Our Board

Our Board

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The day to day management of Alder Hey is undertaken by our Board of Directors who work with a Council of Governors elected from our membership base to achieve our strategic aims and objectives.

The Board agreed our overarching strategy in 2011/12 which set out a four year direction of travel until 2016. In December 2015 and following the move to our new hospital, this strategy was refreshed and finalised in April 2016 for the next five years. The Board agreed that Alder Hey’s original purpose and vision remain relevant today and will be unchanged until 2020.

Our priorities are set out in our Strategic Plan, supported by our Operational Plan. Our board of eight Executive Directors, five Non-Executive Directors and our Chair meet 11 times a year to review and shape Alder Hey’s aims and objectives.

Agendas and minutes for board meetings held in the previous twelve months are available to download in the Publications section. Meetings are open to the public and are held in the Boardroom from 10am to 3pm.

Our Board

Sir David Henshaw, Chair

Sir David Henshaw

Sir David took up post as Chair of Alder Hey in February 2011; he was re-appointed in January 2014 for a second term of three years and in December 2016 and December 2017 the Council of Governors approved his re-appointment for a further twelve months in order to ensure leadership continuity on the Board.

Among his many achievements, Sir David was responsible for the review of the child support system in the UK in 2007. He was also involved in the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit Capability Review Programme of central government departments. Alongside his valuable experience within the health arena, including as Chair of NHS North West for four years, Sir David has worked extensively in local government.

He spent ten years at Knowsley Borough Council before being appointed as Chief Executive of Liverpool City Council, a role which he occupied for seven years. Today, Merseyside residents see and are enjoying the benefits from many of the regeneration initiatives his team brought to the region, including securing the award of European Capital of Culture in 2008. Alongside his role at Alder Hey, Sir David has also been a Chair and Non-Executive Director for a number of other public and private organisations.

Sir David has been asked by Monitor and subsequently NHS Improvement, to take on the role of Interim Chair at four other NHS organisations over the past six years: between February 2012 and April 2013 at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust; at Dorset Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust which he undertook from October 2013 to April 2014; at St Georges NHS Foundation Trust in London for twelve months from March 2016 and most recently at Wirral University Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust from February 2018 for a period of six months. In March 2017 Sir David was appointed as the chair of National Museums Liverpool.

Louise Shepherd CBE, Chief Executive

Louise ShepherdLouise joined Alder Hey as Chief Executive in March 2008 since when she has led the Trust through a major transformation into Europe's only Children's Health Park, designed by and for children and young people and opened by Her Majesty the Queen in 2016.  The Park aims to provide a unique wellbeing and healing environment for all children and young people and comprises a state of the art specialist children's hospital, dedicated research and education facilities, an innovation centre, clinical research facility and family support and bereavement centre. 

Previously CEO of Liverpool Women's Hospital, Louise first joined the NHS as Director of Business Development at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital in 1993 from KPMG, where she spent four years as a financial and management consultant to the public sector. A qualified accountant, Louise was Director of Finance at the Countess of Chester NHS Foundation Trust before she took over as CEO at Liverpool Women’s Hospital. From March 2016 Louise was the lead for the Cheshire and Merseyside Sustainability and Transformation Programme, working with partners across the system to take forward the NHS Five Year Forward View in the local area. She stepped down from this role in May 2017.


A graduate of the University of Cambridge, Louise has a strong interest in the Arts and served on the Board of The Liverpool Philharmonic for six years and plays violin for the Liverpool Mozart Orchestra.  Louise was awarded a CBE for services to Healthcare in 2017. 


Executive Directors

John Grinnell, Finance Director and Deputy CEO

john_grinnell.jpgJohn joined Alder Hey in April 2017 as Director of Finance and Deputy Chief Executive. His NHS career began via the National Finance Graduate Trainee scheme, and he has worked in a variety of roles, including the Deputy Director of Performance at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire, and Deputy Director of Finance at South Manchester University Hospital.

He joined The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation (RJAH) Trust in Oswestry as Director of Finance in 2008 and played a key role in supporting the organisation’s successful Foundation Trust application. He also worked with the Strategic Orthopaedic Alliance (SOA) to ensure that the voice of specialist orthopaedic providers is heard within the national financial agenda.

John became Acting Chief Executive at RJAH in October 2015 until taking up the position of Deputy Chief Executive on 1 April 2016. This was the role in which he remained until joining Alder Hey a year later.


