The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NuTH) was looking for a new Chief Executive who would lead culture change within the Trust, bringing visible and inspirational leadership and improved engagement with partners and stakeholders. Amongst increasing financial pressures, NuTH’s new Chief Executive was expected to be instrumental in preparing the Trust for a future of integrating care models to address the complex needs of an ageing population. It was important to ensure a continuing focus on excellence and innovation, so we worked closely with the Board and Governors on this search.
We needed to bring creativity, imagination and persistence to this search. We searched for individuals who brought a substantial track record of leadership at Board level within organisations of a similar size, scale and complexity. We understood that the successful candidate would likely be a seasoned Chief Executive with leadership credibility across the sector so looked for those with the experience and willingness to engage and work collaboratively with the wider networks in the North East and beyond. We searched widely across the NHS with a particular focus initially on identifying high performing Chief Executives from teaching hospitals, foundations trusts and specialist trusts, paying particular attention to financially stable organisations with strong governance records, rated ‘Outstanding’ & ‘Good’ by CQC. We also looked for individuals who had held the role of Deputy Chief Executive/Chief Operating Officer at significant trusts, before taking a Chief Executive role at smaller trust, therefore having a track record of the scale required here. We also looked internationally, primarily in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
We longlisted seven, five of whom were longstanding Chief Executives, the other two had operated at significant scale; four were taken through to panels. Dame Jackie Daniel, a nurse by background and Chief Executive of the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, was appointed.
We have since returned to the Trust to appoint the first Executive Director of Enterprise and Business Development. The shortlist was made up of senior leaders with backgrounds in R&D, largely from within the pharmaceutical sector. Victoria McFarlane Reid, ex Director of Research Development at Leica Biosystems, was appointed.