Our Governors

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    Judy Cottrell

    Public Governors, Taunton Deane

    I was brought up and trained as a registered nurse in Taunton. During my career I have had widespread nursing experience in hospitals of different sizes and specialties, including working abroad in Africa and the USA for over 35 years. I am a proud supporter of the NHS and I retired from nursing in 2013. Now I use my practical experience in my role as governor at Somerset NHS Foundation Trust.

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    Philippa Hawks

    Public Governors, Taunton Deane

    After a decade of working for the BBC, in London and in the Natural History Unit in Bristol, I married a general practitioner and moved to Somerset. Since giving up paid work I have been very involved with the local community – as a justice of the peace, a member of Taunton Deane Borough Council, a parish councillor, school governor for primary and secondary schools, trustee and chair of the Community Council for Somerset. I have also been involved with many projects with Somerset’s arts and environment. My interest in health began with my membership of the Somerset Community Health Council, then as non-executive director for Taunton Deane Primary Care Trust. I am currently a mental health act manager for the Trust and Cygnet Healthcare, trustee for the Bishop Fox’s Educational Foundation and a volunteer for Circles UK.

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    Elaine Hodgson

    Public Governors, Taunton Deane

    I enjoy serving the community. I have worked as a volunteer with Somerset’s local involvement network (LINK), Healthwatch Somerset, The Acorn Project, Alternative2 Admission, and I am a member of Taunton Deane Forum for Mental Health. I have lived experience of mental health problems and a live with some physical disabilities so I can empathise with our patients. I use my role as governor to influence for the good of the patients, and to continue breaking down the barriers of ‘them’ and ‘us’.

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    Jeanette Keech

    Public Governors, Taunton Deane

    I enjoyed a career in public relations, and have been a governor of a 6th form college, a member of Crimestoppers and the Taunton Crime Prevention team. For twelve years I was a trustee of Age UK Somerset and am currently actively involved with a local patients' group (PPG) of a doctor's surgery. I have been a governor of Musgrove Park Hospital representing the people of Taunton Deane, and now enjoy being a governor of Somerset NHS Foundation Trust. I also worked as a non-executive director on the Musgrove Park Hospitals Board for nearly a decade. I use my experience and understanding of the Somerset health system to support the newly merged Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, in its vital and challenging role of looking after the health of the people of Somerset.

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    Sumitar Young

    Public Governors, Taunton Deane

    My professional life has been spent as a teacher and as a manager in further education and I have always worked to make a positive difference in the lives of my students. My last role was senior manager in Bridgwater College where I saw the impact that poverty, mental health, safeguarding, and learning disabilities had on the learning of individual students and on their families. I have worked with colleagues from health, police, social services, voluntary organisations and other providers and have seen how working together can improve services. In my role as governor, I want to play my part in helping to improve the quality of our NHS services.

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    Richard Brown

    Public Governors, Mendip

    Before becoming a governor I had no connection with the NHS, except as a service user I have management and judicial experience and I serve as a director and trustee of a number of charities. I have also served on a number of government and county appointed boards. My wife and I live at Westhay near Glastonbury, our four children having long left home. I became a governor to represent my fellow service users in the Mendip area.

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    Bob Champion

    Public Governors, Mendip

    I became a governor to help people who have trouble helping themselves. I have spent the last 30 years of my working life with the Somerset Ambulance Service, most of it on the road, and sometimes in senior positions. I have been a town or district councillor for more than 30 years and was the Mendip District Council representative on the Somerset Community Health Council (health Watchdog) and vice chair for two years. I am now a member of Somerset Healthwatch, the local health/social care watchdog. During my years with the Community Health Council I worked with NHS partners to introduce a 24/7 service stroke service and saw community hospitals set up rehabilitation stroke units. During my 46 years with the NHS I have seen the patient's journey from the beginning to the end of life. My role as governor gives me opportunity to look more closely at the middle of life's journey and to ensure that Mendip residents receive what they are entitled to.

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    Cathy Hackett

    Public Governors, Mendip

    Our ever-widening health agenda brings real complexity to setting priorities and allocating resources and as a governor I represent the community’s needs in decision-making so that the Trust can continue to provide quality, accessible health and hospital services. My career has been all about people. I’ve been a human resources director in large corporate organisations and have a commercial, strategic and planning background as well as a deep understanding of change management and the needs of human beings in organisations. I’ve been a member of the Patient Participation Group at my local GP practice and the patient chair on the Patient/Carer Forum at UCLH National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. I’ve also worked in organisation development at a couple of NHS trusts, so I bring a strong appreciation of the issues, constraints and opportunities that hospitals and our public health services face to my work as a govenor.

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    Judith Goodchild

    Public Governors, Sedgemoor

    The merger between Taunton and Somerset and Somerset Partnership is an exciting opportunity to benefit the care that all patients receive. It is a privilege to act as a public governor for the new Trust, as it has been to be a Musgrove governor for the past eight years The NHS is going through a period of change and it is important that the voice of the public is heard and taken into account when decisions are being made about future healthcare in Somerset. As a governor of Somerset NHS Foundation Trust and as chair of Healthwatch Somerset I have the opportunity to do this. I am chair of the Quality and Patient Experience Group, which listens to the concerns that patients and the public may have, and bringing them to the attention of the executive team. I am also secretary to my surgery’s Patient Participation Group, so am aware of local healthcare issues.

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    Dave Gudge

    Public Governors, Sedgemoor

    For more than 30 years, I have worked with many people to deliver care in nursing homes, hospitals and brain injury units. I have worked in professional and semi-professional sports, teaching and guiding both young and old athletes, mainly as a sport scientist, coach and psychologist. I am interested in NHS strategic planning and delivery. I became a governor because I want to make a difference in how care is delivered and that patients get the care they need. I would like to showcase the hard work of our staff. I am a qualified welfare officer and I pride myself on my honesty, professionalism, versatility, patience and knowledge of the medical profession.

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    Malcolm Turner

    Public Governors, Sedgemoor

    I have significant management and organisational skills gained in both public and private sectors, coupled with many years of practical experience as a user and a supporter of the NHS. I have experience of partnership working and an understanding of, the financial pressures faced in our current landscape, particularly in a past role as CEO of a Bristol-based not-for-profit organisation, supporting individuals experiencing disadvantage in the labour market. I have worked for many years in support of equality and diversity programmes. I hold an MSc in Local Economic Development and a Certified Diploma in Accounting and Finance. I wanted to become a governor to play a part in maintaining and improving health services for the local community. I have spent several years as the chair of my local Patient Participation Group and subsequently became an ambassador for the Patients Association. I play an active role in the Peninsular Patient Involvement Group supporting health research through Exeter University. I became a governor because I want to represent the service user and help put them at the centre of community and mental health services.

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    Paddy Ashe

    Public Governors, South Somerset

    I have served in the Royal Navy for the last 41 years and I am now employed as a civil servant in air traffic control at RNAS Yeovilton. I have a son and daughter, and my wife works for the NHS Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group. I cannot think of a better way to participate in the wider community than by being a member of the Council of Governors, helping to preserve and improve the NHS in all aspects of patient care for the people of Somerset.

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    Nick Beecham

    Public Governors, South Somerset

    I have been in the farming industry for 30 years. I had a mental health breakdown and the team at Bracken House in Chard have been very supportive during my illness. I am also a full-time carer. These experiences drew me into helping other people who have a disability or mental health illness, by starting a group called The Watch Project. I became a governor because I felt I could help in some way in improving mental health services in the NHS.

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    Judi Morison

    Public Governors, South Somerset

    Since retiring from adult and community learning three years ago, I have become a town councillor which has strengthened my skills and empathy with people of all ages and in most situations. I believe that everyone has a right to be accepted, and actively celebrate diversity. I became a governor because I have an interest in services for young people and have been involved in youth work all my life. I am particularly conscious of rising numbers of young people with mental illness, and have recently started a Youth Council encouraging our young people to have a say in their community and understand democratic processes. I live in a rural area and am very concerned about the accessibility of local facilities, and strongly believe that services can be accessed by joining up community services and working in partnership with other agencies. I am also keen to promote the NHS as a positive place to work, with many opportunities for young people to work in a variety of health settings.

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    Gillian Waldron

    Public Governors, South Somerset

    I was born and educated in Somerset, and have continued to live here for most of my life. I have always had a great interest in the local health of the people of Somerset. In the past I have been a member of the Community Health Council of Somerset, a non-executive board member of Yeovil District Hospital for twelve years, and now a member of the Patient Participation Group for Martock. My interest in being a governor is due to the very exciting merger of acute, community and mental health services, which I feel will be of great benefit for the patients of Somerset.

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    Ian Aldridge

    Public Governors, West Somerset

    The NHS is essential for everyone at some time in our lives, and has been there when I needed it. I became a governor to give something back. I have been a patient, a carer, and worked in a commercial organisation supplying the NHS. I now have the time as a governor to contribute to the running of the service through representing the needs and views of the people who are served by the Trust. I work to take the needs and aspirations of the people of Somerset to the heart of the Trust, and make constructive suggestions to the Board about how those expectations can be met within the limited resources available. It is also important to feed back to communities the reasoning behind decisions made in their interest by the Board.

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    Kate Butler

    Public Governors, West Somerset

    I have spent my adult life caring for people, undertaking my nurse training in London at Great Ormond Street and the Middlesex Hospitals. I spent many years district nursing and developed the community liaison department within Musgrove Park Hospital. I have managed a 40-bedded nursing home, achieving the ‘Investors in People’ award in six months, and have been a clinical advisor for NHS England on long term care appeal panels for the last ten years. I am very involved in the community, having set up and run a community lunch for the over 60s. I started the Good Neighbourhood Scheme in Stogumber with the Community Council and the scheme has now been rolled out across Somerset. I am a member of the village hall committee, a member of the Parochial Church Council and the Patient Participation Group at Williton Surgery. I enjoy gardening, walking my dogs and – when I have time – painting and upholstery; I especially enjoy my small grandchildren who live nearby. I was a governor at Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, and know how important links are with the community. As governor of Somerset NHS, I want to represent the people of West Somerset and ensure all their health needs are met – mental and physical health.

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    Margaret Worth

    Public Governors, West Somerset

    I regularly attend the patient and public meetings of the Trust which I think are crucial for sharing and highlighting the wide spread best practice of trust staff. Supporting hard working healthcare professionals is vital, balanced with assisting them to reflect on their practice, when maybe there is a better way to consider if things go wrong. I trained as a nurse in my late twenties and ran a small care home caring for older people. My aim was to provide truly personalised care. I am currently an accredited healthcare trainer. I deliver a range of courses to private care homes including insight into dementia. I believe in the importance of diversity and all caring models should be unwaveringly diverse. Somerset NHS Foundation Trust should be rightfully proud of its hard work.

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    Alan Peak

    Public Governor, Outside Somerset

    I have spent the last 17 years working with the Patient Transport Service at South Western Ambulance Service and I was a staff governor too. I retired 18 months ago and I am now a councillor on Weston-super-Mare Town Council. I was the mayor of Weston too in 2016/17. When we attend hospital for any appointments or to be admitted for an operation, you and I are their customers. As customers we need to know how our hospital is run and that we have the confidence that any of our concerns are listened to. As a governor I want to use my experience in talking and listening to the concerns of patients to make improvements at Somerset NHS Foundation Trust.

Staff Governors

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    Paul Aldwinckle

    Staff Governor

    As a chiropodist/ podiatrist my career began in my parents’ practice, then I ran my own practice for 12 years. Once I gained my BSc (Hons) in Podiatry I joined the NHS where my specialist areas were diabetes and bio-mechanics. I combine these now with specialist clinics alongside the orthopaedic team. I moved to Somerset in 2004 to take up the lead diabetes role in podiatry then later joined the orthopaedic assessment service. Over my 17 years in the NHS, I have seen much change and in my role as staff governor, I support my colleagues to keep focusing on the high standard of care that patients our patients deserve. I was born and grew up in Leicester, and live in North Somerset where I am involved in Church youth work and with the Scout movement as leader, and trainer of leaders. I am married with four children and continue to be involved with the local church and a number of charities.

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    Hannah Coleman

    Staff Governor

    I qualified as a registered nurse in 1997 from the University of Plymouth and first worked on the urology and male surgical wards in Musgrove Park Hospital. I have also worked in the private sector as a nurse advisor which gave me an understanding of the business elements of healthcare. I returned to the NHS as a GP practice nurse based in the medical centre at Butlins. I then joined Minehead Minor Injury Unit in 2009 and qualified as an emergency nurse practitioner 2011. I am married with two grown up step-sons and spend much of my spare time helping my husband in his air conditioning and refrigeration business and walking my little (very spoilt) dog.

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    Owen Howell

    Staff Governor

    I currently work for the Home Treatment Team in Yeovil, and have been qualified as a mental health nurse since 2011. I have worked across all areas of mental health, including child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) and older adults mental health, and was lucky enough to complete some of my nurse training in New Zealand. I’m deeply passionate about the core values of the NHS and equally as concerned about its future. I became a governor to bring the stories of the people I care for to board level, and to find positive solutions that as a Trust we can offer to the local community. I want to use my role to positively represent the voice of mental health, and to champion change in our working practice, so we can ensure improved wellbeing of staff and better working environments.

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    Polly Maguire

    Staff Governor

    I am a qualified dietitian and have been practising for the past ten years in hospitals all around the country in hospital settings and out in the community. I have worked for the NHS and privately, but now settled in Somerset and enjoy my role with the Eating Disorders Service for Adults. I became a staff governor to give a voice to anyone that feels they don’t have one. I have worked with district nurses, paediatric teams, community mental health teams and inpatient units as governor, raising issues and resolving concerns with directors and non-executives.

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    Nicola Shergold

    Staff Governor

    info to follow

Appointed Governors

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    Dr Jayne Chidgey-Clark

    Appointed Governor, Somerset CCG

    I am a Registered Nurse, and my clinical speciality was end of life care. I am an experienced director and senior manager in the NHS, Higher Education, private and voluntary sector, with significant Board level experience. I am passionate about patient safety, the patient experience, and patient and public involvement in service transformation. After many years in the NHS I now work as a consultant, interim senior manager and coach in my Limited Company, The JCC Partnership Ltd, since March 2015. I am also a trained Sundoor Master Firewalk Instructor, Motivational Coach and Breathwork Practitioner, and a Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Hypnosis.

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    Ian Hawkins

    Appointed Governor, Taunton Samaritans

    Born, bred and educated in Somerset, my family were for four generations the village bakers. Following three years at Cardiff studying food technology, and 10 years in the north of England managing large bakeries, I returned to Somerset with my Yorkshire-born wife and two children, to run the family bakery. I also set up a new IT company, Bakery Computing, to write and support software specifically for the bakery and food industries in the UK. Being lucky enough to live in a small village with a vibrant community, it is important to be involved. Over the years I have served as parish councillor, school governor, church warden, village hall trustee and chair of our local GPs Friends’ group. In the past 10 years my involvement as a volunteer with Samaritans of Taunton and Somerset has reinforced my interest in not only the improvement of, but also the need for, simplified access to support for people suffering from poor mental health. Through my practical business experience, involvement in rural community life and Samaritan ethics, I bring a practical yet empathetic view to the Council of Governors.

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    Cllr Terry Napper

    Appointed Governor, Somerset County Council

    I started work for Clark’s Shoes in 1963 as an engineering apprentice and when I qualified as an engineer I started working in the Street factory. I also worked in Clark’s factories in Bridgwater and Ilminster until 1984 when I started my own Company, Sewtech, based in Glastonbury servicing and maintenance of shoe machinery until 2018. I joined Street Parish Council in 2008 and became a County Councillor in 2009. I am also a Mendip District Councillor and I am a member of the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority.

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    Cllr Heather Shearer

    Appointed Governor, District and Borough Council

    For the last 11 years I have run a company that supplies temporary warehouse buildings, and before that I was in operational management in charities and companies. I moved to Street in the summer of 2015 with my dog Fred and since then I have also been actively involved in the community as volunteer co-ordinator at Strode Theatre, treasurer for Houndwood Community Group where I live, and now as councillor for Mendip District Council and Street Parish Council. I am an executive member at Mendip Council, and lead on community health services. At the start of my career I worked in public and private sector organisations, principally in training and development. After about 10 years, I was able to spend time as a volunteer with Citizens Advice which opened my eyes to the challenges many of us face daily. I believe that good healthcare, social care and education should not be dependent upon where you live and how much you earn. On a more personal note, I have benefitted hugely from the NHS, with my treatment of a rare cancer and the excellent care given to my late-mother. I bring to this role, experience in working with trustee boards, both as an executive officer and a board member, and I will be conscientious and committed to the role.

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    Caroline Toll

    Appointed Governor, Carers UK

    I have worked in a variety of settings including airlines, public relations in fashion and other industries, counselling - ending with training managers in many organisations in people skills. Since my husband died I have been an energetic advocate for better support for unpaid carers and that experience is what I mainly offer as a governor. I am an ambassador for Carers UK, member of Carers’ Voice, CCG Advisory Group and Frome Medical Practice Patients Participation Group. I am interested in the arts, particularly music and am an enthusiastic amateur gardener.