Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Dame Yve Helen Buckland (DBE) – Interim Chairperson

Dame Yve Buckland was appointed as Pro-Chancellor of Aston University in June 2017.

Yve Buckland started her professional life as an archivist, having completed a history degree and archives training at Leeds and Liverpool Universities.

She went on to have series of managerial roles in local government, working for Cheshire and Birmingham councils, and then in the early nineties she was appointed by Nottingham City Council as their City Secretary the first female Chief Officer in the Council since its establishment in the 1980s.

By 2000 she has achieved her first national role. Yve was appointment by the Government to set up the Health Development Agency, a body which put together the evidence-base for tackling key public health problems such as childhood obesity and smoking-related diseases. She was awarded a DBE by the Queen for her work in this area.

Yve went on to become the Chairman of the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement based at Warwick University, a post she held from 2005 to 2010 and also, between 2005 and 2015, was the Chairman of the Consumer Council for water.

She is currently the Chairman of the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham, a specialist elective hospital providing healthcare for all types of muscular skeletal disease across the UK.

Yve is also the Chair of Trustees of act for cancer, actively established to further the treatment of cancer established by the family and friends of Baroness Tessa Jawell after the death in 2018.

She has two daughters and is married to Steve Freer.


Diane Wake – Chief Executive 

A nurse by background, Diane joins us from Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust where she was chief executive since 2013. She has extensive experience in both clinical and leadership roles. Previously, she was interim CEO at Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital NHS Trust, where she also worked as Chief Operating Officer and Executive Nurse.

Educated at Wombwell High School in Barnsley, Diane went on to carry out a pre-nursing course at Barnsley College, where she undertook some placements at Barnsley Hospital. Following that, between 1984 and 1987, she trained to be a registered nurse at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, quickly rising through the ranks to become a staff nurse, and then matron, in surgical specialties. Diane soon became a general manager, before joining Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust as Deputy Director of Nursing and then onto interim chief executive in Liverpool before her appointment as CEO of Barnsley Hospital.

Diane lives on the Shropshire/Cheshire border with her partner, who is a medical director.


Jonathan Hodgkin – Non-executive Director

Jonathan is an economist by training and has extensive experience of working at the interface of the public and private sectors as a consultant, regulator and company director in the utilities sector.

He has held many director positions throughout his career. As a business consultant Jonathan has advised governments, regulators and companies around the world on industry restructuring, strategy and regulation.



Tom Jackson – Director of Finance

Tom joins us from NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group and brings with him more than 25 years’ experience in NHS finance. A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance, Tom has fulfilled a number of financial leadership and transformation roles in the NHS. He has worked in most core NHS finance roles and has spent the last eight years at director level. In his previous role as chief finance officer, he provided strategic advice on financial management and played an active role to implementing the corporate strategy. Motivated by adding value, transformation and system working, Tom is excited at the prospect of supporting the Trust to improve services for the people of Dudley.


Catherine Holland – Non-executive Director

Catherine is a writer, speaker, coach/mentor and facilitator, developing the practice of senior leaders. A member of the Golden Egg Academy, she is currently writing a children’s book.

Catherine is an associate consultant with ‘Amara Collaboration’, a contributing author to’ Street Smart Awareness’ and ‘Inquiry in Action’; and co-designer and facilitator in transformational leadership development retreats.

A former social worker and trainer and assistant director in social services, Catherine worked for 14 years in the Probation Service, first as a director for corporate services and later as chief executive of Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust, the second largest probation trust in the UK.

Catherine designed and led West Midlands Probation through a successful performance and culture turn-around programme, and project managed the merger with Staffordshire Probation, the new Trust going on to be recognised for excellence and awarded four stars by the British Quality Foundation.

Catherine led SWM Probation Trust through extensive and challenging changes brought about by the Government’s Transforming Rehabilitation programme, becoming chief executive of Staffordshire and West Midlands CRC, and later the newly formed Reducing Reoffending Partnership.


Mary Sexton – Interim Chief Nurse

Mary joined the Trust as interim chief nurse in January 2019. An experienced corporate lead for quality and governance, she brings with her more than 12 years’ experience at executive level. She joins us from North Middlesex University NHS Trust where, as director of nursing and midwifery, she reviewed the complaints and PALS process reducing overdue complaints by 60 per cent. She also provided robust oversight of the nursing taskforce resulting in improved nursing and midwifery spend. Mary, who began her career as a staff nurse at East Surrey Hospital in 1983, has worked in a variety of settings including acute, community and mental health at local and regional level. An honorary professor for the School of Health and Education, she has extensive experience in service transformation and professional standards and acts as a specialist professional advisor with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).


Richard Miner – Non-executive DirectorRichard Miner_APPROVED_1

Richard is a Chartered Accountant by background and chairs the Audit Committee. Having joined the Trust in 2010, he is also a member of the Finance and Performance Committee, the Digital Trust Committee and sits on the Board of Dudley Clinical Services Limited.

A former partner in national accounting firm PKF (now part of BDO) he was also Group Finance Director at LPC Group plc, at one time the largest independent tissue manufacturer in the UK. Richard first became involved with the NHS in 2006 as a non-executive director of Birmingham East and North PCT where he chaired the Audit Committee and World Class Commissioning working group.

He is currently a director of Enterprise FD Limited, a provider of flexible and interim finance directors to entrepreneurial and ambitious organisations. This also includes his role as Finance Director with Open Study College, one of the leading providers of distance learning materials.


Ian James – Non-executive Director

Ian trained first as a geologist before heeding the call of public service and qualifying as a social worker in Nottingham in 1985 and working as a Welfare Rights Worker for a Community Learning Disability Team with Nottinghamshire County Council.

