Our Governors

Our Governors

Alder Hey has an active Council of Governors representing patients, parents, carers, staff, the general public and partner organisations. The Council represents our membership and represents as far as possible, every staff group and the communities that Alder Hey serves across England and North Wales.

A total of 34 Governors are elected from the membership base. The Council of Governors is comprised of six staff governors (elected by staff), nine public governors, four patient governors, six parent and carer governors (elected by members), together with nine appointed governors from nominated organisations.

Our governors play a key role in working alongside the Board of Directors to ensure the Trust’s plans are being delivered and that the interests of all stakeholder groups have been considered.

Elections to the Council of Governors take place annually in the summer. Vacancies will appear in the news section of the website.

Governors' responsibilities

  1. Governors have a number of key responsibilities which are set by Monitor (2014) and include:
  2. Holding non-executive directors to account for performance of the board
  3. Representing the interests of members and the public
  4. Amending the constitution
  5. Approving the appointment of the Chief Executive
  6. Appointing and removing the Chair and other non-executive directors
  7. Appointing and removing the NHS foundation trust’s external auditors
  8. Receiving the NHS foundation trust’ annual accounts and annual budgets
  9. Preparing the forward plan
  10. Taking decisions on significant transactions
  11. Taking decisions on non NHS income

You can contact any of our governors by e-mailing membership@alderhey.nhs.uk

Public Governors

simon hooker

Simon Hooker

Lead Governor - North Wales

Term of office: 2nd term September 2018 – September 2021

Who am I? My wife and I have two sons and two young grandchildren. I worked in automotive design and development, and before our recent move to North Wales, I was a Public Governor for Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital Foundation Trust (BTUH). Having developed epilepsy eight years ago, I understand some of the issues in managing a long-term condition. I am learning Welsh  – Dw i’n dysgu Cymraeg.

What do I bring to this role? As Deputy Lead Governor for BTUH, I chaired governor engagement groups, helped develop governor training, and co-interviewed candidates for Non-Executive Director and Chair positions. As governors we were engaged in the process that brought BTUH out of special measures. I was part of a regional group that helped guide the Care Quality Commission’s development of the Fit and Proper Persons Regulation for NHS Providers.

hilary peel

Hilary Peel


Term of office: Second term, 2019-2022

Who am I? I am a member of the nursing staff at Alder Hey who has forty years of experience working in the profession. This period has seen me move from being a student nurse to a qualified staff nurse, a senior sister and ward manager. Since April 2015 I have been working with the senior nursing team and supporting the move of the Hospital to our exciting new home.

What do I bring to this role? The past forty years has allowed me to both develop a wealth of experience in the care and treatment of children alongside an appreciation of the staff context too. This experience has come from working at the grass roots of the organisation, on the wards. It has enabled me to develop relationships across departments, including junior and senior management, and helped me to understand the issues that staff and our families face.

Kal Ross


Term of office:  2018 - 2021

Who am I? *Details to come*

What do I bring to this role? *Details to come*

mark peers

Mark Peers BEM


Term of office: Third Term 2019 – 2022

Who am I? I am a former patient of 20 years, with previous experience of many departments and services within the Trust, such as; A&E, Orthopaedics, Maxillofacial (Cleft, Lip & Palate), Nephrology, Ophthalmology and many more. Despite no longer being a patient, my relationship remains strong with Alder Hey, working alongside and together with the fantastic members of the charity and fundraising services.

What do I bring to this role? I believe that given my many years of patient experience, I can work together with patients, parents, and advise the Trust on how to maintain and progress the high standards of patient care and experience. I, along with my family, have also fundraised for many years and will continue to do so for many more years to come.

naomi grannell

Naomi Grannell

Parent & Carer Governor (Cheshire)

Term of office: 3rd term, 2020 - 2023

Who am I? I am a qualified Social Worker and deliver a long-term health conditions programme as part of my work with Warrington Disability Partnership. I have been a frequent and long term patient at Alder Hey, having been born with cerebral palsy.

