GP Zone

NHS Kernow Governing Body

Our Governing Body is made up of a chair, two executive directors, two clinical members, three lay members and six GP members, who are responsible for providing the clinical leadership of NHS Kernow as it commissions community, acute and mental health services.

If you have any questions for our Governing Body board members, you can submit your question on this page or email


Iain Chorlton

Dr Iain Chorlton

Iain grew up in Cornwall and has been a GP since 1997, working the majority of that time in the county. He is currently a partner at Tamar Valley Health, one of the largest practices in the Cornwall. He has a longstanding interest in commissioning, and has stepped into the role of Chair having been a Governing Body GP for the East of the county since the CCGs formation.

Iain and his family are foster carers and he dedicates his spare time to the Friends of Urambo and Mwanhala charity supporting projects in Tanzania.

Executive Directors


Jackie Pendleton
Chief Officer (Accountable Officer)

Jackie joined NHS Kernow from North Derbyshire CCG where she was Chief Accountable Officer since 2012. Jackie’s career with the NHS began in 1991 after leaving the financial services sector where she gained a rich experience in customer service, efficiency and commercial approaches to business. Jackie became Director and Deputy Chief Executive of East Surrey Primary Care Trust (PCT) in 2002 having set up and led a very successful Primary Care Group in the area.

Her passion has always been primary care and this continued when she moved to Derbyshire in 2004 she joined Derbyshire Dales and South Derbyshire PCT to lead on primary care commissioning. In 2006, she was asked to chair the national NHS steering group for Primary Care Commissioning (PCC) and became a non-director member of PCC Community Interest Company (CIC). Following the merger of the six Derbyshire PCTs that year, Jackie became Assistant Director at NHS Derbyshire County with responsibility for primary care commissioning, urgent care, out of hours and what was then called ‘practice based commissioning’. A career highlight was winning the NHS East Midlands Leadership Academy leader of the year award in November 2013.

Simon Bell

Simon Bell
Chief Finance Officer

Simon is a qualified accountant and graduate of the NHS Finance Management Training Scheme. He has worked in the NHS for twenty years across a number of provider and commissioning organisations in the South West. Previously the Chief Finance Officer at NHS South Devon & Torbay CCG, Simon moved to Cornwall in September 2015 after joining NHS Kernow in August 2015.

Clinical members

Maggie Scott

Maggie Scott
Nurse member

Maggie qualified as a Registered General Nurse having trained in Cornwall. She worked with older people and developed a special interest in stroke care. Maggie worked as a Staff Nurse and Senior Staff Nurse on care of the elderly wards, before becoming a Ward Manager, all in Cornwall. She was seconded to the job of Assistant Head of Professional Development, dividing her time between this and the role of Ward Manager. Together with colleagues locally and in partnership with the University of Plymouth, Maggie helped develop the first post graduate stroke course in the country.She was appointed as an honorary lecturer by the University of Plymouth.

Maggie became a Stroke Specialist Nurse before being appointed as a Stroke Nurse Consultant and since then has continued to work locally, regionally and nationally. Her roles included Nurse Lead on the South West Strategic Health Authority Stroke Task Force reviewing Stroke Services across the South West and working with the National Stroke Improvement Team, as part of their Transient Ischemic Attack working party to contribute to the development of national policy and guidelines.

Maggie gained experience of the Commissioner’s role in healthcare provision as a Nurse Member on Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Primary CareTrust’s Professional Executive Committee. Maggie retired from nursing in March 2013 and is now also NHS Kernow’s Clinical Lead for Stroke.

Sarah Bridges

Sarah Bridges
Secondary Care Doctor member

Sarah is the former Clinical Director for the Women and Children's Directorate at Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton. She qualified in Medicine at Manchester University in 1993 and immediately embarked on a career in Paediatrics. She was appointed as a Consultant Paediatrician at Taunton and Somerset NHS Trust in 2001 and became Clinical Director for the Women and Children's Directorate at Musgrove Park Hospital in 2009.

Sarah is married with three children and is naturally passionate and enthused about her work and is committed to improving quality, safety and convenience in healthcare.

Lay members

Chris Blong

Chris Blong
Deputy Chair (Governance)

Chris spent over 30 years as an officer in the Armed Forces and retired as a Senior Brigadier in 2010. During his career, he worked collaboratively with the defence medical community. The latter stages were spent managing defence level logistic and life support capabilities for all three Services in the UK and overseas.

Chris has embedded himself within the Bude community and continues to restore his family’s Cornish Longhouse, which is an ongoing labour of love. He is a qualified and experienced Canoe England level two paddle sports coach. Married with three children, he currently acts as a volunteer coach and mentor to former Service personnel.

Jeff James

Patient and Public Involvement
Rev Jeffrey James

The Rev Jeffrey James, who serves in the parish of Mylor, is NHS Kernow’s lay member for Patient and Public Involvement. He’s passionate about making sure people are given a greater say in the way services are provided.

As a former director of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Health Authority, Jeff brings a wealth of experience to his new role to ensure people’s experiences of healthcare can bring improvements to the system.

John Yarnold

Fiscal Management - Non-voting member
John Yarnold

John is a qualified accountant, with extensive experience and knowledge in both banking and the NHS. His roles include cost accountant; management accountant; chief internal auditor and a unit accountant. 

