More about the trust

The trust board

Board overview

The trust is managed overall by a trust Board consisting of Non-Executive Directors and Executive Directors, chaired by Phil Townsend.

The Executive Team

The Executive Team is responsible for the day-to-day management of the trust in accordance with the Trust's policy and national, statutory or other relevant guidance. The Executive Directors are full-time employees of the trust. It is a requirement that the Board has a Chief Executive, Director of Finance, Director of Nursing, Medical Director, and one other, who are eligible to vote. It may also appoint additional Board members to cover other functions, but they will not be voting members of the Board.

The Non-Executive Directors

The Non-Executive Directors are drawn from the local community and are appointed by a special Appointments Commissioner who selects them following advertisements in the local press. Generally, Non-Executive Directors are selected with a view to representing the cultural, ethnic and business composition of the local community. They are expected to bring the community's perspective to the management of the trust and to provide an independent overview of the work of the Trust's Executive functions.

Chairman and Non-Executive Directors

Phil Townsend, Chairman

Picture of Phil Townsend, Interim Chairman

Appointed Interim Chairman in March 2019, Phil is the longest serving Board member and was Vice Chair for five years and Non-Executive Director for nearly eight years.

Phil comes from a commercial background, having spent over 30 years in the complex telecommunications industry, focused on IT and business transformation.

He chairs the Board meetings, Board Development and sits on the regional governance. Phil attends Remuneration and Finance committees as a standing member.

Ginny Edwards, Vice Chair and Freedom to speak up Guardian

Picture of Ginny Edwards, Vice Chair and Freedom to Speak up GuardianGinny joined the trust in 2015 and sits as a Non-Executive Director on the Board and is the lead for Freedom to Speak Up. She is also a corporate trustee for Raise, the charity for West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

Ginny is a registered nurse, and has been working within the NHS and the healthcare industry since 1975.

She's held a number of Director-level positions in organisations and at national level.

She also chairs the Patient and Staff Experience committee, is a member of the Clinical Outcomes and Effectiveness committee, a reserve member for the Finance committee and is the deputy chair of Peace Hospice Care.

Follow Ginny Edwards on Twitter: @Edwards1Ginny

John Brougham, Non-Executive Director

Picture of John Brougham, Non-Executive DirectorJohn Brougham has 40 years’ experience of working in large and small businesses, mainly in the technology and telecoms sectors, including 22 years at BT (British Telecom) where he was a Divisional Finance Director.

He has served as a Non-Executive Director on the Boards of both private and public limited companies, and has also been Audit Committee Chair.

Currently John is an independent Non-Executive Director of two companies, Technetix Ltd and eg solutions plc, where he is also Chair of the Audit Committee.

Paul Cartwright, Non-Executive Director

Picture of Paul Cartwright, Non-Executive DirectorPaul worked for Accenture (management consultants) for more than 20 years, where he specialised in finance, risk management and regulation.

Paul is a Trustee of The Church Lands, a charity that supports the running of three parish churches in St Albans and the Independent Examiner of the Dominic Simpson Memorial trust, a charity which aims to improve education opportunities for women in the Middle East.

In addition, Paul volunteers for Open Door St Albans, a charity that supports homeless people in and around the city.

Natalie Edwards, Associate Non-Executive Director

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Jonathan Rennison, Non-Executive Director (Senior Independent Director)

Picture of Jonathan Rennison, Non-Executive DirectorJonathan Rennison has over 20 years’ experience of working in the education, voluntary and public sectors. He currently runs an organisation which provides coaching for private businesses, as well as public sector and voluntary organisations and his expertise lies in helping leadership teams to manage change and development.

Jonathan has held a number of senior positions, including as Director of Development and Communications at Zinc Arts, an arts and education charity.

Chief Executive and Executive Directors

Christine Allen, Chief Executive

Picture of Christine Allen, Chief ExecutiveAppointed chief executive in March 2019. Christine has worked for the NHS for over 30 years, most recently as chief executive at James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation trust.

Prior to that, she has held various board level roles at Northampton General, including acting chief executive, chief operating officer and Director of strategy.

She has also led service transformation and held senior positions in business development and IT in her NHS career.

Helen Brown, Deputy Chief Executive

Picture of Helen Brown, Deputy Chief ExecutiveHelen has an in depth understanding of the NHS developed over a 20-year career in North and East London. She Joined West Hertfordshire Hospitals as Director of Transformation in September 2014.

