Board of Directors’ Profiles
The Chairman and Chief Executive share the Trust’s leadership:
The Chairman’s role is to lead the Board of Directors; making sure it effectively governs the Trust.
The Chief Executive’s role is to lead the executive in delivering the strategy and managing operational delivery.
The Chief Executive is also the Officer accountable to Parliament.
The role of the non executive directors is to:
Bring a range of varied perspectives and experiences to strategy development and decision-making.
Ensure effective management arrangements and an effective management team is in place.
Operational responsibility is delegated to the executive and non executives have the role of holding the executive to account for performance.
The role of executive directors is to:
Share collective responsibility with the non executive directors as part of a unified board.
Shape and deliver the strategy and operational performance in line with the Trust’s strategic aims.
Declaration of Interests for Exec and Non-Exec Directors (Register of Interests)
All Board of Directors members are required to declare any business interests or positions of authority in any charity or voluntary body in the field of health or social care and any connection with a voluntary or other body contracting for NHS services.
Register of Interests Declared by the Chairman, non-executive directors and executive directors of this Trust.
Sam Higginson: Appointed 2019
Sam Higginson was appointed as Chief Executive of the Trust in October 2019.
Sam joined NNUH from Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust where he was Chief Operating Officer from March 2017. Previously he was Director of Strategic Finance for NHS England and between 2010 and 2013 was Director of Strategic Development at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Sam started his career working with Unicef as a UN logistics officer co-ordinating the airlift of emergency supplies in Sudan followed by organising medical teams for a charity to assess the need for emergency relief in areas of Africa and Afghanistan. He joined NHS London in 2008 after four years on the HM Treasury Health Spending Team and prior to that was a management consultant.
Sam leads the executive team responsible for the overall leadership of our hospitals.
Tom Spink: Appointed 2022.
Tom Spink has worked at Aviva in several key senior roles since 2007 and began his current role as Group Procurement Director in 2013. Prior to joining NNUH, Tom was a non-executive director at the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust where he was chair of the finance and performance committee, vice-chair of the Trust and a member of the Norfolk and Waveney Health and Care Partnership Oversight Group.
Tom graduated from the University of Dundee with a first class honours degree in Civil Engineering in 1983, and gained his MBA from Warwick University in 1988. He worked in a number of engineering and aerospace companies before joining Norwich Union (now Aviva) in 2002. During his time with Aviva he held various roles including CEO of the General Insurance business in Turkey. For the last seven years Tom has been the Group Procurement Director.
Professor Erika Denton– Medical Director: Appointed 2018.
Erika Denton has been MD for 4 years and is responsible for providing professional strategic medical advice to the Board and leadership on clinical quality, safety and clinical research. Erika has been a consultant radiologist for 24 years at the Trust after joining us in 1999. Erika was appointed to the role of Associate Medical Director in 2016 working across the health system, with the University of East Anglia, to develop workforce and research strategies. She has previously been The National Clinical Director for Imaging and then Diagnostics for DH and NHSE and Clinical Advisor in Imaging at NHS Improvement.
Professor Nancy Fontaine – Chief Nurse. Appointed 2018
Professor Nancy Fontaine was appointed as Chief Nurse in August 2018 and is responsible for leadership of nurses, midwives, AHPs, Pharmacists and Bio-Scientists. As Director for Infection Prevention and Control and Executive lead for Quality, Safety, Patient Experience and Engagement, Nancy is responsible for guiding the board on clinical priorities. Nancy holds a professorial role at Anglia Ruskin University.
Since 2012, Nancy was Chief Nurse and Deputy Chief Executive at Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust in Harlow. Nancy was appointed as one of the country’s first Consultant Nurses in Emergency Medicine in 1999 and was latterly Chief Nurse at Whipps Cross Hospital leading the organisation into the Barts Health merger, where she was also appointed Deputy Chief Nurse before her move to Harlow.
Chris Cobb – Chief Operating Officer: Appointed 2019.
Chris Cobb was appointed as Chief Operating Officer in 2019 after three years as Divisional Director of Operations for Medicine. Chris joined us in 2005 as an Admin Manager and has developed his career here in a number of management roles after serving for 20 years in the Royal Air Force.
