The Council of Governors at Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is made up of 28 Governors, all of whom can be contacted by emailing corporate.governance@mcht.nhs.uk

Our Council of Governors is made up of the following constituencies:

  • Public Governors
  • Partner Governors
  • Staff Governors

Public Governors:

Crewe & South Cheshire

John Bache OBE.jpgJohn qu​​​​​​​alified from Liverpool Medical School in 1974 and subsequently trained in Nottingham, Cambridge, Liverpool, and Birmingham. He was appointed a Consultant in Accident and Emergency at Leighton Hospital in 1983 and continued in that role for 26 years. From 1998 to 2005, he also worked for one or two days per week as Associate/Deputy Postgraduate Dean in Liverpool, his main responsibility being to ensure that senior trainees in all specialities (apart from General Practice) were progressing satisfactorily, taking remedial action as necessary.

John took early retirement in 2009 in order to pursue his career as a magistrate. 

John was born in Lancashire but has lived in Cheshire since 1983 and was delighted to be appointed as a Public Governor, representing Crewe and South Cheshire. He applied to be a Governor as he has always been dedicated to the NHS but is very concerned about the challenges it now faces. 

Stephen Duff.jpgStephen moved from London in 1989 and worked at Fison's Pharmaceuticals in Holmes Chapel in the process Development section. He left to begin working for the Vegetarian Society in Altrincham as a Campaigns Assistant and later a member of the Governing Body. After three years he left to study at Liverpool Hope University completing a postgraduate certificate in education. Stephen then worked as a teacher in Liverpool and after several years left to take up an appointment at a school in Newcastle Under Lyme as a Head of Department. After three years he was appointed as Head of Faculty at Coppenhall High School Crewe. Steve worked at Coppenhall for seven years latterly as an Assistant Head. During this time Steve was involved is starting a community resource shop, running community sessions including community involvement days and was a Governor at a local Primary. Stephen then was appointed as Deputy head at a Northwich High School. During his time, he was diagnosed with MS and after several years he retired due to ill health. Since retiring from education Stephen has been volunteering at Hopes and Beams at charity in Crewe that works with children with special needs and coaches the GB Rhythmic Olympics Squad for the Special Olympics. They run many activities including an Alzheimer’s support group and a very successful community Restaurant. Stephen helped to restart the South Cheshire Branch of the MS Society, Stephen maintains contact with the Society and is a part of the Society’s Research Network. Stephen is passionate about the NHS and feels privileged to represent Crewe and South Cheshire as a Public Governor.

Pat Griffiths-Weston.jpgPrior t​​​​​​​o her retirement, Pat worked with Cheshire County Council, followed by Cheshire East Council.

Pat was a Deputy Head Teacher, Acting Head Teacher and latterly an Early Years Consultant.

At the same time, she worked as a Moderator for Standard Assessment Tasks [SATS] with the Cheshire Unit of Performance and Assessment and was an Affiliate member of the Chartered Institute of Education and Assessment.

Pat also has a Pharmacy qualification.

The role of Public Governor representing the constituents of Crewe and South Cheshire interests Pat and excites her as it affords the opportunity to engage with the constituents she represents, enabling her to raise any concerns and positive comments to the Trust about their experiences of their treatment at the hospital.

The concerns and positive comments help to monitor, evaluate and ensure continuous improvement in the already high-quality standards of care, allowing positive patient experiences and outcomes within the Trust.

Pat feels privileged to be involved. Pat lives in Wistaston, Crewe.

Samantha James.jpgSam is a passionate advocate for health equity and innovation, committed to making a positive impact on the health and well-being of the community. With strong ties to Crewe and South Cheshire, Sam currently works as Deputy CEO of Community & Voluntary Services Cheshire East, supporting non-profit organisations with limited resources in a variety of ways.

Currently studying for a master's degree in Social Innovation with a research focus on the voluntary sector's role in creating health equity, Sam has a deep understanding of the complex barriers to health equity.

