The Trust is led by a Board of Directors comprising of a chief executive officer, executive directors, non-executive directors and a non-executive chair.

Our Board members bring a wide range of skills and experience from multiple professions and industries.

The Board is responsible for a range of matters including the operational performance of the Trust, defining and implementation of strategy and for ensuring that its obligations to regulators and stakeholders are met.

Executive directors are paid employees of the Trust with clear areas of work responsibility.

Non-executive directors and the non-executive chair do not have day-to-day managerial responsibilities within the Trust.

The Chief Executive Officer is a paid employee of the Trust.

Meet the Leadership Team

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David Fillingham (Voting Member)

Trust Chair

David Fillingham was appointed as chair of the Trust Board and Council of Governors at LSCft from the 1 November 2022.

David joined the NHS in 1989 from a career in manufacturing. He went on to take a number of chief executive posts including Wirral FHSA, St Helens and Knowsley Health Authority, North Staffordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, and Royal Bolton Hospital NHS FT. From 2001 to 2004 David was director of the NHS Modernisation Agency developing new ways of working and promoting leadership development across the NHS as a whole. He was awarded the CBE for this work. In 2010 David was made the National NHS Quality Champion in the NHS Leadership Awards.

David was the chief executive of AQuA (the Advancing Quality Alliance) from its creation in April 2010 until he retired from the NHS in June 2019. AQuA is a membership funded improvement organisation based in the North West of England.

He has also held a number of non-executive roles including deputy chair at Aintree Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, chair of the Trafford Local Care Alliance and chair of the Healthier Wigan Partnership. He has also been a visiting senior fellow at the Kings Fund.

In August 2023, David was appointed as chair of the NHS National Improvement Board.

David has particular interests in quality improvement, leadership development, co-production with the users of services and partnership working.

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Chris Oliver (Voting Member)

Chief Executive Officer

Chris joined the Trust in July 2020 as chief operating officer and deputy chief executive before becoming interim chief executive in October 2022 and chief executive in April 2023.

Chris has sustained a track record of driving performance and delivering results with a focus on improving quality outcome and staff empowerment.

Chris has had a varied and immensely satisfying career which has enabled him to successfully lead healthcare staff in a variety of challenging environments. Chris' experience covers finance, operational and leadership roles.

He was previously chief operating officer at Mid Cheshire Hospitals, a post he held for three years before joining LSCft.

Executive Directors

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Dr Gareth Thomas (Voting Member)

Chief Medical Officer

Dr Gareth Thomas is a consultant psychiatrist for older people.

Gareth has held a number of senior leadership roles including deputy chief medical officer, network medical director for the Fylde Coast, director of medical education and has held senior roles in continuous improvement.

He has three Masters degrees in psychiatry, clinical education and medical leadership and has completed the Nye Bevan Programme. 

He is an experienced medical leader and team player who is fully committed to developing an improvement and learning culture, improving staff experience and developing a high quality, inclusive and patient centred approach within the organisation and across boundaries with partners in the system.  

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Oliver Soriano (Voting Member)

Chief Nurse Officer

Oliver is an internationally educated nurse from the Philippines, who started working in the NHS in 1998. As a dual registered nurse, he is passionate for ensuring that service users receive a holistic care focused on both their physical and mental wellbeing.

He has an extensive experience working in crisis mental health services as well as in specialist areas including older adults, perinatal and eating disorder pathways.

He advocates in supporting the  career and professional growth of his colleagues and supports the workforce to be well equipped, well skilled in delivering the best care for the patient and the community that we serve. He places high importance on the voice of our service users and carers to improve how we deliver care as well as identifying innovation through co-production.

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Emma McGuigan (Voting Member)

Chief Operating Officer

Emma started in the NHS in 2009 as part of the NHS graduate management programme. Emma has held a range of operational roles across a number of NHS organisations. Emma joined the organisation in 2021, she was previously the director of operations in Mid Cheshire Community and Hospital Trust. Emma is passionate about continuous improvement, service development and compassionate leadership.

