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Meet Your Governors

38 Governors sit on the Council of Governors and represent the Trust's public and staff constituencies and stakeholder organisations. Find out more about them here, including how to contact them and share your views.

If you would like to contact any of our Governors, please use the link below and start your message 'message for Governor Name'

Occasionally, Governors may seek views of members on specific issues and details of these can be found on the 'related publications' links on this page.

Public Governors

The Public Governors represent the geographic area covered by the Trust and this is split into nine constituencies:

Chester-le-Street - Kathryn Featherstone

Kathryn Featherstone

Kathryn Featherstone qualified as a pharmacist in 1983. She spent 16 years working as a community pharmacist and pharmacy proprietor before also taking on practice pharmacist work in 1999 and becoming involved with her local PCT, spending time as a pharmacist on the professional executive committee. She later became Head of Medicines Management at South Tyneside PCT for almost four years until September 2007 and then worked as a consultant, primarily with the two Local Pharmaceutical Committees in NHS South of Tyne & Wear, where she was Secretary of Sunderland LPC. She is Clinical Lead for Intelligent Prescribing Solutions Ltd, a company providing prescribing support services to GP practices.  Kathryn helped set up the Listening Friends scheme, a telephone help-line for pharmacists under stress and was one of the National co-ordinators for 20 years. When not at work, Kathryn has a caravan near Bamburgh on the North East coast where (weather permitting) she enjoys beach walks. Favourite thing to do - swim with dolphins - but in warmer water than the UK!

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Chester-le-Street - currently vacant

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Darlington - Marian French

Marian FrenchMarian has lived in Darlington since 1978 and is a dedicated family person.  She cares deeply about our Health and Social care, especially in the areas of standards of care and training.  Marian became a Governor because she feels that current health and social care provision is under threat and is entering a period of great change.  In her view, the Trust needs to position itself to deal with the future and remain robust and able to meet the needs of the local community.  The Governors need to be representative of the community they serve and be able to speak on their behalf.  Marian is passionate in the belief that the needs of the community rest on the people who are willing and able to act on their behalf - she is now in that position and very keen to contribute.

Marian brings a willingness to give her time and energies to supporting the development, not the demise of local services.  Her key skills include; communication; interpersonal interaction with a diverse range of people; commitment; openness; willingness to take on a challenge and kindness and empathy.  Her experience includes 11 years as a Staff Nurse and Staff Midwife at North Tees and Darlington Memorial Hospitals, 21 years at Darlington College as a Lecturer, rising to Head of Department, managing a REgional Collaborative Centre of Vocational Excellence in Adult Social Care and as a Specialist Advisor for the awarding organisation City & Guilds.  Marian has complemented her nursing and education qualifications with an MBA in Strategic Management.

Marian retired in 2016 and now contributes to the care of her elderly mum who has Dementia and Alzheimer's.  She also enjoys being outdoors and is a member of the Embroiderers Guild.

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Darlington - Patricia Gordon

Tricia moved to Darlington 38 years ago to start her nurse training in Darlington Memorial Hospital and has spent most of her career within CDDFT.  Tricia is very proud of the NHS and CDDFT in what it achieves daily.  She believes passionately that the people of Darlington should be assured of safe, effective, quality healthcare delivered in a caring environment where they are treated with dignity and respect.

Tricia and her family have had call to use the services of the Trust and have experienced some exceptional care.  From her own experience, she can understand the importance of getting care right and what people expect when they or their families are ill.  Tricia has been a staff governor for the organisation in the past, and as a public governor, she feels she can now build on her previous experience and represent the interests of the people of Darlington.

Tricia feels privileged to be a public governor, to be able to hold the Non-Executive Directors to account; to ensure safe care for all; continue the integrated care partnership transformations; influence and shape future developments, to improve outcomes for all those the Trust serves, and the dedicated, hardworking healthcare workers employed by the Trust.  Tricia is married with three grown up children and when not at work, she can be found helping at her local parish church and social centre, at the gym, or with her head in a good book.

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Darlington - Kath Fawcett

Kath FawcettKath retired in March 2017, after working in the NHS since September 1966 almost continuously apart from breaks to have her two daughters.  She has a 10 year old Grandson who lives in the West Midlands and another Grandchild on the way.  Kath enjoys spending time with her family, walking the dog - Max, and trying to keep her garden under control.

