search iconcross icon

Board of Directors

The Board meets once every two months at alternate hospitals and is open to members of the public. It has a responsibility to make sure there is a clear strategic direction for the Trust and that it fulfils its statutory responsibilities in relation to finance, governance, clinical quality and partnership working. It is made up of Executive and Non-Executive Directors.

The Board of Directors has a responsibility to make sure there is a clear strategic direction for the Trust and to fulfil its statutory responsibilities in relation to finance, governance, clinical quality and partnership working. It has a role to validate the performance of the organisation via the Executive Management Board. The Board of Directors is supported by a Committee structure including an Audit and Risk Committee, which have agreed terms of reference.

The Executive Board

The Executive Board is responsible for the putting together strategic and business objectives that develop Trust services in response to local needs. Members of the Executive Team, together with the Divisional Directors form the Executive Board.

The Executive team includes the Chief Executive, Medical Director, Director of Service Development, Director of Nursing, Director of Finance, Chief Operating Officer and the Director of Workforce and Organisational Development.

The Clinical Management Structure, Clinical Modernisation Board and Standing Sub- Committees underpin the Executive Board.

Our Directors

Brendan Brown - Chief Executive

Brendan returned to CHFT in January 2022 following almost four years as Chief Executive at Airedale NHSFT alongside his role of System Partnership Lead for the Airedale, Wharfedale & Craven Partnership.

He had previously held the position of Executive Director of Nursing/Deputy Chief Executive at both Calderdale & Huddersfield and Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trusts. Brendan has a clinical and therapeutic background, and holds a Masters with Distinction from the University of Nottingham. He has a proven track record for health and care leadership, and consistent improvements in the delivery of healthcare across hospital and community settings.

Brendan was also selected to participate in first cohort of The National Leadership Centre programme, a cabinet supported programme developed to enhance the social and economic well-being of the country by supporting the leaders of public services to work together across the public sector system.

As Chief Executive and accountable officer, Brendan is responsible for the stewardship of the Foundation Trust, including developing an appropriate corporate strategy for Board approval and securing its timely and effective implementation. He provides leadership to the executive team and takes responsibility for the important external relationships with commissioners, regulators, local authorities, MPs and Government bodies.

Ellen Armistead - Executive Nurse Director and Deputy Chief Executive

Ellen started at CHFT in July 2019.

Ellen started her career in the NHS as a nursing auxiliary in elderly care settings. 

She has held a number of leadership positions across the country as both Chief Nurse and Chief Executive in acute and community services. 

Most recently Ellen was Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals with the Care Quality Commission. 

Ellen’s passion is to ensure patients are at the heart of everything we do and the experiences of those in our care are continuously improving. 

Ellen believes the key to providing care to the highest standards in terms of safety and outcomes is ensuring leaders at all levels are developed and empowered to lead with compassion for our patients and colleagues. 

Anna Basford - Director of Transformation and Partnerships.

Dr Anna Basford has been Director of Transformation and Partnerships at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust (CHFT) since 2013 and is the Trust’s Reconfiguration Programme Director.

Anna has a breadth of Director-level experience of leading successful transformation programmes across NHS Commissioning, Primary Care, Community, Mental Health, and Acute Hospital organisations.  This has included: leading transformation and turnaround planning to improve clinical and financial viability; developing and implementing district wide primary and community estate strategy (LIFT); integrating health and social care to establish intermediate care centres and a community hospital; leading organisational change to embed service improvement and redesign through the establishment of a LEAN academy. 

Anna has BSc (hons) and PhD in Biochemistry and Applied Molecular Science (University of Manchester), is a graduate of the NHS General Management Training Scheme (University of Manchester Business School) and has the Certificate in Managing Health Services (Institute of Health Services Management).

Dr David Birkenhead - Executive Medical Director

Initially appointed on an interim basis in June 2014. Permanent appointment from July 2015.

David has been working in the Trust as a Consultant Microbiologist since 2000. He has held a number of senior clinical leadership roles in the Trust and was appointed to the post of Medical Director in July 2015, he continues in his role as a Consultant Microbiologist on a part time basis. 

As Medical Director, David shapes and leads the clinical services delivered by the Trust in order to drive the best health outcomes. Current large scale projects include reviewing how the Trust delivers care across the community and the hospitals, the development of 7 day services, and the implementation of an electronic patient record.

The Medical Director provides a professional lead for allied health professionals and medical staff and as the Trust’s Responsible Officer makes recommendations to the General Medical Council around medical revalidation. David also takes the lead on education and training, research and development and infection control.

Gary Boothby - Executive Director of Finance

Gary has been Finance Director since November 2016. Previously he was the Deputy Director of Finance from March 2016.  Gary joined the Trust from the Mid-Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust where he had been the Deputy Director of Finance. 

