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System leaders

Headshot of Kate Shields

Kate Shields, accountable officer, NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group

Kate became NHS Kernow’s accountable officer on 16 August 2021.

Kate joined Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust as deputy chief executive in 2017 and took on the role of chief executive in July 2018. She is an experienced NHS leader having worked as director of strategy and partnerships at University Hospitals Leicester. She was a registered nurse and mental health nurse at the beginning of her NHS career. Kate has also worked for NHS England as a regional director of specialised commissioning and as the national head of specialised commissioning.

Kate is a mother of 3 and ‘borrows’ 2 others as part of a blended family. She has 2 grandchildren and a grand-dog and enjoys nothing better than lots of noise, lots of laugher and people around the table.

Headshot of Carolyn Andrews

Carolyn Andrews, system transformation director

The transformation director is a new role which will be key in helping us achieve our transformation plans and will lead on the development and delivery of the programmes in collaboration with those existing transformation teams across our system. As the system matures, and other priorities continue to arise, Carolyn will be responsible for developing further system programmes of work, including those arising from COVID-19 recovery planning.

Carolyn joins us from her role as chief executive in Kernow Health CIC where she was instrumental in mobilising the Cornwall NHS 111 integrated urgent care service. She has been key in embedding Kernow Health CIC as a system partner in the evolving Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Integrated Care System. Carolyn has a background in acute, community and ambulance services and has worked for NHS and private health care providers. Carolyn has been key to some large pieces of transformation in other healthcare systems and is passionate about embedding integrated working in Cornwall. Carolyn currently works with many of our system partners and will build on these relationships to help drive a collaborative approach to system working ensuring that all partners feel they are part of the future of Cornwall.

Headshot of Kate Kennally

Kate Kennally, lead for strategic commissioning, chief executive, Cornwall Council

Kate has been chief executive of Cornwall Council since January 2016. She is passionate about tackling inequality and improving the life opportunities for the people of Cornwall through
economic growth and involving communities in the delivery of public services.

Kate chairs the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Integrated Care System Partnership Senate for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, working closely with the NHS chief officers to realise our ambition of integrated care.

Kate previously worked for the London Borough of Barnet, after working in health and social care roles for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Strategic Health Authority, Buckinghamshire Primary Care Trust, Buckinghamshire County Council and the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.

At Barnet she held roles as director of adult social services, director of social care and health and director of children’s services, and strategic director for communities before becoming strategic director for commissioning and deputy chief executive.

Headshot of Debbie Richards

Debbie Richards, chief executive, Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Debbie, who is originally from Cornwall has returned to the county to take up the helm at Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. She joins the Trust from Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust where she was executive managing director of mental health, learning disability and autism services.

Debbie brings 22 years of senior level experience in clinical service delivery, commissioning and transformation across health and social care, having begun her career in Cornwall as a probation service officer before leaving to train as a social worker.

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