If you would like to get in touch with your local governor please contact the Corporate Governance Team by email AskYourGovernor@ncic.nhs.uk or phone 01228 603761.

Public governors

Leslie BlacklockLeslie Blacklock.jpg

Term ends: September 2022

As a recently retired Staff Governor for CPFT I feel I can continue to play an active role in the development of Healthcare in Cumbria.

As the longstanding Chair of a Social Club in Workington as well as a Branch officer for the Unite Union, I have contributed towards our local communities over many years.

As a lifelong supporter of the NHS, I promise to uphold the best traditions of the NHS and support the future provision of NHS care for all our people.

Declaration of interests

Political Party: Labour Party. Financial of other interest: None

William Miskelly

Term ends: September 2024

William Miskelly.jpgIn April 2022, the new healthcare bill will change the way healthcare is managed in north Cumbria and across the country. My aim during my new term is to make sure that you are all heard and that the North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust remains run from within Cumbria. I would like to continue holding our Trust accountable for the decisions that are taken and the way that health care services are delivered to us all. I have always aimed to do this in a fair and measured manner. I aim to continue to look at ways to increase the membership of our Trust so that our communities can be involved in planning how we receive our healthcare.

In March 2020 I began my term of office as a Public Governor, I only had begun my term of office less than 6 months after the merger of our two previous Trusts into the NCIC as we know it today.

During my term I have become Deputy Lead Governor, Chair of the Governor’s Advisory Committee and a member of the following groups and Committees: Learning Disabled and Autism Special Interest Group; Engagement and Participation Committee; Nominations Committee; External Audit Special Interest Group. While I have been a very active Public Governor I am very proud to have become a new dad and I am also a Meet and Greet Volunteer at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.

Declaration of interests

Political Party: None. Financial or other interest: None.


Elizabeth FreemanElizabeth Freeman.png

Term ends: September 2024

I have been a governor for two terms. I have engaged fully in all activities for governors and was a member of the Nominations Committee. I know where the Trust is heading and how it is achieving for the benefit of Cumbria and its population.

I have worked hard for the Trust in various activities. I worked as a voluntary chaplain at the Cumberland Infirmary and I realised what a lot of work was needed for patients and the NHS. I am interested in patients and NHS members to work together with respect for all levels. I have worked in welfare work and the two roles compliment each other.

Having worked so hard in the past I wish to continue with the work that I am undertaking. I am a member of the Governors Advisory Committee which is helpful in considering the detail of reforms for the Trust, eg help for the disabled, making and improving access to hospitals and clinics etc. My remit is helping disabled people of all ages gain access to all that is available to help them with their needs.


Rebecca MullinsRebecca Mullins.jpg

Term ends: September 2023

I aim to be a friend who critiques the work of the Board with care and attention to detail. A heart felt focus on improving the patient experience. A desire to keep the high levels of care consistent. Focus on cleanliness and waste management and excellence in community care.

My knowledge base is the nursing profession which focused the role I played as a carer for my disabled son.  Alongside this role, I volunteered for Healthwatch, Carlisle Refugee Action Group, Macular Society and Cumbria Parent/Carer Forum. These groups have given me an insight into the difficulties the public face with the health service. Two of the groups are county wide and give me an overview of the issues that need addressing.

The remaining groups have given me a world focus of the cultural and faith issues that can become intrinsic to a healthy outcome for the public.

As I have had a lifelong disability I am passionate about the NHS.

I have lived through and experienced what it is to be a patient. I am dedicated to getting alongside people and gleaning their experiences.  My motivating factors as mentioned above are the health and wellbeing of the public.  My health studies degree course enhanced my interest in health promotion. This core principal should be the watch words co-production and working together to gain a better outcome for the people we care about in the community.

Alan Toole

Term ends: September 2022

Having served 34 years as a City and County Councillor for Belah Ward in Carlisle and also Mayor of Carlisle (2002) and Chairman of the Cumbria County Council for 2007/08 and working with Looked after Children for 8 years. I therefore feel my experience will be beneficial to this position.

I was born in Carlisle and have lived here all my life. I am a self-employed Accountant. I have been involved in Belah Community Centre for almost 50 years and Lowry Hill Residents Association for 34 years. I was elected to the Jack Charlton Disabled Anglers Committee in 1996 and I still attend their functions.

I decided to stand for election because I have been involved with the NHS representatives when I was on the Cumbria County Council Scrutiny Health Committee and also I have been a user of the NHS services in the past. The NHS were excellent for me before I commenced my Council career and without their expertise I would never have been able to carry out my work as a Councillor. I will use my experience and knowledge for the benefit of all concerned.

Keith AmeyKeithAmey.png

Term ends: September 2023

During a further term I would like to concentrate on improving public engagement. I have recently set up an Engagement Special Interest Group to consider how governors can achieve maximum impact by informing, consulting and engaging the public. It is also my wish to work on opportunities offered by tele-health.

A Chartered Engineer and Company Director with a background in hi-tech innovation, company trouble shooting and change management, I have worked for British Rail, British Aerospace, Sellafield, Thorn and the former Department of Trade and Industry.

I love the local people and the stunning scenery. In addition to my NHS role as governor for NCIC FT, I belong to many community organisations including the U3A and my local Residents’ Association. I attend an astronomy group, ring bells, participate in a French twinning and am a member of CAMRA. Fell walking and theatre visits occur as often as possible.

Many organisations deserve our support, but I believe the NHS must top the agenda, which is why I currently serve on diverse social healthcare committees and partnership groups.

Being a governor provides the contacts and opportunities to promote the public voice in shaping health and social care services.

Owing to Cumbria’s geography and rurality we need county-specific ways to provide optimum healthcare near people’s homes. My interest and work in tele-health can help minimise travel and allow patients to control their own medication. Tele-health can also speed diagnosis and allow treatment and monitoring at, or close to, home.

Karl Melville 

Term ends: September 2024

Karl Melville.jpgI have worked for the local authority for the past 34 years and am keen to make a difference in my community. I have also worked and campaigned for better services in Copeland.

I am a Senior Manager at Cumbria Country Council. I am married to Dawn, a Midwife at West Cumberland Hospital. I have two children aged 17 and 19. I live in Cleator Moor and have worked in the community of Copeland for over 34 years. For the past 17 years I have been a governor at Montreal School and I have been chair of governors for over 15 years recently stepping down to complete a management degree at UCLan.

I believe that the residents of Copeland and the wider area deserve first class services and this includes health. I am keen to use my skills to help develop first class services for the area. Health is an area that at some point in your life you touch no matter what age. I have seen first-hand the damage that can be done to local services when the decision makers are not well informed. I believe I can help in this area.

Mark Whalley

Term ends: September 2023

Mark Whalley.jpgI feel I can have a positive input into the way the Trust can improve its patient experience by attending meetings and inspections. I feel I can help improve the WCH by giving an outside perspective from being a WCH volunteering and service user.

I have been a resident of the local area for over 20 years residing in the Hensingham area.  My family have grown up around the West Cumberland hospital and have used all areas from the maternity department to cancer treatment at different times. I work at Sellafield in health and safety where I am also a trade union rep and a mental health champion. I have also worked in various roles as a volunteer in WCH over the last 18 months and have gained a good knowledge of how the hospital and staff function and have found this a positive experience.

As a local resident I have a strong interest in how WCH continues to develop and grow to support the best interests of the community. On talking to other governors while volunteering in WCH I felt that it was something I could bring a lot to. I have a good knowledge of a large section of the local community and feel I could represent some of their interests and potentially improve their experiences at the hospital by having a positive input. I am a strong campaigner and feel I could positively influence where needed to get the best outcome.


David PollittDavid Pollitt.png

Term ends: September 2022

I’ve been a service user for a number of years and a Governor since 2014. I’ve experienced the ups and downs of how services are delivered. I use this experience to help ensure there are more ups than downs for people that will use the Trust’s services in the future.

As a governor, I was involved with Cumbria Partnership’s learning disability biannual audit programme, visiting and auditing services with the aim of improving access for people with learning disabilities and sharing best practice. I was awarded a certificate by the Trust in recognition of my work in this area.

I was involved with work for the Accessible Information Standard (AIS) and was a member of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) representative group. 

I'm a committed Christian and in my spare time I enjoy music and watching films.

I am particularly interested in improving the aftercare of patients following hospital stays and how they are supported. This will be particularly important after the Covid-19 Pandemic and I want to play my part in ensuring that the Trust supports those who have been affected by the Coronavirus and that all patients continue to receive the support they need in the future.

I provide a patient’s perspective and bring an open and honest approach that I hope people value.


Mike TaylorMike Taylor.png

Term ends: September 2023

25 years in non-Executive roles in the NHS have given me a good understanding of its challenges, constraints and opportunities. I now also have a better grass roots perspective from my two years as a Governor, work with third sector health providers and being a carer this year.

My working life has been in the private sector (Shell), public sector (FE, NHS, Government agencies) and the third sector (Chair of a Homeless charity and of Cumbria’s 3rd sector Network, Trustee of CVS and Citizens’ Advice and Cumbria County President of St John Ambulance). Have lived in Cumbria since 2008 and for 5 years ran a very successful B&B and holiday self catering barn. Have also had long involvement with the Army Reserves, and currently chair the Cumbria Armed Forces Covenant Partnership. I have spent much of this year caring for my partner suffering from terminal cancer.

A governor has an important role in terms of holding the Trust Board to account and in raising issues of concern about service delivery. The opportunity to draw on one’s own experiences and those of others in the community to seek better services for us all is the main motivation. From March to September this year caring for my partner during terminal cancer I have also seen and experienced first-hand both the strengths and the weaknesses of the local system thus broadening and deepening my understanding about how services are currently being delivered.


Jacqueline NicolJNicol.png

Term ends: September 2023

I will continue as an active governor, representing our community, using the experience and knowledge that I gained from visiting various medical facilities, etc. I am a good listener and able to absorb and use technical information at meetings.

A qualified librarian, most of my career was in management in the voluntary sector, advising those in need of support and assistance. I have been a school governor. For many years I was a Community First Responder, qualified to use enhanced skills with patients. I now undertake voluntary roles including Vice Chair of Citizens Advice Carlisle and Eden, an independent custody visitor, an animal welfare visitor at Police kennels, an influencer on NWAS patient and public panel, and a panel member and chair of school admission and exclusion panels. I have various kinds of rescued animals.

Partly as a result of family experience, I am keen to see ever improving standards in medical care and patient welfare. At every opportunity, I obtain the views of patients and those involved in their care, which I feed back to the responsible people in the trust and then watch for progress where necessary. Also, I am anxious to encourage and support those providing care to ensure that they have the facilities that they need and feel that the work that they are doing is appreciated. I am active on committees and take an active part in meetings.

Stephen Newton

Term ends: September 2022

I have achieved a lot over the past 6 years as a public governor for CPFT attending Board, Council, members meetings and listening events.  I have used these for training purposes to help educate myself in this role.  I have raised issues and questions at the Board and Council meetings.      

I have raised questions and issues to the Board and Governors Council that are important to me and to the people of Furness.  I work with three organisations in Furness; MIND, Love Barrow Families and the Barrow Men's Group and I have been asked to raise debate on medication.  I work closely with MIND to help people with mental health issues to try to improve and help themselves to get well.

I had epilepsy when I was young and was on medication for a lot of years and was pleased when I was advised that I was clear of epilepsy.

I bring a lot of benefits and knowledge from my role as public governor and I would like to do more mental health training to support myself and others in my area. I recently passed the Walk Leaders course and am now a fully qualified Walk Leader for Active Cumbria and I also recently achieved Safeguarding Level 1 certificate.



George ButlerG Butler.png

Term ends: September 2022

I already have 7 years’ experience as a public governor with Hospital Trusts and been involved in the evolution of a Trust supporting integrated care. My focus is the provision of best care for patients and their carers and to ensure the Trust has systems in place to provide this.    

