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The Board

Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT) has a legally constituted board made up of executive and non-executive members. The board of directors sets strategic direction and then monitors performance and progress.

The board is made up of non-executive directors who use the skill and experience gained from the private, public and voluntary sectors to help run the trust, but who do not have day-to-day managerial responsibilities within the Trust; and executive directors who are paid employees with clear areas of work responsibility within the Trust.

The board is held to account by our council of governors which is made up of members of the public elected by you to represent your views.

Meetings and papers

Regular board meetings are held in public and in closed session.

  • Board papers will be published one week before the meeting
  • All public board meetings will be held in person. The details of the venue will be published with the date and papers below. Members of the public can also view the meeting live on Microsoft Teams.
  • If any members of the public have any questions for our Board of Directors, please contact the Governance team on by 9am the day before the meeting.
  • Would any member of the public wishing to observe the meeting please turn off their camera and turn on mute. If you have submitted a question in advance then there will be an opportunity at the end of the meeting for you to raise your question.

Contact us

For questions about board meetings, please email us at or write to us at:

c/o Assistant Trust Secretary
Trinity House, 110-120 Upper Pemberton
Eureka Park
Kent TN25 4AZ

Board Members


John Goulston

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John became Chair of Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust on 1 November 2018 and he is due to complete his term on 30 October 2025. From 1 June 2024, he also chairs of Medway NHS Foundation Trust. He has a wealth of experience working in non-executive and executive roles, and currently also chairs the Kent and Medway Provider Collaborative Board, West Kent Health and Care Partnership, NHS London Procurement Partnership and advises a private healthcare company.

He was interim chair of Kent and Medway Integrated Care System from April 2020 to November 2021. John was chief executive of both acute and community health providers in London, and has been an executive director of NHS London, the strategic health authority for London, plus director of finance at two London teaching hospitals during his career.

Much of his early career was in Kent, working in Maidstone during the 1980s.

Chief Executive

Mairead McCormick

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Mairead is an experienced NHS director with 35 years in the NHS. She is an emergency nurse by background having trained in her native Northern Ireland.

She has spent the majority of her career with the NHS in the UK but has also worked in other health and care systems in Australia and
New Zealand.

Prior to becoming chief executive, she was the deputy chief executive and chief operating officer at Kingston hospital.

In this period the trust moved from a CQC rating of requires improvement to outstanding. She also operationally led the trust through the pandemic and early recovery.

She has a national reputation for her improvement work in emergency care, working with NHS England to support systems to embed good practice.

Moving from acute services to community services was motivated by her interests in preventing ill health. She is driven by improving outcomes and plays an active role in working with local people to shape health and care for the future.

Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer

Pauline Butterworth

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Pauline joined the trust from East Sussex Healthcare Trust where she was deputy chief operating officer since 2013.

A trained clinician, Pauline worked as an occupational therapist in the UK, Australia and the US. On returning to the UK, she worked as a therapist and manager in social care. She moved to work in the NHS in 2008 and has worked across a breadth of services, including community, acute and commissioning.

Non-executive director

Kim Lowe

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Kim Lowe has spent most of her career at John Lewis Partnership and for more than 37 years she has worked across people, customer service, employee engagement, human resources and business.

She progressed through various operational and general management leadership roles, being appointed managing director of John Lewis Bluewater in 2014. In 2007, she was appointed partnership board director and also as a member of the audit and risk and remuneration committees.

Her final role was to lead the pension review at John Lewis before leaving in 2020 to continue to build her portfolio non-executive director career in the public and private sector, including John Lewis Partnership, Central Surrey Health, Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust, as well as a council lay member at the University of Kent and joint trust chair of a school’s academy trust in Medway.

Kim, who lives in Canterbury, said: “I am passionate about employee engagement; I truly believe it lies at the heart of a successful enterprise. An empowered workforce delivers better service and a happier working environment for all. That’s why I was attracted to KCHFT, it has strong values and understands the importance of an inclusive culture.”

Non-executive director

Paul Butler

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Paul is a chartered accountant with extensive management, financial and regulatory experience. From 2001 to 2020, Paul had been managing director of Mid Kent Water and subsequently South East Water. Previously, Paul worked as group financial controller of Mid Kent Water and he has been a non-executive director of Water UK, the water industry trade body and Chairman of UKWIR, a research organisation for the water sector.

Non-executive director

Dr Razia Shariff

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Razia has more than 26 years’ experience in the social sector, public sector and in higher education at the national and local level in
the UK. She has worked on the management and strategic level for the past 15 years and has worked with marginalised communities throughout her career.

Razia is chief executive officer of Kent Refugee Action Network, a regional charity working with separated refugee and asylum seekers in the care system since 2016. She was previously Head of the ESRC Third Sector Research Centre Knowledge Exchange Team, and a member of the Children in Need South East Grants’ Panel.

In 2020, she was awarded a PhD in international politics focusing on critical social moments and the capability approach. She has also worked with NICE to develop national guidance on community engagement in health and was a founding trustee of the People’s Health Lottery.

Non-executive director

Karen Taylor

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Karen has more than 25 years’ experience leading research teams examining the challenges facing healthcare and life sciences organisations and publishing her findings in order to improve services for patients, carers and the public.

She established Deloitte UK’s Centre for Health Solutions in November 2011. The centre is the independent research arm of Deloitte’s Life Sciences and Health Care (LSHC). It practices and combines creative thinking, robust research and industry experience to develop evidence-based perspectives on some of the biggest and most challenging issues to help clients transform themselves and, importantly, benefit the patient.

