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“I’ve always known working with a community’s strengths, interests and potential, was the career for me”: Introducing our new People Chair

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We are delighted to introduce you to Anu Singh, recently-appointed Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Birmingham and Solihull Integrated Care Board (BSol ICB) Appointments and Remuneration Committee and the People Committee.
Anu is a Board level local government and health leader who has held a number of impressive roles throughout her career. She has been a statutory Director of Adult Social Care and Chaired an integrated NHS Trust and was also Director of Patient and Public Participation and Insight for NHS England, taking the lead for the NHS in ensuring the voice of patients, service users, carers and the public is at its heart.
Anu also undertakes a non-executive director role within the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s Board.

Anu, in a nutshell, explain what your role entails?
Bringing independent, respectful challenge and support to the aims, priorities and achievements of the BSol ICB.

What achievements in your career are you most proud of so far?
Across my career I have always worked to build meaningful partnerships with communities – it was an incredible privilege to do some of this nationally and introduce ‘Health as a Social Movement’ across the NHS, including bringing in the first ever national clinical director for Social Prescribing (quite a culture change moment!)

Why did you choose your career?
​I started my career working on schemes for young people in Birmingham’s outer estates, and I knew that ‘asset-based community development’, working with a community’s strengths, interests and potential, was the career for me. Over the last 20 years or so I have found myself working at more strategic levels in health and social care to create stronger partnerships with people and communities. I still love what I do, even though I spend less time than I would like with patients, carers and the public!

Who would you say was your inspiration?
Gosh, this is too hard a question. I admire and take inspiration from many people – some of whom are beloved family members, some of whom are people I have met who make small everyday differences, bravely and for the benefit of others. Happily, there are so many of these wonderful people I couldn’t possibly name them all here, but their kindnesses have shaped me.

If there was one thing you could change in the world, what would it be?
One of my favourites authors writes, ‘poverty annihilates the future’, and I have seen this ring true again and again. We can and should and must change this.

Describe yourself in three words?
A good friend.

Finally, not a lot of people know this about me but…
Everyone knows everything about me, always the last to leave a party…