Meet our Board Members
Our Board of Directors provide leadership and help drive overall trust performance, ensuring accountability to Governors and our members.
The Board is legally responsible for the strategic and day-to-day operational management of the Trust, our policies and our services. It maintains a scheme of delegation giving authority to Directors and others within certain limits to carry out actions required under financial procedures and the Mental Health Act.
Our Board Directors
Ruth FitzJohn, DL
Ruth has been our Chair since 1 April 2013, and also chairs our Council of Governors and the Appointments and Terms of Service Committee. For the previous six years she was Chair of NHS Gloucestershire and during 2011, 2012 and 2013, was also Chair of NHS Swindon.
Ruth had a successful, international career in IT management and strategic planning before joining the NHS where she has gained considerable experience as Vice Chair of the East Gloucestershire NHS Trust then Chair of the ‘3 Star’ Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Primary Care Trust.
Ruth was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Gloucestershire in September 2013.
Shaun has over 37 years’ experience in the NHS having trained as a Registered Mental Health Nurse and moved into management in 1990.
He brings a passion for providing services that are responsive to service users and carers and has significant experience in both the commissioning and provision of mental health, learning disability and substance misuse services, having led mental health services in South Warwickshire for a number of years.
He is the current Chair of the NHS Confederation Mental Health Network, a Trustee and Board member of the NHS Confederation, a member of the NHS Confederation National Policy Forum, a member of the NHS Confederation Audit Committee and Chair of the South West Strategic Health Authority Clinical Faculty for Improving Safety in Mental Health
Dr Christopher Fear
Chris was appointed to the role of Medical Director in 2015 and combines this with his role as Caldicott Guardian and Consultant Psychiatrist in General Adult Psychiatry. He has recently worked, as Associate Medical Director, in both Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. Chris trained in North Wales and Birmingham, spending three years as a Research Fellow with the University of Wales, and was appointed as a consultant in Gloucester in 1996. His clinical and research interests include delusional disorders, OCD, factitious illness and service models.
Chris is the Responsible Officer for doctors within our Trust, reporting to NHS England. He has recently chaired the South West Executive Committee for the Royal College of Psychiatrists and served nationally on its Council and Board of Trustees. He has been a Trustee for Gloucestershire Counselling Service and been Chair of the Board of Governors of a local state primary school.
Chris’s principal other interest is the collection and study of Palaeozoic fish fossils.
Director of Service Delivery
Colin has 36 years’ NHS Experience. He is a professionally qualified Chartered Engineer. For the last 22 years he has held Board level posts in a number of NHS Organisations. He has experience of commissioning services at a PCT and Regional level as well as operationally directing services at a provider level.
He has experience of establishing and running a successful NHS Shared Service. He was Director of Mental Health Services in Coventry from 2002 and Chief Operating Officer of the Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust from 2006 until joining ²gether in 2009.
Director of Quality
Marie is a mental health nurse with over 30 years’ experience. She has worked in adult and children services across provider organisations as well as within specialised commissioning. The majority of her working life she has lived and worked in the West Midlands and had opportunities working in regional posts developing evidence based practice as well as service improvement work within the National Institute of Mental Health in England.
Marie has worked in Service Director roles managing large scale Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and more recently been Deputy Director of Nursing and Operations within a community trust in Liverpool. She is committed to improving services through engagement with service users and their families as well as active and effective engagement with all staff. She has a passion for involving families in services as well as an interest in parental mental health and child welfare.
Director of Finance and Commerce
Andrew has 35 years of experience working in the NHS and is a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants (FCCA). For over the last 20 years he was either Finance Director or Deputy Director within the NHS working in service provision including acute, mental health and community services; and shared service provision; service commissioning at Health Authority level and PCT level. Andrew also played a lead role in setting up a Clinical Commissioning Group and worked at the Welsh Assembly Government for two years as it became a devolved administration from the Welsh Office.
As well as operating as a Director of Finance at a number of different organisations, Andrew has also undertaken roles as Director of Quality & Performance and Director of Strategy.
Director of Organisational Development
Neil joins us from his previous role of Director of HR Transformation, leading on the HR integration of Birmingham Children’s and Birmingham Women’s NHS Foundation Trusts. Prior to this, Neil worked at Birmingham Women’s NHS Foundation Trust, most recently as Chief Operating Officer. In this role, he successfully delivered local and national performance and access targets, developed and implemented a number of service improvements and people strategies, as well as implementing Business Continuity Management and Emergency Planning systems. Before this, he was Executive Director of Workforce & Organisational Development. From 2004, Neil worked for Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as Assistant HR Director and Acting Director of HR & Organisational Development. Neil has previously also worked in other HR roles for NHS trusts covering acute, mental health, learning disabilities and community services.
