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Your Trust Board

This page was last updated: May 10th, 2022

The Trust Board is made up of Non-Executive and Executive Directors who together are responsible for leading Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust. The Board brings together individuals from a variety of backgrounds and together they share corporate responsibility and accountability for all decisions that they collectively make.

The next Trust Board In Public meeting is on Thursday 7th July. This meeting will be held live via Microsoft Teams. Please use the following link to join:

We welcome questions from members of the public on any matter being considered by the Board. Written questions can be submitted to the Company Secretary up to 5pm on the working day prior to the Board meeting (email rcht.corporategovernance@nhs.net). Any such questions will be read out by the Chairwoman and a written response provided after the meeting – both will be reported in the minutes. Questions can also be submitted during the meeting using the Q&A function on Teams Live. The protocol for public questions is listed on the agenda.

The Board is responsible for the Trust’s overall performance and system of governance and control, which includes robust risk management, and therefore must seek and be provided with assurance on the effectiveness of the systems and processes in place for meeting the organisation’s strategic objectives. The Trust Board meets in public at least six times a year, in addition to the Annual Public Meeting, and anyone is welcome to attend. The Chair of the Trust Board is appointed by NHS Improvement and the Chair works with this organisation to appoint other members of the Trust Board.

The Board has a range of committees (statutory and non-statutory), chaired by non-executive directors, that have key roles in relation to audit, risk, quality, safety, finance, performance, workforce and the Trust’s charity. Each of the committees submits from the Chair of the Committee an assurance report to each public meeting of the Board (every two months), which outlines key issues considered and highlights any risks and/or areas of development that the Board needs to be apprised of. There is cross membership between Committees to support the connection between the business of key committees and also to seek to integrate assurance reporting where relevant.

Watch our previous Board Meeting in Public

Trust Board Meeting Dates

Our Board meets publicly six times a year and we welcome members of the public to join us.
Questions can be submitted in advance by emailing rcht.corporategovernance@nhs.net up until 5pm on the working day prior to the Board meeting.

Members of the Public will also be asked whether they wish to raise a question prior to the start of the meeting, and these will be recorded and provided to the Chairman of the Trust Board. The Chairman of the Trust Board may permit an oral question to be asked at the end of the meeting of the Trust Board without notice having been given.

Venues and times of Board meetings are all subject to amendment so, before attending a Board meeting, please check on the Trust’s website to ensure the date and/or venue has not changed or telephone 01872 256343.

All Trust board meeting will take place in the Knowledge Spa, unless otherwise stated.

All Trust Board meetings in Public will commence at 09:45 unless otherwise specified.

2021:

  • Thursday 4th November 2021

2022:

  • Thursday 6th January 2022
  • Thursday 3rd March 2022
  • Tuesday 29th March 2022
  • Thursday 5th May 2022
  • Thursday 7th July 2022
  • Thursday 1st September 2022
  • Thursday 22nd September 2022: 16.30 – 18.00 – Annual Public Meeting
  • Thursday 3rd November 2022

2023:

  • Thursday 5th January 2023
  • Thursday 2nd March 2023

Trust Board and Staff Members Declarations of Interest

“Trust Board Members Declarations of Interest are reported to every Trust Board meeting. A copy of the latest Declaration can be found with the Board meeting papers. The Trust also publishes the Register of Interests and Register of Gifts, Hospitality and Sponsorship for Trust staff. This keeps us in line with our Gifts, Hospitality, Sponsorship and Declarations of Interests Policy.

Trust Board Committees

Audit and Risk Assurance Committee

Chair: Sarah Newton, Non-Executive Director
The Audit & Risk Assurance Committee has oversight responsibilities and, where appropriate, facilitates and supports the attainment of effective internal control processes. It oversees the risk management system of the Trust. The Committee’s Terms of Reference map to the HMFA Audit Committee Handbook. Day to day responsibility for operational risk management is delegated to senior managers throughout the Trust and their responsibilities are set out in the Risk Management Strategy and Policy.

This committee meets at least five times a year.

Quality Assurance Committee

Chair: Ruth Allarton, Senior Independent Director
The Quality Assurance Committee is responsible for seeking assurance on behalf of the Board about quality, safety, patient experience and the Trust’s registration with the Care Quality Commission.

This committee meets monthly.