Paul Jones – Chief People Officer: Appointed August 2019
Paul Jones has most recently served as the Chief Human Resources Officer, helping open a new state of the art teaching hospital for Women and Children in the Middle East. He has more than twenty years’ experience as a Human Resources Director, working for a number of hospitals including Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust and the Cambridge and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.
Roy Clarke – Chief Finance Officer: Appointed 2020.
Roy Clarke was appointed as our Chief Finance Officer in 2020. Roy has 22 years of healthcare experience in primary, secondary and tertiary services and played a key role in the successful construction, commissioning and occupation programme for a new £200m specialist hospital.
Alex Berry – Director of Transformation: Appointed in 2022
Alex joined the Trust as Director of Transformation in July 2022. Prior to this she was Director of Strategy and Transformation at Kingston Hospital. Alex has extensive NHS executive experience having worked in a variety of leadership roles across acute, commissioning, primary care and the wider system leading on complex programmes of changes and integrating services across acute community and primary care.
Alex joined the NHS as a National General Management Trainee and has also experience of working in the private sector. As Director of Transformation, Alex is the executive lead at Board level responsible for driving forward the transformation agenda in support of the Trust’s strategic and business goals.
Julian Foster – Non-Executive Director: Appointed 2019.
Julian is a chartered accountant and corporate treasurer. He was Executive Finance Director of Broadland Housing Association until 2019 and has held four senior finance director roles in growing housing association groups in the Eastern region over the last 20 years.
After graduating from Trinity College, Oxford, Julian worked in investment banking until moving to the social housing sector. Julian is Chair of the Audit Committee and a member of the Nominations and Remuneration Committee.
Dr Pam Chrispin – Non-Executive Director: Appointed in 2020.
Dr Pam Chrispin has worked in the NHS for more than 30 years. Pam was previously Medical Director of the East of England Ambulance Service, Medical Director at West Suffolk Hospital and is currently Deputy Medical Director at East Anglian Air Ambulance.
Sandra Dinneen – Non-Executive Director: Appointed in 2020.
Sandra Dinneen is an experienced Chief Executive with roles spanning the public, private and third sector. She has a background in partnership working in many areas including economic growth, public health, and community development. and has led and advised on a number of projects. Sandra has a keen interest in organisational development, cultural change and commercialisation and continues to deliver leadership development programmes and executive coaching. Other roles include being a Commissioner for Historic England, a founder Trustee and Member of the Sapientia Multi Academy Education Trust and leading the Priscilla Bacon Charity to deliver a new Hospice for Norfolk.
Sandra Chairs the NNUH People and Culture Committee and is a member of the Finance, Investment and Performance Committee and the Audit and Risk Committee.
Joanna Hannam – Non-Executive Director: Appointed in 2020.
Joanna Hannam has lived in Norfolk with her family for 30 years, was Head of Customer Services and Communications at Norfolk County Council, Executive Director of the Health Improvement Programme at Norfolk Health Authority and has been a lay member at Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group for one year.
Professor Charles ffrench-Constant – Non-Executive Director: Appointed in 2021
Professor Charles ffrench-Constant is Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at UEA. Charles joined UEA this year from the University of Edinburgh where he established the Multiple Sclerosis Research Centre, progressing over the next 12 years to Directorships of the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, Edinburgh Neuroscience, the Wellcome Trust PhD programme in Translational Neuroscience and then Dean of Research for the College of Medicine.
He graduated in Medicine from the University of Cambridge in 1980 and his research has largely focused on finding therapies for Multiple Sclerosis.
Dr Ujjal Sarkar – Non Executive Director: Appointed in 2022
Dr Ujjal Sarkar is a lead GP partner at one of the largest GP partnerships in the country.
Ujjal has been a GP for more than 14 years with extensive board experience in Clinical Commissioning Groups, GP Federations, hospitals and as a Medical Director in NHS 111. He also works as a Team leader for the General Medical Council Fitness to Practice Directorate.
He has a track record of service improvement, innovation and improving patient experience.
Ujjal is a member of the People and Culture Committee and the Nominations and Remuneration Committee, and is the Non-Executive Staff Wellbeing Guardian.