Our Governors

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    Judy Cottrell

    Public Governor, Somerset West and Taunton

    I was brought up and trained as a registered nurse in Taunton. During my career I have had widespread nursing experience in hospitals of different sizes and specialties, including working abroad in Africa and the USA for over 35 years. I am a proud supporter of the NHS and I retired from nursing in 2013. Now I use my practical experience in my role as governor at Somerset NHS Foundation Trust.

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    Dr Jane Armstrong

    Public Governor, Somerset West and Taunton

    I am delighted to have been elected as a governor onto the Council of Governors for Somerset NHS Foundation Trust to represent Somerset West and Taunton, a very exciting opportunity, which I relish. I am very familiar with the world of health, research and social care as I am a former nurse, senior lecturer and researcher with a 38 year career in the NHS and Higher Education in UK and Oman. Prior to retiring on ill health grounds in 2015, I worked for the former NHS NIHR Primary Care Research Network, latterly as National Lead for Workforce Development. I bring an experienced healthcare focused and analytical perspective to my governor role through clinical, educational and academic knowledge and skills gained over the years. Together with over 30 years of undertaking senior volunteering roles at local, regional, national and international levels, including my current post of secretary for my GP Practice’s Patient Participation Group, I believe I can make an active and competent contribution to the work of the Council of Governors. I look forward to working with fellow governors and other colleagues to support and develop the excellent work of Somerset NHS Foundation Trust.

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    Dr Melanie Devine

    Public Governor, Somerset West and Taunton

    I was born and brought up in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, but lived all over Britain before settling in Taunton. I was in the WRNS, then became a history lecturer at the University of Teesside, but am now retired, and busier than ever. My interest in the Somerset NHS Foundation Trust’s work comes from my position as volunteer facilitator for The Reader Organisation, running two shared reading groups in Taunton Library. I believe that meeting other people, reading, singing, or walking together can help enable people to engage with the local community, reduce anxiety, loneliness and isolation, thus improving their mental health. I also volunteer in the Hospital Chaplaincy at Musgrove Park Hospital, with a particular interest in Coleridge Ward. In this environment, I have first-hand experience of meeting patients and their family members, and hearing their concerns. I am also a member of the Women’s Institute, the Association of Wrens, and the Somerset Wildlife Trust and am a keen hill walker.

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    Jeanette Keech

    Public Governor, Somerset West and Taunton

    I enjoyed a career in public relations and have been a governor of a sixth form college, a member of Crimestoppers and the Taunton Crime Prevention team. For twelve years I was a trustee of Age UK Somerset and am currently actively involved with a local patients' group (PPG) of a doctor's surgery. I have been a governor of Musgrove Park Hospital representing the people of Taunton Deane, and now enjoy being a governor of Somerset NHS Foundation Trust. I also worked as a non-executive director on the Musgrove Park Hospitals Board for nearly a decade. I use my experience and understanding of the Somerset health system to support the newly merged Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, in its vital and challenging role of looking after the health of the people of Somerset.

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    Sumitar Young

    Public Governor, Somerset West and Taunton

    My professional life has been spent as a teacher and as a manager in further education and I have always worked to make a positive difference in the lives of my students. My last role was senior manager in Bridgwater College where I saw the impact that poverty, mental health, safeguarding, and learning disabilities had on the learning of individual students and on their families. I have worked with colleagues from health, police, social services, voluntary organisations and other providers and have seen how working together can improve services. In my role as governor, I want to play my part in helping to improve the quality of our NHS services. I have worked with colleagues from health, police, social services, voluntary organisations and other providers and have seen how working together can improve services. In my role as governor, I want to play my part in helping to improve the quality of our NHS services.

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    Ian Aldridge

    Public Governor, Somerset West and Taunton

    The NHS is essential for everyone at some time in our lives and has been there when I needed it. I became a governor to give something back. I have been a patient, a carer, and worked in a commercial organisation supplying the NHS. I now have the time as a governor to contribute to the running of the service through representing the needs and views of the people who are served by the Trust. I work to take the needs and aspirations of the people of Somerset to the heart of the Trust and make constructive suggestions to the Board about how those expectations can be met within the limited resources available. It is also important to feed back to communities the reasoning behind decisions made in their interest by the Board.

