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Institute for Turnaround Awards

The IFT’s Annual Awards are presented to those who have struggled with financial or operational difficulties but have managed to turn their business around.

Steve Swayne, Kingsgate IAI accepted a Commendation for the Public and Third Sector on behalf of the London Borough of Newham Council at the IFT’s Annual Awards ceremony in December 2010. Kingsgate delivered circa £70m savings for the Council during 2010 and have developed a plan to deliver a further £116m in savings over the next three years.

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Client Testimonials

Much of our work is confidential and many of our clients prefer to remain anonymous. However, below is a selection of testimonials of our work where our clients have been kind enough to give their views on the work we have undertaken.


After a large hidden deficit emerged at the Trust and NHS Improvement allowed us the chance to manage the Turnaround internally, we sought some support from a “proper” Turnaround Director and Steve was selected from a long list as he stood out for his experience and right level of support and challenge. Steve has acted as a mentor for me personally and is always a source of wise advice. Kingsgate and Dearden HR as companies have worked with us over the last year to deliver a really successful CIP programme and their work on our Medical Productivity Work Stream in particular has been excellent. The team are knowledgeable, pragmatic and can do; I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone needing expert support with savings plan and especially to work with medical staff as their understanding of job planning, service design and demand and capacity planning has been exemplary. What sets them apart from most consultancy firms is their knowledge and experience of the NHS, and their ability to build relationships with all staff groups and their ethical approach to working in the public sector."

Dawn Jarvis, Director of Strategy and Improvement, Doncaster & Bassetlaw NHS Trust


I am pleased to highly recommend the services and support provided by Kingsgate and their partner Dearden HR.

Personified through Steve Swayne, Kingsgate’s MD, the company provided us with excellent advice, support and delivery of specific parts of the Trust’s financial turnaround programme. Kingsgate provide an exceptional offer, combining the unusual attributes of highly experienced and credible personal service, backed up by a network of resources and expertise in specific areas, such as that provided by Dearden HR. Their approach is to rapidly and sustainably improve the situation and leave trusted staff enabled and empowered to continue the work without further support at the earliest realistic point. Their deep experience and proven methodologies cut to the chase in a way that engages staff quickly and effectively. I would confidently recommend both Kingsgate and Dearden HR for any similar requirement."

Mike Pinkerton, Chief Executive, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


We asked Steve Swayne and the Kingsgate team to support us to improve our in-year CIP delivery. I have been very impressed with their approach which is both rigorous and delivered at pace. They quickly gained the confidence of the executive team and helped us materially improve our in-year CIP delivery. I would not hesitate to recommend Kingsgate to other Trusts to support rapid improvement to CIP deliver."

Daniel Elkeles, Chief Executive, Epsom & St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust


Steve Swayne and the Kingsgate team came into the Trust to support us to improve our in-year CIP delivery. I have been very impressed with the way that both have made a significant impact on the in-year CIP by over £8 million whilst working hand in hand with the operational teams, allowing them to deliver access targets. In my experience this is a rare quality within turnaround firms, and it was a pleasure to work with them. I would not hesitate to recommend Kingsgate to other Trusts to support rapid improvement to CIP deliver or challenged situations generally."

Caroline Landon, Chief Operating Officer, Epsom & St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust


Chelsea and Westminster Foundation Trust appointed Steve Swayne and Kingsgate to identify and deliver a significant Cost Improvement Programme. The Kingsgate team was ideally suited to the engagement as they had vast operational experience, data analytics expertise, but most importantly an ability to recognise the Trust’s culture and work within it. The team and particularly Steve Swayne worked closely with the senior management team and critically engaged well with and earned the trust and confidence of clinicians. Their approach not only brought fresh ideas, but it also provided discipline and rigour to the Trust. Kingsgate successfully identified and delivered the CIP programme enabling the Trust to meet its financial target.

I would unreservedly recommend Steve Swayne and Kingsgate to support Trusts to deliver in an increasingly challenging environment.


Rakesh Patel, Director of Finance, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital


I have appreciated the benefit of your wisdom these past months and the good relationships you have sought to maintain with us in the Medical Directorate, despite challenging circumstances. If Kingsgate ever comes up in conversation in the future I will have only positive experiences to report."

