The Council of Governors is made up of 28 elected and seven appointed governors and is chaired by David Walker, the chair of the trust.
Both types of governor can serve for up to three years and exist to represent the views of our members or stakeholder organisations to the council.
Our governors can get support and training from NHS providers, the membership organisation and trade association for the NHS.
Chelsea Urch is studying counselling psychology at a Buckinghamshire university and is passionate about getting actively involved in developing mental health services.
“Studying counselling psychology I have evidenced a profound understanding of mental health issues and the strain in which the NHS is under to provide care to all,” Chelsea said. She is hoping to work the NHS after she’s graduated.
“I believe becoming governor will allow me to gain experience that will be relevant for my future career, but also help younger constituents recognise the importance and value of their involvement.”
Paul is an enthusiastic and creative change agent with a background in production and inventory management and IT. In his professional career Paul has gained experience working in diverse cultures, countries and business sectors. Throughout his career Paul has received training in business principles and methodologies and continues to invest in his personal development to ensure that he is able to communicate effectively with people.“I decided to become a governor at Oxford Health because I want to help improve services at the trust by engaging more with people at all levels and giving them a voice.“I am a passionate believer in total quality and continuous improvement and would like to use my experience in these areas to better our health care services.”
Having spent 35 years working in the NHS in Oxfordshire, the Health Service is ‘in my blood’.
My remit during my working life was the total management of medical devices across all the NHS Trusts, and their disciplines in Oxfordshire and parts of other counties too. This involved identifying funding for on-going needs and new projects, helping with the procurement and working with the engineers on the maintenance and repair of the full range of medical devices. Eventually the equipment was decommissioned and the round of work began again.
It was so exciting in the age when computers and digital devices arrived which made so much difference to patient care. I loved my work.
Retirement did not mean stopping an involvement with healthcare: I enjoy being secretary to my GP Surgery’s Patient Participation Group (PPG), and also joining with other PPGs in West Oxfordshire to identify common issues which we can help to resolve.
When the chance came along to become a Governor of Oxford Health, the picture appeared to be complete: here was an opportunity to work with a wide variety of services which support the acute sectors – podiatry, physiotherapy, community nursing and so much more.
Representing members means understanding the issues facing the NHS from the points of view of a wider spectrum – patients, carers, staff and management. It is a great privilege to be involved in the NHS in these challenging times. We all need to find positive ways to work together to resolve the issues which we face and I look forward to doing my best to help to make a difference in our towns, our Districts and our County.
Hannah-Louise Toomey is currently doing a master’s degree in occupational therapy at the Brookes University. She is a keen mental health awareness ambassador, dancer and arts in health researcher based in Oxford.
“I am currently a member of the Oxford University Patient Safety Advisory Group, supported by the McPin Foundation for Transforming Mental Health Research, and a Time to Change Champion for Oxford.
“As a governor, I would like to reach out to communities in Oxfordshire who feel their health needs are not being given the services and attention they require. I’d like to use my own experience of the benefits of linking into supportive local organisations and tell others in about what is available.
“I would like to extend this offer to schools, colleges, universities, prisons, businesses, hospitals, care homes and mental health Institutions.”
I want to see Oxford Health deliver better services, and getting those around the table to understand ‘the real’ world impact of their decisions is important to do this. I speak as a service user, with a wide network within social housing, and other sectors where a sizeable number regularly use the services of Oxford Health. I also meet the general public regularly in my roles within the Citizens Advice, health, and services sectors.
My passion for service improvement and fresh insight from the business sector guides my desire to be a member of Oxford Health. My understanding of health, as well as the other sectors which affect it, prepares me to be effective governor. Due to my background, I have a critical appreciation of meeting the ever changing needs of patience, dignity, and privacy, and I hope to bring my relevant experience to this role.
I also have an understanding of culture, and its effect on service and service perceptions. Thus the rich diversity of NHS patients will be a characteristic I can relate to well and work positively for the benefit of. I also understand the need for more partnership working, as a means of pooling scarce and dwindling resources.
This type of working has helped service delivery proposals I brought to housing and the Citizens Advice network. I therefore hope this relevant exposure to help my performance as a Governor.
Being a representative of members means being a conduit to help management understand the consequences of their decisions. I hope to be able to take advantage of expertise and perspectives from outside their sector to meet the changing operational environment of the Oxford Health NHS Trust.
This also means being a champion for members’ causes, engaging stakeholders locally and nationally through effective working. As a current member of a Scrutiny Panel in housing, I have learned to regularly influence and challenge their work which I hope to replicate in the health sector.
