Board Appointments

Our Board

The Trust is led by a unitary Board of Directors comprising of ten Executive Directors and eight Non-Executive Directors including a Non-Executive Chair. Board members each contribute to the collective skill set and wide ranging experience of the Board, gained in a variety of professions and industry. More detailed information on the individuals who make up the Board of Directors can be found below.

David Eva, Chair

David joined the Trust in June 2016 from Cheshire and Wirral Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust.

David has great experience of developing partnerships and worked for many years on workforce development. He is passionate about staff engagement, service user and carer involvement and putting patients at the centre of services.

Caroline Donovan

Caroline joined the Trust as Chief Executive in April 2019 having been the Chief Executive of North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust which was awarded a rating of Outstanding by the CQC under Caroline’s leadership.

Caroline is a nurse and passionate about delivering high quality patient-centred services. Her experience of Public Health supported her deeper understanding of partnership working across and beyond health and social care. She strongly believes in the importance of accountability to communities and service users and carers.

She has spent many years in developing leaders and organisations, is CIPD qualified and considers that positive values and behaviours are essential to providing excellent patient-centred leadership.

Executive Directors

Sam Proffitt, Chief Finance Officer

Sam is a qualified accountant working within the NHS and Third sector organisations since 1993 when she started as a graduated trainee. Sam has spent the majority of her career working within mental health and learning disability organisations and has 12 years Board level experience as a Director of Finance. Most recently, she has been working in a wider system role within Cheshire and Merseyside. In addition, she has been a Trustee for a charity providing a range of services including shared lives and supported living for the last 7 years. 

Sam is passionate about making a positive difference to the people we support and continuing to develop strong partnerships with our colleagues across all sectors to drive improvements for our people though greater collaboration. Sam’s role encompasses Finance, Estates and Strategic Development through strategy.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr David Fearnley

David has been a consultant forensic psychiatrist since 2001, and was appointed as the Medical Director for Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust in 2005. He then moved to Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, as the Executive Medical Director, in August 2019. His interests include encouraging doctors to become involved in medical leadership, quality improvement science, large scale transformational change, and digital health technology.  David was named as the Royal College of Psychiatrists Inaugural ‘Psychiatrist of the Year’ (2009), received the Healthcare Financial Management Association/Academy of Medical Royal Colleges ‘Working with Finance - Clinician of the Year Award’ in 2013, and was named in the Health Service Journal’s 100 Clinical Leaders List in 2015.

In 2018 he joined the first cohort of the NHS Digital Academy and was awarded an MSc in Digital Health Leadership at Imperial College London. He was elected Fellow of the Faculty of Clinical Informatics in 2019. David’s national roles have included: Deputy National Clinical Director for Mental Health, NHS Improvement (2017-19), Associate National Clinical Director for Secure Care, and Chair of the Adult Secure Clinical Reference Group, NHS England (2016-19). He used design thinking in his leadership of changes to the secure care pathway, and led work on reducing restrictive practices and improving medical productivity.

Chris Oliver, Chief Operating Officer

Chris joined the Trust in July 2020 as Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive.

As an established NHS manager, Chris has sustained a track record of driving performance and delivering results against a background of service development and improvement.

Having worked in the NHS for almost 20 years, he has had a varied and immensely satisfying career which has enabled him to successfully lead healthcare staff in a variety of challenging environments.

Chris’ experience covers finance, operational and leadership roles. He was most recently Chief Operating Officer at Mid Cheshire Hospitals, a post he held for three years before joining LSCFT.

Demonstrating partnership working is one of Chris’ key drivers knowing the success that such partnership brings when delivering services across a whole health economy.

Chris is looking forward to further enhancing patient and staff experience at the Trust as well as delivering the LSCFT vision to support our local communities by excelling in everything we do together.

Maria Nelligan ,Chief Nursing and Quality Officer

Maria is a recognised leader in nursing and quality, with expertise across Nursing, Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC), Emergency Planning, Education Services Development and Quality Improvement.

She has held significant roles in Ireland, Australia and the UK and is particularly recognised for her expertise in community nursing and physical health and Learning, Disability and Autism.

Helen Farrington, Chief People Officer

Helen Farrington joined the Trust in April 2020 as the Director of People and Organisation Development. Helen is a strong advocate of developing cultures that make a real and sustainable difference to peoples work life and quality of care.

Before joining the Trust, Helen was the Director of Organisation Design and Development at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust where she led on the design and delivery of a culture change programme that underpinned one of the largest mergers in the NHS.

Helen comes with over 25 years of leadership experience in the private, public and voluntary sectors. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) and holds a BA in Education and an MSc in Organisation Change and Development. In 2017, Helen won the HPMA Deputy Director of the Year award for her leadership in transformational HR.

Ursula Martin, Chief Improvement & Compliance Officer

Ursula joined the Trust in October 2019, having had almost 20 years working in the NHS in governance and improvement roles. 

Ursula was previously the Executive Director of Governance & Quality at Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, having also had senior roles in mental health and acute Trusts.

