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NHS Kernow’s website closed on 30 June 2022. Visit the NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Integrated Care Board website for information about our health and care services.

The Governing Body

The Governing Body is the key decision-making body of the clinical commissioning group (CCG) and became accountable for its activities from 1 April 2013. On 11 December 2012, the group became a legal entity after it was authorised by the NHS Commissioning Board.
Our Governing Body has a chair, 2 executive directors, 2 secondary care clinical member, 4 lay members and 6 GP members. They are responsible for providing the clinical leadership of NHS Kernow as it commissions community, acute and mental health services. Our director of primary care is also a member of the Governing Body, along with the local director of public health or their deputy. Since 1 April 2020, NHS Kernow also commissions primary medical services as delegated by NHS England.

View dates and meeting papers for our Governing Body meetings.

If you have any questions for our Governing Body board members, you can email our corporate governance team.

Chair
Dr Paul Cook

Dr Paul Cook

Dr Cook will provide clinical leadership for NHS Kernow at a critical time in its history, as it moves into the new integrated care system (ICS) by next April, bringing together health and care services to improve people’s health and wellbeing.

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Paul has been a member of NHS Kernow’s Governing Body since 2016. He is also the clinical lead for adult mental health services and a GP partner at Carnon Downs Surgery.

Paul is passionate about good mental health. For the past 10 years has been a driving force behind plans to ensure people can access high quality and safe services when needed. Under his leadership, he has embedded our integrated mental health strategy across the health and care system, and made sure people remember the person being supported, rather than organisational boundaries.

He moved to Cornwall in 2001. He’s had a combination of roles over time as a locum, salaried GP for 6 years in north Cornwall and a police surgeon. Paul used to be a gig rower but recently, more of this time is spent with his family.

Executive directors
Kate Shields

Kate Shields

Accountable officer

Kate became NHS Kernow’s accountable officer on 16 August 2021.

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Kate joined Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust as deputy chief executive in 2017 and took on the role of chief executive in July 2018. She is an experienced NHS leader having worked as director of strategy and partnerships at University Hospitals Leicester. She was a registered nurse and mental health nurse at the beginning of her NHS career. Kate has also worked for NHS England as a regional director of specialised commissioning and as the national head of specialised commissioning.

Kate is a mother of 3 and ‘borrows’ 2 others as part of a blended family. She has 2 grandchildren and a grand-dog and enjoys nothing better than lots of noise, lots of laugher and people around the table.

Simon Gittoes-Davies

Simon Gittoes-Davies

Chief finance officer and senior information risk officer (SIRO)

Simon is a qualified accountant starting out originally in the private sector and over the last 30 years working with the NHS.

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Following 8 years as a substantive finance director, he has worked both as an interim director of finance across all NHS sectors and in roles including programme director and financial recovery director for a number of NHS organisations. He has also worked on financial strategy and change programmes and more recently as an acute hospital director of finance, and as programme director for NHS England and NHS Improvement leading the national programme to reduce the cost of specialised high cost devices.

Simon has a strong philosophy and belief in people being the key to organisational success and in the core value of the NHS in caring for our population.

He has 2 teenage children who keep him busy and loves to get out on a long bike ride including some across the UK and Europe.

Clinical members
Dr Matthew Hayman

Dr Matthew Hayman

Secondary care doctor member

Matt read medicine at Edinburgh and Oxford completing a PhD in neurophysiology during that time.

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Having trained in geriatric medicine, Matt has held consultant roles in Cambridge (Addenbrooke’s), London (UCLH), Portsmouth and Taunton (Musgrove Park Hospital). He has worked in geriatric and acute medicine. Matt has always been interested in frailty and models of care that looked outside the acute hospital.

In Somerset, Matt has held a number of leadership roles within acute and community trusts. Matt is currently deputy chief medical officer of an alliance of acute, primary care, mental health and community foundation trusts.

Natalie Jones

Natalie Jones

Chief nursing officer, NHS Kernow

Natalie has worked in the NHS for more than 30 years, having a background in adult nursing and midwifery.

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Natalie has obtained a variety of clinical experience across community and primary care. She has developed a special interest in family planning and counselling. Having held a number of senior roles in care delivery and leadership in a wide range of NHS organisations, Natalie brings to the board a wealth of expertise. As well as established relationships across partner agencies.

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

Natalie is educated to Master’s degree level. She currently holds a portfolio of responsibilities that includes quality and safety, infection control and safeguarding adults and children.

Lay members
Chris Blong

Chris Blong

Deputy chair and governance lay member

Chris spent over 30 years as an officer in the Armed Forces and retired as a Senior Brigadier in 2010.

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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 3 services in the UK and overseas.

Chris has embedded himself within the Bude community. He continues to restore his family’s Cornish longhouse, which is an ongoing labour of love. He is a qualified and experienced Canoe England level 2 paddle sports coach.

