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Meet the governors

Our governors

Our governors and members help to make us a successful NHS foundation trust by making sure we meet the needs and expectations of our patients.

Please find below brief biographies of each of our governors.

To contact any of the governors, please email governors@gstt.nhs.uk.

Patient constituency

  • Heather Byron: lead governor (from January 2020)
    re-elected July 2019

    Heather ByronHeather was made lead governor in January 2020.

    With a career business consulting, I have supported many organisations develop strategies, overcome challenges and deliver customer-focused services.  I previously chaired The Children’s Society fundraising committee and bring a mix of skills, experience and a strong drive to all my roles, which I execute with focus and passion.

  • John Knight: elected July 2019

    John-Knight2John Knight’s career has spanned the voluntary and statutory sectors including the Department of Health, Leonard Cheshire Disability and the Commission for Public Appointments. During this time he also held National Board level directorships of the Commission for Social Care Inspection (now part of the Care Quality Commission); the Charity Commission and the General Social Care Council. He was previously a Governor of another London NHS Foundation Trust.

    In addition to his role at Guy’s and St Thomas’ John is currently also a Governor of an Adult Education Institute and on the Board of a national Housing Association as well being an  advisor on disability issues to the Board of the Civil Service Commission. John brings a wide range of Board level governance and high level recruitment and selection experience together with a practical knowledge of disability equalities and patient engagement to the Council of Governors.

  • Betula Nelson: elected July 2019

    Betula Nelson, patient governorAs a long-term patient of the Trust I have built a strong respect and trust in its functioning and staff.

    In the last eight years it has made a difference to my life and I feel a kind of affinity to the organisation. I am quite excited by the development of its new cancer centre which deserves all the support it needs.

    I have a long history of connection with the health service as I worked as a psychiatric social worker for many years. I was a part-time senior social worker in the early 2000s in the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, a sister trust to Guy's and St Thomas', of which I am a member.

    I have sound knowledge of patient care and the values which are essential for the delivery of holistic care alongside of the medical interventions. I am able to view patient care from both a staff and patient perspective.

    As a retired person I have time and energy to contribute to the system and am conscious of my civic duties. I feel that the combination of the above experiences and qualities enable me to work as a governor and help improve the work of the Trust.

  • Placida Uzoamaka Ojinnaka: elected July 2018

    Placida OjinnakaI am dual qualified as both a social worker (adult mental health and substance misuse) and solicitor, volunteering and advocating across areas including social work, housing, education, employment and disability issues. I am also a graduate of the Jo Cox leadership programme 2018.

    In my recent past I have been politically active, working closely with my local Labour party to provide equal access and positively raise the profile of people with disabilities.

    I am a committee member of the Law Society's lawyers with disabilities division. My most recent achievements include a successful campaign to persuade the Law Society to go purple in November and December this year in as part of the Disability Confident campaign.

    I am honoured to have been listed in the 2018 Power 100 List of the most influential disabled people in Britain by the Shaw Trust. My interest as a patient governor, is to review and improve the experiences that all vulnerable people may face.

  • John Powell: elected July 2019

    John Powell, member of the Council of Governors Health management rightly heads the public agenda, and I want to help in guiding the Trust toward delivering a world-class health service. My senior management background entailing public accountability and achieving statutory performance targets enables me to offer unique oversight as a Governor.

    My experience as a patient, at one time seriously ill, has given me insight into the Trust's 'front line', furthering my desire to be involved in guiding and developing its future. Over many years I have seen first-hand how the absence of adequate health services can negatively impact on communities and the social environment. I want to help in ensuring against just that.

  • Mary Stirling: elected July 2018

    Mary Stirling, patient governorI am a qualified and experienced teacher with a background in education and health.

    I was an Oxleas governor for 6 years and a school governor for 3 years.

    Many years ago (1976) I worked at Guy’s hospital so I feel that I already have a connection with this great hospital.

    I have recently used both Guy’s and St Thomas’ services and would like to give something back. I feel that I have the passion, skills and experience to make a positive difference. 

  • Christine Yorke: elected July 2019

    Christine Yorke, patient governorI was treated for cancer in 2018 and would like to help improve facilities at Guy's Hospital.

    I have experience of being a member of a board of governors as I was the teacher governor for many years at the school where I taught, and I think that I could make an active contribution to meetings.

