Our Board

Our Board

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The day to day management of Alder Hey is undertaken by our Board of Directors who work with a Council of Governors elected from our membership base to achieve our strategic aims and objectives.

The Board agreed our overarching strategy in 2011/12 which set out a four year direction of travel until 2016. In December 2015 and following the move to our new hospital, this strategy was refreshed and finalised in April 2016 for the next five years. The Board agreed that Alder Hey’s original purpose and vision remain relevant today and will be unchanged until 2020.

Our priorities are set out in our Strategic Plan, supported by our Operational Plan. Our board of eight Executive Directors, five Non-Executive Directors and our Chair meet 11 times a year to review and shape Alder Hey’s aims and objectives.

Agendas and minutes for board meetings held in the previous twelve months are available to download in the Publications section. Meetings are open to the public and are held in the Boardroom from 10am to 3pm.

Our Board

Dame Jo Williams, Chair

Dame Jo Williams

Dame Jo joined Alder Hey in November 2016. She trained at Keele University as a social worker alongside studying for a dual honours degree. Once qualified she spent the next 30 years in the public sector; the last ten as a Director of Social Services firstly in the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan and then Cheshire County Council. She then worked for five years as Chief Executive of the Royal Mencap Society. Her full time working career concluded with a three year period as Chair of the Care Quality Commission.

Twice honoured by the Queen, she received a CBE in 2000 and a DBE in 2008. Dame Jo has always been driven by a passion for equality of opportunity, fairness and justice and is a strong believer in team work and partnership. Currently the Chair of Vivo Care Services, a member of Keele University Council, a trustee of Dartington Hall Trust and a Deputy Lieutenant in Cheshire.

Louise Shepherd CBE, Chief Executive

Louise ShepherdLouise joined Alder Hey as Chief Executive in March 2008 since when she has led the Trust through a major transformation into Europe's only Children's Health Park, designed by and for children and young people and opened by Her Majesty the Queen in 2016.  The Park aims to provide a unique wellbeing and healing environment for all children and young people and comprises a state of the art specialist children's hospital, dedicated research and education facilities, an innovation centre, clinical research facility and family support and bereavement centre. 

Previously CEO of Liverpool Women's Hospital, Louise first joined the NHS as Director of Business Development at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital in 1993 from KPMG, where she spent four years as a financial and management consultant to the public sector. A qualified accountant, Louise was Director of Finance at the Countess of Chester NHS Foundation Trust before she took over as CEO at Liverpool Women’s Hospital. From March 2016 Louise was the lead for the Cheshire and Merseyside Sustainability and Transformation Programme, working with partners across the system to take forward the NHS Five Year Forward View in the local area. She stepped down from this role in May 2017.


A graduate of the University of Cambridge, Louise has a strong interest in the Arts and served on the Board of The Liverpool Philharmonic for six years and plays violin for the Liverpool Mozart Orchestra.  Louise was awarded a CBE for services to Healthcare in 2017. 


Executive Directors

John Grinnell, Finance Director and Deputy CEO

john_grinnell.jpgJohn joined Alder Hey in April 2017 as Director of Finance and Deputy Chief Executive. His NHS career began via the National Finance Graduate Trainee scheme, and he has worked in a variety of roles, including the Deputy Director of Performance at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire, and Deputy Director of Finance at South Manchester University Hospital.

He joined The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation (RJAH) Trust in Oswestry as Director of Finance in 2008 and played a key role in supporting the organisation’s successful Foundation Trust application. He also worked with the Strategic Orthopaedic Alliance (SOA) to ensure that the voice of specialist orthopaedic providers is heard within the national financial agenda.

John became Acting Chief Executive at RJAH in October 2015 until taking up the position of Deputy Chief Executive on 1 April 2016. This was the role in which he remained until joining Alder Hey a year later.


Adam Bateman - Chief Operating Officer

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Adam was appointed Chief Operating Officer in April 2018. Prior to this Adam held a number of senior operational management roles in the NHS with responsibility for emergency, medical, surgical and community services.

In 2019 Adam secured the Executive Healthcare Leadership award following completion of the national Nye Bevan leadership programme. He also holds an MSc degree in Healthcare Leadership from the University of Manchester. Through the NHS Leadership Academy Adam successfully undertook a healthcare information fellowship at GlaxoSmithKline.

Adam has a particular interest in quality improvement and has worked on a number of successful projects, including the design and build of new cancer treatment units. He has also played a key role in the development of partnerships in Liverpool to provide high quality congenital cardiac and neonatal services to patients.


Hilda Gwilliams, Chief Nurse

Hilda Gwilliams

Hilda joined the Alder Hey team in February 2013 as Deputy Director of Nursing and was appointed as Chief Nurse in 2017. She started her career in the NHS as an Enrolled Nurse in 1982 before progressing to a dual qualified Registered Nurse.

Hilda has worked in a variety of settings spanning maternity, children and adult acute services throughout the North West region.

