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Chair and Deputy-Chair Hospice of St Francis

Be the Chair or Deputy Chair of the outstanding Hospice of St Francis, Berkhamsted and help their ambition to double the reach of their care supported by establishing new partnerships and funding opportunities.

  • Location: Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire
  • Salary: Reasonable expenses reimbursed
  • Closing date: Midnight Monday 13th May

About Hospice of St Francis

The Hospice of St Francis was established 45 years ago in 1979 to provide free specialist care for patients, their families, and carers in Hertfordshire and Berkhamsted.

The Hospice is a highly respected and critically important community charity providing exceptional and essential services to its local communities. The importance of this care is reflected in the work of its staff and volunteers, and the support of loyal donors, fundraisers, and customers.

The work of the Hospice is mainly funded by donations, income from retail activities, legacies, grants, and interest on investments. NHS Grants for Hospice Care contribute 19% to total income. At year-end 31st March 2023, total income was £7.45 million. They employ 150 staff and have over 1,000 volunteers supporting their work.

The Board

The Board of Trustees is responsible for the overall governance to set and maintain the vision, mission, and values of the Hospice. It develops the strategic direction, sets overall policy, defines strategic objectives, and evaluates performance against agreed targets, ensuring effective and efficient administration, and approving financial plans, with proper financial control and management.

It assures continuous compliance with legal and regulatory standards and other relevant legislation and undertakes risk assessments for all aspects of the charity. Day-to-day operational management responsibility is delegated via the Chief Executive to the Executive Team and other senior managers.

Full Board meetings are held four times annually in Berkhamsted (Hertfordshire). The Board operates with four formal committees, each chaired by a Trustee:

  • Income Generation
  • Clinical Governance
  • People and Governance
  • Finance, Audit, Risk and Resources

The term of office is four years but renewable for another four. Trustees do not receive payment for their services, but expenses incurred in carrying out duties on behalf of the Hospice can be reimbursed.


The pandemic heightened awareness for the Hospice to develop and fund new solutions to meet changing needs. They created a self-contained studio for family members, introduced ‘virtual wards’ providing care at home and co-designed well-being, and creative therapy programmes. They also implemented new social media and digital communications which helped reach a wider audience in new and exciting ways, as well as running the business digitally and paper-free.

The services that the Hospice put in place during the pandemic are services that now need to be funded for the longer term.

To continue to provide care and support to patients, families, and carers, to meet the increasing complexity of conditions, need for services, and to deliver new and enhanced complementary supporting services, the Hospice of St Francis needs to think differently to consider where funding comes from.

The Hospice seeks a Chair and Deputy Chair who will continue the excellent work of the charity but also help to achieve their ambition to double the reach of their care and to assure the Hospice is funded sustainably now and for the future.

Chair of the Board

The Chair is an ambassador and public face of the Hospice in partnership with the Chief Executive. Holding the Board and Chief Executive to account for the Charity’s mission and vision, the Chair will provide inclusive leadership to the Board of Trustees ensuring effective governance of the Charity.

The key requirements for the role include:

  • Proven experience of senior leadership in a commercial or strong income generation environment.
  • Previous board and committee experience and chairing meetings effectively and efficiently.
  • Establishing and building a strong effective, open, and constructive working relationship with the Chief Executive.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to leverage relationships to support the Hospice achieve its aims growing partnerships and funding.
  • Understanding of charity governance and compliance with associated policies, procedures and regulatory.
  • Have clarity of communication with the ability to draw out issues, sum up complex debates and clearly articulate decisions and actions.
  • Resilience when dealing with difficult and challenging people and complex situations.
  • Visible and approachable presence who is self-aware and sees potential in others.

Deputy Chair of the Board

The Deputy Chair will provide support to the Chair of the Board in leadership and stewardship of the Charity. They will be a sounding board for the Chair and have a key responsibility to build constructive and collegiate relationships with the Chief Executive and the executive team. The role may include additional responsibilities such as Freedom to Speak Up Ambassador, to provide clear and transparent governance.

This is a supportive role working with Committee Chairs and the Trading Company Board to support the development of the charity strategy and in working with the People Governance Committee on succession planning and Trustee recruitment. It may also include undertaking assignments at the request of the Chair.

The Deputy is expected to support the Chair with performance reviews of Trustees to review their contribution to the Board and Committees. The Deputy with Committee Chairs will agree on the appropriate appraisal of the Chair.

The role also includes chairing meetings in the absence of the Chair of the Board and acting as an ambassador for the Hospice, promoting activities and engaging with Key Stakeholders on behalf of the Chair and Chief Executive if required.

The key requirements for this role include:

  • Experience in chairing meetings effectively and efficiently.
  • Establishing and building strong effective, open, and constructive working relationships with a range of colleagues and stakeholders.
  • Understanding of charity governance and compliance with associated policies, procedures and regulatory.
  • Have clarity of communication with the ability to draw out issues, sum up complex discussions and clearly articulate decisions and actions.

Time Commitment

The time commitment for the Chair is anticipated to be around 2 -3 days per month based on time to review, prepare and chair four full board meetings, two away days and the AGM, regular meetings with the Chief Executive and Trustees, ad hoc projects and discussions with Stakeholders and potential partners and funders, visiting hospice and retail sites and attend events.

