Health is the new wealth is the current phrase on everybody’s lips. At no time in modern history has healthcare been the centre of such attention and the biggest light shines on the prevention of disease and the creation of wellness. So it is good news for all of us that David Marshall has been appointed as Chief Executive of New Victoria Hospital in Kingston.

As the 60-year-old charity-owned hospital nears completion of its £30m redevelopment programme, the seasoned healthcare professional takes the helm with a clear line of sight on providing healthcare as we enter challenging times. He succeeds Graham Ball who becomes Executive Chairman of NVH.

Few are as well qualified as David, who brings with him a wealth of international experience in the healthcare sector, working in the UK, Australia, the Middle East and South Africa. For six years he worked as CEO at the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth in London.

To those who pass NVH, the most obvious change will be to the front entrance which for so long has been a point of confusion for many visitors and patients. Now though this will all change in April.

“The new entrance will send a clear signal that this is a centre of excellence for those in the community and beyond. It will showcase a larger hospital which is very well set out in terms of functionality. For a long time, there was a perception that we were not a fully functioning Hospital – and that is a view we will change.

“We have an excellent reputation which is built on great staff who are committed and work well as a team. They are happy and that generally means happy patients too. Our clinicians are highly qualified and now they have a much better environment in which to work,” says Marshall.

“Our patients will continue to receive the quality of care we have always provided, but this will now be in a five-star environment. Our staff have continued to work in difficult circumstances during all the building work and now they will be able to do their jobs in much improved facilities.

“The Hospital has been here for 60 years. My vision is to develop the Hospital for another 60 years. It’s recognised as a leading provider of safe, robust health services, and has an excellent reputation.  The redevelopment will further enhance our position in the local community.”

Marshall is clear that we are in the middle of a fundamentally changing healthcare market with new challenges centred on prevention as well as cure. The NHS is under strain and more people are likely to opt for ad hoc private treatment for elective procedures. The Hospital is looking to run new prevention programmes for men and woman as we all start to fully appreciate the need for investing in our own health and wellbeing.

While Brexit will undoubtedly impact upon the NHS, the affect on small, independent hospitals is less clear. But Marshall is an experienced man who can build a strategy to take on the challenges.

Prior to joining NVH, Marshall ran his own management consultancy services in the healthcare sector. He worked as Executive Director of Clementine Churchill Hospital in Harrow, part of the BMI Healthcare group. This followed a spell as Interim Chief Executive of the Epilepsy Society where he spearheaded a recruitment programme to build a management team capable of delivering a sustained service.

In 2006, he joined the Hospital of St John & St Elizabeth in London as Finance Director and three years later became CEO for a further six years. This appointment marked David’s return to the UK from the Middle East, where he worked for several years, firstly for the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu in Saudi Arabia providing management support to their two hospitals and then as Business Unit Leader for KPMG Healthcare Advisory in Bahrain.

Marshall’s background is in finance and is critical to NVH’s plans to expand its revenue base. He started his career in his native South Africa as regional finance manager for a number of companies before he came to the UK in 1992, where he worked as Project Accountant for AHS Emstar. During this period he met and married his wife Allison, who is from Perth, Australia and they decided to return there where he took up his first job in the healthcare sector at Royal Perth Hospital in Western Australia, a public 900-bed teaching hospital. He was headhunted as CEO of Peel Health Campus, a newly built public owned, privately managed hospital just south of Perth.

David is a keen cyclist and until an accident a year ago competed regularly in events, mostly in aid of charity. He has ridden the Ride London 100 four times and may be prepared to get back on his bike for The Victoria Foundation, the charity which owns NVH and helps to transform lives – through medical provision or by ensuring that young people destined to become the future generations of medics are not prevented by a lack of funding. Last summer he took part in the Kingston Dragon Boat race, an event he thoroughly enjoyed.

The final phase of the Hospital’s building work will complete a new, bigger outpatient department. This will include 12 consulting rooms, a cardiac diagnostic room and five treatment rooms for colposcopy, audiology and phlebotomy. It finalises the construction of The Victoria Foundation wing which houses four state of the art theatres, a 14-bed day surgery unit and a CT scanner with cardiac diagnostic facility.