Executive Recruitment


Non-Executive Directors

Sue Musson - Chairman (outgoing Chair)

Sue’s executive career has encompassed a number of roles focused on economic development, business development and consultancy within the UK and Europe. She has considerable experience of dealing with change management, strategic planning, research and building sustainable partnerships with agencies such as local authorities and universities. 

Sue was the Chair of Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust before joining us at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals; she has also held NHS Non-Executive Director and Senior Independent Director roles at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and at Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.  She has served as a Patient Representative for the National Joint Registry for five years, a role that keeps her close to the patient.

Tim Watkinson - Vice Chair (appointment from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2022)

Tim is a qualified accountant with over 25 years experience in senior audit positions in the public sector. He was, until recently, the Group Chief Internal Auditor for the Ministry of Justice and prior to that was a District Auditor with the Audit Commission, including terms of office in Lancashire County Council, Preston City Council and Chorley Borough Council. Tim has led national teams and taken a lead role for the Audit Commission in the development of methodology for improving the performance of local authorities. 

Tim has 10 years post qualification experience of working in major accountancy firms providing audit and consultancy services to the public sector including the NHS. He has also been employed as an accountant and a Chief Internal Auditor in the NHS. He is committed to ensuring public services are provided to the highest possible standard. 

Jim Whitaker- Non Executive Director (appointment from 3rd July 2017 to 3rd July 2020)

James is an experienced executive currently working at BT Business, where he is Director of Project Management. During his career, James has led many large scale IT transformation programmes for customers in the UK and abroad; these have typically been high complexity and operationally critical in nature. James has worked with customers in many sectors including Government, Defence, Investment Banking and Retail.

James is a Chartered IT Professional with the British Computer Society and holds project management qualifications, which include APM RPP, MSP and Prince 2. His areas of particular expertise are strategic planning, managing change, governance, and risk management.

Jeanette Newman – Non-Executive Director (appointment from 3 July 2017 to 2 July 2020)

Jeannette was a non-executive director and later on Vice Chair at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust from July 2012 to March 2017. Jeannette shared responsibility for overall governance of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, setting the strategy, holding to account, seeking assurance and assessing risk.  She chaired several committees over her term including the Audit Committee and then the Finance Committee.  She led on strategic communications during a challenging time for Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust. Prior to this she was Director of Finance for Central Lancashire Primary Care Trust and for Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Primary Care Trust. As the Director of Finance she was responsible for the financial management of the organisation both operationally and strategically.

Geoff Rossington - Non-Executive Director (appointment from 4 September 2017 to 3 September 2020)

Geoff began his career as an industrial engineer after which he joined the North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA) in its internal consultancy department specialising in performance improvement, value for money and market testing of support services. After 11 years at the NWRHA he joined PricewaterhouseCoopers and worked on complex change programmes resulting in organisational transformation, profitable growth and commercial improvement advising a portfolio of public and private sector organisations including the NHS, MoD, FTSE100 and global companies. Since then he has advised a number of NHS clients on various transactions including transforming community services and the acquisition of a NHS Independent Sector Treatment Centre. He specialises in capital projects, business case development, transactions support and programme management. Recent examples include the recommissioning of community services on behalf of South Cheshire and Vale Royal Clinical Commissioning Groups and the repatriation of pathology services for Cambridge University Hospitals.

Ann Pennell - Non-Executive Director (appointment from 7 January 2019 to 6 January 2022)

Ann has had a successful executive career in Local Government, including Director roles in Children’s Services, Social Care, Education and Housing. After graduating from the University of London she spent 25 years working in inner London authorities before locating to Lancashire in 2008. As Assistant Chief Executive in the London Borough of Enfield, Ann led on corporate improvement, strategic planning, equalities and partnership working. She was previously a Non-Executive Director at Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.  Prior to that she was Non-Executive Director and Vice Chair at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust. Ann is Chair of our Safety and Quality Committee. She is the Non-Executive lead for Safeguarding, End of Life Care, Maternity and Neonates.

