Our Board of Directors

The Role of Our Trust Board

The Role of the Board is to:
  • Provide leadership
  • Establish the vision, mission and values of the Trust and set strategy and structures
  • Shape the culture
  • Ensure accountability by holding the organisation to account for the achievement of strategy
  • Oversee the management of the Trust by
    • Determining monitoring criteria
    • Establishing effective internal controls
    • Regularly reviewing effectiveness

The Board comprises Executive and Non-Executive Directors

There is a general duty upon directors to promote the success of the Trust to maximise the benefits for members of the trust and the public.
All members of the Board have a collective responsibility for every decision of the board.
All directors have a collective responsibility to challenge constructively the information and proposals made to the board.
Non-executive directors have a particular duty to challenge executive directors and scrutinise their performance accordingly.
Executive directors are paid employees – responsible as executives for managing the organisation and as board members (directors) for leadership and direction of the Trust.
Non-executive directors are drawn from outside the organisation and bring to the Trust external expertise. They are paid for their time but are not employees of the Trust. They do not have a managerial role and are particularly responsible for challenging the executive directors in decision making and on the Trust’s strategy.
The Council of Governors  is a valued and effective body advising the trust on issues that are important to patients and the wider community. It works with the trust to ensure it provides the best possible service to its patients. The Council of Governors is not responsible for the day-to-day running of the trust but works with the board of directors to produce the trust’s future plans; it ensures that the voice of members and partners are used to inform the trust’s decisions. Its statutory responsibilities are described in the Trust’s constitution.
The Council of Governors also hold the non-executive directors individually and collectively to account.

Our Board of Directors

Executive Directors

Group Chief Executive: Simon Weldon

Group Chief Executive Simon Weldon Having served as Chief Executive of Kettering General Hospital from April 2018, Simon Weldon was appointed as Group Chief Executive for both Northampton and Kettering General Hospitals from July 2020. Building on the significant improvements made at Kettering Hospital, which were recognised by the CQC in May 2019, Simon’s focus is on strengthening collaboration between the two hospitals to improve the quality of services for people living across Northamptonshire.  

Simon originally joined us from NHS England, where he held the posts of Director of Operations and Delivery and, formerly, Regional Chief Operating Officer. He was responsible for overseeing the CCG regulatory regime, heading up the emergency planning function, supporting the urgent and emergency care transformation programme, and leading the information function across NHS England. Specialising in acute contracting and operational performance, Simon also has significant experience in public health, primary care and specialised commissioning

Chief People Officer: Paula Kirkpatrick

Director of HR and OF Paula Kirkpatrick Paula joined the Trust in 2019 after a career in HR spanning both public and private sectors, latterly including 15 years in policing where she was half of a job share partnership working in a number of senior roles.  Whilst working for Cambridgeshire Constabulary Paula was part of the HR leadership team that developed a collaborated HR service across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire police forces.  Initially joining KGH as Deputy Director HR and OD in September 2019, Paula was appointed as Director HR and OD in June 2020 and Acting Chief People Officer in July 2022.
Paula’s areas of interest include health and wellbeing and equality, diversity and inclusion.  She believes leadership is about supporting teams and individuals to be the best they can be: by ensuring people are healthy and well in the broadest sense; are able to be themselves in the workplace, bringing all their skills and expertise to their role; and are supported and developed to reach their potential.
On 1st September 2022 Paula was appointed as Group Chief People Officer.

Group Chief Finance Officer: Jon Evans

Group Chief Finance Officer Jon Evans Jon joined Kettering and Northampton General Hospitals in June 2021 as Group Chief Finance Officer.
Previously, Jon was Director of Finance at Oxford University Hospitals and prior to that worked in various senior finance roles at Imperial College Healthcare and UCLH in London, having started his career in the NHS on the national graduate training scheme.
Jon is a qualified chartered management accountant and has an MBA from the Alliance Manchester Business School. He is an active member of the HFMA, having been part of various committees and regional branches throughout his career.

Group Director of Strategy: Polly Grimmett

Polly Grimmett Director of Strategy Polly joined the Trust in 2017, and has responsibility for leading the Strategic Development of the Trust. This includes being the executive lead for the redesign and rebuild of the site, including leading the work to rebuild a new Urgent Care facility for the hospital.  The role also includes developing the Trust’s relationships with other partners, to ensure patients in North Northamptonshire receive an integrated approach to all there care needs and remain as well as possible.
Polly spent much of her career in operational management roles in different acute providers, and also worked in commissioning and community services. Most recently she was part of the merger team at North West Anglia and led the redevelopment of the Stamford hospital site.