The majority of Kath's career was spent in the area of Elderly Care at DMH which she thoroughly enjoyed as she feels there is something very special about caring for our older generation.

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Derwentside - currently vacant

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Derwentside - Nancye Carr

Nanyce CarrNancye has enjoyed a nursing career spanning 25 years: initially working in Newcastle and Gateshead general hospitals.  In 1989, she moved into Primary Care as a Practice Nurse in a large Medical Centre.  During this time, Nancye entered the academic field, receiving multiple Diploma level qualifications and a BSc (hons) in Nursing Science.  In 1998, Nancye was awarded 'Nurse of the Year' for work setting up a private provider service for nurse-led anticoagulation clinics.  After going to London to receive the award from the Minister of Health, Nancye was invited to join the Board of Editors for the Practice Nurse Journal and began writing and reviewing articles for them and other nursing journals. In that same year, Nancye received funding from the RCN and wrote a widely distributed book and teaching pack "Nurse-led Oral Anticoagulation Management" which led to facilitating training programmes and guest speaker invitation to numerous national conferences.

In 1999, Nancye was involved in the development of the Oral Anticoagulation Management module and invited to become a Visiting Scholar at Northumbria University.  In 2001, Nancye took on the challenging role for North Durham Primary Care as Cardiovascular Nurse Co-ordinator, tasked with introducing previously hospital based cardiac services into the community.  With her team of cardiac nurses, they studied at Teesside University for a level 3 Clinical Skills qualification.  In 2007, the team won a national Excellence and Innovation award in Cardiac Rehabilitation.  Nancye retired from her professional career in 2009 and was invited to become involved in local and county patient groups, which she continues to do.

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Derwentside - currently vacant

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Durham City - Mac Williams (JP)

Mac Williams UpdatedMac Williams JP began his career with the National Coal Board (NCB) where he was a Colliery Ventilation Officer and qualified in Mining, Ventilation, Business Studies, Industrial Relations and Health & Safety. After leaving the NCB he entered into local government and retired as Principal Health & Safety Officer with responsibilities of Emergency Site Liaison. During his career, Mac's profession and interest in Occupational Health allowed him to advise on a range or policies including employee no smoking, HIV, Rabies, Improved Standards in Care Homes and Food Preparation Kitchens.

His interest in the Law allowed Mac to be a Justice of the Peace (35 years) and for a number of years he was the Chairman of Durham/North Durham Magistrates.  Mac sat on Criminal, DTTO, Juvenile and Appeals at County and Crown Courts and attended the Royal Courts of Justice. He also studied Law at Newcastle College.

Mac was a County Councillor and served 2 years in the Civic Office. Mac was honoured to be Chairman of Durham County Council and attend Scrutiny Committee meetings, contributing proactively on issues such as smoking, heart disease, obesity, dementia, ambulance services as well as other health matters.

Mac is passionate about the NHS and has previously served as a Governor for Tees, Esk and Wear Trust. During this time he was active in Engagement, and Equality and Diversity and served on the Remuneration Committee.  During this time Mac also studied and passed the Mental Health Certificate Course with Newcastle College.

Mac's skills and knowledge will allow him to contribute towards Governance, patient care and staff wellbeing, with the aims of delivering a first class service for the community and Trust in County Durham.

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Durham City - Stuart Green

Stuart lives and works in Durham City. He has a professional background in accounting, with specialist experience in taxation, assurance and financial management. In addition he is also an examiner for professional bodies in both accounting and banking. Stuart has a keen interest in governance and serves in governance roles for several organisations, including Durham Constabulary and the North East Joint Transport Committee.

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Durham City - currently vacant

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Easington - Chris Boyd

Chris BoydChris is a retired Science Teacher who taught for over 32 years.  He holds a 1st Class Honours degree in Physics with Electronics (Liverpool University) and a PGCE Teaching Certificate.  In his early twenties he served as a local parish councillor.  Chris was a member of the National Union of Teachers and served as a Teacher's School Governor and Health and Safety representative.

