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Our Team

We have an experienced team who have worked at Chief Executive, Chief Restructuring Officer, Chairman, Turnaround Director, Chief Operating Officer and Non-Executive Director level

We have worked with troubled businesses since 1990, in all phases of decline – underperformance, distress and crisis – and have successfully delivered many turnarounds. Bringing senior board level experience, having operated at CEO level in Blue Chip companies, we established a successful turnaround practice in the private sector before diversifying into the public sector, where we have successfully implemented turnaround techniques.

Our assignments include some very difficult situations. Applying a no-nonsense style to fixing problems, we underpin our enviable track record of increasing the value of businesses with analytical rigour and a methodical approach. We pride ourselves on getting to the truth quickly and giving clarity where there has been ambiguity or confusion. We demonstrate our determination in getting the problem fixed.

Kingsgate’s team has a mixed background of board roles in the corporate environment, non-executive directorships and blue-chip management consultancy. This gives the firm a valuable combination of breadth and depth – real life know-how backed by first class intellectual and analytical capability. We have strong relationships with other specialists whose skills complement our own.


Our Team


Steve Swayne - Managing Director

Steve is an established Turnaround professional, with particular experience in complex, large and difficult turnarounds. This has included extensive merger and acquisition work. He has developed a very successful turnaround track record at CEO/MD/Chair level in the public and private sector. He is owner and Managing Director of Kingsgate and co-owner and Chair of Dearden HR and Dearden Interim.

Kingsgate is a Turnaround and Transformation firm delivering successful change in difficult and challenged situations. The business has grown rapidly over the last few years and currently employs fifteen professionals with the NHS as its biggest sector. Dearden HR specialises in difficult HR situations especially within the NHS, Private schools and the Private sector; it currently employs eight professionals. Dearden Interim is a recruitment business that does both search and interim placements within the Public Sector. It does extensive business both within the UK and the health market in the Middle East.

Within the public sector Steve has worked extensively in the NHS working with numerous Trusts nationally over the last 10 years. He has delivered CIPs across a range of NHS organisations, including a number of recovery situations.


Jonathan Wheeler - Finance Director

Jonathan Wheeler is Kingsgate’s Finance Director. He is a chartered accountant with 10 years’ post qualification experience in turnaround, restructuring and advisory. Prior to joining Kingsgate, Jonathan worked for PwC’s Business Recovery team in London and the Thames Valley working on a variety of restructuring and advisory cases as well as various M&A projects. Subsequently he worked on a number of public sector and turnaround projects including South London Healthcare Trust where he worked as part of a turnaround team that delivered the highest CIP target as a percentage of income compared to all London acute trusts. He has also recently worked on a number of SME turnaround and restructuring projects across a variety of sectors including law, retail, leisure and construction.


James Cooper - Healthcare Productivity Lead

James is an experienced operational manager specialising in medical productivity, income generation, 18 week and CWT delivery, service improvement and development, transformation and turnaround. He has extensive experience managing large clinical and non-clinical teams through times of complex change and transformation. His current area of interest is in reducing bank and agency spend in acute Trusts.

He has delivered multiple service restructures to help organisations achieve their transformational agendas and improve their medical productivity.

James has significant experience of managing clinical services as well as scoping, managing and delivering projects for the National Health Service and internationally in the private healthcare sector. He has recently returned from a two year contract working for Lord Ara Darzi in the state of Qatar where he developed, introduced and managed a national triage service for walk in patients (similar to the NHS rapid assessment nurse system.) This was for a client organisation where he also streamlined, integrated and absorbed a partner organisations emergency care walk in service into the same client organisation, this included the successful transfer of employment for over 1000 clinical staff.


Tony Riley - Transformation Advisor

Tony is a successful programme director with experience leading large-scale healthcare transformation. With an academic background, he has considerable expertise of leading programmes of organisational cultural change to deliver healthcare improvement.

He has an engaged, dynamic, leadership style with excellent stakeholder management skills and develops programmes with strong governance and clear accountability. He has expertise in developing a PMO based approach and performance improvement.

Tony has most recently successfully worked as a Transformation Director (acute CIP Turnaround) in the east of England. He has successfully led hospital Transaction programmes in London, was a Director of a national strategy programme in the Middle East and has led numerous other NHS programmes such BCF and QiPP in CCGs.


