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Our chief executive makes top 50 CEO list

Our chief executive has made the Health Service Journal’s annual assessment of the top 50 NHS trust chief executives for the first time.

A brand new entry in the top 50, Stephen Dunn has shot into the top 10, and is ranked eighth overall.

Judging took account of the personal example set by chief executives, the performance of their organisations, and their contribution to the wider health and care system. One of the judges said of Stephen Dunn: “The job has been the making of him.”

His floor walking CEO style was highlighted – Stephen walks the floor in different areas every week, and regularly works shifts in different departments including portering, housekeeping and catering, as well as with teams working out in the community, to get a feel for issues at the coal face of the organisation.

The Trust continues to go from strength to strength – most recently scoring the highest marks in the national NHS staff survey for employees recommending their organisation as a place to work or receive care, and following its ‘outstanding’ rating by the Care Quality Commission in January this year, one of just seven general acute trusts in the country to be awarded the accolade.

Sheila Childerhouse, chair of West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT), said: “This is deserved recognition for Stephen. He is truly committed to our Trust and takes staff views very seriously. He leads by example, is authentic in his leadership style, and creates an open and engaging culture across the Trust; making time to get out and about, meeting staff, patients and stakeholders, to hear first-hand about issues and achievements. All credit to former chair Roger Quince as well, who also made a fantastic contribution to the Trust. Together he and Stephen championed our staff and the Trust’s vision to deliver the best quality and safest care for our community.”

Stephen, now in his fourth year at WSFT, started his health career at the Department of Health, and went on to work in Strategic Health Authorities and the NHS Trust Development Authority before joining WSFT.

He said: “I’m obviously very proud to have made this list but I’m clear I am part of a bigger team that makes up WSFT. It’s a great pleasure leading this Trust; I am surrounded by fantastic staff at all levels who are a real asset to the organisation and our local community. 

“I am genuinely proud of the care we provide and the difference we make to people’s lives every day. However, both myself and our staff are not complacent; there is always more we can do to improve further, and we must not forget that.”


 To view the Health Service Journal’s full list of top 50 NHS chief executives, please visit



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Chief executive Stephen Dunn

Chief executive Stephen Dunn