Married with 3 children, he currently acts as a volunteer coach and mentor to former service personnel.

Nikki Kelly

Nikki Kelly

Patient and public involvement lay member

Nikki has previously worked alongside the public sector to support people with long term conditions both within acute care settings and in their community.

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Nikki has more than 20 years of experience in advocacy, place-based regeneration, social justice, high impact community events and supporting people in some of the country’s most deprived communities. Most recently as the director for premier league football club Tottenham Hotspur’s Foundation.

Melissa Mead

Melissa Mead

Primary care and prevention lay member

Melissa is a passionate health campaigner. She works relentlessly for the Sepsis Trust, raising awareness of the condition among the public and health professionals to improve early recognition and help.

John Yarnold

John Yarnold

Fiscal management lay member

John is a qualified accountant, with extensive experience and knowledge in both banking and the NHS.

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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 2 years’ later. John continued in that role until the NHS trust became established. He then became the first director of finance for Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust.

John undertook a 2-year secondment to the Department of Health as project director for the shared business services initiative. He then returned to Plymouth as to support performance and governance. Finally he became finance director, where he helped return the trust to surplus after 3 years’ in deficit.

John retired from the NHS in 2011. 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
Dr Judy Duckworth

Dr Judy Duckworth

Judy studied medicine at Sheffield University and has been working in Cornwall since 1994.

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She is currently employed at Falmouth Hospital by Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and by NHS England as a GP appraiser. Judy was also a partner at Helston Medical Centre. Other roles include a salaried GP with the out-of-hours and acute GP services. Judy has held managerial roles as senior medical adviser to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly PCT and deputy medical director for our 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.

Dr John Garman

Dr John Garman

Dr John Garman is a well-known and respected face for people living in and around Helston. John has been a partner at Helston Medical Centre for the past 12 years. He was also the Isles of Scilly lead GP for 5 years.

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During his time at St Mary’s he helped transform the practice, which the CQC twice rated as being outstanding under his leadership.

He said: “I have a passion for person-centred care. My experience on the Isles of Scilly has given me great insight into the complexities of commissioning. It has instilled in me a sense that anything can be achieved, with the right will.

“I’ve seen first-hand how things can develop when people work together. I’m excited about supporting NHS Kernow to achieve its vision.”

Dr Francis Old

Dr Francis Old

Francis attended Leeds University where he studied 2 degrees in medicine and medical physiology.

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On qualifying, he returned to Cornwall and his medical rotation included a spell at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in the emergency department intensive care unit. He then did his GP training and joined the Helston Practice in 2003 where he was an original member of the West Cornwall Commissioning Group.

Francis left the practice in August 2017. He now works in urgent and emergency care as a locum GP. He has a special interest in championing access to health care for the population of the Isles of Scilly, a community he got to know when he was a fisherman. Francis is the Governing Body lead for primary care, urgent care and prescribing.

Dr Deryth Stevens

Dr Deryth Stevens

Dr Deryth Stevens is passionate about making sure people can access the same high quality care, no matter where they live. Dr Stevens is a salaried GP at Tamar Valley Health.

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Previously, Deryth was the clinical chairman for NHS North Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group. Whilst there, she oversaw the design of an out of hospital community service, a new stroke pathway, the redesign of maternity services and a new service to support the mental health of children and adolescents.

She said: “At north Warwickshire, I feel I have shaped the culture of our CCG to be open, transparent, collegial, and supportive. This is something I’m looking forward to continuing in Cornwall.”

Dr Rob White

Dr Rob White

Rob is a GP and a partner at St Agnes surgery and is also our clinical lead for elective care.

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Rob graduated from Kingston Poly with first class honours in bio-analytical science and biochemistry. He qualified at the University College Hospitals and Middlesex School of Medicine. Rob has held research posts at Harefield Hospital, St Mary’s and St Bartholomew’s Medical School and St Thomas Hospital.

Rob also works with the out of hours’ service as an acute GP or a GP sifter at the referral management service.

When he’s not working, Rob can be found either restoring his 1968 Morris Minor or relaxing with his wife and 4 children.

Other members
Rachel Wigglesworth

Rachel Wigglesworth

Public health director

Rachel is the public health director for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Rachel started in her role in March 2020.

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The director of public health is leading the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and responsible for promoting and protecting the health of the population. Rachel is working with health, care and system partners to ensure a joint approach to tackling health inequalities in Cornwall. She is passionate about working alongside communities to improve the health of vulnerable groups. Rachel previously worked for Shelter and Sure Start. She has also worked on mental health and employment programmes and in a wide range of public health roles including with Public Health England, CCGs and public health teams across the south west. Rachel also has a strong academic interest and research experience with Oxford University, London School of Economics, Exeter University Medical School and holds a lead role for promoting public health NIHR research in the south west peninsula.

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