Aspiring Chief Executive programme update

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Cohort one of the Aspiring Chief Executive programme had their second workshop in May, covering  the theme of Systems, Governance and Executive teams. Here’s how they got on.

Day one


With the shift towards a more collaborative way of working and looking at care across the local system, the aim was to get participants to start thinking about their systems leadership approach and how they would balance being responsible for their own organisation while working in partnership with other organisations across their local health system for the benefit of the patient.


The session began with a fast-paced debate about where the primary responsibility of a provider trust board lies. Is it managing one’s own organisations governance, risk, finance and strategy, or is it to their local systems leadership and collaborating with potential partner organisations? This session was supported by Stephen Hay, Deputy Chief Executive of NHS Improvement and Executive Director of Regulation, and Samantha Jones, Director of New Care Models – Five Year Forward View at NHS England. The debate was chaired by Henrietta Hughes, Medical Director at NHS England (London).


Day two


Participants paired up to evaluate their work and see how effective their board and executive teams were. The session included some valuable reflections from ex-Chief Executive Anna Dugdale about how to build resilience when the going gets tough, what to watch out for and how to remain optimistic about the future in various difficult personal circumstances.


Day three


Day three was led by participants and included a session with Jim Mackey, Chief Executive of NHS Improvement. There was an open, honest and frank discussion about the emerging health landscape and how new chief executives were expected to lead within it. The session acknowledged the increasingly tough environment chief executives are operating in, and within that what NHS Improvement is doing to provide support.


Participants then spoke to David Sloman, Chief Executive at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, who tested and challenged their findings in their board and executive team effectiveness reviews and ensured everything was centred around practical realism.


“I really enjoyed the session … thanks again, good group!”
– Jim Mackey, Chief Executive at NHS Improvement


“A top three days – thank you”
– Richard Mitchell, Deputy Chief Executive/Chief Operating Officer 


“I just wanted to say thank you again to everyone for the support you gave me over the last few days. You, and the programme, came just at the right time to lift me back up again after a tough week”
– Jill Copeland, Deputy Chief Executive, Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust


Workshop C is being held on 21, 22 and 23 September around the theme of ‘Managing Now, Creating the Future’.


Cohort 2 update


We ran assessment centres on 1 and 2 of June to select 14 participants from 50 applicants for cohort 2. The panels were made up of experienced chief executives, NHS Executive Search and senior leaders from NHS Improvement. We’re pleased to tell you that after a rigorous process, our 14 participants for cohort 2 are:


Name Organisation Role
 Ali Mohammed Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust Director of Human Resources and  Organisational Development
Birju Bartoli Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Director of Performance and Governance
Cara Charles Barks Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer
Dawn Chamberlain South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust Chief Operating Officer
Hannah Coffey Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust Executive Director of Improvement
Harjinder Kandola Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust Executive Director of Workforce and Organisational Development
Jeff Buggle Barking Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust Director of Finance
Karen Dunderdale Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Deputy Chief Executive
Libby McManus Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Acting Chief Executive and Director of Nursing and Quality
Paul Cracknell Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust Director of Strategy and Transformation
Samantha Allen Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Director of Strategy and Improvement
Steve Gregory Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust Executive Director of Nursing and Operations
Sue Holden NHS Improvement Interim Improvement Director  – Workforce and OD


Suneil Kapadia United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust Medical Director


Their orientation workshop will be held on 26, 27 and 28 July.