Executive Directors

Executive Directors

Joe Rafferty, Chief Executive Officer

Appointed in September 2012.

Before coming to Mersey Care Joe held the post of Director of Commissioning Support at the NHS Commissioning Board, having national responsibility for the design and delivery of a significant component of the commissioning side reforms outlined in the White Paper: Liberating the NHS. Prior to this, he was seconded from the Chief Executive role at NHS Central Lancashire, to become the Director of Commissioning Development for NHS North West, with a remit to lead the development of commissioning reforms across the North West of England

From 2007 to 2010 he was the Chief Executive of NHS Central Lancashire, with an annual commissioning budget of £750m. During tenure, NHS Central Lancashire became the most improved PCT in the North West and one of the most improved in England, according to the World Class Commissioning national assessment. Joe was the Regional Director of Commissioning and Strategy for NHS North West from 2006-2008. Other Board-level roles have included Director of Performance in Cumbria and Lancashire SHA and Director of System Reform at Bolton Hospital NHS Trust. Prior to these roles he was part of the team that set up Greater Manchester SHA.

Joe joined the NHS in 1999 as a National Trainee on the NHS General Management Training Scheme and previously worked at a post-doctoral level as a team leader in molecular genetics at the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research in Manchester and before that at Strangeway’s Research Laboratory in Cambridge.

Chair of the Executive Committee.

NB. Also Chief Executive and Board Member at Liverpool Community Health.

Elaine Darbyshire, Executive Director of Communications and Corporate Governance

Elaine was appointed to the Trust in June 2013

From 2014-15 she was seconded 2 days a week to the Department of Health as the Deputy Director of Communications for the Prime Minister’s Dementia Challenge.

Before joining Mersey Care she held the post of Director of NHS Communications at NHS England (North, Midlands & East England). From 2011-2012 she was the Director of Communications for NHS North of England, covering the North West, North East and Yorkshire and Humber areas of England. From 2009-2011 she was the Director of Strategic Communications of NHS North West. Prior to joining the NHS in 2009, she worked for Guardian Media Group’s Regional Division for 22 years in a number of posts including Marketing Director, Communications and Public Affairs Director. She was a NED at East Cheshire NHS Trust (2007-2009)..

Member of the Executive Committee and the Performance, Investment & Finance Committee.

Dr David Fearnley, Medical Director

Appointed as the Medical Director in August 2005. Deputy Chief Executive (2007-10). Since 2016, Chair of NHS England’s Adult Secure Clinical Reference Group and NHS England’s Associate National Director for Secure Mental Health.

David qualified in 1993 (University of Wales College of Medicine), and undertook basic psychiatric training; joined the higher forensic psychiatry training scheme in 1998, working in high and medium secure units. He was appointed as a Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist at Ashworth Hospital in 2001. Clinical Director of Mental Health Services and then Associate Medical Director at Ashworth Hospital. He has been the Royal College of Psychiatrists Special Advisor on Appraisal since 2009 and was awarded Royal College of Psychiatrists ‘Psychiatrist of the Year’ 2009.

David chaired the North West Mental Health Care Pathways Group (2009/10) and has been a Board Member Advancing Quality Alliance (AQuA) since 2011.

Member of the Executive Committee and Quality Assurance Committee.

NB. Also Medical Director and Board Member at Liverpool Community Health.

Mark Hindle, Executive Director of Operations

Mark was appointed in July 2016 and was formerly Chief Executive of Calderstones Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

He was previously Chief Operating Officer at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust. Prior to that, Mark was Managing Director of Community Services across Blackburn with Darwen, Central Lancashire and East Lancashire PCTs. Previous roles include Preston PCT’s Director of Corporate Development and Director of Operations at Lancashire teaching hospitals. Mark’s background is as a biomedical scientist and he has a Masters in Business Administration.

Member of the Executive Committee and the Performance, Finance & Investment Committee.

Neil Smith, Executive Director of Finance/Deputy Chief Executive

Appointed September 2004, Neil assumed the Deputy Chief Executive portfolio in 2013. Neil was previously the Executive Director of Finance and Performance, Mersey Care NHS Trust (2004-2013).