He worked in North Wales for 14 years for Clwyd and Wrexham councils in a variety of roles before becoming Chief Officer for Children and Young People’s Partnerships. He was instrumental in implementing the responses to the Waterhouse Tribunal of Inquiry into Abuse of Children in Public Care in 1998.

In 2002 he moved to the West Midlands, working first for Birmingham City Council where he led work to devolve services to the City’s 11 constituencies as well as service improvement programmes for Neighbourhood Advice and Benefits Services and Homelessness Services.

He has also worked in Staffordshire where he established and became Director of the Joint Commissioning Unit before becoming Director of Communities and Adult Social Care for Solihull Council between 2012 and 2016. He was the West Midlands Regional Chair of ADASS from 2013 to 2016.

Since 2016 he has worked for the Local Government Association as a Care and Health Improvement Adviser specialising in health and care leadership.


Gary Crowe – Non-executive Director

Gary is a university professor of Innovation Leadership attending at Keele Management School and Loughborough University. He previously held senior commercial positions in strategy, business transformation and risk & financial management as a director and management consultant in the financial services sector. 

Gary holds a number of external board appointments, and served as an independent Non-executive Director with another NHS Trust since 2015. He is a qualified Chartered Banker and Fellow of a number of professional organisations and learned societies. 


Julian Atkins – Non-executive Director

Julian joined the Trust in January 2016 as a non-executive director. He has experience in both the public and private sectors, having worked at organisations such as Alliance & Leicester, Marks & Spencer, Solihull Health Authority and the Thomas Cook Group. Prior to joining the Trust, he was part of the Executive Leadership Team and Head of Human Resources at Coventry Building Society, where he worked for nearly 25 years.

Julian is a Fellow of the Institute of Financial Services and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. He is a Board member of Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s subsidiary training company and is also a past President of Coventry and Warwickshire Institute of Financial Services.

Julian chairs the Charitable Funds and Workforce & Staff Engagement committees, and is a member of the audit and Clinical Quality, Safety & Patient Experience committees. Julian is passionate about delivering excellent customer service through skilled individuals and effective teams.


Julian Hobbs – Medical Director

Julian has joined us from Royal Liverpool where he has been deputy medical director and has been since 2013. Julian is also a deputy medical director and leads on Mortality for Cheshire and Merseyside area team at NHS England.

Julian is a consultant cardiologist by background and has worked at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital alongside his current roles.  Julian has had extensive experience in medical management roles for several years. He grew up in the Midlands area and is looking forward to returning, and hopes to fit in some running and cycling in Cannock Chase.

Julian said, “I am looking forward to being part of a Trust that is so well known for delivering safe and effective care and I am keen to get out and meet as many staff as possible. I am looking forward to being part of the new Electronic Patient Record project which will make systems more efficient and release more time for patient care.” 


Andrew McMenemy – Director of Workforce

Andrew has worked in the NHS for more than 20 years and has held two board-level positions in the West Midlands. He joined the Trust from Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust where he was Deputy Director of Workforce.

He graduated from university in Glasgow with a degree in Law and also studied labour management relations in the United States. Andrew is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and is also a recent graduate of the NHS Nye Bevan programme for senior leaders.


Karen Kelly – Chief Operating Officer

Karen joined us in January 2018 from Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust where she held the post of director of operations. A graduate of Keele University, Karen qualified as a nurse in 1993 and worked for more than 20 years at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire. She became part of the Transformation Team tasked with turning around Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust – becoming Head of Nursing there in 2010. Following this, she held the post of Medical Nurse Director, followed by deputy director of operations at The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital Trust. Karen is passionate about quality of care being delivered that ensures our patients are safe.



Liam Nevin – Board Secretary

Liam joined as board secretary in August 2019. He has worked in public services for more than 30 years in a variety of roles and has spent the last five years working in further education as company secretary, prior to which he was a director of law for two different local authorities. Liam is a qualified solicitor of 20 years standing with approximately fourteen years spent in senior governance roles. He is also professionally qualified through the Chartered Institute of Housing.



Adam Thomas – Chief Information Officer

Adam re-joined the Trust in 2009 and brings more than 15 years of NHS experience in clinical and senior management positions to his executive role. A graduate of Aston University, Adam qualified as a pharmacist and proceeded to undertake post-graduate qualifications in clinical pharmacy and independent prescribing, sustaining a clinical commitment in medical oncology at The Dudley Group since 2010. After leading a number of healthcare IT projects, he took a career move to IT in 2016 where, as part of the senior leadership team, he has delivered a programme of digital transformation and enhancement including the Trust’s strategic electronic patient record (EPR), Sunrise. Adam takes responsibility for the commercial IT function that generates revenue for re-investment in the Trust. As a strong advocate for connected care systems, over the past two years, Adam has led on the delivery of population health management solutions for the Dudley healthcare economy, linking the hospital with GPs across the borough. Established as a digital leader within the region, from prior roles as Digital Strategy Director and Deputy CIO, he continues to support MCP and STP digital strategic agendas.


Natalie Younes – Director of Strategy and Business Development

Natalie has joined us from Lincolnshire and District Medical Services (LADMS) where she held a joint role of Commercial Director with the GP Federation and Mental Health Trust since 2011.

Natalie originally started her career working within social welfare, housing benefits and family liaison and moved into Local Authority working with enterprise. Natalie then entered the NHS in 2010.

Natalie said, “I am very excited to join the Trust and have the opportunity to drive business and service improvement and prepare for the NHS challenges of the future.”


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