The Deputy Chair is likely to give up to 2 days per month based on attending four full board meetings, two away days and the AGM, ad hoc projects, visiting hospice and retail sites, attending events and serving as a member of up to two Committees.

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultant at Peridot Partners:

Liz Holderness | liz@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07872 031079


If you would like to know more about this role please contact Liz Holderness

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About the Hospice of St Francis

The Hospice of St Francis Charity is a company limited by guarantee. It is registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and has consistently achieved an Outstanding CQC accreditation every year since 2016.

The Hospice has a wholly owned subsidiary, Hospice of St Francis Trading Ltd which manages its trading activities through charity shops, online and fundraising events. They have 10 retail shops across Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

Based just outside Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire, the Hospice of St Francis is an exceptional community hospice, built and funded by the community, to serve the communities of Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire, and live their precious lives well.


The Hospice has eight in-patient beds, two in-patient apartments, one self-contained studio for family members and five ‘virtual in-patient beds’ where people are cared for at home.

In addition to the provision of outstanding nurse-led patient care, the Hospice provides a range of health and well-being services such as Pilates, Yoga and nature walks, as well as creative therapies such as music, dance, and art sessions. Programmes are also co-designed by patients, families, carers, staff, and volunteers to come together to create sessions which are easy to access and support positive health and well-being.

Partnerships and Collaboration

All hospices in Hertfordshire and West Essex have signed up to a memorandum of ‘one voice’ which has helped to accelerate collaboration between all Hospices and the Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care Board on shared projects.

A partnership with Central London Community Health NHS Foundation Trust enables collaboration to reduce unplanned emergency admissions and facilities discharge and supports working together to ensure care is delivered locally and works best for patients.

The Hospice also helps the Integrated Commissioning Board by Chairing the South West Hertfordshire Palliative and End of Life Care Group that works to co-ordinate joint work across the area.

The collaboration with Carers in Herts has included Care Towards the End of Life courses at the Hospice. Also, work with Bucks Community Board to provide services in the community shops in Amersham and Chesham such as Dementia and bereavement support sessions and seek support with funding of new clinic space in Amersham to widen access. Work is also ongoing with Hertfordshire County Council collaborating on education and training with jointly run courses in health and social care. The Council’s grant programme is also contributing funds towards the Nature Walks project and supporting extending access for refugees and people with Dementia.

The Hospice shares its expertise through its education team which has national and international reach. Their programmes are promoted online to over 2,000 subscribers.


  • A community where people with life-limiting illnesses live well until the end of their lives and their families receive the support they require.


  • To achieve the mission by providing outstanding care and support to patients and those close to them.
  • To share expertise through collaboration, innovation, and education. To sufficiently engage the support of their community to enable them to deliver their vision and mission.


  • To transform the quality of life for people living with life-limiting illnesses and provide support for those close to them.
  • To ensure high-quality provision of care through education and research.
  • To sustain and expand services through excellent finance.


  • Respectful Relationships – We create a caring and compassionate environment: demonstrating appreciation and respect in all our interactions and taking account of individual’s needs and circumstances.
  • Constructive Communication – We encourage open, clear and honest communication, where everyone can be heard.
  • Excellence through Innovation – We strive for excellence in everything we do; encouraging innovation, maximising opportunities, and exploring fresh ideas in order to see continuous improvement.
  • Integrity and Trust – We act with integrity, building trust by demonstrating our loyalty to the Hospice, its people, aims and vision.
  • Encouraging Learning – We educate and develop to enhance knowledge and skills, improve performance, and help people reach their potential.
  • Sustainable Service – We aim to provide a professional and sustainable service, which is fair, efficient, and co-ordinated.
  • Community Engagement – We involve and engage with our community, building mutually supportive relationships which maximise our


Looking ahead some of the initiatives for the Hospice include:

  • Our People Our Future – evaluate the impact of nurse training initiatives, continuing professional development, total value employment packages.
  • Infusion Services – build on success of clinics and work with partners to secure recurrent funding.
  • The Community Virtual Ward – work with partners to expand the virtual ward model and increase number of beds.
  • New Service – to identify people identified as frail to prevent crisis intervention.
  • Creative Therapies – evaluate and share impact of therapies and initiate Dementia groups.
  • Front Door for Hospice Care – use dedicated space in shops to offer outpatient appointments and therapeutic services on the high street.
  • Bereavement Support – new digital portal for young people and relaunch teenage, guardian and bereaved courses.

The Hospice seeks to double the reach of their care and support and to do this they need to seek innovative and effective partnerships and different income streams that will help to sustain this.

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    Chair – Role Description and Specification

    Deputy Chair – Role Description

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    Closing date: Midnight Monday 13th May 2024
    First Stage Interviews Chair: Monday 3rd June 2024
    Interviews Deputy Chair: Monday 10th June 2024
    Second Stage Interviews Chair: Tuesday 18th June 2024 (PM)

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and the Hospice of St Francis are committed to promoting equality and diversity. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse and recognises and develops the potential of all, we need to appreciate the profile of candidates who apply for positions. We will send you an equality monitoring survey at the point of receiving your application, in the interview phase and at the time of placement. This ensures that our processes remain inclusive and equitable throughout, and provides us with important data to help us showcase our impact. The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practices. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the Data Protection Act 2018. The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

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