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Home > About us > Why we’re different > Strong governance and customer focus

We have a robust governance structure and our board have a clear line of sight over service delivery. Our operating model defines levels of responsibility and accountability. The board, comprised of an executive team and a lay member, are accountable to Derek Kitchen, our managing director. He is ultimately accountable to NHS England for achieving our strategic aims and objectives.

Carl Usher, director of finance and commerce, provides financial leadership, governance, and strategic financial planning, including supply chain management. Debbie Bywater, chief information officer, leads the delivery of effective IT infrastructure and systems, as well as business intelligence and analytical support services. Our executive director of nursing ensures we have appropriate clinical focus.

Service directors and heads of service report to assigned board members and provide on-the-ground leadership, ensuring that everything is effectively co-ordinated. Within this structure, everyone has clear roles and responsibilities, and all positions uphold the Nolan Principles. This ensures that services are fully compliant with statutory requirements and professional standards, that they reflect best practice, and represent excellent value.

Our governance structures guarantees that integration, collaboration and customer focus remain our overriding priorities. We respond to the rapidly changing needs of our customers by working in strategic partnership with our nine STP footprints and co-developing service offerings that are fit for the future.

An executive director is aligned to each of our STP footprints to ensure effective relationship management: Tony Matthews to our central STPs (Staffordshire and Shropshire); Linda Riley to our northern STPs (Lancashire, Cheshire and Merseyside), Debbie Thwaites to our southern STPs (Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire) and Peter Spilsbury to our Birmingham and Black Country STPs.

We are proud of our robust due diligence in selecting partners who enhance our ability to deliver intended outcomes. We work hard to ensure that our partners are aligned to our NHS values. We differentiate strategic and operational relationships. Our strategic suppliers benefit from a supplier board that governs, assures and evolves service excellence and innovation, and our operational relationships provide an effective extension to our teams.