Your Council of Governors

Your current governors have been working in their role as patient, public and staff advocates on the council of governors for the past four years. We hope that you find the following information useful in getting to know a bit more about each of the patient, public and staff governors.

Please click on a link to jump to particular group of governors
  • Patient Constituency Governors
  • Public Constituency Governors
  • Staff Governors

  • Patient Constituency Governors – five seats

    Barry Hoffbrand

    I know the Whittington very well both as a member of staff and a patient. I was a UCH medical student in the children’s department in 1957, a junior doctor in the 1960s and Consultant Physician, heading the renal department from 1970 until my retirement in 1999. I have been Chairman of the physicians committee and Director of the postgraduate medical centre. I also served on the old Enfield and Haringey Area Health Authority and on various Regional Health Authority committees. As a patient I have had two successful orthopaedic operations.

    I have seen many changes at the Whittington and would like to capitalise on the major strengths of the organisation, which, in my opinion, are its sense of community and unity of purpose. Continuity of care is essential, as is good communication between doctors and nurses and with patients and the community services. I enjoy contributing once more to the Whittington in general and its patients in particular.

    Eve Dewhurst

    Having had cancer treatment at the Whittington I enjoy being involved in the work on general environmental conditions and patient facilities and have seen improvements in patient areas, such as in the new critical care and chemotherapy units.

    I have been involved in the Whittington for a number of years before my illness. Belonging as an actor to an organisation called ‘Interact’, I spent time reading to stroke patients on Cloudsley Ward. As a governor, I work to give something back to a wonderful organisation and to make a difference in many areas.

    Mary Slow

    In May 1954 I came to the Whittington Hospital to do my nursing training and have been associated with it ever since. I have always been very well cared for both as an in-patient and outpatient and I wanted to give something back. Marriage and pregnancy led me to give up nursing and I moved to work for Kodak Limited from 1960-90 when I took early retirement. During my time there I was very involved with several groups and committees.

    People and their communities have always been of great interest to me. I have served for many years on my neighbourhood forum and housing panel sub-committee. At present I am an office volunteer worker for Islington and City Credit Union. I feel my experience and knowledge is useful to me as a governor.

    Patricia Harrington

    I have lived locally 35 years and have always appreciated having the Whittington Hospital on my doorstep. I retired from a career in mental health where my jobs have included; Counselling Administrator, Chairman’s Executive Assistant and part time work for ‘MIND’. I enjoy being involved in supporting my local hospital that has always served me well.

    I feel passionate about improving the services for patients and will listen to patients needs. I am very much part of the community in Muswell Hill and will be very active and enthusiastic on behalf of others. I have three children and eight grandchildren and I am very fortunate in that I am well and feel I still have something to offer.
    gerald murphy

    Gerald Murphy

    I live with my wife Fiona in Highgate Village and one daughter lives in the Miltons. We are within walking distance of the Whittington, where I received excellent medical care as an in patient last year. Now that I am 100% fit I would like to use my professional and community experience to put something back into the system.

    I find the Foundation Trust an imaginative new interpretation of Aneurin Bevan’s original concept and the chance to serve on the governing body of the Whittington is a challenge I would like to accept. This significant increase in the representation of the community really could help the Board improve the backup to an excellent medical service, and I have the ability and experience to make a contribution. I have been senior partner in a large architectural practice, qualified in arbitration and with experience in property management. I am presently an architectural consultant.
    My community involvement includes being a JP, Haringey councillor, chair of governors of a secondary school for boys in Finchley, and girls in Hackney. I have for many years been associated with the NHS as a member of the various authorities that commission the Whittington. I am present a Mental Health Manager, and Lay Chair for the London Deanery, the authority responsible for the education and provision of doctors. I am also a member of the Highgate Society and the Islington, Highgate & Muswell Hill Rotary Club.

    Public Constituency Governors – eight seats

    Ron Jacob

    I am a lecturer in physiology at King’s College London, and also indirectly involved with the NHS as a teacher of medical students. My wife works as an interpreter in the NHS – including the Whittington – often with very vulnerable people in the community and this has provided me with an insight into patients’ needs, along with my own experiences, which unfortunately seem to be more frequent as I get older.

    As a public Governor I have an important role to play as a conduit for community and patient views and I facilitate the flow of information from the hospital to the community: helping patients to understand how to access services. Often, headlines highlight problems requiring major policy changes.  I am involved in implementing minor and relatively cheap changes that make a big difference to a patient’s perception of care and give them that all important psychological reassurance.

    Carol Nahra

    My younger son, Dillon, was born at the Whittington in March 2006, with a serious genetic brain condition, which meant that he could not develop, and was plagued by seizures. He spent most of his life on the children’s (Ifor) ward before dying at aged 14 months. He was looked after with great care by a host of doctors, nurses, and other Whittington staff, very few who had ever heard of his condition, but did their best, with the help of Great Ormond Street, to make his short life as comfortable as possible. Spending hours every day at the hospital, I came to understand a bit about how it functioned. I also saw how, despite best intentions, there were many problems with communications, waste, and consistency of care.

    I am an American journalist who previously ran a grants office within a huge bureaucracy – the Maryland Department of Education – so have some understanding of the difficulties of getting large institutions to function smoothly. As a Governor, with my firsthand experience as the mother of a patient, I hope that I help to make lasting improvements at the Whittington, and in so doing pay back some of the debt I owe the hospital for doing so much for my son and family.
    Graham Laurie

    Graham Laurie

    I became a Governor of the Foundation Trust to help the Whittington become a first class foundation hospital, well regarded locally and nationally. I believe I have the analytical, technical and social skills and the experience for this job. I am 67, married with one son (who went to school locally) and I have lived in Highgate since 1972. I am registered with the Highgate Group Practice and I have attended the Whittington as an outpatient on 3 or 4 occasions over the years. I am retired and so now able to put my skills and experience to public use.

    I trained as a Chartered Accountant with Peat Marwick, spent 3 years as a factory accountant, then 5 years as a Management Consultant with P-E Consulting Group both in the UK and overseas, working mainly on management reporting, production planning and control, productivity and organisational assignments. I moved to the international headquarters of Rank Xerox where I worked for 14 years as a Director responsible, at different times, for corporate audit, management consultancy, information systems and accounting. I then spent 12 years with Esselte as Finance Director of their international office supplies division, responsible for financial control, accounting and information systems.
    I would like to help the hospital to be responsive to those who use its services and accountable to those who pay for them. I am familiar with complex organisations, enjoy problem solving and working with people.

    Jeremy Hargreaves

    Becoming a Foundation Trust is an exciting new chapter in the life of Whittington Health. I am determined that we should take full advantage of it, to bring more of our facilities up to a high standard to give patients and local people the best possible treatment and care. In being a Governor my three top priorities are:

  • Giving members, as much opportunity as possible to participate in key decisions affecting the future of the hospital
  • Ensuring that Whittington Health’s services fully respond to what local people need and want
  • Making sure that those who come and stay in hospital enjoy as good an experience as possible.

    For several years I worked at the top level of a local authority to make sure it provided excellent services – particularly making sure it is responsive to what local people want. I am a governor of a fast-improving local secondary school – and have wide experience in running voluntary organisations locally, nationally and abroad. I live locally, and enjoy music, travelling and spending time with my family.
  • Valerie Lang

    I am bringing my whole life's  experience of living with cerebral palsy to the Council of Governors. Although this has resulted in a significant disability, I have gained an honours degree at the London School of Economics, had a career as a qualified librarian and a Senior Research Officer with the Civil Aviation Authority. I have lived in Islington for the past 40 years.

    I have served on the Boards of a number of Charities, both national and local, including Scope (Mobility Choice, Home Share, Richard Cloudesley’s Charity, Caris Islington, the Islington Deanery Synod, and the London Diocesan Synod. For eight years I was a member of the Disabled Person’s Transport Advisory Committee, which advised the Government on making transport, particularly public transport, accessible to disabled people. I am currently a member of the Moorfields and Whittington Research Ethics Committee.

    As a Governor, I am particularly concerned to see that the needs of people with disabilities are met when they use health services for both, pre-existing or long term disability. I aim to put some of these problems into a fresh perspective for my fellow Governors and represent these views when meeting with staff involved in service developments.

    Brian Potter

    For the last ten years, I have, on a voluntary basis, devoted most of my time to issues relating to social housing and tenants’ welfare in the London Borough of Islington. I hold an Honours degree in law, and currently chair the Federation of Islington Tenants Associations (FITA), which services 40,000 residents in the borough and, additionally sit as a director on the board of the Islington Voluntary Action Council (IVAC).

    I am very supportive of inclusion of the public in decision making wherever possible. I have received both excellent and indifferent hospital care over my lifetime and feel that I have the experience and ability to provide an open and fair-minded attitude to problem solving. Since most of my time is spent in association with the general public, I feel that the expertise, which I bring to the Council of Governors, is essentially that of a grass roots nature with a deeply profound understanding of the expectations and requirements of both staff and patients.

    Margot Joan Dunn

    I have many years of experience of working with local people to represent their needs.

    I have been an elected Councillor and Mayor of Islington and was Islington Council’s first Older People’s Champion, working with staff from the Council and a range of other organisations, including the health service. As an experienced school governor I am used to playing the supportive role of a governor, while also appropriately challenging the staff, and making links with the local community.

    I have lived in Holloway for many years. There is obviously a lot to do engage local people more in their local health services– and I bring my experience  to help Whittington Health do that.
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    Staff Governors – four seats

    Recep Suleyman – elected to the other clinical staff seat

    I joined the Whittington Hospital in 1982 as a Senior Radiographer and now work as Imaging Services Manager. I represent some of the spectrum of the ethnic population in the area and I understand many of the issues of our diverse population in which I have many links.

    As a resident of the catchment area, I want to know that my family will choose Whittington  Health as their care provider.   As a professional, I wish to be associated with an outstanding healthcare provider. As an employee, I want Whittington Health to be an excellent local employer, for both friends and colleagues.
    Working on it!