As a frequent user of NHS Services because of several lifelong chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and psoriatic arthritis, Chris would like to give back a little for the excellent servce and treatments received.  Suffering a stroke over two years ago, he received treatment from a team of dedicated professionals and this led him to consider contributing to improving the effectiveness of local NHS services in some way, as he feels it can often look confusing and complex.  He has taken part in an active drug trial for a new psoriasis treatment and has also helped in the training of medical students at James Cook University Hospital.

Chris and his wife have three adult children and presently one grandchild.  Since the NHS has been vital to the health and wellbeing of all of his family, Chris is keen to support it in whatever way he can.

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Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland - Gillian Crawford

Gillian Crawford Jan 21

Gillian is a retired Civil Servant having served 30 years in HMRC. She has lived in the region all her life and has been a resident of Bournmoor since 1999.

For the past 6 years Gillian has been a governor for a local school. She holds the governor specialist interest link for Special Educational Needs and is also involved in the committees for Finance and Premises and Pay and Personnel. Gillian is dedicated to the role and has engaged in many training courses to enable her to fully meet its requirements, including; suicide alertness (SafeTALK), Youth Mental Health First Aid, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills and Safeguarding Adults and Children. In addition she volunteered with the North East Autism Society on a nine week course run for parents of children with autism. During the pandemic Gillian trained and qualified as a Covid-19 Test Operative to be able to help with Covid-19 testing for school staff and students. She has also completed an accreditation for safer recruitment to assist with her work with the school interview panels.

Gillian looked after her elderly Aunty who had been diagnosed with dementia and cancer, until she sadly had to go into a care home. Following this Gillian wanted to pursue a formal mobile carer role in the Chester le Street locality, which she will commence in February.

Due to her own and her family's experiences with medical interventions and care, Gillian is passionate about the NHS and has a drive to play an active part.

Gillian is a mum of two daughters one at sixth form and the other at university and likes to spend her free time with her horses and dogs and as a voluntary member of the Marine Conservation Society.

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Hambleton, Richmondshire and Tees Valley - Frank White

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Sedgefield - Brian Ferguson

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Sedgefield - Ian Banks

Ian Banks

Ian was commissioned into the Royal Air Force on leaving school and trained initially as a pilot before transferring to the RAF Regiment where he served in Cyprus, Norway and Northern Ireland.

Ian also serves as an Officer in the Army Reserve.  Most recently he has been employed as the Senior Reservist at the Army's School of Infantry utilising his experience gained with 2 local units:  THE RIFLES (7th Battalion Durham Light Infantry) and his three years in command of the 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. On leaving the RAF he joined NatWest and since then has worked for a number of banks and in industry, specialising in corporate asset finance.  Ian currently works as a Director for Lloyds Bank providing funding solutions to regional businesses.

Ian has lived and worked in Newton Aycliffe for over 30 years, married and raised his family here and considers himself a local with a keen interest in local issues He has previously served as a Governor with the Education Services of County Durham and has experience in representing local people and their interests, ensuring that their voices are heard in how services are developed and delivered to best satisfy the needs of the Community.

"My Civilian and Military careers have exposed me to the importance of strategic planning and given me solid experience in working with diverse teams of people, shaping aspirations of today and delivering solutions which meet the demands of tomorrow. As an individual I am driven by a personal desire to improve the way we live our lives, this includes reducing waste, using our resources efficiently and preparing for the future."

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Sedgefield - David Taylor

David Taylor

David is an accomplished, time served finance and administrative professional with the experience of systems in both industry and commerce of both large and complex organisations and also small to medium sized companies.  Though now spending more time keeping fit and fully aware of local and national financial and political events, along with health care developments regionally.  Originally from Yorkshire, David has lived locally now for over 30 years.


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Wear Valley and Teesdale - Marilyn Weerasinghe

Marilyn Jan 21 photoMarilyn was born and bred in Bishop Auckland and originally trained to be a Primary School Teacher. After a few years however she decided on a change of career and retrained as a Social Worker, working first with the Durham Dioscesan Family Welfare Council and then, after completing her Certificate of Qualification in Social Work, with the local authority in Crook and later in Bishop Auckland. Following the birth of her daughter, Marilyn made a return to teaching and worked until retirement as a teacher with a focus on Special Educational Needs.

