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.

Executive Directors

Group Chief Executive: Simon Weldon

Photograph of 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

Hospital Chief Executive: Deborah Needham

Hospital Chief Executive: Deborah Needham
Deborah has 30 years’ experience of working in the NHS, in Manchester, London and for the last 16 years in 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 & 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 and more recently Hospital CEO at Northampton General Hospital.
Working as part of the group and KGH, she cares passionately about the NHS and firmly believes in creating an environment where staff are included, happy and can excel and in turn patients are very well cared for, feel safe and have an excellent experience.
Deborah lives in Northamptonshire, she is a volunteer for the German Shepherd Rescue UK and she loves spending time with her own dog when not at work. Deborah is also the chair of NHS Providers national Chief Operating Officers forum.

Medical Director: Andrew Chilton

Andrew Chilton - Medical Director at Kettering General Hospital Andrew was appointed as Medical Director in June 2010. Professor Chilton is a consultant gastroenterologist and hepatologist and honorary senior lecturer. 

He is also a bowel cancer screening colonoscopist and therapeutic endoscopist.  He has a strong interest in quality assurance authoring the national QA colonoscopy guidelines for bowel cancer screening and works at regional and national level in this area.  He had held a variety of medical leadership roles and is interested in the strategic delivery of balanced, clinically effective, high quality care across the health economies.

Director of Nursing: Leanne Hackshall

Photograph of Leanne Hackshall, Director of Nursing Leanne is a senior nurse with 30 years of experience working in the NHS and remains passionate about patient care.

Leanne has a particular interest in the development of leadership in the nursing and allied health professional workforce to facilitate and grow competent and confident staff believing this to be the key in the delivery of a safe and positive patient experience.

Chief People Officer: Mark Smith

Photograph of Mark Smith, Director of HR & Organisational Development Mark  joined the Trust in June 2014 to this key role, with lead responsibility for developing a highly skilled, trained and well-led workforce. In September 2019 he was appointed as Chief People Officer across both Kettering and Northampton General Hospitals.

Mark has the responsibility for creating systems and processes that engage all staff in living the values of the organisation.

Mark has held a number of roles in Human Resources within the NHS since 2004 and prior to this has held roles within the private sector.

Mark joined the Trust from his position as Director of People Development at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, where he led a cultural change campaign which resulted in consistently improving staff engagement outcomes throughout the organisation.

Director of Governance: Richard Apps

Richard Apps, Director of Integrated Governance, Assurance and Corporate Development Richard 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.

Acting Director of Finance: Anil Pursooth

Anil Pursooth Interim Finance Director Anil has a background in financial management and joined the NHS in 1993. Starting out in the mental health sector, he swiftly moved into working within Acute Trusts in Leicestershire. Prior to this post, Anil worked as Deputy Director of Finance at George Eliot in Nuneaton and has worked at various Trusts throughout the UK.
Anil is passionate about improving financial awareness within the NHS and is looking forward to improving patient care by managing the best use of resources.

Group Chief Digital Information Officer: Andy Callow

Andy Callow Chief Digital and Information Officer 30042019

Andy became Digital Chief Information Officer with the Trust on April 8th 2019 and brings a wealth of digital experience to the role from a career spanning the public and private sector.

Andy was previously Programme Director for the innovative NHS App at NHS Digital and took the app from inception to availability in the app stores in a little over 12 months.

Prior to that he was the Head of Technology Delivery for the national NHS website NHS.UK, which receives c40m visits each month.

Andy has also held senior positions in the public and private sector, including five years as Head of Information and ICT for Children’s Services at Derbyshire County Council and over three years as a Director for EMPSN (East Midlands Public Sector Network), a network and application services company covering all of the East Midlands.

Director of Strategy: Polly Grimmett

Director of Strategy - Polly Grimmett 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.

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.

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.

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


Janet Gray

Non-Executive Director Janet Gray Janet is CEO of the Academy for Healthcare Science, a UK wide organisation which brings together the entire Healthcare Science Profession to improve patient care and advance and promote the Healthcare science workforce.

Janet has a long career in healthcare, building on her work as a clinician, in Nursing and Midwifery, to move into teaching and later management. She has a wide portfolio of experience in executive, Chief executive and non-executive roles in public, private and third sector organisations.

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.

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.

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.

Liisa Janov

Image of NED Liisa Janiv

Liisa is a Finance Director at Jaguar Land Rover, a company she joined 17 years ago.  During her career as an operational finance partner she gained experience of the automotive sector and led innovation in a rapidly changing environment.  She finds creative, practical solutions that release value and improve performance.  Liisa believes her experience of improving profitability through transformation will help her support KGH on the journey to outstanding.

Associate Non-Executive Directors

Lin Hinnigan

Image of Lin Hinnigan NEDLin’s professional background and training is as an educational psychologist and she spent over 20 years in Local Education Authorities working with children and young people, their families, schools and communities in order to improve their life chances.

She then joined the Civil Service in 2000 and fulfilled a number of policy and delivery roles, including working with ministers to take legislation through parliament and being responsible for the operation of the courts in the West Midlands. She has subsequently had a successful track record of strategic leadership as a director and Chief Executive of a number of public bodies.  She has led organisations responsible for the regulation of social workers, the development of the school curriculum, assessment and qualifications and the oversight of teacher training and development and most recently was Chief Executive of the Youth Justice Board.

She is currently interim Chair of Governors at De Montfort University and joins KGH for 6 months as part in the NHS Improvement NExT Director scheme.