Public governors are elected by you to represent your views.

Each public governor represents one of the 12 local authority areas in Kent, plus one governor to represent the rest of England. We have staff governors, elected by our members of staff. We also have governors on the council who are appointed by some of our partner organisations; Kent County Council and local universities.

They form our Council of Governors, are elected by trust members in their area and represent the interests of the public, giving local people, patients, staff and partners greater opportunity to be involved in the development of community services. The Council of Governors is supported to keep in touch with trust members in their constituencies.

The governors also have a wider role representing the public and holding our board of directors to account on their behalf. Governors can approve the appointment or removal of the Trust’s chairman and non-executive directors, as well as approving the appointment of the chief executive.

The Council of Governors is responsible for deciding the remuneration of the chairman and non-executive directors.

Governor enquiries

01622 211972 (available Tuesday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) Governor Support Office The Oast Unit D, Hermitage Court Hermitage Lane Barming Maidstone Kent ME16 9NT


Meetings will be 1 to 5pm.

Public governors


John Fletcher

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John is a qualified biological scientist specialising in the control of plant diseases.  He retired a number of years ago is now a volunteer in the health sector, which has included Kent LINk and Wye Patients Participation Group.

John is an active member of Healthwatch and has become familiar with the health and social care sector and the issues people face through these roles.

He has also worked with service providers to monitor and improve the quality of care delivered; he was especially concerned with cleanliness and hygiene in hospitals. John was also a member of the initial Council of Governors at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation.


Mary Straker

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Mary is a retired nurse, who worked for the trust as a district nurse team leader. She began her nursing career in October 1981, training at Kent and Canterbury hospital and soon after qualifying realised that she really wanted to care for people in their home environment.

Community nursing remained her passion until she retired in January 2017. Mary now works part-time during term time for the University Nursing Services at the University of Kent. In this role, she has become aware of the health services young people need to be able to access.

Mary has witnessed many changes in community services and how they are delivered.  She fully understand that change in healthcare is inevitable, but wants to remain assured  that it is delivered safely, efficiently and effectively, with quality standards and with care and compassion.


Avtar Sandhu

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Avtar is a great believer in the NHS and the service it provides. This is especially true after his mother suffered a stroke and spent time in hospital, where he and his family regularly visited and where he learned about the importance of the NHS and the services it provides.

Avtar is particularly interested in services for older people, young people in the community and A&E. The former Kent county councillor is now a councillor for Dartford and has been so since 2011. He sits on Dartford Borough Council’s Cabinet Advisory Panel, Crime and Disorder Committee and the Policy Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Avtar is a member of Dartford Lions’ Club and a trustee at Safer Kent, as well as being involved with the Council for Voluntary Service North West Kent and YMCA Thames Gateway (South).


Carol Coleman

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Carol has recently retired after forty years in the Civil Service. Now that she has some free time she wants to contribute more to organisations in South East Kent where she has lived and worked all her life. Her previous roles have included middle management responsibilities and strategic and tactical analysis. Carol says that she has seen the very best and not so good aspects of our local health services during a recent serious illness of an older close relative and her own on-going eye problems.

Carol says it important that transparent communication between the trust, NHS management and the public is of the utmost importance at all times. Carol is committed to representing the members in Dover and Deal to ensure that all concerns are dealt with fairly and efficiently.



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David Price

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Having recently retired from a career as a Finance Director in the NHS, David remains strongly committed to the ideals and principles of the NHS, and wants to use his experience to make a difference to health services locally.

David has worked at a senior level in both acute and community Trusts in Kent, working closely with people providing front line services, and understands the contribution that community health services can make to the success of the local NHS. With his considerable experience of financial management in the NHS, he has a good appreciation of the financial pressures that many parts of the NHS are currently facing; the reasons for it and the negative impact those pressures can have on patient care. As a Governor David feels well qualified to provide a degree of scrutiny of the financial decisions as the Trust attempts to balance the imperatives of patient safety with financial constraints.


John Harris

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John has worked in healthcare for most of his life and is committed to what the NHS stands for. Since retiring, he has been chair of his local GP practice’s patient group. He also chairs west Kent’s Healthwatch team.

John served a term as a trustee of Mortimer Society, which runs two care homes for people with Huntingdon’s disease in Kent.

John believes the skills he learned as a public health specialist, including project management, needs assessments, service development and reviews and commissioning, will be of great use.


Jo Clifford

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Jo has worked in primary education for 15 years. As community services Co-ordinator at Folkestone Sports Centre for the past four, she has had experience engaging with people from many different backgrounds. Jo works to improve the health and wellbeing of the people, liaising with both statutory services and the voluntary sector.

Jo is particularly keen to work with people who feel that their opinion doesn’t count or isn’t heard. She wants to ensure that everyone is getting the best service possible, for the best value.

Jo has led on setting up social and activity sessions for people with disabilities, people living with dementia and older people; and sensory sessions for parents and their babies.  She also organises and chairs a quarterly community health and wellbeing network, which forges links and shares information and ideas to improve the wellbeing of people.