Following her mother's stroke, Marilyn's passion for improving health care services was ignited. She became a member of the Patient and Public Involvement Forum and represented patient views both regionally and nationally on stroke, paediatric, surgical and stem cell research services.

Marilyn volunteers at Durham Cathedral and with the Auckland project and was recently the North East's winner of the Marsh Award for Museum Learning, specifically for working with young people in hard to reach communities.

While there are ever increasing demands on the NHS and health services, Marilyn believes that the best outcomes for patients and communities can continue to be achieved and looks forward to working together with the Council and the Trust to contribute to this.

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Wear Valley and Teesdale - Alan Cartwright

Alan CartwrightElected as a Public Governor in 2017, Alan, is a retired lecturer and college manager.  He is married to Denese with two daughters, a son and five grandchildren.  He currently works part time as an Associate Lecturer with the Open University.  Alan's professional background is in Technical Vocational Training, Higher Education and Management.  A Senior Lecturer and Manager at Newcastle College for 23 years.  Trained as an Electronics Engineer and worked in engineering companies, such as Northern Engineering Industries (NEI).  Prior to taking up a lecturing post at Newcastle College is 1982, worked as a Senior Research Engineer at the International Research and Development Company (IRD).

Awarded a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1977, a Certificate of Education in 1983 and completed a Master of Business Administration Degree in 1992.  Public service includes, an elected member of Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council in the 1990s and as a Magistrate for 21 years on the South Northumbria Bench.  A Rotarian and Past president of Crook Rotary Club, currently the club's International Chairman.

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Wear Valley and Teesdale - Emma Rowell

E Rowell Jan 21 PhotoEmma lives and works in Teesdale and has been a midwife and midwifery lecturer for many years.

With a strong interest and professional experience in maternity care and the drug and alcohol misuse service in the community, Emma also has a passion for ensuring that both the mental and physical health of a patient, are always considered across the acute and mental health sectors.

Emma is looking forward to working with the Council to contribute to keeping excellent patient centred services at the forefront of the Trust's planning.

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Staff Governors

Staff Governors represent the staff group they belong to:

Admin, Clerical and Managers - Neil Williams

Neil WilliamsNeil is the Trust's PFI Manager.  He is passionate about the NHS and became a Governor to help influence the future of services provided.  He also has experience of being a Governor in the education system and knows the importance that the role of a Governor in a healthcare setting has on the impact and outcomes of the health and wellbeing of the people in the communities served.


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AHPs, Professional & Technical and Pharmacists - currently vacant

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Ancillary - currently vacant

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Community based - Susan Hind

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Community based - Kevin Morley

Kevin has worked within the Trust for 26 years and has been a member of the Multi-Professional Community team since completing his Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care at Teesside University in 2015. Prior to this he worked in a variety of settings in the Trust including Elderly Care wards, Children's wards and a School Health Community team.  Kevin has a passion for delivering quality and patient centred care and a drive for making a difference to the experience of the patient.

Looking forward to being a part of the Council, Kevin sees this as an opportunity to contribute to the Trust's delivery of the right care at the right time through the work of the Council and holding the Non-Executives to account.

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Medical - Dr Peter Cook

Peter is a Consultant Physician in Respiratory and General Internal Medicine practicing at UHND and has also been a Senior Lecturer in Medicine at Newcastle University since July 1999. He has particular responsibility for under and post graduate medical education and training and was previously a Royal College of Physicians tutor.

Peter was due to retire in 2020 but continued with the Trust as a locum physician in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and is now hoping to retire in 2022. He hopes to bring his knowledge and frontline experience to the Council to contribute to the future governance of the Trust and represent the views of the medical staff members.

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Nursing and Midwifery - Danielle Harrison

Danielle Harrison 21 PhotoDanielle trained to be a midwife with the Trust and since qualifying in 2013 has practiced at UHND. She is currently works in the Pregnancy Assessment triage unit providing frontline care to women and their families experiencing complications of pregnancy. Danielle is also qualified in third trimester sonography which enables her to contribute to increasing the Trust's scanning capacity.