Sam is committed to ensuring that everyone in the community has access to high-quality healthcare, and that the Trust is transparent, accountable, and inclusive. They believe that by sharing insights with the wider community, the complexities of the health system can be made more accessible to all stakeholders and is committed to working with the Trust and the wider community to achieve shared goals of improving health and well-being for all.

Kevan Larkin.jpgKevan was a prison officer for 20 years and retired from the service in 1997.

At this point he decided to become involved in the Health Service; early participation was with the PCT engagement team with involvement in different activities with local groups and eventually the development of GP Surgeries, Patient Participation Groups. He also became involved in some project groups at Leighton Hospital the first being the Treatment Centre project. He has also worked on a number of activities with the communications team and the infection control committee.

Kevan then moved on to be Cheshire East representative on the Future North West forum on ageing; it was one of nine regional forums across England supported by the coalition Government. Of course this opened the opportunity to become involved with NHS England, who was striving to make improvements in health outcomes of older people.

I look forward to making a contribution as best I can for both the hospital and its patients.

Valerie Pickford.jpgAfter spending 4 years teaching Mathematics, Valerie joined a national examination board based at Manchester University, where she was involved in syllabus development, liaising with schools, and question paper production. Valerie moved on to study for a personnel degree, becoming the Board’s Senior Personnel Officer. When she retired early, Valerie wanted to become involved with the NHS, so became a Volunteer with Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (MCHFT) in 2010, serving mostly on committees of different types. As part of her wider volunteer role, from January to May 2021, she was a Volunteer at the COVID Vaccination Centre at Leighton.

For the past 6 years, Valerie has been the Patient Representative on the Surgery and Cancer Divisional Board. Additionally, in 2019, she became a Public Governor for Patients and Carers. She is the Chair of the Nantwich Health Centre Patient Panel and, through that, became involved with the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and various groups relating to the Nantwich and Rural Care Community. She was involved in the early stages of the Self Care development material and became a CCG Self Care Champion.

Outside the above voluntary roles in the NHS, Valerie has been involved for 9 years as a parish councillor and latterly was Chair of the Parish Council.

For the past 6 years, she has opened her garden for the National Garden Scheme, which supports medical charities.

Dr Robert Pugh.jpgB.A. Music (Hons)(Open) M.B.ChB. (Leeds), FRCP London, FRCPCH

Bob is originally from Bolsover in North Derbyshire and graduated in medicine at Leeds University in 1970. He specialised in Paediatric medicine and after training in Glasgow and Liverpool, came as only the second paediatric consultant to Leighton hospital in November 1978.

During his years as a consultant, Bob developed a high level of understanding of how care is delivered in a secondary care setting across clinical disciplines and in multi-agency working at local, regional and national levels in the fields of child and adolescent neuro-disability, safeguarding and palliative care. Bob’s professional interests were particularly the care of children with long term and life limiting conditions, and medical education. Bob retired from clinical duties in 2008 and worked in undergraduate and postgraduate medicine for a further 5 years on a part-time basis.

Since retirement, Bob has worked as a Care Quality Commission (CQC) review team member, clinical service reviewer for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and others, a clinical teacher, medical student academic adviser and as a patient and carer for family and friends. He continued with a leadership role in projects when he was a Trustee of St Luke’s Hospice until 2019, and for Metabolic Support UK.

Bob is an active amateur musician, currently studying for an M.A (Music) with the Open University.

Terry Whalley.jpgTerry grew up near Nantwich and has lived there on and off for much of the last 50 years, finally settling back into the area in 2013 with his partner and their 2 cocker spaniels, Stan and Ollie.

Terry’s working life has been spent helping organisations manage complex change; working with companies in banking, insurance, utilities and since around 2009, Health. Having worked with the NHS since 2014, Terry has been involved with many CCGs and hospital trusts across Cheshire, Merseyside, the Black Country and more recently in Lancashire & South Cumbria. During the pandemic, Terry led the establishment of Covid-19 testing and vaccine services across Cheshire & Merseyside. As well as continuing to work independently, Terry is Chair of Governors at a small rural primary school.

When not working, Terry enjoys walking and running, cooking at home and going on motorhome adventures with his partner and dogs.