Gary joined the NHS as a finance trainee following his graduation from the University of Humberside where he studied Accounting and Finance, and then went on to become a Chartered Management Accountant in 1996 whilst at Burnley Healthcare NHS Trust.  

A large part of his career has been in senior divisional finance roles at both Mid-Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust and at Pennine Acute Hospitals where there was a strong track record of working closely with Divisions to deliver both patient improvements and financial efficiencies.

Suzanne Dunkley - Executive Director of Workforce and Organisational Development

Suzanne joined the Trust in February 2018 with experience across both the private and public sector in strategic HR roles. Beginning her career at Pinderfields Hospital, Suzanne spent 8 years leading a dotcom before moving into Local Authority and Transport Sectors.

She believes that the role of HR is to spot talent and help it grow, that a great employee experience leads to a great patient experience, and that organisations that work together can achieve the impossible.

Joanna Fawcus - Chief Operating Officer

Jo joined us in November 2021 as our Chief Operating Officer having previously been in post as Chief Operating Officer at Northampton General Hospital and prior to that Jo was Chief Operating Officer at Kettering General Hospital for 2.5yrs.

Jo joined the NHS in 1995 and has worked in a number of systems having been Deputy Chief Operating Officer at James Paget Hospital in Norfolk and has also held several senior operational positions across the East Midlands.

Jo is really passionate about how we deliver high quality care to our patients, using leadership to influence change and create a positive culture. Jo believes the best way to achieve this is by us all working together to create a compassionate and inclusive work environment where we all feel we belong and can truly be ourselves, celebrating our diversity.

Jim Rea - Managing Director of The Health Informatics Service

Jim joined the CHFT and The Health Informatics Service in 2021 after a long career in the private sector. He has a proven track record delivering technology services for large organisations and building effective, delivery focused technology teams.

After a long career in consulting, Jim relocated with his family to the UK in 2008 and took on senior roles with Sky and the National Lottery. He brings a strong commercial background along with broad experience delivering complex programmes and technology solutions to internal and external stakeholders.

As the MD of THIS, Jim is focusing evolving an already successful organisation to deliver innovative, cost effective and user focused solutions to our customers. Working with an already strong team, Jim leads on technical innovation and works closely with stakeholders across the NHS landscape to re-imagine how services can be delivered and always keep the patient at the heart of everything THIS delivers.

Stuart Sugarman - Managing Director of Calderdale and Huddersfield Solutions Ltd

Stuart joined the Trust in 2019 as Managing Director of CHS Ltd.

CHS Ltd delivers wide range of services that includes catering, retail units, estates, facilities, cleaning, portering, security, switchboard, medical engineering, device training, procurement service and transport. He is also the Trust’s climate and sustainability lead.

Stuart is a qualified lawyer and has worked in a variety of local government roles before becoming Chief Executive of Rossendale Council for 6 years.  Stuart has also worked for large national commercial law firms, heading up their Public Sector Teams.

Who are The Non-Executive Directors?

Non-Executive Directors, including the Chair, are not full time NHS employees. They are people who live or work in the area and have shown a keen interest in helping to improve the health of local people.

Non-Executive Directors

Philip Lewer - Chair


Appointment: April 2018 - March 2024

Philip was born in Lancashire and has lived in Yorkshire for over 40 years.  His professional career began as a Mental Welfare Officer.  He has worked for Bradford Council and was the Group Director for Health and Social Care at Calderdale Council, and a Regional Director for the Department of Health where he also served on the governments Standing Commission on Carers.  He was chair of ‘Mind the Gap’ theatre company and a non-executive at Calico Housing.  He was, until February 2018, Chair of NHS Leeds South and East Clinical Commissioning Group for over 5 years.

Alastair Graham

Non-Executive Director

Appointment: December 2017 - November 2023

For seven years, up to August 2018, Alastair was the Director of Golden Lane Housing (GLH), a leading UK charity providing housing for people with a learning disability across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Alastair helped GLH to develop innovative new ways of enabling people with a learning disability to live and thrive as part of the mainstream community. This included innovative financing mechanisms such as a number of bond issues which raised over £30m now invested in buying and adapting much needed, high quality housing in the community.

Prior to this role, Alastair led one of the largest regeneration programmes in the north of England as Director of the Oldham Rochdale Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder. This involved developing and delivering new housing, renovating or demolishing sub-standard housing, providing major environmental improvements and establishing training schemes for young people.

Alastair’s background is in social housing organisations.  He was Director of Development and Finance for First Choice Housing Oldham had around 15,000 properties at the time.  He led the establishment of this Arm’s Length Management Organisation having previously been Assistant Director of Housing for Oldham Council.  Alastair has also worked in a variety of housing and support roles in London and Buckinghamshire.

Alastair has a degree, a Diploma in Management Studies, and the Chartered Institute of Housing professional qualification.  He is married, has two sons and has lived in Calderdale for the last 25 years.

