Our Board

Our Board is ultimately responsible for the Trust’s performance. It provides the strategic direction to help ensure we deliver high quality, safe services.

The Board holds regular meetings to discuss key issues around performance, quality and governance. Anyone is welcome to attend a public board meeting.

The Board is made up of our Executive Directors (paid employees who are responsible in their executive role for managing the organisation and, as board members, for the leadership and direction of the Trust) and Non-Executive Directors (who do not have a managerial role but are responsible for challenging the Executive Directors in decision-making and on the Trust’s strategy). Collectively they are responsible for our overall performance and our plans for the future.

We also have a Council of Governors (staff, public and appointed), who represent the views of Foundation Trust Members. Governors help the Trust make decisions about our services and hold our Non-Executive Directors to account.

You can view our Executive and Non-Executive Directors below.

Lynne Hunt, Chair 
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Lynne has a track record of over 40 years public service, working in the NHS within mental health and learning disabilities services.

She began her career as a nurse in Dorset, before moving to London and has held a number of clinical and Board level roles. Most recently she was Non-Executive Director and Vice Chair of Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust.

Lynne is Co-Chair of Unloc, a leading not for profit organisation in Hampshire that helps to empower young people. She is also the Mental Health Trust Chair lead on the Mental Health Board for NHS Confederation.

Lynne has NHS transaction experience (as Director of Nursing) from the merger of two community and mental health trusts in west London and the merger of a high secure hospital with an NHS trust. Lynne also led and supported the transfer of an entire mental health services contract between providers as an independent consultant.

Michael BernardMichael Bernard.jpg
Michael’s career has been in IT, with spells in Sales and Marketing leadership, culminating in a role as an International Marketing Director. His particular areas or expertise are around strategy, communications, IT and sustainability. He is on the Board of the Royal Humane Society and sits on the Advisory Board for Exeter University Business School.  He has previously chaired the board of governors for a secondary school.  He support Arctice Base Camp as an Executive Volunteer.  Michael is the author of Creating Strategy: A Practical Guide, published in 2021.

Exposure to mental health problems close to him have given him a long- standing interest in this area and motivated him to apply to the Trust. He hopes to be able to help the Trust with his experience in leadership in a large, complex organisation, as well as a background in strategy and communications.

Michael has commercial transaction experience from his time at IBM.

Jeni BremnerJeni Bremner 3.jpg
Jeni has worked in public service for over 25 years in the NHS and Local Government and has over 30 years experience at board level both as an executive and non-executive. A nurse by background, Jeni is also a health economist and was a member of the Board as a Health Economist then Policy Analyst at Newcastle City Health Trust, a community and mental health trust, in the mid 90s. She then joined the Local Government Association, the national body of Englisth Local Government, to lead their public health and health agenda in the late 90s.  Her remit expanded to include social care and community safety.  She joined the Local Government Associate Board in the early 2000s.

In 2007, she became Chief Executive of an international health charity, the European Health Management Association, focusing on policy and practice to improve health management and the delivery of high quality patient focussed healthcare.  She worked extensively across the European Region with a wide range of partners both in country at provider / payer level and with government and other non-governmental bodies including the World Health Organisation, European Union and other pan-national organisations.  Her particular focus was on Public Health, Patient Involvement / Community Engagement and Health Workforce.

Since 2016 Jeni has focussed primarily on her non executive career and is currently Deputy Chair at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and Chair of AECC University College. 

Dr Kevin ClearyK Cleary Picture2.png
Kevin was previously Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals and lead for mental health at the Care Quality Commission (CQC), where he was responsible for the regulation of all mental health providers in England.

Kevin has held posts as Medical Director at the NPSA, Chief Medical Officer at East London NHS Founeation Trust (rated outstanding by the CQC) and Chief Medical Officer and Deputy Chief Executive a the North Middlesex Hospital University Trust.

Kevin has transaction experience including the merger of Hammersmith and Fulham and Broadmoor Hospitals and East London NHS Foundation Trust’s acquisition of Luton and Bedfordshire services (from South Essex).

Kate FitzGerald 
Kate Fitzgerald Best 04 Colour BD8A2132.jpgKate was in the City for over 30 years, becoming a senior lawyer in a globally significant, highly regulated financial institution where her role included risk, working with regulators, industry groups and understanding the dynamics of and challenges faced by individuals and complex organisations.

Kate has personal experience of dealing with disability and terminal conditions as well as the profound effects and outcomes on carers and families.

Kate was Co-Chair of Access Ability, a business resource group at the financial institution where she worked, she identified risk and compliance issues relating to the Equalities Act and worked with the Head of the Legal to address these.

Kate was previously a governor at Barncroft School Leigh Park where she was the Special Educational Needs lead governor.  