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    Kate Butler

    Public Governor, Somerset West and Taunton

    I have spent my adult life caring for people, undertaking my nurse training in London at Great Ormond Street and the Middlesex Hospitals. I spent many years district nursing and developed the community liaison department within Musgrove Park Hospital. I have managed a 40-bedded nursing home, achieving the ‘Investors in People’ award in six months, and have been a clinical advisor for NHS England on long term care appeal panels for the last ten years. I am very involved in the community, having set up and run a community lunch for the over 60s. I started the Good Neighbourhood Scheme in Stogumber with the Community Council and the scheme has now been rolled out across Somerset. I am a member of the village hall committee, a member of the Parochial Church Council and the Patient Participation Group at Williton Surgery. I enjoy gardening, walking my dogs and – when I have time – painting and upholstery; I especially enjoy my small grandchildren who live nearby. I was a governor at Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, and know how important links are with the community. As governor of Somerset NHS, I want to represent the people of West Somerset and ensure all their health needs are met – mental and physical health.

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    Margaret Worth

    Public Governor, Somerset West anf Taunton

    I regularly attend the patient and public meetings of the Trust which I think are crucial for sharing and highlighting the wide spread best practice of trust staff. Supporting hard working healthcare professionals is vital, balanced with assisting them to reflect on their practice, when maybe there is a better way to consider if things go wrong. I trained as a nurse in my late twenties and ran a small care home caring for older people. My aim was to provide truly personalised care. I am currently an accredited healthcare trainer. I deliver a range of courses to private care homes including insight into dementia. I believe in the importance of diversity and all caring models should be unwaveringly diverse. Somerset NHS Foundation Trust should be rightfully proud of its hardwork.

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    Erica Adams

    Public Governor, Somerset West and Taunton

    I have a high regard for the NHS due to the excellent support received both by myself, family and friends. I have shared this enthusiasm as chairman of the Wellington Medical Centre Patient Participation Group and by forming the Welly Hopper, patient transport scheme. This membership has enabled me to participate in the work of the SCCG, which I have found equally fulfilling. My professional life consisted of 30 years working for the Headquarters of the National Federation of Women's Institutes primarily on the adult education programme, exhibition work and HR. Later I became deputy principal of the NFWI Adult Education College. My last posts, on moving to Wellington, were as administrator for Abbeyfield Taunton and Company Secretary of the Somerset Building Preservation Trust. My professional life consisted of 30 years working for the Headquarters of the National Federation of Women's Institutes primarily on the adult education programme, exhibition work and HR. Later I became Deputy Principal of the NFWI Adult Education College. My last posts, on moving to Wellington, were as Administrator for Abbeyfield Taunton and Company Secretary of the Somerset Building Preservation Trust.

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    Tim Slattery

    Public Governor, Somerset West and Taunton

    I believe passionately in preserving the NHS, as a force for improving the well-being of our diverse community. My work experience and voluntary service background in housing and environmental health; previous Councillor role representing one of the most deprived Wards in Somerset on Taunton Deane Borough Council; governor experiences as a school and college governor and as a public governor for Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, have given me a wide range of skills to bring to the newly merged Trust. The guiding principle of a foundation trust is that governors have a responsibility to be a voice on behalf of its members and non-members, ensuring those voices are heard and listened to. I use my listening skills to hear the views of patients and staff, and take these to the Board for response. This governor role will be challenging and I can use my developed knowledge to meet the challenges working with other governors to ensure good quality care for all our patients. I fervently believe in Equality and Diversity and that a happy workforce will ensure the best outcomes for patients and staff.