Miles Lemon

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Miles is a retired army officer, who was previously a lieutenant colonel in the army’s pay and administration branch. While in the army, he qualified as a company secretary and was subsequently elected as a fellow of the Charted Institute of Secretaries.

After leaving the army in 2001, he worked as a school bursar, as a business manager in Andover MENCAP and as an accountant at the Gurkha museum in Winchester. Moving to Kent in 2013, Miles is a magistrate and involved with his local rotary club, where he is secretary. He also volunteers in local village activities.  He is keen to use his retirement to contribute to society.

Miles is fully supportive of the NHS and the services it delivers. He believes his professional background, together with financial and administrative experience and a strong commitment and enthusiasm for voluntary support assists him in being a governor.


Jane Hetherington

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Jane is passionately interested in the NHS and the local provision of community services. She is very keen to ensure that they are appropriate and meeting the particular needs of the service users in Thanet. She is very keen to promote and encourage innovative, local, good, evidence based practice.

Jane is the Principal Psychotherapist for Early Intervention Services for the Kent and Medway Partnership Trust and has worked in and managed services locally in both the NHS and voluntary organisations. A number of these services are based in Thanet so she has a thorough understanding of local health and social issues. She has also had experience of the financial management of services, commissioning and implementing service changes.

Tonbridge and Malling

Ruth Davies

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Retired nurse and teacher Ruth is committed to the role of governor. Her enthusiasm and energy is dedicated to delivery of safe, appropriate and effective care to all who use health services. She believes this is achieved through involvement and education of staff and service users, and the professional development of the workforce.

Ruth’s second interest is workforce planning as “it is important we recruit, support, develop and retain sufficient staff at all levels to deliver a high level of care’’.

Ruth has served on and chaired committees; she is willing and able to ask questions, take on challenges and report back. Her experience in local schools made her aware of healthcare needs of young people, as well as the wider population. She is particularly interested in the link between mental and physical health and patients near end of life.

Ruth hopes to use feedback from patients, families and staff in her role.

Out of area

John Woolgrove

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Retired John wants to make sure the views of patients and members of the public are taken into account by KCHFT’s Board while planning, managing and reviewing services. He believes being a governor provides an opportunity to work to contribute towards high-quality services.

John was previously a governor a Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust for nine years, where he chaired a working party, which examined how to hold non-executive directors to account and implemented scrutiny of Board meetings and some committees.

He believes financial pressure on the NHS and the need to transform care are driving major changes in the NHS and that this makes the public’s views especially important. John previously worked for community health services in Greenwich, as a clinical dentist and manager, so has insight into how the NHS works.

Appointed governors

Age UK

Nigel Stratton

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Kent Association of Head Teachers

Matthew Wright

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Kent Dementia Action Alliance

Alison Carter

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Public health

Andrew Scott-Clark

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Dr Susan Plummer

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Staff governors

Adult Services

Dr Amy Heskett

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Amy began working as a speciality doctor for Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust four years ago. She says she’s had the pleasure of seeing systems for hospital admission avoidance and home-based treatments grow.

She appreciates the efforts that have been made to begin the greater integration of primary, secondary and emergency care services and understands challenges that have emerged.

Her role in the Home Treatment Service requires a mixture of medical knowledge, communication skills and creativity to enable people to be treated in line with their own personal goals.

Working with a person at a point of crisis and then extending that support to longer term goals requires calm, honest and open discussion to allow them to realistically imagine and then plan their next steps.

Amy understands this and delights in processes that support the team’s work. She does not resist changes to allow the team to develop and will extend these skills to the role of governor.

Adult Services


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This post is vacant.

Children's Services

Maria-Loukia Bratsou

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Maria-Loukia has worked in children’s therapies for the past 12 years, including Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust since it was created in 2011.

She started her career as a speech and language therapist and has worked her way up to become a clinical manager for children’s therapies.

Maria-Loukia believes her years of experience have made her appreciate the demands and pressures, as well as the rewards and benefits for service users and staff.

She is passionate about making sure accessible, high-quality care is always offered and that the trust works to establish effective collaborations with stakeholders.

Corporate Services

Jan Allen

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Jan has worked in the NHS since 1976; starting her career as a nursing auxiliary at Sevenoaks Hospital. She qualified as a state enrolled nurse in 1981.

Jan’s passion then was A&E. She worked at the Kent and Sussex Hospital for many years. During that time, she became registered nurse and then qualified as a nurse practitioner, before hanging up her uniform and moving into emergency planning in 2009.

In her spare time, Jan volunteers as a custody suite visitor, sings in a choir and is trustee of a charity, which focuses on people who may not have had the opportunities to sing together.

Health and Wellbeing Services

Claire Buckingham

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I have worked for the NHS for 25 years. I recognise the importance of advocating the provision of excellent care to support healthy communities, and value the service not only as a staff member but also as a local resident with family and friends who have, and will, benefit from a wide range of community health services.

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