Group Chief Digital Information Officer: Natasha Chare

Group Chief Digital Information Officer - Natasha Chare

Group Executive Director of Transformation and Quality Improvement: Rebecca Taylor

Group Executive Director of Transformation and Quality Improvement: Rebecca Taylor Becky joined Kettering and Northampton Hospitals in October 2021, and has responsibility for leading the Transformation and Quality Improvement agenda across University Hospitals of Northamptonshire. This includes being the executive lead for large-scale transformation programmes across KGH and NGH, supporting and enabling a culture of quality improvement, and the monitoring and tracking of programmes and projects.
Becky spent much of her career in management consultancy supporting different acute providers, community providers, local authorities and NHS national bodies to develop strategies and transform services.  She is a Health Foundation Q Community Fellow and is passionate about supporting staff to make things work better for both our patients and our staff.

Hospital CEO KGH & Interim Group CEO, University Hospitals of Northamptonshire: Deborah Needham

debbie needham picture
Deborah has over 30 years’ experience of working in the NHS, in Manchester, London and Northampton.
Deborah started her career in Greater Manchester where she trained and qualified as a Registered General Nurse, having experience in respiratory and acute assessment ward nursing, practice development and clinical site management. Deborah moved into General Management in 1999 and has been a Board Director since April 2014 taking the roles of Chief Operating Officer/Deputy CEO, Hospital CEO at Northampton General Hospital before commencing at KGH as the CEO in March 2021.
Debbie has a strong track record of delivery & her main strengths lie in building excellent teams & developing them to ensure delivery of exceptional patient care.
Deborah lives in Northamptonshire with her Partner.

Director of Nursing, Midwifery and AHP's: Jayne Skippen

Jayne Skippen Director of Nursing and AHP's

Director of Governance: Richard Apps

Director of Governance Richard AppsRichard joined the Trust in July 2018. This Role focusses on ensuring effective systems for patient safety, experience and learning, clinical effectiveness, health and safety, risk management, quality assurance, information governance, board assurance and corporate governance.

Richard previously worked in adult learning disability services in Northamptonshire before joining the NHS in Leicestershire in 2005. He has strong interest in patient safety and quality improvement having worked academically as an associate lecturer in healthcare governance at Loughborough University and establishing the academic and healthcare partnership the Leicestershire Innovation, Improvement and Patient Safety (LIIPS) unit hosted by the University of Leicester. Most recently Richard worked at NHS Improvement focussing on quality and performance improvement across a range of NHS Trusts. Richard is a Health foundation Q fellow.

Chief Operating Officer: Fay Gordon

Fay Gordon Chief Operating Officer Fay initially started her career in the NHS as a Registered General Nurse at KGH, before moving to the University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL) where she undertook many nursing roles in acute and Elective surgery.  Later, Fay moved into General Management at UHL, where she managed large complex services across the Trust, gaining significant operational and strategic experience, before moving to NGH as the Divisional Manager for Medicine and Urgent care.  In April 2020 Fay joined KGH as Deputy Chief Operating Officer and became Chief Operating Officer in March 2021.
Fay is passionate about developing high performing teams in order to ensure the delivery of quality services for our patients and carers.

Medical Director: John Jameson

John joined KGH in February 2023 having been Deputy Medical Director at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust since 2015. He was appointed as a colorectal surgeon in 1996 initially at the Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, before moving to the Leicester General Hospital in 2006. He did his surgical training on the Leicester rotation and completed this at St Mark’s. He qualified from Emmanuel College Cambridge and Westminster Medical School and has held various educational roles including Critical Care Tutor at the Royal College of Surgeons of England responsible for the continued development and governance of the Care of the Critically Ill Surgical Patient course run throughout the UK and overseas. John is passionate about high quality patient care and empowering our staff to deliver this.

Outside of work he is a keen road cyclist and skier.

Non-Executive Directors

Chairman: Alan Burns

Chairman Alan Burns Alan has worked in the NHS for 43 years in a variety of senior roles and has also run his own consultancy business supporting leadership and improving performance through coaching.

