The appointments follow the announcement in September that Dame Barbara Monroe will retire as chief executive of St Christopher’s Hospice during 2014.
Heather has a background in nursing and has held a variety of senior positions, including most recently Strategy Adviser and Clinical Director at St Joseph’s Hospice and National Clinical Lead for Help the Hospices. In the latter role she provided executive leadership for the Commission on the Future of Hospice Care in which she observed and reported on innovation and developments in hospices across the UK, gaining significant strategic understanding and capacity. She has a PhD and a rich history in education, training and research. In the past she has served as Project Director responsible for setting up Richard House Children’s Hospice and prior to that worked as a general manager and clinical nurse specialist in the NHS.
Shaun has been Chief Executive of St Catherine’s Hospice, Crawley, for the last eight years, responsible for major growth and change management, increasing income, diversifying services and expanding the area of operation, all the while enhancing the profile and reputation of the hospice. Prior to this he worked as Director of Operations for the Prostate Cancer Charity and earlier for HIV organisations including Terrence Higgins Trust and The Landmark. Shaun was a Trustee of Help the Hospices for four years working closely with Heather both during and since that time.
St Christopher’s Hospice was founded in 1967 by Dame Cicely Saunders as the first modern hospice. In addition to caring for 2,000 people a year, the hospice also has an extensive education and research programme.
Shaun said: “This is a tremendous opportunity for me. It’s the chance to work with a colleague I respect – Heather Richardson – and for us to jointly lead a flagship organisation for the hospice sector, which has far-reaching aspirations I fully support.”
Heather added: “I am delighted with the opportunity being afforded to me to lead St Christopher’s with Shaun. St Christopher’s local, national and international roles, its wide range of services, and its commitment to research and education alongside care, make this role hugely exciting. I look forward to building on the amazing work that Barbara has led to date and to joining a talented and visionary team committed to meeting the needs of its local population. I also look forward to meeting its many partners and further building these relationships.”
Heather and Shaun have been appointed as Joint Chief Executives as a job share, each working three days a week. They have a clear model of how they will work together. Each will have some discreet areas of responsibility however both will be able to respond across the full range of St Christopher’s activities. They will commence their roles in the summer, but will attend some significant meetings before then. Dame Barbara Monroe will to continue as CEO until Heather and Shaun start.
Speaking together following their appointment, Heather and Shaun said: “We are confident that the synergy of our skills and the joint energy that we will bring to the organisation will be to its benefit, particularly given the increasing complexity of the world in which St Christopher’s is required to operate.”
Morgan Jones, Chair of the Management Board of St Christopher’s, said: “I am very pleased that Heather and Shaun have accepted the role as Joint Chief Executives. Heather and Shaun are high profile figures in the UK hospice sector and their strategic capacity, clinical expertise and innovative practice is widely recognised. St Christopher’s needs leaders who can think ambitiously about the future of hospice care whilst delivering practical improvements and partnerships locally, both with the NHS and local authorities and with other voluntary sector providers. Heather and Shaun are ably equipped to take on this role at an exciting time for St Christopher’s as we approach our 50th anniversary in 2017 and I look forward to working with them.”