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

John Coughlan.jpgJohn Coughlan

Terms ends: September 2023

The provision of health services is something I have been interested in for some time. I hold great believer in the NHS and the services it provides in support of us all, in sustaining our active lives. I am a user of the NHS, like most of the population and have experience of the service people receive and the importance we place on them.

I feel I am suited to being a Governor and representing the community. My particular interests include A&E, people who have challenging medical conditions, community services for older people and those living in remote locations. Having lived in many countries I have knowledge of health care internationally as well as the UK.

I am an experience business manager operating at Board level, who can easily get to the bottom of a problem, providing challenging scrutiny and oversight while being supportive of the Trust’s services to patients and the local community. I want to support this Trust to be effective, receptive, caring and a centre of excellence and would consider it an honour to represent our community as governor. I believe I would be objective and impartial in gathering members’ views, including those which differ from my own and believe I would be diplomatic but determined in representing controversial issues which members believe to be important.

Leslie BlacklockLeslie Blacklock.jpg

Term ends: September 2024

I was elected a public governor for Allerdale Constituency in December 2019.

Throughout the pandemic I have tried, to the best of my ability, to represent the population of Allerdale. Prior to my retirement I worked for the Older Adult Mental Health team in Whitehaven and was the Staff Governor for Allerdale/Copeland in the Cumbria Partnership Foundation Trust.

I will continue to support our fantastic workforce and continue to question and hold to account the leadership of our trust.

Declaration of interests

Political Party: Labour Party. Financial of 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 Mullins - Portrait.jpgRebecca Mullins

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.


Keith Amey - Portrait.jpgKeith Amey

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.

Daniel Sencier v5.jpegDaniel Sencier

Term ends: September 2025

Our doctors, nurses and other support staff are some of our community's most amazing, dedicated, caring and hardworking people. With their help, 12 years ago, my life was saved, and since then, I have become ever committed to protecting our NHS. It's ironic then, that the past 12 years have seen its most significant decline, a rapid slide into oblivion. You will only know how important the NHS was when it's no longer there!

I have a varied career path, including service in the Armed Forces, aircraft engineering, and hotel and catering. I retired aged 55 and embarked on a full-time media degree at the University of Cumbria, graduating in 2013. Since then, I've travelled to many countries, ending up in Thailand. There, I experienced just what 'ideal' hospitals could operate and look like. I realised how much work was needed in England to achieve an excellence that was now only available in hospitals such as The Freeman in Newcastle. But having world-class hospitals would only be good enough if you were lucky to be diagnosed in time and then have a bed available!

I will work with other governors and all like-minded people to help in any way I can to revive our NHS. But you also have to do your bit because, without public support, we will never get the financial help and commitment needed from any government to stop the current decline. Please help me to help us all! 

Mike Taylor - Portrait.jpgMike Taylor

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 Nicol - Portrait.jpgJacqueline Nicol

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.


George Butler - Portrait.jpgGeorge Butler

Term ends: September 2025

I already have 9 years experience as a Public Governor with two Foundation Trusts. My focus is the provision of best care for patients, by an appropriately skilled workforce, and ensuring the Trust has systems in place to provide this.

I have strong associations with healthcare in Cumbria. I trained as a nurse at the Cumberland Infirmary before returning to finish my career as Director of Nurse Education in South Cumbria, and Vice-Principal of Lakeland College of Nursing and Midwifery. I have a Masters Degree (Distinction) in Community and Health Ethics, which gives me the confidence to speak up for patient's when healthcare decisions are being made. I have thirteen years experience as a Magistrate, chairing 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 9 years as a public governor, four of these as Deputy Lead Governor so I have been actively involved in a range of issues within hospital and the community. I support the social care model currently being introduced, to help make the transition between hospital and home as seamless as possible.




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 3.jpgJessie McCarron 

Term ends: September 2024

The 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.

Georgina Craig portrait.jpgGeorgina Craig

Term ends: September 2023

I currently work as a Critical Care Outreach nurse across all wards in the Cumberland Infirmary. I also work as a resuscitation officer, and a Professional Nurse Advocate providing support to our Critical Care Nurses. I care passionately about the well-being of all staff as I know how this directly affects the care we provide to our patients.

I was born and raised in Carlisle, completed my nurse training at the University of Cumbria in 2009, and have worked at the Infirmary ever since. My husband also works at NCIC and shares my dedication to improving services across our trust. Our two children were born at CIC and many of our friends and family members have been patients both here and at WCH. This emotional attachment adds to my desire to contribute as much as I can to ensuring we continue to improve our systems for the population of Cumbria. 

I want to be elected as a governor so that I can use my experience and enthusiasm to actively engage and listen to staff and provide a voice on their behalf. I have extensive knowledge and understanding of the challenges we face in our hospitals and believe I would be a valuable voice as a staff governor.

Claire OliverGibson.jpgClaire Oliver-Gibson

Term ends: September 2025

I am proud to work for NCIC NHS Trust, the NHS is an integral part of the British way of life and I care about how the trust is run for both patients and staff. I would like to be part of making positive changes, particularly improving effective communication and staff morale; working towards a fantastic environment for our staff and patients, whilst holding our leaders accountable. 

I have a practical and common sense approach to problem solving and a natural curiosity about how the trust is performing and what is needed for us to move forward. I am approachable, friendly and enjoy listening to the thoughts, concerns and opinions of others. 

I have worked in the public sector for several years including as a secondary school teacher before working for the NHS. I was previously a staff governor at Solway School and a parent governor for Wigton Infant School. I would love to bring a fresh set of eyes to any proposals and to voice any concerns on behalf of our workforce.

Madhusudhan Varma - Portrait.jpgMadhusudhan Varma

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.



Partner governors

Susie Wilson2023 Susie Wilson.png

University of Cumbria

Term ends: June 2026

I am honoured to have been appointed to the North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust Governors representing the University of Cumbria. I have had a rich and varied career working in health, initially as a clinical Occupational Therapist in London and Cumbria and now as Principal Lecturer and Professional Lead for Occupational Therapy at the University. 

I am very pleased to work with the trust and its staff to support the delivery of its vision and values for the people of North Cumbria, and to further strengthen the partnership between North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Cumbria. I am a Cumbrian keen to see the continued development of our good NHS services. I am also passionate about the delivery of excellent care for all, provided with compassion and kindness.

Martin HarrisMartin Harris .png

Cumberland Council

Term ends: June 2026

I am a retired GP. I first worked for the NHS as an auxiliary nurse (equivalent of a modern care assistant) as a holiday job in 1977.  I went on to train as a doctor and worked in junior doctor posts in hospital, public health and general practice. I worked as a fully qualified GP for 26 years  maintaining an interest in Community Paediatrics for most of that period, I retired in 2018 and then completed a master’s degree in social policy including a dissertation on an NHS related subject. To say I have knowledge of and an interest in the NHS is an understatement. It is a service I wholeheartedly believe in.

In 2022 I was elected as a councillor to Cumberland Council and I am the portfolio holder for Adults (which includes Social Care) and for Public Health. I am joining the Council of Governors as the local authority representative for my council.

I feel my past experience, together with my present role both as a ward councillor, representing my residents, and  as a portfolio holder in two areas which interact very much  with the NHS put me in a strong position to make a useful contribution to the Trust.

Tim Smith

University of Central Lancashire

Term ends: July 2026

Jack WilsonJack Wilson.jpg

Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust

Term ends: June 2026

I am honoured to have been appointed to the NCIC Council of Governors, representing Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust. I am currently the Corporate Engagement Assistant working within the Corporate Affairs Team supporting CNTW’s Council of Governors, Membership and Engagement Strategy, and the Board of Directors alongside our Corporate Governance Manager. Before this role I was the Children and Young People’s Service User Governor at the Trust from the age of 16, I served in this position for 6 years. Within this time I gained a lot of experience and knowledge about the NHS and I also was involved in some of the sub-groups and committees, including the Nominations Committee and Governor Steering Group, I hope I can put this experience to good use within the NCIC Council of Governors.

Having needed the NHS in various different situations I know just how important it is that the service users, carers and local communities are able to have a voice within the NHS locally and nationally. As the Appointed Representative for CNTW I aim to strengthen the partnership between our Trusts and within the communities in North Cumbria. I have been committed to engaging with as many members of the public over in North Cumbria for my current role and I know this will be a great bonus to ensure the NHS goes from strength to strength by including the people we serve in the work and decisions the Trust makes. Without our Members and the public voicing their views, we wouldn’t have the NHS as it is today.

Outside of work I am a carer for my Grandmother and currently I live in Gateshead with a house full of dogs alongside my Mam. Due to my mental health and experiences at mainstream school I went through my secondary years under the Hospital and Home Tuition Service, however straight after achieving my GCSE’s I gained a Youth Work apprenticeship within a regional charity who I had volunteered with for a number of years. I also have a lot of experience on a national level representing the organisations I volunteered with and CNTW as a Governor then member of staff. Some of the events I attended and spoke about my story at include campaign launches hosted in the Houses of Parliament and attended by MPs, NHS/Community and Voluntary Sector Leaders and the general public along with online, radio and printed news. I hope to continue influencing change and giving a voice to everyone, to make sure we are working collaboratively and for a positive and healthy future.

Linda Bell - portrait.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 2.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.