable children every year.

Managing director James Rook said: “Part of Mr Williamson’s role will be to set out a growth path that will always be safe for service users, while the company’s scale and processes change in the background. It means we can always be there for directors of children’s services in an emergency.”

Mr Williamson, who first became acquainted with Sanctuary as a judge at the annual Social Worker of the Year Awards. which the firm hosted, said he was “delighted” to join.