KEMP Hospice in Wyre Forest, North Worcestershire, offers specialist care and support to patients, families and carers in the local community who are dealing with life limiting illness and bereavement.
The hospice is looking for a new chief executive to lead the charity - someone with world experience, a breadth of experience in the voluntary sector and a strong strategist who wants to make a real difference to the lives of others. We spoke to the current CEO, Terry Osborn, to gain insider insight into what the role involves and what it takes to do the job well.
Tell us about KEMP Hospice and the work you do
KEMP has been a part of our small local community since the late 60s with us moving into end of life and palliative care in the 80s. Today, we offer a wide range of services including a day hospice, hospice at home, a wide range of therapies (including physiotherapy, osteopathy, complementary and creative therapies), specialist clinics (including cardiac, MND and Parkinson’s) along with extensive pre and post bereavement support, advice and guidance for both adults, children and young people.
What is involved in a typical day of a CEO?
There is no typical day! You could be reviewing our future strategic direction, working with colleagues in other hospices on collaborative projects, looking at our finances with our head of finance, supporting members of the team in their respective roles (care, retail, fundraising, family support and volunteering) and even occasionally rolling up your sleeves and weeding the garden alongside the volunteers.
What is the best bit about your day?
Knowing that you have made a difference either in the context of creating a positive change in the organisation or finding the time to sit with some of the patients or our service users to listen to their story and hear what difference KEMP has made to their lives with comments such as “KEMP gave me my life back” bringing it home to you just what we are here for.
What is the biggest challenge?
We have a strong senior team and together we are committed to collectively harnessing and developing the strengths we have, as well as cultivating the amazing support that our local community provides and not forgetting that it is the local community who are the commissioners of our services as they provide 70% of the monies we need to continue providing vital services for local people. KEMP is a strong brand alongside the many worthy charitable causes in the Wyre Forest. Fundraising remains a challenge.
Why would someone want to do this role?
If you truly wish to make a real and lasting difference to the lives of others (our patients, their carers, families and loved ones) then KEMP is the place for you. Many of those who work here describe KEMP as a drug - you come here and it gets into your system - you can’t let it go!
What do you think makes a strong CEO in an organisation like yours?
Experience of the world, a breadth of experience in the voluntary sector covering some of the facets of this charity which might include hospice care, income generation, finance experience and senior management. But, above all else, it is your people skills and passion for the cause that will be the most important.
What type of leader does KEMP Hospice need?
Now that operational matters are well controlled, we need a strong strategist who can see the bigger picture and who works well with others to achieve a common goal. She or he must be a people person with the ability to listen, empathise and communicate well with a wide variety of audiences. She or he must also, from time to time, not be afraid to roll up their shirt sleeves and get stuck in with the team and they absolutely must share the values that the team has spent much time developing over the past year or so (Professional, Trustworthy, Positive, Compassionate, Inclusive and Respectful).
Top tips for applying for the CEO position at KEMP Hospice:
- Work with trustees to strengthen the board and complete the actions from the recent Board Development Programme we have completed.
- Get to know the new chair of the Wyre Forest Clinical Commissioning Group (to be appointed in the autumn of 2016) along with the senior employed staff that we work with in the CCG.
- As CEO I have established a strong and forward thinking senior management team. Work with me to further grow and develop them and their roles in the charity.
- Spend some time with our patients and service users along with the vital volunteers that make KEMP what it is to better understand the difference we make to the lives of others.