Richard Hall - Associate

Richard is an established organisational change professional with a portfolio of commercial experience in board and senior management roles in both private and public sectors. Assignment areas include businesses in the pharmaceutical, biologics and medical device industries as well as university bioscience, UK public sector healthcare transformation and local government turnaround. Richard has a track record of delivery of projects and programmes complemented by operational experience in a range of functions including general management, product development, programme management, regulatory and manufacturing


Patrick Maes - Associate

Patrick is a native from Gent, Belgium, based in Dublin. He started his career in consultancy over 20 years ago, and has worked in more than 20 countries with approximately 300 different clients. He was consultant, trainer/coach and project director as well as CEO of the world leader in productivity and efficiency improvement. He has helped companies to improve their organisation, their performance and efficiency as well as the level of their quality and customer/client service in a wide variety of industries. He has done this with clients in the automotive, banking, insurance, health, chemical and food industry, both in privately and publicly held organisations. Patrick has studied languages, history and sociology, graduating with the highest distinction.


Dr Albert van der Wijk - Associate

Albert is a native of Holland and is based in Eindhoven. His turnaround experience covers both leadership and functional directorships in large-scale situations covering R&D, Manufacturing, Supply Chain and Marketing and Sales. He has held a variety of senior management/board positions in Germany, the Netherlands, UK and Asia. Recently he has helped a number of distressed legal partnerships turnaround and has also been involved in the health sector. Albert has a PHD in nuclear physics and is a polyglot, including fluent English.


Jon Davies - Associate

Jon is a Welshman, now resident in Cornwall. His background is in Military Aviation Engineering and has spent the last 10 years specializing in Quality Systems and Change Management. He has a wide experience of designing and implementing transactional ‘Lean’ change in the areas of HR, medical, logistics, operations and engineering. Having spent some time working within the NHS in the South West as a service improvement lead, he has now moved on to the challenge of turnaround operations in the wider NHS sphere of operations.


Heena Patel - Business Development Manager

Heena joined Dearden in December 2017 and supports all aspects of business development and marketing. Prior to joining Kingsgate, Heena has over 8 years of experience in the private healthcare sector as the proprietor of a residential care home.  She is a qualified Project Manager and has experience of working in the voluntary sector on regeneration and outreach programmes.


Sam Cope - Team Administrator

Sam joined us in July 2016 and provides administrative and project support. She is a qualified Project Manager and has 15 years’ experience of working in consultancy on public sector procurement projects.


Mark Gammage - Associate, Board and Leadership Development

A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, Mark has provided HR solutions to numerous NHS and public sector organisations. He has first hand experience of working as an interim having worked as an interim Director of HR for large teaching hospitals, acute trusts and PCTs.

As a substantive Director of HR in two separate NHS Trusts, most latterly a London-based FT, he has real senior and hands on experience, with the ability to hit the ground running in terms of HR matters and organisational design. He understands the health sector in depth, having additionally held the position of relationship Director for North London at NHS London.

Mark is Managing Director at Dearden, which partners with Kingsgate on a regular basis.


Sue Lewis - Transformation Advisor

Sue has many years’ experience working in the NHS, including 20 years at Board level in roles including Chief Operating Officer; Director of Nursing and Acting Chief Executive. She has worked primarily in hospitals, but also has worked in the community and for a charity. She has a great track record of successfully achieving standards including financial, operational and quality. She retains her nurse registration and her clinical background allows her to work well with doctors and other clinicians.

She has a significant background in redesign, change and transformation for successful financial, operational and clinical quality improvements and efficiencies. Most recently, Sue has spent 2 years working as ‘Improvement Director’ for NHSI in Trusts which had been put into ‘Special Measures’, her work included advising and supporting East Kent Hospitals UFT in being recommended to exit Special Measures by the Chief Inspector of Hospitals.

She has a significant background in redesign, change and transformation for successful financial, operational and clinical quality improvements and efficiencies. Most recently, Sue has spent 2 years working as ‘Improvement Director’ for NHSI in Trusts which had been put into ‘Special Measures’, her work included advising and supporting East Kent Hospitals UFT in being recommended to exit Special Measures by the Chief Inspector of Hospitals.


Don West - PMO Management

Don has worked in the health sector for three decades, consulting to hospitals, primary care & mental health organisations, funders and institutional and private equity investors. He has delivered projects in the UK, Libya and central Europe. Don has worked for a number of international and specialist health consulting organisations.

He has delivered many projects focused on performance improvement and financial recovery, including Chelsea & Westminster NHS FT, Oxford Radcliffe (now Oxford University Hospitals) NHS Trust, Barnet & Chase Farm NHS Trust and West Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust. This typically involves a review of strategic objectives and the financial position followed with the development of a programme of cost saving and/or performance improving measures, with the management and monitoring of individual work streams. Progress is tracked, measured and reported against key performance metrics and indicators within a clear governance framework.

He also specialises in the appraisal of investment in health facilities. He has developed estates strategies and rationalisation plans and carried out market due diligence for mergers and acquisitions. His work looks at all aspects of the potential investment, including strategic and service issues, demographic and epidemiological analysis, specification of services and facilities, economic appraisal, financial affordability, commercial arrangements and project management. He specialises in health strategy and the appraisal of investment in health facilities.


