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Board of Directors

 These pages give you information about the Newcastle Hospitals Trust Board of Directors.

You can find details of the Board members below, and also find pages about:


Kingsley Smith, Chairman

 The Chairman for the Trust:

  • chairs the Board of Directors and ensures that a corporate vision and strategy is developed and maintained
  • chairs the Council of Governors (CoG)and acts as a bridge between the CoGs and the Board of Directors
  • ensures the CoG has appropriate arrangements in place to hold the Board of Directors to account through the Non-Executive Directors 
  • has a close working relationship with the Trust’s Chief Executive
  • is an Ambassador for the Newcastle Hospitals
  • maintains national and local contacts
  • pays special attention to key issues and problems
  • keeps abreast of the national scene
  • is a member of key appropriate organisations

Chief Executive

Mrs Louise Robson, Acting Chief Executive

Mr Andrew Welch, Acting Chief Executive

The Chief Executive is the Accountable Officer responsible for:

  • ensuring good governance – Corporate, Clinical, Research, Employment, Statutory, Regulatory
  • sustaining a “going concern”
  • ensuring service provision and delivery to optimal standards in the public interest
  • ensuring good internal and external relations
  • providing organisational leadership of staff and patients

Mrs Angela Dragone, Finance Director

As Finance Director, Mrs Dragone is responsible for:

  • leading the Finance function (Financial Services, Income, Financial Management)
  • ensuring financial governance (Annual Accounts production
    Standing Orders, SFIs, etc.)
  • financial planning
  • financial reporting (Internally to various audiences / Externally to Monitor (risk ratings)
  • Charitable Funds

Mrs Helen Lamont, Nursing & Patient Services Director

 Our Nursing and Patient Services Director's roles are to :

  • ensure professional accountability and leadership for Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions' Practice Development and Research 
  • be the organisation's Guardian of Nursing & Midwifery Council standards 
  • ensure safety and quality of patient care
  • deliver efficiency, effectiveness and value for money
  • develop research and practice in nursing and midwifery
  • oversee Patient Services inc. Patient Relations, Medical Records, Rehabilitation, Palliative Care, Patient Services Co-ordinators and bed management, Hospital at Night, Staff Bank 
  • act as Executive lead for Infection Prevention and Control, Safeguarding, Patient & Public Involvement, Equality & Diversity, Education & Training (with Medical Director), Clinical Governance & Risk (with Medical Director)

Mrs Louise Robson, Business & Development Director

As the Trust's Business & Development Director, Mrs Robson:

  • develops Trust Strategy
  • leads on planning and business
  • leads on negotiating contracts with commissioners and service level agreements with public and private sector
  • ensures operational delivery
  • leads on performance against national and local standards
  • leads performance framework for clinical and corporate Directorates
  • ensures service improvement and Trust-wide transformation
  • develops approaches to matching capacity and demand
  • promotes use of benchmarking and enhancing productivity
  • develops integration strategy with local partners
  • leads on Any Qualified Provider and service procurement
  • enhances innovation and commercial development
  • develops marketing strategy and PR
  • leads on all external stakeholder relationships

Mr Andrew Welch, Medical Director

The Medical Director is a key member of the Executive Team and the Board of Directors advising on all clinical issues.  

Mr Welch leads a team including five Associate Medical Directors, seven Corporate Medical Directors, and 21 Corporate Clinical Directors, each with a portfolio of responsibilities, ie:    

  • Quality and Patient Safety
  • Clinical Governance / Risk Management
  • Audit
  • Staff Management
  • Patient and Public Involvement
  • Use of Information
  • Education and Training
  • Clinical Effectiveness - New Procedures/Drugs
  • Performance and Disciplinary Issues in Medical Staff - Trust responsible officer for GMC revalidation / Caldicott Guardian
  • Efficient use of resources - Job planning / Remuneration / Working patterns / Service redesign

Non-Executive Directors

The roles of the Non-Executive Directors are to:

  • contribute to the setting and achievement of strategic objectives, including liaison and working with the Governors of the Trust to achieve uniformity of purpose
  • ensure that the highest standards of corporate and clinical governance are maintained
  • constructively challenge and contribute to the development of strategy
  • scrutinise the performance of management in meeting agreed goals and objectives, monitor the reporting of performance and contribute corporately to the work of the Board
  • satisfy themselves that financial information is accurate and that financial controls and systems of risk management are robust and defensible
  • determine the appropriate levels of remuneration of executive directors and have a role in the appointment, and where necessary removal, of senior managers and in succession planning
  • ensure that the Board acts in the best interests of the public and is fully accountable to the public for the services provided by the public and the public funds it uses
  • help to ensure that the Trust promotes equality of opportunity in its treatment of staff and patients

Non-Executive Director Professor David Burn

Professor David Burn is Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Medical Sciences at Newcastle University. He is also a Professor of Movement Disorders Neurology and Honorary Consultant Neurologist for the Trust.  His first degree was at Oxford (Physiological Sciences), returning to his native North East for clinical training and early medical jobs, including neurology. 

After further neurology training and undertaking research in London (National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square and Hammersmith Hospital) he was appointed as a Consultant Neurologist and Senior Lecturer in Newcastle in 1994.  