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    Richard Brown

    Public Governor, Mendip

    I am now serving my second term as a governor for the Mendip constituency and my main interest are the three hospitals within the constituency, these being at Frome, Shepton Mallet and West Mendip. I serve on the Nomination & Remuneration Group and also the Strategy & Planning Group, in addition to being a governor representative on the Finance Committee. I bring to the Trust governors considerable management and judicial experience, which I feel makes a contribution to the work of the Trust. I am a director of the Willats Trust, a Volunteer for the Somerset Youth Offending Scheme, acting as an appropriate adult for young people and vulnerable adults held in police custody. I am also a chaplain to 914 Squadron RAFAC(T) and am a Trustee of Westhay Village Hall.

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    Bob Champion

    Public Governor, Mendip

    I became a governor to help people who have trouble helping themselves. I have spent the last 30 years of my working life with the Somerset Ambulance Service, most of it on the road, and sometimes in senior positions. I have been a town or district councillor for more than 30 years and was the Mendip District Council representative on the Somerset Community Health Council (health Watchdog) and vice chair for two years. I am now a member of Somerset Healthwatch, the local health/social care watchdog. During my years with the Community Health Council I worked with NHS partners to introduce a 24/7 service stroke service and saw community hospitals set up rehabilitation stroke units. During my 46 years with the NHS I have seen the patient's journey from the beginning to the end of life. My role as governor gives me opportunity to look more closely at the middle of life's journey and to ensure that Mendip residents receive what they are entitled to.

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    Reverend Stephen Fowler

    Public Governor, Mendip

    I have lived in Wells my entire life and I love Somerset. My professional background is housing law. I became an ordained minister twenty years ago and as well as leading a church, I am also the lead of the Connect Centre Charity in Wells. We run a community hub and we are commissioned to deliver outreach to rough sleepers in Mendip and support for people who are homeless or at risk of losing their home. I trained as an addictions counsellor and lead a team of twenty professional therapists. I am chair of the Positive Lives Group in Somerset, Director of a social enterprise letting agency in Mendip and a Trustee of a national charity. I believe that everyone has the right to a home and ease of access to health care especially around mental health, multiple and complex needs. So many people are on the edge of our local community, with much of the poverty and exclusion hidden away. I am a passionate advocate and speaker around the needs of the people who ‘fall though the net’ of support services. I became a governor to add my voice to the important conversation about how we can provide the very best NHS service and support to everyone in Somerset.

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    Dr Philip Jackson

    Public Governor, Mendip

    I have had considerable contact with Musgrove Park Hospital over the years plus other health services in the county. This has been both as a GP in Glastonbury, where I worked from 1974 until 2010, and also as a patient where I have always had excellent treatment. I am very keen that this high level of service should be maintained and further developed as re-organisations encourage and allow change. Health services have often suffered from fragmentation and I would like to see a greater degree of integration, particularly between primary and secondary care. I was responsible, with my partners, for developing the services we offered at our practice in Glastonbury and feel I that the interest, commitment and experience to be a governor of the Trust.

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    Judith Goodchild

    Public Governor, Sedgemoor

    The merger between Taunton and Somerset and Somerset Partnership is an exciting opportunity to benefit the care that all patients receive. It is a privilege to act as a public governor for the new Trust, as it has been to be a Musgrove governor for the past eight years. The NHS is going through a period of change and it is important that the voice of the public is heard and taken into account when decisions are being made about future healthcare in Somerset. As a governor of Somerset NHS Foundation Trust and as chair of Healthwatch Somerset I have the opportunity to do this. I am chair of the Quality and Patient Experience Group, which listens to the concerns that patients and the public may have and bringing them to the attention of the executive team. I am also secretary to my surgery’s Patient Participation Group, so am aware of local healthcare issues.

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    Dave Gudge

    Public Governor, Sedgemoor

    Over the past 30 years, I have worked with many people to deliver care to everyone and anyone in nursing homes, hospitals, and brain injury units. I have worked in professional and semi-professional sports, teaching and guiding both young and old athletes, mainly as a sport scientist, coach and psychologist. I wanted to become a governor to make a difference in my area with how care happens and who gets the care required. I would like to oversee NHS strategic planning and its delivery to the public, to help change the perception of some members of the public as to how hard staff in our NHS work. I want to help staff with their vocation and use my medical knowledge and vast experience for the need of the people. I would also like to help change and improve how social care is delivered and to ensure we support those who have to deliver the care. I am a qualified welfare officer with many proven strategies and theories. My best assets are my honesty, professionalism, versatility, patience and knowledge of the medical profession.

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    Jack Torr

    Public Governor, Sedgemoor

    Throughout my working life I have been involved with improving patient outcomes by enhancing the skills and knowledge of healthcare professionals, developing independent education programmes across many therapy areas and am a published co-author on Guiding Principles of Continuing Medical Education in Europe. I see being a governor as a potential extension of improving patient outcomes. I am an associate hospital manager at a private mental unit, reviewing patients sectioned under the Mental Health Act, recently joining the Trust in a similar role. Mental health is a major challenge and my exposure to the medical, social, financial and legal aspects of mental health as well as direct involvement with often particularly challenging patients I believe will be of value my role as governor.

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    Eddie Nicolas

    Public Governor, Sedgemoor

    I am retired registered mental nurse and also a global chartered management accountant. For many years I was active in the local network of CIMA and was chair of the Bristol Focus Group. I am a member of the Patient Participation Group of the East Quay Medical Centre. I frequently attend the Somerset Mental Health Stakeholder Engagement Forum. Prior to the merger of Somerset Partnership NHS and Taunton and Somerset NHS I was a governor of the Somerset Partnership NHS for three years. During my term of office, I sat on the Strategy and Planning sub-committee. I am currently a governor of a secondary school in Bridgwater and am the chair of the Leadership and Management sub-committee. The Trust has done some great work during the recent difficulties but we should not rest on our laurels. We have to make sure that the recent recognition that the NHS has been given does not get forgotten in the coming years. Its weaknesses have to be remedied and we have to ensure that it is ready the next challenge. I sincerely intend to continue the work that I started and ensure that further improvements are implemented.

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    Paddy Ashe

    Public Governor, South Somerset

    I have served in the Royal Navy for the last 41 years and I am now employed as a civil servant in air traffic control at RNAS Yeovilton. I have a son and daughter, and my wife works for the NHS Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group. I cannot think of a better way to participate in the wider community than by being a member of the Council of Governors, helping to preserve and improve the NHS in all aspects of patient care for the people of Somerset.

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    Ian Hawkins

    Public Governor, South Somerset

    Born, bred and educated in Somerset, my family were for four generations the village bakers. Following three years at Cardiff studying food technology, and 10 years in the north of England managing large bakeries, I returned to Somerset with my Yorkshire-born wife and two children, to run the family bakery. I also set up a new IT company, Bakery Computing, to write and support software specifically for the bakery and food industries in the UK. Being lucky enough to live in a small village with a vibrant community, it is important to be involved. Over the years I have served as parish councillor, school governor, church warden, village hall trustee and chair of our local GPs Friends’ group. In the past 10 years my involvement as a volunteer with Samaritans of Taunton and Somerset has reinforced my interest in not only the improvement of, but also the need for, simplified access to support for people suffering from poor mental health. Through my practical business experience, involvement in rural community life and Samaritan ethics, I bring a practical yet empathetic view to the Council of Governors.

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    Sue Steele

    Public Governors, South Somerset

    As a Yorkshire girl having moved to the West Country several years ago, I trained in general nursing along the way. Ran my own Nursing Home for 14 years. Changed direction to become a South Somerset District Councillor and for 10 years Chair of Scrutiny and Overview with particular interest in Social Housing and Troubled Families in deprived rural areas. Having been a partnership governor at Musgrove Park Hospital and now a Public Governor for Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, my hope is to continue to support Somerset Rural Areas in all aspects of Health and Wellbeing in the Community.