  • Simon Yu Tan: elected July 2018

    Yu Simon TanHaving worked in health research in the public sector and managed projects at the NHS National Institute for Health Research, I have good understanding of the well-being of patients and I care deeply about patients.

    I chair three voluntary organisations that serve the local communities, providing support to a large group of patients and helping them with various complex difficulties, including advocacy and representation. I am here to support the patients with my professional experiences from the health sector, which span two decades.

Public constituency

  • Martin Bailey: elected July 2019

    Martin Bailey, member of the Council of GovernorsI have lived in Kennington since 2012, am a local school governor and a lay trustee of a nearby university students' union since 2014. Professionally I am a civil servant.

    I wanted to be a Governor at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital because I have been a patient here a number of times since I moved to London.

    With ever increasing complexities and issues arising, I am able to bring over a decade of trustee board and non-executive director committee experience to this governing body, as well as being able to better champion the voices and needs of parts of our local community that can be lacking.

    I am extremely excited about taking on this role, I love living in Lambeth and the different pockets of communities that all co-exist and intertwine with each other, and the opportunity to ensure we are best serving them usually at their biggest time of need is truly humbling but exhilarating.

  • Elaine Burns: elected July 2018

    elaine-burnsMy background is in the military and commercial law which has given me experience of management, organisation and business which I hope I can bring to my Governor role.

    I feel privileged to have been elected and glad to take on the responsibility so as to repay in some way the enormous debt of gratitude I owe to Guy's and St Thomas' for the care given to my late husband.

  • Marcia Da Costa: elected July 2018

    Marcia Da Costa headshotMy professional background is in the social work profession; having practiced adult, children and families social work and safeguarding since the 1970’s. I worked to senior management and specialist level. I hold a CQSW and MSc degree. My voluntary experience goes back many decades, while working full time. For 15 years I pioneered a 'not-for-profit' organisation in Waterloo providing services for the homeless, now supporting some living in their home, and aid their rehabilitation. I work with organisations supporting young people to divert them from gun, knife crime and gangs. I also support elderly Caribbean WWII war veterans.

    I enjoy being a new public governor for Guy’s and St Thomas’. As a people’s person I listen to service users. Also wanting to support the Directors and hard working hospital staff, by ensuring excellent patient-centred services are at the forefront of the planning and implementation of policies, procedures and service delivery. 

  • Annabel Fiddian-Green: elected July 2018

    Annabel Fiddian-GreenA healthcare communications consultant for much of my working life, I have worked closely with major pharmaceutical companies, physicians and patients/patient groups. 

    Throughout my career, I developed a deep respect for those involved in front line healthcare provision.  I’m looking forward to working with the Foundation Trust and hope that my professional experience will be of benefit to the governors.

    On a personal front, I have lived locally for over 30 years, both of my (now adult) children were born in St Thomas’ and over many years we have all been – and continue to be – patients of the Foundation Trust.

  • Paula Lewis-Franklin: elected July 2019

    Paula Lewis-Franklin, member of the Council of GovernorsMy areas of passion and experience are patient welfare and quality of care, budgeting and finance and fundraising.

    I have gained a wide range of experience and skills whilst sitting on three boards at Lewisham Hospital, including the patient welfare board and finance board.

    I am trained in policy and bid writing and am able to analyse hospital budgets, income and expenditure in layman's terms.

    As a Governor, my priorities are:

    • to become part of an innovative hospital, ensuring a first-class service for patients whilst not compromising on quality of care
    • to help strategise where and how to save money whilst not compromising patient welfare
    • to participate in hospital rollouts such as the 'medical tourism' rollout I was happy to be a part of
    • to offer support, governance and guidance where needed.
  • Margaret McEvoy: elected July 2018

    margaret-mcevoyWith experience of NHS staff remuneration and workforce issues and having recently retired from the senior civil service I have the time, enthusiasm, and skills needed to represent the interests of members and support the board in delivering top-quality healthcare to local communities.

  • Samantha Quaye: elected July 2018

    Samantha Quaye headshotI am an advocate for equality, diversity and inclusion. I care about ensuring the needs and expectations of patients and the public are met. I want to support Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital to continue to deliver high-quality care for all by providing an objective voice, as a representative of the public.

  • Peter Yeh: elected July 2018

    peter yehI live in Southwark with my wife and two young children. Having graduated from Cambridge medical school and having worked in the NHS since then all my life, first as a junior doctor and now as a NHS consultant obstetrician in another NHS trust. Currently I am also secretary of the British Intrapartum Care Society, which aims to promote excellence in intrapartum care.