I was employed by the Oxford Health Foundation Trust (and its predecessor organisations) for nearly 30 years as a consultant psychiatrist and psychotherapist, and served as the trust’s medical director for eight years, so I will bring extensive clinical and board level management experience to my role as a governor.
As a clinician I worked with people suffering a wide range of psychological disorders, and was instrumental in developing the multi-disciplinary Oxfordshire Psychological Therapy Service. As medical director I was actively involved in the merger of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire mental health trusts, the achievement of foundation trust status, the extension of children’s mental health services to Wiltshire, Bath and NE Somerset, and finally integration with Oxfordshire’s community health services.
Since retiring seven years ago, I worked on a voluntary basis (1) as Chair of the NE Oxfordshire Public Forum for the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group; (2) with the Oxfordshire Youth Justice Service’s Restorative Justice Team; (3) in primary schools as a road safety cycling trainer, and as a qualified cycling coach with both able-bodied and young people with disabilities; and latterly (4) I led a community engagement programme to purchase our local pub for the community, instigating a programme of socially inclusive activities to promote mental, physical and social wellbeing.
My aim is to engage the trust’s membership and wider Oxfordshire community to support and shape services provided by the trust, and to support the staff who deliver them, for the benefit of patients. I want also to foster collaboration with Oxfordshire’s other NHS organisations, including primary care, and social care. Joined-up mental, physical and social care is essential for many people with complex ill-health, as well as those with learning disabilities.
I have been dismayed by the underfunding and progressive dismantling of mental health and community health services over the last 8 years, and will be a passionate advocate for increased resources for health and social care. I want to make a difference to modern health care in Oxfordshire!
I am a local resident of Oxfordshire. I have 30 years’ experience as a Registered Nurse working in the private sector and charitable organisations.
My background is in the management of elderly dementia care homes and have commissioned several care homes for charitable organisations.
I am extremely passionate about the delivery of good quality care. I have experience of being a patient, visitor as well as being a family member of a patient at our local NHS hospital.
I am currently a Care Management Consultant supporting distressed services in meeting with regulatory and compliance issues. My experience in this area will help me to support the Trust in addressing some of the issues relating to care standards.
My motivation to become a Governor stems from my desire to help support the process by Oxford Health to achieving its goal of delivering good quality care and involving patients and carers to achieve the best outcomes, safety and experience.
I also hope to help patients, their families, carers, workers and local residents get better services and conditions in Oxford Health NHS foundation Trust hospitals and facilities.
Furthermore, I believe representing the views and interest of members to the Trust will influence proposals to make changes to services, it will provide direct link between myself and the decision makers at the Trust.
|Rest of England & Wales||
|Patient||Service Users: Buckinghamshire & Other Counties||Jacqueline-Anne McKenna|
Having been a mental health patient for over two decades, I want do all that I can to improve the rights and representation of mental health service users, and to give something back to the service user community which has been so good to me and which deserves so much better from mental health services.
|Service Users: Oxfordshire||
I love the NHS – it’s keeping my parents alive. I want our trust to get the right governance support to make the right decisions for patients.
I’m a critical friend to the trust, making use of my experiences as a trustee at Elmore Community Services and a Governor of East Oxford Primary School. Governors aren’t rubber stampers. Nor are they supposed to second-guess or take on operational management. I focus on scrutiny of performance and taking up patient concerns.
I work at Restore, an Oxfordshire mental health charity belonging to the Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership (as does Elmore), and serve as an elected city councillor on Oxford City Council and the City’s Cabinet Member for a Safer and Greener Environment.
I’m not NHS staff – I’m here to listen and be the voice of patients to those who resolve issues. As a governor, I want to represent patients, particularly when they feel unconfident putting non-medical questions to the trust. To support them, and help the trust to recruit members from patients, I will have regular contact with members by sitting on the member sub-committee.
Governors should reflect the diversity of the communities they serve. I’m mid-30s and LGBT, and with the help of patients I intend to support the trust to develop a broader view of patients and the challenges and opportunities facing the NHS now and in the future.
I put myself forward as a carer governor four years ago after someone close to me was diagnosed with a serious psychiatric illness, and was, and is being treated by Oxford Health.
I was also one of the carers who looked after my mum during the last three years of her life as she declined with vascular dementia.
I was hoping that these real-life experiences of being a carer for people in these situations would enable me to add a perspective to the trust’s directions and policies, and believe that this has been the case.
I am convinced that there is a significant role for governors to ensure that the trust considers the perspective of service users, staff, carers and the public.
In my time as being a governor, and latterly the Lead Governor, I can see that the trust do take into account these views when making decisions.
I think it is particularly important that the voices of the groups the governors represent are heard now in a difficult financial environment and in a constantly changing landscape within the NHS.
