Local people working for their communities.

Public governors, elected by local people to work with Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, are working on your behalf to improve health services for the future.

They represent your interests. You can help them carry out their role effectively by giving them your views. Tell them how you think services could be improved. Pass on the ideas and suggestions you think would enhance patient care. Let them know what you want your local hospital to offer.

The role of a public governors includes:

  • Representing the interests and views of local people in North Derbyshire
  • Giving you information about the hospital, its visions and its performance
  • Selecting and appointing Non-Executive Directors and the Chair
  • Appraising the performance of the Chair
  • Approving the appointment of a Chief Executive
  • Attending meetings of the Council of Governors and other committees.
  • Monitoring performance against the Trust's Service Development Strategy and other targets
  • Advising and working in partnership with the hospital's Board of Directors

Governors are not there to deal with any personal complaints or issues you have about the hospital, or your care and treatment.

These must still be dealt with through the official complaints procedure. You should contact the Assistance and Complaints Service direct on 01246 512640.

Your Public Governors

Bolsover District

Graham Paling

I became a Governor to enable me to give something back in recognition of all the help the NHS has given me.

I worked in the Electricity Supply Industry for nearly 47 years in a variety of roles in locations of Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Malaysia, Leicestershire and Derbyshire. My last role was manager of the Mansfield area. In addition I was President of the Western Power branch of the Prospect Union.

I am married with children and grandchildren. We love gardening and holidaying both at home and abroad. I am a season ticket holder at Trent Bridge and Murrayfield and enjoy watching sport.

Alan Godhard

Hello, my name is Alan, and I am delighted to be a new Governor at Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

I’m a rolling stone who has gathered a lot of moss.

My father, miner’s son, should have gone to grammar school; no money for the uniform, clever, taught me so much, mainly to listen and learn. I don’t think I went through the normal teenage time when teenagers know everything. They don’t consider what they don’t know, some people never grow out of that.

Believe it or not, I was small at school, bullied so failed the 11 plus. Secondary School, Art College, Clowne Tech, Granville College, Sheffield Tech – ONC Engineering, HNC electrical and Electronic Engineering plus a few more courses along the way.

Moved jobs a lot more than normal, I learned and moved upwards: Apprentice Electrician, Electrician, Hotpoint Service Engineer, Insurance Agent, Sheepbridge Engineering, Hospital Engineer, Steelworks Electrician, Forman Electrician, Sales Engineer, Applications Engineer for Industrial Computers, Hospital Estates Officer with responsibility for Maintenance Contracts, Works Study, Energy Management, Statistics, Computer Applications and Software, Asset Registers, Budgeting. All this and then at 50 retired.

Didn’t stop: Senior Facilities Management Consultant, upgrading and improving Hospitals, Universities, etc. Saved the NHS many millions in fuel cost throughout the land.

About 55, no more bosses. Freelance Consultancy Work, Marketing Utilities, Driving Jobs, Agency Work, landlord with property to maintain. Slowed down a bit still do work when the opportunity arises, but now concentrating on what I want. My current project is converting my home heating system to sunshine. Not enough hours in a day and the project list keeps growing.

Personal details: married twice, third partner a retired CRH nurse, a biography like mine, we holiday, garden, U3a, we do family history. Both users of CRH, and I am passionate about supporting the NHS, and I look forward to supporting my local NHS hospital and Trust.

My piece of advice is: “Listen, learn, Think, then speak. Interrupting is wasting everybody's time. Set your personal ambitions high or fall by the wayside.”

When speaking I say it as it is, based on my knowledge and experience. I have been told my honesty is my worst enemy.

Chesterfield Borough

Frank Benison

I was originally elected in December 2018, and I was recently re-elected in December 2021. 

I became a Governor because my knowledge and experience of the Chesterfield community area will assist to represent the community, bring effective change and required benefits for patients and the community.

I have lived in Chesterfield all my life and I worked in the engineering and manufacturing industries for 40 years in the local area.

Before retiring in 2004, I spent 20 years as Chief Executive of NLT Training Services. The services we provided included apprenticeships, Health and Safety Management and Supervisory training for 300 companies in Derbyshire, Nottingham and Lincoln.

I have previously volunteered at a local school; I am also a past chair and committee member of National Training Federation and a trustee of NLT training services.

My own personal goal is to maintain and continue to improve patient experiences. My priorities are ensuring that the patient experience is the best possible, through ward visits and staff development.

My specialised area of interest is staff development and recruitment, business and financial planning and meeting budgets.

