The Trust Board has overall responsibility for the operational and strategic direction of the Trust and is accountable to NHS Improvement, the regulator of Foundation Trusts. The safety and quality of care provided at our hospitals is regulated by the Care Quality Commission.
The key functions of the Board can be described as:
- Setting the strategic direction, defining objectives and agreeing plans for the Trust
- Monitoring the Trust’s performance and take corrective action where appropriate
- Ensuring high standards of corporate and clinical governance
- Appointing and appraising executives
- Working in partnership with external bodies and the local community for the benefit of the Trust and the communities it serves
The Chair is responsible for the overall conduct of the Trust. He appoints and reviews the performance of the Chief Executive and both the Chief Executive and the Chair appoint and review the performance of other Executive and Associate Directors. The Chair and Chief Executive have key roles in leading the external and public relationships of the Trust and in establishing the appropriate internal environment.
Professor Mike Thomas, PhD, MA(Law), BN, PGCert Ed, FHEA, MBPsS, FRSA, ROA.
Mike has worked in academia and the health sector for nearly forty years in a variety of senior academic roles, including Vice-Chancellor, and holding various professional chairs across four universities. He remains research active and a practising clinical psychotherapist. For many years he carried out clinical research to enhance mental health support for individuals who experience severe and enduring eating disorders whilst, simultaneously, over the last fifteen years he has been working with research colleagues across the UK investigating issues that impact on compassionate leadership in both the public and private sectors. He has written three books and numerous articles and chapters on these two subjects.
More recently he has been providing an advisory service to public and commercial sector organisations supporting staff engagement projects, cultural change programmes and strategies for enhancing good governance.
Mike is committed to the voluntary, charity and public sector and has been continuously involved in charitable work for his whole working life. He is currently serving on the Lancashire County Council Veterans board and the College for Military Veterans and the Emergency Services which he co-founded. Prior to entering academia, he served in the Royal Navy, working for five years in HM Submarines before employment in the engineering sector and then qualifying as a mental health nurse and later a psychological therapist.
The Non-Executive Directors provide support, advice and other specialist skills to the Trust and the Board. They are responsible for ensuring that the interests of the local community are represented and, with the Chair, for monitoring the executive management of the organisation.
Karen joined the Trust in July 2022
She started her career as a speech and language therapist and has over 40 years experience across health, social care and education systems as a clinician, senior leader, researcher, author, coach and mentor. She has an enduring passion for working collaboratively to improve people’s experiences and outcomes of care.
Since 1997 Karen has worked in the facilitation of change and improvement with a focus on compassionate and strengths-based leadership and effective team working. Quality assurance, inclusion and transformation are key elements of her extensive work leading local, regional and national programmes in the NHS.
Karen has completed the NHS Top Leaders programme and has a PhD in healthcare improvement. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and Institute of Leadership and Management qualified executive coach and mentor, she now works independently supporting a range of statutory, voluntary, charitable and social enterprise organisations with their improvement programmes.
Liz is a qualified certified accountant who trained in general practice and then moved to what was in 1994 the fastest growing accountancy practise in the U.K. as an audit Manager. This role provided her with an insight into providing excellent customer service along side exposure to the workings of multi national organisations and rapidly expanding entrepreneurial businesses.
After starting a family, Liz set up her own business providing accountancy services to OMBs across the North West where she acts as accountant, Finance Director and counsellor.
She was a Non Executive Director at East Lancashire Hospitals Trust for 8 years where she developed an interest in understanding and improving the patient's experience and helping to develop seamless care between hospital and community settings for the benefit of patients.
Liz is also the Chair of the Audit Committee and Deputy Chair of the Trust Board.
Stephen joined the Trust in July 2019.
He is a chartered accountant with a wide experience of financial management, consultancy and audit.
After qualifying with a major accounting firm in the Midlands, Steve moved into a role which combined internal audit and performance improvement at a multi-site business.
This provided the platform to develop a career as a finance and IT consultant providing services to banks, insurance and investment companies.
His most recent role was as Finance Director of a marine mutual insurance business where he led the finance, investment and pension scheme functions reporting to a large international Board of Directors.
He was heavily involved in developing governance, risk and capital management systems to meet the requirements of regulators and rating agencies.
Stephen is also Chair of the Finance Committee meeting.
Sarah is Head of Stakeholder Relations at Lancaster University, leading the development and delivery of stakeholder engagement activity, with a particular focus on civic and community engagement. She facilitates relationship building with a range of organisations locally, regionally and nationally, building understanding and making connections between partners and the University, for mutual benefit.