Finance and Performance Committee

Chair: Richard Stephenson, Vice-Chair of the Board, Non-Executive Director
The Finance and Performance Committee seeks assurance on behalf of the Board on the Trust’s financial management and organisational performance, business planning, estate and facilities management and digital infrastructure.

This committee meets monthly.

People and Organisational Development Committee

Chair: Adam Broome, Non-Executive Director
The People and Organisational Development Committee seeks assurance on behalf of the Board on all aspects of workforce and organisational development supporting the provision of safe, high quality, patient-centered care.

This committee meets at least 6 times a year.

Remuneration and Appointments Committee

Chair: Ruth Allarton, Senior Independent Director
The Remuneration and Appointments Committee seeks to identify and appoint candidates to fill all very senior manager (VSM) positions and to determine the remuneration and other conditions of service for VSMs. The Committee will on occasion review the circumstances of other staff outside of VSM’s in line with its Terms of Reference. The Committee is also responsible for ensuring there is a robust fit and proper persons policy for the Board of Directors and for reviewing the overall composition and skills mix of the Board.

This committee meets at least three times per year.

Charitable Funds Committee

Chair: Sarah Newton, Non-Executive Director
The Trust is the sole Corporate Trustee of Royal Cornwall Hospitals Charity and, through its Charitable Funds Committee, ensures that effective structures and systems are in place to manage those charitable funds in accordance with statutory and other legal requirements and best practice as required by the Charity Commission.

This committee meets at least 6 times a year.

Trust Board members
Dr Mairi Mclean

Dr Mairi Mclean BA Hons, MA, CQSW, DBA. Chairwoman

Voting Member

Dr Mairi Mclean holds professional social work and leadership qualifications and has led health and social care services for over 30 years. Mairi has wide social care, public health, housing, and private sector board level experience, has worked as CEO in two local authorities in England, and is currently the Chairwoman of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust.

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Her doctoral research in people leadership designed and tested new ways of leading and following in high performing teams and organisations. This methodology she termed ‘Equivalent Leadership’. She further developed innovative and cost-effective approaches to performance and disciplinary management, which enable organisations and businesses to retain good staff and learn from mistakes.

Mairi has been a member of the RCHT Board for six years and is now proud and privileged to lead it. Working to mitigate health inequalities and the factors that lead to ill health is a passion, while ensuring the right care closest to people’s own safe homes is paramount. It is her passion to make vulnerable people’s lives the best they can be, and to enable the people who deliver services to have well supported work environments that care about their wellbeing.

Tony Chambers

Steve Williamson – Chief Executive

Voting Member

Steve has significant executive experience leading hospital and health services and has held senior roles in hospitals in Portsmouth, Southampton, South Tyneside and Australia. His most recent appointment was Chief Executive of Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service in Australia, a role he held for 5 years. In this role he was responsible for 12 hospitals and community health services across a region of 110,000 km2.

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In Central Queensland Steve led the establishment of an innovative regional medical school education program and led the development of the region’s 10,000 lives program to address underlying health inequities.

Steve is passionate about delivering great quality regional and rural healthcare close to home and in working in partnership to achieve great outcomes. He has significant NHS senior leadership experience including his roles as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive at South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust. Steve also worked at a senior level at University Hospitals Southampton NHS Foundation Trust where he was responsible for regional specialist cardiac surgery, neurosurgery, major trauma centre and other specialist services.

Non-executive members
Ruth Allarton

Ruth Allarton
Non-Executive Director

Voting Member

Ruth joined the RCHT Board in October 2018 as an Associate Non-Executive Director and in April 2021 was appointed as Non-Executive Director. Ruth is the Chair of the Quality Assurance Committee and also the Senior Independent Director.

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Having been a regular visitor to Cornwall all her life, Ruth Allarton has held roles as Head of Department of Allied Health Professions at Sheffield Hallam University since 2009 and Partner Governor at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospital Foundation Trust since 2012. More recently Ruth held an Associate Non-Executive role where she has used her allied health professions knowledge to bring an additional perspective to decision making and strategic planning.
Adam Broome

Adam Broome
Non-Executive Director

Voting Member

Adam Broome re-joined the Board in November 2020, having previously been a Non-Executive Director from 2014 to 2016 and is the Chair of the People and Organisational Development Committee.

