Governor elections 2022: Meet your new governors

Governor elections 2022: Meet your new governors

Thirteen new governors were elected this May to represent their constituencies in Oxford Health's Council of Governors. Here's a recap of what they said in their election statements.

Remember: you can contact any and all your governors by emailing contactyourgovernor@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk

Public Oxfordshire

Mike Hobbs

“I have served as a Public Governor at Oxford Health since 2019, for this past year as Lead Governor. I’m standing for re-election to contribute further to governance and improvement of the Trust’s services.

In my first elected term as a Public Governor, heavily disrupted by the pandemic, I’ve helped increase the effectiveness of the Council of Governors and the representation of patients, carers and staff. I’ve forged links with partner organisations in Oxfordshire such as Mind and Healthwatch, and with Governors at other trusts with whom OHFT will collaborate in the new Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire Integrated Care System.

I’m trying to ensure the Trust and wider NHS engages with patients and the public to shape the services provided, and to ensure that patient and carer experience is fully addressed.
I was employed by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust (and predecessor organisations) for nearly 30 years as a consultant psychiatrist and medical psychotherapist, and also served as Trust medical director for eight years, so bring extensive clinical and Board level experience to my role as a Governor.

I aim to foster further collaboration with Oxfordshire’s NHS organisations, including primary care, and with social care. Joined-up mental, physical and social care is essential for people with complex ill-health, and those with learning disabilities.
The NHS faces major challenges, particularly in mental health and community health services. I want to make a difference to modern health care in Oxfordshire. We’ve made progress, but we have much further to go!”

Natalie Davis

“I am expressing my interest in becoming a governor because I have been working alongside Oxford Health since January 2020. I have had the pleasure of running staff wellbeing programmes like ‘Connect and Care for You’, ‘Energise You’ and ‘Healthfest’.

In addition to this I have directly benefitted by the amazing work of the Oxford Health team as between the ages of 20-25 I suffered from extreme OCD. The team and treatment I received from Oxford health really did save my life. I am testament to the fact that everyone has a past. a present and a future.

My own story is a big part of the work that I do. Therefore I will be training to become a CBT therapist later this year with Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre. I am excited to complement my coaching work through using a CBT approach to inspire individuals to develop the skills they need to succeed. This work is close to my heart and therefore CBT will be a big part of our work at The Wellbeing Generation. Our offerings will use CBT coupled with coaching to support individuals through periods of struggle, transition or change.

I feel that this role would further enable me to continue the awareness work around this important subject. In turn the role will enable me to continue to inspire the next generation to believe that their struggles can become their strengths, and have faith that they can be the author of their own life story.”

Srikesavan Sabapathy

“I have been a physiotherapist for the last 23 years and have gained my experience in roles involving academic teaching and leadership, research and clinical positions.

I recently started to volunteer as a school governor at a special needs school in Oxford and am thoroughly enjoying this role. I am also actively involved with Chartered Society of Physiotherapists as a member of the Professional Committee. My most recent clinical experience has been as a trauma inpatient physiotherapist at the John Radcliffe Hospital where I worked for just above 5 years. Currently I am gaining valuable experience with a Clinical Commissioning Group. This varied experience has equipped me with a skill set that is transferable across healthcare settings.

I have seen how hard everyone in the NHS works, specially during the pandemic. I am also greatly in debt to the NHS for the exceptional support that my family and I have received. My experience in both providing and receiving services in the NHS places me in a position where I have insight to both aspects of care and can contribute significantly to governance process.

I have worked in a few different healthcare settings in other countries and can strongly say that the NHS is precious and an envy of many other countries. There is always scope for improvement and we all have to work towards it. With your valuable support, I am keen to provide my time and experience to do this at Oxford Health.”

Fiona Symington

“Chronic health issues mean I have twentyfive years of lived experience of being a patient in the NHS. This has left me passionate about our publicly funded healthcare system as well as the values its staff strive to demonstrate on a daily basis. A huge improvement in my health conditions three years ago has left me with a particularly keen interest in contributing to conversations about how services can be strengthened in order to best meet peoples’ needs.