Ruth Ludford

I have been a governor for six years and I am now in my final term.

I am a retired General and Paediatric nurse with 40 years’ experience. My main work was in Primary Care as Practice Nurse in a GP surgery. I also spent several years as a Nurse Adviser for NHSDirect.

During retirement, I decided I would like to learn more about Secondary Care and my local Chesterfield Royal Hospital. I felt my Nursing career, with my knowledge and experience of working with patients, would be valuable as a Governor.

I have learnt over the years how important the Governor role is within the Trust. We are able to meet with staff, patients and their families and listen to their views and experiences.

We meet regularly with Executives and Non-Executives and are able to pass on the comments we receive from our community, patients and colleagues, and any questions we ask are answered.

During my time as a Governor, I have seen Royal Primary Care expand. Primary Care has been important to me, and I will continue to take an interest in how it continues to develop.

Our priority as Governors must be to ensure that care is carried out to the highest of standards.

Carol Warren (Lead Governor)

I have been a public governor for the last seven months; I am very new to the role, but not to the Chesterfield Royal Hospital building!

I began my working career 42 years ago in Health and Social Care, in roles which spanned managing Domiciliary Care in Sheffield and later in Hope Valley; residential care for the elderly; primary care in Ayrshire, Scotland; and most recently manual handling in acute care both in Glasgow, and Chesterfield.

I retired last year, after twenty years working as the Manual Handling Advisor at Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

Like many, my experience of the NHS has been as a patient - supporting family and friends using the hospital – and also as an employee. I decided that upon retiring, I wanted to maintain involvement with the Trust; drawing on my experience and knowledge of providing care in a wide range of settings. I want to help achieve and maintain the best quality services available for our community in Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Healthcare does not start or stop at the front door of our hospital. We’ve had to face challenges never seen before, and also work together with other Health and Social Care Organisations like never before.

What are my key priorities as a Governor? I am particularly interested in issues related to health and safety of colleagues and patients, including the recording of and responding to incidents within the organisation. I am also interested in ensuring safe environments and safe working conditions for our #TeamCRH colleagues.

Ian Fretwell

After 44 years as a Registered Nurse based solely at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, I wanted to give something back to the community from my years of experience within the health care setting.

I have had several different roles during the 44 years starting as a health care assistant and progressing through SEN, RGN and managerial roles, mainly involved in gastrointestinal / colorectal and endoscopy services. As a ward nurse, nurse manager and clinician I have covered many different aspects of patient care. Providing strong organisation and leadership skills to provide focussed patient care delivery with a final legacy of designing and leading the current endoscopy department here in Chesterfield.

My additional experience at a national level being the National lead nurse for Bowel Cancer Screening and also an accreditied inspector of endoscopy services covering England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has given me insight into other trusts and observation of the different healthcare settings.

My education after a slow start took me to Masters Level in Advanced Nursing Practice, and my academic route allowed me to publish articles and editorials for several nursing publications.

Invitation to speak at National and International Conferences e.g., the USA and Australia have also gained knowledge of different culture relating to healthcare.

I believe the patient, carers and family should be the centre of everything we do, and we should make decisions based on this premise. A strong financial understanding and value for money is also of key importance, as well as the provision of care, welfare and support for all staff groups working in and around the Chesterfield Royal Hospital Foundation Trust.

Now retired, married with two grown up daughters, of which one is an Advanced Nurse Practitioner working at the Royal and the other is a Headteacher at a local school, I’m also a musician (Piano & keyboards) and have previously been the Chair of the North Derbyshire Music Centre.

Serving the local community as a public governor will give me the opportunity to support the Royal Hospital but also represent Chesterfield citizens by challenging and questioning important issues relating to the delivery of healthcare across North Derbyshire.

Norman Shaw

I have been a public Governor for more than four years, and I am the deputy lead Governor at Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS FT Trust.

I became a governor because I am very community minded, and following a long illness, my wife was cared for at our hospital and I wanted to give something back on a voluntary basis. This seemed to be the perfect pathway for doing this, and it has proved to be that way.

I started work as most young men did in my time at a coal mine. That lasted three years when then I decided I wanted to see the world, so I joined the Royal Navy for nine years. I left there and joined the Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service and served with them for 36 years, gaining many skills including Health and Safety, Fire Safety and much more.

I am a Justice of the Peace and served for 14 years at Chesterfield; I was a vaccination volunteer in Derby and Chesterfield for over two years during the pandemic.

As you can see from the potted version of my career, one thing I have is experience of working with people; both in a friendly/formal way and also in emergency situations.

