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.

Chief Executive

Professor Lesley Dwyer:  Appointed March 2024

With 30 years healthcare management experience, Prof Dwyer has been the CEO of Central Adelaide Local Health Network over the last five years, the biggest health authority in South Australia with more than 18,000 staff.

She was Chief Executive of Medway NHS Foundation Trust in Kent between 2015 and 2018, where she helped lift the organisation out of quality Special Measures and into a well led “Good” rating from the Care Quality Commission.


Tom Spink: Appointed 2023.

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.

Executive Directors

Dr Bernard Brett – Interim Medical Director: Appointed September 2023

Dr Bernard Brett was appointed as Interim Medical Director in September 2023. Bernard is a gastroenterologist and an experienced Medical Manager, currently holding the position of Chair of the East of England Clinical Senate and previously having held a variety of posts including Medical Director at the James Paget University Hospital, Responsible Officer, Appraisal Lead and Divisional Director.

Rachael Cocker Interim Chief Nurse: Appointed March 2024

Rachael Cocker has worked at NNUH for over 30 years, commencing with her registered general nurse training in 1991 with Broadland school of nursing and she later undertook training with the University of East Anglia as a registered midwife.

Throughout her career she has held various nursing leadership roles, gaining experience across all areas of healthcare delivery within the organisation. She is committed to upholding high standards of patient care, fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and ensuring smooth operation of the nursing, midwifery and AHP services during this transitional period.

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.

Liz Sanford – Interim Chief Finance Officer: Appointed March 2024.

Liz Sanford is a chartered accountant (CPFA) who began working for the NHS in 2015 with NHS Improvement, where she was a member of the East of England finance team. Following a secondment to The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s as Deputy Director of Finance in 2019, she joined the Trust in September 2020 to take up the post of Director of Finance – Operations and was appointed as the Trust’s interim Chief Finance Officer in March 2024.

Non-Executive Directors

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.

Nikki Gray – Non Executive Director Appointed: January 2024

Having graduated from the University of Birmingham with a BSc in Medical Microbiology, Nikki qualified as a chartered accountant with Ernst & Young, before pursuing a career across the financial services and energy sectors. Her corporate finance role at TXU Energy (formerly Eastern Electricity) saw her leading asset acquisitions across Europe and more latterly, working in Executive roles at Aviva and Zurich Insurance, Nikki has, delivering various significant transformation programmes.

Nikki is currently the Chief Operating Officer at Pikl Insurance Services Ltd, a local Insurtech. She has been a Governor at City College Norwich since 2018, where she currently sits on the Business Committee with previous roles on both the Curriculum & Standards Committee and the Audit Committee.

We have a number of directors who are not members of the Trust Board, but who may attend Board meetings.

  • Alex Berry, Director of Transformation
  • Simon Hackwell, Director of Strategy and Major Projects
  • Dr Ed Prosser-Snelling, Chief Digital Information Officer/Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology