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 - Chair*

Crishni Waring

Crishni joined NHFT as Trust Chair in 2016 and is currently serving her second term. In 2018 the Trust achieved, and has since retained, an overall rating of Outstanding from the CQC including Outstanding for Well-Led. The Trust also won the 2018 HSJ Trust of the Year Award. Crishni has significant experience of leadership at senior level, both executive and non-executive. She joined NHFT from Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust (CWPT), another Community and Mental Health Trust where she was a Non-Executive Director for over five years. Whilst at CWPT, she chaired two different Board Committees and was appointed Senior Independent Director.
In summer 2020, Crishni was invited to Chair the newly-established NHS Midlands Region People Board. She is also a member of the NHS People Directorate’s Health and Wellbeing Advisory Board, chaired by Dame Carol Black. Most recently, Crishni was 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.
She has a background in change management and organisational development and is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development. She has worked across all sectors and has a diverse industry background encompassing healthcare, education, retail and logistics. She is currently also the Chair of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, a charity with a mission to protect local wildlife and wild places.

Julia Curtis - Deputy 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.

Her latest role has been as Chief Nurse with Cambridgeshire Community Services, a local NHS Trust, where she was proud to contribute to their recent Care Quality Commission rating of ‘Outstanding’.

She brings Board level experience in leading improvements in Quality, Safety and Patient Experience across many different services.

Julia is passionate about delivering high-quality care and services that make a real difference to people’s lives and has recently become a Trustee of Arthur Rank Hospice Cambridge and Stars, a  Children and Young People’s bereavement counselling services charity.

Judit Seymour - Non-Executive Director*

Judit Seymour NED Judit has extensive board knowledge since 2007, with a portfolio of non-executive director roles spanning the public and private sectors as well as more than two decades of executive experience in risk management in financial services and, over seven years as a practising commercial barrister.

Judit brings cross-sector experience in large scale, strategic change, financial expertise with a focus on delivery, stakeholder management and governance knowledge which offers valuable support and makes a positive difference in people’s lives.

Judit has a Master of Laws and MBA in change management with a focus on leadership, systems thinking and management in the public sector. 

Scott Adams - Non Executive Director*

Scott Adams Scott is Director of Integrated Health and Social Care within Major and Public Sector of British Telecom and has responsibility for the definition and investment prioritisation of major and public sector growth strategy.  His role is also aligned to the NHS and local government care providers.  Scott has worked for British Telecom for 19 years at senior managerial and director level and has experience in delivering transformational growth programmes.  Scott has a Master’s degree  in Business Administration.

Melanie Hall - Non Executive Director*

Melanie Hall Melanie has 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 broad strategic direction of the NHS. Melanie also brings knowledge and high standards of quality assurance and governance levels in regards to CQC standards and audits.

Saqhib Ali - Non Executive Director*

Saqhib Ali Saqhib Ali is a qualified accountant of 28 years (FCCA) and holds an Exec MBA from Cranfield.  He currently works for a leading Electric Vehicle Charging Post manufacturer and Charging Network provider in the UK owned by a major energy company.

He 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 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 Financial Director, Financial Controller and Analyst.  He is passionate about getting behind the numbers; and supporting and challenging the Executive.

Outside of work Saqhib is a Parish Councillor of 12 years, a school governor and Editor of a Village Newsletter.

Robin Burgess - Non Executive Director*

Portrait image of Robin Burgess Non Executive DirectorRobin has lived in Northamptonshire for 32 years and that time has included running local charities and a spell as a commissioner for the former county council.

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

With extensive experience in substance misuse and healthcare quality improvement, Robin has also worked at the regional and national level including 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 has prior Trustee experience and until this month was Chair of FAAWN West Northants local food alliance, which he set up.

Tim Harrison - Associate Non Executive Director

Portrait image of Tim Harrison, Associate Non Executive DirectorTim 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

Portrait image of Joanne Lancaster, Associate Non Executive Director. Jo has over 30 year's experience in public services working primarily in local government to deliver better outcomes for communities; she holds a Masters degree from Birmingham University and is a qualified coach and mentor.  She is a chartered town planner and has worked in various areas of the country in both urban and rural areas. Having held senior roles at executive level in a number of organisations, most recently as CEO of Huntingdonshire District Council for 9 years, Jo is now focusing her time on non-executive roles at both local and national level, working with public bodies and charities to share her passion for transformative public services.

Angela Hillery - Chief Executive*

Angela Hillery

Angela has worked within the NHS for over 30 years and has held a variety of leadership positions during this time, including Director of Operations.

In 2017 & 2018 Angela was listed in the Health Service Journal's Top 50 rated Chief Executives and in 2015 was a finalist for 'Chief Executive of the Year' at the HSJ Awards. Angela’s ethos is in her commitment to upholding values and developing compassionate cultures for those we for those we care for and work with. Co-production and involvement with patients, service users and carers is a priority at NHFT with many notable projects underway, including the ‘Moving Ahead’ project to deliver equalities in mental health services for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.  

In 2018 the Trust achieved an overall rating of Outstanding from the CQC and also won the 2018 HSJ Trust of the Year Award. Angela has a clinical background as a Speech and Language therapist and has served on the National Management Board of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapy and held a partner role with the Health Professional Council.

In August 2017 Angela took on the lead role for the Northamptonshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan in Northamptonshire Angela is passionate about parity of esteem for Mental Health services and has family experiences that drive her commitment to continual improvements.

In 2019 Angela was appointed Chief Executive of Leicestershire Partnership Trust, in a shared role with NHFT.

Julie Shepherd - Chief Nurse*

Julie Shepherd Julie leads by example and has had a nursing career spanning over 35 years, with many years in senior leadership roles and five years as Director of Nursing, Allied Health Professionals and Quality. Julie regularly spends time with clinical services to ensure she understands patient/carer needs and staff challenges. Julie is on the cutting edge of innovation and quality improvement. Through her approach to quality and patient safety, Julie has been instrumental in improving the CQC’s rating of ‘requires improvement’ in 2015 to ‘outstanding' in 2018 by working with staff and colleagues at Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust. Julie is passionate about safe, quality care and has ensured that this has remained at the foundation of all her strategic planning. She has a leadership role as one of the joint Nurses in the Northamptonshire STP (Health Care Partnership) and holds a Master’s degree in managing partnerships in health and social care. During her career Julie has spent a period of time working in social care.

David Maher - Deputy Chief Executive 

David Maher David Maher has joined us from North East London Integrated Care System, where he was Managing Director for the City and Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), and Senior Responsible Officer for Mental Health, Community Based Care and End of Life Care across north east London.  David has a long, successful track record working in mental health, learning disability and autism services and is passionate about people and communities; during his time with the Sustainable Development Unit he supported NHS and Public Health England’s work on social and environmental sustainability.  David joined NHFT in April 2021 as Deputy Chief Executive and confirms ‘kindness is the basis of all good relationships’ and he hopes to bring NHFT’s values to the foreground of new ways of working locally. 

Jean Knight - Chief Operating Officer

Jean Knight Jean has a wealth of operational management experience both within the NHS and the private sector. Jean first joined the NHS in 2007 and has mainly managed a variety of services predominantly in the Acute Hospital Sector.  She joined NHFT in 2017 as the Deputy Director of Adult and Children’s Services and after a selection process was appointed to COO in March 2020.  Jean holds a Masters in Healthcare Leadership and has completed the NHS Leadership Elizabeth Garrett Anderson programme.  Jean is committed to the values of NHFT and working in partnership to make a difference for teamNHFT and our population.

Chris Oakes - Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development

Chris Oakes Chris brings with him an abundance of experience within healthcare, both in the NHS and the independent sector. He has been involved in developing high quality human resources (HR) services and leading significant culture change and organisational development (OD). Chris was Director of the Workforce and OD at the Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and prior to that was the director of HR at St Andrew's Healthcare. Chris is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. He has an MBA from Cass Business School (City University) and recently completed an MSc in Leadership at the University of Birmingham.

Richard Wheeler - Director of Finance*

Richard Wheeler

Richard is a Chartered Accountant with 14 years of NHS experience, starting in 2005 as Head of Finance at the Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland Strategic Health Authority. He was then appointed Deputy Director of Finance at Oxford University Hospitals and prior to joining the Trust was Director of Finance for East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS).

Richard has a maths degree and was awarded Healthcare Finance Managers Association (HFMA) Deputy Finance Director of the Year in December 2012. He was Finance Lead for the Northamptonshire Health and Care Partnership (previously known as STP or Sustainability and Transformation Partnership) from July 2016 to December 2018.

On 1 February 2022, Richard returned to the role of fully accountable Director of Finance for NHFT.

Paul Sheldon - Chief Finance Officer

Paul Sheldon Paul Sheldon joined NHFT from South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) where he was Chief Finance Officer since 2017 and also the Sustainable Transformation Partnership (STP) Finance Lead for Coventry and Warwickshire.

Paul has worked in the public sector for over 26 years, beginning his career in social services finance, before spending the last 20 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.  Paul joined NHFT in March 2021 as part of a hand over with Richard Wheeler before moving to fully accountable Director of Finance for NHFT from 1 April 2021.

On 1 February 2022, Paul Sheldon took on the role of Chief Finance Officer for Leicestershire Partnership and Northamptonshire Healthcare Group. 

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.

Dr Matumbike joins us from his role as Interim Executive Medical Director at Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, one of the country’s largest integrated mental health and community providers and has experience as an Associate Medical Director and Deputy Responsible Officer.

Itai 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.

David Williams - Group Director of Strategy and Partnerships

David was a Locality Director for NHS England in the West Midlands. David was responsible for commissioning primary care, dentistry and public health services as well as supporting a number of Sustainability TransformationPartnerships. In addition to his rDavid Williamsole within NHS England, David was also the Accountable Emergency Officer for the West Midlands with the responsibility for ensuring the NHS was prepared and able to respond to major incident situations. David has a wealth of education, voluntary sector and healthcare experience as well as experience in partnership working and developing ways to work differently.


Public Board Meeting

Public Board Meeting January 2023



To watch previous meetings click here