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Council of Governors

Children look at the Roost mobile at Alder Hey in the Park's atriumAt Alder Hey we have a Council of Governors which is made up of 25 elected Governors and 10 appointed Governors. The constituents we represent include patients, parents, carers, their families, staff, local authorities, commissioners, local universities and voluntary organisations, across England and North Wales.

Governor Elections 2018

Nominations were sought for a number of governor roles at Alder Hey, with a number of a valid nominations being received by the deadline.

Please find the report of the voting here.

Please find the list of nominations, and further information, here.

Further to the deadline for nominations for the above election, the following constituencies are uncontested: Uncontested Report

We have a number of key responsibilities which we undertake on your behalf. These are set by Monitor (2014) and include:

1. Holds non-executive directors to account for performance of the board
2. Represents the interests of members and the public
3. Amends the constitution
4. Approves the appointment of the chief executive
5. Appoints and removes the chair and other non-executive directors
6. Appoints and removes the NHS foundation trust’s external auditors
7. Receives the NHS foundation trust’ annual accounts and annual budgets
8. Prepare the forward plan
9. Takes decisions on significant transactions
10. Takes decisions on non NHS income

You can contact any of us by e-mailing

Dr Rabia Aftab

Dr Rafia AftabConstituency: Public, Rest of England and North Wales

Term of office:  2016 – 2019

Who am I? I am a GP trainee in North Lincolnshire, trained at the University of Liverpool and graduated in 2010. During medical school and Foundation training years at University Hospital Aintree NHS Foundation trust, I have been involved with Junior Association for the study of Medical Education (JASME) as a liaison officer. I also have broad experience with medical students in various capacities as a Problem Based Learning (PBL) tutor, Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) and Liverpool Objective Clinical Assessment System (LOCAS) examiner and medical admissions interviewer at the University of Liverpool. Along with being a mother of two beautiful young boys, I write educational articles for the RCGP journal, ‘InnovAit’ and am now mentoring new writers. I also lead the Yorkshire and Humber region for Child Protection and Rehabilitation Trust (CPRT) – a registered UK charity organisation that supports vulnerable street and slum children in Pakistan. I developed my interest into the role of a governor at Alder Hey due to strong affiliations with Liverpool as a nurturing city, Alder Hey as a training hospital and my husband’s extensive involvement as a governor in the North Lincolnshire CCG.

What do I bring to this role? Having been an employee of Alder Hey hospital and comparing this to various other trusts I have worked with, I feel I am able to contribute by suggesting positive changes needed in areas of improvement. My first-hand experience at the A&E department at Alder Hey with my son, not too long ago, enabled me to directly relate to experiences of patients and their families there. I hope to share knowledge and experiences from my own regional CCG for the global improvement of Alder Hey hospital as a trust. Due to distance, I attend quarterly Council of Governor meetings and am keen to build ‘core skills of a governor’ by attending an upcoming GovernWell course organised by NHS Providers.

Lydia Brady

Constituency: Patient: Merseyside 

Term of office:  2015 – 2018

Who am I? I am 16 years of age and have a long history with Alder Hey hospital. My first interaction with Alder Hey hospital was as a 4 week old baby.  I contracted Streptococcal Meningitis and after several weeks of intensive care, was allowed home with no side effects. During my childhood I have been referred to many of the departments within the hospital. The doctors, nurses and staff at Alder Hey have done an amazing  job for my brother and I. My family and I are always indebted to them.

What do I bring to this role? Being at quite a young age, I hope to be able to give a valid view of my generation at meetings which I hope will be of benefit to the Hospital.  As a head girl in my school – The Belvedere Academy, I am used to representing people’s views and therefore confident and comfortable in meetings to find resolutions to problems and working within a team. As an aspiring paediatrician I have had work experience within hospitals and feel fortunate to be a Governor at this hospital.

