Our Governing Body

The Governing Body is strong, balanced and representative, promoting a positive culture that puts the patient first. It is made up of a clinician majority, lay representatives, secondary care clinician, local government directors and key members of the organisation’s management team who work cohesively to lead and govern high quality healthcare commissioning in Derbyshire. 

GP Governing Body Members

Dr Avi Bhatia - Clinical Chair & Clinical Lead

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Born and raised in Nottingham, Avi trained as a GP in Newcastle. A GP for 19 years, Avi has a special interest in diabetes, joint injections and minor surgery. He also works in developing new and existing GPs in his roles as a GP Trainer, Training Programme Director of the Nottinghamshire GPST and as a GP Appraiser over the East Midlands. He has been Place Chair and CPRG Chair for Joined Up Care Derbyshire (STP). During his time in Erewash he helped them attain authorisation as a CCG and also attain Vanguard status, as well as setting up schemes like the On Day Service, home visiting service, care home and frailty service and extended hours seven day hubs. 

Dr Buk Dhadda - GP

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Dr Dhadda was born and raised in Derby and has lived locally all his life. Dr Dhadda qualified at St Georges Hospital Medical School in London in 1995 and has been working as a local GP since 1999.   

Dr Dhadda currently works as a GP at Swadlincote Surgery and has worked in the Swadlincote area for the last 19 years. He served as a GP Governing Body member of NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) from 2012 until 2019 before being appointed to the Governing Body of NHS Derby and Derbyshire CCG.  

Over the years, Dr Dhadda has Chaired a number of committees and provided clinical leadership in a number of areas, including Primary Care and Quality. Currently, Dr Dhadda is Chair of Quality & Performance Committee. The Committee provides assurance to the CCG’s Governing Body in relation to the quality, performance, safety, experience and outcomes of services commissioned by the CCG. They also ensure that the CCG discharges its statutory duties in relation to the achievement of continuous quality improvement and safeguarding of vulnerable children and adults. Buk is also a member of the CCG’s Clinical & Lay Commissioning Committee and Finance Committee. 

Dr Dhadda has a specialist interest in diabetes and as NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG’s Clinical Lead for diabetes he supported the reorganisation of diabetes services in Derbyshire. 

Dr Greg Strachan - GP

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Dr Strachan qualified from Sheffield Medical School and trained as a General Practitioner in Chesterfield. He worked for several years as a locum and salaried GP in a wide variety of Practices in the Chesterfield, Derbyshire, Mansfield and High Peak areas. 

For the last 10 years he has been a full time Partner at Killamarsh Medical Practice in North East Derbyshire where he has developed his role as Safeguarding Lead for Children and Adults. He has also represented his practice at Locality CCG meetings and facilitated monthly GP educational sessions at Chesterfield Royal Hospital. 

Greg is a member of the CCG’s Governance Committee, Clinical & Lay Commissioning Committee, and Quality & Performance Committee.

Greg is keen to bring his enthusiasm and teamwork skills to NHS Derby and Derbyshire CCG and contribute towards better integrated care for the population.

Dr Emma Pizzey - GP

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Dr Pizzey studied medicine at the University of Liverpool and qualified in 1995. She completed her GP training in Nottingham and has worked as a GP in the Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire area since 2001. She has been a Partner at Littlewick Medical Centre for over 16 years and has a special interest in diabetes and cardiology. 

Dr Pizzey helps to train medical students from the University of Nottingham and post graduate medical students from Derby Medical School.  Along with other leading GPs in the area, Dr Pizzey helped to establish the Erewash Heath Partnership in 2018and acted as GP lead for the Erewash Place Alliance from 2018-2019. 

Her aim as member of the governing body of the CCG is to ensure that all people that live in Derbyshire have access to good quality health care services that are equal across the whole county, to enable them to live long healthy lives.  

Emma is a member of the CCG’s Governance Committee, Clinical & Lay Commissioning Committee, and Quality & Performance Committee. 

Outside of work, Dr Pizzey likes to potter in her allotment. She is also mum to three sporty boys and at weekends can often be found on the side lines cheering them along as they play.