She has worked in both provider and commissioning organisations, with a focus on community and integrated care service development and major service change.

Helen’s role is to ensure that West Hertfordshire Hospitals has a clear approach to delivering and sustaining transformational change so that the trust, working closely with its patients and partners, is able to improve continuously the quality, responsiveness and sustainability of its services

Michael van der Watt, Chief Medical Officer

Picture of Michael Van der Watt, Medical DirectorMichael van der Watt has worked within the trust for 13 years, as a Consultant Cardiologist in addition to his most recent role as the Divisional Director of Medicine. He initially qualified in Cape Town, South Africa, and specialised in internal medicine at Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town.

Michael immigrated to the UK in 1995 to specialise in cardiology, and has developed his particular interests in interventional cardiology, echocardiography, and pacemaker implantation.

Michael was appointed as the Trust's Medical Director in April 2013. His responsibilities will include providing strong management and leadership towards the patients' experience, and maintaining the Trust's commitment to safe and efficient patient care.

Follow Michael van der Watt on Twitter: @Mikevanderwatt

Don Richards, Chief Financial Officer

Picture of Don Richards, Chief Financial OfficerDon joined the trust at the end of June 2014 having previously been Director of Finance for Bedford Hospital NHS trust.

After working as a biochemist with ICI pharmaceuticals, Don worked as an auditor and consultant with the then Coopers and Lybrand.

He returned to the NHS, first at St Mary’s Hospital NHS trust and then built over 20 years’ experience in Director roles for a number of NHS organisations, mostly in the acute sector but also including Central London Community Healthcare.

Don has been a member of the NHS bank technical support team, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy Health Panel and the Healthcare Financial Management Association Board.

Follow Don Richards on Twitter: @DonRichardsNHS

Tracey Carter, Chief Nurse and Director of Infection Prevention and Control

Picture of Tracey Carter, Chief Nurse & Director of Infection Prevention and ControlTracey has over 25 years' experience as a nurse and has held several senior positions - most recently as deputy chief Nurse at Barts Health.

She's proud to be a nurse as she feels it is the best job in the world, and states that it's a privilege to get up and be one every day.

She is passionate about ensuring high standards of care to improve the patient experience and believes that listening to staff, patients and carers and working with the communities we serve is key to understanding this.

Tracey chairs a number of meetings, including Safeguarding and Infection Prevention and Control, and also sits on several committees.

Follow Tracey Carter on Twitter: @CarterTreacle

Sally Tucker, Chief Operating Officer

Picture of Sally Tucker, Chief Operating OfficerAppointed in November 2016, Sally is responsible for the day to day operational management of the trust through clinical and general management coordination.

She aims to achieve the delivery of all national and local organisational targets through the management and continuous quality improvement of clinical services. Sally has worked extensively within the NHS for over 35 years, initially joining as a management trainee.

Her previous roles include deputy mental health services manager and deputy Director of strategy and corporate services.

She is also a member of many committees, including the Finance and Investment Committee and Patient and Staff Experience Committee.

Follow Sally on Twitter: @westherts_coo

Paul da Gama, Chief People Officer

Picture of Paul da Gama, Chief people officerPaul began his career as a teacher, working in Japan and Poland. He then joined the banking group, HSBC, as a graduate trainee where he worked for 10 years in a variety of roles including being a member of the team that helped set up their internet banking service.

He joined Royal Mail Group in 2003 where he held a variety of different senior HR roles and was actively involved in helping to raise millions of pounds for a variety of national charities.

He joined the NHS in 2012 as Director for Human Resources at Hinchingbrooke Hospital and joined West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS trust in summer 2014 where his main responsibilities are to ensure that the trust has a well resourced, well trained and engaged workforce.

Paul Bannister, Chief Information Officer

Picture of Paul Bannister, Interim Chief Information OfficerPaul joined the trust as interim chief information officer in January 2019. Paul is a qualified accountant with 15 years' NHS experience and brings extensive experience in commissioning, financial and acute contract management to his current role.

He has held previous roles at North East London Commissioning Support Unit (NELCSU) as Director of contracting and analytics and as chief operating officer, building the largest and most successful commissioning support unit in England.