    My interests are in patient care and experience, maternity, medical information digital technology and governance within NHS organisations.

    My duty as a public governor is to represent the interests of the public and would welcome your views.

Staff constituency 

  • Dr Tahzeeb Bhagat: elected July 2018

    Tahzeeb BhagatI have been a consultant anaesthetist since 2008 with special interest in paediatric anaesthesia. In my Educational supervisor role I support trainees to enhance their skills in the ever-changing NHS environment as I encourage learning through simulation and multidisciplinary teamwork. I hope to support key front line staff working together to provide better patient experience. 

  • Professor John Chambers: re-elected July 2018

    John Chambers - stakeholder constituency

    I am a consultant cardiologist and professor of clinical cardiology at Guy's and St Thomas' and was appointed in 1991. I have a particular experience of multidisciplinary pilot projects bridging the artificial divide between community and hospital. I am involved in national and international committees to set standards in echocardiography and valve disease.

  • Tony Hulse: re-elected July 2018

    Tony Hulse - staff constituencyI have been a children's consultant (paediatrician) since 1988, moving to the Evelina London in 2007 to develop children’s diabetes and endocrine services. I live in Lambeth and have been a patient too.

    I am keen to promote the further development of children’s services, the integration of hospital and community services but also to provide additional communication channels for staff in a large organisation.

  • Laura James: elected August 2019

    Laura James, staff governorI am a graphic design and communications specialist in the Essentia marketing and engagement team, having originally joined on an administration placement organised by the Prince's Trust.

    My passion is getting the experiences of non-clinical staff represented and I am a member of the wellbeing, communications and Women in Essentia staff networks.

    Getting it right for our patients means getting it right for our staff, too. I will act as a trusted and ethical voice speaking on behalf of my extensive network of non-clinical colleagues.

  • Anita Macro: elected September 2017

    Thelma BanguraI am a longstanding district nurse having worked in Lambeth and Southwark in various posts in and around community nursing for 28 years. I am currently a deputy head of nursing and lead for our district nursing service in Guy's and St Thomas'.

    I have significant experience in staff management, leadership and in implementing change, having seen a significant amount of change across health and social care over the years. I have a keen interest in staff welfare and getting a good working experience for staff working in community services. Where staff are happy and fulfilled in their roles it follows that patients are happy with their care and standards are high. I enjoy working in a role where I can make a positive difference to patients’ lives.

    In my spare time I grow my own food and flowers, am treasurer to two allotment organisations, run an allotment site with four other people and actively promote allotment and leisure gardening in the borough of Croydon.

  • Rachel Williams: elected August 2019

    Rachel Williams, staff governorI joined the Trust in 2015 and have since worked my way up to become a senior health records officer. I am also a 'Speaking Up Advocate', inclusion agent, reverse mentor and proud wearer of the NHS rainbow badge.

    I have always been passionate about team work and making people feel included and want to represent those who are not normally heard and promote more diversity at the top.

    As a governor, I aim to inspire others to speak up about equality and inclusion and how different issues within the Trust affect our diverse team in different ways.

Stakeholder constituency 

  • Cllr Timothy Windle: appointed July 2020

    Tim WindleI am Chief Whip of Lambeth Council, representing Larkhall ward.

    I work for the BioIndustry Association, coordinating its work around Brexit and COVID-19. I have over eight years’ experience working in health policy and public affairs. Before joining the BIA I worked as a policy manager at Prostate Cancer UK leading on work around access to treatments and supporting clinicians with best practice guidance.

  • Cllr Evelyn Akoto: appointed October 2020

    elena-spiteriI have been cabinet member for community safety and public health since 2018. I was first elected to Southwark Council in 2014 and served as deputy cabinet member in 2016. I lead on the Council's public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and work with statutory bodies to reduce health inequalities, including tackling obesity, providing quality drug and alcohol services and support for mental health issues. I also lead on the delivery of the Council's community safety work on tackling antisocial behaviour, domestic abuse and youth violence, including knife and gun crime.

    I established and chaired Southwark's cross-party panel on serious youth violence which investigated local concerns, the root causes of youth violence and explored solutions. As deputy cabinet member, I worked on campaigns to raise aspirations for young people and help young people with careers through providing work opportunities for students.

    I sit on the council of governors at Guy's and St Thomas' and also a sub-group co-chair of the south London COVID-19 preventing mental-ill health taskforce, led by SLAM. I have over 15 years experience working in local government and over four years in the health sector.

