Board of Directors
Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust is run by a Board of Directors made up of Executive and Non-Executive Directors.
Like any other large organisation, we need a ‘top-level’ group of people who meet and take decisions so that everyone works together towards common goals, ensures the safest care of our patients and spends our money in the best way.
Our Board of Directors does this and each Director has a specific area of responsibility.
They meet every month in public and documentation for these meetings can be viewed here.
The Board does, however, have to discuss some matters in private (for reasons set out in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) and holds a separate private session. The papers for this meeting are not published.
Danielle Oum - Chair of the Board
Danielle has more than 10 years’ experience of leading public service business improvement and programme management and has also worked extensively in the private sector, building and leading international teams. Danielle’s professional expertise is in stakeholder engagement and transformational change. Her other professional interests are socio-economic inclusion, cross-sector partnerships and regeneration. Danielle joined Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust as Chair in 2014, but has recently resigned to become Chair at our Trust.
Chair of the Board
John Dunn, Non-Executive Director and Chair of Performance, Finance and Investment Committee
John’s professional life was spent almost exclusively in the Telecoms sector and he has extensive experience in the field of operations, and customer service. His career includes 20 years experience at divisional board level in a variety of executive and non-executive roles and his last position with BT was as Managing Director Openreach. As MD, he was responsible for the delivery and repair of customer service and for the provision and maintenance of the local access network for the south of the UK. Away from the boardroom, John is a keen walker and cyclist and enjoys nothing better than hill walking with his red setter.
Chair of Performance, Finance and Investment Committee
Sukhbinder Heer, Non-Executive Director and Chair of Audit Committee
Sukhbinder has over 30 years senior management experience in corporate finance and private equity as well as leading one of the UK’s top professional services companies. Over the past few years Sukhbinder has also undertaken a number of non-executive positions in private, public and charity sectors and is currently is also NED and Chair of Audit at Birmingham Community Healthcare Foundation Trust (BCHCFT). Sukhbinder will also be Chair of the Audit Committee at Walsall.
Chair of Audit Committee
Philip Gayle - Non-Executive Director
Phil Gayle is currently CEO for Connect West Midlands an organisation that supports those affected by substance misuse. Phil has considerable experience in the health sector and has also worked as a NED for SWB NHS Trust. Phil is passionate about contributing to improving services for patients in particular their experience of care at the Trust and has a strong interest in equality, diversity and ethics. Phil will be the non-executive champion for patient care and also for equality and diversity.
Chair of People & OD Committee
Sally Rowe, Associate Non-Executive Director
Associate non-executive directorAppointed October 2019 Non-voting position
Sally Rowe has been a qualified social worker for 30 years, working across children’s and adults services in different types of local authorities and in frontline and management roles. She has also spent time as Her Majesty’s Inspector of local authorities and a senior manager within Ofsted. She is now Director of Children’s Services in Walsall, a Non-Executive Director of a Health Trust and a Trustee of a national charity Grandparents Plus.
Associate Non-Executive Director
Anne Baines, Non-Executive Director
Anne has had near 40 years experience within the NHS in the West Midlands. Before taking (semi) retirement in 2017 she had spent the last 15 years in and around Board level roles in both providing and commissioning roles covering strategy, business development and transformation, communications and HR. She was the Director Strategy at Walsall Healthcare Trust from 2010-2014 and is happy to have returned as a non-executive member as she has fond memories of the Trust and colleagues working there. Anne is a member of the Quality and Saftey Committee and has been appointed the NED lead for the Freedom to Speak Up policy.
Paul Assinder, Non-Executive Director
Non-Executive director Appointed October 2019 Non-voting position
Paul is one of the most experienced and respected finance professionals working in healthcare in the UK. He was elected as National President of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), the leading professional body for finance staff working in UK healthcare, in December 2009 and has more than 25 years’ experience at board level in both the public and commercial sectors.
Doubly qualified as an accountant, with a University background in both economics and management, he trained and worked with Ernst & Young Co in the UK after graduation, before specialising in the healthcare and technology sectors.
Paul is a graduate of the Senior Managers Course at Insead (French Business School) and was one of the first FDs to be selected to join the elite NHS Top Leaders Programme in 2010. Paul has a broad portfolio of financial and business experience most recently as European CFO of the US transformational genomics provider Nant Health Inc. In the local NHS Paul has advised policy makers on transformational change through the NHS STP Programme and has also served as Director of Finance and Deputy Chief Executive of Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust. Before that he held similar positions at Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, Birmingham City Hospital NHS Trust and a number of other board-level appointments in the NHS and private sector.
He is committed to the development of the next generation of healthcare leaders and holds the position of Senior lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton Business School and with others, founded the MBA qualification in Business & Finance for the HFMA Academy in 2017.
· Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA)
· Qualified Member of Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA)
· Fellowship of Healthcare Financial Management Association
Rajpal Virdee, Associate Non-Executive Director
Rajpal or Raj, as he is known, has 30+ years of being being involved in both the public and voluntary sector. Initially, a social worker rapidly moving through to senior management in Dudley Social Services and latterly at Birmingham Social Services.
He has extensive experience with health care bodies, in the capacity of a Non-Executive Director, which included East Birmingham Primary Care Trust, Walsall Primary Care Trust and Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group.
Amongst his many achievements as a Non – Executive Director include, the development of Castle Vale Health Care Centre, Pelsall Medical Health Centre and Walsall Hospice where he was the Chair of the project.
Another passion of Raj is the provision of affordable housing and he has been involved with numerous hosing associations, including Black Country Housing Group where as Vice Chair he lead the development of numerous affordable housing schemes, to the benefit of local families.
Raj was appointed in 2002 by the Judiciary to sit as as a Lay Member at the Birmingham Employment Tribunal, which deals with employment disputes between employers and employees over employment rights.