Passionate about Health & Wellbeing, and having seen his parents and all his family use Leighton Hospital at various times over the last 50 years, Terry is delighted to have been appointed to serve as a governor at Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in the recent 2023 election, and looks forward to helping all the fantastic people who work within the Trust in whatever way he can as a governor”

Northwich and Region

Dr Katherine Birch.jpgKatheri​​​​​​​ne has lived and worked in the Cheshire and Merseyside area for over 25 years and has been a governor at Mid Cheshire for almost 8 years. As a parent with children and grandchildren who are Mid Cheshire’s patients, Katherine is passionate about ensuring that everyone has the best possible access to expert clinical care and support locally.

Katherine’s work alongside other Governors enables her to make sure that Governor’s primary focus is on the quality of care that patients receive. In addition, especially given the challenges facing the NHS as a result of the Covid pandemic and wider pressures, other key areas that the governors focus on are those of staff wellbeing and support and partnership working between different health and care organisations.

Katherine has spent the past 30 years working either in the NHS or in Higher Education and is currently working at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool in a role which focuses on learning, education and career development.     

Chris Koral.jpgAs someone who has benefited as a patient at both Leighton Hospital and Victoria Infirmary, Chris hopes to use his skills and experience to help the Trust make full use of its facilities and resources to best serve the health and wellbeing needs of its staff and patients.

Married with two grown-up children, Chris knows mid-Cheshire very well having lived in the Northwich area all of his life, other than short spells studying Economics at University and working in London and Chicago.

After leaving University, Chris enjoyed a long career in economic development and investment. This included 10 years as Cheshire Area Manager for the North West Regional Development Agency investing in land development and community regeneration projects across Cheshire and more recently at the University of Chester project managing the European-funded Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth Programme.

Chris is experienced in the work of Governing bodies, having served as Chair of Trustees of Cheshire Wildlife Trust from 2012 to 2018 and as a Governor at Weaverham High School from 2005 to 2021, roles that proved to be both challenging and rewarding.

Chris’ hobbies and interests include watching local sport, playing crown green bowls and enjoying Cheshire’s natural environment.

Pat Psaila.jpgPat was​​​​​​​ born and grew up in Gibraltar, so is bilingual in English and Spanish.  She has lived in the UK for the past 52 years, 34 of those years in Cheshire. During her working life, her career progressed through various administrative and managerial positions where she gained diverse experience in all aspects of business administration.

She was elected as a Governor for Mid-Cheshire Hospitals Foundation Trust in 2014 and for 8 years has been serving on the Council of Governors, representing the interests of the public in the Northwich area.  She has seen many changes during this time and as further changes emerge, believes that it is important to continue to question and ensure that the interests of patients are at the forefront of any decision made.

As a mother of 4 and grandmother of 8, she really cares about the future of our NHS and of this Trust in particular. She strongly believes that when needed, we should all receive healthcare of a high quality, which is delivered safely, with dignity and respect. 

Mark Perry (Edited).jpg Mark was first elected as a Governor for Northwich, now known as Northwich and Region, constituency in 2017.

His passion for the NHS drove his motivation to become a Governor. This comes from having a family member who works within clinical services (not at the Mid-Cheshire Hospitals Foundation Trust) and experience being a patient at Leighton over an extended period.

Mark believes it is important that the voice of the people, who use the trust, is heard so that they receive the best healthcare services while recognising the constraints facing the Trust at times of considerable challenges and change.

In his professional career, Mark works in PR and communications and has experience working with a number of NHS Trusts and agencies.

As well as attending the Council of Governors, Mark sits on the Membership and Engagement Committee and is the governor representative on the monthly Because You Matter Awards’ panel which recognises, celebrates and showcases the fantastic achievements, hard-work and dedication of staff at the Trust.

Lewis, Gareth.jpg Gareth was born in South Wales but moved to Northwich as a baby. Educated locally he left school at 15 and joined Cheshire Police, working primarily in the east of the county. On retiring in 2008 he took a short break then started working for the then Cheshire County Council on the Road Safety Unit responsible for arranging cycle training for young people.

