An interview with Non-Executive Director Sultan Taylor | News and events

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NELFT NHS Foundation Trust provides a range of  community health and mental health services across the north east London Boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Redbridge and Waltham Forest, Essex and Kent and Medway

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An interview with Non-Executive Director Sultan Taylor

Non‐Executive Directors (NEDs) are members of the Trust’s board of directors. They are appointees rather than employees. Their role is to contribute (collectively with the executive directors) to the strategic direction, leadership and management of NELFT, and to provide challenge to the executive directors and to bring an independent perspective to the boardroom. NEDs do not work at the trust full-time – they usually spend three to four days per month on the Trust’s business.

The NELFT Chair Joe Fielder is also a NED and first joined the organisation in April 2013, before being appointed into his current role in April 2016.

NELFT currently has seven NEDs working for the Trust, and we took the opportunity to speak to one of the most recent appointees Sultan Taylor.

Sultan began his role in April of this year and offers an insight into why he joined the Trust and what he would like to achieve in the position.

What made you want to become a Non-Executive Director?

As a police officer for 33 years in the Metropolitan Police, I believed that the best way to police was to work in partnership with our community and key partners. The combination of genuinely working together would lead to long-term solutions and improvement in services and quality of life for our community. I was fortunate enough to lead the following Boroughs - Ealing, Havering, and Barking and Dagenham as the Borough Commander. In this role, I could see that helping and supporting the health and wellbeing of our community was an essential part of policing. In the police, I could see that some of our community, who were suffering mental health issues, were inappropriately being referred to the police rather than the right agencies such as NELFT. As a result, improved working practices were developed in partnership to resolve this issue. Having recently retired, I saw that by becoming a Non-Executive Director I could continue my public service and focus on improving services for our public.

Is there one area that you would like the Trust to move forward/progress on?

I was born in Trinidad, and when I joined the police in 1983 there were very few officers from diverse backgrounds. In the police, I became involved in several projects to improve recruitment, retention and development of staff. On joining NELFT, I was very pleased to see the leadership and stance taken by John Brouder to push forward the positive work in diversity, I would like to support this work to improve diversity and achieve the operational benefits for both our customers and staff.

What are you looking to achieve from your time working with the board?

Personally, I would like to improve my knowledge regarding mental health, and try and improve the quality of service delivered to our community, and act as an ambassador for NELFT to add value and enhance the reputation of the organisation.

Thanks to Sultan for speaking to us.

The profiles of the Non-Executive Directors can be found on the NELFT website at:

We also conducted an interview with the NELFT Chair Joe Fielder in December 2016 – this can also be seen on the NELFT website at: