Simon Banks, Chief Officer
Simon Banks joined NHS Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in April 2017 as Chief Officer. He is also the Senior Responsible Officer for the Healthy Wirral Programme.
Simon has worked in health and care in either the voluntary sector or the NHS for his whole career.
Simon’s experience in the voluntary sector came through working as a Patient Advocate with the Citizens’ Advice Bureau in Ashworth Hospital. He then worked for Age Concern Cheshire in roles that encompassed information and advice, lobbying and campaigning.
Simon joined the NHS in July 2000 as Chief Officer, Warrington Community Health Council before moving to work in Warrington Community Healthcare NHS Trust and 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Trust, which were NHS provider organisations and in which he held roles that supported the Trust Board and Executive Team.
Simon has also worked in commissioning in specialised services, NHS Halton and St Helens Primary Care Trust (PCT) and as Chief Officer of NHS Halton CCG.
Dr Paula Cowan, Chair
Having qualified in 1995 from the Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin, Dr Cowan practised in Internal Medicine, Critical Care, and Anaesthesia within Ireland. In 2001, she embarked on a career in Primary care and completed General Practice training through the Mersey Deanery. Dr Cowan has been a GP partner at the Eastham Group Practice since 2003.
Dr Cowan has been involved in Wirral CCG activity since 2010, as Executive Board member for Wirral Health Commissioning Consortium, and also as Urgent Care lead for Wirral Health Commissioning Consortium from 2012-2015.
She was an active Wirral LMC committee member and held the position of vice chair from 2007-2013.
In April 2015 Dr Cowan was appointed to the role of Clinical Lead for Urgent Care at Wirral CCG which she held until November 2016. This role involved leading on key projects, encouraging integrated working across partner organisations aiming to facilitate transformational change in the delivery of urgent care.
She continued partnership and system working and lead on many projects including the Digital Programme as Medical Director, a post which she held from November 2016 until her recent appointment as Chair NHS Wirral CCG.
Dr Cowan commenced in post as Chair, on July 1st 2019.
Dr Simon Delaney, Medical Director
Dr Delaney grew up on Wirral. He was an undergraduate at Nottingham University before returning to Wirral for his GP training.
He has been a partner at Sunlight Group Practice for 14 years. He is also a GP trainer and appraiser.
He was elected as Medical Director of Wirral CCG in July 2019.
Mike Treharne, Chief Financial Officer
Mike Treharne is a finance professional with some 34 years’ experience in the NHS.
He has been a Director of Finance within the North West for some 19 years, and has worked extensively across the NHS at a very senior finance level in PCTs, District Health Authorities, University Teaching Hospitals, DGH’s and community trusts/FT in Wales, West Suffolk, West Cumbria, St Helens & Knowsley, and Wigan.
He has completed the NHS Leadership Centre and Kings Fund Executive Director Development Programme: undertaken applied study tours to Berkeley and Harvard Universities; and visited Melbourne Australia to compare health services in the Victoria State.
Lorna Quigley, Director of Quality and Patient Safety
Lorna commenced her NHS career 33 years ago training as a Nurse at Walton and Fazakerley Hospitals. Lorna then went on to various other roles within the voluntary sector and NHS within general management, acute hospital trusts, primary care trust and now NHS Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group.
Lorna’s previous roles have included Clinical Management, Lead Cancer Nurse and Assistant Director of Service Development, and other clinical and quality related roles.
Lorna’s current role at the CCG is Director of Quality & Patient Safety and this involves monitoring the quality of services that are commissioned by the CCG against agreed standards, responsibility as Executive Lead for Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults.
Paul Edwards, Director of Corporate Affairs
Paul has worked in the NHS since 1993 in a variety of roles, including management positions in Business Development, Primary Care Contracting, Commissioning and clinical service provision. He holds an Honours degree, post graduate qualifications in Health Economics and a Masters in Business Administration.
Paul’s current role as ‘Director of Corporate Affairs’ involves leading on all aspects of corporate governance and ensuring that the CCG’s business ins undertaken to the highest standards of probity and according to statutory and regulatory requirements. He is the CCG’s lead for Emergency Planning and Business Continuity, Workforce, Communications and Engagement, Risk Management and the CCG’s Compliance Team.
