WINNER: Rob Webster, Chief Executive – South West Yorkshire Partnership FT

Mr Webster joined South West Yorkshire after spending two years as chief executive of the NHS Confederation. He has worked in healthcare since 1990, including national roles at the Department of Health, and was a director for the prime minister’s delivery unit in the Cabinet Office. He has also run both NHS Calderdale and Leeds Community Healthcare Trust. He has been leading the work of the West Yorkshire and Harrogate integrated care system.

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HSJ’s chief executive of the year was a run-away winner, securing twice as much support for the top spot as any other candidate. Mr Webster is committed to improving staff wellbeing and, particularly, to making sure NHS system working serves the wider needs of local populations. But perhaps most significantly, it is hard to imagine a chief who might argue more strongly against the focus on one individual rather than a wider group of leaders in an organisation or a system.

The judges concluded that this combination of humility, support for staff and partners and a focus on population needs was the near perfect combination for a leader in today’s NHS.


  • Dame Jackie Daniel, Chief Executive – The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals FT
  • Sir Mike Deegan CBE, Group Chief Executive – Manchester University FT
  • Dame Marianne Griffiths, Chief Executive – Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust and Western Sussex Hospitals FT
  • Julian Hartley, Chief Executive – Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust