Our board

Our Board, made up of our executive directors and non-executive directors, oversees the running of our hospitals, including:

  • Setting the strategic direction of our Trust
  • Ensuring the provision of high quality care in our hospitals
  • Overseeing financial stewardship 

Executive Directors

Matthew Trainer, Chief Executive

Photo of Matthew Trainer Matthew Trainer became our Chief Executive in August 2021. Before joining BHRUT, he worked for three years as CEO of Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, which provides a wide range of health and social care in south east London and parts of Kent. While at Oxleas, Matthew was seconded to help run the NHS Nightingale Hospital in London.

In 2016, he worked for King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, where he was managing director of the Princess Royal University Hospital in Bromley. Matthew has also held senior positions at NHS England, the Care Quality Commission, and the MS Society.

You can read Matthew's weekly stakeholder updates and watch his weekly video diaries here.

Tweet Matthew: @MatthewTrainer

Dr Mamta Shetty Vaidya, Chief Medical Officer

Mamta Shetty Vaidya

Mamta is a consultant paediatric intensivist and joined us in May 2022 from The Royal London Hospital where she worked for 15 years, most recently as their Deputy Medical Director.

She brings a wealth of experience having held roles as both a clinical and a divisional director and she led the clinical transformation team. Mamta has also been a key figure in the Pan London Improvement Collaborative for children and young people that focuses on integrated care as a way of improving life chances for children and families.

Kathryn Halford OBE, Chief Nurse

Kathryn Halford Kathryn joined our Trust in January 2016 from Walsall Healthcare where she was the Director of Nursing.

She qualified as a registered nurse in 1984 and then as a registered sick children’s nurse in 1987.

Since that time she has held a number of senior nursing roles within secondary and tertiary care settings. Kathryn has led a number of national programmes including a focus on new roles and an independent review into children’s palliative care whilst working at the Department of Health.

Tweet Kathryn: @HalfordKathryn

Nick Swift, Chief Financial Officer

Nick Swift

After studying engineering at Exeter University, Nick qualified as a chartered accountant with Touche Ross in 1988. He then spent five years in New Zealand in both practice and commerce before starting a family and returning to the UK.

Nick brings over 20 years of board experience in a variety of international finance roles, most recently as Chief Financial Officer for British Airways.

Since then, Nick has studied part-time for an MSc in Health and Medical Science at University College London. He was a non-executive director at East and North Herts NHS Trust and is a trustee at the girls education charity Camfed.

 Nick lives in Hatfield with his wife Jude and their two daughters.

Ann Hepworth, Director of Strategy and Partnerships

Ann HepworthAnn joined us in February 2022. She is an experienced healthcare leader who has spent most of her career in London. Her understanding of organisational development, population health and system improvement will provide a great background for her new role at our Trust. Ann also has experience in both provider and commissioning organisations at a local, regional and national level. She was, most recently, Director of System Improvement at NHS London.

Ann has a real passion to reduce health inequalities, and this has been helped by her experiences when she oversaw the Impact Programme which was a part of the London Vaccine Programme.

Richard Pennington, Acting Chief Operating Officer (Elective Care)

Photo of Richard Pennington Richard's experience spans the NHS, private healthcare and academia. Richard has a degree and PhD in neuroscience from the University of Manchester. During his early career he worked in neuropharmacology research and medical communications, before moving into healthcare with roles at BUPA and in healthcare consultancy. Richard joined the NHS in 2010; initially at Barts Health, before joining our Trust in 2014. Richard has worked in service transformation, planning and strategy then moving to operational management in 2018 to lead the Trust’s elective recovery.

Alan Wishart, Interim Director of Workforce

Photo of Alan Wishart Alan joined the Trust as the Deputy Director of Workforce in December 2015. From March 2021 he has been the Acting Director of Workforce.

Prior to joining the Trust, Alan spent three years at Capsticks LLP as the Associate Director for their Human Resources and Organisational Development Advisory Service. Alan started his NHS career in 2003 working at the North West London Strategic Health Authority subsequently moving to work in People and Organisational Development at the West London Mental Health NHS Trust.

In the preceding decade Alan worked as a fulltime officer for both the Banking and Finance Union (now Unite) and spent 10 years at the British Medical Association as an Industrial Relations Officer in London. Alan is a CIPD Chartered Member.

Peter Hunt, Director of Communications and Engagement

Peter Hunt

Peter joined us in November 2017 after a career as a BBC correspondent and presenter where he was at the forefront of the organisation’s news coverage.  As one of the BBC’s most senior journalists, he covered international and national events, politics, and the royal family.  

Tweet Peter: @_PeterHunt



Mike Gilham, Finance Director

Photo of Mike Gilham Mike, who has worked in NHS finance for more than ten years, joined us in February 2019. He worked previously at NHS Improvement, NHS England, Barts Health, Great Ormond Street and Mid Essex NHS Hospital Trust.

Mike knows the area well having grown up in Havering and he worked for the local authority as a graduate trainee when he was completing his accountancy qualification as part of the Society of London Treasurers’ scheme. His first full time job, before going to university, was as a Goods Receiving Officer at Oldchurch Hospital. Mike still lives locally with his wife and two young daughters.

Non-Executive Directors

Rt Hon Jacqui Smith, Chair

Rt Hon Jacqui Smith Jacqui Smith joined us in October 2021 as Chair in common of our Trust and of Barts Health. For the past eight years, Jacqui has been Chair of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust. In 1997, she was elected as the MP for Redditch and served for 13 years. She was one of the longest serving ministers in the Labour government and the first female Home Secretary. 

Jacqui is also Chair of the Sandwell Children’s Trust, the Jo Cox Foundation and the Precious Trust which is a Birmingham based charity that supports girls at risk of violence or exploitation. She is a Trustee of the Kings Fund and works in the Middle East supporting parliamentary and political development. 

Jacqui is a weekly contributor to Good Morning Britain and presents the ‘For the Many’ podcast. 



Mehboob Khan, Vice Chair

Mehboob Khan Mehboob is Assistant Director of Policy and Change at the London Borough of Redbridge.

Mehboob joined our Board in April 2021 as a Non Executive Director, before being appointed as Vice Chair in April 2022. He is also Vice Chair at North Middlesex University Hospital Trust.

From 2014 to 2021, he was political adviser to London Councils, the cross-party organisation that represents the city’s 32 boroughs and the City of London. Mehboob has also held other senior leadership positions in the public sector.

He lives in London and enjoys current affairs, running and cycling. He is a founder member of the Seacole Group which is a forum for NHS non-executive directors from the BAME community.  

He was born in Yorkshire; grew up in Huddersfield; and as Leader of Kirklees Council, Mehboob was the first British Muslim to occupy such a role.


Jackie Westaway, Chair of Quality Assurance Committee

Jackie Westaway

Jackie, one of our associate non-executive directors, is a charismatic and energetic senior leader with experience of delivering commercial success within the tightly regulated environment of the Pharmaceutical Industry. She is highly experienced in change management and UK and Global marketing leadership. She has a strong customer focus with a track record of effectively working alongside the NHS.

Jackie led the compliance function for the  European Pharmaceutical Business of her company and has worked alongside audit teams to implement changes. Jackie is a Non Executive Director of the British School of Osteopathy, a Director of Healthwatch Bucks and a Trustee of an Academy Trust in East London.


Joan Saddler OBE

Joan Saddler

Joan Saddler returned to our Trust in January 2021, after a six-year term with us that ended in the autumn of the previous year. 

Joan has considerable NHS experience. She is director of partnerships and equality at the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector. She was awarded an OBE for services to health and diversity in 2007.

Joan spent five years as the National Director of Patient and Public Affairs at the Department of Health and she previously served as the Chair of Waltham Forest PCT


Anthony Warrens

anthony warrens

Anthony Warrens was appointed in June 2011.

A qualified doctor with a clinical practice in renal medicine and based principally at Barts Health NHS Trust, Anthony has a particular interest in transplantation medicine.

He recently completed his term as President of the British Transplantation Society.

Since 2010 he has been Dean for Education at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, where he has reorganised educational structures within the School and improved basic science teaching.


Lesley Seary CBE, Chair of People and Culture Committee and Chair of Remuneration and Terms of Service Committee

Lesley Seary Lesley has more than 30 years’ experience in senior leadership roles in local government. This includes spending the last 8 years as Chief Executive of Islington Council. During this time, she has led a workforce of 4,500, managed a range of successful services, and developed considerable experience of partnership working with both statutory and non-statutory organisations.

Lesley has worked extensively with local health partners in north central London at both STP and borough level, including the hospital trusts, CCG, GP Federation and GPs. She has worked with health partners on health and social care integration as well as developing a strong approach to prevention and early intervention.

She has a strong commitment to public services, combatting health inequalities and delivering excellence in health and care. She is delighted to have the opportunity to use the skills and experience she has gained in the public sector in the area where she has lived for 26 years. 

Sue Lees, Chair of Audit and Risk Assurance Committee

Sue Lees

Sue was appointed in August 2019. She was previously a Non-Executive Advisor for our Trust, having been appointed to that role in October 2017.

She is a qualified chartered accountant with more than 30 years’ experience in both the private and public sectors including periods working within the NHS and local government. She has led large capital programmes, including the delivery of a number of new health care facilities within Barking, Dagenham, Havering and Brentwood.

Sue has recently retired from her role as Chief Executive of Elevate East London. She continues on a part-time basis to provide commercial and leadership support to Agilisys Ltd, a leading provider in the technology advisory sector.


Marta Phillips OBE

Marta Phillips

Marta has extensive experience of working at board level in the public and higher education sectors. Her board appointments include the Restoration and Renewal Sponsor Body at The Palace of Westminster where she chairs their audit committee; she is Deputy Chair of Heriot-Watt University’s Court; and she is a member of the Nursing and Midwifery Council. She is also the independent chair of the London Fire Brigade’s audit committee and board member and audit committee chair of the Public Sector Audit Appointments Limited.  

Marta was a senior civil servant and has many years of experience in the financial sector including as Chief Executive of the Pensions Advisory Service. She was made an Officer of the British Empire in 2006 for services to social housing.  

Marta’s board appointments include the Restoration and Renewal Sponsor Body at The Palace of Westminster where she chairs their audit committee; she is Deputy Chair of Heriot-Watt University’s Court; and she is a member of the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Caroline Roberts

Caroline Roberts Caroline, who is one of our associate non-executive directors, has a special focus on wellbeing and on ensuring the Board always considers the impact that decisions will have on the health and wellbeing of staff.

After an earlier career in BBC radio production, Caroline worked in a variety of roles where she ran secondment schemes, news management and events. 

Moving into human resources, she has held a number of HR Director roles in the public sector, media and architecture. 

She is currently HR Director at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). As well as working with our Trust, Caroline is a Trustee for a group of academies.

Ruth Crowley

Ruth Crowley Ruth, who is one of our associate non-executive directors, works as a GP Partner in Upminster after beginning her training in Havering and working at Queen’s and King George Hospitals.

She is also a clinical director of Havering Federation which strives to work as a collective to improve care for all of their patients.

Ruth is passionate about creating partnerships between primary and secondary care so that every single patient experience is efficient, effective and positive.

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