Adam Bateman - Chief Operating Officer

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Adam was Acting Chief Operating Officer from January 2018 and appointed substantively to the role at the end of March. Adam first joined Alder Hey in 2015 as the General Manager for the then Surgical Clinical Business Unit. Prior to this, Adam held a number of acute hospital operational management roles in emergency, medical, surgical and community services.

Adam first joined the NHS in 2005 through the National Graduate Management Training scheme. He holds an MSc degree in Healthcare Leadership from the University of Manchester. Through the NHS Leadership Academy Adam successfully undertook a healthcare information fellowship at GlaxoSmithKline. He is presently on the Nye Bevan Programme for senior NHS leaders.


Adam has a particular interest in service improvement and has worked on a number of successful projects, including the design and build of new cancer treatment units, and collaboration with voluntary organisations to improve the level of support and care to people in their own home.

Hilda Gwilliams, Chief Nurse

Hilda GwilliamsHilda joined Alder Hey in February 2013 as Deputy Director of Nursing and has was appointed as Chief Nurse in 2017. Formerly, Hilda was deputy Director of Nursing at St Helens and Knowsley NHS Trust for three years where she gained experience in moving hospital services from an old build to a new purpose built hospital.

She qualified as a nurse in 1984 and spent a number of years in a variety of clinical roles in surgical specialties including neurosurgical intensive care. Hilda has maintained strong educational links and continues to provide professional guidance in relation to ‘fitness for practice’ concerns pertaining to students at local HEI’s. Hilda holds an MSc in Health and Social Care from Edge Hill University. 

Erica Saunders, Director of Corporate Affairs

Erica SaundersErica joined the Alder Hey team in September 2010 as Director of Corporate Affairs. She began her NHS career in 1991 through its graduate management training scheme. Erica spent over ten years working in primary care and commissioning roles before moving to the acute sector in 2003.

Part of her job includes the role of Trust Secretary, advising and supporting the Chair, Board of Directors and Council of Governors on all aspects of regulation and corporate governance. Prior to coming to Alder Hey, Erica was Director of Corporate Affairs at the Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust where she directed the successful application to become the first foundation trust in Merseyside. Erica holds an MBA as well as a BA (Hons) degree from the University of Liverpool.

Melissa Swindell, Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development

Melissa Swindell

Melissa is the Executive Director of HR and OD, and has worked at Alder Hey since 2009. Following her graduation in Economic and Social History from the University of Liverpool, Melissa started her HR career in the airline industry, before joining the NHS. She has worked in HR and OD in a range of NHS organisations both in London and the North West.

A Chartered Fellow of the CIPD, Melissa also has postgraduate qualifications in training, a range of personal and team development tools and coaching. Melissa leads the people development agenda at Alder Hey and has a passion for improving staff engagement and wellbeing.

Mark Flannagan, Director of Marketing and Communications

Mark Flannagan

Prior to joining Alder Hey, Mark was the Chief Executive of the charity Beating Bowel Cancer from 2010 to 2017.  In that role he led advocacy around access to cancer medicines and took a high profile role in advocating for a new approach that involved patient experience. He is widely recognised as a highly experienced speaker, policy analyst and communicator and has connection at the highest levels in government and the UK health services.

Mark has worked at Board level in a number of high profile health organisations, including: the Royal College of General Practitioners; the Royal College of Nursing and Diabetes UK.

David Powell, Development Director (Non-Voting)

David Powell


David joined Alder Hey as Development Director in December 2012 and has over 30 years’ experience working in the NHS.  Prior to his role at Alder Hey, David held Development Director posts in Bristol and London overseeing new hospital programmes. David has a history degree from Manchester University and is a qualified accountant.

Dani Jones, Director of Strategy (Non-Voting) (from November 2017)


Dani joined Alder Hey in October 2017 from Liverpool Community Health, where as Deputy Chief Operating Officer she had responsibility for a wide range of services including public health, health visitors, school nurses, district nurses and rapid response therapists. At LCH, Dani led successful delivery of the Clinical Strategy, working closely with Community staff, GPs and The Kings Fund. Dani also had responsibility for Frailty, Specialist nursing, Telehealth, Single Point of Contact and IM&T.

Dani has 14 years’ experience in health and social care in Merseyside, having held a number of lead roles in health and social care integration. Dani is incredibly proud to work in the NHS and is passionate about making positive improvements with patients and staff.

At Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group, Dani worked closely with GPs as managerial lead on integrated community care teams, frailty and diabetes. Dani successfully developed partnerships with primary and community care, mental health, acute sector colleagues, community and voluntary sector partners to set up new services that have improved outcomes and experiences for patients. Prior to that, Dani held roles across Liverpool City Council and Liverpool Community Health joining up health and social care, and led a programme of telehealth and telemedicine at scale across NHS Merseyside.