Part of her role includes responsibility for maintaining the NMC Professional Standard across the Trust. Hilda also holds the role of the Trust’s Caldecott Guardian. In addition to her professional registrations Hilda has attained an MSc in Health and Social Care from Edge Hill University.

Nicki Murdock, Medical Director

Nicki Murdock

Nicki Murdock joined Alder Hey in January 2019, returning to the UK after a successful career across the Australian health care system. Nicki has served as the Executive Director Medical Services at Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service in Australia and is an ex-President of the Paediatrics and Child Health Division of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.  After training in the UK she became a Fellow of the UK Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and then FRACGP, FRACP and FRACMA.
A senior medical leader with qualifications in Paediatrics, General Practice and Medical Administration Nicki qualified in 1983 at Southampton University.  She has held the post of Executive Medical Director at a number of hospitals in Australia and has led State wide medical reviews and chaired a number of specialist steering groups.

Erica Saunders, Director of Corporate Affairs

Erica SaundersErica joined the Alder Hey team in September 2010 as Director of Corporate Affairs. She began her NHS career in 1991 through its graduate management training scheme. Erica spent over ten years working in primary care and commissioning roles before moving to the acute sector in 2003.

Part of her job includes the role of Trust Secretary, advising and supporting the Chair, Board of Directors and Council of Governors on all aspects of regulation and corporate governance. Prior to coming to Alder Hey, Erica was Director of Corporate Affairs at the Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust where she directed the successful application to become the first foundation trust in Merseyside. Erica holds an MBA as well as a BA (Hons) degree from the University of Liverpool.

Melissa Swindell, Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development

Melissa Swindell

Melissa is the Executive Director of HR and OD, and has worked at Alder Hey since 2009. Following her graduation in Economic and Social History from the University of Liverpool, Melissa started her HR career in the airline industry, before joining the NHS. She has worked in HR and OD in a range of NHS organisations both in London and the North West.

A Chartered Fellow of the CIPD, Melissa also has postgraduate qualifications in training, a range of personal and team development tools and coaching. Melissa leads the people development agenda at Alder Hey and has a passion for improving staff engagement and wellbeing.

Mark Flannagan, Director of Marketing and Communications

Mark Flannagan

Mark joined Alder Hey in July 20017 from the UK Charity Beating Bowel Cancer, where he was Chief Executive.  He has a degree in Medieval History from the University of St Andrews and has worked for most of his career in the Third Sector in Communications, Campaigns and Policy.  Mark has extensive health experience, having worked at senior level in the Royal College of GPs, Royal College of Nursing, Diabetes UK and elsewhere.  Mark is responsible for internal and external communications, including media relations, brand, staff engagement campaigns and the website.

David Powell, Development Director (Non-Voting)

David Powell


David joined Alder Hey as Development Director in December 2012 and has over 30 years’ experience working in the NHS.  Prior to his role at Alder Hey, David held Development Director posts in Bristol and London overseeing new hospital programmes. David has a history degree from Manchester University and is a qualified accountant.

Dani Jones, Director of Strategy and Partnerships


Dani joined Alder Hey in October 2017 from Liverpool Community Health, where as Deputy Chief Operating Officer she had responsibility for a wide range of services including Public Health, Health Visiting and School Nursing, District Nursing, Rapid Response Therapy, Telehealth, IM&T and the single point of contact. Dani led successful delivery of the trust’s Clinical Strategy, working closely with Community staff, GPs and The Kings Fund.

Dani has 15 years’ experience in health and social care in Merseyside, and has held a number of lead roles in health and social care integration.

Dani has worked closely with GPs, both as a commissioner and in provision, on developing integrated community care teams, and outcome-based integrated teams for frailty and diabetes. Dani successfully developed partnerships with primary and community care, mental health, acute sector colleagues, community and voluntary sector partners to set up new services that have improved outcomes and experiences for patients. Dani has held roles across Liverpool City Council and Liverpool Community Health joining up health and social care, and has led a programme of telehealth and telemedicine at scale across NHS Merseyside.

Following her graduation in Economics, and subsequent MSc in Health Care Ethics at the University of Liverpool, Dani began her NHS life in technology and innovation. Dani achieved an Executive Leadership in Healthcare award through the ‘Nye Bevan’ programme in 2017. Dani is incredibly proud to work in the NHS and is passionate about making positive improvements with patients and staff. Dani is also a very proud Mum of a lovely, energetic toddler.


Kate Warriner, Chief Digital and Information Officer

john_grinnell.jpgKate joined the team in Alder Hey in 2019 as Chief Digital and Information Officer. Kate began her NHS career in 2000 and has had a range of digital leadership roles in primary care, commissioning, shared services and acute care across Liverpool and the wider region.

Kate is the Digital Lead for the Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership and the Senior Responsible Officer for the North West Coast Local Health and Care Record Exemplar programme - Share2Care. She also works with the British Computer Society as Associate Vice Chair of the Health and Care Executive for Policy and Strategy. 

Kate is passionate about the NHS and the impact digital technology and innovation can make on improved clinical outcomes and the delivery of high quality, safe patient care. 