Paddy Hennessy, Director of Environment

Picture of Paddy Hennessy, Director of EnviromentPaddy joined the NHS in 2009, having previously worked in the construction industry in Ireland where he focused on infrastructure and healthcare projects. He then spent five years at North Middlesex Hospital delivering a new PFI Hospital, major retained estate reconfiguration and a new women and children’s unit.

Paddy joined West Herts in 2014 and has previously held posts including Head of Engineering and Associate Director of Environment. In November 2017, he was appointed as Director of Environment.

Paddy prides himself on being a passionate estates and facilities professional who always endeavours to deliver the best possible environment for all our patients, staff and visitors.

Louise Halfpenny, Director of Communications

Picture of Louise Halfpenny, Communications DirectorLouise joined the trust in April 2016. She has more than a decade’s experience leading the communications function in acute trusts.

Her career highlights include securing Channel 4’s ‘24 Hours in A&E’ whilst at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation trust. Louise put her skills from having been a journalist (across print and broadcast at a local, regional and national level) to good use when successfully handling media relations during a high profile inquest.

She has managed complex public consultations about NHS services and was part of an award-winning communications team whilst working for a humanitarian aid agency.

Fran Gertler, Director of Integrated Care

Picture of Fran Gertler - Director of Integrated CareFran joined the trust in February 2017 after six years with the Royal Free London NHS Foundation trust where she had the opportunity to work across health and social care to provide local system change.

Prior to this she has held various clinical and managerial positions in community trusts in west and north London and is passionate about developing services that cross traditional organisational boundaries.

Fran's role is to work with our local partners to develop truly integrated, high quality, sustainable services that give patients the best possible experience and outcomes.

Sean Gilchrist, Director of Digital Transformation

Picture of Sean Gilchrist, Director of Digital TransformationAwaiting profile.

Rodney Pindai, Director of Contracts, Efficiency and Commercial Developments

Picture of Rodney Pindai, Director of contracts, Efficiency and Commercial DevelopmentsAwaiting profile.

Jane Shentall, Director of Performance

Picture of Jane Shentall - Director of PerformanceJane has been a Director at the trust since 2005. Her core responsibilities include the translation of the organisationís performance across a wide range of key indicators, analysing data and linking this to the way we provide care to our patients. She oversees the production of the trustís integrated performance report, which brings information from ward to board, and supports the development of improvement and recovery plans.

Jane previously worked at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, as well as holding other roles within the trust. She chairs the Patient Access Meeting, and is a member of other committees including the Clinical Outcomes and Effectiveness Committee and the RTT Programme Board.

Follow Jane on Twitter: @PerformanceWHHT

Divisional Director for Women's and Children's Services - currently vacant

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Dr Rachel Hoey, Director for Emergency Medicine

Picture of Dr Rachel Hoey, Director for Emergency MedicineRachel was appointed Director for emergency medicine in 2017. She is responsible for the directorate of emergency medicine which focuses on urgent and emergency care (for the first 24 hours) within the trust. The directorate covers the Childrenís and Adultís Emergency Departments, the Acute Admissions Unit, the Ambulatory Care Unit, the Minor Injuries Unit at St Albans City Hospital and the Urgent Treatment Centre at Hemel Hempstead Hospital.

Rachel worked as an emergency medical consultant in 2005, before becoming clinical Director of emergency medicine in 2017, assuming her current role in December of that year. She is also a member of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine Strategic Design and Configuration Committee.

Follow Rachel on Twitter: @RachelHoey1

Dr Andrew Barlow, Divisional Director for Medicine

Picture of Dr Andrew Barlow, Divisional Director for MedicineAndrew has been in his current role since 2017, and also works as a consultant respiratory physician (having done so since 2005).

He holds clinical, financial and operational responsibility for Women's and Children's Services within the trust, which includes the Maternity department and Children's Emergency Department.

Previously he has been the clinical lead for respiratory medicine, the STP chair for lung cancer, clinical Director for medicine and clinical Director for cancer services.

Follow Andrew on Twitter: @AndyatFrogmore

Jeremy Livingstone, Divisional Director for Surgery, Anaesthetics and Cancer

Picture of Jeremy Livingstone, Divisional Director for Surgery, Anaesthetics and Cancer

Martin Keble, Divisional Director for Clinical Support Services

Picture of Martin Keble