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‘Outstanding’ trust appoint new CEO

Published on: 17 May 2024

East London Foundation Trust has announced that Lorraine Sunduza will be its new chief executive.

Former CEO Paul Calaminus departed for the neighbouring North East London Foundation Trust last summer, and Ms Sunduza has acted as interim chief executive since then.

Ms Sunduza has worked at the “outstanding” rated ELFT for over 20 years, beginning her career as an adult mental health nurse. She was appointed the trust’s chief nurse in June 2018 before becoming deputy chief executive in June 2021.

She was awarded an OBE earlier this year in recognition of her contribution to public life and NHS leadership.

In an interview with HSJ in January, she said: “I’ve really connected to the people that I’ve worked with [at ELFT]. There are some staff and service users I’ve known my entire time at the trust, so we’ve actually seen each other grow older together.

“Having executive colleagues at the trust for so long is also advantageous because we have this collective organisational memory. We remember the trust in earlier times when it wasn’t like this, and we were part of the journey when change was happening, and the leadership and the culture was shifting for the better.”

She said, however, that she was not complacent, adding: “We needed to look again at leadership and culture and hear from our service users and our staff. 

“We needed to ask: ‘What are the behaviours you expect of people in management positions? How will we know what’s a healthy team, what are the things that we will measure to assess our culture?’

“We have to continually review as there are so many things that can be potential derailers to culture when times are tough. As a board, we’ve also made a conscious decision to really pay attention to things like demographics.”

Following her appointment, Ms Sunduza said: “It has been a great privilege to serve as interim CEO of ELFT over the last nine months and I am delighted to have been appointed substantively.

“I believe strongly in our mission as a trust to improve the quality of life for all we serve and look forward to continuing to work with our service users and carers, staff and system partners in our shared endeavour to deliver this aim for our populations in North East London, Bedfordshire and Luton.”

ELFT chair Eileen Taylor said Ms Sunduza’s commitment to delivery of the trust’s priorities “has long been evident” and will be “safe in her hands”.

She added: “Lorraine has also played a pivotal role in the development of ELFT’s ‘organisational treasures’: clinical leadership, kind and caring staff, people participation, quality improvement, our diversity as a trust and our approach to inclusion.

“I can think of no better steward to ensure that these continue to underpin the work of the trust in the months and years to come.”