Being able to give something back to the Hospital which has provided such outstanding care to me and my family was all the motivation I needed to become a Governor. I was delighted when I was elected as I am passionate about raising the awareness of the fantastic work the Hospital and everyone associated with it does. I am very proud indeed to represent the Cheshire constituency on the Board of Governors and to be a part of such an incredible team. I witnessed first-hand the compassion of all the medical team when the grand-daughter of a close family friend was a patient at the Hospital suffering from a terminal cancer. This left a lasting impression on me, increasing the esteem in which I already held the Hospital and staff.

What do I bring to this role? With the multiple panels and working groups I sit on in and around Warrington, I get a very good view of the issues impacting on patients and families in Cheshire. I see it as my role to make sure that these views are represented to the Board. I joined the Council of Governors in June 2014, right in the middle of the delivery of, and move to, the new Hospital. This has been a time of huge challenge to all involved, and also a time of real excitement and opportunity for the Trust.

As a Trust Governor I am responsible for holding non-executive directors to account for the performance of the Board of Directors and also approving major decisions such as large financial transactions and issues around mergers and acquisitions. If I can play just a small part in being a voice for the people of Cheshire, then I will feel a real sense of achievement and contribution to something which is so important to so many people.


Daniel Casson

Rest of England

Term of office: 2019 - 2022

Who am I? I am a Dad with two teenage daughters originally from Manchester but now living and working in London. My brother was a consultant gastroenterologist at Alder Hey until he died ten years ago, when he was only 45 years old. I have worked in social care for the past 12 years and am now a freelance consultant working in digital transformation in health and social care.

What do I bring to this role? I have a very good understanding of the NHS and how it works within community as a vital factor in community cohesiveness, having worked with carers and vulnerable people in a care setting.  My current work as Digital Development Executive for the largest care home representative body, Care England, means I am constantly looking at new technology and new ways of working in health and social care. 

Dot Brannigan


Term of office: 1st term, 2020 - 2023

Marilyn Mornington


Term of office: 1st term, 2020 - 2023

sue thoms.jpg

Sue Thoms

Wider North West

Term of office: 1st Term, 2020 – 2023

Who am I? I am married and a mum of two children. I have worked for more than 25 years in Healthcare and Pharmaceutical sector. I worked for Alder Hey for 3 years as Director of Business Development, during the period of securing the funding and finalising designs for the new build.

What do I bring to this role? I feel I can support and ask the questions on behalf of my constituents to optimise decisions made to secure the best care for children. I have a passion for science, research and technology thus I want to ensure this leading-edge centre of excellence and innovation continues to attract the best talent and funding for its long-term leadership of paediatric care.

How can I be contacted? I can be contacted via the following e-mail address: membership@alderhey.nhs.uk

simon jacobs

Simon Jacobs

Wider North West

Term of office: 1st Term 2020 – 2023

Who am I? I'm 28, a proud Mancunian and I have a minor heart condition; Coarctation of the Aorta, which meant that between the ages of 10 and 17 I was a patient of the hospital. I'm pleased to say that I haven't, nor will I ever forget those experiences, for all of the right reasons.

What do I bring to this role? Since my time at Alder Hey I have studied at university, started businesses, worked with large companies, hosted a podcast, written a book and lived my life with intrigue and excitement. The road hasn't always been smooth, but from these experiences, I have gained business acumen, an eye for innovation, a love of people and an appreciation of different viewpoints. I'll be bringing all of my experience, life lessons and balance to the role of Governor.

How can I be contacted? I can be contacted via the following e-mail address: membership@alderhey.nhs.uk

Patient Governors

felix blake

Felix Blake

Rest of England and North Wales

Term of Office: 2018-2021

Who am I? I am a first year undergraduate studying music at Cambridge University.  I first engaged with Alder Hey when I was diagnosed with Stage 2B Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in July 2017.  Having spent 6 months on Ward 3B, I have first hand experience as a patient in the hospital. Now in remission, I am dedicated to maintaining and improving the standards of care at Alder Hey.

