Executive Search company Hoggett Bowers has published a report on a survey of NHS organisations in England about the length of tenure of their present and immediate past NHS CEOs and Directors of Finance (DoFs). The authors also spoke with a number of Chairs, senior executives, human resource directors and senior clinicians. They hope “that the key messages that have emerged through [the report] will help Chairs, NEDs and CEOs think about how they can work together” and “to stimulate discussion about some of the real challenges facing Boards and senior teams.”
The Health Service Journal reported (HSJ – 18 June 2009), based on the Hoggett Bowers report, that “The “startlingly” high turnover of NHS chief executives and finance directors is discouraging trusts from making the bold decisions needed during an economic downturn.”
The report states that “‘It is highly desirable that effective CEOs remain in an organisation for at least five years. This allows shared purpose to be potentially developed. This flies in the face of David Nicholson’s (CEO of the NHS in England) assertion that “We find it very difficult to recruit people who want to be chief executives – the average time they spend in post is just 700 days.”
Given the current economic climate, this is a report that every CEO and Chair should read. Ideally, either the full or a summary of the report should be shared with all board members leading to a discussion around local implications.
The report – NHS Chief Executives ‘Bold and Old’ – can be freely downloaded here.