Kate Smyth - Non-Executive Director  (appointment from 4 February 2019 to 3 February 2022)

Kate is a chartered town planner and worked in planning and economic development for many years in local authorities across the North West. She then ran her own consultancy business for 25 years specialising in economic development and disability, and has extensive experience working in the public and community and voluntary sectors. From 2012 to 2019, she was the Lay Member (Patient and Public Involvement) at Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group. Kate was also the equality lead and the lead for deprivation, poverty and housing. From 2010-2019, she was an independent board member (latterly, the deputy chair) at Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing and the equality champion. She is currently a Lay Leader at Bradford Health Research Institute.

Paul O'Neill - Non-Executive director (appointment from 4 March 2019 to 3 March 2022)

BSc(hons) MB ChB FRCP (Lond) MD, FAcadMed, FHEA 

Professor of Medical Education, University of Manchester
Honorary Consultant Physician

Paul is Professor of Medical Education and consultant physician with special interests in elderly care and stroke medicine. He has been the Head of School and Deputy Dean for the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences. He received a National Teaching Fellowship  and has published extensively in medical education and clinical research, as well as co-authoring 6 books.  Internationally, Paul was a member of Faculty for the Harvard-Macy medical educators programme and acts as an education consultant internationally.  On behalf of the Medical Schools Council, he led the work on devising a new selection system for the Foundation Programme implemented in 2012.   His current major interest is patient and public involvement in medical education and established for the Doubleday Centre for Patient Experience at Manchester.  In 2013, he was awarded the President’s medal of the Academy of Medical Educators for his achievements. Paul continues to work extensively for the General Medical Council in quality assuring undergraduate and postgraduate medical education and is an active clinician at the Manchester University Foundation Trust.

Executive Directors

Karen Partington – Chief Executive

Appointed in 2011, Karen has held a number of senior posts in management, most recently Chief Operating Officer at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals. She has over 28 years’ experience in working within acute hospitals in the North West and Wales. Karen is a member of the Risk Management Committee, in attendance at the Audit Committee and the Remuneration and Terms of Service Committee. In 2017,Karen received some well-deserved recognition in the form of a mention in the Health Service Journal's 'Top 50 NHS Trust's Chief Executives'.

Paul Havey – Finance Director / Deputy Chief Executive

Having worked at finance director level within the NHS for more than 20 years, Paul is responsible for the strategic leadership and management of our finances, and joined us from Chorley and South Ribble Primary Care Trust where he was Director of Finance, Information and Performance.
Paul is a member of the Risk Management Committee, Endowment Fund Committee and in attendance at the Audit Committee and is also our Senior Information Risk Owner (SIRO).

Faith Button - Chief Operating Officer

(Biography to follow)

Geraldine Skailes – Medical Director

Gerry spent 3 years gaining general medical experience on the south coast before training as an oncologist at the Christie Hospital in Manchester. She was appointed as a Consultant at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals in September 1997 and since then has held a number of medical leadership roles both within the Trust and the North West and was appointed as Medical Director in March 2018.

Sarah Cullen – Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals Director

Sarah is a Registered Nurse and has worked in medicine and surgery with operational experience in emergency care. Sarah was the Deputy Nursing, Midwifery and AHP Director at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals prior to this appointment and is the Executive Director with responsibility for maternity, children and safeguarding.

Karen Swindley - Strategy, Workforce & Education Director

Appointed in 2011, Karen has held a number of senior posts in management in HR and Education. Karen has over 24 years’ experience working within acute hospitals in the North West and Wiltshire. Karen is a member of a number of board sub-committees including the Workforce Committee, Education, Training and Research Committee, Safety and Quality and Finance and Performance Committees. 

Non-Voting Members

Ailsa Brotherton - Director of Continuous Improvement

Ailsa joined the Trust in 2017 from Manchester Foundation Trust where she was the Director of Transformation for the Single Hospital Programme. Prior to this Ailsa was the Clinical Quality Director for the North of England with the Trust Development Authority/NHS Improvement. She has also held a post-doctoral senior research fellow post, has a Masters in Leadership (Quality Improvement) from Ashridge Business School and is a Health Foundation Generation Q Fellow.  Ailsa has extensive experience of designing and delivering quality improvement and large scale change programmes. She is a member of the Safety and Quality Committee, the Education, Training and Research committee and the Workforce Committee.