A new deputy lieutenant has been appointed for Cheshire, with the royal honour assigned to Dr Naser Fouad, chairman of the healthcare charity, St Mark’s Universal Copts Care, and CEO of the St George Healthcare Group, which operates four hospitals specialising in mental health.
He is understood to be the first Egyptian-born British citizen to receive the commission and a special ceremony, attended by the Egyptian Minister of Immigration, Nabila Makram, and the Egyptian ambassador to the UK, Nasser Kamel, was held at the Chester Grosvenor Hotel.
Speaking at the ceremony, Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, David Briggs, said: “Naser has made a significant contribution to our county, both as a provider of mental health services, a major employer and through his charitable activities.
“He is an inspiration to many young people who volunteer for the charity and I had no hesitation in nominating him to support me with the duties of the lieutenancy.”
Dr Fouad added: “It is an immense honour to be able to serve the county in this way and I am excited to be working with David to support the lieutenancy and the people of Cheshire.”
Dr Fouad moved to Cheshire as a psychiatrist in 1996 and founded his first hospital in Warrington in 2004, providing specialist services for brain injury and autistic spectrum conditions.
Today, the St George Healthcare Group also operates All Saints Hospital in Oldham and St Cyril’s Hospital in Chester, with a further site under construction in Liverpool.
Together, they provide services for people with deafness and mental health conditions and rehabilitation for brain injury and long-term neurological conditions.
In 2013, he founded St Mark Universal Copts Care, a charity providing life saving medicines to people in Egypt, as well as running a number of healthcare projects to establish clinics and health centres in deprived areas.
In the UK, the charity collaborates with the Warrington Disability Partnership, funding initiatives such as the Phoenix Partnership, which sees unwanted disability equipment refurbished and sent to places of need, including Syrian refugee camps in Jordan and Greece, hospitals in Egypt and children’s centres in the Phillipines. It has also sponsored the No Rain, No Rainbows Happiness Project, benefiting hundreds of young people and vulnerable adults in Cheshire over the past year.
At a strategic level, Dr Fouad has advised on the development of the local governance policy for mental health prevention and treatment in the Cheshire voluntary sector, and his achievements have previously seen him win distinctions such as the regional EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Healthcare Services in 2016.