Before joining Deloitte, Karen was the Director of Health Value for Money Audit at the National Audit Office delivering reports to Parliament on health-related issues. In 2002, Karen received an OBE for her work on Health Value for Money Audit work.

Karen is a member of the Institute of Chartered Public Finance and Accountants and has extensive experience in leading research into healthcare and life-science issues in the UK and internationally. She also spent 10 years as a non-executive director at Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust, where she chaired the Audit Committee.

Karen, from Sevenoaks, said: “The NHS has faced the most challenging and unprecedent circumstances; which has exposed amazing strength and a willingness to adopt innovation and work differently. The next few years will be challenging but there will be opportunities for service transformation, adoption of innovative technologies and new business and operating models. I look forward to being part of this.”

Non-executive director

Pippa Barber

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Pippa Barber brings a wealth of experience with a strong clinical background and focus on governance, quality and improvement from 40 years’ experience in the NHS. She has spent the past 20 years in various board roles including most recently as a non-executive director.

Pippa has significant executive experience working in clinical roles including chief nurse and Clinical director, with a number of different
organisations across the system – acute, community, primary care, clinical network, mental health and commissioning. She recently completed 6 years working as the independent nurse for a clinical commissioning group in London, where she maintained an essential focus on system learning, health inequalities, quality and performance and is also currently a trustee for a Kent and London -based charity. Pippa lives in Kent.

Pippa is Senior Independent Director at Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Non-executive director

Nigel Turner

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Nigel is a group human resources director and business transformation consultant with a proven track record in leading contemporary transformational peoplechange UK and globally.

His career has included leading the people agenda of the £400million digital transformation of Argos before its sale to Sainsbury’s. He is also attributed with the lead ‘people’ role in the government-funded modernisation of the Royal Mail up to its 2014 privatisation and providing
strategic support to the HR director at Northern Rock following the financial crisis of 2008. Nigel also led the people strategy at Spire Healthcare plc. Nigel is currently involved in a major global business transformation project as a consultant with Jaguar Landover.

Interim Chief Nursing Officer

Sive Cavanagh

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Chief Medical Officer

Dr Sarah Phillips

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Sarah is a GP at Newton Place Surgery in Faversham, Kent.

Prior to joining KCHFT as the medical director, Sarah was clinical chair of Canterbury and Coastal Clinical Commissioning Group and chair of East Kent Strategy Board.

The Board was set up by local health and care commissioners to spearhead the drive to determine how best to provide health and care services to the population of east Kent. Its work is now part of the wider Kent and Medway Integrated Care Board agenda. Sarah’s work on the East Kent Strategy Board included reviewing issues around staff retention, the use of technology, buildings and estates, and clinical pathways such as maternity, paediatrics, end-of-life care and mental health.

Until April 2017, Sarah was also commissioner co-chair of Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Partnership Clinical Board, which was set up to make sure the NHS future plans met the health and social care needs of the communities it serves. Sarah’s professional interests include Quality Improvement and medical leadership.

Sarah is Caldicott Guardian for Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Chief Finance Officer

Gordon Flack

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Gordon is a fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants (FCCA) and has a professional background in NHS finance spanning 39 years. Following an early career with health authorities, his director experience is with acute and community trusts and has been at the trust since 2011.

His responsibilities include financial management and control, capital and audit, IM&T and performance and business intelligence.

Executive Director of Health Inequalities and Prevention

Ali Carruth

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Appointed December 2022: Previously Director of Participation, Experience and Patient Engagement (non-voting) and Chief Nurse (Board).

Ali qualified as a registered general nurse in 1994. She completed a number of postgraduate studies, qualified as a registered mental health
nurse in 2004 and graduated from the NHS Leadership Academy Nye Bevan Executive Healthcare Leadership Award in 2014. She has worked in the NHS for more than 30 years, holding a variety of senior posts in London, Devon, Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

Ali is passionate about making sure patients and their carers are equal partners in their care and receive the best experience possible. She has a clinical background in acute, community and mental health nursing, as well as holding a national position with NHS England, providing clinical leadership to the National Ebola Team.

Chief People Officer

Victoria Robinson-Collins

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Victoria has many years of experience in acute, community, primary care, ambulance service and private sector. Before joining Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust, she was the deputy director of human resources (HR) at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals. She moved into the health sector in the mid-2000s, when she joined East Midlands Ambulance Service as an HR practice development adviser. She has worked in roles with Wirral Community Trust and East Lancashire Hospitals Trust as head of employment services.

Since 2015, she has held positions including interim hospital director of people for Newham University Hospital leading on complex change initiatives and strategy develop programmes, including the hospital’s response to the Care Quality Commission well-led and the Covid pandemic, as well as progressing the equality, diversity and inclusion agenda.

Since October 2020, she held interim deputy director of Human Resources and Organisational Development posts at Wirral University Teaching Hospital and St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals, leading the workforce and organisational development teams in organisational culture change, learning and development.

She has a degree in English and a postgraduate diploma in human resource management.

Lead Allied Health Professional

Rachel Dalton

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Rachel Dalton joined Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust as our new chief allied health professions officer (CAHPO) in September 2023

A physiotherapist by background, Rachel has more than 25 years’ clinical and leadership experience in Australia and the UK. A graduate from the NHS Leadership Academy’s Clinical Executive Fast-track Scheme, she was group director of AHPs and psychological professions at Barts Health NHS Trust in London before joining us.

Rachel is passionate about improving patient experience, pathways and outcomes with multi-disciplinary clinical leadership and making sure colleagues have a great work experience.