In my professional life I am a Chartered Accountant specialising in the music business, and I work for an artist-led record company.
My name is Alan Jones and I am a 69 year old retired business man.
I worked in the automotive industry for over 40 years, much of the time managing a team of people dealing with the pressure of meeting targets and budgets; listening to ideas and making decisions about best practice and how to achieve goals and improve service provision.
I have been a carer for my son who has enduring mental health problems for fifteen years and felt that, if elected, I would be able to bring the experience gained at work plus that from my involvement with mental health services to the post.
I have been a member of Rethink and the Carers Reference Group for some time, and I enjoy the challenge of ensuring that the views of service users are brought to the attention of the people shaping and funding Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire mental health services.
I believe that to improve services, we must ensure that those people holding the purse strings are making the right decisions, and introducing policies that meet the needs of all service users.
Our aim must be to provide first class mental health facilities, from initial diagnosis right through treatment, both in hospital and the community.
Together, we can work to make this Authority a place where staff want to work and Service Users feel their needs are met and they are treated with respect and dignity.
|Oxfordshire, BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire Mental Health Services||
Louis Headley works as a quality participation lead for the children and adolescent mental health services in Oxfordshire.
“I wanted to become a governor because I believe there are a number of voices that need to be heard,” he said.“I have been privileged enough to work in Oxfordshire children and adolescent mental health services for almost four years and meet many stakeholders from different services. They have amazing ideas and opinions that need to be shared throughout the trust. I strongly believe I can push ideas and opinions forward.”“Having started as an apprentice I’ve seen and continue to see the struggle to be heard. There’s a gap, a need for a culture change where we share more and communicate better. For the good of our service users and ourselves, I want to build a bridge in that gap, and there is no better way to build that bridge than together.”
|Buckinghamshire Mental Health Services||
“I am a retired consultant clinical psychologist, and have returned part time as a principal clinical psychologist in South Bucks. I have found that the Council of Governors is useful as a democratic forum within a service that is otherwise organised in a very hierarchical way.
“I am particularly interested in addressing issues of staff wellbeing. Our mental health budget is 30 per cent below the national average. As a result, stress levels and related sickness levels amongst staff are high.
“A couple of years ago we piloted, with the support of the Council of Governors, a project of offering mindfulness courses for staff. Evaluation of the project showed that staff who attended felt they were learning useful skills to manage their stress levels. As a staff governor, I would like to work with the leadership of our trust to address staff stress levels, which would include getting staff involved in the process of identifying stress factors. I will also continue to promote mindfulness for staff.”
Angela Conlan is an arts co-ordinator for Creating with Care, a programme which delivers a participatory arts programme across Oxfordshire’s community hospitals.
“I am interested in making the trust a better place for patients and staff, and I am passionate about arts and health.
“Creating with Care aims to enhance patients’ time in hospital by encouraging individual creativity, promoting self-worth and a sense of identity and by distracting from stress and worry. The project also enhances the ward environment by the artwork created in the programme.
“I believe I have experience and skills which will benefit the trust and I consider it a great privilege to serve as a governor. I will perform my role with energy, enthusiasm and integrity.”
Myrddin Roberts works as a driver and receptionist at the out-of-hours service in Witney.“I have joined the council of Governors because I genuinely believe that I can make a difference,” he said.“In the last 10 years, since I retired from Lloyd’s Bank, I have taken a more active interest in the local community.“I joined the out-of-hours team some eight years ago, and my role there is very much about a hands on approach and involvement in the community. I have diversified my working practice to get more involved in management as well as fulfilling my role as a driver and receptionist.“In my role I have had many suggestions and ideas from both clinical staff and patients how we can improve things for all concerned, whether staff or patients, which in turn can benefit the local community.”
Hasanen Al-Taiar is a consultant forensic psychiatrist who graduated with a medical degree and holds the membership of The Royal College of Psychiatrists. He works in a secure unit in Oxford which provides specialist mental health input to forensic patients. He also looks after a number of forensic outpatients.
“I am excited about having the opportunity in the running of our trust as it would not be able to function effectively without representative governorship.
“Working in the trust for the last nine years has enabled me to understand the duties and responsibilities of the role of an NHS foundation trust governor.
“I have developed a good understanding of the trust and how it operates and interacts with partners and other stakeholders. I always act on information which would lead to improved clinical practices and services for patients. I am always approachable to all staff who want to discuss issues with me in confidence, and make myself accessible to others to hear their viewpoints.”
|Older Peoples Services|
I trained as a physiotherapist in University of Birmingham and qualified in 1998. I’m passionate, committed and driven to deliver improvement, quality and safety for patients. I have special interests in rehabilitation, ambulatory care, community services and older people’s care.
I am also very interested in leadership, operations and management. I am currently the operational manager for a group of ambulatory units (Emergency Multidisciplinary Units in Abingdon and Witney, Hospital at Home and Rapid Access Care Unit) in Oxfordshire.
As a staff governor, I’m the central voice for the members of staff working for us or who are seconded to the Trust. I attend quarterly members’ council meetings, where, together with other governors, we ask questions to clarify and influence the strategic direction of the Trust. I enjoy speaking to a range of staff and patients to capture their observations, suggestions and thoughts, so as to be effective in representing the staff.
I believe in creating the capacity for dialogue, engagement, diversity and inclusion. I strive to build an environment of empowerment for patients, staff and teams. I believe this enables us to optimise effective use of finite NHS resources to create the best quality services possible that are most aligned with patients’ needs and strike the right balance of staff needs. I also enjoy coaching conversations and encourages critical reflective thinking to engage all levels of the team to work together for the benefit of patient.
I am interested in working with my fellow staff governors to explore ideas and more ways of engaging our staff members to ensure their views are heard, their issues are understood, and I maximise the opportunities to be an effective staff governor.
“Being a part of the Council of Governors provides so many opportunities to get involved in the work of the trust and to join other governors in supporting the trust values. The governors focus their work in sub-groups. I take part in the patient and staff experience sub-group, which focusses on quality, and I have helped to set up the staff wellbeing group in the past. I was also involved in appointments to the trust’s executive board when I sat on the appointments and remuneration committee, and was most recently involved in a focus group regarding prospective candidates for the position of chair at the trust.
“I specialise in the care of people with dementia in Oxford, and I like to take part in the organisation I work for, which is why I ran for and was elected as a staff governor in 2009 for six years, and was re-elected in 2018. Since I first became a governor, the services the trust provides have expanded to include community and learning disability services, and staff numbers have doubled.
“An important part of the governors’ work is listening to the experience of patients, their families, and staff, and helping to make their voices heard at the Council of Governors’ meetings. This helps us to maintain a focus on quality services and to consider what is important to patients. My aim during my second term as governor is to promote a wider understanding of the governor role, and to encourage more staff and members of the public to take part in developing our services.”
|Children & Young Peoples Services||
I qualified as an occupational therapist (OT) in 1993, and have since worked in the field of mental health for all but a short time in a district general hospital.
I began in elderly mental health (EMI) in the community in North Wales, before a short time as an inpatient OT in a newly built EMI Ward.
I moved into adult mental health care in a day hospital, then moved south to Bristol into a post split between in-patient and community adult mental health. An interest in early intervention in psychosis led me to apply for a post in child and adolescent mental health in Bath and part of Wiltshire. My current role is as a Clinical Specialist for Addictions across Swindon, Wiltshire and Bath and North East Somerset.
In between, I got married and brought up two children, although my wife would be correct to claim most of the credit there!
I enjoy indoor bouldering, am one of the world’ worst surfers and my vinyl collection irritates my wife.
I became a governor without really knowing what the role entails, but I feel that I have a lot of experience in the NHS (not just my own but also growing up with both parents working in the NHS) that perhaps could be put to a good use.
I feel that I can be a voice for workers within the health field in a difficult environment and difficult times, and I hope to become better at this as I learn what my role does actually entail.
I am married and live in South West Oxfordshire with my wife Elizabeth, who also works for the NHS as an Emergency Nurse Practitioner, and our labrador dog. Our twin children have long since flown the nest, neither of which have wisely chosen to work in healthcare!
I have been a qualified dental surgeon working exclusively within the NHS for 34 years , the last 23 of which have been in Oxfordshire working for the community dental service. It is a privilege to be able to ensure that the most vulnerable of our society have access to high quality, caring dentistry that we all feel entitled to, but many struggle to access.
I consider myself very fortunate to have served as a governor for two years in total in recent years, first for Specialised and Forensics directorate and then more recently Children’s and Young People. I was honoured to be re-elected and I hope I can make a difference over the next 3 years.
Never has the NHS been under such pressure to continually improve performance yet achieving real savings to the exchequer year on year. The board has a difficult job and has many difficult decisions to make in the coming years. It is the role of governors to make sure that the board are accountable for their actions and are equitable in this respect to our patients and their staff.
I am motivated to be an effective governor and help mould the future of the trust by bringing new ideas about how services can be developed in ever changing NHS. I feel It is often the staff working at the coal face that have the best ideas and a good receptive governor can help make them happen and be the voice for the little person.
