Leadership Recruitment

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of the Northern Care Alliance (NCA) NHS Foundation Trust meets regularly throughout the year, with meetings held in public.  

The Board composition must include the chair, no less than four and no more than eight non-executive directors, and executive directors including a Chief Executive, Director of Finance, a registered medical practitioner or registered dentist, a registered nurse or midwife and no more than four other executive directors. It must be ensured that at all times the number of executive directors does not exceed the number of non-executive directors. 

The current NCA Board of Directors includes the chair and 8 non-executive directors and 8 executive directors with the following expertise - Chief Executive, Chief Medical Officer, Chief Nursing Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief of People, Chief Delivery Officer, Chief of Strategy and Chief Digital and Information Officer. 

Additionally, there are 4 Care Organisations within the NCA – Bury, Oldham, Rochdale and Salford – each of which has a Chief Officer. Care Organisation Chief Officers attend all meetings of the Board of Directors.

Click here for Board Papers

Professor Eileen Fairhurst, MBE- Chairman

Professor Eileen Fairhurst has been appointed as NCA Chairman to help lead the organisation in the next step of our journey and to meet the ambitions set out in our Vision 10 strategy. 

She is a highly experienced Chairman and has chaired a number of large, complex public and third sector organisations, including acute, specialised mental health and primary care trusts. Having established Salford Primary Care Trust (PCT) in 2001, it then became one of the highest performing PCTs in the country. Latterly, she was the Chairman of NHS Greater Manchester. By April 2013, NHS Greater Manchester had facilitated the establishment of twelve CCGs in the ten GM Metropolitan Borough Councils. Prior to her role with the NCA, Professor Fairhurst was the Chairman of East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT), a post she held since 2014. She is Professor in Public Health at the University of Salford where she has an international research profile.

Dr Owen Williams OBE - Chief Executive

Owen started in post as chief executive of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust in November 2021. Prior to this appointment, he was chief executive of Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust (CHFT), a position which he has held since 2012. 

In 2020 he was granted the degree of Doctor of Business Administration by the University of Huddersfield following the successful completion of his thesis which commenced six years previously in 2014. 

In the 2019 New Year’s Honours list he was awarded an OBE for service to health care across West Yorkshire and was asked to lead a national piece of work across the NHS in England with regards to reducing health inequalities. 

He was previously vice chair of the NHS Confederation and prior to joining the NHS he has worked across local government including two roles as chief executive at Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council and Rossendale District Borough Council. 

Before working in the public sector, he worked in commercial business including his first employment at the Yorkshire Building Society. He is passionate about reducing health inequality and ensuring that no communities - regardless of race, colour or creed - get left behind.

Dr Chris Brookes - Chief Medical Officer

Chris commenced as executive medical director at Salford Royal on 1 May 2010. He has continued to focus his efforts on infection control and through the contribution of all staff members in Salford Royal.  There has been significant progress made in ensuring that our patients receive care which is safe and does not expose them to Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI). Chris continues to practice as a senior consultant in the emergency department at Salford Royal.

In January 2017 Chris was appointed chief medical officer for the Committees in Common for Pennine Acute and Salford Royal, in addition to his post as executive medical director for Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust.

In April 2019 Chris was appointed chief medical officer/deputy chief executive for Group Committees in Common and Salford Royal Foundation Trust Board of directors.

Away from the hospital, he provides medical care to the Wigan Warriors and England rugby league teams.  Chris is married with three children.

Mr Ian Boyle - Chief Financial Officer

Ian joined the NCA on 1 December 2022, he is a qualified accountant and has more than 26 years’ experience in NHS Finance. 

He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. Ian has worked in Trusts, CCGs and NHS regulatory bodies, with significant Board level experience. Ian is passionate about finance staff development and is the Chair of the Healthcare Financial Management (HFMA) North West branch committee. He also has a keen interest in strategic financial planning in support of quality and transformation.

Mrs Heather Caudle, Chief Nursing Officer

Heather joined the NCA on 12 September 2022 from Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

She has worked for over 23 years as a registered nurse, systemic psychotherapist and strategic leader in mental health as well as acute health. Early in her career she specialised in eating disorders nurse therapy. Her previous roles include the Executive Chief Nurse of Ashford and St. Peter’s NHS Foundation Trust, as well as her role at a national level as the Director of Nursing for Improvement in NHS England where she directed national nursing and midwifery strategic planning and delivery within Maternity, SEND Programme, Safeguarding, Continuing Health Care, Community Nursing, and Urgent & Emergency Care.