I have strong associations with healthcare in Cumbria having trained as a nurse at the Cumberland Infirmary, and held Director of Nurse Education and Vice Principal posts in South Cumbria and Lakeland College of Nursing and Midwifery respectively. I have a Masters Degree (Distinction) in Community and Health Ethics, which gives me the confidence to speak up for patients when healthcare decisions are being made. I have thirteen years’ experience as a Magistrate, chairing in both Family and Adult courts, tutoring with the Open University, and working as an Independent Member of Eden District Council.          

My entire working life was in health care, both in nursing and nurse education, and I therefore have a great deal of experience in dealing with health related issues. I have worked for 7 years as a public governor, four of these as a Deputy Lead Governor so I have been actively involved in a range of issues following the move to Partnership Trusts. My motivation is to try and ensure optimal care for patients within a system that provides support for its staff. We must try and end the dreadful bullying and harassment associated with the modern NHS.

Derek SeberDerek Seber.png

Term ends: September 2023

As an existing governor I have made many contributions to the work of the Trust. I have attended most meetings and have been a member of the advisory committee and have visited Trust sites to see what we are doing to enable our service users to get the best treatment.

At 13 served on sail Training Ship 1956-58. Joined Royal Navy at 15 for 12 years. Went to Oak Hill theological college London. Ordained priest 1974 in Manchester Collyhurst. From there various parish priest/vicar/rector in Radcliffe, Hulme, Moss Side, Cheetham Hill till 1997 then to Thornton Hough as vicar till 2008. Involved in the creation of many inner city and rural projects from credit unions to scarecrow festivals.  Onetime Chair Unilever Research Ethics Committee. Retired but active as priest in Hornby Lancashire and governor with NCIC. Writer of short stories for children. MA and MPhil Manchester.

As a NHS Trust governor for nearly 20 years in Cheshire and Lancashire I have a long experience of working to improve services. My drive to do this comes from my own personal experiences as a patient and a carer of a person for some years who suffered from mental illness. As a pensioner in my 70s I am now strongly motivated to work to improve services for elderly and vulnerable adults. During lockdown I have written about my recent time in hospital and developed ideas for remote diagnosis for isolated rural patients. Close family members work on NHS frontline.



Staff governors

Chris FlemingChris Fleming.png

Term ends: September 2023

As a staff governor I will attend meetings and feedback to staff. I will have sit in session to feed back to staff and listen to issues.

The recent merger means that front line staff need to have a voice in higher management.

I have worked at The WCH for nearly 30 years as a student, staff nurse and now clinical endoscopist, performing nearly 1000 procedures a year.

I was a shadow staff governor when we were last heading for foundation trust status with Northumbria.

I was heavily involved in the implementation and design of the endoscopy unit at WCH.

I am a keen musician and enjoy playing golf socially, walking my springer spaniel and spending time with my family.

Previously as a shadow governor I was instrumental in helping implement management wall chart with names faces and contact details of line managers, so staff could see the line of management and a version of this still exists in the trust.

I was surprised previously that as a staff governor I was able to listen and discuss issues with higher management and I was able to question issues that were raised and sometimes questioned some statements made to clarify positions that I will feedback at sit in sessions in the local hospital etc.

Jessie McCarron 

Term ends: September 2024

Jessie McCarron.jpgThe positive changes for the future of the Trust, are important to me, as I want others to feel the same way in 20 years, as I feel now about working here. Showing kindness, empathy and loyalty towards colleagues helps me become a better person at my job each day.

I'm very hardworking, honest, loyal, caring and kind to others. I am a mother of a daughter who's 34. I live alone with 2 dogs and lots of crafting!

The money from my crafting I gift back to areas in the hospital. Last year I made masks/scrubs for staff, and £500 was given to Ward 4. I've also gifted £1000 to ICU and £100 to coronary nurses for new equipment. I love helping others, it’s all about the bigger picture with me. I bake cakes for our porters/estates staff, as they are kind in helping me do my job consistently each day.