He was a Regional Finance Trainee (1985-1989) and his previous roles have been Senior Finance Manager roles in acute and community hospitals (1989-1992), Chief Financial Planner at Liverpool Health Authority (1992-1995), Deputy Director of Finance at Sefton Health Authority (1995-2000), Director of Finance at Sefton Health Authority (2000-2001), National Finance Lead High Secure Services at the Department of Health (2001-2002) and Head of Finance and Performance Management at Ashton, Leigh and Wigan PCT (2002-2004).

He is a Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy Qualified Accountant.

Member of the Executive Committee and the Performance, Investment & Finance Committee.

NB. Also Executive Director of Finance / Deputy Chief Executive and Board Member at Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust.

Amanda Oates, Executive Director of Workforce

Amanda was appointed in August 2013, initially as a non voting member of the Board, prior to her appointment in January 2015 as Executive Director of Workforce.

She has previous experience as HR Director at two other NHS trusts and as board director since 2008. She delivered significant improvements in HR and L&D and led the team to win the national HR team of the year at the 2013 HPMA Awards at the Walton Centre NHS FT. Amanda spearheaded a regional Health and Wellbeing initiative through the development of the NHS Games, and gained recognition both regionally, winning the Health and Wellbeing Leader Award at the NHS Leadership  Academy Awards in 2012, and nationally, at the HPMA awards in June 2013. She is an elected member of the Cheshire and Merseyside Local Workforce Education Group and a member of the HR Network Chairs  group. She joined the NHS in 1998 from the private sector as a Graduate Trainee.

Member of the Executive Committee, the Performance, Investment & Finance Committee and the Quality Assurance Committee

NB. Also Executive Director of HR / OD and Board Member at Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust.

Ray Walker, Executive Director of Nursing

Appointed to the Trust in June 2011. (NB. Ray has resigned to take up the post of Chief Nurse (North) at Health Education England in February 2018)

Ray is a Registered Nurse (Adult and Mental Health) and has over 30 years experience of working in the public sector across the UK, 10 years clinical practice, 10 years in academia and more than 10 years in mental health management. He has worked on policy at the Department of Health and as a senior manager in a strategic health authority. He has been an Executive Director since 2006 (which includes experience in achieving foundation trust status) and has served on numerous groups National Mental Health/Nursing Groups. He is a member of the NHS Top Leaders Programme and a member of Prime Minister’s Commission on Nursing.

Member of the Executive Committee and the Quality Assurance Committee.

Non-Voting Directors

Trish Bennett, Director of Integration

Trish was appointed as a non-voting member of the Board from 1 August 2016.

Trish has worked in the NHS for over 30 years in various nursing leadership positions in Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester in both provider and commissioning roles and joined Mersey Care from NHS England, were she was the Director of Nursing for the Lancashire & Greater Manchester Sub Region responsible for professional nurse leadership, oversight and leadership to safeguarding adults and children, clinical leadership to the transformation service change programmes.

In her previous rolesTrish has been responsible for the professional leadership of the Merseyside nursing workforce. She was also responsible for service improvement, incorporating quality and safety, safeguarding, resilience and emergency planning, continuing healthcare, equality and diversity, Choose and Book, children’s commissioning, mental health, urgent care, dementia, offender health and substance misuse.

Member of the Executive Committee and attends both the Performance, Investment & Finance Committee and the Quality Assurance Committee.

NB. Also Executive Director of Nursing and Board Member at Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust.

Louise Edwards, Director of Strategy

Louise was appointed in November 2012 and was made a non-voting member of the Board from 1 September 2015.

She is an experienced Boardlevel strategist and leader who has a track record of achievement in leading change in both NHS commissioning and provider organisations, policy development, and service improvement across the public sector. She has extensive experience at both strategic and operational levels in the NHS, having had Board level roles in primary care trusts and NHS trusts with responsibility for strategy and planning, organisational development, communications, patient and public involvement and partnership development. Louise has also worked on strategy and commissioning development for strategic health authorities, and on commissioning assurance for the NHS Commissioning Board (now NHS England).

Prior to joining the NHS in 2005, Louise had leadership roles in the not-for-profit sector and was an academic at Manchester University. This varied experience across health, social care and government has enabled her to develop a strong network and deep insight into strategic change in the health service, in national government and local government, and health care improvement in partnership with other sectors.

Member of the Executive Committee and attends the Performance, Investment and Finance Committee.