Nesta Hawker, Director of Commissioning.
Nesta joined the NHS 30 years ago as a student mental health nurse in North Wales. Since completing her nurse training Nesta has had a variety of roles within the NHS including various nursing roles, general management with a multi-agency substance misuse team and commissioning both on a regional and national basis. She completed her Masters in Health Service Management in South Wales in 2007. Most recently, Nesta’s role was involved in commissioning of specialised services on a national basis.
Nesta was appointed as Director of Commissioning in July 2015. Her current responsibilities include leading on the development of the strategic and operational plan of the Clinical Commissioning Group by reviewing the needs of the people of Wirral and by working with partners to deliver the health services to meet these needs. She is involved in the planning, delivery, agreement and monitoring of the majority of the health services and their outcomes received by the population of the Wirral. She is committed to working with patients, carers, member practices and partner organisations to improve patients’ experience and outcomes of health care and to ensure that services are effective for patients.
Graham Hodkinson – Director of Health and Care , Deputy Chief Officer Wirral Health and Care Commissioning
Graham is a social worker by background. He has been the Director of Social Care in Wirral since 2012. He has led programmes of work to ensure that adult social care has become fully integrated with health care in Wirral in order to offer people the Right Care, in the Right Place at the Right Time. He is committed to ensuring that Wirral Health and Care Commissioning leads the health and care system to deliver improved outcomes for the people of Wirral.
Graham is responsible for ensuring that strategic plans across Wirral’s Health and Care system are properly joined up to deliver improved outcomes for the people of Wirral and that resources are used effectively in this aim. He is specifically responsible for health and care place based planning aligned to broader outcomes, community services and housing for vulnerable people, oversight and assurance of the business plan through a single programme management office.
Graham holds the statutory responsibility of Director Adult Social Services on behalf of Wirral Council.
Julie Webster, Acting Director for Health and Wellbeing
Julie has been the acting Director for Health and Wellbeing for Wirral Council since August 2017.
She is responsible for monitoring and improving the health status of local people, advising on strategies to reduce inequalities, identifying health needs, developing programmes to reduce risk and the provision of public health evidence and expertise to support commissioning of services.
She has a particular interest in the use of insight to develop public health interventions and is a strong advocate for social justice and the role of the citizen in local services. She is the DPH lead for work to tackle alcohol misuse and is involved in local research on the introduction of a minimum unit price for alcohol.
Dr Laxman Ariaraj, GP Lead Planned Care
Dr Laxman Ariaraj trained at the University of Sheffield Medical School and, after working in hospital specialities in Sheffield, Warrington and in Queensland, Australia, he returned to complete GP training in Liverpool. He became a member of the Royal College of General Practitioners and then joined the team at Paxton Medical Centre in Birkenhead, where he is a GP partner providing General Medical Care, Minor Surgery and Family Planning advice.
He is a GP trainer and the practice lead for Child Health. He also works as an Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopist at Arrowe Park Hospital.
In May 2015, Dr Ariaraj took up the post as Wirral CCG Clinical Lead for Planned Care. He sits on the Governing Body and Systems Resilience Group and works closely with colleagues in several areas of health care.
Dr Sian Stokes, GP Long Term Conditions
Dr Stokes graduated from St George’s Hospital Medical School, London in 1998. She moved to Manchester in 2000 to complete her vocational training in General Practice. In 2007, Sian moved to the Wirral and took up a partnership at Grove Medical Centre in Wallasey, which has recently merged to become The Village Medical Centre.
In addition to her work as a practising GP, Sian has an interest in GP education and works as a GP trainer. In 2012 she was elected to the Board of Wirral Health Commissioning Consortium. During this role she undertook work with the GP training forum as well as chairing the Wallasey ‘cluster’ group of GP’s.
Dr Helen Downs, GP Lead Urgent Care
Dr Downs trained at Birmingham University and qualified in 1990. She moved to the Wirral the same year and completed GP vocational training at the end of 1995.
She joined Civic Medical Centre, Bebington in January 1996 and is senior partner at the practice. Dr Downs has served on the LMC and was prescribing lead for Bebington and West Wirral PCT.