John Day, Medical Director for Medicine, Southend University Hospital


Steve Swayne and the Kingsgate team are exceptional. They have supported my organisation in delivering a large and complex cost reduction programme of £70 million. This was completed with pace, on time and did not negatively impact services to our residents. Additionally they have helped us develop a more performance-based culture and adapt best private sector practice to our organisational needs.
I would recommend, without hesitation, their unique blend of private and public sector implementation skills to any public sector organisation that faces difficult decisions and the requirement to reduce costs."

Sir Robin Wales, Mayor, London Borough of Newham


Steve Swayne and the Kingsgate team are very professional and uber focussed on delivering the requirements of the organisation within the framework of high quality patient care. Steve and Patrick Maes are both extremely experienced in providing support to challenging situations and helping less experienced teams gain the knowledge needed to embed and continue with changes within the organisation. At Princess Alexandra Hospital, Steve and his team’s support enabled the operational teams to develop clear and realistic savings and improvement plans. Kingsgate then provided the continued focus to ensure delivery during a restructure of the senior management team."

Jon Scott, Chief Operating Officer, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow


In the early part of the 2013/14 year the Trust faced a number of unplanned cost pressures that jeopardised the delivery of its financial plan. It decided that it would benefit from some external support to bring a fresh approach to turnaround and ensure it was delivering efficient and effective services and using its resources in the best possible way. With the support of Kingsgate and Andrew Murphy’s expertise the Trust was able to take actions which considerably improved income and expenditure in the second half of the year compared to the first half of the year. The substantial progress in delivering changes will have a recurrent benefit in reducing the Trust’s cost base for future years and allow it to be more productive to the benefit of patients. Andrew brings a wealth of NHS knowledge with him and I would recommend him and Kingsgate for work in this area."

Vanessa Harris, Director of Finance, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust


Steve Swayne’s contribution to the success of the Trust’s Cost Improvement Programme for 2011/12 has been outstanding. He came to the process well into the financial year, and took an immediate and firm grasp of the process.
Working closely with directors and managers throughout the Trust, he negotiated a programme that was acceptable to and approved by the Board, and was owned and largely implemented by the departments involved. Steve’s firm hand on the implementation process was invaluable, with the result that the Trust achieved one of the biggest savings in comparison to its size of any Trust in the country, and contributed significantly to the Trust achieving a modest and welcome surplus at the year end.
Steve then went on to prepare an equally challenging programme for 2012/13, which was in a position to be agreed in outline by the Board in January, in good time for its implementation from 1st April.
Steve has now completed his successful full time assignment, but will still visit on a regular basis to ensure the on-going achievement of the year 2 programme."

David Barron, Chairman, The Princess Alexandra Hospital


Steve Swayne at Kingsgate was engaged to carry out a review of the operations of one of our businesses.
Getting quickly to the heart of the issues, Steve engaged positively with the management to produce a restructuring plan that would reduce operating costs and enable profitable sales growth. Steve worked quickly and decisively to implement the changes.
I am very happy to recommend him."

Nick Jefferies, Group Chief Executive, Acal Plc


Steve Swayne is that rare individual with demonstrated success as Chief Executive of a company listed on the public markets and trading internationally in highly competitive markets, yet with the wisdom, experience and detachment to be the consummate professional consultant and adviser. Few people are able to accomplish successfully each quite different set of roles and responsibilities.
It is no surprise that Kingsgate has built a team under Steve’s leadership who have brought to their clients, particularly those organisations who provide health care and supporting services, a distinctive competence in change management and cost reduction, well able to cope with the especially sensitive issues involved.
IDJ International takes continued pleasure in having worked first hand with Steve for almost a dozen years and with the Kingsgate team since its earliest days. A sector leading, truly great company is being built and will enjoy the success its professionalism and achievements truly deserve."

John Incledon, Chairman, IDJ International


It was a pleasure to work with Steve and the rest of the Kingsgate team. What sets Kingsgate apart is not just their ability to deliver above expectations in a challenging environment but the way in which they achieved this by bringing clinicians and other staff with them. Steve’s capacity to understand and attune his approach to the culture of organisations in real time is a major asset. I would have no hesitation in recommending Steve or Kingsgate as I believe they provide real value for money."