As a domestic cleaner in WCH I am on the shop floor and see all the good things happening as well as things that may need attention.

The pandemic is teaching us to be better people and help others before helping ourselves, and be more tolerant in life generally. I get on really well with other staff at WCH, I'm always helping people, including patients/visitors. Nothing is too much trouble to me.

Rachael MarrsRachael Marrs.jpg

Term ends: September 2023

I want to be a readily available ear to my colleagues when they have issues or ideas. I want to collaborate with them and ensure that we, as a body are heard. I want to be able to raise questions and get answers and resolutions to feedback to my colleagues.

I have worked in the Trust for eight years as a nurse, after completing my training here. I have worked at both the Cumberland infirmary and here at the West Cumberland. I have two children, two cats and one husband (which take up a lot of my free time!) In my spare time I enjoy baking, and my colleagues enjoy eating it! I really enjoy running and being out in the fresh air with the kids on our bikes.

I want to make sure that North Cumbria has a healthcare system for the future that we're proud of. I want to get a better idea of the bigger picture. Often, we are concerned with our own small role and we don't necessarily get involved in decision making. I want every staff member to be able to have a good idea of what is the bigger picture and how that impacts their job, future and professional goals.

Madhusudhan VarmaM Varma.jpg

Term ends: September 2023

I have knowledge, experience, credentials and training to be an effective spokesperson for staff and local community. I value the contributions made by every member of the team and work constructively to promote the Trust - with its values and behaviours. I can bring professional voice to corporate governance.

I am an Interventional Cardiologist who passionately believes in better patient care and outcomes. I have local and national level experience in representing patients' and staff voice in committees. My personal objective so far has been to keep the agenda of delivering a dedicated multi lab Heart centre worthy for Cumbrians - at least on par with regional centres. I chair a Cumbria Heart patient forum to keep patient's voice heard. I am an outdoor person, encourage everybody to enjoy the countryside actively to remain healthy. I strongly believe in doing the right thing at the right time for the right purpose.

I am keen to be the voice of the wider community as I truly understand the issues faced by staff. I am bold and able to represent staff members' interests. I have an excellent track record in supporting staff in our department working towards their well-being - at the same time driving the quality of care provided to our patients. I am passionate about maintaining work life balance of every individual. I care about improving provision of health services. I look forward to using my knowledge, experience and skills to provide appropriate challenge and support to the Board's processes.

Governor vacancy

Would you like to help shape our health services? We’re looking for a staff governor to represent Furness and South Lakeland. To find out more about becoming a staff governor and to discuss current vacancies, call our Governor Support Officer Harriet Mouat on 01228 603761 or email harriet.mouat@ncic.nhs.uk 


Partner governors

Alison HampsonAJ Hampson.png

University of Cumbria

Term ends: April 2023

I am Head of Department for Health, Psychology and Social Studies at the University of Cumbria. I joined the university in 2002 after working in the NHS for nearly 20 years.

I worked as an Occupational Therapist in Dumfries, Glasgow and Carlisle and gained experience of working with individuals with occupational performance issues caused by their medical, neurological, surgical, orthopaedic and age-related conditions.

I have significant leadership and management experience and have also worked as a medical researcher and a research therapist.

My role as a governor enables me to suggest ways the University of Cumbria can support the Trust, as well as being a voice for Allied Health Professionals.

As one of the largest providers of healthcare professionals in the North West, the University aims to enrich the lives of individuals and communities and raise aspirations in Cumbria to ensure that local residents value health and care roles. The university provides local opportunities to become health and care professionals with programmes to become nurses, midwifes, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, paramedics and radiographers, as well as continuing professional development opportunities.

I am currently studying for my Doctor of Education (EdD) at Strathclyde University and I’m due to complete it in September 2020.