Danielle has a drive for service improvement and is currently studying for a Masters in Global Leadership and Management in Healthcare. She is looking forward to being able to contribute as part of the council to represent the views of the staff membership.

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Nursing and Midwifery - Carley Kane

Carley Jan 21 PhotoCarley's career began as a carer in a nursing home for 7 years before becoming a healthcare assistant (HCA) at UHND.  While in her role as a HCA, it was recommended that she join the trainee nursing associate programme, which she undertook and successfully completed. Carley is now a newly registered Nursing Associate and has a passion for caring, devoted to a career in nursing and dedicated to enhancing patient care and outcomes and experience.  New to the Nursing profession, Carley was described as exemplifying the very heart and spirit of nursing with big plans to encourage and nurture the nursing family of tomorrow, in a feature in the Unison magazine 'A passion for caring'.

Carley was previously a representative for trainee nursing associates at Teesside University and inspired a need to advocate for excellence in healthcare for patients, colleagues and the wider community.  In addition to her day to day job, Carley is involved in various professional undertakings within the Trust; she is a patient safety champion, part of a change team and involved in the 'Civility Saves Lives' work.

Committed to the governor role Carley is passionate about promoting pride and professionalism in nursing, celebrating the good work of colleagues and working collaboratively to ensure optimal standards of care delivery.  She strongly believes that we must value each other, connect and engage with each other, be inclusive, kind, innovate and put our patients and people at the heart of our practice.  Proud to be serving as a Governor Carley strives to positively influence future outcomes and look for transformational change.

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Nursing and Midwifery - currently vacant

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Appointed Governors

We also have a number of Governors nominated by our stakeholder organisations.  Appointed Governors and the organisations they represent are as follows:

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Healthwatch Durham (shared post):

Brian Jackson

Brian JacksonSince his retirement as Senior Associate Director with the Local Authority, Brian has spent his time ensuring that the patients' voice be heard.  He has done this through membership of various groups within the Clinical Commissioning Group framework.  Through the Patient Reference Group, Brian was kept informed of the development of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan and the new Integrated Care System.  As the Chair of Healthwatch County Durham, he was able to continue to listen to patients' opinions and express them through the Health and Wellbeing Board.  Brian has been involved in various projects within CDDFT relating to the 'Perfect Week' activity and he is currently involved in the development of Stroke Services and Stroke rehabilitation, care navigation and the Great North Care Record.  As a member of the 'Joining the Dots' Group, Brian was able to see the development of a new support package for patients newly diagnosed with various types of cancer.  Brian will continue to ensure that the opinions of all patients are encouraged to be heard through meaningful engagement.

Chris Cunnington Shore (cover)

Chris is Chair of the Board of Healthwatch County Durham having taken over from Brian Jackson and has joined the Council of Governors in the capacity of Appointed Governor during Brain's temporary absence.  he has a broad managerial experience with a background in both the NHS and Civil Service.  Upon his retirement, he has become more involved in a number of voluntary roles supporting the local health and social care agenda.

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Healthwatch Darlington (shared post)

Dr Robert Upshall

Robert Upshall

A southerner originally, hailing from Bournemouth, Robert graduated as a doctor from University College Hospital in London in 1976.  After hospital jobs and GP training posts in Surrey and Hampshire, Robert arrived to join one of the practices operating out of Parkgate Health Centre in 1981.  The practice moved gradually to the Whinfield site from the following year eventually moving out of the Health Centre completely.  Robert continued in that practice as a partner, eventually senior partner, until 2011.  In addition to being a full time GP, Robert did consultancy work for Cleveland Bridge, for a number of years.  He also worked in the Psychiatry department at Darlington Memorial Hospital as a clinical assistant with a special interest in the Elderly Mentally Infirm for a number of years.  Robert worked as an emergency doctor with Healthcall Ltd from 1981 until 2003.  From 2003 until 2010, he worked with Durham Constabulary as a Forensic Medical Examiner (colloquially known as a police surgeon though one is neither police nor a surgeon!)  Robert was a member, latterly vice-chair, of County Durham and Darlington Local Medical Committee representing Darlington GPs from the 1980s until he retired.

