The Trust had made significant headway on the Trust improvement journey but there was still a lot to do at the time of their outgoing Chief Executive’s departure (Maria Kane, who has since become a Client at North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust). The Trust had had consecutive CQC reports which kept them in ‘Requires Improvement’, they had workforce issues, cultural problems and, overall, they were an organisation which was getting by rather than developing. There was also the added question of sustainability of the organisation, for example the exploration of a joint CEO structure with another Trust. BEH did not wish to explore these options and were determined to continue with remaining as a single organisation with a single CEO.
Overall, the Trust was keen to consider experienced CEOs but needed a fresh eyes and so they were particularly keen to encourage and consider aspiring CEOs from mental health and community Trusts.
We endeavoured to understand what it was they wanted in their next CEO. Given our previous recruitment for the Trust, we already had a strong understanding of the organisation and how they work, their vision and values, their history and the geography in which they sit. After learning from them what they wanted and undertaking considerable briefing of their requirements, we consulted our networks of who we knew were ready and looking for a CEO role and we reached out to our extensive network of existing CEOs who were looking for a new challenge. Through our networks, we expanded our search nationally and into Europe where we focused on other European health systems which have similar ways of working to the NHS.
Following our shortlisting, we successfully produced a strong and diverse shortlist of four experienced Executives from a range of backgrounds, including a Clinical Psychiatrist and CEO from another European health system, a Chief Nurse and Deputy Chief Executive, a Director of Workforce & OD and Deputy Chief Executive, and an Acting Chief Executive/Chief Operating Officer. The successful candidate, Jinjer Kandola, is one of eight BAME NHS Chief Executives in the country.
She remains in post and has taken BEH from ‘Requires Improvement’ to ‘Good’. Since her appointment, we have also supported the Trust on a number of their Executive and Non-Executive appointments.