The Pilgrims Hospice in east Kent has appointed a new chief executive who is joining the charity from Danone where she is global medical director. Mother-of-two Cate Russell takes the post vacated by Steve Auty, who stepped down following the uproar over plans to close beds at the Canterbury hospice. She is a former nurse who trained with East Surrey Health Thist and has 20 years experience in the health and pharmaceutical industry. Mrs Russell will oversee the charity’s operations and centres in Canterbury, Thanet and Ashford and its commitment to provide end of life care for in-patients and those being cared for at home. The hospice faced criticism earlier this year when it announced plans to close beds at Canterbury hospice in a bid to save money and shift its focus to more care in the community. The controversy forced the charity to reconsider and it subsequently dropped the proposal. The charity’s chairman of trustees Richard Davis said:
“I am very pleased that Cate has accepted the role of chief executive. I look forward to working with her to ensure that Pilgrims Hospices is at the heart of the local communities it serves, as we continue to deliver the highest quality hospice care possible.”
Mrs Russell and her husband Gordon are planning to make their new home in the area when she takes up the post in February.
Herne Bay Gazette, November 27th 2014