Our Governing Body
The Governing Body is strong, balanced and representative, promoting a positive culture that puts the patient first. It is made up of a clinician majority, lay representatives, secondary care clinician, local government directors and key members of the organisation’s management team who work cohesively to lead and govern high quality healthcare commissioning in Derbyshire.
GP Governing Body Members
Dr Avi Bhatia - Clinical Chair & Clinical Lead
Born and raised in Nottingham, Avi trained as a GP in Newcastle. A GP for 19 years, Avi has a special interest in diabetes, joint injections and minor surgery. He also works in developing new and existing GPs in his roles as a GP Trainer, Training Programme Director of the Nottinghamshire GPST and as a GP Appraiser over the East Midlands. He has been Place Chair and CPRG Chair for Joined Up Care Derbyshire (STP). During his time in Erewash he helped them attain authorisation as a CCG and also attain Vanguard status, as well as setting up schemes like the On Day Service, home visiting service, care home and frailty service and extended hours seven day hubs.
Dr Buk Dhadda - GP
Dr Dhadda was born and raised in Derby and has lived locally all his life. Dr Dhadda qualified at St Georges Hospital Medical School in London in 1995 and has been working as a local GP since 1999.
Dr Dhadda currently works as a GP at Swadlincote Surgery and has worked in the Swadlincote area for the last 19 years. He served as a GP Governing Body member of NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) from 2012 until 2019 before being appointed to the Governing Body of NHS Derby and Derbyshire CCG.
Dr Dhadda has a specialist interest in diabetes and as NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG’s Clinical Lead for diabetes he supported the reorganisation of diabetes services in Derbyshire.
Over the years, Dr Dhadda has Chaired a number of committees and provided clinical leadership in a number of areas, including Primary Care and Quality.
Dr Greg Strachan - GP
Dr Strachan qualified from Sheffield Medical School and trained as a General Practitioner in Chesterfield. He worked for several years as a locum and salaried GP in a wide variety of Practices in the Chesterfield, Derbyshire, Mansfield and High Peak areas. For the last 10 years he has been a full time Partner at Killamarsh Medical Practice in North East Derbyshire where he has developed his role as Safeguarding Lead for Children and Adults. He has also represented his practice at Locality CCG meetings and facilitated monthly GP educational sessions at Chesterfield Royal Hospital. Greg is keen to bring his enthusiasm and teamwork skills to NHS Derby and Derbyshire CCG and contribute towards better integrated care for the population.
Dr Emma Pizzey - GP
Dr Pizzey studied medicine at the University of Liverpool and qualified in 1995. She completed her GP training in Nottingham and has worked as a GP in the Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire area since 2001. She has been a Partner at Littlewick Medical Centre for over 16 years and has a special interest in diabetes and cardiology. She helps to train medical students from the University of Nottingham and post graduate medical students from Derby Medical School. Along with other leading GPs in the area, Dr Pizzey helped to establish the Erewash Heath Partnership in 2018and acted as GP lead for the Erewash Place Alliance from 2018-2019. Her aim as member of the governing body of the CCG is to ensure that all people that live in Derbyshire have access to good quality health care services that are equal across the whole county, to enable them to live long healthy lives. Outside of work, Dr Pizzey likes to potter in her allotment. She is also mum to three sporty boys and at weekends can often be found on the side lines cheering them along as they play.
Dr Merryl Watkins - GP
Dr Merryl Watkins trained at The Royal London Medical School, Whitechapel. She has worked as a GP since 1997 on a part-time basis, and continues to undertake a clinical role as a partner in a practice in Derby. She is also a GP representative on Joint Area Prescribing Committee (JAPC) and a GP appraiser. She was involved with NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group for a number of years prior to the formation of NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group. Her previous CCG roles included Prescribing Lead, Network Lead for Derby City, and GP Lead for the Clinical Improvement Groups with the specialties of chronic pain, spinal surgery and orthopaedics. She is the Derby city representative for NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s Governing Body.
Dr Penny Blackwell - GP
Originally a clinical biochemist trained in Midlands hospitals, Penny completed MRCPath part 1 exams and a PhD in metabolic bone disease at Nottingham City Hospital and St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia.