What do I bring to this role? I am still a regular visitor at the hospital for check-ups and other events. I listen to patients queries and requests, hoping to initiate change and improvement throughout the Alder Hey community.

pippa hunter jones

Pippa Hunter-Jones PhD

Parent and Carer

Term of office: 3rd Term, 2020 - 2023

Who am I? I am a parent of two children, who, perhaps like many of us, finds herself spending time with her children in A&E; X-Ray; Audiology; Orthopaedics; and a week on F2 with Bronchiolitis. My relationship with Alder Hey dates back to my own childhood and participation in a Hospital-led, pioneering research trial, which successfully corrected congenital dislocated hips and club feet.

What do I bring to this role? Alongside being a mum, I work in the higher education sector. Here I work in teams, manage projects and participate in meetings which represent the interests of our student population. These meetings also hold different committees to account. My research work explores the patient experience. Here I am involved in projects which collect and analyse data on how we can enhance quality in service settings.

georgia tang

Georgina Tang

Parent and Carer

Term of office: Second term 2019 – 2022

Who am I?  I am a working mum with a son who has complex medical and educational needs, therefore, Alder Hey is like our second home. He is under several specialist consultants since birth and he is 13 years old now. Also, he has severe Autism, Learning Difficulties and Sensory Processing Difficulties.

I am involved as a Governor because the experience that we had previously was a not positive one. Indeed my son was traumatised by it all, so much so that he had a melt-down whenever I told him we were going to Alder Hey. I used to have to drag him into the hospital and he would never go into any consultation room.

Several years later, it’s a different story, he is quite happy to be in Alder Hey and doctors are able to examine him using various medical instruments. This is a major achievement for him, as previously he developed phobias of all medical establishments and equipment through his traumatic experiences. Thanks to the former Equality and Diversity Director for listening to my concerns and allocated a very experienced Play Therapist to work with us. It has been a long road and along the way, many staff became more aware of the needs of children with additional needs, particularly those with Autism and Sensory Processing Difficulties. I am very pleased to say that I now sit on the steering group to develop Learning Difficulties and ASC strategy for Alder Hey.

I worked in social housing for many years and left in December 2015, so to concentrate on my freelance work with the Care Quality Commission with their inspections on health establishments such as Alder Hey. I have inspected many hospital trusts, GPs surgeries and care homes for people with Autism and Learning Difficulties etc. I also run my own business selling handmade natural & organic skin care and soy wax candles.

What do I bring to this role? My inspection work together with personal experience in accessing health service for my son has given me real insight into the issues which are face by parents, carers and patients. This gives me the experience to represent the interests of my constituency. Also, the knowledge that I gained from CQC work would help Alder Hey in their commitment to raise standards of service delivery to all children. Last but not least, compassion, empathy and caring are qualities that I can bring to this role too.

kate burnell

Kate Burnell

Parent and carer

Term of office: 2018 - 2021

Who am I?  I am the mother of two boys - Jack aged 9 and Arthur aged 3.  I am a graduate of the University of Liverpool and now live with my family in South Liverpool.  I am a barrister specialising in child and family law and have practised from chambers in Liverpool for twenty years.  Both of my children have been under the care of Alder Hey.  My eldest son has a complex genetic disorder and is under the care of a number of different teams at Alder Hey - cardiology, respiratory, rheumatology, orthopaedics, physiotherapy, LTV, paediatrics to name just some.  We are also under the care of a number of other hospitals around the country.  I have considerable first hand knowledge of the parent/ carer experience and believe that the best care for children is provided by parents/ carers and medical staff working together with good communication as a priority.  I am Chair of Governors at Gilmour Junior School in South Liverpool where I also have responsibility for safeguarding/ child protection.

What do I bring to this role? I am aware of the issues and problems facing parents/ carers and patients when dealing with complex, long term medical problems involving multiple medical disciplines.  In particular I am acutely aware of the problems that can arise when communication is not effective.  Within my professional life I have considerable experience dealing with medical issues which requires me to be able to absorb and scrutinise complex information quickly.  Through my role as a school governor I have experience of the role of critical supporter - to provide challenge to work towards solutions and better outcomes.  The skills I have developed in my professional life and the insights gained from my personal experiences will, I hope, enable me to effectively represent the constituency and work alongside the governing body to improve the high quality services provided at Alder Hey.

