NHS Confederation trustees

Victor Adebowale

The NHS Confederation is governed by a board of trustees who are directors of the charitable company. The board is led by an independent chair, Lord Victor Adebowale, supported by two voluntary vice-chairs, Sir Andrew Cash OBE and Dr Owen Williams OBE. All other trustees come from member organisations and are voluntary.

Our trustees are: 

Lord Victor Adebowale, Chair

Victor became chair of the NHS Confederation in April 2020. Before this, he was chief executive of Turning Point, a social enterprise providing health and social care interventions to approximately 100,000 people on an annual basis.

He is a non-executive director of the Co-Operative Group, Collaborate CIC, Nuffield Health, Visionable and Leadership in Mind. He is also the chair of Social Enterprise UK. Victor served for six years as a non-executive director on the board of NHS England. He has chaired a number of commission reports into: policing; employment; mental health; housing and fairness for The London Fairness Commission; the Metropolitan Police; and for central and local government. He was awarded a CBE for services to the unemployed and homeless people and became a crossbench peer in 2001.

Victor is a visiting Professor and Chancellor at the University of Lincoln; an honorary member of the Institute of Psychiatry; President of The International Association of Philosophy and Psychiatry and a Governor at The London School of Economics.

Victor has an MA in Advanced Organisational Consulting from Tavistock Institute and City University.

Sir Andrew Cash OBE, Vice Chair and representing NHS Employers

Sir Andrew is chair of the NHS Employers policy board, and deputy chair of the Shelford Group. He retired from his role as chief executive of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in 2018, a post he has held since it became a first-wave foundation trust in 2004 and is now leading an integrated care system on a part time basis. 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.

Dr Owen Williams OBE, 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.

Owen is vice chair of the NHS Confederation and also chairs the Remuneration Committee.

Prof Vivienne Harpwood (Welsh NHS Confederation)

Chair, Powys Teaching Health Board

Vivienne was appointed Chair of the Powys Teaching Health Board on 1 October 2014, having taken partial retirement from Cardiff Law School some years earlier to concentrate on her work within NHS Wales. She previously served as Vice Chair of Cwm Taf University Health Board for four years and Vice Chair of Velindre NHS Trust for eight years.  She has a strong background in medical law and was course director for more than 20 years of the Legal Aspects of Medical Practice (LLM) degree, the first Masters degree of its kind, established in 1987. 

She has published widely in the fields of medical law and is the founding editor of Butterworth's Medico-Legal Reports and the journal Medical Law International. She has given invited lectures for many years on a range of medical law issues to healthcare professionals in the UK and overseas. She has practised as a barrister, specialising in personal injury and clinical negligence work, and Coroners' cases. She has given many media interviews on issues in Medical Law and Personal Injury Litigation.

She served on the UK Government's NHS Complaints Review Committee, whose recommendations in 1994 form the basis of modern NHS Complaints Systems in all four UK jurisdictions. She was also a member of the Silicone Gel Breast Implant Review Group between 1998 and 2003. Among her more recent advisory work is chairing the Wales Cancer Research UK Centre Governance Board, membership of the Wales National Information Governance Advisory Board, membership of the Wales DNAR-CPR (do not attempt cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) Core Group, Membership of the WHSSC Individual Funding Requests Panel and Prioritising Panel for medical treatment, and membership of the Wales Organ Donation Expert Reference Panel. She presented oral evidence to the Welsh Government's Health and Social Care Committee during the passage of the Human Transplantation (Wales) Bill 2013 and is a member of the Human Transplantation (Wales) Act 2013 Expert Reference Group. 

Vivienne is chair of Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee. 

Michael Bloomfield, representing Northern Ireland Confederation

Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service

Michael was appointed chief executive of the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service in March 2018.

Michael has 30 years’ experience working in the public sector. He joined the Civil Service in 1987, moving to the Department of Health in 1998 where he held a number of posts in HR, Public Health policy and Secondary Care policy. In 2007, he was appointed head of performance management in the Service Delivery Unit, before joining the Health and Social Care Board as assistant director of performance management when it was established in 2009.

Michael was appointed head of corporate services in March 2011 and, in November 2012, he also took on the role of acting director of performance management and service improvement. In November 2016, he was appointed HSCB deputy chief executive.

Michael is a member of the NHS Confederation's Audit Committee.

Julia Hickey, Independent Trustee with special interest in finance   

Julia retired as chairman of Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust in 2019, having previously served as a non-executive director and audit committee chair on the board. She was 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 25 years’ non-executive experience across health, education, social housing and probation.

Julia is chair of the NHS Confederation's Audit Committee and a member of the Remuneration and Investment Committees.

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.

Graham is a member of the NHS Confederation's Remuneration Committee.

Paul Jenkins OBE, representing the Mental Health Network

Chief Executive, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust

Paul Jenkins is the chief executive of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, a specialist mental health trust focused on psychological, social and developmental approaches to understanding and treating emotional disturbance and mental ill health, and to promoting mental health.

Paul was previously the chief executive of Rethink Mental Illness, a leading national mental health membership charity working to help those affected by severe mental illness. He has an MBA from Manchester Business School and has over 20 years of experience in management and policy-making in the Central Government and the National Health Service (NHS). He has been involved in the implementation of a number of major national government initiatives and was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2002 for his role in setting up NHS Direct.
Paul is a member of the NHS Confederation's Audit Committee.

Ruth Poole

Chief Executive Officer, Preventx

Previously director of Speciality at Celesio UK, Ruth was responsible for growing the speciality services that support an integrated NHS including clinical homecare, hospital and community services.  Ruth led the company’s relationships with NHS leaders, commissioners and pharmaceutical companies, developing new solutions and new models of care in today’s healthcare system. 

Prior to that Ruth 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. 

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.  

Ruth is chair of the NHS Confederation’s subsidiary trading company.

Prem Singh, Senior Independent Trustee

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.

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