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    Gillian Waldron

    Public Governors, South Somerset

    I was born and educated in Somerset, and have continued to live here for most of my life. I have always had a great interest in the local health of the people of Somerset. In the past I have been a member of the Community Health Council of Somerset, a non-executive board member of Yeovil District Hospital for twelve years, and now a member of the Patient Participation Group for Martock. My interest in being a governor is due to the very exciting merger of acute, community and mental health services, which I feel will be of great benefit for the patients of Somerset.

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    Alan Peak

    Public Governor, Outside Somerset

    I have spent the last 17 years working with the Patient Transport Service at South Western Ambulance Service and I was a staff governor too. I retired 18 months ago and I am now a councillor on Weston-super-Mare Town Council. I was the mayor of Weston too in 2016/17. When we attend hospital for any appointments or to be admitted for an operation, you and I are their customers. As customers we need to know how our hospital is run and that we have the confidence that any of our concerns are listened to. As a governor I want to use my experience in talking and listening to the concerns of patients to make improvements at Somerset NHS Foundation Trust.

Staff Governors

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    Paul Aldwinckle

    Staff Governor

    As a chiropodist/podiatrist my career began in my parents’ practice, then I ran my own practice for 12 years. Once I gained my BSc (Hons) in Podiatry I joined the NHS where my specialist areas were diabetes and bio-mechanics. I combine these now with specialist clinics alongside the orthopaedic team. I moved to Somerset in 2004 to take up the lead diabetes role in podiatry then later joined the orthopaedic assessment service. Over my 17 years in the NHS, I have seen much change and in my role as staff governor, I support my colleagues to keep focusing on the high standard of care that patients our patients deserve. I was born and grew up in Leicester and live in North Somerset where I am involved in Church youth work and with the Scout movement as leader, and trainer of leaders. I am married with four children and continue to be involved with the local church and a number of charities.

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    Lynn Pearson

    Staff Governor

    I have worked for the NHS now for 20 years, starting at Minehead Hospital and working there for three years before transferring to Musgrove in 2003. I have seen some significant changes in this time and have been fortunate to work in many different teams with fantastic colleagues and inspirational leaders. I was heavily involved with setting up the Council of Governors in the first instance when we applied for Foundation Trust Status, as I was public involvement officer at the time and remember all the recruitment drives to encourage members and to persuade the first governors to step up to the plate. This involved – amongst other things - meetings in draughty village halls to drum up support and canvassing on the streets in various costumes! So it feels as if I have come full circle sitting at I do now as a staff governor, which is a role I take very seriously alongside my ‘day job’ which is currently head of performance. Recently I took on the role of Chair of the Governor’s People Group which is interesting and an important group as we consider the impact of our merger on our colleagues.

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    Owen Howell

    Staff Governor

    I currently work for the Home Treatment Team in Yeovil, and have been qualified as a mental health nurse since 2011. I have worked across all areas of mental health, including child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) and older adults mental health, and was lucky enough to complete some of my nurse training in New Zealand. I’m deeply passionate about the core values of the NHS and equally as concerned about its future. I became a governor to bring the stories of the people I care for to board level, and to find positive solutions that as a Trust we can offer to the local community. I want to use my role to positively represent the voice of mental health, and to champion change in our working practice, so we can ensure improved wellbeing of staff and better working environments.

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    Polly Maguire

    Staff Governor

    I am a qualified dietitian and have been practising for the past ten years in hospitals all around the country in hospital settings and out in the community. I have worked for the NHS and privately, but now settled in Somerset and enjoy my role with the Eating Disorders Service for Adults. I became a staff governor to give a voice to anyone that feels they don’t have one. I have worked with district nurses, paediatric teams, community mental health teams and inpatient units as governor, raising issues and resolving concerns with directors and non-executives.