To combine her love of working with people, and all things biochemical, Penny retrained for a medical degree, graduating from Nottingham University in 2004. Penny initially worked in emergency medicine before her love of general practice and the Dales led her to this field, becoming a partner at Hannage Brook Medical Centre in Wirksworth in 2010.
Penny has co-led Shared Care Pathology with Derby (now Derbyshire) Pathology since 2011 to support GPs in their choice of diagnostics and understanding results with the ethos, "right person, right test, right time". An ex-researcher and keen auditor, Penny worked with NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG previously as a Quality Lead GP, interested in use of data to inform and support general practice improvement.
As a rural GP, the benefits of community resilience in reducing isolation to promote improved health and wellbeing outcomes is evident in everyday general practice. Penny has been clinical lead of the Dales “Place” since 2017 and director of Flourish Rural Derbyshire, a Community Interest Company which creates arts and activity projects to socially prescribe into. She is happy to be taking up and shaping the Place Board Chair role.
Dr Ruth Cooper - GP
Ruth qualified from the University of Birmingham in 1987. She has been a partner for 26 years at Staffa Health in Tibshelf. Staffa Health is a large, multi-site, training practice and is recognised for its innovative approach to delivering care.
Ruth was a member of North East Derbyshire Primary Care Trust (PCT) Professional Executive Committee from 2002 until 2008 and then became a member of the Derbyshire PCT team in 2011, sitting on the Contract Management Board for Chesterfield Royal Hospital.
Ruth served as a GP Governing Body member of NHS Hardwick Clinical Commissioning Group from 2013 until 2019 and was appointed Chair in 2018.
Ruth is passionate about improving care for the people of Derbyshire and believes that practicing clinicians are the ones who can bring the patient story to the table, stories which are a powerful lever to affect change.
Lay Governing Body Members
Martin Whittle - Vice Chair and Lay Member for PPI
Martin has followed a varied career but the majority of his working life has been spent in NHS management. He has worked in hospital management, commissioning and as a Regulator with NHS England. His main focus in his later career was in the areas of Strategy, Governance and Risk Management, Public Engagement, Performance and Delivery, and Emergency Planning.
Since retiring from the NHS Martin has carried out consultancy work and non-executive roles, as well as volunteering for the National Trust. Martin is the Lay Member for Patient and Public Involvement and Vice-Chair of the CCG, and is keen to ensure the public are engaged in the development of services across Derbyshire. Martin lives in Matlock with his wife and has two grown up sons.
Ian Gibbard - Lay Member for Audit
Ian has previously served as a member of the governing body of NHS North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group and also the University of Derby’s Governing Council, where his roles included Vice-Chair and Chair of Strategy, Finance & Planning Committee. As a graduate of the London School of Economics he gained his accountancy qualification while working for the Ministry of Defence. He went on to become chief accountant of an engineering business before joining The Post Office initially as head of finance in East Anglia before relocating to Derbyshire in 1986 to manage a number of IT change programmes, including the automation of the UK's 17,000 post offices. Ian was subsequently appointed Director of Royal Mail IT organisation, with responsibility for business strategy, finance and HR, before taking the commercial lead on a £2bn outsource of the company's IT services in 2003. He has subsequently provided consultancy on business transformation and IT strategy.
Andrew Middleton - Lay Member for Finance
Before joining NHS Derby and Derbyshire CCG in April 2019 as Lay Member for Finance Andrew previously held roles as a Non-Executive Director and Lay Member with five NHS commissioning bodies over 14 years. His roles have included Governing Body Vice-Chair and Chairs of Audit, Finance, Remuneration, Performance and Quality. In addition to a lead role for finance and best value use of resources, Andrew’s particular interests are in quality, good governance, workforce strategies and re-shaping healthcare provision under the NHS Long-Term Plan. Originally from Lincolnshire, Andrew studied economics and management, in Nottingham and Sheffield, then completed 36 years as a further education teacher and leader, including 10 years as a trainer of teachers and managers, culminating in 18 years as a college Principal/Chief Executive. Other roles have been as an education consultant, an Ofsted inspector, work with nine professional standards bodies, and a lay member of Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection teams.
