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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 as a Microsoft Teams live event.

Board meetings in 2022

The start time for all public board meetings is 9am.

For questions about board meeting papers please contact:

Gina Baines
Assistant Trust Secretary/Committee Secretary
01622 211906

Board Members


John Goulston

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John Goulston is the chair of the Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust.

He is a father-of-three, from Beckenham, who has a wealth of experience working in non-executive and executive roles. John is currently also chair of NHS London Procurement Partnership. He was interim chair of Kent & Medway, Integrated Care System (ICS) from April 2020 to November 2021. Formerly, John was chief executive of both acute and community health providers in London. He 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.

As part of his role as chair of KCH NHS FT, John chairs the West Kent Health & Care Partnership Development Board and is a member of the Kent & Medway Integrated Care Partnership Joint Committee. He is also co-chair of the Kent & Medway Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Autism Provider Collaborative Board.

Much of his early career was in Kent, working in Maidstone during the 80s.

John’s daughter is a doctor and his wife is a community physiotherapist.

Chief Executive

Mairead McCormick

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Mairead is an experienced NHS director with 35 years in the NHS. She spent five years as chief operating officer and deputy chief executive at Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

She qualified as a nurse in her native Northern Ireland, then came to England to specialise as an emergency nurse, before working in Australia and New Zealand. She returned to the UK to continue her career in emergency nursing, later taking up a post as head of nursing at Kingston and then divisional manager for woman and child health.

She has a national reputation for her work in emergency care, working with NHS England in the Emergency Care Intensive Support Team carrying out a whole system review. As deputy chief operating officer at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, Mairead was instrumental in supporting the trust out of special measures.

She is driven by improving outcomes for patients and working with teams to deliver transformations.

Mairead lives in Hever, in Kent and is a keen cyclist.

Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Finance

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 37 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, business development and service improvement, as well as performance and business intelligence.

Gordon lives in Essex with his wife and two sons and is keen on gliding and sailing.

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 36 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.”

Kim joined KCHFT on 1 February 2022.

Non-executive Director

Paul Butler

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Paul is a chartered accountant with extensive management, financial and regulatory experience.

From 2001-2020 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.

Associate Non-Executive Director

Dr Razia Shariff

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Razia has more than 25 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 have worked with marginalised communities throughout her career.

Razia, who lives near Dover, is chief executive of Kent Refugee Action Network, a regional charity working with separated refugee and asylum seekers in the care system since 2016. She is also 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 and has been trustee of the People’s Health Lottery.

Razia joined KCHFT on 1 February 2022.

Non-Executive Director

Karen Taylor

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Karen has more than 20 years’ experience leading research teams looking at the challenges facing healthcare organisation and publishing research into improving 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.

Her research reports include: Closing the digital gap: Shaping the future of UK healthcare, Time to care: Securing a future for the hospital workforce in Europe; Vital signs: how to deliver better healthcare across Europe; and The future awakens: life sciences and health care predictions 2022. These reports focus on the emergence of new advanced technologies and the transformation of service delivery and experience of care.

Before joining Deloitte, Karen was the Director of Health Value for Money Audit at the National Audit Office for 13 years delivering more than 30 hard-hitting 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.”

Karen joined KCHFT on 1 February 2022.

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 nearly 40 years’ experience in the NHS. She has spent the last 20 years in various Board roles including more recently as a Non-Executive Director .Pippa has  significant past experience working in senior clinical roles, including Chief Nurse and Director, with a number of different organisations across the system:  Acute, Community, Primary Care, Clinical Network, Mental Health and Commissioning.

She currently also works as the Independent Nurse for a Clinical Commissioning Group in London, where she maintains an essential focus on system learning ,Health inequalities, quality and performance and is a Trustee for a Kent based Charity. Pippa lives in Kent.