Mr Jack Sharp - Chief Strategy Officer

Jack started his career in the NHS as a graduate management trainee and has over 20 years’ management experience in the NHS, more than half of which have been in Board level positions leading on strategy, partnership development and whole-system change.

He previously led the development of Salford Integrated Care Organisation, including the integration of community health and social care services, and more recently the transfer of community health services in Oldham, Bury and Rochdale as part of the NCA’s work to support the development of place-based services.

Jack leads the development of the NCA’s service strategy, and has overseen a range of acute service changes, including the establishment of the Greater Manchester Oesophago-Gastric Centre and the development of joined-up surgical services across our hospital sites.

Mrs Jude Adams - Chief Delivery Officer

Jude has worked in the NHS for 35 years. After completing her nurse training in the North West, she spent 10 years working in London and overseas where she specialised in adult and paediatric intensive care. Returning to the North West in 2002 she has undertaken roles leading teams within specialist, acute and community services, moving to operational management in 2005.

She joined Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust from 2011 to 2016 as the chief operating officer, the highlight being the move to the new Hospital in the Park, for which she was the executive lead for the major change programmes including transformation of pathways, new hospital commissioning and the safe move of all patients and services. In 2016 Jude joined the team leading the support to The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and the formation of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group. She was appointed as chief delivery officer in March 2017.

Jude is executive lead for NCA performance and planning, Group diagnostic and pharmacy and estates and facilities services.

Her clinical and operational experience is underpinned by a strong commitment to both patients and staff.

Ms Nicky Clarke - Chief of People

Nicky previously worked as director of HR at Nottingham University Hospitals from April 2015. She joined the NHS in January 2013 at Chesterfield Royal Hospital as director of workforce and organisational development. Prior to joining the NHS, Nicky worked in the private sector, having spent a large part of her career in HR at Boots UK, where she worked for 20 years in a variety of HR roles.  After Boots, she undertook interim assignments at Gala Coral and Rolls Royce in Derby.

She has a generalist HR background and has worked on several change programmes and worked closely with executive teams, supporting them on the overall shape and design of the organisation, the organisational culture and employee engagement.

Mrs Lorna Allan, Chief Digital and Information Officer

Lorna joined the NCA in September 2022. She is a senior IT Leader with over 20 years’ experience across a wide range of business sectors including financial services, legal, telecommunications, oil & gas and heavy industries.

She started her career at the British Library, and has experience across operational IT service delivery as well as programme and project management expertise . Prior to joining the NCA Lorna was the Chief Information Officer at StepChange Debt Charity, the largest debt charity in the UK.

She was awarded membership into the CIO 100 UK for both 2021 and 2022 and was also included within the 2022 longlist of the most influential women in UK Tech.

Mrs Chris Mayer CBE - Non-Executive Director and Vice-Chair

Chris was appointed a non-executive director at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust in May 2011 and was vice chairman of Pennine’s board of directors. She was appointed as a non-executive director of Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust in 2016, became vice-chairman in 2019 and also interim chair for the NCA in both 2020 and 2022.

Chris worked for 37 years within the justice system across court administration, HR, finance and policy development. She was regional director for the north-west and director general within the Ministry of Justice when appointed chief executive of Her Majesty’s Courts Service, accountable for the day-to-day operation of 550 court centres across England and Wales until 2010.

Chris is a consultant in leadership and executive coaching, and an associate of Fiona MacNeill Consultancy. Until 2014 Chris worked with the Slynn Foundation, whose aim is to provide links between the English legal system and those in Central and Eastern Europe.

She was a Trustee of the Royal Armouries from 2014-2019

Ms Carmen Drinkwater - Non Executive Director

Carmen was director for HR projects and HR transformation for Sodexo in the UK. Prior to this role she joined Sodexo in July 2013 as HR director for the HR shared services function, accountable for the smooth operation of employee relations, HR transactional and payroll services for a multi-site, multi-services business with 37,000 employees across the UK.  

Prior to joining Sodexo, Carmen held several senior HR roles, creating and running shared services operations and has built breadth and depth in this specialism and in business transformation by holding the leader position for HR shared services at Royal Bank of Scotland, SPX Corporation and AstraZeneca.

Carmen has also been an HR professional and business leader in a range of sectors including the NHS as well as the pharmaceutical, banking, manufacturing, and facilities management industries.

Dr Hamish Stedman - Non-Executive Director

Hamish is a product of St Andrews and Victoria Universities, qualifying in 1978. He has worked in most of Salford’s hospitals and has just retired after thirty five years as a General Practitioner in Swinton. He continues as a part time medical officer at St Ann’s Hospice in Little Hulton.

He recently stepped down from the Chair roles of Salford CCG and the Association of Greater Manchester CCGs. He had been in post since the inception of both bodies. In the Greater Manchester role he helped steer the combined CCGs towards the reconfiguration of acute sector services under the Healthier Together project and was a co signatory to the health and social care powers devolved to Greater Manchester.

Latterly he was a member of the Greater Manchester Reform Board, a forum that is tasked with aligning public services across Greater Manchester to improve population health. This and improving quality of care remain his two passions. He describes the collaborative work within Salford and the developing Integrated Care Organisation as the perfect way to demonstrate how this can be done. 

Mr Tim Crowley - Non-Executive Director

Tim’s career has been in the NHS for nearly 40 years with the majority of that time being spent working with NHS organisations in the northwest.

He joined the NHS graduate scheme in 1981 qualifying as a CIPFA accountant and then worked in finance and audit roles in a number of health bodies in the south east. Also he undertook as secondment with the Department of Health to strengthen NHS governance following a number of corporate failures. In more recent years Tim has led MIAA, an NHS shared service providing audit, assurance, governance, risk and advisory support to the majority of northwest trusts and CCGs.

Tim is also an Audit Committee independent member of SCOPE, the national disability equality charity.

Mr Kieran Charleson - Non-executive Director

Kieran has over 30 years’ UK and international business experience with IBM and BT operating a range of businesses in the digital sector. A substantive part of his career involved developing and managing commercial channels, partnerships and global alliances along with acquisition integration and change management. He was most recently BT Group regional director for the north of England working with business and government leaders across the region.

Kieran formed a management consultancy in January 2020 focused on resilience and wellbeing in the workplace and at the same time became UK digital policy chair for the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses), representing the UK’s 5.8 million small and medium sized enterprises’ digital interests to government. In addition he is vice chair of the government backed committee advising on the £5B UK digital infrastructure investment to 2025.

He has been a non-exec director with the Northern Care Alliance since December 2017 and is a non-exec director with Super League RL team and grand finalists Salford Red Devils.

Professor Chris Reilly - Non Executive Director

Chris is a scientist and business leader with over 30 years’ experience in medical research, life science consultancy and venture capital in the UK, USA and Sweden. He began his career as a research scientist and retired in 2011 as global vice president, discovery strategy, performance and project evaluation at AstraZeneca, a large international pharmaceutical company. In this role, Chris was responsible for developing AstraZeneca’s research strategy, business plan and performance improvement activities. He has considerable experience in managing and leading large complex organisations. 

Chris also spent two years with a venture capital firm in Boston that invested in new life science companies. He currently provides a consultancy service focused on ‘translational medicine’ for medical charities, academic institutions, biotechnology companies and life science orientated government agencies. He is a director at the Medicines Discovery Catapult, previous director at NorthWest E-Health and Professor at Kings College London.  Chris has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Georgia and performed his postdoctoral work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He moved from the USA to Cheshire in 1993 and is married with three children.

Mr Aziz Rashid - Non Executive Director

Aziz is a leader and board member with extensive experience at the BBC, Royal Television Society and The Royal Exchange Theatre. He worked at the BBC for 30 years, holding senior editorial roles on BBC World News, national news from TV Centre, and regional TV, radio and online services in the East Midlands and the north-west. He was part of the team that moved BBC services like sport, children’s and BBC Breakfast from London to Salford.

Aziz and his teams have won national and regional awards and he has a track record of boosting audiences and improving diversity and gender equality. He grew up in a big family with a single mum in a council house in Bradford. After studying engineering sciences at Oxford University, he lived in London for 20 years before the BBC move to Salford. Aziz loves the NHS and is really committed to excellent services and equality of outcome for all. He's also a mentor and champion for the Social Mobility Foundation.

Professor Robina Shah - Non Executive Director

Robina joined the NCA on 1st September 2022. She is Professor of Medical Education and Pyscho-social Medicine at the University of Manchester Medical School, a Chartered Consultant Psychologist and Past President of the Medicine and Society Council at the Royal Society of Medicine. Robina has extensive Board level experience having held several prestigious senior leadership roles internationally and nationally across health and care. Previous roles include Chair of Stockport NHS Acute Trust and Stockport NHS Foundation Trust from 2000 – 2012, where she was recognised as the youngest chair to be appointed and the longest serving as her tenure ended.