Nikki Thorbinson

Parent & Carer

Term of office: 1st Term, 2020 – 2023

ana samuel.jpg

Ana Samuel

Parent & Carer

Term of office: 1st Term, 2020 – 2023

Who am I?  I am the mother of two girls – one is under the care of Alder Hey and the other under Ormskirk Hospital. Our family is based in Wavertree. I am a barrister specialising in clinical negligence and inquest law, primarily representing NHS trusts. I am also an Assistant Coroner for Birmingham and Solihull and a CEDR qualified mediator. I sit on the Coroners’ Society Law Review Committee and am a member of the Attorney General’s Panel. I have practised law in Liverpool for over 15 years and am passionate about this city and its future. Alder Hey is a credit to Liverpool and I am eager to do all I can to help maintain the high level of service it provides to families in the North West and to repay the hospital for the exemplary treatment they have provided to our daughter.

What do I bring to this role?  My work as a barrister and coroner requires me to deal with complex medical and emotional issues in a sensitive manner. I have the necessary expertise to assess how systems and processes can be improved to reduce risk and am keenly aware of the complexities surrounding multiple stakeholders and the need for effective collaboration. I am able to assimilate voluminous and detailed information and identify key issues. Sitting on the Law Review Committee also allows me to be at the cutting edge of coronial law. I believe that my skill set coupled with my professional experience will assist Alder Hey in continuing to flourish in these difficult times.


Thomas Feeney- Shaw

Term of office: 2019 - 2022

Who am I? Info to be added shortly

What do I bring to this role? Info to be added shortly

sean melia.jpg

Sean Melia

Term of office: 2019 - 2022

Who am I? I am an 18 year old who has been involved in the Alder Hey community for many years both directly and for other family members. I am currently in my first year at Edge Hill University studying Social work with the end goal of becoming a social worker within the NHS.

What do I bring to this role? I began an active role within the hospital since joining the children’s and young people’s forum within the hospital. This was a great experience for me as this allowed me to offer other young people a platform for their voices and concerns to be aired, due to this I would highly recommend joining for other children and young people.

Molly Wardle


Term of office: 1st Term, 2020 – 2023

Staff Governors

sujata de

Sujata De

Medical and Dental Staff

Term of office:  2018 - 2021

Who am I? I have been a Consultant Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon at Alder Hey since 2007. Prior to that I worked at Alder Hey as a junior doctor and a Research Fellow. I have two children who have had to use the hospital services, thankfully not very often. I am an elected member of BAPO (British Association of Paediatric Otolaryngology) and a member of the Clinical Reference group (NHS England) for Specialised Surgery in Children and in these capacities help develop national strategy for surgery in children.

What do I bring to this role? I am a ‘healthy pessimist’. I am immensely proud of Alder Hey; the commitment and achievements of everyone who works for the organisation, but I am not shy to raise issues or to be critical when I feel something could be done better. As an active staff member and member of the Medical board, I can bring experience direct from the shop floor. I hope to use this to enable Alder Hey to grow from strength to strength while always maintaining its core values of putting the patients first and treating all of its staff fairly and with respect.

Mike Travis

Mike Travis

Staff - Nursing Staff

Term of Office: 2018-2021

Who am I? Mike has worked at Alder Hey for 38 years has a registered nurse, mostly in Intensive Care and High Dependency. During his career at Alder Hey, he has worked has a RCN Steward and Safety Representative, as well as Chair of Staffside Trade Unions. He has served within the RCN has Chair of the UK Safety Reps Committee, and currently is a member of the RCN Trade Union Committee. Mike has presented a number of papers at the International Congress of Nurses conferences in Japan, Vancouver and Taiwan. He also was a member of the European Public Services Trade Union working groups on workplace safety, manual handling and Working Time Regulations. He also comments in the media on health issues. When not working, Mike is a watchleader on the Jubilee Sailing Trust on their two sailing ships Lord Nelson and Tenacious. His sailing career has taken him to the Antarctic twice, and will be soon having his first photo exhibition which will reflect his sailing voyages.


Gill Kennedy

Other Staff and Trust Volunteers

Term of office: 2019 - 2022

Who am I? I am the proud mum of two wonderful daughters and have worked here at Alder Hey for 21 years in a variety of roles. I have been the Trust’s Event Manager for the last seven years and have been privileged enough to have organised many special events and visits including the official opening by the Queen!

