Mental health trust interim boss pulls out of fresh leadership race

Julie Cave, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) chief executive. Photo: NSFT

Julie Cave, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) chief executive. Photo: NSFT - Credit: NSFT

The new chief executive of the region's beleaguered mental health trust will be named later this week, it can be revealed.

A hunt was launched to replace interim chief executive Julie Cave last year and interviews have been taking place over the last few weeks.

But despite initially applying for the position herself Mrs Cave has pulled out of the contest.

In January she told this newspaper she would put herself forward for the role. At the time she said: 'Now I may throw my hat into the ring for that and people will judge whether I am good enough or not, but we need the best possible candidate and whether that is me or someone else that is for a panel who is made up of external assessors as well to make that judgement.'

But now Mrs Cave has confirmed that after being shortlisted for interview, she would not continue the process.

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Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) would not confirm who had gone for the position.

Mrs Cave said: 'When I took up the six month interim CEO post last year I was very clear with myself and with others that I would use this opportunity to honestly reflect upon whether leading the trust at this point in time was the right job for me, and if I was the right person for this particular job.

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'This experience has further strengthened my personal convictions.

'These past few months have been my first experience acting as a CEO, and I have thrived on the experience. I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to lead some of the most highly committed and dedicated NHS staff in our trust who are working so hard to improve our services. And I have enjoyed taking on the urgent improvement challenges our trust is currently facing.

'I recognise that to continue to meet all of the ongoing challenges requires the leadership of one of the most highly experienced CEOs; preferably one who has experience in turning organisations around.

'While we await the appointment of our new CEO, I will continue to act as interim CEO and I will give 100pc commitment and dedication to our organisation. And of course, I will fully support the successful candidate who goes on to become our chief executive, and look forward to working with them as part of the executive team and trust board.'

A spokesman for the trust added the interview panel - made up of trust non-executive directors, a representative from NHS Improvement, a chairman from another NHS trust and a service user - had now made its recommendation for the new chief executive.

The recommendation now has to be approved by the trust's remuneration committee this week and following that, NSFT's council of governors will be asked to give their final approval on the appointment of the new chief executive when they meet on Thursday.

It has not been revealed how much the new chief executive will be paid, however previous post-holder Michael Scott's salary reached between £170,000 and £175,000 in last reported figures.

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