Mark Gammage, Director of HR, Oxford Radcliffe Hospital


Steve Swayne provided a highly objective and insightful analysis of the issues facing both the company and the sector, and I found his proposed approach very valuable. Steve’s combination of strategic understanding and pragmatic advice were critical in helping to achieve a solution for all the stakeholders involved."

Jan Sowa, Director, Passionate Pub Company


Kingsgate were appointed on the back of Steve Swayne’s significant sector experience. In a difficult environment Steve Swayne has delivered substantial cost improvements and value to the organisation.
Kingsgate represents good value for money."

Glenn Douglas, Chief Executive, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust


Steve Swayne lead an internal team which did a great job in delivering to target a CIP of £23.6 million (greater than 6 % ) whilst the Trust delivered its access targets. I would not hesitate in recommending Steve to other trusts with demanding CIP programmes."

Jayne Black, Director of Strategy and Transformation, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust


Kingsgate have been supporting the Trust for 12 months, firstly to turnaround the financial position in 2012/13 and then develop the finance plan for this year. They enabled the Trust, in a particularly challenging environment, to deliver break-even last year and have been invaluable in ensuring that we continue to meet financial targets. Andrew Murphy and Kingsgate are delivery focussed and were able to bring about rapid financial change. I would recommend Andrew Murphy and Kingsgate to other acute trusts in financial difficulty."

Dr Tim Peachey, CEO, Barnet & Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust


Kingsgate has provided the Trust with a range of highly skilled personnel who have excelled in assisting the Trust to deliver the CIP in 2013/14. Under the guidance of Steve Swayne and the on-site leadership of Richard Hall the Kingsgate team has also designed and implemented the Trust’s transformation programme during a challenging period of change and ever increasing operational pressures.
The Kingsgate team have worked closely with clinicians and senior management to establish a robust performance management framework supported by a highly focussed PMO. The operational experience brought by the team has provided challenge and support to less experienced Trust colleagues enabling the development of realistic cost and service improvement plans.
The development of clear ownership of and accountability for initiatives within the transformation programme have provided a sound basis for sustaining the improvement agenda at the Trust. As a result I would have no hesitation in recommending Kingsgate where a professional approach to the analysis and execution of complex programmes is required."

Jules Martin, Chief Operating Officer, Princess Alexandra NHS Trust


Kingsgate has provided NHS Newham with a range of first class services.
Its team has led turnaround, supported the organisational development including Board development and the creation of a PMO and supporting culture. It has provided key interim staff for a range of projects.
Steve Swayne and the team are a highly professional and skilled organisation who deliver results and provide great value."

Melanie Walker, Chief Executive, Newham PCT


Kingsgate have worked closely with Newham Council helping to develop and support our extensive change management programme. They have been directly involved in advising and assisting on our innovative approach to service transformation and delivering the organisational savings programme, and they have also helped to implement significant organisational culture change and development.
Steve Swayne and his team are professional, experienced and effective, and deliver concrete results."

Kim Bromley-Derry, Chief Executive, London Borough of Newham


Kingsgate were selected to work with the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust on the basis of Steve Swayne’s considerable experience as a Turnaround specialist. Steve quickly established his credibility with the Board and senior clinical staff. Working as part of the Trust’s turnaround and performance improvement team, Kingsgate were instrumental in helping the Trust achieve savings of twice the level it had achieved in any previous year.
Kingsgate provided excellent value for money."

Chris Hurst, Deputy CEO and Director of Finance, Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals


Steve and the Kingsgate team have both directly supported and collaborated with Grant Thornton on a number of turnaround assignments. I cannot recommend them too highly. They provide very high quality interim management solutions for challenged clients and deal with these difficult situations with both pace and skill."

Giles Newman, Restructuring Partner, Grant Thornton


Acal plc has been reviewing its costs base in one of its European divisions and engaged Steve Swayne to support senior management in this process. Whilst acting as a valuable ‘sounding board’ to the project leadership team, it also proved very useful in having Steve involved in the communications and workshops with local management. Steve helped maintain a rigorous process and brought his methodical approach to bear which allowed us to attain an excellent result. I found Steve both very pleasant and constructive to work with and would not hesitate in engaging him again on a similar exercise."

Martin Pangels, Group Strategy & Development Director, Acal plc.


