Meet the board
In December 2021, we announced our new group executive team to lead our hospital group.
The group executive team will be in operation from 1 February 2022. Biographies for our group executive team can be found below.
Jacqueline Totterdell, Group Chief Executive Officer
Jacqueline was appointed the Group Chief Executive of the St George’s and Epsom and St Helier hospitals group in August 2021, after joining St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as Chief Executive in May 2017. Jacqueline is also the CEO Lead for the South West London Acute Provider Collaborative.
A Paediatric Intensive Care Nurse by background, Jacqueline started her general management career at Leeds General Infirmary, moving on to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, after which she spent two years working for the Modernisation Agency.
After two Executive Director posts at Barnet & Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust, and then Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Jacqueline held Chief Executive positions at Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and West Middlesex University Hospital where she oversaw the merger of the Trust with Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust.
Before taking up her role at St George’s Hospital in May 2017, Jacqueline spent 18 months as part of the Executive Team supporting Barts Health NHS Trust out of Special Measures.
Dr James Marsh, Group Deputy Chief Executive Officer
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.
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.
Dr Richard Jennings, Group Chief Medical Officer
Dr Richard Jennings joined St George’s in December 2018 as Chief Medical Officer. Richard joined St George’s from Whittington Health NHS Trust, where he had been Executive Medical Director for four years.
Dr Jennings specialises in infection and acute medicine, and underwent his training at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Before becoming Executive Medical Director at the Whittington, he held the posts of Clinical Director for medicine and then Deputy Medical Director.
Arlene Wellman MBE, Group Chief Nursing Officer
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.
Andrew Grimshaw, Group Chief Finance Officer
Andrew has over 30 years’ experience in NHS finance and has worked in wide range of organisations from district general hospitals, tertiary, teaching and ambulance trusts. He joined St George’s Hospitals as Chief Financial Officer in 2017 and also held the post of Deputy Chief Executive from 2019 until the formation of the Group.
Paul da Gama, Group Chief People Officer
Paul da Gama joined St George’s as our Chief People Officer in February 2021. Paul joined the Trust from West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, where he had been Chief People Officer since 2014. Prior to joining West Herts, Paul was Director of Human Resources at Hinchingbrooke Hospital. Paul began his career as a teacher, working in Japan and Poland, before joining banking group, HSBC, where he worked for 10 years. He has also worked at Royal Mail Group, where he held a variety of different senior HR roles.
Stephen Jones, Group Chief Corporate Affairs Officer
Stephen has been Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust since March 2018. He was previously Chief of Staff and executive lead for corporate governance at the General Medical Council. Prior to this, Stephen worked as Stakeholder Engagement Director on Co-operation and Competition policy at NHS Improvement. He held a number of senior roles within the Department of Health central policy unit where he led on NHS Foundation Trust policy, the NHS Constitution and legislative engagement. At the Department, Stephen also served as Senior Private Secretary to the Minister for Quality. Prior to working in healthcare, Stephen was an adviser to the House of Commons Defence Committee and was a foreign policy adviser in the House of Commons Research Service. As Group Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Stephen will lead on corporate governance, risk management, legal services and Freedom to Speak Up, and will act as governance adviser to the Boards of Epsom & St Helier and St George’s and to the St George’s Council of Governors.
Kate Slemeck, Managing Director for St George’s Hospital
Kate previously worked at Royal Free Hospital as director of operations in 2011 before being appointed as chief operating officer in 2012 and then becoming chief executive of the Royal Free Hospital in 2018.
Kate originally trained as an Occupational Therapist. Her previous roles also include Director of Operations and Chief Operating Officer and she has nearly 30 years’ NHS management experience, mainly in acute trusts (including Northwick Park Hospital and the Royal Hospital for Neurodisability).
James Blythe, Managing Director for Epsom and St Helier Hospitals
James joined the NHS via the national Management Training Scheme in 2004. After roles in acute hospitals, commissioning and management consultancy, he was Director of Commissioning of Surrey Downs CCG from 2014 to 2017, and Managing Director of Merton and Wandsworth CCGs from 2017 to 2020.
James was seconded to work across ESTH and SGUH as Collaboration Programme Director from September 2020, leading to the agreement of the new hospital group by both Boards in June 2021. Through his CCG roles in Surrey and Merton, James has had longstanding involvement with plans to redevelop the acute estate at ESTH, and also recently led the engagement and decision-making process for an integrated renal service between the two Trusts. James is an Epsom resident.
Thirza Sawtell, Managing Director for Integrated Care
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 across a number of areas of London. For the past six years she has worked in SW London and Surrey as the 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.