Board of Directors

Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust is run by a Board of Directors made up of Executive and Non-Executive Directors.

All NHS Trusts have a senior group of people who meet, take decisions and hold others to account to ensure the safest care for our patients and that public money is spent in the best way.

They meet every month in public and documentation for these meetings can be viewed here.

The Board is required, however, to discuss some matters in private for reasons of confidentiality and having regard to the confidential nature of the business to be transacted, publicity on which would be prejudicial to the public interest.

A Declaration of Interest Register (Updated June 2023) is also available to view.

Non-Executive Directors

Professor Louise Toner – Non-Executive Director

Trust Board: Professor Louise Toner

Appointed October 2019

Professor Louise Toner is a nurse, midwife and academic by professional background; she has a wealth of experience working with the NHS in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and within the higher education sector again across all countries, bar Northern Ireland. Since moving into higher education, she has maintained strong partnership working with colleagues within health and social care across all sectors; she is a member of the UK Universities Council of Deans.

In her current role Louise has responsibility for the faculty’s academic portfolio ensuring it is the right offering to meet the workforce needs of employers and the personal and professional development needs of qualified health and social care professionals. She represents the university on the Birmingham and Solihull Local Workforce Action Board and she is a member of their Education Partnerships Sub Group established to enable universities, NHS Trusts and other healthcare providers to work together to recruit and retain students to facilitate sufficient qualified staff entering the workforce. In addition, she is a member of the British Commonwealth Association (BCA), chairing their Education Sub Group and representing the BCA on the Greater Commonwealth Chamber of Commerce in Birmingham/West Midlands.

Louise has also worked for a hugely successful charity in the UK – Macmillan Cancer Support where she was responsible for an Education Development Programme for specialist nurses in Cancer and Palliative Care. She was previously Chair but is now Trustee of the Wound Care Alliance UK a charitable organisation who provide education and training for nonspecialist healthcare staff both qualified and unqualified in the field of Tissue Viability.

As a surgical ward sister in practice Louise has a special interest in cancer care – the subject of her Masters degree awarded by the University of Glasgow. Her interest in Wound Care led to her establishing the faculty’s Wound Healing Practice Development Unit of which she is the Director. This Unit delivers specialist workshops by our Professors in Wound Healing, undertaking product evaluations often in association with product manufacturers.

Louise’s remit within the faculty includes leading overseas activities as a result of which she has been privileged to visit a number of countries meeting with government officials, leading academics and professionals. Along with other colleagues, she is in the process of securing funds to assist developing countries in terms of their healthcare education needs that include caring for older people, primary care, stoma care and wound care.

Louise says she feels privileged to be associated with such an innovative and forward thinking Trust, keen to embrace the ways in which academia, research and clinical practice can all work together to improve the care of our patients and provide development opportunities for our staff.

Fiona Frizzell – Associate Non-Executive Director

Appointed February 2023

Fiona Allinson qualified as a nurse in the late 1980s and worked in a variety of settings including Surgery, Operating Theatres, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and Emergency Department (ED). She held many roles before becoming a Sister on a Rehabilitation Ward. In 1999 she joined the private sector as a Matron of a private hospital before leaving to set up her own training and development business. During this time, she worked with further education settings to design and deliver the Registered Managers course.

Joining the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in 2005 as a part -time Inspector, Fiona rose through the organisation to become a Deputy Chief Inspector in the hospitals’ directorate. She left the CQC following a reorganisation and redefining of roles. However, she has always been a nurse at heart and returned to ICU during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fiona’s passion to ensure a high-quality service for patients led her to apply for the post of associate Non-Executive Director at Walsall Healthcare. As part of the regulating process for the Trust since she became part of the CQC, Fiona respects the integral part the organisation plays in the local community. She is very keen to be part of the journey of further improvement.

Rachel Barber – Associate Non-Executive Director

Appointed February 2023

Rachel has considerable board experience in the public and private sector and holds several non-executive director and advisor roles within the housing and police sectors. She has experience within the NHS as a lay member at Walsall Local Commissioning Board, part of the Black Country Integrated Care Board and was formerly lay member at Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group.

She has held senior executive positions within the water sector with a service delivery focus, achieving successful transformation, linking strategic direction to insight, improving services, achieving high customer satisfaction and continuous improvement across a diverse base.

Lisa Cowley, Non-Executive-DirectorLisa joins the Board, bringing a wealth of experience gained in large, national and regional, health, social care and third sector organisations. Lisa has held senior leadership positions, both as an employee and in a charitable
trustee capacity, ensuring she brings a strong foundation in financial, business and operational planning, project evaluation and impact monitoring, amongst other expertise. Lisa is particularly skilled at developing partnerships across the voluntary and public sector, including the evolution of the VCSE Alliance as part of the development of Integrated Care Systems.

Lisa is CEO of Beacon Vision, having worked for the organisation since 2018, one of the region’s most established and well-known health and social care charities, where she has been in post for just over four years. Lisa has bought many positive improvements to the charity and is passionate about making a difference to the lives of people living with sight loss across the West Midlands. In addition to her unwavering dedication to Beacon’s charitable objectives, Lisa is committed to building long-term sustainability, actively seeking new ways to improve and develop increased integrated, cooperative and progressive health and social care systems to support beneficiaries.

Previous roles have included Deputy CEO of the Black Country Living Museum, where Lisa implemented significant change programmes, oversaw complex funding bids and projects of national heritage significance. Lisa has also been involved in complex projects during her time at organisations such as the RSPB and The British Horse Society, where she developed and implemented the charity’s national volunteer programme. A highlight from her earlier career includes a pivotal role in the redevelopment of the world’s first ‘skyscraper’ in Shrewsbury.

Lisa is originally from Wolverhampton, having returned after completing her degree at the University of Liverpool. Her personal interests include a passion for horses and horse riding.

Executive Directors

Executive director

Appointed August 2021, Chief Nursing Officer from July 2023

Voting position

Text to follow.