The newly created South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust has appointed five new non-executive directors.

The Trust is managed by a trust board, which is made up of executive and non-executive members, under the chairmanship of Sukhdev Sharma. The non-executive directors are members of the local community and are involved in key decisions about the way the Trust is run and organised. The new non-executive directors are:

Mr Gary Dimmock: Mr Dimmock, who lives in Huddersfield, followed university by working as a teacher before leaving to research in History and Race. He worked for 7 years as a social worker with special responsibility for minority ethnic groups and then at Huddersfield Technical College before joining Leeds Metropolitan University in 1996. Gary is now principal lecturer and head of the Social Work Department at Leeds Metropolitan University. Gary joined the Labour Party formally in 1979 and became a member of Kirklees Council in 1989. He served as chair of the Social Services Committee from 1991 to 1999 and became council leader 1999-2000. During 2000-2001, Gary held cabinet responsibility for resources and from 2001-2002 he held cabinet responsibility for health. Gary stepped down as labour leader in March 2002 but remains a councillor for the Paddock ward.

Professor Anne Gregory: Anne Gregory is Director of the Centre for Public Relations Studies at Leeds Metropolitan University and she is the UK’s only full-time professor of public relations. Originally a journalist (BBC), Anne spent 10 years in public relations practice at senior levels both in-house and in consultancy before moving on to an academic career. Anne is a member of the Council of the Institute of Public Relations (IPR) and was created a Fellow in 1999. In 2001 the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire region of the IPR voted her Public Relations Professional of the Year. Anne edits the Public Relations in Practice series of books and writes for and appears regularly in the local and national press. Anne lives in Huddersfield and from January 2000 to March 2002 was a non-executive director for Bradford Community Health Trust with special responsibility for communication issues.

Mr Thiruvenkatar Krishnapillai: Mr Krishnapillai, who lives in Brighouse, worked as an NHS nurse for 17 years, mainly in the London area. After leaving the area he became self-employed, and has managed a nursing and residential home for the past 14 years. He has been a member of the Calderdale Community Health Council for the past 8 years and has been vice-chair for the past 4 years. He has also been involved in the Community Care Sub-Group, which has involved him in a variety of issues regarding mental health. He is the chair of the Independent Care Home Owners Association which sees him liasing with the local authority on various issues that affect care home owners. He is also a member of the Brighouse Regeneration Association and is involved in the allocation of funds that benefit community projects in the Brighouse area.

Mr Denis Sunderland: Mr Sunderland, of Pontefract, trained as a general nurse at Pontefract General Infirmary and worked in the NHS for 25 years in a variety of clinical and managerial positions. Denis worked for the Royal College of Nursing for 18 years and acted as a spokesperson for Yorkshire on all health related matters. Denis was appointed Justice of the Peace for Pontefract in 1984 and in addition to bench duty he is an approved chairman and chairs the court on a regular basis. Denis was previously vice-chairman of the Pontefract Community Health Council and also served as a non-executive director for Wakefield and Pontefract Community Health NHS Trust since November 2000.

Mrs Jan Wilson: Mrs Wilson lives in Holmfirth and has worked in Kirklees, Calderdale, the West Midlands and the North West as an assistant director in social services. From 1996 to 2000 she was a member of the Calderdale and Kirklees Health Authority Board and Health Authority representative on the Calderdale Primary Care Group, chairing the Nursing Homes Advisory Panel until March 2002. Mrs Wilson currently serves as vice-chair of Hinchliffe Mill Junior & Infant School Board of Governors and is an independent inspector with Kirklees Metropolitan Council. She has also previously been a board member of Kirklees and Calderdale Health Action Zone (HAZ), Age Concern and Crossroads. Mrs Wilson is also still involved with the North West Business Management Group which comprises senior managers from health and social care services in the region.

Chairman of the South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust, Sukhdev Sharma, welcomed the new non-executive directors, saying, ‘I am delighted to welcome our new colleagues. They have been appointed for the skill and expertise they will bring to the Trust and together we can continue to develop high quality services for people with learning disabilities and mental health problems in the local area.’

The newly appointed non-executive directors will attend their first board meeting on Thursday 13 June at 10am, in the Board Room at Fieldhead Hospital, Ouchthorpe Lane, Wakefield.


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