Our chief exec makes the top 10 across the NHS

Dr Sara Munro, the Trust's Chief Executive, has been named as the 9th top chief executive in the NHS by the Health Service Journal.

The Health Service Journal (HSJ) has released its ranking of 2024’s top chief executives, with Sara Munro being placed 9th out of 50. The HSJ recognises top leaders of NHS Trusts in England. Last year Sara made the top 50. The judges chose the top 50 based on three criteria: the performance of the organisation they lead, their contribution to the wider NHS, and the personal example they set. Although judges took individuals’ track records into account in the process, they also looked at CEOs’ focus for the next twelve months. 

Sara has led the Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust since 2016. She has worked extensively in mental health, with a background as a mental health nurse and clinical work in inpatient mental health settings. Sara is passionate about the needs of service users, carers, local communities, and staff and about ensuring their voices are heard in the decisions made about services. 

In addition to her full-time role as Trust Chief Exec, Sara is also a senior leader within a wider group of chief executives and chief officers who come together to examine health and social care provision across Leeds and the whole of West Yorkshire. She acts as the Senior Responsible Officer for Mental Health, Learning Disabilities, and Autism within the West Yorkshire Integrated Care System. 

In 2023 Sara was able to provide support and cover shifts during a period of extreme pressure and staff shortages within our community mental health service, as she’s still a registered mental health nurse. 

Her experience has been a huge benefit for our services and her hands on approach to understanding the pressures they face.   

Merran McRae, Chair of the Trust, said: “I am delighted Sara has been recognised in the Top 10 NHS Chief Executives list. Sara is a compassionate and thoughtful leader committed to ensuring LYPFT has a strong culture of care. She combines her background as a mental health nurse with her years of experience in challenging senior roles, resulting in astute and intelligent guidance for our organisation. Her twin goals are excellent services for patients and service users and creating a supportive and positive environment for staff. She pursues both with vigour and care.” 

She added: There are many pressures in the NHS at times, particularly in mental health. Sara never flinches from hard decisions yet encourages calm reflection, refusing to be overwhelmed by such pressures and supporting others to do likewise. She is an excellent and visible role model for the Trust’s values and a valued and supportive colleague.” 

On hearing the news, Sara said: “I feel very lucky to do a job I love and find rewarding and challenging. I work with the most amazing people every day in a sector that I have always felt deeply passionate about, and this inspires me to keep being who I am and focus on what matters to patients and staff.   

She added: “It was a wonderful surprise to find out I have been named in the top 10 CEOs in the country. It reminds me to thank everyone who supports me and shares my passion every day.” 

The HSJ launched its Top 50 in 2014, judged by leading health service figures. This year’s list included NHS England chief workforce officer Navina Evans, chair of the House of Commons health selects committee Steve Brine, NHS Providers chief executive Sir Julian Hartley, and chair of the British Medical Association consultants committee Vishal Sharma. 

The full article is available for HSJ subscribers to read.  

Page last updated: 27th Jun 2024 2:22pm