Meet our board

Executive directors

There are 12 executive directors who make up our senior management group and who are responsible for the operational performance of the trust.

Five of our executive directors are able to vote at trust board meetings (our joint Medical Directors have one vote between them and so do our joint Chief Operating Officers). Five of them are non-voting board members - this means they attend our board meetings, but do not have a vote.

Daniel Elkeles Daniel Elkeles, Chief Executive, Board member

Daniel joined the NHS management training scheme from university. Much of his early management career was in South West London including at both Epsom and St Helier hospitals.

Daniel was Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer at North West London Hospitals, flu director for London and most recently he was the chief officer for five clinical commissioning groups in NW London. Daniel lives locally with his family.

Dr Ruth Charlton Dr Ruth Charlton, Deputy Chief Executive and Joint Medical Director, Board member

Dr Ruth Charlton is a paediatric consultant with specific interests in renal and respiratory medicine.

Having trained in London at hospitals including the Royal Brompton, Great Ormond Street and Guy's, she has been a consultant with the Trust for over 17 years. She is an honorary paediatric consultant at the Royal Brompton Hospital

In addition to her clinical role, she is deputises for the Chief Executive and is Joint Director of Medical Standards and Quality Assurance and previously has held roles as Service Director for Child Health, Divisional Director for Family Care and Deputy Medical Director.

Ruth was a member of the Council of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health for five years and has represented acute paediatrics on Healthcare for London strategy groups.

Ruth is married and has two daughters. 

You can follow Ruth on Twitter @Med_Dir_ESTH

D James Marsh Dr James Marsh, Deputy Chief Executive and Joint Medical Director, Board member

James has been at Epsom, Sutton and St Helier hospitals for more than 11 years, joining as a renal (kidney) consultant in 2003, before being made lead consultant for transplantation and, subsequently, clinical director for renal services. He was appointed as Deputy Medical Director in 2011.

As Joint Medical Director, James is responsible for providing professional leadership and support to our 240 consultants and 400 doctors, overseeing medical education and training, research and development, and clinical governance (the way we maintain and improve the quality of patient care).

Dr Marsh lives in Weybridge and is married with two children.

He graduated with first class honours from the University of Oxford in the mid-1980s, continuing his clinical training at Guy's Hospital where he earned a Distinction in pathology, surgery, pharmacology and therapeutics.

You can follow James on Twitter @Med_Dir_ESTH

Rakesh Patel, Chief Financial Officer, Board member Picture of Rakesh Patel, Chief Financial Officer

Rakesh joined us from Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust in May 2015. Prior to working at Chelsea and Westminster, he was Director of Finance at West Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust. Rakesh has worked in the NHS in London throughout his career, including in acute hospitals and four years in a mental health trust.

Rakesh is a Chartered Certified Accountant (FCCA).

Sue Jones, Joint Chief Operating Officer, Board member

Sue trained as a nurse in Manchester and went on to specialise in renal nursing at St James' Sue Joneshospital in Leeds. She spent most of her nursing career at Kings College Hospital where she held senior roles in both renal and general medicine. A short time time working with the transformation team at King's took her career in a different direction and she subsequently held roles in service improvement and divisional management of emergency care, general and specialist medicine, therapies and outpatients.

In 2007 Sue joined Epsom and St Helier as Director of Service Improvement, leaving  in 2010 to work independently for 5 years. Following completion of a Masters degree in Heath Policy Planning and Finance, Sue returned to the Trust in 2015 where she mainly worked in Planned care before taking up the position of joint COO with Philippa Jones.

Sue lives locally with her husband and has three grown up daughters who have been brought up in Epsom.

Philippa Jones, Joint Chief Operating Officer, Board member Phillipa Jones

Philippa has worked within the NHS since 1999, graduating from the NHS graduate programme in 2003, and subsequently completing a Masters degree in health and social care policy.

Much of her career has been dedicated to services within the acute sector and she has worked in a broad range of operational and strategic roles across south west London, spending ten years at St George’s Hospital and joining Epsom and St Helier in 2016. Philippa has also undertaken various roles in primary care, including four years as Managing Director for Hammersmith and Fulham CCG.

Philippa lives locally with her husband and three children.

Arlene Wellman, Chief Nurse, Board member Arlene Wellman

Arlene qualified as a general registered nurse in Trinidad and migrated to the UK with the intention of training as a midwife. However she fell in love instantly with elderly care nursing and has more than 20 years’ experience in this speciality. Arlene holds a first degree in Health and Social Care for Older People and a Master’s degree in Clinical Healthcare Practice. She has held various senior nursing roles across acute trusts, including ?Matron, Senior Matron and Divisional Nurse at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust. She also transformed the delivery of patient care and services as the Clinical Services Lead/Manager and Associate Director of Nursing at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Arlene has completed a Florence Nightingale Leadership Fellowship and is working towards becoming a registered Patient Safety Executive with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

Arlene has four grown-up children and seven grandchildren.

Peter Davies Peter Davies, Director of Corporate Services, Board member (non-voting)

Peter’s portfolio encompasses Strategy, Corporate Governance, ICT and informatics (during 2017/18 he also held executive oversight of the People portfolio prior to Debbie Eyitayo becoming a Board member in her own right).

In his strategy role, Peter supports the Trust in developing external relationships with local commissioners and providers across Surrey Heartlands and in South West London.

Peter leads for the Trust on developing our digital strategy, as well as Information Governance and cybersecurity and is the Senior Information Risk Officer (SIRO).

Peter is also the Children and Young People’s champion on the Board

Peter was previously policy adviser with the Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC), a partnership between the world famous Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Imperial College London. He has also worked for the Ministry of Defence. He holds a Masters degree from the London Business School and his first degree is in Information Systems Engineering.

Peter lives in Kent with his wife and their two children.

Trevor Fitzgerald Trevor Fitzgerald, Director of Estates, Facilities and Capital Projects, Board member (non-voting)

Trevor has been working in the NHS since 1989 and started his career as a qualified electrician. Since joining the trust in 2000, he has held a number of roles within the Estates and Facilities directorate.  

The Estates and Facilities directorate provides non-clinical support to our hospitals, including cleaning, catering, patient transport, portering, security, childcare provision, property maintenance, telecommunications, ground and gardens, capital projects, space management and medical devices management. In addition, Trevor is the lead director for non-clinical risk management, fire safety, security, decontamination and medical devices management.

Debbie Eyitayo, Director of People, Board member (non-voting) Debbie Eyitayo

Debbie joined Epsom and St Helier as Director of People in September 2018 from Hertfordshire Community Trust where she was Director of HR and OD.

Debbie began her career as a Human Resources and Organisational Development professional in the early 1990s initially as a civil servant at the Crown Prosecution Service and then for the NHS from 2000. She has held a number of roles within the acute and community sector as well as integrated care organisations. 

Debbie is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

She lives locally with her family.

Thirza Sawtell, Executive Director of Integrated Care, Board member (non-voting)  Thirza Sawtell

Thirza began her career as a Health Visitor before moving into the operational management of community services and then into the commissioning and strategic planning of health and care services. She is currently Executive Director of Integrated Care for Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, responsible to the Partnership Boards of Surrey Downs and Sutton each of which deliver a wide range of truly integrated community services for their local communities. Prior to this she was Director of Strategy for the North West London Collaboration and led the Pioneer Whole System Integration Programme.

Chair and non-executive directors

All non-executive directors (NEDs) are members of the trust board and are able to vote at our board meetings. They are appointed to the trust by the Appointments Commission. They serve a term of five years each and their periods of appointment are staggered in order to provide consistency to the board's decision making processes.

Non-executive directors represent the interests of the communities they serve and provide both support and challenge on the trust board. Non-executive directors bring to the board their skills and experience gained from across a number of diverse backgrounds.

Gillian Norton, Chair Gillian Norton, Chairman

Gillian Norton OBE DL is Chairman of Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust. 

Gillian is Chairman in Common with St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundations Trust, which enables the two largest hospital trusts in south west London to collaborate further for the benefit of the communities we serve.

Gillian has previously held positions as Chief Executive of Richmond Council and Chief Executive of Wokingham Borough Council.


Martin Kirke, Non-Executive Director and Vice Chair

Martin Kirke, Non-Executive Director

Martin Kirke is an experienced non-executive director and is also a qualified coach and mentor.

