Executive Recruitment

Our Board

Executive Directors

Karen Partington – Chief Executive (Outgoing)

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'.

Jonathan Wood – Finance Director / Deputy Chief Executive

After graduating, Jonathan joined the North Western financial management training scheme in 1992 where he worked with a number of Health Authorities within Greater Manchester. Since qualifying he has worked for a number of NHS organisations, including Salford Royal, the North West Strategic Health Authority, East Lancashire Hospitals and Leeds Teaching Hospitals. He has supported a number of hospital developments over the years and enjoys working with teams in resolving complex problems.

Faith Button - Chief Operating Officer

After graduating Faith joined the NHS and has worked in a number of Acute Trusts in senior roles in London and the South with over 20 years’ experience . She is has a strong background in senior operational management and performance management having been a Director of Performance at her last two Trusts. She joined the Trust in 2017 having been the Deputy Chief Operating Officer and was appointed the Chief Operating Officer in March 2019.

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.

Traci Berry - Head of Corporate Affairs

Biog to follow

Non-Executive Directors

Prof. Ebrahim Adia - Chair (appointment from 2 December 2019 to 1 December 2022)

Ebrahim has a wide range of experience and qualifications. A former Senior Lecturer and Assistant Vice-Chancellor, his career has focused on higher education. He is currently Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Central Lancashire’s and a member of the Senior Executive Team and he chairs the University’s Ethics and Integrity Committee.

Ebrahim has served as a Vice-Chair of a Primary Care Trust and as a Non-Executive Director of an NHS Foundation Trust.  He has also served as Deputy Leader of Bolton Council and is a Rapporteur for the Council of Europe, which is an organisation that upholds democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

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 2020 to 3rd July 2023)

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.

Tricia Whiteside - Non-Executive Director (appointment from 9 September 2019 to 8 September 2022)

Tricia is a transformational leader with a wealth of  financial services experience having held a number of senior leadership roles within large Fortune 500 and FTSE 100 organisations. Her experience gathered over 25 years included owning aspects of global control frameworks and assuring compliance to the expected standards of control, establishing Strategic Change Portfolios; operational delivery of integration programmes following organisational merges/acquisitions and lead upon significant business transformation;  Over the last 10 years she successful established her consultancy business which provided interim management support, with focus on setting up new operational functions and building sustainable internal capabilities;  creating portfolios of strategic change to improve operational performance and financial stability; strengthening governance and control regimes, consulting on risk management strategies, and positively responding to increased regulatory scrutiny.

Tricia joined the Trust as a Non-Executive Director in September 2019 and chairs the Trust’s Finance and Performance Committee.

Geoff Rossington - Non-Executive Director (appointment from 4 September 2020 to 3 September 2023)

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.