A personal passion of Raj is the delivery of equality in both private and public sector organisations, such that his wide experience and knowledge is often sought prior to implementing organisational change.
Raj will be a member of the People and Organisational Committee, and the QPES (Quality, Patient Experience and Safety) Committee for the Trust. He will also chair the Equality and Diversity Committee.
Raj’s past-times include music and yoga, and he also enjoys cooking.
Associate Non-Executive Director
Ben Diamond, Associate Non-Executive Director
Ben has recently retired from the Fire Service after over 30 years working in emergency response and senior management positions throughout the West Midlands.
During his time in the Fire Service, he developed many innovative partnerships, all focussing on prevention of incidents and ill health. Ben’s focus is on prevention being better than cure and he is keen to influence partnerships to develop this principle at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust.
Ben also has a keen interest in Organisational Development and equality & diversity with considerable experience of influencing change and positive culture in organisations.
Associate Non-Executive Director
Richard Beeken - Chief Executive
Executive directorAppointed February 2018 Voting position @NHSBeeky
Richard has extensive NHS Leadership experience, including a number of very senior exec roles. As CEO at Wye Valley NHS Trust, Richard led the organisation out of special measures.
He was previously Delivery and Improvement Director for NHS Improvement West Midlands, co-led the Executive Team at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, and most recently was the Chief Operating Officer for University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust.
Dr Matthew Lewis, Medical Director
Matthew was previously Consultant Gastroenterologist at Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, where he has also been a Divisional Director. As Medical Director at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, his key areas of focus are to further develop our service integration with primary care and other hospitals, to improve medical engagement in quality governance and patient safety and to better link service plans to medical workforce plans. Matthew is also the organisation’s Caldicott Guardian. Patient Safety and quality of care are key priorities for Matthew in ensuring that our clinical outcomes for patients are of a high standard.
Medical Director and Caldicott Guardian
Dr Karen Dunderdale, Director of Nursing
Executive director Appointed August 2018 Voting position
Karen was born and brought up in Scunthorpe. In 1991 she qualified as a registered nurse and worked on a general medical ward before moving to coronary care.
She became a cardiac nurse specialist developing cardiac rehabilitation and heart failure services and became chief nurse in 2011 in an acute trust. Karen has also held the board level roles of Chief Operating Officer, Deputy CEO and acting CEO for a short spell.
She has a PhD in Quality of Life in Chronic Heart Failure from York University and has contributed substantially to the development of cardiac nursing.
More recently Karen has worked for the National nursing team at NHS Improvement and until recently was the vice chair of her local hospice.
Director of Nursing
Ned Hobbs, Chief Operating Officer
Chief Operating OfficerAppointed June 2019 Voting position
Ned graduated from the University of Nottingham with a first class degree in Pure Mathematics before joining the NHS Graduate Management Training scheme in 2008 in the West Midlands region. He completed his Masters in Health & Public Leadership from Birmingham’s HSMC in 2011 and has carried out a variety of operational management roles – predominantly in the acute hospital sector and within mental health.
Ned’s previous role was as Director of Operations for the Division of Surgery, Women & Children at Dudley Group NHSFT where he delivered the fifth best elective 18-week Referral to Treatment waiting times in the country.
He has a passion for clinical leadership, having written his dissertation on this subject, and has lectured to medical students and doctors in training on leadership in the NHS. He also has a keen interest in Quality Improvement and the use of comparative clinical outcome measurements to improve patient care.
Ned lives in Shrewsbury with his wife and daughter and, having been born and bred in Oxford, is a keen Oxford United supporter.
Chief Operating Officer
Daren Fradgley - Executive Director of Strategy and Improvement
MSC Managing Organisational Performance
PG Dip Professional Development
Daren joined the Trust in February 2015 after holding numerous operational and director posts at West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. A paramedic by background Daren joined WMAS in 1994 on frontline operations initially in the Black Country and then Birmingham before moving to the Emergency Control Rooms in 2005. He then went on to manage the Trust Performance Improvement team including informatics and BI team. In 2013 he became the A&E Operations Director before moving to NHS 111.
Daren is responsible for the Trust’s transformation and cost improvement program together with strategic and business development. Originally coming from Walsall, Daren lives locally with his partner and three children.
Director of Strategy and Improvement
Interim Director of Walsall Together
Russell Caldicott, Director of Finance and Performance
Appointed July 2015Voting position Full member of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants.
Russell lives locally and has in excess of 20 years’ experience of working within the acute sector of the NHS, formerly undertaking roles such as Senior Divisional Accountant, Associate Director of Finance and Deputy Director of Finance. A Qualified Accountant and advocate of continuing professional development, Russell occupies the role of Executive on the Board of the West Midlands Healthcare Financial Management Association, providing support and opportunities for development to the finance teams of Central England.
Director of Finance and Performance
Catherine Griffiths, Director of People and Culture
Catherine has a background in local government and more than 20 years’ experience of HR and large-scale service transformation and redesign. Her expertise lies in employee engagement and empowering those around her to make positive changes for the benefit of the organisation and its service users.
She joined the NHS for the first time in 2015 where she took on the role of Deputy Director of HR as part of Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust.
Catherine then made the move to Walsall Healthcare in September 2018 and now sits on the Trust Board as Director of People and Culture – overlooking HR and Organisational Development.
Her focus is to ensure a positive and inclusive culture amongst the workforce to ensure staff have the support they need to develop their own talents in order to improve patient experience. Her role also means ensuring staff are living by the trust values (Respect, Compassion, Professionalism and Teamwork) and are supported to be happy and healthy while at work.
Catherine has lived in and around the West Midlands for more than 25 years and is qualified at Masters level in Strategic HR management and holds an LLM in Employment Law.
Director of People and Culture