NHS Confederation trustees

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The NHS Confederation is governed by a board of trustees who are directors of the charitable company. The board is led by an independent part-time remunerated chair, Stephen Dorrell supported by two voluntary vice-chairs, Andrew Cash and Owen Williams.


All of our trustees come from our member organisations and are voluntary.

Our trustees are: 

Sir Andrew Cash OBE, 
Vice Chair, NHS Confederation and representing NHS Employers 

Chief Executive, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Sir Andrew is chair of the NHS Employers policy board, and deputy chair of the Shelford Group. He is also chief executive of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, a post he has held since it became a first-wave foundation trust in 2004. Sir Andrew was elected by his peers as the first chair of the Foundation Trust Network (FTN) in 2004, oversaw the appointment of the first substantive FTN director, and has continued to contribute to the shaping of this work programme on a national level.  

Between 2006/07, at the invite of the Department of Health, he undertook a 12-month secondment as director general of provider development, and continues to advise the current health secretary as a member of the Secretary of State's monthly Chief Executives' Reference Group.


Jim Easton, representating the NHS Partners Network

Managing Director, Healthcare, Care UK 

Jim Easton has been an executive in the healthcare system in England for over 25 years, and has held leadership positions in hospital services, mental health, primary care and national policy.  

He was the chief executive of York Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, a high performing 700 bed hospital in the north of England.

Jim has also held the chief executive position for the South Central Strategic Health Authority, where he was responsible for the delivery of all healthcare services for a population of five million people in the south of England.

In 2009 Jim took on the role of national director of transformation for the National Health Service (NHS) in England, responsible, amongst other areas, for the programme to deliver £20 billion of efficiency savings whilst improving quality across the whole range of NHS services nationally. When he left this role at the end of 2012 the National Audit Office independently assessed that the first three years of the programme had successfully delivered its challenging objectives.

In February 2013 Jim took up post as the managing director of Health for Care UK, the independent provider of health care services to the NHS in England, providing around £400 million of surgical, primary care and urgent care services to the NHS.  Care UK is innovating in new models of primary care and elective surgery across England.


Julia Hickey, Independent Trustee with special interest in finance
NHS Confederation

Chairman, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust

Julia has been chairman at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead since July 2012, having previously served as a non-executive director and audit committee chair on the board since 2004. She is the non-executive lead for equality and diversity. 

Julia’s professional background is as a chartered accountant, with experience in a wide variety of predominantly private sector fields. She has over 20 years’ non-executive experience across health, education, social housing and probation. In addition, Julia is chair of the NHS Confederation Finance and Performance Committee.


Bev Humphrey, representing the Mental Health Network 

Chief Executive, Greater Manchester West NHS Foundation Trust

Bev Humphrey has been chief executive of Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, which provides a wide range of specialist and community-centred mental health and substance misuse services, from October 2006. 

She was previously chief executive for The Walton Centre for Neurosciences NHS Trust and other NHS experience include being director of performance for Cumbria and Lancashire Strategic Health Authority and director of specialist services commissioning for Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Prior to this, Bev held various managerial posts in both acute and community services in Merseyside, Essex and Lancashire, having started her career in the NHS in 1983.


Dr Graham Jackson, representing NHS Clinical Commissioners

Dr Graham Jackson has worked within Buckinghamshire continually since 1988, he became a partner at Whitehill Surgery in 1991 and still thoroughly enjoys the challenge that primary care provides.

In 1993 he brought together a group of local colleagues to found AYDDOC, an out-of-hours GP co-operative, of which he was medical manager for ten years. He has been a local medical committee member since 1995.

From 1992 to 2003 he was a hospital practitioner in psychiatry; and chaired Neurolink (a national board of mental health experts providing educational material) for several years. 

Dr Jackson has been involved in commissioning and health service provision in Buckinghamshire for a number of years having previously been managing director of Bucks Urgent Care and a member of the Medicines Management Steering Committee.

He sits on the Strategic Clinical Networks Oversight Committee for Thames Valley and the Oxford AHSN Partnership Council.  He is also currently vice chair of Buckinghamshire Health and Wellbeing Board.


Colm McKenna, representing the Northern Ireland Confederation

Following a long and successful career in financial services, which included leadership positions in corporate treasury, international banking, trade finance and marketing, Colm retired from the industry in October 2008. 

During his banking career he worked extensively with the health sector and the agri-good industry in Northern Ireland and has developed a keen understanding of the issues and the key players in both sectors. 

Colm is passionate about improving public services and since leaving the banking industry he has dedicated his energies to board-level leadership roles in the public sector predominantly in Northern Ireland.

