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The Board of Directors


Giles York, Chair


  • Leads the Board and ensures the team has the necessary balance and diversity of skills, experience and perspective to deliver the Trust’s vision of excellent care at the heart of the community.
  • Chairs meetings of the Trust Board, Board Nominations & Remuneration Committee and Council of Governors.

Previous experience

With 30 years police experience, Giles was Chief Constable of Sussex Police from 2014 to 2020. As well as his operational responsibilities, Giles was the vice-chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council and led significant national programmes focusing on digital transformation and workforce development. Giles received national recognition from the British Association of Women in Policing for his national contribution to equality and his support for diversity and inclusion of LGBT communities. He was awarded the Queen's Police Medal (QPM) for distinguished service and is a Deputy Lieutenant for East Sussex. He volunteers in several ways including being The County President for St John Ambulance in Sussex.

Giles was a Non-Executive Director at the Trust from October 2021 to May 2023. During this time he was Chair of both the People Committee and Sussex Primary Care.

Mark Swyny, Non-Executive Director


  • Deputy Chair
  • Chair of Resources Committee.

Previous experience

Mark joined Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust as a Non-Executive Director in July 2021 following a 30-year career with Lloyds Banking group. At Lloyds Mark gained experience of general management across retail and business banking as well as holding senior roles covering procurement, supply chain, transformation, strategy and risk. Mark is also a Non-Executive Director at Supply Chain Co-ordination Ltd and The Kemnal Academies Trust.


Gill Galliano , Non-Executive Director


  • Chair of Audit Committee 
  • Chair of Sussex Primary Care Limited

Previous experience

Gill joined the Trust as a Non-Executive Director on 1 June 2023. She has worked in the NHS for over 40 years and most recently was interim Chair for two Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in Sussex until June 2022. Gill successfully led a CCG out of legal directions with improved leadership, governance, finance and performance in place. She has increased diversity on governing bodies and influenced CCG mergers and local Integrated Care System (ICS) development.

In her career, Gill has held very senior NHS Board positions including Chief Executive, Finance Director and Commissioning/Operations Director. She is an advocate of compassionate leadership and has been supporting Boards to reflect on how this works in the current environment.

Gill also provides consultancy and executive coaching across a wide spectrum of individuals and organisations. She chairs CW Medicines Limited (a subsidiary company of Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust) and continues to be a founding governing body member of a community interest company.

Gill has an MBA, is a qualified accountant (ACMA) and holds a postgraduate qualification in executive coaching and mentoring.


Lesley Strong, Non-Executive Director


  • Chair of Quality Improvement Committee.
  • Senior Independent Director.

Previous experience

Lesley joined Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust as a Non-Executive Director in July 2021.  She holds qualifications in both district nursing and health visiting and has had a long NHS career working mainly in community services as a clinician and a Board member. Prior to retirement from executive roles, Lesley was Chief Operating Officer/Deputy Chief Executive of Kent Community NHS Foundation Trust having joined the organisation within weeks of its creation and been part of the leadership team that took Kent Community to Outstanding in 2019. 

Dipesh Patel, Associate Non-Executive Director

Current and previous experience

Dipesh started his career in 2006 at Barclays Investment Bank, where over eight years he held several roles culminating as Vice President of UK and Ireland. Since 2014, Dipesh has been at the Royal Bank of Canada where he currently is the Director and Head of UK and DACH Solutions. Dipesh holds senior roles covering distribution, governance, technology strategy and transformational change of the business.

Dipesh plays an active role in the voluntary sector and has worked on various community projects. He is passionate about mentoring and diversity.

Mandy Chapman, Non-Executive Director 


  •  Chair of Charitable Funds Committee. 

Previous experience 

Mandy joined the Trust as a Non-Executive Director in January 2023, after working for 25 years as a management consultant. She focused predominantly in retail and consumer-product businesses, designing and leading major business change so brings new perspectives to the Trust. She was a Vice-President of Capgemini Consulting responsible for Strategy and Transformation and then the Business Planning Director of Tesco. Mandy is now a freelance business consultant, trainer and executive coach. She is passionate about building collaboration and engagement of people into all aspects of delivering change. 

Siobhan Melia, Chief Executive



  • Ensures we meet our service, regulatory and statutory obligations.
  • Accepts accountability for standards of clinical governance and care.
  • Works with the board to develop and promote our vision, values, aims, strategic thinking and objectives through effective dialogue with our staff, partners and other external organisations.
  • Provides advice to the board and information to perform all clinical, governance and financial duties.
  • Strong performance management, focused on continuous improvement and delivery of services.
  • Leads the work programme to prepare the organisation to become and operate as a thriving NHS foundation trust.
  • Establishes effective working relationships and communications to ensure staff are motivated, developed, supported and respected.

Previous experience

Siobhan Melia is currently Chief Executive of Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, the largest provider of NHS community services in Sussex. She took over the role in September 2016 having previously held the position of Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Partnerships and Commercial Development at the organisation.

Siobhan has a huge amount of public healthcare experience, having worked in the NHS for over 21 years in a range of roles.

She began her career on the clinical frontline, obtaining her postgraduate degree in podiatry from the University of Brighton, and went on to hold a number of different clinical leadership roles. She subsequently undertook senior management and Board level roles at a large NHS community health provider in Berkshire, and in 2012 she received her MBA (Health Executive) from Keele University.

She joined Sussex Community in October 2013 from Telefonica UK, where she headed up their Telehealth division.

Mike Jennings, Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chief Executive



  • Financial management, establishing sound financial policies, procedures and reports that effectively manage the business and financial risk.
  • Leads and develops high quality finance, estates, facilities, procurement and internal audit functions that improve organisational performance.
  • Ensures financial resources are used effectively to maximise quality healthcare whilst meeting financial obligations and ensure income is maximised.
  • Ensures our estate is managed efficiently and effectively, and in compliance with all statutory and mandatory requirements.
  • Ensures soft facilities management services (transport, portering, catering, housekeeping and switchboard) are managed effectively and efficiently, developing to meet changing needs.

Previous experience

Mike is a qualified accountant and a fellow of the ACCA. He began his accountancy career working in the financial services industry, then in higher education and then began his NHS career in 2002. He moved from Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in 2009 and joined Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

At Western Sussex he was Deputy Director of Finance and interim Finance Director before joining their executive team permanently in 2014 as Commercial Director.

Dr Sara Lightowlers, Chief Medical Officer

Joined in August 2019


  • Provides, develops and champions medical, dental and pharmacy leadership.
  • As Responsible Officer ensures that the Trust adopts best practice with respect to appraisals, revalidation, education and continuous professional development of the medical and dental workforce.
  • Caldicott Guardian.
  • Works with the Chief Nurse to develop and ensure appropriate clinical governance of the Trust and governance of the Trust’s Research and Innovation programme.
  • Works with the Chief Nurse, and other clinical leaders to address professional issues across the medical and dental, nursing and allied health workforce with particular responsibility for the medical, dental and pharmacy workforce plans.
  • Works with the Chief Pharmacist and is responsible for medicines management and pharmacy.
  • Works with the Chief Operating Officer to provide professional advice on operational issues.

Previous experience

Sara graduated in Medicine from University College London in 1988. She completed her postgraduate training in North West and South West Thames regions. For the past 22 years she has worked as a Consultant in Geriatric and General Medicine, held a number of clinical and educational leadership roles and most recently has been Medical Director for Newham Hospital, part of Barts Health NHS Trust.


Donna Lamb, Chief Nurse

Joined in June 2020


  • Professional leadership of nurses and allied health professionals.
  • Infection control management.
  • Patient experience and involvement.
  • Safeguarding.
  • Quality standards.

Previous experience

Donna began her career in acute care before moving to community services with a London PCT and Sure Start Centres.

After a short time working as an Associate Inspector for the Healthcare Commission, Donna moved to Redbridge Children’s Trust as a Nurse Manager.

From there, Donna moved into a quality and governance role before joining the Nursing and Midwifery Council as a Fitness to Practice panellist. In 2013 Donna joined Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust as an Assistant Director of Quality and Governance and the patient safety and safeguarding lead.  In 2017 Donna was seconded into the role of Director of Nursing and Non-Medical Professionals before being appointed substantively.

Donna is a senior nurse, midwife and health visitor and is also a scholar of the Florence Nightingale Foundation.

She has a passion for listening to patients, their families and carers and is committed to shaping and delivering effective improvements to staff engagement and quality of care.


Kate Pilcher, Chief Operating Officer

Joined October 2019


  • Delivery of national and locally agreed targets.
  • Leadership and management of operational Areas.
  • Corporate responsibility for strategic and operational development.
  • Delivery of service and performance improvement in line with business plans.
  • Working with partner organisations to develop an integrated delivery framework across health and social care.
  • Executive lead for emergency planning.

Previous experience

Kate started her career in the NHS as a midwife and health visitor before working in several operational roles within children and adult services, including Head of Children’s Services and Area Director.

Kate was appointed interim Director of Operations in October 2017 to support the Trust’s Chief Operating Officer, with a particular focus on supporting colleagues internally who manage and provide patient services. This role was made substantive in May 2018. In October 2019 Kate was promoted to Chief Operating Officer.

Kate has an Msc in Leadership and Management. She has been with the Trust since it was formed in 2010.

Diarmaid Crean, Chief Digital and Technology Officer


Joined in 2019


  • Delivery of digital transformation for SCFT.
  • Effective running and ongoing development of all the technical systems and IT infrastructure used to support the running of the Trust and its services.
  • Safe and effective data management across all services.
  • Senior Information Risk Officer

Previous experience

Prior to joining the Trust Diarmaid was Digital Lead at Public Health England for five years. Whilst there he was responsible for introducing new agile ways of working and helping the organisation adopt a service design approach. The services he helped support and develop included the FoodSmart app, Couch to 5k, London GoodThinking, Public Health Outcomes, NHS Health Checks, NHS Apps library, NHS.UK, GOV.uk and many more.

Prior to that role, Diarmaid worked in many areas of the private sector delivering digital transformation for a number of large organisations such as Tui Travel, AOL and Investec Investment Bank and also smaller digital disruptors such as Zopa and Interactive Investor. He is passionate about maximising the use of digital technology to improve the services offered by organisations and most importantly their end users (and for the NHS its patients).

Diarmaid joined Sussex Community in May 2019 and has since made wide changes to the digital workings within the Trust. He has led a number of innovations and improved the way we work digitally.


Caroline Haynes, Chief People Officer

 Joined in 2017


  • Ensures we meet our service, regulatory and statutory obligations with regards to all aspects of Human Resources

  • Is responsible for Organisational Development (OD), facilitating organisational success by aligning structural, cultural and strategic goals to respond to the needs of the NHS now and in the future

  • Ensures that Communications and Engagement puts patients at the heart of all services delivered by SCFT and that all staff are engaged with the work of the Trust

  • Leads the Occupational Health service ensuring that staff are well at work and have access to the support that they need to remain that way Is responsible for Learning and Development

Previous experience

Caroline was appointed in November 2017.

She was previously Deputy Director of HR and OD at the organisation. Caroline has worked in the NHS for over 20 years in a range of roles in HR and OD. She has an MA in Human Resources Management and has previously worked in acute, specialist and mental health NHS trusts.

She joined Sussex Community in March 2016.