The Board of Directors acts overall as a unitary Board and has corporate responsibility for the decisions it makes.  The role of the Boad of Directors is to provide leadership within a framework of prudent and effective controls, enabling risk to be assessed and managed.  It determines the strategic direction of the Trust and reviews and monitors operation and final performance.  It comprises both executive directors and non-executive directors.

  • Non executive directors an independent perspective, judgement and scrutiny to the Board to make sure that sound and well informed decisions are made.
  • Executive directors are responsible for implementing Trust policy and for the effective day to day running of the Trust.

On an annual basis the Board reviews its own balance, completeness and appropriateness to the requirements of the Trust.

The NHS Code of Governance sets out the requirement for a clear division of the responsibilities between the Chair and the Chief Executive.  Both the Chief Executive and the Chair have job descriptions which clearly set out the different roles.  Whilst the Chair is accountable for giving leadership to the Board of Directors to ensure the Trust meetings its legal obligations, the Chief Executive is accountable for the effective management and delivery of the organisation's services and as the Accounting Officer, ensures the Trust meets its statutory responsibilty and has appropriate systems of control in place.

Our board of directors include:

Executive Directors

Ken Bremner MBE - Chief Executive

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Ken has worked in the NHS since 1982, having joined as graduate NHS finance trainee. He began working in Sunderland in 1988, initially working with Sunderland Health Authority and then at City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust where his previous roles include Director of Finance and Deputy Chief Executive before being appointed Chief Executive in February 2004.

In September 2016, Ken was also appointed as Chief Executive of South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust. He led a single executive management team covering both NHS Foundation Trusts prior to the formal merger to create South Tyneside & Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust in April 2019.

In 2018 Ken was awarded an MBE for his services to NHS leadership. He is a passionate advocate for supporting the armed forces community and developing research, innovation and education in the NHS. He played an instrumental role in the founding of a School of Nursing at the University of Sunderland in 2016 and helped secure a successful bid for the University of Sunderland to become one of five new medical schools across England in 2018. Ken was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Sunderland in 2017

Ken is Chair of the Sunderland City Board, a Non Executive Director of the Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria, Chair of the North East and North Cumbria ICS Provider Collaborative and Foundation Trust Partner Member of the North East & North Cumbria Integrated Care Board.


Kath Griffin – Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development

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Kath is a qualified HR professional. In 2005, Kath received a Fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and in 2006 achieved a Master of Business Adminstration (MBA) qualification.

Following ten years with The Post Office Group and a further ten years with Social Services in Sunderland, Kath joined City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust in 2003. She became Director of Human Resources for South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust in May 2016 before being appointed as part of the single executive management team across South Tyneside & Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust in November 2016.   


Melanie Johnson - Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals

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Melanie is a registered nurse who has worked in the NHS since 1985.  She qualified at St Thomas’ Hospital in London and held a variety of clinical and management posts in London and Leeds during the early part of her career.

Prior to joining City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust in January 2016, she was Director of Nursing at Newcastle Hospitals and at NHS Lothian Health Board in Edinburgh.  In November 2016, Melanie was appointed as Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals as part of the single executive management team for South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust and City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.

She is the professional lead for Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals and executive lead for patient safety and experience. Melanie is also the executive lead for safeguarding children and adults.  Her key professional interests are the unique contribution of the registered nurse, safe staffing levels, and leadership.  Melanie is a member of the Royal College of Nursing. 


Peter Sutton – Director of Planning and Business Development

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Peter has worked in the NHS since 1995 and joined City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust in 1999.  He previously held the post of Director of Service Transformation working on behalf of NHS South of Tyne and Wear, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust and City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.  He became Director of Strategy and Business Development in September 2013 and was appointed as part of the single executive management team for South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust in November 2016. Peter is also Chair and Director of South Tyneside Integrated Care Limited.

Dr Shaz Wahid - Medical Director

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Shaz completed his medical education and training in the North East and began his consultant career at South Tyneside District Hospital in October 2003. 

He is a Consultant Physician with a specialist interest in Diabetes and Endocrinology as well as Acute and General Medicine.  Widely respected as a doctor, manager and an educator, in 2006 he became the clinical lead for emergency care at South Tyneside District Hospital where he led the development of the hospital’s integrated Emergency Care Centre which opened in November 2012.

Dr Wahid became Medical Director at South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust in December 2015 and was appointed as the Medical Director of South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust in December 2018. 


Hayley Wardle - Executive Director of Finance

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Hayley graduated from Newcastle University in 2003 with a degree in Finance and Accounting. Hayley is a Qualified Accountant and received a Fellowship of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) in 2016. She joined South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust in May 2020 as Deputy Director of Finance having previously held senior roles in both the public and private sectors. Hayley has worked in the NHS since 2014.  Prior to this she worked at a major audit and professional services company and gained extensive career experience in industries such as manufacturing, automotive, leisure and tourism and financial services.

Non-Executive Directors

 

Allison Thompson
Chair 

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Allison was initially appointed at South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust in 2012 and was reappointed in 2015.  She was appointed as a Non-Executive Director on the Interim Board of South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust in 2018 and the substantive Board in July 2019.  She was appointed as Chair of the Trust with effect from 1 April 2022.  Allison has built her career on solid, business, commercial and marketing foundations over a 24 year period and latterly held Executive positions as Chief Operating Officer and HR Director at Northern Rock.  Mrs Thompson has a track record of significant commercial and restructuring success throughout her career.