Dr Merryl Watkins - GP

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Dr Merryl Watkins trained at The Royal London Medical School, Whitechapel. She has worked as a GP since 1997 on a part-time basis, and continues to undertake a clinical role as a partner in a practice in Derby. She is also a GP representative on the Joint Area Prescribing Committee (JAPC) and a GP appraiser.

Dr Watkins was involved with NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group for a number of years prior to the formation of NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group. Her previous CCG roles included Prescribing Lead, Network Lead for Derby City, and GP Lead for the Clinical Improvement Groups with the specialties of chronic pain, spinal surgery and orthopaedics. She is the Derby city representative for NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s Governing Body and is a member of the CCG’s Clinical & Lay Commissioning Committee, and Quality & Performance Committee.

Dr Penny Blackwell - GP

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Originally a clinical biochemist trained in Midlands hospitals, Penny completed MRCPath part 1 exams and a PhD in metabolic bone disease at Nottingham City Hospital and St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia.   

To combine her love of working with people, and all things biochemical, Penny retrained for a medical degree, graduating from Nottingham University in 2004. Penny initially worked in emergency medicine before her love of general practice and the Dales led her to this field, becoming a partner at Hannage Brook Medical Centre in Wirksworth in 2010. 

Penny has co-led Shared Care Pathology with Derby (now Derbyshire) Pathology since 2011 to support GPs in their choice of diagnostics and understanding results with the ethos, "right person, right test, right time". An ex-researcher and keen auditor, Penny worked with NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG previously as a Quality Lead GP, interested in use of data to inform and support general practice improvement.   

As a rural GP, the benefits of community resilience in reducing isolation to promote improved health and wellbeing outcomes is evident in everyday general practice. Penny has been clinical lead of the Dales “Place” since 2017 and director of Flourish Rural Derbyshire, a Community Interest Company which creates arts and activity projects to socially prescribe into. She is happy to be taking up and shaping the Place Board Chair role.     

Dr Ruth Cooper - GP

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Ruth qualified from the University of Birmingham in 1987. She has been a partner for 26 years at Staffa Health in Tibshelf. Staffa Health is a large, multi-site, training practice and is recognised for its innovative approach to delivering care. 

Ruth was a member of North East Derbyshire Primary Care Trust (PCT) Professional Executive Committee from 2002 until 2008 and then became a member of the Derbyshire PCT team in 2011, sitting on the Contract Management Board for Chesterfield Royal Hospital. 

Ruth served as a GP Governing Body member of NHS Hardwick Clinical Commissioning Group from 2013 until 2019 and was appointed Chair in 2018. 

Ruth is Chair of the Clinical & Lay Commissioning Committee. The Committee provides a clinical forum within which discussions can take place, they make recommendations on the clinical direction of the CCG and help to secure the continuous improvement of the quality of services. Ruth is also a member of the CCG’s Finance Committee.

Ruth is passionate about improving care for the people of Derbyshire and believes that practicing clinicians are the ones who can bring the patient story to the table, stories which are a powerful lever to affect change.

Lay Governing Body Members

Martin Whittle - Vice Chair and Lay Member for PPI

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Martin has followed a varied career but the majority of his working life has been spent in NHS management. He has worked in hospital management, commissioning and as a Regulator with NHS England.  His main focus in his later career was in the areas of Strategy, Governance and Risk Management, Public Engagement, Performance and Delivery, and Emergency Planning. 

Since retiring from the NHS, Martin has carried out consultancy work and non-executive roles, as well as volunteering for the National Trust. Martin is the Lay Member for Patient and Public Involvement and Vice-Chair of the CCG, and is keen to ensure the public are engaged in the development of services across Derbyshire. 

Martin is Chair of the CCG’s Remuneration Committee. The Committee makes recommendations to the Governing Body on determinations about the remuneration, fees and other allowances for employees and for people providing services to the CCG. Martin also chairs the Engagement Committee who assure the Governing Body that the CCG is involving patients in decisions about health services and that robust processes are in place to ensure that the CCG is fully compliant with their statutory obligations. Martin is also vice chair of the CCG’s Finance Committee and is a member of the Governance Committee and Quality & Performance Committee.

Martin lives in Matlock with his wife and has two grown up sons.

