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Press release: Leadership change

11 Jan 2012

Leadership change at West London Mental Health NHS Trust

Peter Cubbon, the Chief Executive brought in two and a half years ago to improve standards of patient care at West London Mental Health Trust, has announced that he is to leave in the Spring. Peter was appointed in 2009, in the aftermath of the publication of two reports*, critical of the Trust.

Peter said: “This has been an all-consuming commitment for me in the last two and half years. I’ve reached the decision to step down now that the Trust is well on its way to achieving its strategic goals, with a strong executive team in place who can drive these plans to fruition.”

Since 2009, performance at West London Mental Health has improved in a number of key areas. This is the result of a sustained focus by the new leadership team and staff on improving the quality of care to patients.

A project to embed common values through the Trust, across every role, from top to bottom has been crucial in the transformation along with the establishment of an intensive leadership development programme, QUASIC*, which aims to give all of our managers and senior staff a clearer understanding about how good management and leadership practices inform high quality mental health care. Members of the Board also went through a programme of development, to build organisational competence in managing the challenges of today’s healthcare economy.

Many of the changes we’ve seen were included in detailed action plans put together to resolve the issues highlighted in the 2009 reports. For example, far-reaching changes were made to the procedures for dealing with serious incidents, making them less complicated, more consistent and making sure that there are mechanisms in place for staff to share the learning from incidents and feel more supported to deal with incidents at work. On the back of these and other improvements, the Trust was fully registered with the Care Quality Commission in 2010.

For mental health services to provide high secure services, they must hold a licence issued to them by the Secretary of State for Health. Following a rigorous assessment in 2010, the Trust’s licence was re-issued giving authorisation to provide high secure mental health services at Broadmoor Hospital, for another five years.

During Peter’s time in post there has been widespread organisational change resulting in fewer levels between the Board of directors and staff on the frontline. This has improved decision-making, accountability, safety and responsiveness to the needs of patients. Care pathways have also been re-designed making them more patient focussed, thus improving patients’ experiences of care at the Trust.

Bench marking data, recently published by the Audit Commission, of 48 mental health organisations confirms good practice in the management of the Trust’s inpatient beds. The data reflects efficient use of available beds evidenced by low re-admission rates and a reduced length of stay, which is another area of marked improvement at West London.

The Trust is now working on two of the biggest developments of forensic services in the country, with plans to re-develop Broadmoor Hospital being considered by the Department of Health. A major redevelopment of the St. Bernard’s site in Ealing, which will result in a new medium secure unit and better accommodation for patients using local services, is on track for completion in 2015.

The Board together with NHS London is now seeking to recruit a replacement for Peter who said: “The time is right for the Trust to recruit a new Chief Executive to take the Trust through the next stage of the journey towards its ambition of ‘excellence in mental healthcare’. We have made good progress towards becoming a Foundation Trust (FT) but, it seems an appropriate time to recruit a new leader who will have a good 12 months before the final stages of the FT process. Aiming for FT gives us both a focus and a framework for further improving the organisation.

“I have really enjoyed the challenge of driving through the changes at West London Mental Health Trust which I couldn’t have done without the many outstanding people who’ve worked with me to improve the lives of our patients and their carers. I’d like to thank staff and our external partners for their support, considerable efforts and hard work. There is still work to do but I am sure the commitment is there to achieve the changes needed across the whole of the workforce.”

Peter who has over 30 years of NHS experience, including 20 years working at board level, intends to stay working in health and social care at a senior level.

Nigel McCorkell, Chairman of the Trust said: “I’d like to congratulate Peter for his achievements and for his hard work in driving the improvement agenda. It’s my aim to recruit a Chief Executive with the experience and ability to sustain the changes Peter has put in place and build upon them. I will be working to recruit someone with the skills to continue to support and empower teams across our services to deliver excellent care to all our patients.”


Date: 11 January 2012

* Two reports

Care Quality Commission (CQC) investigation of services at West London Mental Health Trust, published in 2009, and a report published by NHS London following a patient homicide at Broadmoor Hospital.


Bespoke leadership and management development programme, based around the modules of quality, understanding, assessment, inter/intrapersonal skills and communications.

About West London Mental Health NHS Trust:

West London Mental Health NHS Trust is one of the largest mental health trusts in the country. It provides a full range of mental health services for children, adults and older people living in the London boroughs of Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham and Hounslow, in addition to specialist and forensic mental health services, including high secure services at Broadmoor Hospital. It aims to meet the diverse needs of a local population of nearly 750,000 people and employs around 4,000 staff across 29 sites.

Contact details: Lucy McGee, Communications Director

T. 020 8354 8847, E.

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