After a few years he moved to the Education Welfare department of the now Cheshire West and Chester Council as the Authority’s Child Licensing Officer ensuring the safeguarding of young people in employment, and engaged in TV, film, radio, stage and modelling work. He still carries out this role but recently on a part time basis.

Over the years he has been involved in the local Scout group, has been a Parish Councillor and a Primary and High School Governor.

Pomponio, Roberta.jpg Roberta's values are: inclusion, empowering people, accountability, wellbeing and effective communication. Roberta supports a collective approach to transforming lives through sport and physical activity and making active lives the social norm for everyone.

Roberta is originally from Italy and is therefore bilingual Italian-English but has worked and lived in Cheshire since 2000.

With previous experience in further education and the NHS Roberta currently works as a senior strategic manager for physical activity and mental health at Active Cheshire, a charity working across Cheshire & Warrington to connect the health and physical activity systems to improve health equality through physical activity.

Roberta is a Mental Health First Aid instructor and a Making Every Contact Count Lead Trainer. She volunteers as a trustee at CVS East Cheshire and an Enterprise Adviser with The Pledge for Greenbank School un Northwich.

Passionate about health and wellbeing, Roberta is delighted to have been appointed as a governor at Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and looks forward to helping the inspiring fantastic people who work within the Trust deliver healthcare of a high quality, which is delivered safely, with dignity and respect.

Cheshire Borders

Sue Johnson.jpgSue qualified from Manchester University in 1987 with a Batchelor of Education degree in Home Economics and was appointed as a teacher of food and textiles at Birches Head High School in Stoke-on-Trent. During her twenty-eight years there, she held various posts, including Head of Year, Head of Human Development and Head of Technology. As part of her role as Head of Human Development which encompassed being responsible for food technology, health and social Care, child development, sociology and psychology, Sue developed links with local health and social care providers. She spent the remaining four years of her teaching career working at Ruskin Community High School in Crewe having responsibility for the food curriculum within the Technology Department.

Sue took early retirement in January 2021, in order to care for her elderly parents. It was due to the complex health needs of her father in particular, which required her to liaise with several NHS Trusts that she learnt so much about the complexities of the NHS and the NHS Constitution.

Born in Lancashire, Sue has lived in Cheshire for most of her life and was delighted to be appointed as a Public Governor, representing Cheshire Borders. She applied to be a Governor because she is passionate about ensuring people receive safe, high-quality healthcare in a dignified and compassionate manner, whilst being mindful of the pressures on the NHS. Sue has training in emotional intelligence and is keen to support the Trust with the challenges which lie ahead.

Maureen Leverington.jpgMaureen has always been interested in health. She wanted to become a nurse in her teens and was accepted for this position. Unfortunately, events happened which meant she could not continue in her chosen profession but, to this day, she retains her interest in healthcare. When she studied music at university, Maureen also studied the psychology of health because health and music have a big connection and she gained a joint degree.

Maureen lives in Middlewich with her husband and has five children. She was very pleased to have been appointed a Governor some years ago. Her interests lie in talking to patients to ascertain that they are happy with the hospital, speaking to the staff and engaging with them, walking round the hospital noting how things are changing (hopefully for the better). She will always try to help anyone who feels they need help and welcomes contact with constituents.

Partnership Governors

s_sp_photo_1557845493.pngGina is a representative of Cheshire West and Chester Council. When she lived in Lancashire, she was a Non- Executive Director of the Royal Preston Hospital Trust. Since moving to Winsford in 2006, Gina has been part of the Winsford Primary Care Group and involved in the development of the group which involves a large number of partners associated with the care of residents in the town.

Gina served as a Councillor in South Ribble Borough Council from 1991 until 2005; she was Leader of the Council for part of that time.  She moved with her husband in 2006 and became a Winsford Town Councillor in 2009, serving two terms as Town Mayor in 2014-15 and 2018-19.

