Meet the members of our Trust Board
The Trust is run by a Trust board made up of executive and non-executive directors and led by a non-executive chair.
The Trust board meets in public.
Our board of directors provides overall leadership and vision to the Trust and is ultimately and collectively responsible for all aspects of performance, including clinical and service quality, financial performance and governance.
Chairman and chief executive
|Mrs Miriam Harte, chairman
Miriam has a wealth of experience within the NHS, having spent the last 12 years as a Non-Executive Director. She was on the Board at City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust for nine years, and, most recently, was a non-Executive Director with Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust. She is also a chartered accountant and has extensive business experience.
Qualifications: BA, MA, FCA
Principal Skills & Expertise: Leadership, strategy, communications and change management
Term of office: 1 April 2019 – 31 March 2022
Date of Initial appointment: 1 April 2019
Tel: 01325 552077
|Brent Kilmurray, chief executive
Brent has been a NHS executive director since 2005, working in senior roles across a range of acute, community health and mental health NHS organisations. He joins us after two years as Chief Executive of Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust, a combined community and mental health trust providing services in Bradford and the Yorkshire Dales, as well as children’s services in Wakefield.
His Board level experience includes Executive and Divisional roles at City Hospitals Sunderland NHS FT, joint Managing Director at NHS South of Tyne and Wear Community Health Services, Executive Director of Business Strategy and Performance for South Tyneside Foundation Trust, and Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive for Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust.
Alongside his Trust role, Brent also sits on the NHS Providers Board of Trustees, which is a national membership body for all NHS organisations where he represents provider views in discussions alongside other Trust Chief Executives and Chairs from across the country.
Brent’s qualifications MA European Studies and BA (Hons) Government & Politics
Principal skills and expertise: Quality improvement and innovation, leadership development, partnership and system working, operational service management, performance management, tendering and business development, contract management, commercial matters.
Appointed: June 2020
Executive and corporate directors
||Elizabeth Moody, director of nursing and governance and deputy chief executive
Elizabeth was delighted to join the Trust in July 2015 as director of nursing and governance. She has over 25 years’ experience in the NHS having registered as an RMN in 1991. Elizabeth has held a variety of clinical, professional and managerial roles across inpatient and community settings and before joining the Trust worked in the region as the deputy director of nursing and then group nurse director for 11 years. Elizabeth is responsible at board level for the professional leadership of nursing, quality and safety. She is a certified leader and Think On coach.
Qualifications: RMN, PGDip Professional practice
Principal skills and expertise: Psychiatric nursing skills, project management, service improvement, managerial and leadership skills, patient and carer experience, patient safety, quality and assurance.
Appointed: August 2015
||Ruth Hill, chief operating officer
Ruth has over 25 years’ experience in the NHS and local government, including her role as director of operations in York and Selby at the Trust. Ruth has also worked in commissioning, quality improvement, public health and service development in a number of roles across the North East.
Qualifications: Masters, Nye Bevan Programme
Principal skills and expertise: Service improvement, coaching, management and leadership skills, quality improvement, operational delivery.
Appointed: August 2018
|Dr Sarah Dexter-Smith, director for people and culture
Sarah is a consultant clinical psychologist who has worked in the NHS for over 25 years alongside roles in social care and education. She was appointed in February 2021 and was previously director of therapies. She brings a broad range of applied psychology experience having worked on regional and national bodies.
Qualifications: Doctorate Clinical Psychology, PhD Psychology, ILM5, PGDips Supervision/ Neuropsychology
Principal skills and expertise: leadership, coaching and mentoring, applied psychology, research, teaching.
Appointed: February 2021
||Dr Ahmad Khouja, medical director
Ahmad is a practicing consultant psychiatrist in Forensic Learning Disabilities. He was appointed Medical Director in March 2018; prior to this he was the Deputy Medical Director and Senior Clinical Director for the Forensic Service. He has a research degree in Molecular Medicine from Oxford University. He was a former Training Programme Director for Higher Trainees in the Psychiatry of Learning Disability. He is a Certified Leader for the Trust’s Quality Improvement System and a Master Coach. He has led on recovery and harm minimisation for the Trust.
Qualifications: MRCPsych, MBChB, BA(Hons) DPhil (Oxon)
Principal skills and expertise: Psychiatric practice, clinical leadership, patient safety, clinical effectiveness, programme and project management, service improvement, medical education, research and development
Appointed: March 2018
|Mrs Sharon Pickering, director of planning, commissioning, performance and communications
Sharon joined the NHS in 1989 on the then Regional Financial Management Training Scheme. In 1996, moved to the North East and into a planning / commissioning role. Sharon joined one of the predecessor organisations, County Durham and Darlington Priority Services NHS Trust, in 2000 as head of planning and has been with the trust ever since.
Qualifications: Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), MBA in Public Services and the Kings Fund Top Management Programme.
|Liz Romaniak, executive director of finance, information and estates
Liz joined the NHS over 30 years ago and gained extensive associate/deputy director and board-level experience from roles within commissioning and community and mental health provider organisations. Liz’s previous role was as director of finance, contracting and estates at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust, where she led work in 2014 to 2015 to develop the organisation’s long term financial plan and successfully navigate all financial aspects of the trust’s Monitor FT application and due diligence processes. Liz also had responsibility for planning and performance and between 2017-2021, was deputy chief executive, both roles affording opportunities to develop greater operational and clinical perspectives. Liz has lobbied, including via NHS representative bodies, for parity of esteem (and resources) for mental health, including relating to capital developments. Liz is also a board member of the AuditOne NHS Audit consortium.
Qualifications:qualified accountant, ACMA
Principal skills and expertise: NHS finances (strategy, costing, financial accounting and management, commissioner and provider), financial strategy, planning and performance management.
Appointed: October 2020
(Note: *indicates that the individual has been reappointed as a Board member of the Foundation Trust.)
The board is responsible for ensuring accountability to the public for the services it manages.
- ensures effective dialogue between the trust and the communities it serves
- monitors and ensures high quality services
- is responsible for the trust’s financial viability
- sets general policy direction
- appoints and appraises the trust’s executive management team.
Our board of directors has retained certain decisions to itself including the definition of the trust’s strategic goals and objectives, the approval of the annual plan (following consultation with our council of governors); the acquisition, disposal or change of use of land or buildings with a value in excess of £500,000; and the introduction or discontinuance of any significant activity or operation.
Further details are provided in the ‘Scheme of decisions reserved to the board’ which is available as part of the constitution.
Any powers which the board has not reserved to itself or delegated to sub-committees are exercised on behalf of the board by our chief executive.
Under the leadership of our chief executive, the executive management team (which comprises the executive, corporate and service directors) is accountable for the ratification of trust-wide policies for implementation and for ensuring:
- performance against our objectives and key targets is reviewed
- the effective operation of our integrated assurance systems and
- the provision of appropriate and accurate information to our board of directors.