Award Chairs 2019

The following people all kindly agreed to act as Chairs for the judging process of the Positive Practice in MH Awards in 2019:-

Sam Allen

Sam Allen is Chief Executive of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.  Sam started work in the NHS in 1996 and has a background both in the operational management and leadership of mental health services and health and social care commissioning. Sam has also gained valuable experience working with an international healthcare organisation in the private sector.  Sam is Chair of the Health and Care Women Leaders Network, which is supported by NHS Employers and the NHS Confederation.


Tom Cahill

As the Chief Executive of HPFT, Tom is the accounting officer for the Trust and carries full responsibility for the Trust’s strategic direction, performance, planning, business management and development. He also leads the Executive Team.  He has overseen a number of major transformation programmes that have seen the development of new models of care, new facilities and the Trust culture. Under his leadership, HPFT has been rated as ‘Good’ by the CQC. Tom successfully led the Sustainability Transformation Plan (STP) for Hertfordshire and West Essex for 18 months on a part-time basis.

Tom was named HSJ Chief Executive of the year in 2017 and was praised for his authentic and inspirational leadership, putting service users at the centre of his organisation’s work.  Tom began his NHS career as a mental health nurse in 1987 and between 1998 and 2001 held senior posts with several trusts before being appointed to Director level roles with North Essex Mental Health Partnership Trust. He moved to HPFT in 2005 as Executive Director of Nursing and Practice Governance. He became Deputy Chief Executive in late 2007 and then Chief Executive in April 2009. Tom is a member on the NHS Providers



Sheena Cumiskey

Sheena Cumiskey has been Chief Executive at Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP) since February 2010. She was selected by her peers as one of the Health Service Journal’s Top 50 NHS Chief Execs and was awarded Chief Executive of the Year in 2015. Sheena has 34 years’ experience in the NHS, 20 of which have been at Chief Executive level. Her raison d’etre is to improve the lives of people who access CWP services, whilst working in partnership with them to ensure everyone can achieve their potential. Sheena considers that NHS staff are working for potentially the most vibrant social enterprise, where clinical care is based on doing the best for people effectively and efficiently.


Tracy Dowling

Tracy joined CPFT from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group where she was Chief Officer. Tracy has more than 30 years’ experience with the NHS, including 12 years at boardroom level, after beginning her career as a radiographer. Before joining the Cambridge and Peterborough CCG, she was previously Director of Operations and Delivery with NHS England, working in the East Anglia Area Team and establishing systems of assurance for clinical commissioning. Prior to that, she was Director of Strategic Commissioning with NHS Suffolk for four years, both with the Primary Care Trust and subsequent CCGs.


Sean Duggan

Sean  is Chief Executive of the Mental Health Network. Sean is passionate about raising standards of care and treatment of mental health services and improving lives of those who use services and their carers. His focus is on influencing politicians, policy makers and heads of public sector organizations and other key stakeholders to deliver evidence based intervention with a sound economic basis.  Previously, Sean joined the Centre for Mental Health as director of Criminal Justice Programme in 2006, and became Chief Executive in 2011.

Sean was Vice Chair of the National Advisory Group to the Health and Criminal Justice Programme Board, which was set up following the Bradley report in 2009 until its conclusion in 2011. Immediately before joining the Centre, Sean was Director of Health and Social Care for Criminal Justice at the London Development Centre and offender health consultant for the Department of Health. He trained as a registered mental health nurse in Sussex, where he also held his first NHS Board Director’s post. Sean is a founder member of the Mental Health Policy Group and has expertise in forensic psychology and criminal justice.  Sean is a Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Mental Health and in 2013 was awarded the President’s Medal by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.



Caroline Gadd

Caroline is the Director of Otsuka Health Solutions, and has spent twenty years working in healthcare in a variety of NHS, Social care and Healthcare industry roles.  She has worked with Otsuka since April 2013 and subsequently set up Otsuka Health Solutions to develop new approaches to using information, insight and engagement to deliver better care.

Caroline is passionate in her belief that co-producing solutions with the people who use services and the staff who deliver them goes far beyond information giving, engagement and consultation.  She feels privileged to be working with a committed and inspirational NHS teams developing digital solutions for mental health which look and feel different to any which could have been created in the board room.

Otsuka Health Solutions is a division of a larger healthcare organisation and is separate from other parts of the company.


Helen Greatorex

Helen has worked in mental health services for thirty-four years having started her mental health nurse training at Friern Hospital in London in 1983. She has worked across a range of settings during her career including acute inpatient psychiatry, low secure services and with Mind in London where she worked to resettle patients from Claybury Hospital in to the community.

Helen led the establishment of the first rehabilitation team in Brighton, a forerunner of what would later be described as Assertive Outreach and was appointed to her first executive role in 2002.  She was an Executive Director of Nursing for fourteen years before being appointed as KMPT’s Chief Executive in June 2016.



Dr Sara Munro


I took up the post of CEO at Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust in September 2016 having started my career in the NHS as a student nurse and agency nursing assistant. I am a registered mental health nurse and my clinical work was spent in acute inpatient mental health settings in a variety of roles.  I have worked across a range of NHS mental health providers in the North West. I have also completed a PhD looking at attitudes of acute mental health nurses and their impact on service users experience of care. Prior to this role I was the Director of Quality and Nursing/Deputy CEO in Cumbria. I relocated to Leeds with my husband and two children to take up the Chief Executive Post.  I am also the Mental Health lead for the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Partnership (Integrated Care System) and executive lead for workforce in the Leeds Health and Care System.  Nationally, I am also a board member of the Positive Practice Collaborative

 Joe Rafferty

Joe Rafferty

Joe Rafferty

Before coming to Mersey Care Joe held the post of Director of Commissioning Support at the NHS Commissioning Board.  Before this he was Director of Commissioning Development for NHS North West, with a remit to lead the development of commissioning reforms across the North West of England.  From 2007 to 2010 was Chief Executive of NHS Central Lancashire. During his tenure, NHS Central Lancashire became the most improved primary care trust in the North West and one of the most improved in England, according to the World Class Commissioning national assessment.  Joe was Regional Director of Commissioning and Strategy for NHS North West from 2006 to 2008.

Other Board-level roles have included Director of Performance in Cumbria and Lancashire Strategic Health Authority and Director of System Reform at Bolton Hospital NHS Trust. Prior to these roles Joe was part of the team that set up Greater Manchester SHA.  He Joined the NHS in 1999 as a National Trainee on the NHS General Management Training Scheme, and Previously worked at a post-doctoral level as a team leader in molecular genetics at the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research in Manchester and before that at Strangeway’s Research Laboratory in Cambridge.