Patrick Geoghegan is Chief Executive of the South Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. He began his career as a registered nurse before turning his attention to healthcare education and management. He received his MBA from Anglia Ruskin in 1994 and has subsequently worked closely with our University, contributing to its programmes, developing pilot education and training schemes, and in his role as Vice Chairman of the Essex Education Consortium, in negotiating contracts. Patrick took the lead in establishing the first Mental Health Foundation Trust in the country and is recognised as a leading strategist in the development of mental health and community service, which has led to his appointment to the NHS Modernisation Board, the Commission for Health Improvement, and to his association with the Healthcare Commission.
Patrick is committed to delivering positive change and has gone to extraordinary lengths to learn all he can about how health policy is managed in other countries, developing links with institutions in America, Australia, New Zealand, Italy and throughout Europe, and has worked very closely with the British Embassy in taking the mental health agenda forward. He was awarded the OBE for his outstanding contribution in developing mental health services within the UK and internationally.
In 2001 Patrick Geoghegan received the honorary degree of Doctor of the University.
The Senate of Anglia Polytechnic University has great pleasure in recommending the award of an Honorary Doctor of The University degree to Patrick Geohegan, MBA, Chief Executive of the South Essex Mental Health and Community Care NHS Trust, Member of the Prime Minister's Modernisation Board, Founding Member of the InterCollege Partnership Board, planner, strategist, researcher, teacher and innovator in the field of mental health care, where he translates words into actions for the benefit of those who are suffering.
Patrick Geohegan attended St Bridget's Vocational School at Tullamore, Offaly in Ireland, then Rockwell College in Tipperary, before he moved to England and qualified as a registered mental nurse at Brent and Harrow School of Nursing. He then practised his profession, during which time he further qualified as a registered general nurse (again at Brent and Harrow) before pursuing further qualifications of Diploma in Nursing in 1987 and Certificate in Education in 1988, at Tottenham College of Further Education. He later completed a Diploma in Management Studies and more recently a degree of Master of Business Administration from APU, following study at Danbury Management College in Essex.
Following on a variety of clinical posts in Brent, Patrick moved to the Basildon and Thurrock Health Authority where he assumed a series of increasingly senior roles within the caring and service sector, from Director of Nursing Services and Assistant Site & Service Manager; Service Manager, Acute and Continuing Care Services and Director of Primary Healthcare and Continuing Care Services until his promotion in 1993, to Director of Community Services & Executive Nurse at Thameside Community Healthcare NHS Trust.
In this leading role, he was able to realize his innovative and creative gifts in developing a strategy for community services, promoting services to GPs, involving clinical staff in contract negotiations, facilitating improved professional standards among nursing staff and introducing a new model of integrated primary healthcare teams. Another of his achievements during this time was to develop a strategy to prepare nurses for new opportunities and roles in relation to new national guidelines.
Then in 1995 he was, again, promoted. This time to Acting Chief Executive of the Trust during a difficult period of transition, in the absence of a Chief Executive. Here, he managed to maintain existing contracts and secure new ones both within and beyond the Basildon and Thurrock District, contain a potential overspend and involve clinical staff in the formulation of service plans and progress, develop a programme of meetings to engage all stakeholders in the activities and future plans of the Trust. The successful outcome of these operations was instrumental in him being appointed as substantive Chief Executive of Thameside Community Healthcare Trust in 1996.
He then moved to Southend to become Interim Chief Executive of the Southend Community Care Services NHS Trust and within a few months was appointed as Chief Executive of a new trust formed by the merger of the former Southend and Thameside Trusts: South Essex Mental Health & Community Care NHS Trust which, currently, he continues to animate, guide and direct.
Patrick is a member of the Nurse Advisory Group and together with the Chief Nursing Officer is responsible for advising Department of Health policy makers on the future of nursing, he is also a Member of the Regional Task Force where he is involved in driving forward the NSF action plan and has recently been appointed by the Secretary of State as a Member of the National Task Force for Older People's Services.
Indeed, Patrick is also very active in fundraising for charitable organisations including Age Concern, MIND and Bosom Friends, a charity supporting those affected by breast cancer, for which he organises fundraising fashion shows, film celebrity evenings, etc.
Patrick Geoghegan has contributed to the strategic development of health-related studies and has facilitated the building of effective and robust partnerships between the NHS and the University over the last twelve years. He has contributed to teaching, is involved in applied research and is actively supporting the development of postgraduate studies in nursing. He is both nationally and internationally renowned as a leader committed to improving the quality and effectiveness of healthcare services to patients, their families and the community.
It is for these reasons, therefore, that I invite you, Vice-Chancellor, to confer on Patrick Geohegan, the degree of Honorary Doctor of the University.