Non-executive Director

Peter Conway

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Peter has a professional background in banking and finance spanning 28 years, latterly as a finance director with Barclays Bank PLC. He has been a Non-Executive Director with the NHS since 2006. He has held a portfolio of public sector roles including:

  • Non-Executive Director at Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust
  • Non-Executive Director and Audit Chair, Rural Payments Agency
  • Non-Executive Director and Audit Chair, NHS West Kent
  • Independent Member of the Audit Committees of the Home Office, Ministry of Justice, DEFRA, Health and Safety Executive and Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission
  • Trustee Director, Citizens Advice North and West Kent
Non-executive Director

Nigel Turner

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Nigel is a group human resources director with a proven track record in leading contemporary transformational people-change in some of the most challenging UK organisational scenarios.

His career has included leading the people agenda of the £400million digital transformation of Argos before its sale to Sainsbury’s.

He also took the lead role for people in the government-funded modernisation of the Royal Mail, providing strategic support to the HR director at Northern Rock following the financial crisis and led the people strategy at Spire Healthcare. Nigel lives in Harrietsham, near Maidstone.

Director of Strategy and Partnerships

Gerard Sammon

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Before joining KCHFT Gerard had experience of working for more than twenty years in a number of NHS board and leadership roles including serving as an interim Chief Executive. In previous posts he led system wide changes and programmes of work with other health and care organisation that spanned North Kent and South East London and pioneered the introduction of Group Models into the NHS.

He previously studied at Kings College London, Ashridge Business School and was a member of the NHS Top Leaders Programme. He is keen on coaching youth basketball and is married with three children.

Chief Operating Officer

Pauline Butterworth

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Pauline, who is originally from Carnoustie, Scotland, joins the trust from East Sussex Healthcare Trust where she has been deputy chief operating officer since 2013.

During that time that she was also programme director for transformation of urgent care at Hastings and Rother and Eastbourne and Seaford Clinical Commissioning Group.

A trained clinician, Pauline worked as a therapist and manager in the USA and in paediatrics in Australia, before returning to the UK. She moved to work in the NHS in 2008 and has worked across a breadth of services, including community, acute and commissioning, as well as social care.

Medical Director

Dr Sarah Phillips

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

Prior to joining Kent Community Health as the Medical Director, Sarah was Clinical Chair of Canterbury and Coastal Clinical Commissioning Group and Chair of East Kent Strategy Board. The Board, now known as the East Kent Programme Board, has been 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 part of the wider Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) for Kent and Medway.

Sarah’s work on the 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 ensure the NHS future plans meet the health and social care needs of the communities it serves.

Sarah lives in Canterbury with her two children. She is also a keen tennis player.

Chief Nurse

Dr Mercia Spare

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Mercia joined as our permanent Chief Nurse in January 2020 following a 13 month secondment from NHS Improvement.

Mercia has worked in the Health Service for 35 years and describes herself as a ‘passionate champion of the NHS and the values it embodies’.  Her clinical experience includes transplantation, coronary care, renal and cardiothoracic nursing. Mercia holds a Batchelor of Science degree in applied and human biology and Doctorate in clinical research.

During her career Mercia has delivered a number of senior leadership roles within the NHS at both an operational and strategic level. She has led a number of large scale national improvement projects and supported the development of a range of tools that have focused on improving the safety of patients. She has worked for a number of provider organisations including University Hospitals Birmingham NHS FT, as well as the Department of Health, the Trust Development Authority and NHS Improvement.

Director of People and Organisational Development

Victoria Robinson-Collins

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Victoria has many years of experience in acute, community and private sector. Before joining KCHFT on 18 October 2021, she was the deputy director of human resources at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals.

She moved into the health sector in the mid 2000s, when she joined East Midlands Ambulance Services as an HR practice development advisor. She has worked in roles with Wirrall Community Trust and East Lancashire Hospitals Trust as head of employment services, where she designed and led the delivery of the Care to Make a Difference recruitment campaign for nurses.

Since 2015, she has held positions including interim site director of people for Newham University Hospital leading on complex change initiatives and strategy development programmes, including the hospital’s response to the CQC Well-led and the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as progressing the equality, diversity and inclusion agenda.

Since October 2020, she has been interim deputy director of workforce for Wirral University Teaching Hospitals NHS, leading the workforce and organisational development teams in organisational culture change, learning and development. She has a degree in English and a post graduate diploma in human resource management.

She is married to Leif and has a son, Leighton.