Responding to COVID-19: insight, support and guidance
My job is Chief Executive of University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire which means I have overall accountability for the running of two hospitals - the University Hospital in Coventry and the Hospital of Saint Cross in Rugby. I’m accountable for that to the Secretary of State and we are monitored by our regulator, NHS Improvement, to check we do the best we can do for our patients and to ensure that it's done with good governance and provides good value for money. It's also very important in terms of the staff, we have 8,500 members of staff and we want this to be a good place to work.
There are two principal differences in being a Chief Executive. One is that the spotlight is increased on you as an individual. So what you say, what you don't say, how you say things and your body language are under much more scrutiny. What you choose to do or don't do in terms of meetings you go to, whether it’s internal or external is much more scrutinised.
Secondly people, particularly those who are external to the organisation, think you know everything about the organisation. So you could be in a meeting and someone might ask “Do you know what happened in ward 20 last Friday afternoon?” Well of course you can't possibly know everything that goes on and I have to be honest with people about that.
I suppose the final thing is that you are seen as an ambassador for the organisation - I think they are the three big differences.
Secondly, being appointed into the role I’m in now and being six years in now as CEO. It's very important to me that I’m a working for a hospital that serves a population from which I come - I was born in the neighbouring town and I live there now. I see this as a public service to my community, so I’m very proud of that.