Dot Brannigan

Constituency: Parent and Carer

Term of office: 2016 – 2019

Who am I? I am part of a close extended family and have five grown up children between the ages of 18 and 32, all but one of whom at some point have needed the excellent services of Alder Hey. I have three precious grandchildren.  I am a Human Resources Business Partner in the public sector. As a young child in the late 1950s my aunt and godmother was an A and E sister at Alder Hey and I was quite often ‘taken to see Aunty Pat’ having had some mishap or other. Thus my early memories of the Hospital are all happy ones.

What do I bring to this role? As a Human Resources business partner in the public sector I am experienced in working with and supporting others often in considering complex issues and making and communicating difficult decisions. I enjoy working with others and am able to challenge and be a critical friend in questioning issues and raising concerns in a constructive way when needed, whilst always having the best interest of our hospital community and in particular patients and carers at heart. I enjoy and am greatly committed to my role as a Governor of Alder Hey.


Glenna Smith

Constituency:  Other Staff and Trust Volunteers

Term of office: 2017 – 2020


Olivia Cole

Constituency: Patient, Rest of England and North Wales

Term of office: 2015 – 2018

Who am I? I am a patient governor who has previously spent much of my childhood being treated in various departments of Alder Hey, following a transfer from my local general hospital.  I have since transferred to adult services, and I am currently studying children’s nursing at the University of Manchester, where I am just going into my third and final year.

What do I bring to this role? With experience of being a patient at Alder Hey, I have developed an insight into the working of the Trust, and picked up on areas for improvement.  Having been a patient I have first-hand knowledge of patient care delivered here at Alder Hey. I am therefore able to directly relate to the patients of Alder Hey, in order to raise any concerns or suggestions which current patients may have, in order to improve the patient experience at Alder Hey.

Paul Denny

Constituency: Public: Merseyside

Term of office: 2017 – 2020

Who am I? I am a proud parent of a 10 year old boy. My relationship with Alder Hey dates back to my own childhood. During my teens I developed cancer on 3 different occasions it was this experience alone which guided me into a career of nursing. I started by fundraising and was able to raise over £100,000 for various cancer based charities, whilst fundraising  I obtained a job in Alder Heys Accident and Emergency Department as a Medical Support Worker. This involved assisting with various medical emergencies. In 2000 I decided to leave Alder Hey to complete my nurse training at Edge Hill University. Since qualifying as a registered nurse I have worked as a lecturer at Edge Hill University, teaching student nurses. I have also worked as a deputy manager of a busy Endoscopy unit, and as a deputy manager of a home for young people with brain acquired injuries. My current job entails me teaching staff how to look after their own health and the health of patients. Carrying out workplace risk assessments and risk assessments on patients during hospital stays and risk assessments on staff, some of whom may be returning to work from having a period of sickness.

What do I bring to this role? Alongside being a registered nurse, I am a qualified risk assessor and qualified tutor. I have a strong interest in Health & Safety, staff and patient well-being and patient experience, in particular ensuring the hospital environment is both comfortable and safe for patients. I am currently active in pursuing a role as a CQC inspector and health and safety advisor. My experience of being a patient has allowed me to identify and recognise failings of some hospitals with regards to patient experience. I believe patients should have a pleasant and safe experience whilst in hospital regardless of the reason being a hospital stay or visit to a clinic.

Cath Gorst

Cath GorstConstituency: Public, Merseyside

Term of office: 2015 – 2018

Who am I? I am a 54-year young ex-nurse, a mother to four, and grandmother to three. After my recent illness and disability, I was medically retired last year after a lengthy nursing career working at Alder Hey. I am passionate about patient care and relish the opportunity to continue my support of Alder Hey through the new Hospital.

What do I bring to this role? I have a passion for people and great health care, backed up with a 33-years nursing career, covering its management and medical research, the understanding of being a parent and grandparent and recent personal experience with serious illness, hospitalisation and disability.  As a new Governor, I hope this experience will help me contribute and guide me in my new role.


Naomi Cheetham

Naomi GrannellConstituency: Public Governor, Cheshire

Term of office: 2017 – 2020

Who am I? I am a qualified Social Worker and deliver a long-term health conditions programme as part of my work with Warrington Disability Partnership. I have been a frequent and long term patient at Alder Hey, having been born with cerebral palsy.