Sarah is the University lead for the Public and Community Engagement perspective of the national Knowledge Exchange Framework and the Civic University Network, to which Lancaster is a signatory. Sarah has been the University’s Appointed Governor on the Council of Governors of University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust since 2018. She was appointed Chair of the System Design Authority for Bay Health & Care Partners in 2021.
Adrian joined the Trust in May 2018, while also working as the Chief Executive of Active Lancashire.
Adrian has developed Active Lancashire to become an innovative and transformational change organisation; developing ground breaking partnerships and programmes which contribute to health and economic outcomes using sport and active lifestyles as the tool of choice.
His recent activities include work to promote and test digital health technologies and the development of a £7M European funding bid focused on the economic benefits of getting deprived communities active.
Adrian is committed to ensuring that charities and voluntary sector organisations have the opportunity to step up and work creatively with public services to deliver better outcomes to our communities.
Adrian is also Deputy Chair of the Workforce Assurance Committee meeting.
After graduating from Southampton University, Jill worked for the voluntary sector with homeless people before qualifying as a social worker in 1982.
Jill worked for Hampshire Social Services for 20 years, taking a secondment to America in 1993 to study mental health services.
After returning she became Area Director of the New Forest responsible for Children and Adult Social Services and then Assistant Director for Disability Services across Hampshire.
In 2005 Jill moved to Cumbria to become Director of Adult Social Care and in 2009 Chief Executive of Cumbria County Council. Jill led the recovery from the Cumbria floods in 2009 and the rebuilding of infrastructure over the following three years.
Jill retired from the council in 2013 and from 2014 she served for four years as Chair of the Quality Committee and Senior Independent for Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation trust. She is currently a Director of Cumbria University chairing the Employment Policy Committee.
Jill is also Chair of SIRI and Deputy Chair of the Quality Committee.
Dr Hugh Reeve
Hugh was appointed a Non-Executive Director at UHMBT in February 2021. Hugh is a GP at Nutwood Medical Practice in Grange-over-Sands in Cumbria which has been rated as ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission. He is also a Director of the Morecambe Bay Primary Care Collaborative, a Federation of GP practices from across the Morecambe Bay area, where he leads the Health Foundation funded project on improving continuity of care in general practice.
Previously Hugh was Clinical Chair of Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), during which time he played a key role in establishing the Bay Health and Care Partnership. Until recently, Hugh was a Visiting Fellow at The King’s Fund, where he co-authored the Fund’s 2018 report on Innovative Models of General Practice.
Having worked in Manchester and Stockport, Hugh moved to South Cumbria in 2001 to take on the role of Medical Director at Morecambe Bay Primary Care Trust and he also worked as a part-time GP in Windermere. Over the past 20 years he has worked to promote high standards across primary care and to foster collaborative working within general practice and across the wider health and care system.
Hugh studied Medicine at the University of Manchester, graduating in 1981, and gaining a Master’s Degree in Management Learning and Leadership from Lancaster University in 2005. In 2015 he received an Outstanding Alumni award from Lancaster University in recognition of his substantial contribution to the health service both locally and nationally.
The Chief Executive is the accountable officer to Parliament and is responsible for ensuring that the organisation works effectively in accordance with national health policy, public service values and maintenance of financial control. The Chief Executive is also personally accountable for clinical and corporate governance. The Chief Executive is directly accountable to the Board for ensuring that its decisions are implemented.
Aaron was appointed Chief Executive of the Trust in March 2018 after first joining us in January 2014 as Director of Finance / Deputy Chief Executive.
Before joining UHMBT, Aaron was the Director of Finance / Deputy Chief Executive of Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust – a role he was appointed to in June 2012. Prior to that, he was Director of Finance at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (LHCH).
Aaron started his career in the NHS as a National Graduate Trainee in 2000 and held a number of senior management positions in the finance function before being appointed as Director of Finance at LHCH in August 2009.
Aaron has also held a number of national roles including chair of the Foundation Trust Network Finance Directors’ Forum and the Government Procurement Services (GPS) Customer Board, as well as being a member of the National Procurement Council.
The Executive and Associate Directors, led by the Chief Executive, are responsible for the overall management of the Trust. This includes the delivery of services, the management of staff and resources and the development of Trust's strategic direction. The Executive and Associate Directors have individual responsibilities and provides leadership for specific areas of work.
Chief Nursing Officer
Bridget Lees joined UHMBT in December 2021.
Bridget was previously the Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Therapies at Southport and Ormskirk NHS Foundation Trust where she held a succession of posts in Accident and Emergency, urology, breast care, colorectal and high dependency, and ten years with the infection prevention and control team.
She left Southport and Ormskirk in 2015 to be a regional inspection lead for the Care Quality Commission. Later, she became a Head of Nursing at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and then Divisional Director of Nursing and Allied Health Professionals at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust.
