Joanna Forster Adams

Role: Chief Operating Officer

What I do

I am the Trust’s Chief Operating Officer. I work with managers and great staff to lead and support all our care services. I also focus on developing and improving our service delivery, often working alongside our health and social care partners. Mainly my job is about organising and simplifying things to make it easy for Trust staff to do what’s right and best for our service users.

As one of the Trust’s executive directors, I am responsible for setting the strategic direction for the organisation; listening to what is needed and translating this into plans which take us forward and keep us heading in the same direction while valuing the contribution everyone makes. I’m also responsible for major service change and supporting people to make these changes positively. I work hard to stay connected to our front line services so I can support staff in those positions.

I am also responsible for making sure we can respond to an emergency or crisis situation and provide continuity for our service users and support for the wider public as needed.

How I contribute to improving the experience of service users and carers

Every month I report on what we’re doing well and where we don’t meet the standards of care, access or delivery which provide high quality care for our service users. My team works hard to prepare an at a glance ‘dashboard’ to make the information easier to understand – have a look at the Board papers to see an example of this. We pay particular attention to the problems that directly affect service users and their carers and look for ways to improve the quality of what we do.

My experience

I joined the Trust in July 2017. I was previously Executive Director of Operations for Mental Health and Community Services in the North West of England.

I’ve worked in the NHS since 1984 and have experience of clinical and corporate services in hospitals, community and mental health organisations in my native north east. I gained a Masters in Business Administration from Durham University and am a graduate of the NHS Leadership Academy Nye Bevan programme.

My motivation is drawn from the passion and determination shown by staff, stakeholders, service users and carers to drive improvement in mental health care. During my 20 years as a senior NHS manager I have been keen to help staff be the best that they can be through personal and professional development.

Get in touch

You can email me at