The Board of Directors is responsible for overseeing the work and services of the Foundation Trust and setting our strategic future. The Board consists of both executive directors (employed directly by the Trust) and non-executive directors (appointed by the Council of Governors).
Please click on a Director below to find a personal profile, highlighting some of their accomplishments, qualifications and other background information. To view an organisational chart of our directors click here. *Denotes members of the Board with voting rights.
If you wish to attend the next NHFT Trust Board meeting then please the panel on the left side of this page for the details.
Crishni Waring - Chair*
Crishni joined as Trust Chair in 2016 with a wealth of experience in change management, organisational development and leadership at senior level, both executive and non-executive. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of People and Development.
Crishni has previously been recognised by the Health Service Journal (HSJ) as being one of the top 100 most influential BAME figures in health for her outstanding work in the NHS. In summer 2020, she was invited to chair the newly established NHS Midlands Region People Board. And in January 2022, Crishni was appointed as the Chair Designate for the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Integrated Care Board.
Crishni has worked across all sectors and has a diverse industry background including healthcare, education, retail and logistics. She is also a Trustee of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, a charity with a mission to protect local wildlife and wild places.
Julia Curtis - Deputy Chair*
Julia is an Adult Nurse and Health Visitor by background and has spent the majority of her 40-year career working in a number of roles in community services across a range of geographical areas.
Prior to joining NHFT, she was Chief Nurse at local NHS trust Cambridgeshire Community Services where she was proud to contribute to their Care Quality Commission rating of ‘Outstanding’.
Julia brings Board-level experience in leading improvements in quality, safety and patient experience across many different services.
She is passionate about delivering high-quality care and services that make a real difference to people’s lives and is a Trustee of Arthur Rank Hospice Charity
Judit Seymour - Non-Executive Director*
Judit has wide-reaching leadership experience. From a 20-year career in multinational leadership roles, eight years as a practicing barrister, nonexecutive director and board advisory roles, Judit has extensive knowledge of governance frameworks, risk and financial management, and organisational transformation.
Judit is dedicated to diversity and inclusion, and is Board EDI champion for the Trust, as well as at the University of Bedfordshire where she is Vice Chair. She is also NHFT Trustee at Northamptonshire Healthcare Charity.
Judit brings cross-sector experience in large scale, strategic change with a focus on delivery, stakeholder management and governance. She has a Master of Laws and an MBA in Change Management, with a focus on leadership, systems thinking and management in the public sector.
Scott Adams - Non Executive Director*
Scott is Commercial Director at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust, (PHU), and has responsibility for the creation of inward investment opportunities, as well as ownership of several strategic schemes aimed at accelerating the delivery of the PHU Trust strategy.
Prior to this role, Scott worked for British Telecom for 19 years at senior managerial and director level and has experience in delivering transformational growth programmes to the NHS and local government sector. Scott has a Master’s degree in business administration. He is a member of the Trust's Performance and Audit Committees and also the Board champion for the Trust's LGBTQ+ staff network.
Melanie Hall - Non Executive Director*
Melanie has over 15 years of Board experience within the life sciences and healthcare sector, starting with the NHS Logistics Authority and latterly as Global Special Projects Officer at DHL, Global Life Sciences and Healthcare Division.
Having worked as a partner with the NHS for much of her career, Melanie has a wealth of experience in business and service transformation, and an excellent understanding of the challenges and strategic direction of the NHS. She also brings knowledge and high standards of quality assurance and governance levels in CQC standards and audits. Melanie started her second term as a non-executive director in January 2023 and is the Trust’s Senior Independent Director, Wellbeing Guardian, Freedom to Speak Up lead and Board sponsor for the Working Carers Staff network and the Disability Staff network.
Saqhib Ali - Non Executive Director*
Saqhib is a qualified Fellow Member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA) accountant of 30 years and holds an Executive MBA from Cranfield. He founded a social impact start-up called ZeroPA offering financial education and interest-free loans to the financially vulnerable and disadvantaged.
Saqhib has worked across Europe, USA and Asia and lived in France for two years. He has extensive experience from blue chip organisations and non-financial general management roles with bp, Lloyds Banking Group, Asahi, Volvo Group, Computer Technologies and British Airways.
Saqhib began his career as an Auditor with Deloitte and Internal Auditor with Hertz and has held previous roles as Finance & HR Director, Financial Controller and Senior Analyst. He is passionate about getting behind the numbers, and supporting and challenging the Executive.
Robin Burgess - Non Executive Director*
A resident of Northamptonshire for 32 years, Robin has run local charities and been a commissioner for the former county council.
Robin took retirement from his CEO role at Northampton Hope Centre in June 2022. An a result of working for an organisation that helps people experiencing acute problems of disadvantage and marginalisation, including homelessness, addiction, and mental health, he has extensive experience with leading the improvement of issues such as substance misuse and healthcare quality.
Robin has also worked at regional and national levels. This includes time in the Home Office as Head of Intelligence for NHS England London region, and Chief Executive of the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP), which commissions all national clinical audit programmes and promotes clinical audit. Robin also has Trustee experience and was Chair of FAAWN West Northants local food alliance, an organisation he established.
Tim Harrison - Associate Non Executive Director
Tim has been the Chief Executive Officer of Granta Medical Practices in South Cambridgeshire for three years. He has executive responsibility for the largest General Practice in East of England. Prior to the NHS, he worked for 23 years for the John Lewis Partnership where he was Development Director.
Tim has a broad experience of commercial operations and delivering transformational change at an industrial scale. Having been a director in the UK’s largest employee owned organisation, he has deep experience of leadership excellence and focussed delivery.
His experience growing an organisation within the NHS has given him insight into the changing nature and demands of the modern NHS. As a Northamptonshire resident, he is a keen supporter of local services and their improvement.
Joanne Lancaster - Associate Non Executive Director
Jo has over 30 years’ experience in public services working primarily in local government to deliver better outcomes for communities.
Jo holds a master’s degree from Birmingham University and is a qualified coach and mentor. A chartered town planner, she has a professional background in planning, development and regeneration in urban and rural locations.
Jo was most recently CEO of Huntingdonshire District Council for nine years, after holding senior executive roles in the public sector transforming organisations and public settings.
Jo is now focused on non-executive roles at a local and national level, is a trustee with the Quality of Life Foundation and Governor at Cambridge Regional College.
Angela Hillery - Chief Executive*
Angela has worked in the NHS for over 30 years, beginning her career as a speech and language therapist, before holding a variety of leadership positions.
This year, Angela was named as the number one NHS chief executive in the country by the Health Service Journal (HSJ), making her the second woman to receive this accolade. She was also awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) – the highest ranking Order of the British Empire award, other than a knighthood or damehood as part of the King’s 2023 Birthday Honours List.
As well as leading NHFT since 2013, Angela was appointed joint Chief Executive of the Leicestershire Partnership and Northamptonshire Healthcare Group in 2019.
Angela brings to the Board a strong belief in developing compassionate cultures. She prioritises co-production and involvement with patients, service users and carers.
Angela has been recognised as a pioneer for her work leading two trusts and has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Northampton for her contribution to leadership.
Julie Shepherd - Chief Nurse*
Julie’s nursing career spans 40 years, with many years in senior leadership roles and eight years as the Director of Nursing/Chief Nurse for NHFT. She has also spent some time working in social care.
Julie trained as a general nurse at the Mayday Hospital and completed her Orthopaedic Nursing Certificate at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital Stanmore. Her master’s degree is in Managing Partnerships in Health and Social Care. Julie is on the cutting edge of innovation and quality improvement, and her approach to quality and patient safety was instrumental in improving the Trust’s CQC rating of ‘requires improvement’ in 2015 to ‘outstanding' in 2018. This year, Julie worked with St Andrews Healthcare, a non-profit mental health charity, to support them on their quality improvement journey.
Julie brings a passion for safe, quality care, quality improvement and involving patients and service users in the design and delivery of care. In recognition of Julie’s leadership across NHFT for its ‘outstanding’ CQC rating and throughout COVID-19, Julie was awarded the Chief Nursing Officer’s for England Gold Award.
David Maher - Deputy Chief Executive
David joined NHFT in April 2021 from Northeast London Integrated Care System, where he was Managing Director for the City and Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). There, he was Senior Responsible Officer for Mental Health and led on Community Based Care and End of Life Care across northeast London.
David has a strong track record of working in mental health, learning disability and autism services. He previously worked as a national commissioning advisor for the NHS Sustainable Development Unit leading on sustainability and social value.
David is passionate about people and communities, believing that kindness is the basis of all good relationships. David is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, is a non-voting member of the NHFT Board and is the Trust’s Senior Information Risk Owner.
Anne Rackham - Interim Chief Operating Officer
Anne has lead operational services for over 23 years in a range of community and inpatient settings. Joining the NHS in 1993 Anne has mainly worked in mental health services and offender health pathways. She joined NHFT in 2000 and is passionate about transformation, utilising lived experience and co production with multi disciplinary teams to strive for the best outcomes for people, living the values of NHFT.
Anne has a degree in Nursing, Master in Business Administration and has completed the Nye Bevan leadership training. Over the years she has utilised clinical skills in solution focused therapy and family therapy as a basis for developing teams and promoting wellbeing and staff support.
Chris Oakes - Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development
Throughout his career, Chris has been involved in developing high quality human resource (HR) services and leading significant culture change and organisational development (OD). He brings an abundance of experience within healthcare, both in the NHS and the independent sector.
Now responsible for a broad portfolio of activity including HR, training, OD and also extending to communications, Chris champions equality, diversity and inclusion. He has played an instrumental role in the Group Model’s Together Against Racism programme.
In 2022/23, he held non-voting positions on the Boards at NHFT and LPT as a shared director and fulfilled the role of Director of Corporate Governance and Risk at LPT. Chris is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. He has an MBA from Bayes Business School (City University) and Master of Science in Leadership at the University of Birmingham.
Richard Wheeler - Director of Finance*
As a Chartered Accountant, Richard has many years of NHS experience in a range of sectors including at the Strategic Health Authority, Oxford University Hospitals and East Midlands Ambulance Service.
He has been NHFT’s Executive Director of Finance since 2016 and is known for making quality the first consideration in financial and strategic decisions.
As Director of Finance, he fulfils key roles as the financial accounting officer as well as the executive lead for security management, internal and external audit and the green agenda. Richard holds a Maths degree and in 2012, was awarded Healthcare Finance Managers Association, Deputy Finance Director of the Year
Paul Sheldon - Chief Finance Officer
Paul Sheldon joined NHFT from South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) where he was Chief Finance Officer since 2017. Paul has worked in the public sector for over 28 years, beginning his career in social services finance, before spending the last 22 years working in the NHS.
He has a long and successful track record in various commissioning organisations, from Health Authorities to Primary Care Trusts to CCGs. Since February 2022, Paul has been CFO for Leicestershire Partnership and Northamptonshire Healthcare Group.
Paul is lead Executive for Estates and Sustainability for the Trust. He is also responsible for the CAMHS and Adult Eating Disorder Provider Collaboratives across the East Midlands.
Dr Itai Matumbike - Medical Director*
Itai has a wealth of experience in senior leadership roles including Medical Revalidation and Job Planning Lead, Professional Standards and Workforce Lead, Chair of the Medical Cabinet in the Nottingham Integrated Care System, and as a Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist at Rampton High Secure Hospital, The Wells Road Centre Low Secure Hospital, HMP Moorland and HMP Doncaster in the mental health inreach teams.
He has a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery, Master of Medical Sciences in Clinical Psychiatry, a CCT in Forensic Psychiatry and is a Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Itai is championing research and innovation at executive level and is leading pioneering work as part of our Group Model to create centres of academic excellence at NHFT and LPT – to support us in attracting the medical workforce of the future.
David Williams - Group Director of Strategy and Partnerships
David is a key architect of the Leicestershire Partnership and Northamptonshire Healthcare Group Model and has championed its establishment, including the programme of joint improvement priorities for both trusts.
He operates as a shared director in the Group Model, responsible for strategy, business development and partnerships at NHFT and LPT. He also holds non-voting positions on both Trust Boards. David has a wealth of education, voluntary sector and healthcare experience, as well as in partnership working and developing ways to work differently.
He has previously held roles in NHS England that supported the West Midlands in sustainability transformation partnerships and major incidents.