Bridget returned to Southport and Ormskirk in October 2019 as Deputy Director of Nursing before being appointed as Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Therapies in March 2020.
Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chief Executive
Chris joined the Trust in mid-February 2021 from the Sussex NHS Clinical Commissioners where he was the Chief Finance Officer for the three Sussex CCGs, and Finance lead for the Sussex Health and Care Partnership Integrated Care System.
Chris brings a wealth of experience to UHMBT, having worked in the NHS for 23 years. Prior to his role at Sussex NHS, he was Chief Financial Officer at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust for just under four years, following his roles as Director of Finance for the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, and Chief Financial Officer for Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.
Chris' most recent system leadership role means that he also has in-depth experience and understanding of how individual parts of the health and care system can truly work together for the benefits of local communities, and that is exactly what we are trying to achieve with Bay Health and Care Partners.
Alongside the Director of Finance role, Chris will also be splitting the Deputy Chief Executive role - focusing on system reform and integrated partnership work.
T: 01539 716696
Interim Chief People Officer
Bev Edgar was appointed as Interim Chief People Officer from 22 August 2022.
Bev is an experienced Human Resources Board Director and has spent the last 19 years working across the NHS in England and Wales. She has significant knowledge of all healthcare workforce matters, including leading specialist recruitment campaigns, introducing rostering and bank systems, and in the development of numerous training programmes to support both leadership capability and cultural integration.
Bev joins us from Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS Trust where she led on the development of new HR/OD services in the first NHS Trust to develop an integration agreement with 42 GP Practices with a focus on growing primary care services in Community and Mental Health.
In 2017, Bev joined NHSI leading on the National People Strategy for NHS England and Improvement, aimed at tackling violence, aggression and bullying against staff. This work led to supporting trusts in gaining a better understanding of the diversity of staff experience and working with the Just Learning model.
Chief Medical Officer
Miss McNicholas joined the Trust on a 12 month secondment in November 2021 whilst the recruitment for a permanent Medical Director is completed.
Miss McNicholas joins us from East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT) where she worked as a Consultant Breast and Oncoplastic Surgeon. She first joined ELHT in 2010 and became Clinical Lead for Breast in 2015.
She then took on the role of Clinical Director for Cancer Services in 2016, but gave that up when she became the Medical Director for the Lancashire and South Cumbria Cancer Alliance in 2019. Also in 2019, Miss McNicholas became Deputy Medical Director for Performance and Service Development.
Chief Operating Officer
Scott joined UHMBT in July 2022. He trained as a nurse in 1992 in Fife, Scotland, and then spent the next 15 years of his career working in Cardiology in Fife, Edinburgh and Dublin. Having completed his PhD in the pre-hospital care of acute coronary syndromes, Scott moved to London in 2010 to take up post as Divisional Director of Nursing at Barts Health NHS Trust.
In 2013, Scott moved back to NHS Fife and was Executive Chief Nurse there before making the switch to become Chief Operating Officer. Scott then moved to Cardiff, Wales, where he was initially Director of Children and Women's Services before becoming Managing Director of the University Hospital of Wales.
The role of the Chief Operating Officer is critical to ensuring consistent quality care for our patients. An effective Chief Operating Officer combines broad operational knowledge with strategic planning; experience which Scott clearly possesses.
Director of Governance
Richard joined UHMBT in November 2021. Previously, he was the Director of Quality Governance at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust with responsibility for quality improvement, risk and assurance, clinical audit and effectiveness, patient experience, claims and inquests, chaplaincy, health and safety and research and development.
He began working in the NHS in 1997 in a succession of governance roles in London before moving to the North West in 2008 where he has worked at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust and Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Director of Corporate Affairs
Phil’s portfolio at UHMBT includes corporate communications, stakeholder relations and engagement and he is also the lead for Communications and Engagement for Bay Health and Care Partners – an alliance of health and care organisations looking to transform care across the Morecambe Bay area.
Phil has worked in the NHS since 1999. He joined joining UHMBT as a marketing manager in 2008, and has led the organisation’s communication and engagement response to a number of high profile issues, in particular the Kirkup report into failings in maternity services at the Trust, published in 2015.
He also contributed to the communications and engagement programme around the Better Care Together Vanguard programme between 2015 and 2018.
He has worked in a variety of business development, senior management and marketing roles in both the public and private sector, and was previously the General Manager at Lancashire Ambulance Service. He holds several marketing qualifications including an MA.
Phil is also a public advisor for the Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) for Stroke research programmes and is a regular public speaker on the experiences of surviving a Stroke.
Dr. Sakthi Karunanithi (photo coming soon)
Advisor to Trust Board
Chair of Union Staff-Side