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Chief Executive Lesley Watts named as one of the top 50 CEOs by the HSJ

20 April 2022

The HSJ's Top Chief Executives list recognises England’s top leaders of NHS trusts.
Chief Executive Lesley Watts named as one of the top 50 CEOs by the HSJ

CEO Lesley Watts

In the eighth year of the Health Service Journal's prestigious ranking of top NHS Chief Executives in England, our CEO Lesley Watts has been named as one of the top 50. Lesley is a trained nurse and midwife, and truly aligns herself with her staff. She has led the Trust through the pandemic with steady determination—this accolade is well-deserved. 

Beccy Fenton, Partner and UK Head of Health and Human Services at KPMG, says that the pandemic and development of ICSs has transformed the role of Chief Executives. 

"The focus of the judges this year was very much on the behaviours shown by the chief executives under consideration and how these exemplified the values of the organisations they lead. It was no longer enough to be the chief executive of a trust which was performing well – this year’s list had to show that they role-modelled the sort of behaviours they would want to see among their managers, clinicians and staff, and lived by the values they espouse."

"But undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges in the next year for any leader will be supporting staff. After two years of the pandemic and an incredible effort by health and care teams, employee wellbeing has never been more important. We know there will be many more challenges over the next few years – including addressing the elective backlog – and leaders will need to recognise and realise staff can only be motivated to go the extra mile when their values and that of the organisation align."

"In the very toughest of environments, the top 50 chief executives have shone through."