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The Trust Board - Non-Executive Directors

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Mr James Brent


James Brent

James joined the Trust in May 2012 and is both Chairman of the Board of Directors and Council of Governors. He was an investment banker for twenty-five years and established Akkeron Group which has key business activities in hotels, urban regeneration, retail and leisure (including Plymouth Argyle Football Club). He has combined his commercial ventures with a desire to contribute in a range of public sector settings as well, for example previously as Chairman of Plymouth City Development Company and of Plymouth University.


James was appointed as Chairman of Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust on 1st July 2018.


Jane Ashman

Non-Executive Director

Jane joined the Trust in April 2014. A Social Worker by profession for 34 years and a passionate believer in the integration of Health and Social Care, Jane was a Director of Social Services for nine years until 2009.


As well as her Non-Executive Director role at the RD&E, until recently Jane was the independent Chair of two Safeguarding Adult Boards and undertook Serious Case Reviews and Domestic Homicide Reviews for other agencies when the need arises.


Jane is the Chair of the Trust’s Organ Donation Group and Patient Experience Committee and is a member of the Governance Committee.


Peter Dillon

Vice Chair

Peter joined the Trust in July 2013. After more than ten years with Deloitte, he now runs his own company advising businesses that require turnaround, stabilisation, cash management, budgeting, cost reduction or interim finance. In addition to the time he gives to the RD&E, until November 2015 Peter was also a Non-Executive Director in the Devon & Cornwall Housing Group, a social and affordable housing provider. Peter was previously chair of the Patient Experience Committee and now chairs the Audit Committee and the Trust’s Charity Sub-Committee.


He is also a member of the Workforce Strategy Group. Peter was appointed Vice Chair on 1 September 2018.


Janice Kay, CBE

Senior Independent Director

Janice joined the Trust in April 2014. She is Provost of the University of Exeter and Deputy to the Vice Chancellor. She line manages the University of Exeter Medical School among other key roles.


She holds a number of national positions in Higher Education, including the HEFCE Strategic Advisory Committee on Quality, Accountability and Regulation. Janice was appointed Senior Independent Director in April 2017.


Simon Knowles

Non-Executive Director

Simon joined the Trust in September 2017. He has wide experience as a clinician and director in the UK and Australia, working in the public, academic and commercial sectors.


Until recently he was a non-executive director to a clinical commissioning group and a specialist advisor to the Care Quality Commission. He has a particular interest in using innovation and improvement science to help deliver “joined up” health and social care.


Simon is a member of the Audit Committee and Governance Committee.


Steve Kirby

Non-Executive Director

Steve joined the Trust in September 2017. Following a period in the NHS, he worked internationally in health, running hospitals before moving to consulting. As a Partner at KPMG and then Ernst & Young, he has consulted to a wide range of government and health organisations both in the UK and overseas. He has worked at all levels on a wide variety of health projects and programmes, including large system reorganisations, regulatory issues, and “at the coal face” helping to develop services or dealing with failing organisations.


He was one of the two EY partners who undertook the administration of Mid Staffs NHS FT. Steve was appointed as Chair of the Governance Committee in September 2018 and is a member of the Audit Committee and Patient Experience Committee.


Alastair Matthews

Non-Executive Director

Alastair joined the Trust in October 2018. He has broad strategic financial and commercial experience gained in both the private and public sectors. He is currently Chief Financial Officer at the University of Plymouth. Prior to that he spent 8 years as Finance Director and Deputy CEO at the University of Southampton NHS Foundation Trust. He has been Finance Director at Ordnance Survey, including being a member of HMT's Financial Reporting Advisory Board, and spent 6 years as VP Finance and Administration at Computer Sciences Corporation.


He qualified and worked with Price Waterhouse in Bristol and then Southampton on a broad range of assignments across many sectors. Alastair is a member of the Trustís Audit Committee.


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