Joining the NHS
Katrina began her health service career in 1995 after being accepted onto the fast-track graduate management training programme. Her first role after completing the programme was as Assistant General Manager for Surgery at University Hospitals Southampton. She then moved to Portsmouth, as a Locality Manager for Portsmouth City. Here she helped develop primary care models and was also responsible for managing the ambulance contract.
Central Middlesex - an inspiring workplace culture
She then decided to make a move out of Hampshire to take up the role of Divisional Director of Operations in Central Middlesex Hospital. Here she worked with an incredible team, including Dame Sally Davies, Mark Britnell, John Pope and Lawrence Hamilton. The organisation was driving real cultural innovation and Katrina learned a huge amount during her time here about the importance of a good workplace culture and strong leadership. It was at Central Middlsex where she also experienced her first merger, and the challenges this presented both from an operational and administrative, but also from a cultural perspective.
Whilst at Central Middlesex, Katrina was also responsible for leading the London Patient Choice Project, working with Lord Ara Darzi. This was part of a major drive to reduce waiting times and give patients more choice over their care and treatment.
Tanzania - a new challenge
In 2002, Katrina decided to take up an entirely new challenge, with the role of Director of Operations at Aga Khan Health Service in Tanzania. It was an incredible experience and taught her a huge amount about herself and the different ways of running a health system. In Tanzania, many staff took on multiple roles and were forced to be incredibly resourceful, making the best use of a limited range of equipment.
Returning to the UK
After two years, she returned to the UK, this time to South West London where she worked with Ann Radmore as a Health Strategy Consultant for the Strategic Health Authority.
In 2005 she took on the role of Chief Operating Officer for Surrey and Sussex NHS Trust. It was a particularly difficult time for the organisation - the Board had been removed and the Trust was one of the most overspent in the country, whilst also failing its quality and performance targets. As part of the team who helped transform the Trust, she worked internally and with external partners to turn around the finance and quality of the organisation. Within 18 months the team had reduced the deficit by two thirds, started to achieve national performance targets, and made great strides in delivering a better quality of care for its patients.
In 2007, Katrina took on her first CEO role, as Chief Executive (Designate) for Hampshire Community Health Care (HCHC). At this Trust, there were no indicators for what success looked like for patients or the organisation, and so her first job was to begin talking to patients and staff about what those indicators would look like. She then ensured there were measurable targets in place.
In 2011 a project commenced to merge with another local Trust - Hampshire Partnership. Katrina was appointed interim CEO of Hampshire Partnership, and when the merger formally completed, a new organisation was created - Southern Health - she was then appointed as their permanent CEO. The organisation was part of the Vanguard Project for the transformation of primary community care, looking at creating integrated care organisations.
Since leaving the NHS in 2016, Katrina has worked with a number of technology start-ups working in the healthcare sector, including Ryalto. It’s been another new challenge and is one she has really relished.