Following her graduation in Economics and subsequent masters in Health Care Ethics at the University of Liverpool, Dani began her NHS life in technology and innovation at Central Liverpool PCT. Dani achieved an Executive Leadership in Healthcare award through the ‘Nye Bevan’ programme in 2017.

Non-Executive Directors

Ian Quinlan - Non-Executive Director/Vice Chair of the Board and Chair of Resources and Business Development Committee

Ian Quinlan

Ian joined the Alder Hey Board in September 2011 and was re-appointed for a second term of three years in September 2014. He was re-appointed by the Governors for a further 12 months in September 2017. Ian is a Chartered Accountant and joined Ernst and Whinney (now Ernst and Young) in 1974 and in 1982, became a partner.

In 1988 he became Group Finance Director of the Albert Fisher Group PLC, a leading global food processor and distributor. From 2003 to 2013, Ian held senior positions with VPS Holdings Limited, which is the largest void property services company in the world. Between 2003 and the beginning of 2011 he was Group Chief Executive, during which time the turnover of the business increased from £3m to £200m. Between January 2011 and October 2013 he was a director of the business responsible for acquisitions. Ian is now the Group Chief Executive of The Clearway Group Limited, a void property services group.

Jeannie France-Hayhurst - Non-Executive Director


Jeannie took up her role at Alder Hey in July 2013 and was re-appointed for a second term of three years in June 2016. She is a highly-regarded family law barrister with wide experience of the voluntary sector, politics and the commercial world. She is known throughout the wider community in the North West as a fearless advocate and is much sought after on the seminar/lecturing circuit.

Jeannie has made time in her busy career for voluntary and charitable work and has extensive experience of dealing with vulnerable adults and the socially disadvantaged. She has significant experience of service on boards and committees at both local and national level.

Claire Dove OBE - Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Workforce and Organisational Development Committee

Claire Dove OBE

Claire joined the Alder Hey Board in October 2013 and was re-appointed for a second term in September 2016. She is a high impact leader of social change and brings a track record of success from a variety of non-executive, executive and community leadership roles – shaping policy and practice in the business, social enterprise and charity worlds.

Renowned in Merseyside, known nationally and internationally, Claire’s work in education, regeneration, anti-poverty, equality and fairness arenas positions her as an independent thinker, experienced practitioner and trusted adviser to many. She was awarded an OBE for services to education in 2012. Claire’s achievements cross many decades, fields and roles. Having built the award winning Blackburne House Group (BHG) over the last 30 years, her attention is now moving towards growing a portfolio of roles to complement her work at BHG.

Anita Marsland MBE - Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Clinical Quality Assurance Committee

Anita Marsland MBE

Anita was appointed to the Board in July 2014 and was re-appointed for a second term in June 2017. She began her career in Local Government in 1974 and is a qualified a social worker.  She later held a range of senior management posts, rising to Chief Officer. In 2002 Anita became one of the country’s first joint Chief Executive appointments between an NHS organisation and a Local Authority. Anita has pioneered integrated working between Local Government and the NHS for many years and the model of partnership working that she has developed has been adopted and implemented successfully in other parts of the country.

She has a strong reputation nationally for promoting and implementing innovative solutions to tackle health inequalities.  Her work has been acknowledged through several awards including an MBE for services to health and social care in 2008.  In 2010 Anita was seconded to the Department of Health as Managing Director (Director General level) to lead the setting up of Public Health England (an executive agency of the DH) as the delivery arm for DH public health policy, in line with changes introduced by the Health and Social Care Act 2012. In 2017 Anita was awarded an Honorary Membership of the Faculty of Public Health.

Dame Jo Williams - Non-Executive Director

Dame Jo Williams

Dame Jo joined Alder Hey in November 2016. She trained at Keele University as a social worker alongside studying for a dual honours degree. Once qualified she spent the next 30 years in the public sector; the last ten as a Director of Social Services firstly in the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan and then Cheshire County Council. She then worked for five years as Chief Executive of the Royal Mencap Society. Her full time working career concluded with a three year period as Chair of the Care Quality Commission.

Twice honoured by the Queen, she received a CBE in 2000 and a DBE in 2008. Dame Jo has always been driven by a passion for equality of opportunity, fairness and justice and is a strong believer in team work and partnership. Currently the Chair of Vivo Care Services, a member of Keele University Council, a trustee of Dartington Hall Trust and a Deputy Lieutenant in Cheshire.

Kerry Byrne - Non-Executive Director

Alder Hey Children's Charity
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