David KelhamDavid Kelham 3.jpg
David is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and held Chief Financial Officer (CFO) roles in major UK based companies for 24 of his 34 year executive career covering 48 different countries. As Chief Finance Officer of the respective Boards he helped to successfully grow and transform seven organisations, including six PLCs. In 2010 he was nominated by one of the leading accounting firms as ‘an outstanding international Chief Finance Officer’.

His mother lived with Alzheimer’s for 10 years before her death in 2011. His mother-in-law died in January 2021, again after a long period of dementia. David was honorary Treasurer and Trustee of the Alzheimer’s Society from September 2015-March 2017.David was a member of the Scout Association for 40 years, rising to Explorer Scout Commissioner before retiring. He is also a past member and Chairman in the Round Table organisation, and a member and past Chairman of the Ex-Round Tablers’ Association.

David has been involved in 25 commercial acquisitions across the telecommunications, travel, retail and infrastructure sectors, three disposals and the establishment of international joint ventures.

Suba M.jpgDr Subashini M
Subashini is a surgical doctor by background and now works as Medical Director at Aviva Health, implementing value-based healthcare, delivering data-driven solutions and championing workplace wellbeing,

She previously worked as Director of Science, Health and Wellness at Holland and Barrett where she provides expertise powering the delivery of science-backed in-store and digital products and services, to cement Holland and Barrett’s status as a trusted health and wellness destination.

Subashini Chairs is the Wellbeing Guardian for the trust. She is also a Non-Executive Director at Healthwatch Hampshire, and a faculty member at Good Governance Institute.

Subashini has commercial transactions experience from Holland and Barrett, providing subject matter expertise in validating and reviewing the valuation of potential opportunities, specific to science-based ventures, and supporting post-acquisition integration plans.

Ade Williams Ade Williams.jpeg
Ade is the Director and Superintendent Pharmacist of the MJ Williams Pharmacy Group. He is the Lead prescribing Pharmacist at the multi-award-winning Bedminster Pharmacy in South Bristol. He was an Associate Non-Executive Director at the North Bristol NHS Trust also worked as part of a GP Clinical Team. Ade is the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Patient Champion. For distinction in the practice of pharmacy, he received a Fellowship of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. He maintains ongoing research and clinical design interest in population health management and addressing health inequalities. 

Further recognition for his work through national awards include the 2019 NHS Parliamentary Award for Excellence in Primary Care, GP-Pharmacist of the Year 2019 and NHS Pharmacist of the Year 2018. As part of the 2018 NHS70 Parliamentary Awards, he was nominated as the Person-Centred Care Champion. Ade received an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list 2022 for his services to the NHS and the community in South Bristol, particularly during COVID-19.

Ade is a Board Member and Trustee of the Self Care Forum Charity responsible for the NHS Self Care Week and ongoing Self Care Strategy and is also Director of a Business Improvement District responsible for aligning the delivery of commercial, communal and wellbeing objectives.

Sara WeechSarah W Main.jpg

Sara is an experienced public sector executive director having spent 25 years working in complex health and social care systems including East and West Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Sara has worked for both local authority and NHS organisations and since 2013 has been Trustee and Chair of Earl Mountbatten Hospice.

Professor Tamar Pincus (Associate Non-Executive Director) TamarPincus-profilepicture.jpgTamar Pincus is the Dean of the Faculty for Environment and Life Sciences (FELS) at the University of Southampton. She took up the role in June 2022, moving from Royal Holloway, University of London, where she was Executive Dean for the Faculty of Life Sciences and the Environment.

Tamar is a Professor in Health Psychology, and a registered practicing practitioner with the Health and Care Professionals Council. Her research into psychological aspects of chronic pain spans 30 years, has been cited by guidelines, and has changed practice on the ground. She was the Director of the research centre for the study of pain and well-being at Royal Holloway, and she is a core member of the Consortium to Research Individual, Interpersonal and Social Influences in Pain (CRIISP), which focuses on how people perceive pain and how others affect their pain, as well as considering wider social and environmental influences on pain. Her research includes experiment approaches to explore psychological mechanisms in pain, observation studies to measure risk over time, trials to test effectiveness, and qualitative work, to examine the thoughts and beliefs of people living with pain and those who are part of their life. Examples include investigations of cognitive biases in people living with pain; the psychological predictors for poor outcome in low back pain, and the study of clinicians’ beliefs and behaviours and their effect on patients with pain, especially in reference to effective reassurance and return to work.

She has been a core team member of many randomized controlled trials, and regularly provides advice on behavior change. Her practical work has focused on training practitioners in effective communication skills and fostering awareness of patients’ psychological needs and concerns, and her on-line videos have been viewed widely across the world. 

Ron Shields, Chief Executive - Ron Shields.JPG
Ron has considerable leadership experience with over 20 years as a successful NHS Chief Executive. His 40-year NHS career spans varied roles across physical and mental health, inpatient and community settings. Prior to joining Southern Health, Ron was Chief Executive at Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust, where he led the organisation to achieve an overall Care Quality Commission rating of Outstanding. 