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Ursula Martin (Voting Member)

Chief Strategy and Improvement Officer / Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Ursula joined the Trust in October 2019, having had almost 20 years working in the NHS in governance and improvement roles. Ursula has had senior director roles across acute and mental health trusts, having also worked for a period of time in commissioning. Ursula is passionate about ensuring that there are robust governance frameworks to ensure ward/team to Board visibility, and that there is a just and learning culture, allowing staff to improve and innovate so that they can provide the best care that they can to our patients. Ursula is also a big advocate of co-producing improvement and development work with patients, staff and our partners.

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Rob Cragg (Non-Voting Member)

Chief People Officer

Rob joined the NHS in 2001 and has enjoyed a career spanning operational management, leadership and organisational development. Rob throughout his career has helped trusts to focus on improvements to culture and inclusion, creating working environments that improve both staff and user experience alike. Rob's career has seen him work at local, regional and national level, as well as being fortunate to gain experience in both the private and academic sectors. Creating equity, enhancing well-being and improving staff recognition are Rob's personal drivers, consequently choosing to select to work across mental health and community services for most of the last decade. He was most recently deputy director of organisation development, education and inclusion at Southern Health NHSft, a post he held for three years before joining LSCft.

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Dominic McKenna (Voting Member)

Chief Finance Officer

Dominic has been with the Trust since its inception, originally as financial management director and more latterly as director of operational finance with additional responsibility for contracts and procurement. Dominic assumed Interim chief finance officer status from 1 November 2022.  

Previous experience for the Trust has been gained from being part of the team which established the Trust and was also heavily involved in the Trust assuming Foundation status and the Transforming Community Services project. Prior to Lancashire Care, Dominic was employed by Guild Community Healthcare having entered the NHS as a Regional Trainee. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance Accountants (CPFA).

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Abigail Harrison

Chief Digital and Infrastructure Officer

Abigail has worked in the NHS for 20 years with experience in local, regional and national roles. Abigail joins us from the North West Ambulance Service where she was chief information officer for the last four years, providing strategic leadership across all digital functions and leading her team to rapidly transform the digital landscape for the Ambulance Service. Abigail is passionate about transforming health and care for all people by harnessing technology, data and estates, using a methodologically driven approach to improve the way we deliver services. Abigail is a big advocate for clinical leadership and co-design with patients, providing the space for staff, patients and technical teams to work together to generate and test ideas. She is an innovator and believes in collaboration with partners within the NHS and beyond including industry and academia to deliver the NHS our communities deserve

Non-Executive Directors

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Steve Wilson (Voting Member)

Deputy Trust Chair and Chair of Finance and Performance Committee

An Accountant, Steve is the treasurer of Greater Manchester Combined Authority, a position he has held since the end of 2019, managing the authority’s annual revenue budgets of £1.7bn and capital programme of £0.5bn. For the two years leading up to the creation of the Greater Manchester Integrated Care Board earlier this year, Steve also covered the Greater Manchester Integrated Care System finance director role.

No longer having that responsibility, he is keen to maintain the connections he built with the NHS over most of his professional career. Steve was executive lead, finance and investment of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership between 2016 and 2019, responsible for an annual budget of £6.1bn, a role he took up after spending three years as director of financial control for NHS England. All of his earlier NHS career was spent in the North-West, including roles as director of finance and development/deputy CEO of Wirral Community (2011 – 2014) and deputy director of finance (2009 – 2011), right back to when he joined the NHS in 1996 as a national financial management trainee.

Steve has been trustee of St Ann’s Hospice since 2018 and lives in Manchester.

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Paul Farrimond (Voting Member)

Senior Independent Director and Quality Committee Chair

Paul has over forty years' experience in the NHS as a qualified general and mental health nurse and as a professionally qualified manager with an MBA. He has worked in acute, mental health, primary care, community provider, integrated health and social care, primary care trusts, commissioning and improvement partnerships. Since taking early retirement he has undertaken interim director roles for trusts and improvement partnerships, as well as individual project work. Paul has been a trustee for a mental health charity and previously was a non-executive director for a London mental health Trust where he chaired the Quality and Safety Committee and the Mental Health Law Committee.