Ian Gibbard - Lay Member for Audit

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Ian has previously served as a member of the governing body of NHS North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group and also the University of Derby’s Governing Council, where his roles included Vice-Chair and Chair of Strategy, Finance & Planning Committee.

As a graduate of the London School of Economics he gained his accountancy qualification while working for the Ministry of Defence. He went on to become chief accountant of an engineering business before joining The Post Office initially as head of finance in East Anglia before relocating to Derbyshire in 1986 to manage a number of IT change programmes, including the automation of the UK's 17,000 post offices. Ian was subsequently appointed Director of Royal Mail IT organisation, with responsibility for business strategy, finance and HR, before taking the commercial lead on a £2bn outsource of the company's IT services in 2003. He has subsequently provided consultancy on business transformation and IT strategy. 

Ian is Chair of the CCG’s Audit Committee. The Committee request and review reports and positive assurances from directors and managers on the overall arrangements for governance, risk management and internal control. Ian is also a member of the CCG’s Remuneration Committee, Clinical & Lay Commissioning Committee, Finance Committee and Governance Committee. Ian is the CCG’s Conflicts of Interest Guardian, which involves acting as a conduit and supporting those who have any concerns regarding conflicts of interest.

Andrew Middleton - Lay Member for Finance

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Before joining NHS Derby and Derbyshire CCG in April 2019 as Lay Member for Finance, Andrew previously held roles as a Non-Executive Director and Lay Member with five NHS commissioning bodies over 14 years. His roles have included Governing Body Vice-Chair and Chairs of Audit, Finance, Remuneration, Performance and Quality. In addition to a lead role for finance and best value use of resources, Andrew’s particular interests are in quality, good governance, workforce strategies and re-shaping healthcare provision under the NHS Long-Term Plan. 

Originally from Lincolnshire, Andrew studied economics and management, in Nottingham and Sheffield, then completed 36 years as a further education teacher and leader, including 10 years as a trainer of teachers and managers, culminating in 18 years as a college Principal/Chief Executive. Other roles have been as an education consultant, an Ofsted inspector, work with nine professional standards bodies, and a lay member of Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection teams. 

Andrew is Chair of the CCG’s Finance Committee. The Committee reviews both the financial and service performance of the CCG against financial control targets and the annual commissioning plan. They also identify where remedial action is needed, ensuring that action plans are put in place and delivery is monitored. Andrew is also a member of the CCG’s Audit Committee, Remuneration Committee and Quality & Performance Committee.

Jill Dentith - Lay Member for Governance

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In 2012 Jill established her own successful management consultancy business providing management support to public sector bodies. She has worked with a number of high profile clients.  Prior to this she worked in the NHS for over 30 years in a number of senior roles. Her career has spanned corporate governance, primary care development, finance, patient engagement and service redesign.  

Jill is Chair of the CCG’s Governance Committee. The Committee ensure that the CCG complies with the principles of good governance whilst effectively delivering the statutory functions of the CCG. It also has delegated authority to make decisions as set out in the CCG’s Prime Financial Policies and the Scheme of Reservation and Delegation. Jill is also a member of the CCG’s Primary Care Commissioning Committee and Remuneration Committee. Jill is the CCG’s Freedom to Speak Up Guardian where she acts as an independent and impartial source of advice to staff at any stage of raising a concern.

Jill is passionate about the NHS and believes that patients should be at the heart of all that we do. She was a founder member of the governing body of NHS Hardwick CCG and, from December 2017, NHS North Derbyshire CCG. Jill has a Masters degree in Public Service Management.

Ian Shaw - Lay Member for Primary Care Commissioning

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Ian is a Professor of Health Policy at the University of Nottingham. His academic work is in health, mental health, inter-agency collaboration and evaluation. His recent research includes European-wide evaluation pandemic flu preparations for the World Health Organisation (WHO) and evaluation of community development projects in diabetes care. He is passionate about reducing health inequalities. 

Ian has a long history of bringing his analytical and policy insights into the development of local health services. He has served almost continuously in NHS Non-Executive roles in a number of organisations since 2002. Ian has also served as Lay Governor to Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust; Lay Quality Assurance Assessor for NHS Health Education England East Midlands (The Deanery) and as a GP patient representative in a number of settings. Ian previously chaired Erewash Primary Care Commissioning Committee and also brings that experience into this role. 