Gina has a daughter who is a CBT therapist and a granddaughter who is a midwife, so she has a close interest in the NHS. As a Cheshire West Councillor, she has been involved in the Council’s Adult and Children’s Social Care Commission which has been a great opportunity to hear how the users of services feel about the Council and partners working together to improve the way in which services are delivered. Gina is an advocate for her husband, who has Alzheimer’s, so it has been both a personal as well as a public role.

Hazel Faddes.jpg*BIO to follow*

Staff Governors

Vanessa Harratt.jpgVanessa has been a Nurse for 20 years and has enjoyed a variety of roles both in the private and public sector. She has an acute surgical background and critical care skills, which were called upon during the height of the pandemic in 2020.

Vanessa is a keen Nurse campaigner and GMB workplace organiser, but when she’s not working she loves to sing in The Nightingales Choir, and enjoys dancing ballet, tap and jazz most weeks.

She has recently accepted a role with the Health & Safety team, as one of our Moving & Handling Trainers at the Trust.

Dr Keith Malone.jpg*BIO to follow*

Rev John Stopford.jpgJohn and his wife have lived in the catchment area for Leighton Hospital for 40 years and have both received care from Leighton Hospital on more than one occasion. For more than ten years John has been a volunteer with the chaplaincy team at Leighton. He also assisted with the Covid 19 Vaccination programme.

John initially qualified in biomedical sciences working at Manchester University and Manchester Royal Infirmary and later The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and Seneca College Toronto. He returned to the UK in 1972 and since then has worked in the commercial world of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment in several Board level positions and for the last twenty years prior to his retirement as a consultant working with DfID, European Commission, World Bank and others, offering help primarily with healthcare and education issues internationally. Along the way John added a post graduate teaching qualification in higher and further education, an MBA and a PhD in Management Development.

Since his retirement in addition to his volunteer work at Leighton John has worked as an adviser and trainer for Citizens Advice Bureau in Cheshire and was for six years a Chaplain at St Luke’s Hospice. He was also a Trustee of The end of Life Partnership.

John continues to cover out of hours church of England Chaplaincy needs at Leighton as well as being non stipendiary curate to St Mary’s Whitegate and St Peter’s Little Budworth.

Fahrenholz, Jonathan.jpgJohnathan has worked as a nurse since 2018. During his career he has been exposed to multiple acute fields such as: Specialty and emergency surgery, general and emergency medicine. Throughout his time within nursing he has experienced multiple different settings and witnessed the challenges that each area faces. Through working in a variety of environments Johnathan has had the opportunity to discuss with front line staff members about improvements that they believe are needed and intends to advocate these concerns to increase efficiency of the trust.

Johnathan's goal is the empower staff members within the trust to be the best they can be with the ultimate goal of improving flow throughout the trust by utilising available resources. He hopes that focusing on this will improve patient experience and give staff members the tools required to progress and feel valued within the trust.

David Smith.jpgWhat I enjoy most about being a governor is being able to voice the opinions and challenges of staff at the highest level. I decided to become a governor because it provides me with an opportunity to make a difference. 

Sue Turnock-Rogers.jpgSue has over 14 years’ experience working in the NHS starting her journey in Cancer Services and then moving working across the NHS working for Stoke and Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, the Ambulance Service and has now joined Mid Cheshire Hospital in June 2021 as the Head of Contracts.

Her role allows her insight into the challenges facing the NHS, particularly Mid Cheshire Trust, and her close working with colleagues across the organisation highlights the impact not only on the service we deliver to our patients but also our staff. Sue is looking forward to working with fellow governors and hopes to help shape the future of Mid Cheshire Hospital with staff at the heart of its plans.

Julia Hudson.jpgJulia has been a Staff Governor since 2021, representing other professionally qualified clinical staff and currently serving as part of the Patient Information Group (PIG).

She qualified in physiotherapy, has MA in Health Service Studies and an MSc in Sports Injury. She has worked in both the UK and US in public, private and not for profit healthcare over the last 30 years.

Julia currently works within the Central Cheshire Integrated Care Partnership (CCICP) as a Community Physiotherapist alongside GPs, Nurses (District Nurses and Macmillan nurses,) and other therapy staff to support patients in their own homes.