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Adam has extensive experience at a strategic level across the public sector having been a Director for Plymouth City Council and for the Nursing and Midwifery Council, and an Associate Director for the Audit Commission. He is at present self-employed, currently providing coaching, training and financial briefings and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), currently sitting on the CIPFA South west Council.
Nina Khaira

Nina Khaira
Non-Executive Director

Voting Member

Nina joined the Trust Board as an Associate Non-Executive Director in June 2021. Nina is a registered dentist who has been providing care within Cornwall since 2003.

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Her experience is mainly patient-centred but also includes academia, business strategy and team-building. She is interested in systems leadership and holistic systems thinking for the local population, especially health inequalities.
Sarah Newton

Sarah Newton
Non-Executive Director

Voting Member

Sarah is the Chair of the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee and the Chair of the Charitable Funds Committee. Sarah joined the Trust in March 2020 and has extensive experience in the public, business and voluntary sectors. She has held several leadership…

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and change management roles, most recently as an elected Member of Parliament and Minister at the Department for Work and Pensions and the Home Office.

Sarah has 30 years’ experience of strategic planning, reputation management, innovation with a focus on sustainability and inclusion.

Sarah was the Director of the ILC -UK a ‘think and do’ tank tackling demographic change and Director with responsibility for fundraising and marketing at Age Concern – now Age UK. Sarah also has 10 years’ experience in financial services. She worked as Marketing and New Business Development Directors for American Express Europe, at Citibank and on the Board of Age Concern Enterprises.

Richard Stephenson

Richard Stephenson
Non-Executive Director

Voting Member

Richard is the Vice-Chair of the Board and the Chair of the Finance & Performance Committee. Having started his career as a physiotherapist, Richard spent over 30 years in higher education holding executive leadership positions…

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as Dean of Faculty (Health) in two institutions, pro vice-chancellor, and then as deputy vice-chancellor at both the universities of Plymouth and Salford. He has held a number of director and trustee roles, and served several national and regional bodies. He joined the Trust as Non-Executive director in February 2020 and is Emeritus Professor at the University of Salford.
Picture of Isobel Down

Isobel Down
Non-Executive Director

Voting Member

Isobel has many years’ experience working as a leadership consultant and executive coach to health and care organisations and systems within the UK.

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Following an early career as a systems analyst in the City of London, Isobel joined the NHS in the South West of England, working within a variety of primary and secondary care settings, before moving into the field of HR and OD as a Director.

Since 2003 Isobel has worked independently as a consultant and coach, with an extensive client base from within the health and care sector. She has a strong track record of the design and delivery of medical, nursing and managerial leadership development programmes within the UK
She holds post graduate qualifications in health management and Executive Coaching, and a Masters’ degree in Organisational Consulting from Middlesex University, on behalf of Ashridge Business School.

In recent years Isobel has built significant consulting expertise in working with complex systems and is currently working with leaders within statutory and third sector organisations and partnerships to support the integration of health and care within local systems. She is an Associate consultant with the Kings Fund, and with the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management.
Isobel has lived in Cornwall since the 1980s.

Associate Non-Executive Directors (Non Voting Members)
Richard Smith

Richard Smith
Associate Non-Executive Director

Non Voting Member

Richard joined the Board as an in March 2019. He is inaugural Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor for the University of Exeter Medical School…

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and Professor of Health Economics. He was previously at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where he served as Head of the Department of Global Health & Development from 2008-2011, and as Dean of the Faculty of Public Health & Policy from 2011-2018.
Jane Wills

Jane Wills
Associate Non-Executive Director

Non Voting Member

Jane joined the Trust Board as an Associate Non -Executive Director in June 2021. She is a Professor of Health Promotion at London South Bank…

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University where she has also held leadership roles as Director of Research and Enterprise and of the Centre for Improvement and Innovation in Health and Social Care. She is currently co-investigator of a centre evaluating public health innovations across local government (PHIRST). Recent work has been with several NHS Trusts investigating workplace health. She is a long time visitor to Cornwall from childhood and has lived here for the past fifteen years.
Executive Members (Voting)
Kim O’Keeffe

Kim O’Keeffe
Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions

Voting Member

Kim is a passionate and highly visible professional leader, with extensive strategic and operational experience at a senior management level.