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    Phil Hodgson

    Staff Governor

    I have volunteered my spare time to Musgrove Park Hospital since 2010 when I joined the then hospital radio station, Apple FM; on average giving over 30 hours a week. I have also spent a few years with the League of Friends as one of the charity’s executives. Importantly, I spent a few years as a publicly elected governor for the former Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust. I believe that the newly formed Somerset NHS Foundation Trust can deliver the very best services to the community it serves, but it needs guidance from people with staff experience and viewpoint. I am a service-user of the Trust and I believe I can bring energy, enthusiasm and a passion for helping to make OUR hospital and Trust the best in the South West with careful and considered scrutiny of spending and policy. I am extremely approachable and believe wholeheartedly in the Community the Trust serves being represented and that the Trust be answerable to its Members.

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    Manuel Blanco-Guzman

    Staff Governor

    I have been a consultant in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery since 2007, working at Musgrove Park, Yeovil and Minehead hospitals. I had the privilege of being a staff governor for Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust since 2017. During this period, I have been involved in the process for the recently completed merger with Somerset Partnership, creating the new Somerset NHS Foundation Trust. I strongly believe the creation of this new trust offers an exciting opportunity in which we can improve the way we deliver our services and also the professional development and work conditions of all the staff, without the previous boundaries. However, there is still additional work to do, supporting, helping and challenging the Trust Board with openness, honesty, objectivity and integrity. As our new Trust employs over 8000 staff members, working together over multiple different sites, improved communication at all levels will be paramount. As a staff governor, I will ensure I am available to all staff members, so I can continue to bring our observations, ideas, concerns and solutions to the Board in a supportive and constructive way.

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    Julie Jones

    Staff Governor

    I have worked for Somerset NHS Trust for over 30 years in a variety of roles within nursing and management. I have a good understanding of the organisation’s systems and I role model the trusts values and behaviours every day and expect the same of others and work with absolute integrity. I am an active listener which encourages strong communication between me and team members and shows that I care about and appreciate them, making them feel valued as individuals. This is an important factor in driving employee engagement. Making a difference to the patient experience is something that is always at the forefront of my mind in my everyday work and as a registered nurse I will always be the conscious voice of the patient. I have a passion for supporting staff at all levels of the organisation and will always stand up for what is right and fair for them.

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    Julie Vale

    Staff Governor

    I am an older persons nurse practitioner in the Emergency Department at Musgrove Park Hospital. My role involves seeing and assessing frail older people, but I am passionate about ensuring that all patients receive the highest standards of care and that they and their loved ones are treated with dignity, respect, kindness and compassion. It is really important that these values also extend to staff members, our new Trust’s most vital asset. I have been nursing for over 30 years and have held a number of clinical roles in both acute and community settings. These included being a district nurse, a matron (in both community and acute hospitals) and a countywide palliative care lead. I was a staff governor for Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust until the merger and have previously held posts as chair of the National Association of Hospice at Home and specialist advisor for the Clinical Quality Commission. Collectively, these roles, coupled with my friendly and approachable nature have equipped me with the knowledge, skills and confidence to advocate for patients and staff at the highest level.

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    Neil Thomas

    Staff Governor

    I am a senior psychiatric nurse who has worked in Somerset for 13 years. Since my first employment as a Support Worker through to the last 10 years as a registered mental health nurse, I have worked across every mental health inpatient and community team within Somerset. In 2019 I led a suicide prevention project for Health Education England and worked as a clinical trainer in Learning and Development. The unique opportunity to deliver corporate induction has enabled me to see objectively the progress and impact of both trusts coming together. I currently work for psychiatric liaison teams across both Musgrove Park and Yeovil District Hospitals. Within these roles I have front line experience on a daily basis of the difficulties front line teams face within the current health service climate. Alongside my nursing roles I maintain other voluntary roles within International and local charities attached to psychoses or men’s health. I currently chair a local boys’ and men’s’ health movement in Somerset and support local Public Health campaigns. At the age of 21 I was voted Regional Health and Safety representative for the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and have been an active advocate of staff for 20 years.

