The Trust is led by a Board of Directors comprising of a Chief Executive Officer, nine Executive Directors, six 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

Head shot of David Eva

David Eva (Voting Member)

Trust Chair

David joined the Trust in June 2016 from Cheshire and Wirral Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust. David has great experience of developing partnerships and worked for many years on workforce development. He is passionate about staff engagement, service user and carer involvement and putting patients at the centre of services.


Head shot of Caroline Donovan

Caroline Donovan (Voting Member)

Chief Executive Officer

Caroline joined the Trust as Chief Executive Officer in April 2019 having been the Chief Executive of North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust which was awarded a rating of Outstanding by the CQC under Caroline's leadership. Caroline is a nurse and passionate about delivering high quality, patient centred services. Her experience of public health supported her deeper understanding of partnership working across and beyond health and social care. She strongly believes in the importance of accountability to communities, service users and carers. She has spent many years developing leaders and organisations, is CIPD qualified and considers that positive values and behaviours are essential to providing excellent patient-centred leadership.


Executive Directors

Chris Oliver head shot

Chris Oliver (Voting Member)

Deputy Chief Executive 

Chris joined the Trust in July 2020 as Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive. As an established NHS manager, Chris has sustained a track record of driving performance and delivering results against a background of service development and improvement. Having worked in the NHS for almost 20 years, he 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 most recently Chief Operating Officer at Mid Cheshire Hospitals, a post he held for three years before joining LSCft.


Dr David Fearnley (Voting Member)

Chief Medical Officer

David has been a consultant forensic psychiatrist since 2001, and was appointed as the Medical Director for Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust in 2005. He then moved to Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, as the Executive Medical Director, in August 2019. His interests include encouraging doctors to become involved in medical leadership, quality improvement science, large scale transformational change, and digital health technology. David was named as the Royal College of Psychiatrists Inaugural ‘Psychiatrist of the Year’ (2009), received the Healthcare Financial Management Association/Academy of Medical Royal Colleges ‘Working with Finance - Clinician of the Year Award’ in 2013, and was named in the Health Service Journal’s 100 Clinical Leaders List in 2015.


Maria Nelligan (Voting Member)

Chief Nurse and Quality Officer

Maria is an experienced Registered Nurse and has held a number of operational, clinical and professional lead roles. Maria was appointed as Executive Director of Nursing & Quality in 2015 at North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare. During her time there, Maria played a pivotal role in the Trust achieving a CQC rating of Outstanding in 2019. Maria then joined LSCFT in September 2019, where she is the Executive Professional Lead for Nursing, AHPs, Psychology and Social Work. Maria is the Trust Lead for Learning Disability and Autism transformation and is the Chair of the North West Learning Disability and Autism Operational Delivery Network (ODN). She has been a long standing member of the national Mental Health and Learning Disability Directors Forum where she has a role of Secretary and Editor


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Emma McGuigan (Voting Member)

Acting 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.


Ursula Martin (Non-Voting Member)

Chief Improvement and Compliance 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.


Rob Cragg head shot

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. Robs 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.


Jenny Hannon (Voting Member)

Chief Finance Officer

Jenny joined the Trust in October 2021 from Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust where she was Chief Finance Officer with a broad portfolio of responsibilities. Since first joining the NHS in 2012 Jenny has successfully held a number of senior finance roles and is passionate about enabling good quality care.

Jenny trained with professional services firm EY, and is a Chartered Accountant and Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Jenny is also a Board Trustee and Chair of the Audit Committee of PSS, a social enterprise that supports people who have learning or physical disabilities, challenges with their mental health or difficulties as they’re getting older.