Martin has previously held HR director and change director roles at the Post Office, Ericsson, Serco Transport and BP including international roles based in Sweden and the USA. At BP, he was HR Global Operations Director for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific. He also spent five years outside HR as a General Manager of a technology services business.

He has worked as a consultant on change programmes including the Cabinet Office/No10 as well as a leading role on the London 2012 Olympics with TfL.

He is a Fellow of the RSA and CIPD and has a first degree in Behavioural Science and a Masters degree in HR Management  from Cardiff University.


Elizabeth Bishop Elizabeth Bishop, Non-Executive Director

Elizabeth Bishop is the Director of Finance and Resources at the Cystic Fybrosis Trust.

Prior to taking up her role there, Mrs Bishop, who lives in Oxshott, Surrey, held similar positions at independent think tank The Nuffield Trust, homeless charity Shelter and community charity Tonybee Hall which strive to end poverty in London's East End.



Richard Noble Richard Noble, Non-Executive Director

Richard Noble is Vice Chairman of Investment Banking at Nomura International and Head of Natural Resources, Power and Utilities for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). He is a senior investment banker with more than 20 years’ experience of advising a broad range of UK and international corporate and government clients on strategic mergers, acquisitions and divestments, finance raisings, restructuring and privatisation work.

Richard began his career at Price Waterhouse where he qualified as a chartered accountant. He lives in Leatherhead.

He brings extensive skills and experience across a broad range of strategic and financial disciplines, and as a local resident takes an active interest in our health service.


Aruna Mehta, Non-Executive Director Aruna Mehta, Associate Non-Executive Director

Aruna Mehta had over 20 years’ experience in the financial sector, specifically in the areas of operational risk and controls management. She was Managing Director and Global Head Of Operational Controls at JP Morgan.

Since leaving JP Morgan, Aruna has been involved in education and social housing. She is currently Chair of Welfare Committee at Trinity School Croydon, Chair of Risk and Audit committee at The Kemnal Academy Trust, and member of Audit, Treasury and Project Approval committees at Affinity Sutton Housing Association.

She has lived in south west London since 1989, her husband is a consultant in medicine, and she has two daughters.


Dr Chris Elliot, Associate Non-Executive Director Dr Chris Elliott

Chris joined the Board of Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust in June 2018.

He chairs the Surrey Downs Health and Care and Sutton Health and Care Provider Boards as well as being a member of the Patient Safety and Quality committee.

Chris undertook his medical training at Charing Cross Hospital, his junior hospital posts at St Helier Hospital, GP training in Merton and was a partner in general practice for over 30 years in Sutton. He is a fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners.

During his time as a GP Chris was a GP trainer, undertook research, developed a multidisciplinary community team attached to his practice. Chris was Chief Clinical Officer of Sutton CCG until 2017.

Chris lives in Raynes Park and is currently studying for a masters degree in bioethics and medical law.


Phil Wilbraham, Non-Executive Director

‘Phil is a civil engineer who has spent his career delivering projects in the UK and overseas. Over the last 20 years he has been continuously involved in the transformation of Heathrow Airport and is particularly associated with the delivery of the new Terminals two and five.

He is particularly interested in the improvement and development of the built environment and as such is a trustee of the Building Research Establishment, Co Chair of Constructing Excellence and was Co Chair of the Infrastructure Innovation Portal.

Phil has lived in Reigate with his family for over 20 years.


Derek Macallan, Non-Executive Director

Derek Macallan joined the Board as a Non-Executive Director in 2019. He is based at St George’s, University of London, where he is Professor of Infectious Diseases and Medicine. He also works as an honorary Consultant at St George’s Hospital, looking after patients with infectious diseases with a special interest in the care of people living with HIV infection. He trained in Medicine in Oxford and London. He is passionate about high-quality patient care based on good decision making and safe systems. Within the medical school, he leads an active research group investigating how the immune system is maintained throughout life and how immune cells fight virus infections. He lives in New Malden and when he is not at work, he likes to be out walking. He is excited to be joining such a forward-thinking proactive board and plans to take a special interest in the quality of patient care.

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