Ron has also led NHS organisations in London and Northampton. He has a track record of successful and sustainable transformation and integration of services to improve patient outcomes.  

Paula Anderson, Deputy Chief Executive and Finance Director - Paula Anderson.jpg
Paula joined Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust in 2009 and was appointed as Deputy Director of Finance in 2014. Prior to this, Paula’s finance experience was within commissioning, including the Finance Director for Mid-Hampshire PCT between 2001 and 2006.

As part of her role at Southern Health, Paula leads on finance, procurement, performance reporting and contracting.In 2001, Paula attained an MBA from the Cranfield University and is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

Dr Satnam Sagoo, Chief People Officer - 22052023 Satnam Sagoo.jpg

Satnam joins us from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and brings a wealth of experience from a career working across multiple sectors. Her role is all about supporting the Trust to become the best place to work, setting the direction and priorities that will help us get there.

Paula Hull.jpgPaula Hull, Director of Nursing and Allied Health Professionals - 
Paula qualified as a registered nurse at Southampton Hospital in 1988. Following a career in community nursing, she became a practice nurse, working in primary care for over 10 years. After several years as a Matron in Primary Care, she joined Southern Health. She also worked at South Central Strategic Health Authority as a Patient Safety Manager.

Paula attained a Masters in Leadership and Management from the University of Southampton in 2013 and became the Associate Director of Nursing and Allied Health Professionals in the Integrated Services Division in 2014. This includes responsibility for all Nurses and Allied Health Professionals and accountability for ensuring patients, service users and families are at the heart of our services.

Eugene Jones, Chief Operating Officer - 
Eugene Jones.jpg Eugene Jones joined Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust as Chief Operating Officer on 1 April 2022. A highly experienced and capable director, Eugene joined from East London NHS Foundation Trust, an outstanding rated organisation, where he led on successful operational service delivery and transformation of services across North East London.

Eugene is a compassionate and inclusive leader, and a clinician by background, who puts patients, carers and colleagues first. He has held Director-level posts across health and social care since 2013 including Clinical Director and Borough Director roles in mental health and community health services. 

Eugene holds a Masters Degree in Healthcare Leadership (University of Manchester) and a PGDip in Forensic Mental Health (Kings College London).  Eugene was also awarded the role of Honorary Lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry in the field of Dual Diagnosis.

Eugene has transaction experience including community and mental health Trust mergers involving South West London & St George’s and also East London NHS Foundation Trust’s acquisition of Luton and Bedfordshire services (from South Essex Partnership Trust).

Heather Mitchell, Director of Strategy and Infrastructure Transformation - HEATHER_MITCHELL (2).JPG
Heather has held NHS Executive Director posts with a broad portfolio for over 12 years. Within Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, Heather leads on strategic planning, digital estates and sustainability. 

Prior to joining the Trust, Heather was Director of Strategy and Partnerships for West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group, where she held the responsibility for Clinical Commissioning Group strategy and business planning, mental health commissioning, children’s commissioning and digital transformation.

She previously worked with Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare (HRCH) NHS Trust, where she was the Director of Planning and Performance with responsibility for strategy, business development, perforamnce, digital and estates. Heather holds a Master’s Degree and PhD in Civil Engineering and prior to joining the NHS she worked in engineering consultancy and project management with responsibility for business development.

Heather joined Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare just after the Trust had formed (bringing together two community organisations) and supported the post-merger cultural alignment. Heather also led a pioneering outcome-based commissioning approach developing a lead provider model within Richmond, working in partnership with two acute providers.

Dr Victoria Laakkonen, Interim Chief Medical Officer - Vicki.jpg

Viki qualified in medicine from St Georges, University of London and worked in geriatric medicine, A&E and paediatrics before starting training in psychiatry. She became a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist in 2006, initially working in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) in Redhill, Surrey and then moving to CAMHS in Salisbury, where her special interest has been Eating Disorders. Viki is trained in systemic and family therapy.

The CAMH Service in Salisbury became part of Oxford Health and Viki remained in the team for 13 years as a Consultant Psychiatrist. While working for Oxford Health, Viki has had several leadership roles including Clinical Director for the Children and Families Division, which spanned 0-19 services across the whole Oxford Health footprint and Deputy Medical Director. Latterly she was working closely with the Experts by Experience,  ICB, Avon and Wiltshire Partnership and VCSE colleagues in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire around mental health transformation particularly for people with eating disorders, complex emotional needs and 16-25 year olds. Working with children, young people, young adults, their families and systems around them to prevent chronic mental ill health and promote wellbeing are issues that she is passionate about.

Viki Joined Southern Health in November 2022, as Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Mental Health and working clinically in the Eating Disorders Service at April House. She became interim Chief Medical Officer in September 2023

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