Jill Dentith - Lay Member for Governance
In 2012 Jill established her own successful management consultancy business providing management support to public sector bodies. She has worked with a number of high profile clients. Prior to this she worked in the NHS for over 30 years in a number of senior roles. Her career has spanned corporate governance, primary care development, finance, patient engagement and service redesign.
Jill is passionate about the NHS and believes that patients should be at the heart of all that we do. She was a founder member of the governing body of NHS Hardwick CCG and, from December 2017, NHS North Derbyshire CCG. Jill has a Masters degree in Public Service Management.
Ian Shaw - Lay Member for Primary Care Commssioning
Ian is a Professor of Health Policy at the University of Nottingham. His academic work is in health, mental health, inter-agency collaboration and evaluation. His recent research includes European-wide evaluation pandemic flu preparations for the World Health Organisation (WHO) and evaluation of community development projects in diabetes care. He is passionate about reducing health inequalities.
Ian has a long history of bringing his analytical and policy insights into the development of local health services. He has served almost continuously in NHS Non-Executive roles in a number of organisations since 2002. Ian has also served as Lay Governor to Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust; Lay Quality Assurance Assessor for NHS Health Education England East Midlands (The Deanery) and as a GP patient representative in a number of settings. Ian previously chaired Erewash Primary Care Commissioning Committee and also brings that experience into this role. He is married with three children.
Gill Orwin - Lay Member for PPI
Gill Orwin studied for her English degree at Sheffield Hallam University and began her career working for a daily newspaper in Lancashire before moving to BBC Radio Sheffield where she was a reporter and producer for 22 years. Gill has always had a special interest in stories about the health service and the experiences of patients in primary and secondary care. Gill has been the Lay Member for Public and Patient Involvement for NHS Hardwick CCG since it was first created in 2013 and she is passionate in her efforts to ensure the patient voice is central to decisions made about local health services. In her previous CCG she chaired the Patient Reference Group and sought to ensure their views and concerns were heard by the Governing Body. She is keen to see this patient focus continue within the new NHS Derby and countywide CCG in Derbyshire.
Bruce Braithwaite - Secondary Care Consultant
Mr Braithwaite has been a Consultant Vascular and Endovascular Surgeon at the Nottingham University Hospital (NUH) since 2000. He is an Honorary Associate (Clinical) Professor at the University of Nottingham. His clinical practice is based in the East Midlands where he provides elective services to NUH and Ilkeston Community Hospital. He helped to found a National Group Partnership of Secondary Care Clinicians (Alliance Surgical plc) and has been their Director of Clinical Services since 2007.
He trained in Cambridge, London, Oxford and the USA. He has been a Council Member of the Vascular Society of Great Britain and Ireland, the Venous forum of the Royal Society of Medicine, Board Member of the British Association of Sclerotherapists and Founder Member of the International Society for Vascular Surgery.
He has been Deputy Clinical Chair and Chair of the Clinical Governance and Risk Management Committee for the Circle Nottingham NHS Treatment Centre. He was the Secondary Care Consultant for NHS North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group before NHS Derby and Derbyshire CCG was formed in 2019.
Executive Governing Body Members
Dr Chris Clayton - Chief Executive Officer
Dr Clayton was appointed as the single Chief Executive Officer for the four Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in October 2017. Following the merger of the four Derbyshire CCGs in April 2019, Dr Clayton became the Chief Executive Officer for NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group.
Prior to taking up post in Derbyshire, Dr Clayton served as Clinical Chief Officer for NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG and also held the position of Chief Officer for the Pennine Lancashire Transformation Programme.
Originally from Rossendale in East Lancashire, Dr Clayton completed his clinical studies in Cambridge and following this worked in Birmingham and the West Midlands before returning to join Darwen Healthcare GP practice in 2004 where he worked as a practising GP until 2017.