Debbie Carrick Sen
Non-Executive Director

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Debbie is a nurse and midwife with over 40 years of clinical experience.  She has extensive experience in service and workforce transformation, leadership and education and research.  She is also a Non-Executive Director at the River Tees Multiple Academy Trust, which is an alternative education provider for children in Middlesbrough and Gateshead.  She is an Emeritus Professor of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Birmingham and was previously a Florence Nightingale Foundation Professor of Nursing and Midwifery.  Her research interests include mental health and wellbeing.  Debbie previously worked at Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Newcastle University.  


Alan Clarke
Non-Executive Director / Senior Independent Director

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Alan was initially appointed at South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust in 2012 and was reappointed in 2015.  He was appointed as a Non-Executive Director on the Interim Board of South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust in 2018 and the substantive Board in July 2019.  Alan has had a long career in local government, working for South Tyneside and Newcastle City Councils before becoming Assistant Chief Executive at Sunderland City Council in 1995 and Chief Executive of Northumberland County Council in 2000.  Alan was Chief Executive of One Northeast from 2003 to 2012 and was awarded a CBE in 2011 for services to regeneration in the North East.


Ngozi Lyn Cole
Non-Executive Director / Vice Chair

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Lyn was initially appointed at South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust in 2018 and was appointed as a Non-Executive Director on the Interim Board of South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust in 2018 and the substantive Board in July 2019.  Lyn has extensive experience at Director level of delivering high impact strategic change programmes working with large, multi-site and multi-functional teams.  Experienced at customer service excellence, underpinned by high quality relationships.  She is Deputy Chair of the Appointments Committee for the General Pharmaceutical Council and a Non-Executive Director for South Tyneside Integrated Care Ltd.  In 2016 Lyn was named in the 2016 ‘New View 50’ list as one of the most influential Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people working in the public sector


Professor Chris Gray
Non-Executive Medical Advisor (non-voting)

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Professor Gray joined the Trust in February 2021 having retired from his role as Senior Clinical Lead for the North East and Cumbria Integrated Care System. He has held a number of senior clinical leadership roles including Medical Director for System Improvement and Professional Standards with NHS England and Improvement (North East and Yorkshire) and was executive medical director to County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust.  His employment history includes senior clinical academic roles at Newcastle (Professor of Clinical Geriatrics) and Edinburgh University (senior lecturer) and as a practising NHS consultant physician (stroke, general and elderly medicine) in Sunderland, Gateshead and Edinburgh.  He has published widely in the field of stroke treatment and prevention and has an international reputation for his research into diabetes, hyperglycaemia and stroke outcome.   He has considerable experience in medical education as an undergraduate clinical sub dean to Newcastle University, director of medical education at City Hospitals Sunderland and more recently was postgraduate dean to the Northern Deanery. His clinical interests are in the treatment of acute stroke and as graduate of both Medicine and Law he has a continuing interest in managing and maintaining clinical and professional standards


Stewart Hindmarsh
Non-Executive Director

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Stewart was initially appointed at City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust in 2012 and reappointed in 2014 and in 2017 for a further one year term.  He was appointed as a Non-Executive Director on the Interim Board of South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust in 2018 and the substantive Board in July 2019.  Stewart is Chairman and Managing Director of SHA Advertising and Marketing in Sunderland. He is also Chairman and Managing Director of The Cedars Nursery Ltd, Chairman and Managing Director of A and R Healthy Living and Grainger CD, Chairman and Director of JG Windows, the music store and Managing Director of Cedar Grove Developments.


Martin Knowles
Non-Executive Director

Martin joined the Trust in August 2022.  He is a former non-executive director at Northumbria NHS Foundation Trust and brings extensive experience at Board level, having been chief executive of South Tyneside Homes and Four Housing Group, as well as finance director at North Tyneside and North Tees General Hospitals. 

 

Martin moved from executive to non-executive roles, where he has been vice-chair of audit at Sunderland City Council and Tyne and Wear Fire Service


Paul McEldon
Non-Executive Director

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Paul was initially appointed at City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust in 2017 and was appointed as a Non-Executive Director on the Interim Board of South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust in 2018 and the substantive Board in July 2019.  Paul is a Chartered Accountant and Chief Executive of the North East of England BIC Ltd since 2001. He was previously a Non-Executive Director for Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust until July 2017. He is a member of the North East LEP Business Support Board and Sunderland Economic Leadership Board. He is Vice Chair and a Governor at Sunderland College since 2013.


Roy McLachlan
Non-Executive Director

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Roy joined the Trust as non-executive director in September 2022, having been a member of the Board at Haven Court since late August 2018 since retiring from senior management in the NHS in 2018.  

 

Roy enjoyed a career that spanned nearly 40 years, he has held a range of senior posts including being Chief Executive of four NHS statutory bodies. One of these was South Tyneside Primary Care Trust and another was Priority Health Wearside NHS Trust which at the time provided mental health, community and disability services for Sunderland. 

 

He has significant experience as a trustee in the third sector since 1999, starting with Community Foundation for Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, then becoming chair of St Oswald’s Hospice for six years and joined Age UK, Sunderland in late 2017.