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The Board of Directors


Peter Horn, Chair


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

Previous experience

Peter joined the Trust in June 2017. For the past six years he has chaired a community interest company providing high quality NHS community health services in Medway and North Kent. He has broad experience of the NHS working in both executive and non-executive roles.


David Parfitt, Non-Executive Director



  • Deputy Chair.
  • Chair of Audit Committee.

Previous experience

David is a chartered accountant with broad commercial experience in complex and customer-orientated organisations undergoing significant change including the Granada Group, the TSB and Lloyds Banking Group, where he became risk, control & and accounting director (retail).

He brings strong experience in human resources, organisational development, strategic and change management and governance.

In addition, he has direct experience of the NHS, first as a non-executive director of Luton primary care trust (PCT) and latterly as a lay member (audit and governance) of NHS Luton clinical commissioning group.

Giles York, Non-Executive Director


  • Chair of People Committee.
  • Chair of Sussex Primary Care.

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 has led significant national programmes and was vice-chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, as well as chair of its Workforce Coordinating Committee for six years.  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 holds the Queen's Police Medal (QPM) awarded to police in the United Kingdom for gallantry or distinguished service.


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. 

Mark Swyny, Non-Executive Director


  • 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.

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. 

 Mike Jennings, Interim Chief Executive


Interim Chief Executive as of July 2022


  • 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

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.

Ed Rothery, Interim Chief Financial Officer

Interim Chief Financial Officer as of July 2022


  • 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

More information to come.

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.