South West regional directors

The South West region senior management team is made up of:

Directors of Commissioning for:

Regional Director – Jennifer Howells

Jennifer’s responsibilities include:

  • Oversight of healthcare for approximately 7.5 million people in the NHS England South West region
  • Assurance of 12 Clinical Commissioning Groups in the South West and direct commissioning responsibilities for primary care, specialised services, health and justice and armed forces
  • Working in partnership with other organisations (e.g. local councils, Monitor and the Trust Development Authority) to deliver high quality care and best value for money.

Regional Medical Director – Nigel Acheson

Nigel’s responsibilities include:

  • Providing leadership and support on medical issues to NHS organisations across the South
  • Ensuring the quality of appraisal for all doctors in the region
  • Supporting the developing of Strategic Clinical Networks and Senates and working with five Academic Health Science Networks

Nigel was a consultant in gynaecological oncology at Birmingham Women’s Hospital before moving to Exeter in 2004 to develop the gynaecological oncology centre. He was previously the medical director of the Peninsula Cancer Network and national lead for enhanced recovery in gynaecology.

Regional Director of Nursing – Sue Doheny

Sue holds a joint role across NHS England and NHS Improvement in the South region, providing clear leadership and greater collaboration across both organisations to ensure delivery of strategic aims and ultimately better care for patients.

In her joint role, Sue provides professional leadership to all members of the nursing and midwifery professions in the region, bringing greater clarity for front line staff, while delivering the regulatory and statutory functions for which both organisations are accountable.  This includes:

  • Chief nurse for the South, providing leadership and support for nursing directorates in other NHS organisations across the region
  • Leading on patient experience and patient safety
  • Coordinating the risk summit activity for NHS Trusts with serious quality concerns and managing the regional quality surveillance process
  • Leading on a range of statutory responsibilities including safeguarding, the Continuing Health Care process and the supervision of midwives.

Sue was confirmed in post in August 2016 having served in an interim capacity prior to that.

Regional Director of HR – Suzanne Tewkesbury

Suzanne’s responsibilities include:

  • Supporting the creation of a single organisational culture
  • Contributing to the development of HR and Organisational Development practices and policies
  • Working in partnership with stakeholders, including trade unions
  • Creating the conditions for staff to make the best contribution to improving care.

Regional Director of Patients and Information – Cathy Francis

Cathy’s responsibilities include:

  • Delivering a health and social care system that uses information and technology to improve care and make it easier for our staff to do their jobs
  • Overseeing the regional Communications and Engagement team.

Chief Operating Officer – Julia Davison

Julia’s responsibilities include:

  • Looking at how NHS England and NHS Improvement South West can streamline work across the national programmes to reduce duplication
  • Developing a clear integrated approach to delivery and transformation across the South East.

Regional Director of Finance – Hannah Hamilton

Hannah’s responsibilities include:

  • Providing strategic financial leadership of the NHS finance function across the South with professional responsibility for all commissioning finance staff in the region
  • Ensuring that commissioning and investment decisions are made on the basis of insights derived from sound financial/economic evidence and that service delivery is underpinned by excellent financial planning, performance/system management and control
  • Ensuring delivery of the region’s financial performance in line with agreed financial goals through local office teams and CCGs
  • Overseeing the delivery of quality, innovation, productivity and prevention throughout the region.

Regional Director of Specialised Commissioning – Kate Shields

Kate’s responsibilities include:

  • Kate leads the commissioning of specialised services across the South.

Director of Commissioning (South West)  – Rachel Pearce

Rachel’s responsibilities include:

  • Supporting and overseeing healthcare in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG); Bath, Swindon and Wiltshire (BSW) and Gloucestershire
  • Assurance of local Clinical Commissioning Groups in the above Sustainability and Transformation Plan geographies and direct commissioning responsibilities for primary care, specialised services, health and justice and armed force
  • Working in partnership with other organisations (e.g. local councils, Monitor and the Trust Development Authority) to deliver high quality care and best value for money.

Rachel was previously the managing director of Arden Commissioning Support Unit and has a wealth of experience in the NHS. A graduate of the NHS Management Training Scheme, Rachel has held roles in strategic health authorities, primary care trusts and provider trusts.

Director of Commissioning (South West) – Mark Cooke

Mark’s responsibilities include:

  • Supporting and overseeing healthcare in Devon; Cornwall; Somerset and Dorset
  • Assurance of local Clinical Commissioning Groups in the above Sustainability and Transformation Plan geographies and direct commissioning responsibilities for primary care, specialised services, health and justice and armed force
  • Working in partnership with other organisations (e.g. local councils, Monitor and the Trust Development Authority) to deliver high quality care and best value for money.

Mark has worked in the public sector for over 30 years and has a wealth of experience in the NHS. He joined the South West team in September 2015 having previously worked in the Guernsey health and social care system.