Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear appoints new chief executive

Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW) has appointed James Duncan as its new chief executive.

James, formerly the trust’s deputy chief executive and executive director of finance, will take up the role from 1 February 2022.

Outgoing chief executive John Lawlor OBE is retiring following a 37-year career in the NHS. Mr Lawlor’s leadership helped CNTW become one of the first mental health trusts to receive an “Outstanding” grade from the Care Quality Commission in 2016, and receive a second ‘Outstanding’ rating again in 2018.

James commented on the appointment: “I am honoured to have been appointed as chief executive of this brilliant organisation, and I look forward to working with all of its fantastic staff, service users, carers and partner organisations in my new role over the coming months and years.

“I have worked at CNTW and its predecessors for 21 years. Over that time, we have always had a collective commitment to work with and alongside the people we serve, to promote and deliver the best opportunities for hope, recovery, and optimism for the future.

“I promise to continue this work, and to advocate every day for people with addictions, gender diversity needs, learning disabilities, mental health needs, neurological disabilities, and neurodiversity. I also promise to challenge inequalities, disadvantage, and exclusion in every form, at every opportunity.

“This is a great time for us to reflect on what we have learnt from the last two difficult years, and to think about how we can recover and rebuild the support we offer to our communities and our partner organisations. I can’t think of a better place to do that, or better people to do it with, than at CNTW.”

James started his 27 year career in the health service through the NHS Graduate Training Scheme in 1992. In 2000 he became head of finance at Northgate Hospital, and has held the post of executive director of finance and deputy chief executive at CNTW since 2006.

Ken Jarrold CBE, chair of the council of governors and board of directors at CNTW, added: “I am delighted that following a robust recruitment process, involving board members, council of governors, staff, and service users and carers, and other stakeholders, we have appointed James Duncan as the trust’s new chief executive.”