New Chief Executive for a New Year

New Chief Executive for a New Year

Philippa Thompson has been appointed as Chief Executive of Sussex Oakleaf, the mental health recovery specialist, which provides essential support and services for people with mental health issues across East and West Sussex.

Philippa brings with her extensive and varied leadership experience in the health and social care sector in Sussex. Following early experience in local government, in public policy at the National Consumer Council, and as Head of Consumer Affairs at BT, Philippa has worked for national and local charities for the last 12 years, with previous roles as Director of Development for a national children’s charity and as regional Director of the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service for healthcare.

She comes to Sussex Oakleaf from Independent Lives, the West Sussex based disability and social care charity, where she has been Chief Executive for the last 6 years.

Philippa said “I am so delighted to be joining Sussex Oakleaf at this time. It’s a great organisation with a strong reputation in the specialist mental health recovery field and I am passionate about its mission – to help people survive crisis and recover control in their lives through person-centred care and support. I am very keen to work with local people and with the team at Sussex Oakleaf to extend our reach and to work in partnership with others to make sure that everyone can get access to help and support when they need it.”

Chair of Sussex Oakleaf, Graham Maunders, commented, “The Board and I warmly welcome Philippa’s appointment as Chief Executive of Sussex Oakleaf.  We are very pleased to have secured the depth of experience and expertise both in the health and social care sector and in charity leadership that Philippa brings. She has an in-depth, proven track record of success in developing and sustaining services for disabled people and working in person-centered ways to help transform lives.

“This is a hugely challenging time for mental health charities and service providers with cuts to NHS and adult social care funding, with more cuts to Local Authority funding yet to come. But referrals for mental health treatment, care and support continue to rise – up 18.5% in the last 5 years. With Philippa and our great staff team here at Sussex Oakleaf, we will continue to focus on empowering people and promoting independence by providing recovery focused community wellbeing services, residential care, peer mentoring, housing support and volunteering opportunities, as well as crisis support and recovery”.

Philippa takes up her post on 3rd January 2017, and will be based at Sussex Oakleaf’s new central office in Burgess Hill.