Ursula is passionate about ensuring that there are robust governance frameworks to ensure ward/team to Board visibility, and that improvement strategies are in place appropriately, to ensure that staff can provide the best care that they can to our patients.

Ursula is also a big advocate of co-producing improvement and development work with patients, staff and our partners.

John Glover, Chief Digital Officer

Bio to follow

Non-Executive Directors

Isla Wilson, Deputy Chair

Isla is an experienced board member, who has operated at board level in a variety of private organisations and social ventures. She is currently a Non-Executive Director of a Lancashire-based housing association and has previously served on the boards of charities and social enterprises.

Isla is an advocate of generating social impact, community development and social venturing. Alongside her non-executive duties she runs her own business, specialising in organisational growth, social value and innovation.

Louise Dickinson

Louise was appointed to the board as a Non-Executive in October 2013 and became Chair of the Audit Committee in July 2014.  Louise is a former regional managing partner of the accountancy firm, Grant Thornton, where she specialised in providing corporate finance advice.  Since leaving Grant Thornton, Louise has held a number of board level executive and advisory roles in strategy, business planning, finance and risk management.

Louise is a Governor and Chair of the Finance Committee at a primary school in Manchester and was previously a Trustee and Chair of the Finance Committee of Down Syndrome Education International, a charity that works to improve educational outcomes for young people with Down syndrome through scientific research and global information and advice services. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales.

Paul Farrimond

Paul has over forty years’ experience in the NHS as a qualified general and mental health nurse and as a professionally qualified manager with an MBA. He has worked in acute, mental health, primary care, community provider, integrated health and social care, primary care trusts, commissioning and improvement partnerships. Since taking early retirement he has undertaken interim director roles for trusts and improvement partnerships, as well as individual project work. Paul has been a trustee for a mental health charity and previously was a non-executive director for a London mental health Trust where he chaired the Quality and Safety Committee and the Mental Health Law Committee

Currently Paul undertakes consultancy work and provides advice to NHS Providers on mental health issues. He is a member of several external advisory groups for the Care Quality Commission. He also facilitates the meetings of the nine mental health Trusts in the North East and Yorkshire and Humber including organising conferences.

On the death of his wife Paul has returned to his roots and now lives in Standish. He has two grown up children and enjoys long walks with his Labrador, Hera. Paul also supports both Rugby League and Rugby Union, attending as many games as he can fit in.

Debbie Francis

Debbie was appointed to the board as a Non-Executive Director in January 2019. She is currently the Managing Director of Direct Rail Services Limited (DRS). Debbie has 30 years of experience across a range of industries from IT to infrastructure maintenance to rail. She has also gained extensive experience throughout her career both in the UK and overseas in finance, systems, commercial, operations and business development. She has a 2:1 degree in Business Studies from Liverpool Polytechnic, an MBA from Manchester Business School, is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA) and has recently commenced a PhD with leadership and team performance at the heart of the research.

Debbie is Chair of the Cumbria Education Trust (CET) and holds a NED position with Clatterbridge Cancer Care NHS Specialist Trust.

Mohammed Shazad Sarwar 

Shazad Sarwar was appointed to the board as a Non-Executive in December 2018 for three years. Shazad is currently Lay Member of Cumbria & Lancashire Magistrates Advisory Committee and managing director at a niche consultancy that works with private and public sector.

He is a former Non-Executive and Deputy Chair of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust where he led on patient safety and quality and post Care Quality Commission inspection. He is also former Non-Executive Director of East Lancashire Hospital Trust and Former Independent Member of Lancashire Police Authority; in the latter he led on strategic planning and performance.   

He brings wealth of experience of community engagement, corporate governance, performance and risk management. He is an advocate of asset based community development and is passionate about making sure that services are informed by service users and quality and compassion sits at the heart of everything we do.

Peter Williams

Peter qualified as a doctor at University of Manchester in 1978. He trained as a Consultant Physician and Nephrologist in Manchester and Liverpool.

His first consultant appointment was at North Manchester General Hospital before being appointed as Consultant Nephrologist at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital. He was appointed Executive  Medical Director in 2008 and remained in that role until 2019.

He was also the programme director for the merger of the Royal Liverpool and Aintree hospitals to form Liverpool University Hospitals Foundation Trust.

Peter is the secondary care advisor to Manchester Health and Care Commissioning Board and a non-executive director to the NHS Transformation Unit.

Phil Huggan

Phil is a Non-executive Director with several organisations mostly in health and education across the private, charitable and public sectors.

Originally from Preston, he graduated with a degree in Languages from Oriel College, Oxford, then spent 20 years in commercial, marketing and transformation roles with BP, MARS and Shell, both in the UK and across Europe.

Over the last 13 years, he has held several NED roles with the NHS, and currently is Chair of the NHS Transformation Unit, Vice Chair of Healthwatch England and NED with Liverpool Women’s Hospital (until March 2021). He has a particular focus on strategy and transformation.

Phil still has strong roots in Lancashire and is bipolar with a keen interest in patients views’ on mental health.

To find out more information on the Trust Board, click here.