The challenges of being a hospice CEO were already significant before the pandemic – and Covid has only extenuated them. 

The Virtual Hospice CEO Group is an exclusive forum for up to 15 hospice leaders. We discuss the threats and opportunities the sector faces, helping CEOs to frame their strategic thinking in a supportive, open environment.  We meet for 90 minutes via zoom every month with invited expert speakers on our chosen topic to provoke and stimulate us. Participants also share ideas and challenges with their peers. 

‘The group provides a very beneficial forum to discuss ideas and initiatives, to question our assumptions and see how we can push the boundaries in our thinking. Having an external speaker provides fresh insight and getting the thoughts of other CEOs gives a really helpful hospice perspective’  Nicki Shaw, CEO of Princess Alice Hospice 

May 2022

Many thanks to Matthew Reed, CEO of Marie Curie, for joining us to discuss the charity's current strategic priorities. These focus on four themes; 

  1. A desire to work with others on a locality basis to get services right for individuals facing end of life care. 
  2. Leveraging Marie Curie’s research and public policy work to influence the national agenda around end of life care. 
  3. A focus on social exclusion, with a particular emphasis on the issue of poverty and end of life care. 
  4. Using data and technology to develop a platform approach to align the supply of end of life care with those in need of services

I am delighted that many group members will be following up with Matthew on some of these points to see how they can work with together to improve end of life care for all. 

April 2022

A fascinating session about what makes for a positive relationship between a charity Chair and CEO - and how vital this is to the success of an organisation. Our thanks for Kate Tompkins (Chair) and Wayne De Leeuw (CEO) from Dorothy House Hospice for leading the discussion. 

March 2022

Many thanks to Emma Hodges, CEO of St Giles for leading our discussion around Compassionate Communities and other examples of public health initiatives around end of life care. Really interesting to hear how Birmingham was awarded the first city in the UK to be awarded compassionate city status and how other hospices are taking forward this important issue. 

February 2022

This month the group discussed the challenges around recruitment and retention - a major strategic issue for all hospices and one that extends across all areas of operation and includes volunteers as well as staff. Great presentations from Kate Heaps from Greenwich & Bexley, John Knight from LOROS and Michelle Rollinson from St Andrew's in Grimsby. 

January 2022

A fascinating discussion by Simon Fuller and Penny Venables, present and past CEOs, about the merger of Birmingham St Mary's Hospice and John Taylor Hospice, completed despite the challenges of the pandemic. Learning points for anyone involved in any kind of strategic partnership activity, especially around the cultural and operational challenges.

December 2021 

Great to hear from Shaun O'Leary and Heather Richardson, the outgoing joint CEOs of St Christopher's in the last of this year’s sessions. Lots of fascinating insights into how having joint CEOs adds to personal and organisational resilience, as well as learning how they managed senior management, board and external relations. Good luck to both in their future roles.

Other sessions have included;  

Matthew Reed, CEO of Marie Curie on ‘What will it mean to be a hospice in the era of Covid-19’
Katy Saunders & Laura Dale-Harris from Social Finance talking about their ‘End of Life Care Integrator fund’ and social investment more widely.
Martyn Drake, author of ‘The Commercial Charity’, a very interesting and provocative read
Mark Astarita, formerly Director of Fundraising at The British Red Cross discussing ‘Resetting the Hospice Income Generation Model.’
Philip Kirkpatrick, Deputy Managing Partner and Head of Charity at Bates Wells, discussing ‘Governance in the post-Covid world’ - modernising charity governance structure and practice.
Joe Saxton of NfP Synergy who discussed his recent paper on charities charging for services.
David White, Commercial Director from St Christopher’s on ‘The Future of Retail Post-Pandemic'   

For more information on the Virtual Hospice CEO group, please contact me

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