Andrew Murphy and Kingsgate have supported the West Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust through a period of significant organisational challenge to deliver a major and complex cost reduction programme whilst improving the quality of service provided.
Additionally Andrew has helped develop a more stringent performance based culture and business acumen amongst senior leaders. In doing so he has worked closely with clinicians and managers alike in order to develop ownership and internal resilience to enable ongoing progress. Andrew has had a significant positive impact on the organisation.
I would recommend Andrew and Kingsgate to organisations that face similar challenges and require expertise to support delivery."

Jacqueline Docherty DBE, Chief Executive, West Middlesex University Hospital Trust


Richard Hall from Kingsgate has led the development of a £20m two year transformation programme for The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, establishing robust and effective PMO and governance arrangements. Kingsgate provided the professionalism, experience and rigour necessary to achieve improved financial performance whilst maintaining or improving service quality. I would be happy to work with them again."

Chris Bown, Interim Chief Executive, The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust


Peter Trethewy of Kingsgate provided excellent interim executive level support to the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust for almost two years.
He was instrumental in the improvement and turnaround of Urgent Care performance – ensuring that systems, processes and importantly delivery was strengthened under his capable and effective leadership.
As a regulator I valued his responsive and open approach – he would always make himself available to provide ‘state of play’ information at (often) very short notice, demonstrating an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the drivers of emergency pressures, clearly articulating the actions he was taking to address them and, critically, when improvement would be seen.
He is extremely well presented, professional, articulate and while this is a difficult and highly pressurised area of work was well liked by internal and external stakeholders alike. He built effective relationships with lead commissioners and health economy partners to drive system support for Trust delivery of the A&E standard in the short and medium term and importantly started to shape strategic direction.
Peter also delivered coaching and development support to the operational managers within the Urgent Care Division to support succession planning/sustainability. I have noted a ‘step change’ in one of these managers who now confidently presents to and leads discussion within the Urgent Care Network meetings I attend – Peter’s legacy is tangible."

Sara Howlett, Interim Head of Delivery and Development, NHS TDA Midlands and East


With a solid understanding of the public sector, combined with a wealth of experience from the private sector, Kingsgate helped Newham drive through some very challenging work on a series of major transformation change programmes.
Achieved on time and within budget, Kingsgate offered just the right combination of challenge and support to ensure practical results and real outcomes – executed with great professionalism."

David Murray, Executive Director, Customer Services, London Borough of Newham


In late 2014 we asked Kingsgate to assist us by preparing a comprehensive assessment of the 2015/16 to 2016/17 CIP opportunities after experiencing difficulties with our in-house CIP delivery earlier in the year. Kingsgate responded rapidly, deploying experienced analysts and programme specialists and by January 2015 we had a credible plan. Following various phases of set-up including extensive executive team and clinical director input, we were able to provide assurance to the Trust Board in April that the programme had been validated and was underpinned by a robust approach to governance.

To sum up, last year we had an incoherent plan to deliver the CIP which led us to resort to a financial recovery plan. This year we are in a completely different position, actually ahead of plan at M5 with a basis for future delivery. Richard Hall and the Kingsgate team have done a brilliant job supporting the Trust to build a dedicated programme organisation drawing on skills across business and clinical areas. They’ve enabled a structured, clinically led approach, providing a really practical framework for ensuring projects deliver.

As a result we would have no hesitation in recommending Kingsgate where a professional and practical approach to analysis and execution is required."

Simon Lazarus, Director of Finance, Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust


We experienced difficulties with our in-house CIP delivery in 2014. As a result, in November 2014, we asked Kingsgate to assist us by preparing a comprehensive assessment of the 2015/16 to 2016/17 CIP opportunities. By January 2015 we had a credible plan and a practical approach to delivery which aligned to our new, clinically led, structure. Through various phases of set up and implementation we were able to provide assurance to the Trust Board in April that the programme had been validated and was underpinned by a robust approach to governance.

I would like to thank our Kingsgate partners, led by Richard Hall, for helping us to transition from the original CIP programme to Changing Care@NGH, the Trust’s new overarching improvement programme. This seeks to improve quality as well as efficiency and provides clear ownership of and accountability for all the initiatives. Changing Care@NGH provides a sound basis for sustaining the improvement agenda at the Trust at a time of immense operational and financial pressures.

I am grateful to Steve Swayne and the Kingsgate team for laying the foundations of Changing Care."

Dr Sonia Swart, Chief Executive, Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust