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.
Anna Gardner is a former lawyer and Executive Director for International Lawyers for Africa (ILFA) – a UK based non-profit whose mission is to build capacity in legal services across the African continent. She is a leader, strategic thinker and communicator with a remarkable ability to straddle and be effective in two very different worlds: in high pressure multinational environments (she has held a number of senior roles in US multi-nationals such as Hewlett-Packard and Accenture) and her NGO work in Julangel Village, Upper River Division, The Gambia.
Anna is now training to become a therapist whilst completing her masters in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy at the University of Roehampton.
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.”
In 2020, Melissa decided to start an entirely new career and go into nursing. She is now studying for an Adult Nursing Degree at Oxford Brookes.
Prior to this she spent over 30 years in corporate life, initially in banking and then in senior marketing and leadership roles. In her last role Melissa helped run a huge conglomerate in Dubai with 16,000 staff and was the only female on the Executive Board. She particularly enjoyed handling customer and staff engagement and supporting the huge labour force.
With a broad and varied background, plus some excellent business experience, Melissa hopes to bring some great skills to her new role as an Elected Governor for Oxford Health Trust (Public – Oxfordshire). She hopes her grounding in finance, communications, governance and controls will be great skills to add value to the Trust. Also, Melissa is always looking at ways to improve processes as she has a very analytical approach. She is passionate about making a difference, and enthusiastic to be working as part of the NHS.
Employed by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust (and predecessor organisations) for nearly 30 years as a consultant medical psychotherapist, I also served as trust medical director for eight years, so bring extensive clinical and board level experience to my role as a governor.
As a clinician I worked with people suffering a wide range of difficulties, and helped develop the multi-disciplinary Psychological Therapy Service. As medical director I was involved in 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 I have worked on a voluntary basis (1) as Chair of NE Oxfordshire Public Forum for the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group; (2) with Oxfordshire Youth Justice Service’s Restorative Justice Team; (3) in primary schools as road safety cycling trainer, and as qualified cycling coach with both able-bodied and young people with disabilities; and (4) as chair of a community organisation which purchased our local pub, instigating a programme of socially inclusive activities to promote mental, physical and social wellbeing.
My aim as governor is to engage the trust’s membership and wider community to support and shape services provided by the trust, and to ensure that patient and carer experience is addressed. I want 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 people with complex ill-health, and those with learning disabilities.
I have been dismayed by the under funding and progressive dismantling of mental health and community health services over the last decade, and am a passionate advocate for increased resources for health and social care. I want to make a difference to modern health care in Oxfordshire!
|Rest of England & Wales||
|Patient||Service Users: Buckinghamshire & Other Counties||
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.
As a service user since 2012, I am all too familiar with how we can feel undervalued and deflated.
Sometimes services don’t get it right, and as the people who access these services, we have the power to help them understand ways to improve that would benefit our care.
Within my role as governor my overarching aim is to empower service users to have their voice heard on every level and understand their opportunities for involvement and coproduction to enable us to shape services.
I am involved in many projects and forums within the trust, and I hope that within the governor role I am able to assist in explaining the benefits of membership to the service user constituency to allow a stronger voice.
We are the present and we can shape the future.
|Service Users: Oxfordshire||
I live in Oxfordshire and our children were born and raised here. Our family have all been users of the health system. I also have a nephew, now an adult who is autistic and living in a different part of the country has been very effectively and compassionately supported.
I think it is important that we do what we can to support our health system and I believe elected NHS Trust Governors are able to do so. Supporting our health system means not just providing overt support but also representing the views of patients and service users and challenging elements of the system that we feel could be delivered more effectively.
With a background in healthcare and system development outside Oxfordshire I hope that over the last three years I have been a constructive and helpful Governor.
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.
|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.”
|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.
Carl was appointed to the Council of Governors by Buckinghamshire Council, where he represents the Chalfont St Giles ward and is Deputy Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing.
His Cabinet brief includes responsibility for public health services, health inequalities and Buckinghamshire Council’s Covid response. In his full-time job, Carl is Chief of Staff to a Member of Parliament and runs his busy Westminster office.
A lawyer by training, Carl later worked as a director of a research consultancy, leading their patient experience research projects for NHS England, NHS Foundation Trusts, private hospitals, and private medical insurance providers.
In his Governor role, Carl wants to use his experience for the benefit of the Trust and its patients, and to ensure effective cooperation between local authorities, NHS bodies and other healthcare organisations across the new Integrated Care System.
|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||Awaiting nomination from the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group|
|Oxfordshire County Council||
My wife and I moved to Bicester in October 1992 and have enjoyed being part of our community. I became an elected councillor in May 1999, and served on Bicester Town Council and Cherwell District Council, and have served Oxfordshire County Council since 2005 where I’m currently Cabinet Member of Adult Care and Public Health. Other interests include travel, gardening, and supporting our local hospital, the League of Friends.
|Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust||
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.
Page last reviewed: 22 September, 2021