New directors appointed at mental health trust

Duncan Forbes, NSFT director of human resources and organisaitonal deveopment (left), and Stuart Richardson, chief operating officer. Photo: NSFT

Duncan Forbes, NSFT director of human resources and organisaitonal deveopment (left), and Stuart Richardson, chief operating officer. Photo: NSFT


Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT) has appointed two new directors.

Stuart Richardson has been appointed as chief operating officer, while Duncan Forbes is the trust’s new director of human resources and organisational development. Both will take up their roles in the summer.

Mr Richardson will be responsible for helping to drive the trust’s improvement plans while maintaining an emphasis on performance.

He joins NSFT from his current role as managing director of mental health and specialist services with Pennine Care Foundation Trust, where he has successfully introduced a cultural change programme to support quality improvement and financial sustainability. A registered learning disability nurse, he has also held senior roles in the trust’s community services and learning disability service.

He said: “I am really looking forward to moving back to East Anglia and beginning my new role with NSFT.

“I’ve been very impressed with everyone’s commitment and willingness to enhance the quality of services which NSFT provides and am excited that I’ve been given the opportunity to be involved in the improvement journey at the trust.

“My focus will be on getting care right for the people who use our services and the staff working in them. We want to make sure that we are listening to the workforce while also engaging with our service users to ensure we are providing the care which they want and need. It’s also vitally important that staff feel empowered and able to make positive changes to improve quality so that they too can be part of the trust’s transformation.

“The challenges facing the NSFT are the same as those across the whole NHS, and I hope that I can bring some of the learning from our work in Manchester to Norfolk and Suffolk to help turn around some of the long-standing issues the trust is facing. This will include focusing on recruitment and retention of staff and prioritising how we attract new staff to the Trust as well as making it somewhere that existing staff want to stay.

“I’m really looking forward to getting out and meeting the teams so that I can find out what the issues are on the ground and the key things which the trust’s hard-working staff feel would make a significant difference to the way they can do their job.”

Mr Forbes will be responsible for leading the development of NSFT’s staff in line with the trust’s quality improvement agenda, as well as supporting and developing capacity and capability within the workforce.

He joins NSFT from his current role as HR director with Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service, where he has driven initiatives to significantly improve recruitment and retention of staff while introducing new ways of working.

Before joining the service in January 2016, he held a variety of roles across the UK and Europe, including HR director at Jaguar Land Rover, organisational development and change consultant at E-On and HR director at WorldPay.

He has also run his own successful consultancy business, where he specialised in continuous improvement and change management, designing bespoke workforce strategies and embedding successful development, engagement and talent management processes.

“I am really excited about joining NSFT and getting out around the organisation to meet the staff and understand how we can help them do the best job they can,” said Mr Forbes. “For me that is what makes my job worthwhile.

“All of the organisations I’ve worked for have needed to transform to become more focused on their customers or end users, and NSFT is facing similar challenges.

“We will be looking at how we can better support the trust’s dedicated, hard-working staff who spend their time looking after some of the most vulnerable people in our society, in turn enabling them to be the best that they can be.

“I am passionate about people and helping them to give the best of themselves. A huge part of my job will be about helping staff to feel confident in themselves, their job and their ability to make a difference to those whose lives are incomparably benefitted by our services.

“Another key issue will be recruiting and retaining staff – for me, keeping great people is the core of my job. I genuinely believe good organisations are made up of good people – the more you can enable them to be great, the greater the organisation will become.”

NSFT will hold interviews for its final board position, of chief nurse, this week.

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