Karen Heaton

Non-Executive Director

Appointment: March 2016 to February 2023

Karen lives in Hade Edge, Holmfirth and was previosuly Director of Human Resources at the University of Manchester until her retirement in November 2021. She was responsible for developing and implementing people strategies to support the University’s goal to be a world leading research led University by 2030.

Karen has held a number of senior human resource positions across different sectors including the not-for-profit and private sectors. As a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development she has operated as a Director Human Resources for over 25 years and is very experienced in transformational change within complex organisations. Karen is a member of the CBI's employment and skills Board.

Karen is a Non-Executive Board member of One Manchester and Chair of the Remuneration Committee. Until recently she has also served as an independent member of the Prison Service Review Body advising the Government on pay and terms and conditions for staff in the prison service. Karen is Chair of the Workforce at the Trust. She is also a member of the Trust's Quality Committee and Nominations and Remuneration Committee of the Board of Directors.

Richard Hopkin

Non-Executive Director

Appointment: March 2016 to February 2023

Richard Hopkin lives in Sowerby Bridge and is a chartered accountant with 20 years’ commercial experience as Finance Director / Company Secretary with two PLCs and a large private company, following 11 years in the accounting profession with a major international firm. He now runs his own business, providing financial consultancy advice, primarily to small and medium-sized enterprises and voluntary sector organisations. Since 2011 he has worked extensively with Age UK on both a local and national level and, until recently, was a Non-Executive Director of a housing association, Derwent Living for several years. Richard has been the Senior Independent Non-Executive Director (SINED) and Deputy Chair since January 2020, chairs the Finance and Performance Committee and is a member of the Audit and Risk Committee, the Charitable Funds Commitee and the Pharmacy Manufacturing Unit (PMU) Board. Richard is married with two children.

Andy Nelson

Non-Executive Director

Appointment: October 2017 - September 2023

Andy is an experienced Technology and Business Transformation executive with a successful 30-year track record in Central Government, Management Consulting, Retail and Finance sectors. Key positions held include being the group executive with global responsibility for Strategy, IT and turnaround programmes at RSA Insurance and several large-scale CIO roles in the private and public sectors including HM Government CIO. He is now working in a non-executive, advisory, teaching and voluntary capacity for a wide range of organisations. He is a Non-Executive for the Disclosure and Barring Service and for The Law Society, a guest lecturer at Lancaster University Management School and is a volunteer with the Princes Trust. With the Trust he is a member of the Audit and Risk Committee and the Finance and Performance Committee. He is married with three grown-up sons and has lived in Barkisland since 1996.

Nicola Seanor

Associate Non-Executive Director

Appointed: December 2021 

Nicola is a Criminologist who currently heads up the Health and Justice service for NECS with over 20 years’ experience within criminal justice / public sector and a background in Youth Offending Services, ‘Looked after’ young people, local government transformation and Health and Justice commissioning.

Nicola is an Associate Non-Executive Director at the Trust focused on the Quality agenda and Chairs the Patient Experience Group.

Denise Sterling

Non-Executive Director

Appointment: January 2020 – December 2023

Denise is an Occupational Therapist by profession with 38 year experience within the NHS and has held a variety of clinical, managerial and professional leadership positions. Most recently until retirement she held the position of Head of Occupational Therapy at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust.

Denise led on the delivery of a wide range of quality improvements in clinical practice with positive outcomes for patients. She believes it is essential that people work together for the best interests of patients and truly listen to patients and the communities served to understand what they need.

Denise has worked closely with colleagues across health, social and voluntary sectors to develop and deliver patient centred health and care services.

A member of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists she has served as Council Member and Chair of the Equalities Committee.

Denise has a special interest in education and in an advisory capacity supports local universities in the development and accreditation of undergraduate and post graduate programmes. She is also a Trustee and Chair of the Secondaries Committee for Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust. 

Peter Wilkinson

Non-Executive Director

Appointment: January 2020 – December 2023

Peter Wilkinson lives in Holmfirth and is a Chartered Surveyor with significant executive level experience for over 30 years at both a Big4 consulting firm and Real Estate firm, where he was an equity partner. Peter has particular expertise in advising on the delivery of business transformation across property, infrastructure & capital projects, leading on programme and project management incorporating wider business teams and stakeholders for both public and private sector clients.  

His leadership of organisational wide transformation with solid and practical use of Managing Successful Programmes (MSP), PRINCE2 and Portfolio Management will be especially useful as the Trust embarks on its’ large and complex Reconfiguration of Services at both Halifax and Huddersfield in the coming years. 

Peter currently has his own consultancy business, based in Holmfirth, and has a number of other Non-Executive Director roles and Consultancy commissions across the North of England.  

He is married with one son and has lived in Holmfirth for over 20 years.