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    Julius Ndlovu

    Staff Governor

    Biography awaited

Appointed Governors

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    Vacancy

    Appointed Governor, Somerset CCG

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    Cllr Heather Shearer

    Appointed Governor, District and Borough Council

    For the last 11 years I have run a company that supplies temporary warehouse buildings, and before that I was in operational management in charities and companies. I moved to Street in the summer of 2015 with my dog Fred and since then I have also been actively involved in the community as volunteer co-ordinator at Strode Theatre, treasurer for Houndwood Community Group where I live, and now as councillor for Mendip District Council and Street Parish Council. I am an executive member at Mendip Council, and lead on community health services. At the start of my career I worked in public and private sector organisations, principally in training and development. After about 10 years, I was able to spend time as a volunteer with Citizens Advice which opened my eyes to the challenges many of us face daily. I believe that good healthcare, social care and education should not be dependent upon where you live and how much you earn. On a more personal note, I have benefitted hugely from the NHS, with my treatment of a rare cancer and the excellent care given to my late-mother. I bring to this role, experience in working with trustee boards, both as an executive officer and a board member, and I will be conscientious and committed to the role.

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    Caroline Toll

    Appointed Governor, Carers UK

    I have worked in a variety of settings including airlines, public relations in fashion and other industries, counselling - ending with training managers in many organisations in people skills. Since my husband died I have been an energetic advocate for better support for unpaid carers and that experience is what I mainly offer as a governor. I am an ambassador for Carers UK, member of Carers’ Voice, CCG Advisory Group and Frome Medical Practice Patients Participation Group. I am interested in the arts, particularly music and am an enthusiastic amateur gardener.

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    Jos Latour

    Appointed Governor, Universities (Plymouth, Bournemouth and Bristol)

    I am a Professor in clinical nursing at the University of Plymouth. Before I moved to Plymouth in 2014, I worked in the Netherlands as a nurse for over 35 years. I received my PhD from the Medical Faculty of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. My main research lines are related to patient and family empowerment and involvement in health care as well as end-of-life care practices, paediatric sepsis, and issues improving dementia care. I combine my academic work between the University and two NHS trusts; Musgrove and Derriford Hospital. I am the director of the Clinical School at Musgrove Park Hospital. The aim of the Clinical School is to build research capacity and develop a research culture in clinical settings. Previously I have been involved in strategic and advisory roles from establishing a nursing advisory board to an expert in various court cases.

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    Cllr Rod Williams

    Appoint Governor, Somerset County Council

    Rod Williams is an Appointed Governor from Somerset County Council (SCC), where he represents the Rowbarton and Staplegrove Division. After an Army career as an infantry officer and staff officer, Rod became a management consultant, specialising in corporate planning, change and risk management. As an interim manager, he helped private and public sector organisations introduce large scale change while maintaining their business as usual. He worked for several NHS trusts, a CCG and a large partnership of NHS and local authorities across three counties. In SCC, Rod chairs the 33-strong Conservative Group of County Councillors. He is vice chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership Scrutiny Committee. He chairs the South West and the Somerset Armed Forces Covenant Partnerships. He is vice chair of the Childrens and Families Scrutiny Committee and is the SCC lead for The Somerset Wood, a Wood of 14,000 broadleaved trees to commemorate Somerset’s losses in World War One. He thinks our health economy and the reorganisation of local government share many interests, including successful partnerships that achieve more Prevention and reduction of need. He looks forward to continuing to serve his residents, the Trust and Somerset County Council.

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    Robert Cornes

    Appointed Governor, Samaritans

    I have been a Samaritan for over 10 years and have recently come to the end of my three years as the director of the Samaritans of Taunton & Somerset. I have always had a strong interest in supporting those who are in need of emotional support and in my time as director, I have led the initiative to support street sleepers in Taunton through our work at Open Door and at Taunton Foodbank, where our volunteers now offer weekly support. My next challenge is to join the Samaritans Postvention team, supporting schools anywhere in the country where there has been a suicide. Now retired, I was a teacher for nearly forty years, starting my career as an English teacher in Dorset and most recently was deputy principal at The West Somerset Community College in Minehead for 15 years, overseeing the curriculum. As a governor I hope I can help to make our NHS support for those with mental health needs the best it can be.