Our Board of Directors is a unitary board, and has a wide range of skills with a number of Directors having a medical, nursing or other health professional background. The Non-Executive Directors have wide-ranging expertise and experience, with backgrounds in finance, audit, estates, property, business development, primary care, organisational development and research. The Board believes that it is balanced and complete in its composition, and appropriate to the requirements of the organisation. The Board has overall responsibility for the implementation of our strategy, policy and performance through the forward plan and our values.
The Board meetings are held bi-monthly and are open to the public. The agenda papers are published in advance and are available for the current year and previous years. The Board of Directors have a responsibility to declare relevant interests as defined in Sections 12.22 to 12.32 of our Constitution.
- Non-Executive Directors (Voting)
Peter White, Chair
Peter joined the Trust in August 2023 and is also Chair of North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust, the largest combined urgent and emergency care service in the UK. Peter has held his position within NWAS since February 2019 and his term of office runs until the end of January 2025. Peter, who has been a non-Executive Director of NWAS since 2014, was previously Vice Chairman, with specific responsibility for performance and quality as well as leading on behalf of the board on EPRR (Emergency Preparedness, Resilience and Response). Peter has also been a non executive in a national housing association and chaired their neighbourhood services committee, where he was responsible for gaining assurance relating to safety and performance. Peter was instrumental in developing the organisations approach to risk management and performance monitoring.
Originally from Leyland and now a resident of the Ribble Valley in Lancashire, Peter enjoyed a varied career policing all areas of Lancashire from 1983 until his retirement in 2013, most of his operational policing career centred around Preston, South Ribble, Chorley and West Lancashire before being promoted to senior positions including Head of Uniform Specialist Operations, Commander of Preston division, head of the force’s corporate change programme and finally Assistant Chief Constable responsible for the People portfolio. In these senior roles Peter led the delivery of multi agency approaches to gun and gang crime, transformation of services in response to budget cuts and latterly the development and implementation of wellbeing and diversity strategies that subsequently supported the development of strategies at a national police level.
Tim Ballard, Non-Executive Director
Tim Ballard was born and brought up in Lancashire and after qualifying in medicine he went into general practice in 1988. He was a GP trainer for about 25 years and was an Examiner for 21 years for the membership examination of the Royal College of GPs and for a period led the Simulated Surgery module assessing the consultation skills of doctors. Tim was a nationally elected member of Council at the Royal College of GPs for 12 years and served as Vice Chair at the RCGP from 2013 to 2016.
Since 2016 Tim has been a National Clinical Advisor at CQC giving clinical advice to the commission around the areas of general practice, independent primary care, online and digital health, as well as supporting CQC inspections. Tim is a keen advocate for environmental sustainability especially as it relates to healthcare.
Victoria Crorken, Non-Executive Director
Victoria is the Board-level Ockenden Maternity Safety Champion. Victoria is an experienced senior leader within public sector and commercial environments. With 26 years operational policing experience in Lancashire Constabulary, she has a deep understanding of the complex socio-economic and health challenges within local communities and has developed collaborative cross – sector partnerships to tackle inequality. Currently the Head of Risk for the Co-op Group Ltd, Victoria led the transformational change of the Crime, Security, Regulatory Compliance and Business Resilience strategy and her particular areas of expertise are stakeholder partnership collaborations, governance, risk management and regulatory oversight. Victoria has an MBA from the University of Central Lancashire Business School and is also the vice-chair of governors for Co-op Academy Leeds.
Paul O’Neill, Vice Chair
Paul is Professor Emeritus at the Manchester University and Consultant Physician with special interests in elderly care and stroke medicine. He has been the Head of School and Deputy Dean for the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences. He received a National Teaching Fellowship and has published extensively in medical education and clinical research, as well as co-authoring six books. Internationally, Paul was a member of Faculty for the Harvard-Macy medical educators programme and acts as an education consultant internationally. On behalf of the Medical Schools Council, he led the work on devising a new selection system for the Foundation Programme implemented in 2012. His has an interest in patient and public involvement in medical education and established the Doubleday Centre for Patient Experience at Manchester. In 2013, he was awarded the President’s Medal of the Academy of Medical Educators for his achievements. Paul continues to work extensively for the General Medical Council in quality assuring undergraduate and postgraduate medical education and is a Consultant at the Manchester University Foundation Trust. Paul is the Chair of the Trust’s Education, Training and Research Committee.
Kate Smyth, Non-Executive Director
Kate is a chartered town planner and worked in planning and economic development for many years in local authorities across the North West. She then ran her own consultancy business for 25 years specialising in economic development and disability, and has extensive experience working in the public and community and voluntary sectors. From 2012 to 2019, she was the Lay Member (Patient and Public Involvement) at Calderdale CCG. Kate was also the equality lead and the lead for deprivation, poverty and housing. From 2010 to 2019, she was an independent Board member (latterly, the Deputy Chair) at Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing and the equality champion. She is currently a Lay Leader at Yorkshire and Humber Patient Safety Translational Research Centre and in 2019 was appointed to the North West Regional Stakeholder Network, established by the Cabinet Office Disability Unit. Kate is the Chair of the Trust’s Safety and Quality Committee and Charitable Funds Committee. In March 2021, Kate was elected as Co-Chair of the Disabled NHS Directors’ Network.
