The Board

The Trust Board comprises five Executive Directors and seven Non-Executive Directors, including the Chair. All of these directors hold a voting position on the board. One Director attends the board sessions in a non-voting capacity. A brief synopsis of the biographies of the board can be found below.

Our Non-Executive Directors

Danielle Oum
Chair of the board (Voting Position)
Appointed April 2016

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.
BA hons Humanities 
MA Equal Opportunities 

Professor Russell Beale
Non-Executive Director (Voting Position)
Chair of Quality and Safety Committee
Appointed June 2016

Professor Russell Beale holds the Chair in Human-Computer Interaction in the School of Computer Science at the University of Birmingham, and is also the founder and Director of the Human-Computer Interaction Research Centre, a cross-University Research Institute. Russell has a broad range of interests across the field of HCI, being particularly interested in the use of artificial intelligence to model and optimise interaction, and in technologically-mediated behaviour change. His research and development activities are funded through a mix of government grants, innovation awards, commercial partnerships, EU funding, and venture capital.

Russell has commercial and entrepreneurial experience as well as an academic background. He has founded six high-technology companies, and run four of these; one works on intelligent healthcare apps. He has won awards with websites he has been involved in, and some of the products have an extensive user base. When not researching HCI he can be mostly be found outside with his children, dogs and wife, either sailing, mountain biking, or otherwise trying to be active. 

John Dunn
Non-executive Director (Voting Position)
Chair of Performance, Finance and Investment Committee
Appointed February 2015

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.

​​Victoria Harris
Non-executive Director (Voting Position)
Chair of the Charitable Funds Committee
Appointed April 2015

Vicky has strong local links, having worked in Walsall for over 12 years and lived most of her life in the Black Country. An honours graduate in psychology, much of her career has been in the public sector in mental health care, although it began in the voluntary sector. Vicky has developed numerous projects and partnerships to support local people into employment. For almost a decade she was a Non-Executive Director of the Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, during which time she saw its transition to achieving FT status, and to acquiring new services across the Black Country under the Transforming Community Services agenda.

Sukhbinder Heer
Non-Executive Director (Voting Position)
Chair of Audit Committee
Appointed September 2016

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.

Philip Gayle
Non-Executive Director (Voting Position)
Appointed as a Non-executive Director 1 November 2017.  Previously, Associate Non-executive Director appointed August 2016.

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.

Paula Furnival
Associate Non-Executive Director

Paula Furnival is the Executive Director of Adult Social Care for Walsall Council, and her experience has been gained in working within the NHS and councils who have social care responsibility.

Prior to that Paula was a solicitor working in criminal, youth court and child care law, where she gained a real insight into the social and emotional issues facing many families which led to her gaining her first role in social care in Knowsley on Merseyside, 20 years ago.

She has been a District Director in Staffordshire where she was a commissioner and provider of services across a population of about 150,000, running assessment and care management support for older people, mental health and learning and physical disability services and, care homes, and day services.

In 2010, Paula was part of a small team who helped to form a new provider of community health and social care, the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership NHS Trust; the largest single integrated provider of health and care. More recently Paula has worked for NHS England supporting commissioning delivery and transformation developing CCG five year plans, negotiating on Better Care Fund plans and leading programmes of integrated commissioning, prevention and early intervention support.

She describes herself as an advocate of enabling people to live as independently as possible and works to integrate services to best meet the needs of local communities.

Our Executive Directors

Richard Beeken

Richard Beeken
Chief Executive of the board (Voting Position)
Appointed February 2018

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.

Russell Caldicott
Director of Finance and Performance (Voting Position)
Appointed July 2015

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.

Full member of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants.

Amir Khan

Amir Khan
Medical Director and Director of Infection Prevention and Control (Voting Position)
Appointed October 2011

He is a General Surgeon with a specialist interest in Vascular and Bariatric Surgery and joined Walsall in 1992 after completing his training. Amir led on the establishment of Walsall as a regional Bariatric Centre and is the lead accountable Director for the Medical workforce. Amir is also the Director of Infection Prevention and Control and the organisations Caldicott Guardian. Patient Safety and quality of care are key priorities for Amir in ensuring that our clinical outcomes for patients are of a high standard.

Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh and England
MB BS: Dow Medical College, Pakistan, 1979
General Medical Council No. 3161748
Medical Defence Union No. 244420A

Karen Dunderdale
Director of Nursing (Voting Position)

Appointed August 2018

Karen qualified as a registered nurse in 1991 and worked on a general medical ward before moving to coronary care. She later became a cardiac nurse specialist developing cardiac rehabilitation and heart failure services and became Chief Nurse in 2011 in an acute trust. She has also held board level roles of Chief Operating Officer, Deputy CEO and acting CEO for a short spell.

Karen 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 she has worked for the National nursing team at NHS Improvement and until recently was the vice chair of her local Hospice.

Philip Thomas-Hands 
Chief Operating Officer
Appointed October 2016

Philip has worked in Healthcare since 1985, working across acute hospitals, Mental Health, Primary Care, Medicine, Surgery and Specialised Services across both Gloucestershire and the Midlands (working also for GP fundholders in this time).

He has also worked in the private sector, spending five years as a management consultant to the manufacturing and healthcare industries.

For the past four years Philip has been a Non-Executive Director for a housing association. He has also travelled the world on a push-bike.

His role is to deliver systems, and constantly improve them, to ensure that clinicians can look after as many patients as possible within the resources available.

Professional interests include change management, succession planning, task management and a strong focus on patient experience.
Interests: Football (Aston Villa), History and Philosophy as well as his beautiful family

Daren Fradgley
Director of Strategy and Improvement (Non-Voting Position)
Appointed December 2015

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

State Registered Paramedic
MSC Managing Organisational Performance
PG Dip Professional Development

Louise Ludgrove
Interim Director of HR Appointed May 2017 (non-voting position)

Louise joined the Trust in May 2017 as Interim Director of OD & HR. She has worked in the NHS since the early 1990s in provider, integrated and Foundation Trusts. Louise became a Director in 2003 and, having worked in permanent roles, became an interim Director in 2011.



Jenna Davies
Director of Governance (Non-Voting Position)

Details to follow.