Since becoming a staff governor I have attended various sub groups including the membership and quality group. These have helped me understand the contribution of different members of Oxford Health and the role of the executive and non-executive directors. My aim is to continue to attend different sub groups and then choose one on which to focus my attention.
As a staff member of the Council of Governors, I want to use my position to raise awareness of the role of the governor and how staff and the public can go through us to recommend change within the trust. I want to continue to communicate to members the work that is going on in relation to the delivery of high quality services for staff, patients and carers in Oxford Health.
My role has also allowed me the opportunity to support the judging of the trust’s annual staff awards, which let me hear first-hand about all of the amazing work going on in the trust.
|Age UK Oxfordshire||
Davina retired in June 2010 from her role as Deputy Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police having been a Police Officer for 34 years.
Davina served in the Metropolitan Police for a few years before transferring to Thames Valley Police where she spent the vast majority of her time policing in Milton Keynes, Faringdon and Cowley before becoming the Area Commander for South and West Oxfordshire. Davina left Thames Valley to serve in Leicestershire as an Assistant Chief Constable for 4 years before moving to Northamptonshire as Deputy Chief Constable towards the end of 2005.
Davina joined the Police to make a difference to the lives of the most vulnerable and this drive and passion is still very strong. She is keen to put her experience and skills gained throughout her career to good use and became a Trustee of Age UK Oxfordshire (AUKO) in November 2010.
In March 2016 Davina became Chair of Trustees for AUKO and Action for Carers Oxfordshire.
Davina is a ‘nominated governor’ on the Council of Governors and is keen to see the particular issues and challenges for older people and carers being properly catered for when they need to access our services. She is also keen to see strong co-operation and partnership working between, and across, the statutory and voluntary sectors bringing positive outcomes for older people and carers.
Davina hopes that by being on the Council of Governors, she can give a voice and be an advocate for those older people and carers who would otherwise not be heard.
|Buckinghamshire County Council||Lin Hazell|
|Buckinghamshire MIND||Andrea McCubbin|
|Oxford Brookes University||
Dr Mary Malone is director of Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery at Oxford Brookes University, a unique partnership between Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust under the umbrella of the Oxford Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC).
The school combines education, clinical practice and research across the nursing, midwifery and allied health professions. It has a focus on increased collaborative working and sharing best practice, and has been developed to better meet the challenges of a significant period of change in nursing and midwifery education.
Dr Malone said: “Being a governor at Oxford Health is a unique opportunity to work in partnership and really develop nursing and midwifery for the 21st century.
“It provides a real insight and understanding into the mental and physical health needs of Oxfordshire which we can bring to education so we can have a more meaningful offer for people coming to us for a nursing education. We really want people to come through and contribute nationally, globally and to Oxfordshire which I know many do.
“We have to think strategically about the core opportunities we are opening up for people. I’d very much like to contribute to work around the workforce that’s going on and also, if I’ve got the capacity to do so, to be part of the staff experience and patient experience work.
“Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery does have a unique partnership between education, clinical practice and research and being a governor at Oxford Health is an excellent example of that.”
|Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust||Vacant|
|Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group||
Sula trained as a nurse in Dublin. She has worked in a range of clinical settings including hospitals, community and primary care as well as education.
Sula’s goal as a member of Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s Board is to safeguard high standards in the commissioning of high quality healthcare and to ensure maintaining those high standards is a shared responsibility.
Sula is the Caldicott Guardian and Freedom to Speak Up Guardian for the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group.
|Oxfordshire County Council||
My wife and I relocated to Bicester in 1992 and since then we have enjoyed being part of the community. I’ve served as district councillor, and am currently a Bicester town councillor. I’ve been a county councillor since 2006 and am currently the cabinet member for public health and adult social care as well as chairman of Oxfordshire County Council. Other interests include being a school governor, serve on the local hospital League of Friends, and a local community association.
Tina joined Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust in November 2013 and brings the unique experience of being a GP, a primary care trust medical director and an acute hospital medical director to her role with the Trust. Previously medical director at the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, Tina began her career in acute hospitals in the south east of England and Scotland before starting her GP training. Tina has been a partner in a GP practice in Milton Keynes since 1988 and has successfully combined the roles of a GP and an acute trust clinical manager for many years. Tina has an abiding interest in medical education and has been a GP trainer as well as an acute trust Director of Medical Education.
Tina spent eight years as a GMC Fitness to Practice panel member and 3 years as a medical adviser to the Health Professions Council. She has been a reviewer for the Healthcare Commission and has served on a variety of department of health, national and Royal College of General Practitioner committees.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to contact your governor.
Last updated: 1 June, 2020