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Phil Huggon (Voting Member)

Chair of People and Culture Committee

Phil is a non-executive director with several organisations mostly in health and education across the private, charitable and public sectors. Originally from Preston, he graduated with a degree in Languages from Oriel College, Oxford, then spent 20 years in commercial, marketing and transformation roles with BP, MARS and Shell, both in the UK and across Europe. Over the last 13 years, he has held several NED roles with the NHS, and currently is chair of the NHS Transformation Unit, vice chair of Healthwatch England and NED with Liverpool Women’s Hospital (until March 2021). He has a particular focus on strategy and transformation.

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Ruth Lowry (Voting Member)

Chair of Audit Committee

Ruth was appointed to the board as a non-executive director in April 2021 and has chaired the Audit Committee since October 2021. She is a chartered accountant and spent the first half of her career with PricewaterhouseCoopers and its predecessor firms in London, the East Midlands and the North West. She specialised in public service audit and advisory work, working with a range of organisations including NHS providers, further and higher education institutions, housing associations and charities. From 2004 to 2022 she was Lancashire County Council’s head of internal audit, and worked closely with both the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy and the Institute of Internal Auditors. She has been a member of the governing body of the University of Central Lancashire since 2018, and has chaired its audit committee since 2019.

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Anika Ephraim (Voting Member)

Non-Executive Director

Anika is an experienced non-executive director within the charity and education sectors. She has an engineering background, graduating from UCLan with a degree in Design and Manufacturing Engineering, the majority of her career has been spent working for international corporations in the energy and manufacturing sectors in the UK and overseas.

Starting out in project management, her career has seen her take on a variety of roles in product development, field operations, operations management, business development and general management. As a senior executive, Anika was managing director of Elfab, a manufacturing company in North Shields and most recently CEO of Grafmarine, a renewal power systems technology start-up based in Manchester. She has lived in Scotland, Nigeria, Romania and USA, and had the privilege of visiting more than 30 countries during her extensive travels.

Currently Anika is a governor with LTE Group and trustee of Wargrave House Charity. She has an MBA from IE University (Madrid, Spain) and Brown University (Providence, USA).

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Lucinda McArthur (Voting Member)

Non-Executive Director

Lucinda has over 20 years of experience in public health and senior NHS roles, including 13 years spent operating within Lancashire and South Cumbria. Now running her own company, she stood down from her role as senior advisor to NHS West Lancashire CCG in 2021, after five years in post.

After just over a year as an associate of Public Health England’s Well North programme, Lucinda took up the role of CEO of its spin-off, Well North Enterprises, a position she held for nearly a year and a half, before leaving to spend more time with her young family.

Her previous roles include consultant in/associate director of public health, NHS Central Lancashire PCT (2008 – 2013), public health network director, Cheshire and Merseyside Public Health Network (2007 – 2008) and public health specialist and teenage pregnancy strategy co-ordinator, Lambeth PCT (2004 – 2007). Lucinda lives near Northwich, Cheshire.

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Stephen Watkins

Associate Non-Executive Director

Stephen began his career in central government with the National Audit Office before joining the NHS in 1988 to work in the finance function with South Manchester Health Authority. He is a qualified accountant and has spent most of his career working as a senior advisor to the health and care sector. For over 30 years, Stephen has worked in the healthcare consultancy industry including roles with Price Waterhouse and Hoskyns/Cap Gemini.

From 2000 until 2022 he was the founding director of Benchmark Management Consulting, which also included a role acting as director of the NHS Benchmarking Network. The NHS Benchmarking Network is one of the world's largest healthcare comparison services and Stephen led a range of work programmes including a national and international mental health analytics service.

Stephen has advised mental health policy departments in all 4 UK countries and collaborated with 17 countries on mental health analytics and policy as well as working with international organisations such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL).