HSJ’s top chief executives was compiled with the input of leading figures in and around the NHS

  • Dr Rosie Benneyworth, chief executive, Health Service Safety Investigations Body
  • Steve Brine, MP and chair, Commons Health and Social Care Committee
  • Ben Clover, bureau chief, HSJ
  • Sean Duggan, chief executive, NHS Confederation’s Mental Health Network
  • Dr Navina Evans, chief workforce, training and education officer, NHS England 
  • Sir Julian Hartley, chief executive, NHS Providers
  • Patricia Marquis, executive director for England, Royal College of Nursing 
  • Dr Kathy McLean, former medical director and COO, NHS Improvement, and chair, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Integrated Care Board
  • Habib Naqvi, chief executive, NHS Race and Health Observatory
  • Jon Restell, chief executive, Managers in Partnership
  • Dr Vish Sharma, chair, BMA’s consultant committee
  • Matthew Taylor, chief executive, NHS Confederation
  • Dave West, deputy editor, HSJ
  • Michael Wilson, consultant and former trust chief executive
  • Alastair McLellan, editor, HSJ – Chair


The judging panel was asked to bear in mind the following criteria when judging chief executives:

  • The performance of the chief executive over the last year. We look for chief executives who have steered their organisations through these difficult times, including supporting staff and ensuring patients get the best care possible given the constraints trusts will have been facing. We also look at other aspects of leadership, including chief executives’ leadership style and behaviours, including their approach to mentoring and developing more junior staff; encouraging inclusive leadership; how they work with their board, both executives and non-executives; and their standing among their peers and personal qualities.
  • The performance of the organisation they lead, given the circumstances it is in. We will look at the results of the staff survey and any recent Care Quality Commission reports while acknowledging many organisations are struggling on the traditional metrics around waiting times.
  • The contribution the chief executive has made to the wider health and social care system. This might be through leading on important projects, either nationally or locally, or taking on additional roles, such as chairing integrated care partnerships. As integrated care systems have developed, we have sought chief executives who are working for the benefit of the system as a whole rather than only protecting the interests of their own organisations.

Turnaround CEO leads the 2024 ‘top chief executives’ ranking