Being able to give something back to the Hospital which has provided such outstanding care to me and my family was all the motivation I needed to become a Governor. I was delighted when I was elected as I am passionate about raising the awareness of the fantastic work the Hospital and everyone associated with it does. I am very proud indeed to represent the Cheshire constituency on the Board of Governors and to be a part of such an incredible team. I witnessed first-hand the compassion of all the medical team when the grand-daughter of a close family friend was a patient at the Hospital suffering from a terminal cancer. This left a lasting impression on me, increasing the esteem in which I already held the Hospital and staff.

What do I bring to this role? With the multiple panels and working groups I sit on in and around Warrington, I get a very good view of the issues impacting on patients and families in Cheshire. I see it as my role to make sure that these views are represented to the Board. I joined the Council of Governors in June 2014, right in the middle of the delivery of, and move to, the new Hospital. This has been a time of huge challenge to all involved, and also a time of real excitement and opportunity for the Trust.

As a Trust Governor I am responsible for holding non-executive directors to account for the performance of the Board of Directors and also approving major decisions such as large financial transactions and issues around mergers and acquisitions. If I can play just a small part in being a voice for the people of Cheshire, then I will feel a real sense of achievement and contribution to something which is so important to so many people.

Tony Hanmer

Tony HanmerConstituency: Staff Governor: Other Staff and Trust Volunteers

Term of office: 2016 – 2019

Who am I? I have been employed at Alder Hey for thirty seven years. I studied photography at Liverpool College of Print and Design during the late nineteen seventies and took a training position at Alder Hey, where I have spent my entire career. So you could say I am Alder Hey through and through. I now manage a clinical photographic unit that provides a number of specialist services, not widely available, which supports the Trust’s supra-regional services.

A significant number of my family are, or have been involved, in health care in various roles over the years, including nursing, medical laboratory science, physiotherapy and medicine. My daughter has recently qualified as a Clinical Psychologist and my son will qualify as a doctor in 2016, so I have extensive background knowledge of the challenges that we all face. As a family we have all experienced Alder Hey as patients, and as parents, appreciating the expertise and care provided especially during these difficult but exciting times.

What do I bring to this role? I am aware of the concerns and pressures faced by staff caused by reorganisation, efficiency programmes, information technology changes and financial pressures. I am also aware of the affection the local community has for Alder Hey and hope that that due to my roll and the various projects I have been involved in over the years, the majority of the workforce know and trust me.  I am in constant communication with staff at all levels, as well as colleagues in partner organisations, such as the police, social services and other Trusts.

I believe the experience and networks I have built up with colleagues and fellow staff Governors help me to communicate and inform the wider Governor group.

Dawn Holdman

Constituency: Parents and carers

Term of office: 2015 – 2018

Who am I? I am a mother of four children, who over the years has relied on Alder Hey for the care and treatment of their various conditions.  My journey with the hospital started when my oldest child was just a baby and has spanned over 18 years.  We have spent time in A&E, X-Ray, ENT, Gastroenterology, Ophthalmology; Dermatology, Oncology, Allergies and Surgery as outpatients, day cases and as ward patients.

What do I bring to this role? I understand how it feels to have a sick child and how that impacts on the whole family.  I work in the higher education sector as a senior manager where I manage teams, projects and budgets.  I am confident in speaking up at meetings asking questions, seeking information and representing the views of others.

Simon Hooker

Simon HookerConstituency: Public – North Wales

Term of office: 2015 – 2018

Who am I?  My wife and I have two sons and two young grandchildren. I worked in automotive design and development, and before our recent move to North Wales, I was a Public Governor for Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital Foundation Trust (BTUH). Having developed epilepsy eight years ago, I understand some of the issues in managing a long-term condition. I am learning Welsh  – Dw i’n dysgu Cymraeg.

What do I bring to this role? As Deputy Lead Governor for BTUH, I chaired governor engagement groups, helped develop governor training, and co-interviewed candidates for Non-Executive Director and Chair positions. As governors we were engaged in the process that brought BTUH out of special measures. I was part of a regional group that helped guide the Care Quality Commission’s development of the Fit and Proper Persons Regulation for NHS Providers.

Pippa Hunter-Jones PhD

Pippa Hunter-JonesConstituency: Parent and Carer

Term of office: 2017 – 2020

Who am I? I am a parent of two children, who, perhaps like many of us, finds herself spending time with her children in A&E; X-Ray; Audiology; Orthopaedics; and a week on F2 with Bronchiolitis. My relationship with Alder Hey dates back to my own childhood and participation in a Hospital-led, pioneering research trial, which successfully corrected congenital dislocated hips and club feet.

What do I bring to this role? Alongside being a mum, I work in the higher education sector. Here I work in teams, manage projects and participate in meetings which represent the interests of our student population. These meetings also hold different committees to account. My research work explores the patient experience. Here I am involved in projects which collect and analyse data on how we can enhance quality in service settings.

Kate Jackson

Kate Jackson Constituency: Public – Greater Manchester

Term of office: 2017 – 2020

Who am I? I am a mum with two daughters and four grandchildren one of whom has been a patient in Alder Hey. I worked in the Trust for 10 years on specialist projects involving parents and carers of children who had been patients of the Trust. This work, plus my personal knowledge of the services here, has given me real insights into the issues which confront patients and their parents and carers when dealing with illness.

What do I bring to this role? In addition to working at Alder Hey, I worked in other NHS organisations, at a senior level, for 25 years. I have a broad understanding of how the NHS works and a personal understanding of being the relative of a patient of the Trust. I hope this gives me the experience to represent the interests of the constituency. I serve in a way which is helpful to patients and the Trust’s aspirations for service improvement.

Matthew Jones

Matthew JonesConstituency: Medical and Dental Staff

Term of office: 2015 – 2018

Who am I? I am a general paediatric surgeon who has worked at Alder Hey for nineteen years as a consultant and four years as a registrar and research fellow. Amongst my previous roles, I have been a Royal College Tutor, Service Line lead and Clinical Director. My specialist areas of clinical interest include neonatal, upper GI, thoracic and oncology surgery.

What do I bring to this role? Alongside my clinical and managerial activities, I am also a father of three whose children have all been treated at Alder Hey at various stages during their lives. I bring my experience as both a senior clinician and, to a lesser extent, my experience as a member of the public and the parent of a sick child.

Alice Matthews

Constituency: Patient Governor for Merseyside

Term of Office: 2016 – 2019

Who I am? I am 17 years old and have been a patient at Alder Hey since 2012 when I was diagnosed with an overactive thyroid. I am currently studying for my A Levels and am hoping to go to university and study for a Children’s Nursing Degree in September this year. I am also a volunteer at Alder Hey and have been since moving over to the new hospital. I am determined to make a positive difference to Alder Hey and volunteering has enhanced my awareness to the changes that patients would want to see.

What do I bring to the role? As a Deputy Head Girl at my school, St Mary’s College, I am used to being in a role that hold responsibility and am confident that I will be able to represent the patients when putting their views across in meetings. Having completed my Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award and working towards my Gold, I am used to working in a team and understand the importance of teamwork. In order to develop the hospital into the best that it can be, it is vital that the whole Alder Hey community works together. Alder Hey is such a fantastic environment for both patients and their families and I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to become a part of the Council of Governors.


Councillor Barbara Murray

Cllr Barbara MurrayConstituency:  Local Authority

Term of office: Appointed 2012

Who am I? I am a parent of three adult children. I have twins who were born at 29 weeks who, when they were younger, attended Alder Hey to have their development monitored. I am a local councillor for Yew Tree ward and was first elected in 2008. I currently work for a Housing Provider as a Community Development Officer.

What do I bring to this role? I have a varied work history including the Civil Service, an area manager for a retail outlet, a teacher (I undertook a Post Graduate Certificate of Education after my children were born) predominantly in special needs and secondary schools. I am currently working in housing. In terms of personal development I have studied and trained to be a school SENCO, completed a post graduate multi-media course, completed research for a master’s module in creative problem solving. Most recently I have attended training In Mental Health First Aid and I have been trained to be a trainer for Connect 5 and emotional first aid for professionals working with children. As a school governor I chair a primary school and I am a member of a secondary academy. I bring broad experience of governance, robust scrutiny and a commitment to children to this role.


Hilary Peel

Constituency: Public Governor

Term of office: 2016 – 2019

Who am I? I am a member of the nursing staff at Alder Hey who has forty years of experience working in the profession. This period has seen me move from being a student nurse to a qualified staff nurse, a senior sister and ward manager. Since April 2015 I have been working with the senior nursing team and supporting the move of the Hospital to our exciting new home.

What do I bring to this role? The past forty years has allowed me to both develop a wealth of experience in the care and treatment of children alongside an appreciation of the staff context too. This experience has come from working at the grass roots of the organisation, on the wards. It has enabled me to develop relationships across departments, including junior and senior management, and helped me to understand the issues that staff and our families face.

Mark Peers BEM

Constituency: Public: Merseyside

Term of office: 2016 – 2019

Who am I? I am a former patient of 20 years, with previous experience of many departments and services within the Trust, such as; A&E, Orthopaedics, Maxillofacial (Cleft, Lip & Palate), Nephrology, Ophthalmology and many more. Despite no longer being a patient, my relationship remains strong with Alder Hey, working alongside and together with the fantastic members of the charity and fundraising services.

What do I bring to this role? I believe that given my many years of patient experience, I can work together with patients, parents, and advise the Trust on how to maintain and progress the high standards of patient care and experience. I, along with my family, have also fundraised for many years and will continue to do so for many more years to come.

Georgina Tang

Constituency: Parent and Carer

Term of office: 2016 – 2019

Who am I?  I am a working mum with a son who has complex medical and educational needs, therefore, Alder Hey is like our second home. He is under several specialist consultants since birth and he is 13 years old now. Also, he has severe Autism, Learning Difficulties and Sensory Processing Difficulties.

I am involved as a Governor because the experience that we had previously was a not positive one. Indeed my son was traumatised by it all, so much so that he had a melt-down whenever I told him we were going to Alder Hey. I used to have to drag him into the hospital and he would never go into any consultation room.

Several years later, it’s a different story, he is quite happy to be in Alder Hey and doctors are able to examine him using various medical instruments. This is a major achievement for him, as previously he developed phobias of all medical establishments and equipment through his traumatic experiences. Thanks to the former Equality and Diversity Director for listening to my concerns and allocated a very experienced Play Therapist to work with us. It has been a long road and along the way, many staff became more aware of the needs of children with additional needs, particularly those with Autism and Sensory Processing Difficulties. I am very pleased to say that I now sit on the steering group to develop Learning Difficulties and ASC strategy for Alder Hey.

I worked in social housing for many years and left in December 2015, so to concentrate on my freelance work with the Care Quality Commission with their inspections on health establishments such as Alder Hey. I have inspected many hospital trusts, GPs surgeries and care homes for people with Autism and Learning Difficulties etc. I also run my own business selling handmade natural & organic skin care and soy wax candles.

What do I bring to this role? My inspection work together with personal experience in accessing health service for my son has given me real insight into the issues which are face by parents, carers and patients. This gives me the experience to represent the interests of my constituency. Also, the knowledge that I gained from CQC work would help Alder Hey in their commitment to raise standards of service delivery to all children. Last but not least, compassion, empathy and caring are qualities that I can bring to this role too.

Adrian Williams

Constituency: Staff Nurse

Term of Office: 2016 – 2019

Who I am? I am originally from Anglesey and am a fluent welsh speaker, as a second language.
On leaving school I joined the Army as a Military Accountant, leaving the Army in 1985. From leaving the Army I worked for various companies as a Management Accountant. In 1991 I had a career change and in January 1992 began training as a Mental Health Nurse, since qualifying I have worked in Adult Acute, Psychiatric Intensive Care, Youth Offending Services, and Child and Adolescent Mental Health, in primary, secondary and tertiary care. I am currently working with Alder Hey Community Developmental Pediatrics as Joint Lead for ADHD.

What do I bring to the role? I have also pursued qualifications as a Counselor and Psychotherapist and hold a Master’s Degree of Education in this, and am also an EMDR Therapist, 3Di Autistic Spectrum Assessor, and Independent Non-Medical Prescriber. I have had research published and also articles on ADHD and Attachment Disorder. I have spoken at many conferences and events both home and abroad and chaired a European Mental Health Nurses Conference. I have responded through the Royal College of Nursing on a number of NICE Guidelines including ADHD and ASD.

Dr Julie Williams PhD

julie_williams Constituency: Partner Organisation

Term of office: 2014 –

Who am I? My relationship with Alder Hey dates back to my own childhood and I am a parent of two grown up children who have both had previous experiences of the services at Alder Hey. My family are very closely involved with, and dedicated to, the Hospital through their experiences as employees and students of medical education programmes.

What do I bring to this role? I work in the higher education sector where I lead teams of nurses and midwives dedicated to educating the healthcare workforce of the future. I am an advocate of the student experience and promote, at every available opportunity, the involvement of service users and carer views and hearing their voice. I work with senior colleagues from across the health service and represent nurse education at strategic and operational levels to improve the quality of education and have an impact and influence on nursing care.

Paul Walsh

Constituency: Other Clinical Staff including Allied Health Professionals, Psychologists and Pharmacists

Term of office: 2017 – 2020

Who am I? I am a Senior Biomedical Scientist (BMS) working in the Haematology Laboratory. I have worked here since leaving school 37 years ago. I am married to a Radiographer, (who also works here!) and we have three children – all of whom have received treatment here from different teams.

I am a keen skier and enjoy walking and mountain biking. I help coach a junior football team, something I have done for over 10 years.

What do I bring to this role? I believe strongly in the NHS and particularly in Alder Hey – I am proud to say that I work here. I always want to the best for our patients and ensure that they get the best possible treatment available. During my duties I interact with many other groups throughout the hospital – clinical support services are a vital part of the jigsaw. Unfortunately clinical support are often the unknown departments. It is my hope to champion our work and dedicated staff. I am a good communicator and a well known member of the Trust – two assets I hope to use during my time as a Governor. During my years here I have seen a lot of change and progress, now as a Governor I hope to influence these to ensure that Alder Hey continues to provide the best possible care for its patients.

Steve Reddy

Constituency: Appointed Governor, Liverpool City Council 

Who am I? I was recently appointed (October 2017) as Director of Children’s Services at Liverpool City Council. My earlier career was focused around criminal psychology and crime reduction – after a B.Sc. in Psychology at Manchester Metropolitan University I studied for a Masters Degree in Investigative Psychology at the University of Liverpool. I spent a year post qualification as a researcher and tutor before joining Lancashire Constabulary as a Criminal Intelligence Analyst and then moving on to work for Merseyside Police in a variety of roles and ultimately Head of Strategic Analysis.  Whilst working for Merseyside Police I added to his earlier degree qualifications with an MBA at Liverpool Business School.  I moved to the world of Adult Social Care through a number of senior management roles within Liverpool City Council. In early 2010 I was appointed as interim Assistant Director (AD) for Adult Social care in Liverpool before moving to a permanent role as AD in Warrington in August 2010. In 2014 I was appointed as Executive Director for Families and Wellbeing In Warrington (including statutory roles of Childrens Director and Adults Director) and in 2017 also became Deputy Chief Executive. I am currently chair of the Northwest Childrens Services Directors Group for local authorities. I live in Ellesmere Port with his wife Joanne and their three sons.

What do I bring to this role?  I bring a wealth of experience of working in various roles as well as studying in Liverpool. I am very passionate about the city and particularly its future citizens. In my statutory role as Director of Childrens Services I want to ensure the Council and all partners work with families, and our children and young people, to ensure they have a voice, have equality of opportunity and the best possible quality of life.


Sarah O’Brien

Janice Monaghan

Constituency: Appointed Governor, Voluntary Organisations

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