He has been chairman of the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust since October 2008 and also chairs the Northern Ireland Confederation of Health and Social Care. 

He was appointed chairman of the Agri Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) in April 2014. In September 2016 he was appointed to the board of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and as Chairman of the Northern Ireland Food Advisory Committee.

He currently serves as the chairman of the Northern Ireland public sector chairs’ forum.


Ruth Poole

Speciality Director, Celesio 

Ruth joined the Celesio UK Board in 2016 and is responsible for growing the speciality services that support an integrated NHS including clinical homecare, hospital and community services.  Ruth leads the company’s relationships with NHS leaders, commissioners and pharmaceutical companies, developing new solutions and new models of care in today’s healthcare system.

Ruth’s previous role was as group commercial director at Healthcare at Home, an innovator in home healthcare, where she was responsible for driving the growth of the start-up business from a team of four with just one patient, up to 2,000 staff with over 150,000 patients and an established part of the health delivery system. 

Ruth is a clinical nurse by background and some of her proudest moments were achieved during her time delivering patient care as a cancer nurse specialist. She is also a trustee of the NHS Confederation and a director of the NHS Partners Network.

Her journey to the top of the industry has given Ruth an insight into what really matters for patients and their families. She takes immense pride in the dignity and respect that her work instils in patients; giving them a better quality of life, through facilitating expert clinical care.  


Paul Roberts, representing Welsh NHS Confederation

Chief Executive, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board

Paul joined the NHS, after graduating from Oxford University in 1987, as a national trainee based at Torbay Hospital. He undertook clinical management posts in surgical services and children’s services at Torbay Hospital and the Leicester Royal Infirmary before moving to Grantham Hospital in 1993, where he was appointed as chief executive in 1994.

He moved to Plymouth in February 1997 as chief executive of Plymouth Community Services NHS Trust and was appointed chief executive of Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust in 2000.

Between 2003 and 2011, Paul served as a member of the Independent Reconfiguration Panel which advises the Secretary of State on contested reconfiguration of health services. He has served on the national council of the NHS Confederation and as vice chair of the Institute of Healthcare Management.

Paul took up post as chief executive at Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board in September 2011. He has also served on the Council of the NHS Confederation from 1999 to 2009 and became vice chair of the Welsh NHS Confederation in 2015.


Louise Scull, Independent Chair of Audit Committee

Chair Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust,

Louise is an experienced finance professional and business leader with three decades of experience in supporting staff through mergers, cultural change and managing major change programmes. She has served on many boards in the public, private and charitable sectors, including the Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, the two Nottinghamshire LIFTCos (community health partnerships) and the Nursing and Midwifery Council, where she was also chair of audit. 

In December 2013 she was appointed chair of Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, after having served as a non-executive director of NUH and its predecessor trust, Nottingham City Hospital, for more than eight years.

Louise has an MA in politics, philosophy and economics from Oxford University, is an associate of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, a published author and runs her own business coaching practice.  She is chair of the NHS Confederation audit committee.


Prem Singh, Chair of Remuneration Committee and Senior Independent Director

Chair, Derbyshire Community Health Services Trust

Prem joined Derbyshire Community Health Services as chair on 1 December 2013. He has spent most of his career working in the NHS in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire areas and also worked in social services in Sheffield for seven years.

He has extensive experience of health and social care management having served at board-level positions for over 22 years. He has successfully led community, mental health and learning disability services, including as an executive director of nursing and quality. 

Prem was also chief executive of Derby City Primary Care Trust – a role he held until health service commissioning was taken over by the new clinical commissioning groups – and was previously chief executive of Chesterfield Primary Care Trust.

Prem has now established a successful independent consultancy business, providing management and leadership support to individuals and organisations, and is a qualified executive coach. He is married and has two children.


Owen Williams, Vice Chair

Chief Executive, Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust

Owen Williams joined Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust as chief executive in May 2012.

Before this he was chief executive of Calderdale Council providing managerial leadership across an organisation which serves a local population of 201,000 people and more than 7,500 businesses. 

Prior to joining Calderdale he was chief executive of Rossendale Council and before that he worked in the commercial sector across financial services, telecommunications and marketing.

He has also worked with the Department of Health as part of its original strategic health authority assurance process and was joint chair and local authority lead on the National Mental Health Strategy Board – No Health without Mental Health.

Owen was educated at the former Buttershaw Comprehensive School in Bradford and completed his MBA at the University of Huddersfield. Married with three children, he is a keen football fan and has resurrected his career as a basketball player – when his body and work permits.

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