Alex Heritage (Non-Voting Member)

Chief Strategy Officer

Alex joined us in April 2021 as Chief Strategy Officer. Alex has worked in the public sector for 18 years in both Local Government and the NHS, most recently as the Chief Executive Officer for the NHS Transformation Unit. Alex has supported a range of major transformation programmes including large capital investments and recently being seconded as the Managing Director to create the  Provider Collaboration Board across Lancashire and South Cumbria which the Trust are part of.  Alex continues to lead a range of regional strategic developments including a specific focus on addressing health inequalities. Alex maintains a broad range of interests which seek to improve experience and care for our communities and partners.


Christine Hughes (Non-Voting Member)

Associate Chief Executive 

Christine has had a long career in the NHS and has extensive, relevant and varied experience. She has held Board level roles in commissioning, regulatory, acute and mental health provider organisations and has built excellent relationships with a range of diverse individuals and organisations from all parts of the health and care landscape and beyond. 

She possess sound understanding and knowledge of strategic communications recognising the significant impact this can have on staff, stakeholders and partners. 

Before joining the Trust, Christine led the communications and engagement function at Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership and was Executive Director of Communications and Engagement with East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust for eight years before that.


Non-Executive Directors

Louise Dickinson (Voting Member)

Deputy Trust Chair and Senior Independent Director

Louise was appointed to the board as a Non-Executive in October 2013 and became Chair of the Audit Committee in July 2014. Louise is a former regional managing partner of the accountancy firm, Grant Thornton, where she specialised in providing corporate finance advice. Since leaving Grant Thornton, Louise has held a number of board level executive and advisory roles in strategy, business planning, finance and risk management. Louise is a Governor and Chair of the Finance Committee at a primary school in Manchester and was previously a Trustee and Chair of the Finance Committee of Down Syndrome Education International.


Phil Huggon (Voting Member)

Provider Collaborative Committee Chair

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.


Ruth Lowry (Voting Member)

Audit Committee Chair

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.


Mohammed Shazad Sarwar (Voting Member)

Finance and Resources Committee Chair

Shazad was appointed to the board as a Non-Executive in December 2018 for three years. Shazad is currently Lay Member of Cumbria & Lancashire Magistrates Advisory Committee and managing director at a niche consultancy that works with private and public sector. He is a former Non-Executive and Deputy Chair of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust where he led on patient safety and quality and post Care Quality Commission inspection. He is also former Non-Executive Director of East Lancashire Hospital Trust and Former Independent Member of Lancashire Police Authority; in the latter he led on strategic planning and performance.  


Paul Farrimond (Voting Member)

Quality and Assurance 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.


Peter Williams (Voting Member)

People and Culture Committee Chair

Peter qualified as a doctor at University of Manchester in 1978. He trained as a Consultant Physician and Nephrologist in Manchester and Liverpool. His first consultant appointment was at North Manchester General Hospital before being appointed as Consultant Nephrologist at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital. He was appointed Executive Medical Director in 2008 and remained in that role until 2019. He was also the programme director for the merger of the Royal Liverpool and Aintree hospitals to form Liverpool University Hospitals Foundation Trust. Peter is the secondary care advisor to Manchester Health and Care Commissioning Board and a non-executive director to the NHS Transformation Unit.


Board of Directors Meetings

Our Board of Directors meetings are currently taking place virtually via Microsoft Teams, however this is under continual review in accordance with governance guidelines.

If you would like to request any meeting minutes or to register your attendance for the next Board of Directors meeting, please contact Mary Wade, Senior Corporate Governance Officer on 01772 520 910 or email on Mary.Wade@lscft.nhs.uk.

Board of Directors Meeting Dates 2022/23:

  • Thursday 26 May 2022, 09:30 to 14:30
  • Wednesday 15 June 2022, 12.30 to 13:00
  • Thursday  28 July 2022, 09:30 to 14:30 (Agenda linked)
  • Thursday 29 September 2022, 09:30 to 14:30
  • Thursday 24 November 2022,  09:30 to 14:30
  • Thursday 26 January 2023,  09:30 to 14:30
  • Thursday 30 March 2023,  09:30 to 14:30

Board meeting papers

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Board meeting key messages