Ian is Chair of the Primary Care Commissioning Committee. The Committee performs the functions relating to the commissioning of primary medical services under section 83 of the NHS Act. This enables the members to make collective decisions on the review, planning and procurement of primary care services in the CCG, under delegated authority from NHS England. The functions of the Committee are undertaken in the context of a desire to promote increased co-commissioning to increase quality, efficiency, productivity and value for money and to remove administrative barriers. Ian is also a member of the CCG’s Clinical & Lay Commissioning Committee and Engagement Committee.

Ian is married with three children.

Simon McCandlish - Lay Member for Patient and Public Involvement

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Born and raised in South Milford near Leeds, Simon studied History and Political Science at the University of Nottingham graduating in 1990. After joining the Boots the Chemist graduate scheme Simon undertook a succession of roles across buying, marketing, logistics and procurement.  

Simon was appointed to the executive board of Alliance Pharmacy in 2007 to oversee its integration with the Boots the Chemist stores which were successfully rebranded Your Local Boots Pharmacy. Simon then moved on as Commercial Director for Boots £2.5 B Healthcare business. Simon led all day to day and strategic operations for Boots’ prescription and healthcare services, including local commissioning, as well as all of the over the counter medicines. During this time Simon also launched Boots Health Club for over 60s and rebranded all of Boots medicines under the Boots Pharmaceutical brand. During his tenure Simon undertook a major strategic review creating the One Healthcare Strategy that created greater integration between Boots Healthcare, Boots opticians and its hearing care business.  

Simon is vice chair of the CCG’s Primary Care Commissioning Committee, and Engagement Committee. He is also a member of Quality & Performance Committee and Clinical & Lay Commissioning Committee.

Simon’s father was a GP so he has always been heavily influenced by the role the NHS plays in people’s lives. He looks forward to providing an external perspective and supporting to the CCG's vision of continuously improving the health and wellbeing of the people of  Derbyshire, using all resources as fairly as possible. 

Bruce Braithwaite - Secondary Care Consultant

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Mr Braithwaite has been a Consultant Vascular and Endovascular Surgeon at the Nottingham University Hospital (NUH) since 2000. He is an Honorary Associate (Clinical) Professor at the University of Nottingham. His clinical practice is based in the East Midlands where he provides elective services to NUH and Ilkeston Community Hospital. He helped to found a National Group Partnership of Secondary Care Clinicians (Alliance Surgical plc)  and has been their Director of Clinical Services since 2007. 

He trained in Cambridge, London, Oxford and the USA. He has been a Council Member of the Vascular Society of Great Britain and Ireland, the Venous forum of the Royal Society of Medicine, Board Member of the British Association of Sclerotherapists and Founder Member of the International Society for Vascular Surgery. 

He has been Deputy Clinical Chair and Chair of the Clinical Governance and Risk Management Committee for the Circle Nottingham NHS Treatment Centre. He was the Secondary Care Consultant for NHS North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group before NHS Derby and Derbyshire CCG was formed in 2019.

Bruce is a member of the CCG’s Audit Committee, Clinical & Lay Commissioning Committee, and Quality & Performance Committee.

Dean Wallace - Derbyshire County Council Director of Public Health

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Dean took up post as Derbyshire County Council’s Director of Public Health in August 2016. Dean was previously Consultant in Public Health at Calderdale Council, leading on the health improvement and population health intelligence agendas. Dean has a background in sport and exercise science and worked for private sector health clubs and district and borough councils in the north of Derbyshire for 6 years before joining the NHS in 2004, working for North Derbyshire Health Promotion Service.                     

Dean joined the public health specialty training programme in 2010, working across a number of NHS and Local Government organisations in the East Midlands as a Specialty Registrar in Public Health and then as an Acting Public Health Consultant before securing the Public Health Consultant post with Calderdale Council.   

Executive Governing Body Members

Dr Chris Clayton - Accountable Officer & Chief Executive

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Dr Clayton was appointed as the single Chief Executive Officer for the four Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in October 2017. Following the merger of the four Derbyshire CCGs in April 2019, Dr Clayton became the Chief Executive Officer for NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group.  