He was employed as deputy director of finance in Plymouth Health Authority in 1986 and appointed as acting Director of Resources two years’ later. John continued in that role until the NHS Trust became established, when he became the first Director of Finance for Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust. 

He undertook a two year secondment to the Department of Health as project director for the shared business services initiative, before returning to Plymouth as to support performance and governance and finally Finance Director, where he helped return the trust to surplus after three years’ in deficit. John retired from the NHS in 2011, but his passion and interest has not waned and he has continued to provide advice and support to a number of trusts across the country. 

GP members

Paul Cook

Paul Cook

Paul studied and trained to be a GP in Cardiff, as well as undertaking further training in New Zealand for 18 months. He moved to Cornwall in 2001 and had a combination of roles over time as a locum, salaried GP for six years in North Cornwall and a police surgeon. Paul is now a partner in Carnon Downs Surgery, since joining the surgery in 2010.

Over the last 10 years, Paul has been involved in mental health commissioning and has been the PCT/CCG mental health clinical lead for over five years. He has seen various aspects of the NHS through this role, as it is linked to almost all areas of commissioned services.

Paul used to be a be a gig rower but recently, more of this time is spent with his family.

Judy Duckworth

Judy Duckworth

Judy studied medicine at Sheffield University and has been working in Cornwall since 1994. She is currently employed at Falmouth Hospital by Cornwall Partnership Foundation Trust and by NHS England as a GP Appraiser. In previous roles, she was a partner at Helston Medical Centre, and a salaried GP with the out-of-hours service and the acute GP service at Treliske Hospital. Judy has held managerial roles as Senior Medical Adviser to CIOSPCT and Deputy Medical Director for the Cornwall out-of-hours service.

Judy enjoys sailing, hill-walking, skiing and painting. She is committed to high-quality, safe and accessible healthcare which is responsive to the needs of local communities.

Alison Flanagan

Alison Flanagan

Alison qualified from Liverpool Medical School in 1986 and has worked in Australia and South Africa, as well as in Merseyside, Manchester and Gloucester. She moved to Cornwall in 2003 with her husband and three children. 

With a longstanding interest in population, as well as individual health, Alison has always enjoyed stretching traditional boundaries to work across different sectors for the benefit of patients. She was a GP partner at Carnon Downs Surgery until 2013, where she established multidisciplinary obesity and diabetes prevention clinics and encouraged the practice to join the Healthy Workplace Award Scheme. Alison is now working as a sessional GP at Carn to Coast Health Centre.

Alison has been the GP lead on the Cornwall Healthy Weight Group and the NHS Health Checks Strategic Group for many years and the Clinical lead for Long Term Conditions since 2014. She is committed to the integration of high quality services around the needs of patients.

Away from work, Alison enjoys time with her family, running, cycling and sea swimming.

Francis Old

Dr Francis Old

Francis attended Leeds University where he studied two degrees in Medicine and Medical Physiology. On qualifying, he returned to Cornwall and his medical rotation included a spell at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in the intensive care unit of the Emergency Department. He then did his GP training and joined the Helston Practice in 2003 where he has remained – he was one of the original members of the West Cornwall Commissioning Group. He has a special interest in championing access to health care for the population of the Scilly Islands – a community he got to know when he was a fisherman.

Rob White

Rob White

Rob is a GP and a partner at St Agnes surgery and is also NHS Kernow's clinical lead for elective care. Rob graduated from Kingston Poly with first class honours in Bio-analytical science and biochemistry and qualified at the University College Hospitals and Middlesex School of Medicine. He has held research posts at Harefield Hospital, St Mary’s and St Bartholomew’s Medical School and St Thomas Hospital. When he’s not working with Serco’s out of hours’ service as an acute GP or a GP sifter at the Referral Management Service, Rob can be found either restoring his 1968 Morris Minor or relaxing with his wife and four children.

Non-voting members

Helen Childs

Helen Childs
Chief Operating Officer, NHS Kernow CCG

Bio coming soon.

Caroline Court

Caroline Court 
Director of Public Health, Cornwall Council

Caroline is a consultant in Public Health Medicine and the lead for population health care and provides a link for public health advice to NHS Kernow.

Caroline is also a lead on heart disease, cancer and other long term conditions and provides public health input to medicines management and to decisions on funding exceptional treatments.  

Natalie Jones

Natalie Jones
Director of Clinical and Corporate Affairs, NHS Kernow CCG

Natalie has worked in the NHS for more than 30 years, having a background in adult nursing and midwifery. Natalie has obtained a variety of clinical experience across community and primary care, developing a special interest in family planning and counselling. Having held a number of senior roles in care delivery and leadership in the NHS across a wide range of organisations, Natalie brings to the Board a wealth of expertise and well established relationships across partner agencies.

Throughout her career Natalie has been a passionate advocate for patient engagement to improve the quality of services, and is committed to supporting people to achieve their highest potential.

Educated to Masters degree level, Natalie currently holds a portfolio of responsibilities that includes clinical and corporate governance, safeguarding adults and children, medicines optimisation, communications, patient experience, equality and diversity, human resources, education and training.