Neil Carr OBENeil Carr

Chief Executive 

Neil is a seasoned CEO dedicated to enhancing patient outcomes. He spearheaded South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Trust's transition to Foundation Trust status in 2006 before assuming the CEO role the following year. In 2018, he facilitated the merger that created Midlands Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust. With a nursing background, Neil's expertise lies in mental health services, notably in areas like eating disorders, perinatal mental health, and psychiatric intensive care. His leadership has propelled the Trust into a prominent position in education and research, earning it full university trust status from Keele University in April 2023. Neil chairs the West Midlands Clinical Research Network and oversees initiatives in end-of-life care, long-term conditions, and frailty. Honoured with an OBE in 2005, Fellowship of the Royal College of Nursing in 2010, and two Honorary Doctorates from the University of Staffordshire and Keele University, Neil's contributions to healthcare are widely acknowledged. 

Steve GrangeSteve Grange

Director of Strategy and Strategic Transformation and Deputy Chief Executive 

Steve has worked across many NHS sectors including the Department of Health, Strategic Health Authority, Modernisation Agency, primary care, specialised services, acute sector and in the USA with the US veterans.  He has a background in specialised clinical and IT purchasing, reforming emergency care, the development of strategic clinical networks and a wide experience of general acute management in community, primary, secondary and tertiary care.

Alex BrettAlex Brett

Chief People Officer 

Alex started her career originally as a nurse and was Professional Lead for District Nursing across North Staffordshire in conjunction with a Lecturer in Nursing role at Keele University, before moving on to operationally leading and managing community services in Stoke-on-Trent. She went on to pursue a career in Organisational and Workforce Development which progressed to her leading the full range of workforce and development services for many years, before she became a Board level Director. She is also a qualified Executive Coach and Team Coach. She has a Master of Arts degree in Management Learning and Leadership from Lancaster University (Business School) and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

Dr Abid KhanAbid Khan

Medical Director 

Dr Abid Khan is a Consultant Psychiatrist and the Clinical Lead for the Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at St. George's Hospital, Stafford. He has been involved in medical management for a number of years. He has past experience of being a Clinical Director of Mental Health Services for 13 years and held the office of Associate Medical Director and Deputy Medical Director before taking up his current role. In addition to the Medical Director role he also oversees the Caldicott Guardian role for the Trust.  Research and Innovation, Pharmacy, Library Services, Medical Staffing and Medical Education all sit within the Medical Directorate and are overseen by Dr Khan.

Liz LockettLiz Lockett

Chief Nurse & Director of Quality & Professional Leadership 

Liz is a Registered Mental Health Nurse and has been qualified for 33 years. She has worked in a number of specialist nursing roles including that of Eating Disorders Clinical Nurse Specialist, but she started her NHS career as a nursing assistant.

Quality Improvement, Risk and Governance have driven her career over the past 17 years, and for the last 14 years she has worked for the Trust in senior leadership roles managing the quality agenda. She has never stepped away from her nursing roots and was therefore delighted in June of last year to take on the role of Chief Nurse.

Her executive portfolio spans sustainability, safety, involvement and experience, quality improvement and Health & Safety/Fire Safety, CQC regulatory performance, professional accountability for nursing and leadership accountability for psychological services and AHP. There are a number of specialities within the nursing portfolio that she takes executive accountability for which include Safeguarding, EPRR, Safer Staffing and Infection Prevention and Control.

Chris SandsChris Sands

Chief Financial Officer  

Chris is Chief Financial Officer at Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. He is an economics graduate and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. He has worked in the NHS for over 27 years, the last 15 as a Board member. Chris joined MPFT in November 2021 after 10 years as Deputy Chief Executive / Chief Financial and Strategy Officer at Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust, a specialist community services provider. Prior to that, he was Director of Finance and Compliance for Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which is a specialist mental health provider.

Chris has extensive experience of developing financial strategies, financial plans and financial control systems. He has led two organisations successfully through the Foundation Trust application process, led major transactions, and worked with partners to deliver system transformation to improve outcomes and value for money. He is passionate about staff development, and is also an active member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA).

As Chief Financial Officer, Chris is responsible for finance, performance, procurement, payroll, estates and facilities at MPFT.

Mel BallMelanie Ball

Director for Lived Experience 

Mel joined MPFT in 2023, she was previously the Head of Lived Experience Workforce at Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust.

She started her career as a peer worker in a therapeutic community. Since then, she has worked in a diverse range of settings across a number of voluntary, community and NHS organisations. Mel has worked in services across CAMHS, adult inpatient and community mental health, high secure services, and in a prison.

Mel is also a public speaker, trainer, researcher and supervisor. She has taught at a number of universities and she has published regularly throughout her career on the topic of lived experience working.

Jo CowcherJo Cowcher

Director of Social Care 

Jo began her career as a Social Worker in a generic adult team before moving to a mental health team and remains a registered social worker to this day.  From there Jo has taken a number of leadership roles which have been focussed both on adult social care and integrated health and social care team.  Jo has specific interests in mental health and older people and the impact that physical health has upon this, safeguarding and driving forward the quality of social work and social care practice.  She is committed to keeping social care high on the agenda of the organisation.  Jo’s current joint role with Staffordshire County Council gives her responsibility across all adult social care in Staffordshire.      

Richard MorrisRichard Morris

Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications (Company Secretary)

Richard has a strong background in communications, engagement and governance across both the public and private sector. He has spent the last 15 years within the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland NHS system, mostly recently as Deputy Director of People and Innovation for the Integrated Care Board.

Richard's portfolio includes corporate governance and company secretariat, membership, legal affairs, equality and inclusion and communications.

Martyn PerryMartyn Perry

Acting Chief Digital Information Officer 

Martyn is a passionate leader in health and care with over 15 years of experience within digital roles, joining the Trust in 2009. During his time at the Trust, Martyn has project managed many key initiatives such as The Redwoods Centre inpatient new build in Shropshire, and broadened his scope of responsibilities beyond digital to establish the Trust's Project Management Office (PMO) in October 2015. In 2018 Martyn programme managed the successful Trust-wide merger process with NHS Improvement before focussing solely on digital once more as Deputy Director.

Martyn led the Trust's successful COVID-19 digitisation response in 2020 and authored the Trust's digital strategy in 2021. Martyn holds many digital and transformation best practice professional qualifications, is a certified CHCIO and BCS CITP member, a local school governor, and a board member of the Digital Poverty Alliance which focusses on supporting digital inclusion.

In 2023 Martyn was ranked 2nd in the UK CIO100 awards.

Jacqueline SmallJacqueline Small


Jacqueline Small has extensive experience of working in leadership roles within the NHS and local government where she has held a range senior Public Health management and executive level roles. She joined the Board from the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust where she served as a Non-Executive Director since 2017.

Jane GaddumJane Gaddum.jpg

Interim Vice Chair and Non-Executive Director

Jane is MPFT’s interim Vice Chair and Senior Independent Director. She joined the Board of MPFT in 2018, adding corporate memory and understanding from one of the antecedent Trusts where she served as a Non-Executive Director. Jane brings commercial and decision-making experience from her career in global life sciences. Alongside her role at MPFT, Jane runs a business from the Staffordshire Moorlands.

Simmy AkhtarSimmy Akhtar

Non-Executive Director

Simmy has been CEO at Air Ambulances UK since March 2021 where she is responsible for strategic and overall operational delivery. She is currently a trustee at Support Staffordshire which provides countywide support for the Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise sector, and in previous trustee roles she sat on the finance committee. Previous to this Simmy worked for several years at Healthwatch and has a background in the private legal and public sectors.

Pauline GibsonPauline Gibson

Non-Executive Director

Pauline joined the Board as an experienced Non-Executive Director from Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust.   Pauline has a mixed background of public and private sector experience, more recently as Director of Excel Coaching and Consultancy Limited, specialising in strategic leadership and transformational culture change. Pauline is currently a Trustee at a Multi Academy Trust (United Endeavour Trust) where she is engaged to bring people and culture expertise to the Board. Pauline has also worked within NHS environments in a consultant capacity.

Mark LargeMark Large

Non-Executive Director

Mark Large joined the Board having been a successful healthcare consultant with clients including NHS and private sector clients. Mark has a mixed background of public and private sector experience, including 13 years employment in the NHS with experience across multiple care settings (acute, tertiary specialist, community and mental Health). Work in the private sector includes more than eight years at Oracle Corporation (UK).

Debbie NixonDebbie Nixon

Non-Executive Director

Debbie Nixon joined the Board from Black Country Health Care NHS Foundation Trust, formerly Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, where she served as Non Executive Director from April 2018. Debbie is a Registered Nurse and District Nurse and has worked in a variety of roles, including a Senior Consultant for The National Institute of Mental Health England, an accredited Gateway Reviewer for the Department of Health and Specialist Advisor for The Innovation Agency -North West Coast.

Simon PearceSimon Pearce

Non-Executive Director

Simon is a Chartered Accountant with extensive experience of governance and financial management, most recently as Company Secretary and Director of Corporate Governance of the Financial Conduct Authority. Prior to this, his career encompassed numerous Company Secretary or Financial Director roles in a wide range of industries. Simon is a non-executive director of the Uttoxeter Learning Trust, a Multi-Academy Trust operating nine schools in Staffordshire.

Jennie CollierJennie Collier

Managing Director, Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent Care Group

Cathy RileyCathy Riley

Managing Director, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin Care Group

Howard KingHoward King

Managing Director, Specialist Services

Howard is a qualified Social Worker and trained Probation Officer who started work within the criminal justice system before working in both the voluntary sector and the NHS. With extensive experience in health based custodial and community services targeted at the most vulnerable and excluded people, Howard has a passion for ensuring that we deliver high quality and effective services for those at the margins of society. He joined Inclusion Services in 2009 before becoming Head of Inclusion in 2012. Howard became the Managing Director for Specialist Services when MPFT was formed in 2018. He has extensive experience of service development which is underpinned by a commitment to partnership working, service user involvement, and innovation.

Across his career he has been actively engaged in the commercial aspects of health leading a number of successful tenders across a diverse range of service types. With services nationally in a number of prions, community and inpatient locations the Specialist Group encourages managers to develop local responses to meet the diverse needs of the different communities we work in. Howard believes passionately that this devolved style of decision making ensures we deliver both effective and focused services for our patients.

Claire Bailey.jpgClaire Bailey

Managing Director, Children and Families Care Group