SUE Smith has been reappointed chairman of Hinchingbrooke Hospital s board, which is expected to disappear in 2011 when an operating franchise takes over management of the hospital. The original plan was that the board would have been dissolved in April t

SUE Smith has been reappointed chairman of Hinchingbrooke Hospital's board, which is expected to disappear in 2011 when an operating franchise takes over management of the hospital.

The original plan was that the board would have been dissolved in April this year under plans confirmed by NHS Cambridgeshire in spring 2007. The move was aimed at saving £1million a year. But the two-year process of finding a franchise 'partner' began only recently, leaving the board to continue its governance.

Sue Smith has been chairman for the past nine years, having previously sat on the board as a non-executive director. Before this, she chaired the former Huntingdon Community Health Council in 1998/99 and had been a governor at Hills Road Sixth Form College, in Cambridge. Her previous employment had been as a human resources manager at Marks & Spencer.

Mark Millar, Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust chief executive, said: "Her excellent board-management skills have helped to steer the trust through the past few, sometimes difficult, years, and I am sure that she will continue to successfully guide the board through the upcoming operating franchise process."

Mrs Smith's reappointment is effective from November 1, 2009 to April 20, 2011. She will be paid £20,144 a year for the task.

Hinchingbrooke became an NHS Trust in 1992, although the hospital was opened in two stages in 1979 and 1983. With an annual income of over £90 million, the hospital delivers services with a bed stock of 258 beds, plus 24 specifically for day cases, alongside 23 cabins located in the treatment centre, the £22million unit that opened in November 2005.