Helen Dillistone - Executive Director of Corporate Strategy and Delivery
Helen is the executive director responsible for a range of corporate functions across the CCG which includes corporate assurance, governance and compliance functions, together with overseeing the Board Secretariat function. She also leads the development of the CCGs Corporate Strategy and Organisational Development together with staff engagement, patient and public involvement, communications, complaints and equality and diversity functions in addition to being executive lead for Human Resources.Helen has held a number of senior management positions in the NHSE for the past 16 years. Prior to that she worked in a range of management positions within commercial and legal sectors. Helen’s first degree is in Law and she also holds an MBA.
Steve Lloyd - Medical Director
Dr Steve Lloyd has worked as a GP in North East Derbyshire for over 20 years, having previously worked as a maxillofacial surgeon. He was Chair of NHS Hardwick CCG from inception until July 2018 when he took up the role of Executive Medical Director for NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group. He also worked previously in a number of clinical lead roles including substance misuse, and Derbyshire out of hours provision.
Outside medicine, Steve has worked as a medical adviser, trustee and chief expedition leader for the British Exploring Society at the Royal Geographical Society and as an RAF reserve officer. He continues to lead youth development expeditions. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society.
As Medical Director his role is to ensure that as strategic commissioner we commission high quality, outcome-based clinical services for Derbyshire’s population, and input at strategic level to the Joined Up Care Derbyshire (STP) programme. His teams include medicines management, primary care commissioning and quality, long-term conditions management and IT infrastructure, which are vital to how clinical transformation programmes develop.
Brigid Stacey - Chief Nurse and Quality Officer
With nearly 20 years’ experience in Director of Nursing and Quality roles – including several years at NHS England North Midlands – Brigid brings extensive knowledge of the NHS from the frontline services to senior and strategic level. Her insight and experience of working in these roles across Derby, Walsall, Luton and Dunstable hospitals, and Shropshire and Staffordshire Local Area Team make her an incredibly well qualified leader for Derbyshire in her role as Chief Nursing Officer.
Deborah Hayman - Chief Finance Officer
Deborah Hayman graduated from Canterbury University with a joint honours degree in Accountancy and Economics and took up the post of NHS finance trainee with the Isle of Wight Health Authority.
In 1995 she was appointed as Director of Finance for a community Trust in Kent and, despite numerous organisational changes to the NHS landscape, Deborah continued as a Director of Finance in Kent until accepting the role of Director for Finance for NHS Bristol and moving to the West Country in 2007.
Since 2011 she has undertaken Director of Finance interim assignments within the NHS which has given her a wide experience and skill in managing the financial landscape across England.
Sandy Hogg - Executive Director of Turnaround
Sandy Hogg started as Executive Director of Turnaround for the four Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in July 2018, and became the Turnaround Director for NHS Derby and Derbyshire CCG in April 2019, to continue leading the CCG’s financial recovery and organisational improvement programme. After working in the West Midlands in various financial roles, Sandy spent ten years as Director of Finance and Procurement for the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals and University Hospitals of Leicester, and a couple of years as Deputy Chief Executive for Southampton Primary Care Trust, before moving into Director of Transformation and Commissioning roles in Suffolk, Worcestershire and the Isle of Wight CCGs. Immediately prior to taking up post in Derbyshire, Sandy was Executive Director of Turnaround for the Mid Nottinghamshire CCGs leading their financial recovery programme.
Zara Jones - Executive Director of Commissioning Operations
As Executive Director of Commissioning Operations for NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Zara brings a wealth of NHS experience to her role.
Before joining us in September 2018, Zara was based in Staffordshire where she was Director of Strategy, Planning and Performance across six CCGs. Previous appointments include senior roles in acute trusts, including Nottingham University Hospitals, where she was Associate Director of Strategy. Zara’s experience also extends to regulatory roles including the Trust Development Authority (now NHS Improvement) and the East Midlands Strategic Health Authority where Zara developed her breadth of experience across planning and performance functions. Starting her NHS career in 2003 as a Graduate Management Scheme trainee, Zara’s first substantive role was as a Primary Care Commissioning Manager at North Eastern Derbyshire Primary Care Trust.
Zara has lived in North Derbyshire for the past 16 years.