THE Royal Berkshire Hospital has appointed a new chief executive.

The Trust’s chairman Stephen Billingham announced today that Jean O’Callaghan will be stepping into the role, five months after former chief executive Ed Donald left in December.

The 61-year-old is currently chief executive of Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, having previously been in charge of the Bedford Hospital NHS Foundation Trust between 2005 and 2010.

Mrs O’Callaghan was born in New Zealand and trained as a nurse before making the move to management, taking on a series of roles there and in Australia before moving to the UK in 2005.

She said: “I am really looking forward to joining the team at the Royal Berkshire and working with the team to ensure we deliver what is expected of us.

"I enjoyed my brief visit to the Trust and look forward to meeting many more patients and staff before too long.”