Dr Downs has an interest in diabetes having completed the certificate in diabetic care in 2006, she also holds the DRCOG and DFFP. She is also a GP trainer and involved in the education of University of Liverpool medical students.
Dr Downs was also awarded a fellowship of the RCGP in November 2017.
Dr Richard Sturgess, Secondary Care Doctor
Dr Sturgess is a Consultant Hepatologist at Aintree Hospital NHS Trust. He qualified from The Middlesex Hospital Medical School, London in 1984. He trained in gastroenterology and hepatology in London and Liverpool. He was appointed as a consultant in 1995. He has extensive experience in clinical leadership and is currently Deputy Medical Director of his trust, having previously been Director of Digestive Disease. His clinical interests include hepatology and hepatobiliary disease.
His previous roles outside of his Trust include Merseyside Modernisation Lead for Endoscopy and Director of the Cheshire and Merseyside Bowel Cancer Screening Program.
Lesley Doherty, Registered Nurse
Lesley qualified as an RN in 1979 and RM in 1980. She became a Director of Nursing in 1998 and undertook a secondment to the DH leading on nursing recruitment and retention. Moving to Bolton Hospitals NHS Trust as Director of Nursing in 2003 she became CEO in 2010 developing a national and internal reputation for lean in healthcare.
Lesley has held national roles as Chair of the Neonatal Nursing Association, regional lead for the National Leadership Programme, a member of the DH’s National HCAI Prevention Advisory Group 2006/9 and one of the Clinical Advisors on the NHS Constitution. Lesley now works in consultancy and coaching support and is the Lay Member / Registered Nurse for Wirral CCG.
Linda Roberts, Lay Member – Quality and Outcomes
Linda Roberts has worked in the Public, Private and Voluntary Sectors during her working life. Most recently Linda was the CEO of a large disability charity that worked primarily in the areas of Health, Social Care & Education across 11 Local Authority Areas and 8 Health organisations.
Linda has a B.A. Hons degree in Politics and an NVQ Level V in strategic management. She has a particular interest in the provision of high-quality public services.
Linda has lived in Wirral since birth and is passionate about improving the life chances of all but notably those who are disadvantaged in any way.
Alan Whittle, Lay Member – Audit and Governance
Alan’s professional background is in finance, and he has been a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) since 1977. He has spent his entire career in the public services, beginning with 16 years in a variety of finance roles in Local Authorities, before moving to the NHS in 1988.
He retired from the position of Chief Executive at an NHS Foundation Trust in Essex in 2013. His key skills and interests are in financial management, corporate governance, business strategy, board development and regulatory compliance.
Alan has 23 years’ experience at Board level in NHS acute hospitals, 13 as Finance Director and 10 as CEO, and includes in his achievements the successful leadership of the application to become a first wave Foundation Trust in 2004, and overseeing the delivery of statutory financial duties for 23 consecutive years. Alan has led on all aspects of NHS service developments including the establishment of the £60 million regional Essex Cardiothoracic Centre in 2007.
Alan has family roots in Liverpool and moved to Merseyside from Essex in 2015. He was appointed as Lay Member (Audit and Governance) for Wirral CCG in June 2015.
Sylvia Cheater MBE, Lay Member – Patient Champion
Sylvia has a background working in public health and dental public health, at both local and regional levels. Her previous roles include Regional Food and Nutrition Lead for the Department of Health NW, where she was responsible for the implementation and evaluation of public health programmes to reduce inequalities.
Some of her achievements include the leadership of ‘Best Start for Life’ (guidance for food, nutrition, play and physical activity for early years childcare), which was implemented regionally through a local authority and primary care partnership network.
She worked in partnership with Government Office North West (Children and Learners) on health in the school setting. She was responsible for the delivery of the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme working with schools, distributors and growers across the region. Her particular interests are in reducing inequalities, food and nutrition, oral health and early years. She is a Charitable Trustee of Henry www.henry.org.uk and the Institute of Health Promotion and Education www.IHPE.org.uk.
She was awarded the MBE in 2016 for voluntary work with women and communities in Cheshire.
Sylvia joined the Audit Committee as Lay Member in 2013 and the Governing Body as Patient Champion in April 2017.