Andrew Murphy - Turnaround Associate

Andrew has a primary focus on public sector restructuring, organisational change, performance improvement and delivery. He has worked in the public sector for 16 years, most recently as Chief Operating Officer and Director of Performance in large NHS Trusts.

He has a successful track record of delivering complex change including multi-million pound cash releasing savings whilst improving quality.

Recent assignments include supporting East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust to deliver a challenging CIP and roles as acting COOs at, Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust and Royal Cornwall NHS Hospital Trust.


Peter Trethewy - Associate

Peter has had a long and successful NHS career, having held positions at Deputy and Chief Operating Officer level.

He has extensive management experience with a proven track record of delivery, performance management and service redesign. Peter has also led on contract negotiations as part of the annual planning round and in the development of service strategy. Most recently he has worked with a client in Essex, leading on service transformation. Peter has worked with Kingsgate over a number of years, collaborating on a range of transformation programmes.


Rick Strang - Associate

Rick is an RGN who has had senior roles in Emergency Departments. Rick set-up the first private sector walk-in centre at Gatwick airport before returning to the NHS in divisional and directorate roles leading emergency care in acute Trusts in London and the south. He returned to the private sector in 2008 offering management support and challenge to emergency departments failing the four-hour standard. As well as working with NHS London on delivering urgent care centres and polyclinics across the capital Rick spent eight months at Mid-Staffordshire Foundation Trust helping with their recovery.

Rick has worked with Kingsgate over a number of years on complex turnaround programmes. He maintains his clinical skills working with Extreme Medics Ltd, covering extreme sports, expedition care and care in austere and hostile environments.


Chris Hurst - Associate, Financial Strategy Lead

Chris has over 20 years’ experience of working at FD, Deputy CEO and CEO level in the NHS and a number of years management consultancy and executive coaching experience, including working for Kingsgate. He has specific strengths in diagnostic consulting, strategy formulation and developmentand analyticalreview. He focuses on results and outcomes, with strong interpersonal and negotiation skills, proving invaluable in roles where he has helped individuals and teams with diverse and competing views find common ground and to focus on the critical issues.

Chris has provided strategic advice to two governments and expert support to nearly 20 health organisations and a number of SMEs. He is very comfortable working with boards and clinical leaders alike. Most recently he has enabled the development of a compelling case to persuade the boards the North Bristol Hospitals Trust and University Hospitals Bristol FT to re-examine the potential benefits of the merger of the Trusts.  This was achieved and the organisations went on to jointly commission the development of a business case for a “merger by acquisition”.


Jan Sowa - Associate

Following 10 years at Whitbread, and success in founding and generating strong investment returns in his leisure retail business, Jan has, over the last three years, focused on turnaround, operational performance improvement, and project optimisation in the leisure, procurement, and not-for-profit sectors. Jan has held directorships with four companies, and has consistently achieved goals through galvanising team effort and strong leadership skills, resulting in increased sales, profit and returns on investment in tough markets.


Kate Harper - PA and Administration

Kate provides PA and administrative support at Board and Executive level. She has 16yrs experience as Office Manager for various companies, both private and public. Kate has experience in website management, she worked for Network Rail and kept the website and Intranet updated. Kate is mum to two young daughters.


Sharon Thumwood - Bookkeeper

Sharon joined the company in August 2017. She is a qualified Chartered Management Accountant of 13years and has worked within the finance Sector for over 25years. Prior to joining us Sharon worked for DHL Express UK as Head of Financial Planning & Analysis managing a team and budget in excess of £130m. Sharon is a mother to 3 young children and in her spare time enjoys running.

“We have held positions in our clients’ organisations, including Chief Executive, Chief Restructuring Officer, Chairman, Turnaround Director, Chief Operating Officer, Non-Executive Director


As a professional services firm, Kingsgate is committed to fostering an inclusive workplace culture that attracts and retains people from a diverse background. At the core of our growth strategy is inclusivity and we are committed to creating a supportive workplace to encourage and enable our talent to express themselves and share their ideas and be responsible for their impact on others.   We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer where everyone is encouraged to develop and attain both personal and professional success as we recognise the positive impact this has on our internal culture and therefore with our clients.

We are committed in continuing our efforts in creating an environment where diversity thrives and is equally as important as delivering exceptional work for our clients.

A recent audit demonstrated our commitment to supporting diversity with 54% of the Kingsgate workforce being women, of which 25% hold senior positions within the company. Also, together with our sister company Dearden HR, our combined workforce represents 12.5% of the BAME talent.