I have a first class honours degree in psychology and am currently studying an MSc in health psychology. I have particularly enjoyed lectures on public health, the use of evidence to inform practice, and health promotion. I am also working part-time as a stop smoking advisor, where I am working with a variety of people with different needs who are all working hard to better their health.

I would love the opportunity to put what I’m learning to good use as a governor. I have a strong interest in leadership but also really relish working as part of a team and learning from others’ expertise.”

Patient: Carers

John Collins

“I am retired living in Oxford for the last 14 years. I would like to nominate myself for the position of a Carer Governor. This is because I have been a carer for a number of years, now no longer as my wife is now in a care home.

My wife showed signs of memory loss a few years ago and since that time I have been on the journey with her that resulted in her having to be in a care home with Alzheimer’s. During that time I have had interactions with hospitals, doctors, nurses, social services, respite care, live-in carer, day centres and finally a care home. So I believe that I have had the experience to know something of the journey a sufferer and their carer have had to go through.

As I mentioned earlier my wife is in a care home and I therefore have the time to make some contribution to helping carers in their difficult circumstances. I feel that carers’ well-being is often overlooked and, if elected I would like to try to make a difference in this area.

Carers’ needs are sometimes as great as the ones of their loved one. In their role they will inevitably go through a gamut of emotions. I believe it would so beneficial for them to know that there is someone who could act as a mentor to guide them through this difficult period of their life.”

Kate England

Kate England“I have been interested in the provision of health care services in Oxfordshire for sometime now as a carer for my husband who has been effected physically and mentally by his service within the Armed Forces.

I believe the NHS provides great services within Oxfordshire but am keen to work within Oxford Health to ensure the needs of all are met. I have previously been lucky enough to contribute to developing services within NHS England Armed Forces and within local government.”

Patient: Services users – Buckinghamshire & other counties

Ben Glass

Ben Glass

Ben Glass became a governor in order to give a greater voice for people who use our services.

“For the last three years I’ve had the privilege of serving as a governor representing ‘service users’ (or whatever we are called now) in Buckinghamshire and areas west of Oxfordshire.

I have worked (with some success) to make Oxford Health a more democratic and less violent organisation. I’d like to continue doing so.”

Staff: Oxfordshire, Banes, Swindon & Wiltshire (BSW) Mental Health Services

Evin Abrishami

Evin_Abrishami“I have been with Oxford Health since 2018. I am a physical health RNA and work with Oxford City and North Community Adult Mental Health Teams. Prior to this role, I have been working with district nurses for three years. I am passionate about continuous improvement in patient care as in my role I see first-hand the health inequalities faced by patients with severe mental illnesses.
Moreover, one of my sons is currently a patient of the AMHT service and previously also has been under the CAMHS service for many years. This lived experience as a carer drives my commitment to improve our services and support the staff in achieving this.
I have lived in Oxford for more than two decades and I have years of experience in the voluntary sector, working with many local charities such as Oxford Hub, Refugee Resource and Asylum Welcome, providing practical support to vulnerable residents in the community. Additionally, I am a primary school governor and a trustee at the Donnington Doorstep Family Centre. I have also served as an Oxford City Councillor and my role will come to an end in May 2022.

As such I feel I could bring a variety of understanding and experience to the governor role and will support the board in building a thriving working environment, where equality, fairness, career progression, and the wellbeing of the staff is at heart of every decision making.”

Staff: Buckinghamshire Mental Health Services

Martyn Bradshaw

Martyn Bradshaw“I have worked for the Trust for 9 years starting as a Support Time and Recovery Worker at the old South East Bucks CMHT. I have been a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner and Referral Co-ordinator for the Bucks PTP Single Point of Access.

I am currently a CBT Therapist and Team Lead at Healthy Minds and see first hand the critical role that Mental Health Services are playing in helping the people of Buckinghamshire and the difference being made in their lives.

I am forward thinking and believe that the Trust has not yet reached its’ potential. As a governor I would look to help support the Trust move forward across all domains and making sure that everyone within my constituency knows that they are able to communicate with me and that I will take their concerns, comments and suggestions forward to help ensure that we are working not only for our patients but also for our Staff, as without a staff body that is heard and supported we will not be able to provide a caring, safe and excellent service to our patients.

