Ann Marr

Presented by Professor Viv Bennett

Honourable Pro-Chancellor, I have pleasure in presenting Ann Marr for the award of an Honorary Fellowship from Liverpool John Moores University.

Ann Marr has been a true stalwart and leading light in the NHS for over 30 years. Starting as a junior clerk, she displayed great tenacity and determination from the outset which would shape her future career. Working her way up the ranks, and after qualifying as an accountant through a day release study scheme, she eventually progressed to Director of Finance at two neighbouring NHS trusts before becoming Chief Executive of the Liverpool Women’s Hospital in 2001. 

She was appointed Chief Executive of St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in 2003.

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust provides a full range of acute healthcare services across our two sites at Whiston and St Helens hospitals, including inpatient, outpatient, maternity and emergency services. The Mersey Regional Burns and Plastic Surgery Unit is also located at Whiston Hospital, providing treatment for over 4 million people across the North West, North Wales and the Isle of Man.

It has a workforce of over 4,500 staff guided by the Trust’s vision to provide ‘5 star patient care’, striving to meet the best standards of professional care whilst being sensitive and responsive to the needs of individual patients.

The Leadership Academy of the NHS states the importance of personal qualities in being an effective leader. It is vital to recognise that personal qualities like self-awareness, selfconfidence, self-control, self-knowledge, personal reflection, resilience and determination are the foundation of how we behave and interact with others. Ann has shown these qualities throughout her career and putting them into action has enabled her to focus on high-quality services for patients and service users. Ann is passionate about consistent delivery of high quality patient care.

Her inspiring leadership has been instrumental in creating a culture and environment which enables staff to deliver high quality care, and delivering positive results for the teams over which she presides. While Chief Executive, she has also successfully overseen the replacement of old Victorian workhouse buildings with two new hospitals.

She has said: “The great thing about this job is that you have the chance to make such a difference. If we achieve what we set out to, and provide really good care and a positive patient experience, then we know we have achieved something really worthwhile.”

Achieving something worthwhile is at the heart of what Ann is all about, in terms of her goals and her dedication to health care, staff and patients. 

“Continuous improvement” is her mantra, with the aim of providing the best care for patients and the local community. 

In the past year, the Trust has been acclaimed for delivering the best patient experience across the entire NHS and providing the best (and cleanest) environment, compared to all other hospitals.

The Care Quality Commission rate the care delivered by the St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust as outstanding – one of the very few in the country to be given the highest possible score. The Trust is also consistently rated as one of the top employers, and has been described as “the happiest hospital in the NHS”.

And so it gives me great pleasure to present Ann Marr for admission to our highest honour, as an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University.