A Chartered Fellow of the CIPD, Neil was the winner of the Health Education England West Midlands’ “Inspirational Leader of the Year” award in 2015 and was shortlisted as a national finalist in 2016.
Professor Jane Melton
Director of Engagement and Integration
Jane is a registered Allied Health Professional (Occupational Therapist) and has worked with people who have learning disabilities and people experiencing mental illness for the majority of her career. Her exceptional contribution to practice was acknowledged through a Fellowship of the College of Occupational Therapists in 2012.
Alongside her dedication to practice, Jane has achieved doctoral level qualifications and published collaborative, research and practice development activity. Her academic connections are maintained through her honorary professorial role with Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.
Jane brings a track record of service development that is shared with service users, their families, colleagues and local communities. She is passionate about the need to deliver the best experience of NHS care, is dedicated to the principles of recovery and underpins her approach to leadership with inclusion and engagement.
Our Non Executive Directors
Deputy Chair / Senior Independent Director
Nikki Richardson was appointed as a Non Executive Director from February 2015. She recently retired from an Executive role within the NHS, working for a Mental Health and Community Foundation NHS Trust. Initially qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist, her career has involved working across a wide range of clinical services including older people’s mental health, learning disabilities, community nursing, paediatric services and across therapy services. During this time she also held a national role within Speech and Language Therapy as the Vice Chair of the managers association and as a consultant with the National Development Team, developing person centred services for people with Learning Disability. Her last role included Board level responsibility for Human Resources, Organisational Development,Training and Workforce Planning, Patient and Public Engagement, Information Technology and Communications.
She has retained her original professional links and has been a Trustee for the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists for the past four years, a role that will continue for a further two years. She now has her own consultancy company and has been providing project management support following the acquisition of NHS services. Nikki is the Chair of the Trust’s Charitable Funds Committee and lives in Cheltenham.
Maria, who lives in Stroud, Gloucestershire, is hoping to use both her personal and professional experience to support the work of the Trust.
Although Maria doesn’t have a clinical background, she believes that her professional experience will be valuable to the Trust, alongside her previous experience as a non-executive director for Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. She says this has given her a valuable understanding of how acute services works and the challenges they, and the wider NHS, face.
Her professional experience comes in the construction and commercial development sector, where she has worked for many years as a chartered quantity surveyor. She has particular experience in integrating small businesses and change management.
Former ambassador Quinton Quayle hopes that his diplomatic career and role in international trade and investment will bring a new viewpoint to the Trust board.
During his diplomatic career, Quinton served as British Ambassador to Romania, Thailand and Laos, before retiring five years ago. Since then, he has taken on a number of board roles with a focus on regulation in the public interest, including serving as a lay member of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). He has also worked as an advisor to multinational companies, including Prudential and De La Rue.
Quinton, who lives in a small village in north Gloucestershire, said he is looking forward to using his experience in both the public and private sectors for the benefit of the Trust.
Duncan Sutherland, who lives just outside Hereford, brings with him years’ of experience as a non-executive director of a number of public companies.
Duncan was non-executive director of the British Waterways Board for eight years before stepping down. He is currently a non-executive director for High Speed 2, in a role focusing on economic growth, regeneration and property. His other non-executive director post is with the South Bank Sinfonia, which works with music graduates.
He is also a director of Sigma, a specialist regeneration company, working with local authorities.
Marcia Gallagher brings with her 40 years’ NHS service and her experience both as a qualified accountant and the holder of a number of senior functioning roles in the NHS.
Marcia, who lives in the Forest of Dean, worked in both commissioner and provider organisations in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and the West Midlands. More recently, she worked for NHS England, before her retirement in January 2016.
She has had both a professional and personal involvement with mental health services, something that has helped drive her decision to become involved with ²gether.
Jonathan Vickers spent 25 years in the international oil and chemicals industries including board membership of Castrol and Burmah Chemicals.
Over the last decade, Jonathan has served as a Non-Executive Director on the boards of a range of public sector organisations including NHS South West Strategic Health Authority. Jonathan is an Independent Member of Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) Approvals Board and a board member at UK Sport.
Balance of the Board
The Board reviews its effectiveness after each meeting, and through developmental workshops throughout the year. These build on similar performance evaluations carried out during previous years. Board Committees’ objectives and Terms of Reference are reviewed annually, and Committee membership is regularly reviewed to take account of any new Non-Executive Directors joining the Board, and to ensure that Non-Executive Directors’ skills and knowledge are being put to the best possible use.
It is the Trust Chair’s responsibility to ensure Committee and Board membership is revitalised when appropriate. The balance of skills on the Board is considered when appointing replacements, thus ensuring that the Board’s mix of skills, knowledge and experience remains appropriate for the current and future requirements of the Trust.