An NHS chief executive was named in the New Year’s Honours list for her services to mental health.

Jinjer Kandola, who has worked for the NHS for 35 years, made her mark in the health service by starting off in leading continuous improvements to the Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust.

Ms Kandola led the organisation’s cultural change programme which embedded its visons and values, as well as an ethos of continuous improvements, supporting the organisation’s achievement of an ‘outstanding’ CQC rating.

She then joined the Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust in June 2018 as the chief executive, and in just over a year she upgraded the trust’s rating from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘good’.

Speaking on the honours, she said: “I am totally overwhelmed and humbled to have been honoured in this way, when I was simply doing something that I love and feel passionate about.

“Anything I have ever achieved has been a team effort, so I feel this honour should be shared with all the inspirational colleagues I have worked with over many years”.

At the mental health trust, her focus was on improving the quality and safety of care for patients and their families, and putting them at the heart of everything.

The Barnet, Enfeild and Haringey trust chair, Mark Lam, said: “We are so proud of Jinjer as we celebrate her extraordinary contribution to mental health. This honour also recognises the transformation journey that BEH is on to deliver even better community and mental healthcare to the people of north London and beyond.

“Jinjer is an inspiring leader and this strength has never been clearer than in the assured way she has steered us through all the challenges of the pandemic, managing its far-reaching impact on our services. We are privileged to have Jinjer leading the trust at this time and could not be more thrilled for her.”