Tim Watkinson, Senior Independent Director
Tim is a qualified accountant with over 25 years’ experience in senior audit positions in the public sector. He was previously the Group Chief Internal Auditor for the Ministry of Justice and prior to that was a District Auditor with the Audit Commission, including terms of office in Lancashire County Council, Preston City Council and Chorley Borough Council. Tim has led national teams and taken a lead role for the Audit Commission in the development of methodology for improving the performance of local authorities. Tim has experience of working in major accountancy firms providing audit and consultancy services to the public sector including the NHS. He has also been employed as an accountant and a Chief Internal Auditor within the NHS.
Tim is the Chair of the Trust’s Audit Committee. He is also the Non-Executive Board lead for Freedom to Speak Up and a member of the Rosemere Management Committee. Outside the Trust, Tim is an independent member of the UK Statistics Authority’s Audit and Risk Assurance Committee.
Jim Whitaker, Non-Executive Director
Jim is an experienced Executive currently working at BT Enterprise, where he is Director of Project Management. During his career, Jim has led many large scale IT transformation programmes for customers in the UK and abroad; these have typically been high complexity and operationally critical in nature. He has worked with customers in many sectors including Government, Defence, Investment Banking and Retail. Jim is a Chartered IT Professional with the British Computer Society and holds project management qualifications, which include APM RPP, MSP and Prince 2. His areas of particular expertise are strategic planning, managing change, governance, and risk management. Jim is the Chair of the Trust’s Workforce Committee.
Tricia Whiteside, Non-Executive Director
Tricia is a transformational leader with a wealth of financial services experience having held a number of senior leadership roles within large Fortune 500 and FTSE100 organisations. Her experience gathered over 25 years includes owning aspects of global control frameworks and assuring compliance to the expected standards of control, establishing Strategic Change Portfolios, operational delivery of integration programmes following organisational merges / acquisitions and lead upon significant business transformation. Over the last 10 years she successful established her consultancy business which provided interim management support, with focus on setting up new operational functions and building sustainable internal capabilities, creating portfolios of strategic change to improve operational performance and financial stability, strengthening governance and control regimes, consulting on risk management strategies, and positively responding to increased regulatory scrutiny. Tricia is the Chair of the Trust’s Finance and Performance Committee.
- Associate Non-Executive Directors (Non-voting)
Michael Wearden, Associate Non-Executive Director
Appointment: 10 June 2022 to 9 June 2024 (two-year fixed term)
Michael is a values-driven leader with significant strategic experience of working within the Third Sector, driving business transformation and managing diverse teams in the delivery of health-related programmes across the North West. He is currently Managing Director of Lancashire charity Red Rose Recovery, the largest Lived Experience Recovery Organisation in the country and has over 15 years’ experience in developing and managing innovative programmes that support people of all ages, backgrounds and complex needs from across the UK to flourish and create a positive impact on individual wellbeing and life changes.
Michael is also Non-Executive Director for Lancashire-based CIC U-Develop and Founder and Director of MWD Consultants which supports various Health and Wellbeing, voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise (VCFSE) sector organisations from across the North of England to grow and thrive.
Peter Wilson, Associate Non-Executive Director
Appointment: 16 June 2022 to 15 June 2024 (two-year fixed term)
Uzair Patel – Associate Non-Executive Director
Uzair is a Chartered Accountant and senior finance professional with deep and wide-ranging experience across global banking in a range of technical and commercially focused roles. He is a board member at Torus Foundation supporting communities in Liverpool and the surrounding areas. He was previously a board member at the national domestic-violence and abuse charity, Safe Lives, as well as Chair of Audit and Risk at KCLSU. He was co-creator of the award-winning #ThisIsMe mental-health campaign at Barclays and across the City of London in partnership with the Lord Mayor of London. He read Biomedical Sciences at King’s College London with a focus on neuroscience and pharmacology.
- Executive Directors (Voting)
Faith Button, Interim Chief Executive
After graduating, Faith joined the NHS and has worked in a number of acute Trusts in senior roles in London and the South with over 20 years’ experience. She has a strong background in senior operational management and performance management having been a Director of Performance at her last two Trusts. She joined the Trust in 2017 as the Deputy Chief Operating Officer and was appointed to Chief Operating Officer in May 2019. Faith has taken up the position as Interim Chief Executive from 1st October 2023 following Kevin McGee's retirement from the NHS until the post has been recruited to substantively.
Sarah Cullen, Chief Nursing Officer
Sarah is a Registered Nurse with experience in a variety of nursing and operational roles in a broad range of specialties. Sarah has spent 18 years of her career at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay and joined Lancashire Teaching Hospitals in 2017 as the Deputy Nursing, Midwifery and AHP Director becoming the Executive Nursing, Midwifery and AHP Director in 2019. Sarah is the Executive lead with responsibility for the hospital charity, governance, maternity, children and safeguarding. She is also a trustee of the post graduate education charity.