Alan is also the Chairman of Northampton General Hospital and has previously been Chairman of Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow and also of Hinchingbrooke Hospital. Before that, he has spent 24 years as a Chief Executive of a number of Strategic Health Authorities.

Alan has been involved in national work on public sector reform and research and development and was Vice Chairman of the NHS Confederation.

Natalie Armstrong

Natalie Armstrong

Natalie is the University of Leicester nominated Non-Executive Director on the Board. She is currently Deputy Head of the College of Life Sciences at the University, a role she undertakes alongside her own academic work. Natalie’s academic background is as a social scientist and her research uses social science theory and methods to support the delivery of high quality, safe healthcare. Her interdisciplinary health services research typically involves mixed-methods collaborations with clinical and non-clinical colleagues across and outside the University. 
Natalie was brought up in Northamptonshire, having been born at Kettering General Hospital. The vast majority of her family still lives in the area served by the hospital, and so she is a frequent visitor back to the local area. 

Alice Cooper

Image of Alice Cooper, non-executive director.

After studying Psychology, Alice started her professional career at KPMG, qualifying as a Chartered Accountant and later joining the specialist Financial Services Audit team.  She later moved to working directly for a large Building Society Group, holding a variety of senior roles in the areas of Risk, Information, Strategy and Planning.  Having always enjoyed the people development side of her work, more recently, Alice trained as an Executive and Career Coach, and now combines this freelance role with her other responsibilities, including her non-executive director role.

Alice was born in Kettering and has lived in the area for much of her life.  Outside of work and looking after a young family, she is a keen singer, and is also active in children and families work in her local church.

Lise Llewellyn

Non-Executive Director Lise Llewellyn Lise is a qualified GP who has also worked in public health medicine and in general management within NHS commissioning.

She believes her previous role as commissioner looking “into” Trusts will help her support KGH as a Non-Executive Director.

Deborah Manger

Deborah Manger - Non Executive Director Deborah Manger has lived and worked in Northamptonshire  for over 30 years. Her roles have included Specialist in Special Care Dentistry and Deputy Medical Director in NHFT and more recently Deputy Dental Dean for the Midlands and East of England. In these leadership roles, she has led many quality improvements across healthcare. She has worked across primary and secondary settings in delivering the care, leading theatre teams at KGH and NGH and delivering complex care in Corby and Wellingborough.
She has significant board level experience regionally as a member of the East Midlands Clinical Senate, as chair of regional Managed Clinical Networks and as a Local Dental Network chair. This has enabled her to have direct involvement in the review of complex services, specifically in community care and urgent care, within the region.
Deborah believes that her broad experience of health and social care will enable her to support Kettering General Hospital.

Andrew Moore

Andrew Moore Non-Executive Director
Andrew’s commercial background is in retail where he held a variety of senior positions including Directorships at Marks & Spencer, Chief Merchandising Officer at Asda-Walmart and Chief Commercial Officer at Wilko. He has also worked in South Africa where he started his own Retail Consultancy and partnered with Woolworths SA. He retains a close connection with the retail sector through his advisory work with corporate investor institutions.
In 2019 he joined the board of Breast Cancer Now charity as a Trustee where he is now Vice Chair. He is committed to helping the charity navigate the many challenges faced by the Not-For-Profit sector and contributing to its strategic development and operational efficiency; he also chairs the Finance & Investment Committee and sits on the Risk & Governance Committee. Andrew believes his business experience in focusing on quality, value and service can help support the KGH team in the next chapter of the hospital’s development. 

Trevor Shipman

Non-Executive Director Trevor Shipman Trevor has extensive experience in the NHS and was Finance Director of Central and Northwest London NHS Foundation Trust.

He is a member of the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants and brings a wealth of experience in audit and finance to the Board.

Damien Venkatasamy

Non-Executive Director Damien Venkatasamy Damien has 23 years experience in the IT service industry.

He has lots of experience in delivering services to public sector organisations and wants to use this opportunity to work in the public sector and share his experience of delivering complex and challenging change projects.

Christopher Welsh

NED - Christopher Welsh Chris is the Independent Review Officer for the  South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Accountable Care System Hospital Review and has a strong medical background.

Chris has held a significant number of senior posts including Chief Operating Officer, Medical Director and Chair in a number of NHS Trusts and Foundation Trust hospitals