Professor Burn has an international reputation for research in dementia associated with Parkinson's.  He is an National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Senior Investigator, chairs the NIHR Translational Research Collaboration for Dementia and is National Clinical Director for Parkinson's UK.  

Professor Burn has published over 240 articles in peer reviewed journals and was appointed as a Trust Non-Executive Director from 3rd July 2017.

Non-Executive Director Mr Keith Godfrey

Keith Godfrey graduated from Manchester Victoria University Medical School in 1973.

Initially training in General Surgery and Obstetrics & Gynaecology he came to Newcastle in 1979 to join the Medical Research Council based in the Princess Mary Hospital, Jesmond. He subsequently worked for Newcastle University before becoming a Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Sunderland in 1985. He was elected chairman of the Medical Staff Committee and BMA Place of Work Accredited Representative in Sunderland.

Keith returned to Gateshead Queen Elizabeth Hospital in 2001 to head up the Northern Gynaecological Oncology Centre (NGOC) and as Regional Chairman of the Gynaecological Oncology Site Specific Group he implemented the National Guidance on centralisation of Gynaecological Oncology Surgery at NGOC.

Following a spell as Divisional Director of Surgery in Gateshead he became Deputy Medical Director in 2009 and Medical Director in 2012 until retirement in December 2016.

He joined the Board as Clinical Non-Executive Director on 27th July 2017.

Non-Executive Director Ms Hilary Parker

Hilary Parker is a solicitor, former partner and now consultant to a law firm in Newcastle. She was formerly a lecturer in law at Hull and Newcastle Universities.

Hilary spent most of the first twenty years of her professional career as a commercial property lawyer acting exclusively for housing associations both in the North East and nationally.

Hilary has extensive Non-Executive Director experience and previously was a Non-Executive Director at Three Rivers Housing Association before becoming Chair of the Association. She is the Senior Independent Director at the Trust and has been a Non-Executive Director at the Trust for 8 years. Hilary is also Chair of the Newcastle Development Trust which is a charity supporting Newcastle University.

Non-Executive Director David Stout OBE

David Stout OBE joined the Trust Board as a Non-Executive Director in August 2012.

David is a CIPFA chartered accountant and was formerly the Director of Finance and Communications at the North East Strategic Health Authority (NESHA).

David has significant health expertise having worked in Director of Finance roles across a number of NHS organisations and also undertook the role of Acting Chief Executive at the NESHA for a 26 month period.

David is also an experienced Local Government finance professional who has held finance roles at 3 North East local authorities over a 13 year period.

David has undertaken a number of advisory roles including being part of the Arbitration Panel for NHS contracting disputes.

Non-Executive Director Mr Ewen Weir

Ewen Weir is Director of Wellbeing Care and Learning in Newcastle City Council. He has been part of the Trust Board as Non-Executive Director since October 2010.

He is the Director of Children’s Services and the Director of Adult Social Services. A social worker by professional background he has worked in the public/voluntary sector throughout his career.

Previous roles have included: Policy and Performance lead at the North East Strategic Health Authority; Assistant Director of Social Services at Darlington Borough Council; and with the voluntary sector in Edinburgh, working with homeless people.

Educated at Edinburgh and Newcastle Universities, he has a Masters degree in History, Postgraduate Masters in Philosophy and Social Work and a Diploma in Education.

Non-Executive Director Mr Jonathan Jowett

Jonathan joined the Trust Board as a non-executive director in November 2016. His executive role is Company Secretary & General Counsel at Greggs plc, where he is a member of the Operating Board, reporting to the Chief Executive. He is a lawyer by profession, and has spent most of his career working in-house in international manufacturing companies, across a variety of sectors including medical product and consumer healthcare.

Jonathan’s responsibilities in Greggs include legal and government affairs, risk management & insurances, internal audit, food safety, health and safety, corporate communications, social responsibility, and pensions administration. He is Secretary to the PLC board and its committees, and so responsible for governance and corporate policies, and the efficient and effective administration of the Board.

Away from Greggs, Jonathan is Vice Chair at the Percy Hedley Foundation, which provides educational and care services to children, young people and adults with cerebral palsy, communication and sensory impairments and complex learning, social care and therapeutic needs.

Jonathan read Business Law at Huddersfield Polytechnic, qualified as a Solicitor in 1989, and attained a Masters Degree in European Union law from the University of Leicester. He gained national recognition from his peers in the 2012 Financial Times Innovative Lawyers awards for his contribution to developing the law on VAT on hot food. In his spare time, he is an advisor to the Board of Darlington Football Club.

Non-Executive Director Professor Kath McCourt

Professor Kathleen McCourt CBE FRCN joined the Trust Board as a Non-Executive Director in December 2015.

Kath has had an extensive career as a nurse, midwife and educationalist in the UK and overseas. On retirement as Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences she became a Pro Chancellor at Northumbria University.

During her career Kath has been nominated, elected and represented her employer and the nursing profession in a variety of regional, national and international settings. She has significant Board level experience through chairing committees and groups. Kath has been an advisory consultant to a number of overseas governments and organisations including the WHO and is presently the Vice President of the Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Federation.

She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing and received the CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours 2012 for services to nursing.

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