Robert has two adult children - a daughter who is trained as an artist, teacher and psychologist who works for a homeless charity as a Health and Wellbeing Manager, and a son who is a musician performing in a local band and works for Darlington company EE.  Since retirement, Robert and his wife like to travel, spending time in his wife's home country, the USA, and for the last few years, he has been involved with Healthwatch Darlington Ltd, a registered charity, currently the Chair as well as being one of their directors and trustees.  Robert maintains a strong interest in healthcare issues and is passionately concerned that locally it should be of the highest quality, available to all equitably and sensitive to the needs of the local population and that providers should be able to explain and justify their decisions to their patients both on an individual basis and to the population as a whole.  Robert was appointed to the Council of Governors by Healthwatch Darlington, and jointly with Brian Jackson, he takes turns to attend Council meetings representing both Healthwatch Darlington and Healthwatch Durham.

Valerie Johnston

Valerie is a retired Civil Servant with wide-ranging experience in the Departments of Employment; Education and Skills; Children, Schools and Families, latterly Education (DfE) and ACAS.  She has long experience in operational management roles with teams ranging in size from 7 to 45 staff; experience in Human Resource Management, Training and Development, Contract Management, Procurement, Buildings Management and outward facing / representational roles.

Valerie has served as a Trustee for several organisations in the Voluntary and Community sector including Age UK (previously Age Concern), the Women Matter Bursary, and Tees Valley Rural Action, over a period of 25 years.  She is an experienced school governor, currently a Director of Firthmoor Primary School, and a Governor of Corporation Road Community Primary School, both in Darlington.  Valerie's qualifications include; CIPD Certificate in Training, NCFE Certificate in Counselling Skills, ITD Diploma in Training Management, IPM Diploma in Personnel Management, MA Strategic Human Resource Management, ISO 9001/2 Lead Assessor.

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Darlington Borough Council - Lorraine Tostevin

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Durham County Council - currently vacant

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North East Ambulance Service - Paula Gent (interim)

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Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust - Jennifer Illingworth

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Local Universities - Ann French

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NHS Tees Valley CCG - Dr Boleslaw Posmyk

Dr Posmyk qualified as a doctor in Leeds in 1981 and became a GP in Hartlepool from 1986 where he still practices while living in Wolviston.  He additionally started regular sessions at the Rockliffe Court Surgery, Hurworth in July 2018.  He gradually became interested in medical management via the Diabetes Local Implementation Team, and then joined the Hartlepool PCT Professional Executive Committee.  He then became a representative on the Hartlepool PBC Group prior to becoming Chair.  Dr Posmyk was elected to be the Locality GP Representative and Chair of the then Hartlepool Shadow Pathfinder Committee and has now been elected to his third term as the Chair of the Governing Body for the CCG.

Dr Posmyk gained an understanding of issues affecting healthcare in Darlington while working for several years on the SEQIHS and follow-on Better Health programmes looking at planning of healthcare in the wider Darlington, Dales, Durham and Tees areas.  From July 2018, he has also been elected to serve as Chair of Darlington CCG.

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NHS County Durham CCG - Joseph Chandy

Joseph ChandyJoseph joined the NHS in 1996 as a Practice Manager in Easington.  He led on GP fundholding within his practice and developed his local GP Out of Hours Co-operative from 1998-2004.  He was elected Chair of Easington Practice Based Commissioning Group from 2005 to 2012.  In 2011 he was appointed as Director of Practice Based Commissioning for Durham Primary Care Trust (PCT).  In 2012 Joseph founded South Durham Federation.  In 2013, he was appointed Director of Performance for NHS Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield CCG before being appointed as Director of Primary Care in 2014.  Joseph took up the role of Director of Primary Care for North Durham CCG in April 2016 also and was working across both CCGs in this shared role.  In April 2019, this was extended across five CCGs with a new title of Director of Commissioning Strategy and Delivery with specific responsibility for Primary care in County Durham.  Joseph was non-clinical partner in four GP practices which are now amalgamated into East Durham Medical Group where he is managing partner.  Joseph is also a GP surgery property developer.

'Every aspect of my emergency care was dealt with quickly, efficiently and professionally with full explanations and compassion from all staff involved'.

Patient, Emergency Department, Darlington Memorial Hospital