Qualifications and memberships:

MSc, PgD, PgCE, BA (Hons), DipCOT, SFHEA
Member of the Council of Occupational Therapy Education Directors
Member of the Council of Deans of Health and a member of the Council’s Regulation Advisory Group
Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Registered with the Health and Care Professions Council as an Occupational Therapist
Professional member of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists

I currently hold 2 external examiner posts and have been an external expert for numerous university validation events around the UK:

BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy programme at the University of East Anglia
BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy programme at Queen Margaret's University

I am a Royal College of Occupational Therapists pre-registration programme accreditor.


LindaBell CumbriaCVS 2022.jpgLinda Bell

League of Friends

Term ends: March 2025

I am really pleased to be asked to serve as a Partner Governor on behalf of the League of Friends who support the Community Hospitals. League of Friends volunteers work hard to raise funds for the Hospitals, and provide additional equipment and services that the NHS cannot provide, and can feedback useful information to the Trust as they are in touch with the public who use NHS services.

I was brought up on an east fellside farm and attended Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Penrith, and initially studied for my A-levels, but always wanted to go into nursing

I started my career in 1973 as a Student Nurse at Carlisle Acute Hospitals. On qualifying I started work in1976 at Penrith Hospital as a Staff Nurse on an Elderly Care Ward.

Since then I have worked in a variety of roles across Penrith Hospital, including the former Cottage Hospital on the Beacon Edge as well as in other Community Hospitals. I worked as a Staff Nurse, Sister, Nurse Practitioner, and also Modern Matron across Penrith, Brampton and Alston Community Hospitals for a number of years. I retired from the Trust after 48 years in 2021 ending my career working as a Nurse Practitioner in the Penrith Urgent Treatment Centre, after graduating over 20 years ago.

We used to work really, really closely with the GPs in my early years and it was great, because they knew us, and they knew our capabilities. I saw many changes throughout my career, including electronic record keeping, which meant all nursing staff had to acquire some IT skills, as some of them had never switched on a computer in their lives. I was also one of the first nurses to be trained how to take blood in 1978, as previously that had always been done by a doctor. Now healthcare assistants do it — and are perfectly capable of doing it.

Throughout my time nursing at Penrith, I have been committed to the principles that 1. The patient comes first  2. Patients being seen closer to home 3. The value of the Step Up / Step Down role of Community Hospitals. 4. Valuing and supporting staff as happy staff provide good patient care

Since my retirement I have been busy with my garden and allotment, Chair of Penrith LOF, Treasurer of Solway & Tyne Texel Breeders Club, caring for my elderly Mother and with my grandson Thomas.

Sheila Gregory.jpgSheila Gregory

Cumbria CVS

Term ends: March 2025

Throughout my career I have been involved in supporting people with disabilities. I first started working with people with autism and learning disabilities 47 years ago as a student volunteer. After various roles, I worked for the British Deaf Association for 13 years. I was their marketing and publications manager. Then for 23 years I was the Chief Officer of Carlisle Mencap. Carlisle Mencap is one of the biggest local Mencap societies in the UK with 500 service users. When I was Carlisle Mencap CEO, I worked with the national Mencap Society on the pilot for the ‘treat me well’ campaign which supports reasonable adjustments for all vulnerable people in acute hospitals. I recently have completed a book celebrating 50 years of Carlisle Mencap.

I retired from paid work in June 2021. I am still very involved much in the voluntary sector. I am Chair of the Triple A Project an autism charity based in Penrith. Triple A supports people with autism across Cumbria to have better lives- significant projects are around employment opportunities and post diagnosis support. I am a board member for Cumbria CVS. Prior to COVID I was elected Chair of the Cumbria Public Health Alliance.

Personally, I am devoted to helping the Trust to provide excellent care to our community. I have been involved with the Trust particularly Cumberland Infirmary for decades. I have been involved through work and in my personal life, as a patient I was supported well through significant illness and as a family carer for a person with dementia I was involved in many hospital visits.

I am totally committed to supporting diversity and inclusion. I was pleased to be awarded the Diverse Cumbria Life Time Achievement award in 2021.

I have a BA degree and a CAM Post Graduate diploma in Communication and Marketing.

I enjoy fellwalking, birdwatching and gardening in my spare time.