Prior to taking up post in Derbyshire, Dr Clayton served as Clinical Chief Officer for NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG and also held the position of Chief Officer for the Pennine Lancashire Transformation Programme. 

Originally from Rossendale in East Lancashire, Dr Clayton completed his clinical studies in Cambridge and following this worked in Birmingham and the West Midlands before returning to join Darwen Healthcare GP practice in 2004 where he worked as a practising GP until 2017.

Helen Dillistone - Executive Director of Corporate Strategy and Delivery

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Helen is the executive director responsible for a range of corporate functions across the CCG which includes corporate assurance, governance and compliance functions, together with overseeing the Board Secretariat function. She also leads the development of the CCGs Corporate Strategy and Organisational Development together with staff engagement, patient and public involvement, communications, complaints and equality and diversity functions in addition to being executive lead for Human Resources.Helen has held a number of senior management positions in the NHSE for the past 16 years. Prior to that she worked in a range of management positions within commercial and legal sectors. Helen’s first degree is in Law and she also holds an MBA. 

Steve Lloyd - Medical Director

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Dr Steve Lloyd has worked as a GP in North East Derbyshire for over 20 years, having previously worked as a maxillofacial surgeon. He was Chair of NHS Hardwick CCG from inception until July 2018 when he took up the role of  Executive Medical Director for NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group. He also worked previously in a number of clinical lead roles including substance misuse, and Derbyshire out of hours provision.  

Outside medicine, Steve has worked as a medical adviser, trustee and chief expedition leader for the British Exploring Society at the Royal Geographical Society and as an RAF reserve officer. He continues to lead youth development expeditions. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society.  

As Medical Director his role is to ensure that as strategic commissioner we commission high quality, outcome-based clinical services for Derbyshire’s population, and input at strategic level to the Joined Up Care Derbyshire (STP) programme. His teams include medicines management, primary care commissioning and quality, long-term conditions management and IT infrastructure, which are vital to how clinical transformation programmes develop.

Brigid Stacey - Chief Nurse and Quality Officer

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With nearly 20 years’ experience in Director of Nursing and Quality roles – including several years at NHS England North Midlands – Brigid brings extensive knowledge of the NHS from the frontline services to senior and strategic level. Her insight and experience of working in these roles across Derby, Walsall, Luton and Dunstable hospitals, and Shropshire and Staffordshire Local Area Team make her an incredibly well qualified leader for Derbyshire in her role as Chief Nursing Officer. 


Richard Chapman - Chief Finance Officer

Richard Chapman - Chief Finance Officer

Richard Chapman is NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s Chief Finance Officer, as of July 2019. Formerly Director of Finance for NHS England in South Central and South West (North) patches, Richard brings a wealth of expertise in delivering excellent financial control. 

Richard joined the NHS on the national Financial Management Training Scheme in 1997, and worked mainly in acute Trusts, in both finance and operational roles, before moving into commissioning in 2011 as Finance Director of the six commissioning organisations in South East London. From 2013, he was Chief Finance Officer and Deputy Managing Director for NHS Arden Commissioning Support and was seconded as Turnaround Director to North West England Commissioning Support Unit and NHS England’s new care models team before joining NHS England.

Zara Jones - Executive Director of Commissioning Operations

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As Executive Director of Commissioning Operations for NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Zara brings a wealth of NHS experience to her role. 

Before joining us in September 2018, Zara was based in Staffordshire where she was Director of Strategy, Planning and Performance across six CCGs. Previous appointments include senior roles in acute trusts, including Nottingham University Hospitals, where she was Associate Director of Strategy. Zara’s experience also extends to regulatory roles including the Trust Development Authority (now NHS Improvement) and the East Midlands Strategic Health Authority where Zara developed her breadth of experience across planning and performance functions. Starting her NHS career in 2003 as a Graduate Management Scheme trainee, Zara’s first substantive role was as a Primary Care Commissioning Manager at North Eastern Derbyshire Primary Care Trust. 

Zara has lived in North Derbyshire for the past 16 years.