Eamonn O’Neal Appointed New High Sheriff of Greater Manchester

The Chief Executive of St Ann’s Hospice has been chosen by the Queen as the next High Sheriff of Greater Manchester.

The appointment of Eamonn O’Neal was formally announced by Buckingham Palace today and he will take up his ceremonial role next month.

The father-of-three, from Sale, has been a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester for six years.

He will be installed as High Sheriff at The Monastery, Manchester, on Friday, April 17, succeeding Mark Adlestone OBE DL whose term of office ends that day.

O’Neal, who will hold office for 12 months, has been CEO of the Greater Manchester hospice since 2016 following a successful career in television, radio and newspapers.

He said: “It’s a huge honour and quite humbling to be chosen as the High Sheriff of Manchester.  I’m grateful to have the chance to connect and engage with the charitable, voluntary, faith, ethnic, cultural and business communities across the county.”

The role Office of High Sheriff is the oldest secular title in British history and among the most ancient in the world, dating back more than 1,300 years.

At that time the Sheriff represented the monarch, collected taxes, raised armies and was the rule of law across the county.

O’Neal said: “I won’t be collecting taxes, or raising an army, but as High Sheriff I’ll be proud to represent the Queen as the ceremonial head of the judiciary in the county.”

“I also regard this Royal appointment as recognition of the great work done by St Ann’s Hospice in looking after the communities of Greater Manchester for many years. 

“St Ann’s is one of the oldest and largest hospices in the country and we’re about to celebrate our 50th anniversary. 

“I’ll be dedicating the High Sheriff appointment to our patients, staff, families and volunteers and the other charities I work with.”

O’Neal is also a trustee of The Dianne Oxberry Trust and The Diocese of Salford.   He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Arts degree by the University of Bolton in 2015 in recognition of his ‘outstanding contribution to the media and charity.’

Masterplan for Wythenshawe Hospital regeneration moves forward

Proposals for the long-term regeneration of Wythenshawe Hospital have been endorsed by Manchester City Council.  

Following the approval of a draft plan by the council’s Executive on Wednesday 11 March, a final version of the Strategic Regeneration Framework for the hospital and its surrounding campus will be developed for public consultation

The plans to transform the campus over the next 10 – 15 years are being drawn up by Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust.  The vision is to create a sustainable ‘health village’, including health-related commercial and residential facilities alongside core hospital services, providing an accessible, welcoming hospital for patients and visitors, with an enhanced clinical environment within a greener campus.

Wythenshawe Hospital is well regarded for its clinical research into specialities including respiratory medicine and cardiology and the Trust has confirmed that it will become a ‘centre of excellence’ for heart and lung treatment and research. Masterplanning has also identified an opportunity for potential growth in commercial opportunities, which is created by the hospital’s reputation as a region-leading life sciences cluster.

The masterplan will aim to create a net zero-carbon campus, in line with the city’s aim to become zero-carbon by 2038, which is supported by the Trust.  

The Leader of Manchester City Council, Sir Richard Leese, said: “The plan to create a ‘health village’ at the Wythenshawe Hospital campus represents a real opportunity to strengthen the city’s existing science base and, critically, to significantly improve health and social facilities for Manchester, while also contributing to the city’s ambitious aims to become zero-carbon by 2038.

“As well as the key aim of enhancing the hospital for patients and visitors, there is real potential to build on its strengths in research and development to create new jobs and apprenticeships for the local community.”

Mandy Bailey, Chief Executive of Wythenshawe Hospital, part of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust said: “The Wythenshawe Masterplan sets out an ambitious vision for the redesign of the whole Wythenshawe Hospital campus. Together we aim to build a diverse, innovative and technologically advanced health community, home to exceptional and sustainable healthcare facilities.

“By creating a globally competitive destination where commercial, research and medical industries can work together we will bring jobs, skills and the latest healthcare developments to the region for the benefit of our local community”

The report on the Wythenshawe Hospital Campus Strategic Regeneration Framework can be downloaded at https://democracy.manchester.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=147&MId=625&Ver=4.