NHS Devon has announced new partner members to its diverse board who bring specialist knowledge and lived experience from a wide range of sectors, including the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector.
Speaking about the appointments, Dr Sarah Wollaston, chair of NHS Devon, said: “I am absolutely delighted with the partner member appointments we’ve made to our NHS Devon board and extend a warm welcome to our new team.
“We’ve taken a different and unique approach to other areas by considering a broader representation and extending the invite to the VCSE sector as we recognise the key role they play in supporting people to stay well.
“As a result, I’m proud that our board is now hugely diverse including people with lived experiences, from ethnic diversities, and LGBTQ+ communities that will help us to make decisions in the best interests of our communities.”
NHS Devon’s board includes five specialist partner members covering: mental health, learning disabilities and neurodiversity; primary care; NHS trusts; local authorities; and prevention and health inequalities.
They support the board, which also includes executive and non-executive members, to join up and improve care in Devon.
Sarah-Lou Glover – partner member for mental health, learning disabilities and neurodiversity (voting member)
Sarah-Lou Glover is the founding member of Parental Minds C.I.C – a local voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisation that connects different mental health services together through a network of more than 100 members.
With a particular passion for children and young people’s mental health, Sarah-Lou has been involved in multiple projects that support children and young people, including chairing a Devon prevention programme.
As a mental health caregiver, Sarah-Lou has knowledge of the wide range of mental health services and has taught thousands of families to use sign language with their children from birth.
Sarah-Lou is also an Ambassador Volunteer for the Devon Information Advice and Support (DIAS) which supports children, families and carers with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
Sarah-Lou said: “I am excited to be part of NHS Devon and looking forward to keeping mental health, learning disabilities and neurodiversity at the forefront of people’s minds.
“I’m extremely passionate about mental health, co-production and taking a person-centred approach that includes not only the individual, but their family and the network of support around them.
“I think it’s fantastic that the board has representation from the VCSE sector as it shows that NHS Devon recognises the vital role it plays in supporting people in their communities.
“As a member of the sector myself, I know how hard the many local VCSE organisations and groups work and the invaluable care they give to people, and I can’t wait to work with them and our many other partners and communities as part of NHS Devon.”
Dr Frank O’Kelly – partner member for primary care (voting member)
A qualified doctor for more than 35 years, Dr Frank O’Kelly has worked across Devon for 27 of them. Including time in hospitals in Plymouth and Exeter.
Dr O’Kelly has been a GP partner in Tiverton for 23 years and is the vice chair of the Eastern Primary Care Collaborative Board. He has extensive prior experience as a GP Anaesthetist, GP with a special interest in Emergency and Unscheduled care and worked on the wards in Tiverton Hospital for 20 years.
Prior to becoming a GP, Dr O’Kelly spent six years working as a doctor in the Royal Navy, with more than half that time spent with the Royal Marines in Devon and Somerset, which included a deployment to Iraq.
As a father to five adopted children, two of whom have learning difficulties, Dr Frank O’Kelly has personal and professional experiences across a wide range of health and social care services.
Frank said: “I am proud to have joined NHS Devon’s board and believe we have a real opportunity to do something different that will benefit our people and communities.
“With my background, I’m here for all the people Devon including patients, communities and staff, which I will do through the lens of primary care partners including GPs, primary care networks, dentists, optometrists and pharmacists.
“I am absolutely passionate about representing the people of Devon, particularly those who face health inequalities because, in my view, that’s what these new arrangements are all about.”
Sarah-Lou Glover and Dr Frank O’Kelly are joined by three other partner members on NHS Devon’s board:
Steve Brown – partner member for population health and prevention (voting member)
Steve Brown is the director of public health, communities and prosperity for Devon County Council – a role he has held since January 2021.
Steve previously worked for the NHS in Devon in director of public health and as the assistant director for public health roles.
He transferred to the council when public health was moved to local authorities in 2013, and has also worked for Cornwall Council and the Isles of Scilly.
Tracey Lee – partner member for local authorities (voting member)
Tracey Lee has been the chief executive for Plymouth City Council since 2012 and chairs the Plymouth Local Care Partnership (LCP) which brings together partners across the city to join up and improve care.
Tracey also leads work at a regional level, including as the lead chief executive for the Heart of the South West Joint Committee, and was instrumental in the establishment of the Plymouth Education Board, which brings together schools across the city.
Liz Davenport – partner member for acute trusts (voting member)
Liz Davenport is the chief executive of Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust and has worked in the health and care sector for more than 30 years.
Having originally qualified as an occupational therapist, Liz has since had a varied career in the mental health, learning disability, acute, community and social care services.
Liz has a passion for service transformation and workforce and culture change and was heavily involved in the innovative integrated model of health and care in Torbay.
About NHS Devon
NHS Devon was formed on 1 July 2022 and decides how its £2.3 billion NHS budget is spent in Devon and develops a plan to improve people’s health, deliver higher-quality care and better value for money.
The full board membership is available to view on NHS Devon’s website.
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