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Her experience is from different health care systems both here in the UK and South Africa. She began nurse training at Addington Hospital, a large provincial hospital in Durban, South Africa in 1981. She went on to complete her mental health training at Townhill Hospital in Pietermaritzburg, Natal South Africa.

Kim returned to the UK in 1999 undertaking various roles within the Dudley Group of Hospitals and went on to complete her MSc Professional Health Care Studies at Wolverhampton University in 2006.

Kim is passionate about non-medical work force development / leadership and engendering a ‘just culture’ work place climate. Evidenced based practice ensures patients receive patient centred quality care and this is further supported by Kim’s role as an Honorary Associate Professor of Nursing, University of Plymouth.
Kim took on her joint role with CFT in late 2019 and since May 2020 is also Deputy Chief Executive at RCHT.

Dr Allister Grant

Dr Allister Grant
Medical Director

Voting Member

Allister joined the Trust on 1 November 2019 and brings his experience in medical management, governance and quality, as well as extensive…

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working with health and care partners and patient groups. As well as being part of the RCHT Board, Allister will also be part of our clinical team working alongside colleagues in Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

A Consultant Hepatologist by background, Allister joined the Trust following an appointment at University Hospitals of Leicester. He spent 5 years as Head of the Liver and Gastro-intestinal Unit: a service he has helped develop since joining as the hospitals’ first hepatologist 15 years ago. Allister was also the Clinical Director/Medical Director for the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland NHS Alliance. This is a novel partnership of providers and commissioners in Leicestershire with a remit to transform services and deliver care closer to home for Leicestershire patients.

Karl Simkins

Karl Simkins
Director of Finance

Voting Member

Karl Simkins, is an experienced Executive joining the Trust in July 2010, having previously undertaken senior finance and Director of Finance…

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roles in Commissioning and Provider organisations across the West and East Midlands. Before joining the Trust Karl was Director of Finance at NHS Leicester County and Rutland – one of the largest Primary Care Trusts in the country at that time. Karl has been on secondment as our Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Health & Care Partnership System Director of Finance. He returned directly to the Trust in April as Strategic Financial Advisor, and resumed his substantive role as at December 2020.
Susan Bracefield

Susan Bracefield
Chief Operating Officer

Voting Member

Susan took on the role of Director of Operations in February 2019 and was appointed substantively in April 2019. She was formerly…

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the Deputy Director of Operations, having joined RCHT in March 2018. A nurse by background, Susan has broad experience of leadership roles in primary and secondary care providers as well as with NHS England. Her Chief Operating Officer role was confirmed in May 2020.
Executive Directors In Attendance at Board
Thom Lafferty

Thom Lafferty
Director of Strategy and Performance

In attendance

Thomas was appointed Director of Strategy and Performance in October 2018 having joined the Trust as Director of Corporate Affairs…

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in January 2017. He was previously Director of Corporate and Legal Affairs at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Prior to that, Thomas has held similar roles at other NHS Acute Trusts and has developed an expertise with regard to legal and governance matters within healthcare.

Bernadette George

Bernadette George
Director of Integrated Governance

In attendance

Bernadette joined RCHT in June 2018 having previously been Head of Safety Risk and Patient Experience at Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust.

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She was instrumental in the development of RCHT’s ward accreditation programme – ASPIRE. She brings extensive experience of working in the hospital and health care industry, including change management, quality improvement, patient safety and performance management.
Kelvyn Hipperson

Kelvyn Hipperson
Joint Chief Information Officer (RCHT +CFT)

In attendance

Kelvyn Hipperson joined the RCHT Board in Jan 2019 taking on a dual role as Chief Information Officer across Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust…

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and Cornwall Partnership Foundation NHS Trust. Kelvyn worked in senior technology delivery roles in both the private sector and civil service prior to joining the NHS. He is a Chartered Engineer, Fellow of the Institution of Engineering & Technology and Member of the British Computer Society.
Alison Thorne-Henderson

Alison Thorne-Henderson
Interim Director of People and Organisational Development

In attendance

Alison is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors and Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

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She spent her early career in the private sector working for large retail companies before moving to TV/Radio broadcasting/ Internet and IT. Alison has worked as a HR Director within the acute NHS sector during which time she became the Chair for the HR network of the Acute University Hospitals. Alison also has been a Chief Operating Officer within palliative care and Executive HR Director for a University and HR Director in Residential/Domiciliary care. Alison has a passion for inclusion and customer service.

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