The Board

Please click here to view the Trust Board Register of Interests. 

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 Charitable Funds 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. 

Andre Burns

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 board room, John is a keen walker and cyclist and enjoys nothing better than hill walking with his red setter.

Guy Mcevoy

​​Victoria Harris

Non-executive Director (Voting Position)

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 healthcare, 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 Commitee

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.

Andre BurnsJohn Silverwood

Non-executive Director (Voting Position)

Chair of People and Organisational Development Committee

Appointed February 2015

A Chartered Fellow of The Institute of Personnel and Development, John spent most of his career working in the manufacturing sector in textiles and later in soaps and detergents. He was Group HR Director for PZ Cussons plc, working extensively in Africa, Asia and Europe before retiring in 2008.  John then became HR Director for the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust before retiring for a second time in 2012.  He hails from Nottingham but has lived in Macclesfield and the Staffordshire Moorlands and now lives in Stafford. In addition to his new position with WHC, he is a Non Executive Director of The High Peak Theatre Trust which is responsible for the running of Buxton Opera House. He has a keen interest in music and is also a member at Nottinghamshire Cricket Club.

Deborah Carrington

Non-Executive Director (Non-Voting Position)

Appointed July 2016

Over the past 20 years Deborah has held a number of senior executive roles in both the public and private sector and has a wealth of experience leading organisations through periods of transition and challenge along with an in-depth knowledge of governance and developing strategic partnerships. Deborah will be the non-executive champion for transparency and responsiveness in particular supporting  the Freedom to Speak Up agenda, Duty of Candour, Whistleblowing and Junior Doctors Champion.

Philip Gayle

Non-Executive Director (Non-Voting Position)

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 of 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.

Our Executive Directors

Richard Kirby

Richard Kirby

Chief Executive of the board (Voting Position)
Appointed May 2011

Richard is a graduate of the NHS Management Training Scheme. After undertaking roles in commissioning at both health authority and primary care group level, he was Head of Performance at Birmingham and Black Country SHA, where he ensured that the SHA maintained its position as one of the best performing in the country. Richard gained board level NHS Trust experience by joining Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust initially as Director of Strategy and then as Chief Operating Officer. In these roles he led the development of new models of care working with local partners delivered service reconfigurations in paediatrics, surgery and pathology, maintained the Trust's track record of delivery on access targets and secured  significant improvements in performance across the organisation. Richard was also chosen to take part in the national NHS Top Leaders Programme.
MA (Oxon) Modern History
MSc Healthcare Management and Policy
Pg Dip Management
Member of the Institute of Healthcare Management

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

Barbara Beal,

Interim Director of Nursing

Appointed November 2017

Approaching 45 years in the NHS, Barbara’s career has seen her start out as a cadet nurse before progressing to Head of Midwifery and Executive Director of Nursing & Midwifery, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive as well as a Non-Executive Director.

Her range of skills means she has been able to offer her knowledge as an experienced nurse and midwife, a clinical advisor, and executive/coach mentor in both the NHS and independent healthcare sector;

Barbara is committed to help support the Trust on the next stage of its improvement journey: “To focus on the safety, quality of care and experience of our patients, families, carers and our staff”

When not at work, Barbara enjoys spending time with her family and travelling.

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 Transformation (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

Linda Storey, Trust Secretary 

Appointed June 2015

Linda was previously Trust Secretary at Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust from 2007 – 2014 and joined the NHS in 2003.


She is a qualified chartered secretary and an associate member of both the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators  and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Responsible for the corporate governance of the Trust, she advises the board of directors about their responsibilities.

As well as having worked in the acute hospital sector, Linda has worked within clinical commissioning in London and in the private sector.

Her professional interests include corporate social responsibility and risk.

Qualifications: Masters in International Governance