What do I bring to this role? Working in Marketing and Communications has given me a good understanding of the Trust’s strategic aims and objectives as well as our vision for the future.  In my role I work across the whole of the organisation and have regular contact with front line and support staff from all departments. I can work collaboratively with the Board and act as a ‘critical friend’.


Ben Smith

Staff Nurse

Term of office: 2019 - 2022

Who am I? I am Modern Matron at the Dewi Jones Unit having worked for the trust for just under 2 years. The Dewi Jones Unit  is a specialist children's Mental health ward based in Crosby. I qualified as a registered mental health nurse nearly 15 years ago and have significant experience working in frontline mental health with adults, adolescents and children. I have 2 children and enjoy watching Rugby League. Supporting Widnes Vikings. I also enjoy keeping active and watching my children compete in gymnastics and dance. I will be starting a Master's degree at the university of Liverpool September 19. Studying Advanced Clinical Practice.

What do I bring to this role? I am hoping that my current role as Modern Matron at Alder Hey will be invaluable for representing Nursing. I have a passion for driving clinical quality and excellence and special interests in children's mental health. Mental health is a key priority for the trust and I am looking forward to bringing and sharing my knowledge in this area. I am currently working with Architects and planners to aid the design of the new build specialist Tier 4 Mental Health inpatient unit which will be built on site at Alder Hey over the next few years.

Michael Mander

Other clinical staff, including allied health professionals, psychologists and pharmacists

Term of office: 1st Term, 2020 – 2023

Connor Miller

Other Staff and Trust volunteers

Term of office: 1st Term, 2020 – 2023

Appointed Governors

councillor barbara murray

Councillor Barbara Murray

Local Authorities, Liverpool City Council

Term of office: Appointed 2012

Who am I? I am a parent of three adult children. I have twins who were born at 29 weeks who, when they were younger, attended Alder Hey to have their development monitored. I am a local councillor for Yew Tree ward and was first elected in 2008. I currently work for a Housing Provider as a Community Development Officer.

What do I bring to this role? I have a varied work history including the Civil Service, an area manager for a retail outlet, a teacher (I undertook a Post Graduate Certificate of Education after my children were born) predominantly in special needs and secondary schools. I am currently working in housing. In terms of personal development I have studied and trained to be a school SENCO, completed a post graduate multi-media course, completed research for a master’s module in creative problem solving. Most recently I have attended training In Mental Health First Aid and I have been trained to be a trainer for Connect 5 and emotional first aid for professionals working with children. As a school governor I chair a primary school and I am a member of a secondary academy. I bring broad experience of governance, robust scrutiny and a commitment to children to this role.


Professor Iain Buchan

Liverpool University

Term of Office: *Details to come*

Who am I? *Details to come*

What do I bring to this role? *Details to come*

janice monaghan


Janice Monaghan

Voluntary Organisations

Term of Office: Appointed 2011


Helen Henderson

Helen Henderson

Local Authorities, Liverpool City Council

Term of office: Appointed 2019

Who am I? I have recently moved to the region and taken up a new position as Head of Simulation and Skills Education at Edge Hill University. I have over 15 years’ experience of working in Higher Education institutions both nationally and internationally. Prior to my higher education positions, I worked as a charge nurse in an intensive care environment and was involved in a setting up a resuscitation service where I discovered my passion for supporting and encouraging others in their educational journey. I am a mother of two, almost adult, children and as a family have been actively involved in working and supporting the NHS. 

What do I bring to this role? I bring a range of healthcare experiences from my time as a patient, carer, nurse, manager and educator. Working abroad has widened my knowledge of other healthcare systems and has brought an appreciation of how fortunate we are to have the NHS. I strive to enhance the student’s educational experience though the use of simulation-based education, encouraging interprofessional learning and collaboration and helping to improve the link between the student’s theoretical knowledge and their practical application. Ultimately aiming to enhance patient safety and person-centred care.

Alder Hey Children's Charity
Hide this section
Show/hide accessibility tools