Our Board

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 - Trust Chair*

Crishni Waring Trust ChairCrishni 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 and has been chairing the NHS Midlands Regional People Board, which oversees the implementation of the People Plan in the region, since its establishment in summer 2020.

In 2022, Crishni was appointed as the Chair for the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Integrated Care Board and in 2023, Crishni was appointed joint Chair of the Leicestershire Partnership and Northamptonshire Healthcare Group, reflecting our well-established commitment to partnership working between both Trusts.

Crishni has worked across all sectors and has a diverse industry background including healthcare, education, retail and logistics.

Julia Curtis - Deputy Trust Chair*

Julia Curtis NED

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.

Melanie Hall - Non-Executive Director*

Melanie Hall 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 Ali 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 and 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*

Robin Burgess Non Executive DirectorRobin took retirement from his CEO role at Northampton Hope Centre in June 2022, an organisation that helps people experiencing acute problems of disadvantage and marginalisation, including homelessness, addiction, and mental health.

He has extensive experience in substance misuse, commissioning and healthcare quality from other roles at both regional and national levels. This includes time in the Home Office as a policy lead on national drug strategy, and as Head of Intelligence for NHS England London region, and as 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 HarrisonTim 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 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

Joanne Lancaster 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.

Judit Seymour - Non-Executive Director*

Judit Seymour NED

Judit has wide-reaching leadership experience. From a 20-year career in multinational leadership roles, eight years as a practicing barrister, non-executive 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.

Angela Hillery - Chief Executive and Accountable Officer*

Angela Hillery

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.

In 2023, 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.

David Maher - Managing Director and Deputy Chief Executive*

David Maher 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 and is the Trust’s Senior Information Risk Owner.

Linda Chibuzor - Chief Nurse*

Linda Chibuzor Chief NurseLinda has a wealth of NHS experience and working in the healthcare sector. Linda is a registered nurse in mental health and is also a Specialist Dementia Nurse and a Best Interest Assessor (BIA). She spent most of her early career working within mental health and learning disabilities services, specifically working as a frontline staff nurse, prison nurse, community nurse, forensic nurse and previously as a care home manager.

Linda worked in Essex as a ward manager across different age groups, perinatal services, children’s services, adults of working age, and older adults, before moving on to work in various commissioning roles (CCGs) including clinical quality, mental health, continuing healthcare, children services, maternity, community services, learning disabilities including transforming care programme, and Autism. Linda worked as Deputy Director of Nursing, Quality and Safeguarding at NHS Milton Keynes CCG (now BLMK ICB), Deputy Director of Nursing at Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (Notts Healthcare), before joining NHFT in January 2022 as Director of Nursing, AHPs and Quality.

Dr Itai Matumbike - Medical Director*

Itai Matumbike 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 in-reach 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.

Itai is the Caldicott Guardian for the Trust.

Chris Oakes - Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development

Chris Oakes

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 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 2023/24, 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.

Anne Rackham - Chief Operating Officer

Anne Rackham Anne has led 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 multidisciplinary teams to strive for the best outcomes for people, living the values of NHFT.

Anne has a degree in nursing, masters 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.

Paul Sheldon - Chief Finance Officer*

Paul Sheldon Paul Sheldon joined NHFT from South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) where he was Chief Finance Officer (CFO) 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.

David Williams - Group Director of Strategy and Partnerships

David Williams 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.

Public Board Meeting

Public Board Meeting March 2024


To watch previous meetings click here