The must-read stories and debate in health policy and leadership.

You won’t hear many NHS chief executives introducing themselves as a “pink-haired raging feminist” but Fiona Noden promises to break the mould.

In a wide-ranging interview with HSJ, the Bolton FT chief talked of her progression through the NHS management ranks, and how she never would have believed she would run a major organisation because of her social background and “spiky” personality.

Ms Noden, who started her career as a radiographer and trade union rep, said: “Even after I went into operational management roles, I never saw myself as a chief executive.

“But when I left my role as chief operating officer at the acute trust in Wigan in 2015, the chief exec Andrew Foster said to me, ‘I want you to be a chief executive in five years’.

“I was like, ‘yeah whatever Andrew’, because I didn’t really think it was something I had the skills, capabilities, or inclination to do. I’m from a working-class background and grew up in a multi-generational household, and was the first in my family to go into further education.

“I can be quite spiky, dress a bit differently, and sometimes my hair’s pink, so it doesn’t really fit the mould.

“I’m a raging feminist as well, and I think I can quite clearly say that if I wasn’t five-foot-two from Bolton, and I was male and from Manchester, I would probably have been in this job 10 years ago.”

You’ve been warned

Regulators continue to ask questions of the governance and oversight at the Partnership of East London Co-operatives, an out of hours and urgent treatment centre provider in north east London.

The Care Quality Commission was on the ground at two of its urgent treatment centres in late March and April. They have now issued a warning letter to PELC about 12 breaches of regulations about good governance, seen by HSJ.

The letter said PELC lacked “effective systems and processes to monitor the service, including relevant areas relating to finance”.

It also found that members of PELC’s Council – akin to a board of directors – chaired governance meetings, including the financial oversight group, but when interviewed “did not appear clear on the purpose of these meetings, and did not demonstrate oversight of decisions made or the current status of the organisation”.

The CQC said PELC’s structure “mandated specific requirements relating to decision making” but “we noted that the organisation’s council was making decisions that it was not authorised to make”.

The regulator would not comment on its warning notice. We await its full report when it is published in due course.