The politics of transition: The impact of a general election on the NHS in London

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The period before and after a general election can be a challenging one for leaders of NHS organisations. Yet at the same time it offers the NHS many opportunities.

This one-day programme, designed predominantly for NHS chairs in London, sought to tease out some of the pitfalls and opportunities presented by the 2015 election, and better equip chairs to work effectively with MPs and parliamentary candidates during this period. It was an interactive and dynamic day, enabling chairs to think through some of the issues that they face in a safe environment.

The session was run by the Cumberlege Eden & Partners team, facilitated by Julie Dent, Chair of Devon Partnership NHS Trust and a former London NHS Chief Executive, and Catherine Eden, Director of Cumberlege Eden & Partners. Others contributing to the day included Lord Philip Hunt, Lords Opposition Health spokesperson and former NHS Chair; Lord Richard Wilson, former Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service; Janet Cohen, former BBC journalist; and several cross-party MPs and parliamentary candidates for the 2015 general election.


Julie Dent CBE

Julie Dent CBE was Chief Executive of South West London Strategic Health Authority until 1 July 2006. She left the NHS in March 2007 after 22 years to take up a new portfolio career including being Chair of the London Probation Board from April 2007 to March 2012.

She became Chair of Torbay NHS Care Trust in December 2009, and since March 2013 has been Chair of Devon Partnership NHS Trust.

Prior to this she established her own consultancy/coaching company coaching chief executives, chairs and directors in the NHS. She has worked extensively across London and the South East with clinical commissioning group leaders, and in the past year has coached senior leaders in the third sector.

She is a trustee of the School Food Trust and the Children’s Food Trust. She is Chair of User Voice, a ground-breaking charity for offenders.

Julie was awarded the CBE in 2005, after the London bombings, for services to the NHS.

Catherine Eden is a Director of Cumberlege Eden & Partners Limited. Previously, she has worked as a primary care trust manager in the South West focusing on patient and public engagement; as the Parliamentary and Campaigns Manager for a national health charity in the European Parliament; and for a London local authority. She has spent the past 20 years working with, for, and around politicians. This has allowed her to mix her two passions of health and politics.