Nicki Latham, Interim Chief People Officer
We are currently developing content for this section. Please bear with us until we complete this work.
Gerry Skailes, Chief Medical Officer
Gerry graduated from Guys Hospital in London and spent the early years of her medical training in London and the South Coast before moving to the Christie Hospital to undertake specialist training in Clinical Oncology. She was appointed as a Consultant at the Royal Preston Hospital in 1997 with an interest in treating lung and gynecological cancers. She has held a number of leadership roles within the Trust and North West region including Clinical Lead for the Lancashire and South Cumbria Cancer Alliance and Deputy Medical Director of the Trust. Gerry continues to work as a Consultant in Oncology undertaking a weekly Acute Oncology ward round and is actively involved in a number of the ICP and ICS Committees. Gerry was appointed as the Trust’s full-time Medical Director from March 2018 and is also our Caldicott Guardian.
Jonathan Wood, Chief Finance Officer, SIRO & Deputy Chief Executive
After graduating, Jonathan joined the North Western financial management training scheme in 1992 where he worked with a number of Health Authorities within Greater Manchester. Since qualifying he has worked for a number of NHS organisations, including Salford Royal, the North West Strategic Health Authority, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He has supported a number of hospital developments over the years and enjoys working with teams in resolving complex problems. Jonathan is also our Senior Information Risk Owner (SIRO) who has responsibility for our Trust’s information risks, information systems, networks and provides the focus for management at Board level.
- Executive Director (Non-Voting)
Ailsa Brotherton, Director of Continuous Improvement & Transformation
Ailsa joined the Trust in 2017 from Manchester Foundation Trust where she was the Director of Transformation for the Single Hospital Programme. Prior to this Ailsa was the Clinical Quality Director for the North of England with the Trust Development Authority/NHSI. She has also held a post-doctoral senior research fellow post, has a Masters in Leadership (Quality Improvement) from Ashridge Business School and is a Health Foundation Generation Q Fellow. Ailsa has extensive experience of designing and delivering quality improvement and large scale change programmes. During this year, Ailsa was awarded an honorary professorship in the School of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Central Lancashire and is working with our academic partners to ensure all our improvement programmes are evidence based and evaluated. She is a member of the Safety and Quality Committee, Education, Training and Research Committee, Workforce Committee. Ailsa is member of the national Improvement Directors’ network, as well as a registered Dietitian.
Gary Doherty, Director of Strategy
Gary joined the Trust in February 2020 and is an experienced NHS leader having worked in operational and planning roles at a range of levels including Chief Executive. He has over 25 years NHS experience and has worked in both the English and Welsh NHS, mainly in hospital provision but also at a regional level for the Department of Health. Gary attends the Safety and Quality and Finance and Investment Committees.
Imran Devji, Interim Chief Operating Officer
A local resident in Lancashire, Imran is our Interim Chief Operating Officer with 32 years' experience in the NHS initially as a critical care nurse progressing on to commissioning, service improvement, community service director, acute divisional director and Deputy Chief Operating Officer roles across integrated care organisations mainly in London and the South. Imran is passionate about leadership in health care championing patient safety and colleague wellbeing to deliver quality care.
Jennifer Foote MBE, Company Secretary
Jennifer joined the Trust in July 2022 and has extensive experience of corporate governance across the public sector, including working as part of the Further Education Commissioner’s Team in the Department of Education as a National Leader of Governance. Jennifer was awarded the MBE in 2017 for services to governance.
Naomi Duggan, Director of Communications & Engagement
Naomi joined the Trust in April 2020 in this newly created Director post, having previously undertaken a similar role at University Hospitals of North Midlands from October 2016 where she was a member of the Board and Executive team.
Prior to this, Naomi has had senior communications and engagement roles at Tameside and Glossop Primary Care Trust, Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council and within private sector retail.
Naomi has run her own consultancy business and after her first degree she started her career as a Management trainee on the Blue Chip British Coal Corporation graduate scheme. Naomi has worked on a number of transformational projects for the NHS including Better Care Together in Morecambe Bay and Healthier Together in Greater Manchester, as well as controversial retail schemes which needed positive engagement to win the hearts and minds of a range of key stakeholders in order to secure planning permission and political and community support.
A graduate of Leeds University, Naomi has an MBA from Leeds University Business School, a Postgraduate certificate in Marketing from Sheffield Business School and the Chartered Institute of Marketing Diploma, and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.
Stephen Dobson, Director of IM&T (CIO)
Stephen joined the Trust in April 2020 from Greater Manchester’s Health and Care Partnership where he was the Chief Digital Officer. Prior to this Stephen spent eight years as Chief Information Officer for Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust. He has also spent over 10 years working for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals within the USA and UK within a variety of roles including Pharmacogenomics, Clinical Trials, Informatics and Knowledge Management. Stephen has a PhD in Molecular Genetics and extensive experience leading digital programmes. Stephen attends the Finance and Performance Committee.
- Declared Interests