I hope to become a governor so that I can support everyone within the Bucks Mental Health Directorate and make sure that our voices are heard across the whole of the Trust.”

Staff: Community Services

Vicky Power

Vicky Power “I’ve recently joined Oxford Health Foundation Trust in January 2022 as a Senior Programme Manager within Community Dental Services which I am absolutely loving.

Previous to this role I’ve managed many different teams and departments for corporate companies. The reason I have moved across to the NHS is because I want to make a difference in the work I do and I believe being a governor will support this goal even more. I’m passionate about empowering colleagues through clear communication and I will support this as much as I can as a governor.
I am proud to work within Community Services and passionately talk about my role and the amazing work my colleagues do to anyone that listens. Being a governor will help me openly talk about the work that is happening behind the scenes to more stakeholders within our community.

I am passionate that any project/ innovation that is taking place, patients should always be at the heart of any decisions made, and as a governor I would support this key priority.
As a full time working mum of two, I know the challenges faced around work/life balance and will endeavour that health and wellbeing for staff is integrated into future strategies that the Trust creates.”

Jodie Summers

Jodie Summers“I believe I would be an effective staff governor as I know I can be the voice of those who don’t feel they have a voice and to speak from the very heart of community services. I want to be able to influence Community Services and to champion the work that may go unnoticed, whilst working with other governors to make Oxford Health an inclusive trust.

Having joined Oxford Health in 2017 I quickly became aware of the issues around communication and cascading of information across all staff and services. Because of this, I set up a group in 2018 titled Quality Champions for Community Services.

It spans across all of community services and is open to everyone. The objective of the group is ‘come, talk, listen and see what’s going on’. We meet monthly, just for an hour. It is a place to network and share information with staff groups that may never normally cross paths; dietitians sharing stories with respiratory nurses, district nurses asking an administrator from podiatry how to do something, as a couple of examples.

I share Trust news that may not have been cascaded and they go back to their teams and share/inform their colleagues. I absolutely believe information sharing should be bottom up as well as top down. This group has continued to grow and the feedback about empowerment is fantastic to hear. I know I can positively represent Community Services.”

Staff: Specialised Services

Petr Neckar

Petr Neckar“As Head of the Forensic Recovery College I am positioned within secure services but slightly outside the mainstream. College courses are delivered via co-production and in my role I engage with patients and staff on a different level, which includes both the individual and informal. Having an ear to the ground means that I would be well positioned to act as a link, voicing the concerns of patients and staff, and, as a representative of the governors’ team, feeding back to both the board’s decisions.

I am well experienced in a strategic role, having developed the Forensic Recovery College from its inception. As well as developing systems and ensuring that as a business, the college runs smoothly and effectively, my role has involved understanding and championing needs, fostering working relationships, actively listening to and valuing the contributions of very different people, asking questions in a constructive manner, and above all, finding creative solutions.

I would welcome the opportunity to work with the governors’ team, highlighting issues, bringing ideas and helping the voices of patients and staff to be heard at the heart of the decision-making process.”

Emma Short

Emma Short“I have been a learning Disability (LD) Nurse in the NHS for 32 years; it is a core value of mine to serve the people where I live with exceptional and appropriate health care.
I was recently awarded the Queens Nurse title and made a pledge to raise the profile of LD, so that all services respond equitably to those who require a more flexible approach to care. I believe this extends to all those served by specialised services as we often work with some of the most marginalised of individuals who are complex and often misunderstood, there is nothing that we do not see or support within someone’s lifespan. Becoming a Governor will enable opportunities to raise awareness of and for our vulnerable service users.
Oxford Health is mine and my family’s health care provider. I want to feel assured that if I or my family need to they can use the services without question or concern. I work alongside some amazing people across Oxford Health and I am always totally blown away by the empathy, commitment and determination that I witness-I would like to ensure that you all have a voice, that specialised services has a voice, that we have opportunity to influence and scrutinise the direction of travel of Oxford Health because I know that our staff make us more than what we aim to be.”

Published: 18 May 2022