Kate is a music graduate from the University of Liverpool, and holds a MSC in Health Informatics. She is the Chair of the Maghull Wind Orchestra where she is also principal flautist and saxophonist with the Swingshift BigBand.  

Non-Executive Directors

Ian Quinlan - Non-Executive Director/Vice Chair of the Board and Chair of Resources and Business Development Committee

Ian Quinlan

Ian joined the Alder Hey Board in September 2011 and was re-appointed for a second term of three years in September 2014. He was re-appointed by the Governors for a further 12 months in September 2017. In order to ensure continuity on the Board, Ian was reappointed for a second twelve month period to September 2019. Ian is a Chartered Accountant and joined Ernst and Whinney (now Ernst and Young) in 1974 and in 1982, became a partner.


In 1988 he became Group Finance Director of the Albert Fisher Group PLC, a leading global food processor and distributor. From 2003 to 2013, Ian held senior positions with VPS Holdings Limited, which was the largest void property services company in the world. Between 2003 and the beginning of 2011 he was Group Chief Executive, during which time the turnover of the business increased from £3m to £200m. Between January 2011 and October 2013 he was a Deputy Chairman responsible for business development. Ian is now the Group Chief Executive of The Clearway Group Limited, a void property services group operating in the UK and France.

Jeannie France-Hayhurst - Non-Executive Director


Jeannie took up her role at Alder Hey in July 2013 and was re-appointed for a second term of three years in June 2016. She is a highly-regarded family law barrister with wide experience of the voluntary sector, politics and the commercial world. She is known throughout the wider community in the North West as a fearless advocate and is much sought after on the seminar/lecturing circuit.

Jeannie has made time in her busy career for voluntary and charitable work and has extensive experience of dealing with vulnerable adults and the socially disadvantaged. She has significant experience of service on boards and committees at both local and national level.

Claire Dove OBE - Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Workforce and Organisational Development Committee

Claire Dove OBE

Claire joined the Alder Hey Board in October 2013 and was re-appointed for a second term in September 2016. She is a high impact leader of social change and brings a track record of success from a variety of non-executive, executive and community leadership roles – shaping policy and practice in the business, social enterprise and charity worlds.

Renowned in Merseyside, known nationally and internationally, Claire’s work in education, regeneration, anti-poverty, equality and fairness arenas positions her as an independent thinker, experienced practitioner and trusted adviser to many. She was awarded an OBE for services to education in 2012. Claire’s achievements cross many decades, fields and roles. Having built the award winning Blackburne House Group (BHG) over the last 30 years, her attention is now moving towards growing a portfolio of roles to complement her work at BHG.

Anita Marsland MBE - Non-Executive Director/Senior Independent Director and Chair of the Clinical Quality Assurance Committee

Anita Marsland MBE

Anita was appointed to the Board in July 2014 and was re-appointed for a second term in June 2017. She began her career in Local Government in 1974 and is a qualified a social worker.  She later held a range of senior management posts, rising to Chief Officer. In 2002 Anita became one of the country’s first joint Chief Executive appointments between an NHS organisation and a Local Authority. Anita has pioneered integrated working between Local Government and the NHS for many years and the model of partnership working that she has developed has been adopted and implemented successfully in other parts of the country. She has a strong reputation nationally for promoting and implementing innovative solutions to tackle health inequalities.  Her work has been acknowledged through several awards including an MBE for services to health and social care in 2008.  In 2010 Anita was seconded to the Department of Health as Managing Director (Director General level) to lead the setting up of Public Health England (an executive agency of the DH) as the delivery arm for DH public health policy, in line with changes introduced by the Health and Social Care Act 2012. This included oversight of the transition phase of the transfer of responsibility for the local public health system from the NHS to Local Government. In 2017 Anita was awarded an Honorary Membership of the Faculty of Public Health. 


Anita is the Independent Chair of Sefton Transformation Board.

Kerry Byrne - Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit Committee

Kerry Byrne

Kerry lives in Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria and is a Fellow Chartered Certified Accountant. Kerry is a finance leader with over 17 years’ experience in “Big 4” professional services covering governance, risk management and internal control in the public and private sectors.

She was a Senior Manager at Deloitte, Liverpool for 11 years (1997-2008) where she provided internal audit services for numerous organisations and industries both in the private and public sectors. She then spent 3 years (September 2008-December 2011) as Head of Internal Audit at Universities Supperannuation Scheme Ltd: followed by nearly 3 years (January 2012 to November 2014) as the Director of Retail Banking Internal Audit at Ernst & Young.

Since leaving EY she has been managing her own portfolio of 11 rental properties in Widnes and Ellesmere Port. She has also, as from June 2010, been a Non-Executive Director at Liverpool John Moores University where she is currently a member of the Board, Chairman of the Finance Committee, and a member of the Nominations and Remuneration Committees and Chairman’s Group. She had previously been a member of the Audit Committee.

Alder Hey Children's Charity
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Alder Hey Children's Charity