  • Dr John Balazs: appointed December 2015

    John BalazsI am currently one of the Vice Clinical Chairs of the Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group (LCCG) and a GP Partner at the Binfield Road Surgery in Stockwell where I have worked since 1990.

    I have lived in Lambeth for most of my life and love its diversity and vibrancy. I currently live and work in Stockwell. During my career I have developed an interest in joint working with hospital consultant colleagues, the prevention of cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, eye disease, and gut and liver disease. I have a strong background in commissioning and was Lambeth PCT PEC Chair for seven years until 2009.

    The inspiration for all of my commissioning work is the regular contact I have with patients in Lambeth. I am convinced that working across organisational and professional boundaries to design services results in real improvements to patients. My personal experience over many years has confirmed this. The Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group is working on a number of clinical pathways that will significantly improve patient care.

    My LCCG portfolio includes reviewing quality and care at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and long term conditions (chronic disease).

  • Dr Robert Davidson: appointed November 2015

    Robert DavidsonI graduated from St George's Hospital Medical School in 1998. I started training as a paediatrician before switching to a career in primary care in 2004.

    I have been a GP in Southwark for 13 years. I was a partner at Albion Street Health Centre and have also worked at Surrey Docks Health Centre. I currently work at Southwark's North locality extended access primary care service.

    I am passionate about the provision of high quality integrated healthcare. My main medical interests are in the development of innovative and accessible healthcare services for children and young people.

    In addition to these roles and interests I am an examiner for the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and enjoy mentoring the doctors of tomorrow.

  • Dr Jane Fryer: appointed October 2015

    Jane FryerI am NHS England’s medical director for south London.

  • Jennifer Owen: appointed September 2020

    jennifer-owenI am the Associate Director of Commercial at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. I have worked at the Trust since March 2018. I have previously worked at St George's Universities NHS Foundation Trust and University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, having worked in roles covering both operational and corporate services.

    I am passionate about ensuring that patients' mental health is considered across both the acute and mental health sectors, and that there should be appropriate seamless care. 

    I have been resident of Lambeth for 15 years so have a keen interest in the health provision within the borough.

  • Professor Lucilla Poston: appointed January 2017

    Prof Lucilla PostonI am Head of the Division of Women’s Health at King's College London and hold the Tommy’s Charity Chair of Maternal and Fetal Health. 

    I direct a multidisciplinary team of health professionals based at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals. My own team focuses on maternal obesity and gestational diabetes and the longer term consequences for the child.

    I am an honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), a National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Senior Investigator and a Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences.

  • Sue Slipman: appointed December 2015

    Sue SlipmanI was the founding Chief Executive of the Foundation Trust Network, the national trades associations for authorised and aspirant foundation trusts in the NHS. I was also Director of the campaigning charity The National Council for One Parent Families, and ran the Gas Consumers Council.

    I was an Executive Director at Camelot where I held the role of Director of Corporate Responsibility before becoming Director of Communications.

    I have been Chair of the Financial Ombudsman Service, have held a number of non-executive positions in public life and am currently a trustee of NEST Corporation, the pension scheme set up by government to support auto-enrolment.

  • Professor Warren Turner: appointed August 2014

    Warren Turner

    Dean for the Faculty of Health and Social Care.

    I trained as a podiatrist, qualifying in 1989. Since then I have worked as a podiatrist in the NHS and in private practice, eventually specialising in the care of patients with diabetes and people with sports/musculoskeletal injuries of the lower limbs. I moved into academia in 1992, working at the University of Northampton School of Podiatry, becoming Head of School in 1995.

    In 1998 I took a sabbatical to work in New Zealand where I undertook work towards my PhD investigating the efficacy of lasers in treating common conditions of the feet. I have helped to establish diabetic foot specialist centres in Ukraine.

    I became Assistant Dean of the health faculty at the University of Derby in 2001 and moved to London South Bank University as Pro Dean of the Faculty of Health and Social Care in 2009.

    I am currently also an adviser to Boots Ltd in respect of product development for Boots’ high street foot care range and have assisted with the development of a number of new product lines. I have co-authored three podiatry text books and authored/ co-authored several journal articles and presented papers at international conferences.

Governor quote

"We supported the decision to make community health services in Lambeth and Southwark part of the Trust as this will help us to break down the barriers between hospital and community services."