What do I hope to achieve as a Governor? The Trust’s objective is to reach ‘exceptional care delivered by exceptional people’ and I believe Governors can help in that goal.

Our job is to represent the public; we hold the Non-Executive Directors to account with looking into any issues we raise on your behalf, along with the Board members. My priority as a Governor is to make sure the public have a voice at the Trust.

John Kay

I am a retired University Lecturer and Local Councillor, with experience and responsibilities for the support of two young adults on the Autism Spectrum.

Having used services at the Trust, I felt I would like to give back to others and the Trust, and ensure that the service is maintained to a high level of quality and effectiveness.

I would like to provide support through my previous experiences in the fields of Autism and education, and contribute to the development of the mental health departments in the Trust.

I have historically supported North East Derbyshire in this area by being involved in the Sheffield Health and Social Care Trust as the Lead Governor, under Professor Allan Walker.

I am currently a member on the Sheffield Autism Partnership Board and have close links with the Sheffield Clinical Commisioning Group. I have experience of many working groups within my former Trust, including the selection and appointment of Executives and Non-Executive members of the Board.

I am currently a volunteer in the final stages of SHARL (Sheffield University Health Research) project in the benefit of patient involvement in health research, and I have contributed to a number of previous projects, including the REQOL mental health assessment tool.

I would like to support the development of the services provided through the Trust and feel I provide a useful addition to the Council of Governors.

Parthasarathy Pobbathi


Derbyshire Dales and North Amber Valley District 

David Pickworth

I was educated at the Barnard Castle school and then Medical School at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Following vocational training, I took a practice in Youlgreave and Darley Dale and practiced there, latterly as senior partner until 2012 when I became a freelance practitioner.

I still work in general practice at Whittington Moor in Chesterfield but my work is now largely centred around the mental health act and mental capacity act, a very busy sector since the pandemic.

I served as a member of the North Derbyshire health authority from 1985 and with the abolition of the health authorities moved to directorship of primary care trusts, where I was clinical governance lead. 

I joined the board of Chesterfield Royal Hospital as a non-executive director in 2012 and served until 2018.

I have particular interests and mental health, patient safety and child protection.

John Rigarlsford

High Peak Borough

Jonathan Davies

I was recently elected as Public Governor for High Peak after I decided that I want to offer to support my local NHS Trust.

I have an extensive background in property construction and estates and facilities management. I hope to be of some assistance during the continuing important decisions and changes that affect Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, its colleagues and patients.

As a former (now fully recovered) cancer patient, I have experience of some of the issues that are important to patients, and how the impact of change can affect expectations and outcomes for both patients, and the hospital.

Recent surveys show that there is a positive recognition of the public good that Chesterfield Royal Hospital provides, and I intend to help build that trust and awareness where I can.

North East Derbyshire District 

Mark Coppel

I have been a public governor representing North East Derbyshire since January 2020. I joined before the COVID-19 pandemic and have seen first-hand the extraordinary and selfless work all colleagues at the Trust.

For the last decade, I have worked in governance in education. I wanted to become a governor at Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS FT so that I could learn about governance in the health sector.

As a national leader of governance, designated by the Department of Education, I have worked with dozens of schools and multiple academy trusts to improve their governance; I wanted to see if I could offer my expertise and experience of best practice in the education sector to my local Trust and hospital.

As a local member of the public, I want to see how the hospital serves the community and to ensure that this critical service, often operating in very difficult circumstances, is the best it can be.

Dr Pervaiz Iqbal

I was elected as a public Governor around 18 months ago. Prior to putting my name forward for Governorship, I had already spent nearly 25 years in Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

I moved to Chesterfield with my young family in 1996 to take up the post of Consultant Physician. I semi-retired in 2016 and fully retired in September 2020.

In my time at the Trust I had been Clinical Director of Medicine and Chairman of the Medical Staff Committee.

My knowledge and experience has given me a unique opportunity as a member of the council of governors to plan safe, effective, efficient and yet affordable services. I am pleased to see council of governors working hand in hand with the chair, board of directors and clinicians to move to a more patient-centred approach, which respects patients’ values, beliefs, dignity, privacy and right of choice.

As a physician, I played a significant role in understanding mortality, and I am continuing my interest in reducing avoidable deaths.

Nick Wood

I became a Public Governor in January 2022, after a successful career as a Sales and Marketing Director for several large companies in the private sector. 

After the NHS cared for and treated myself and my daughter several times, over a great many years, I decided that it was time to give something back.  Becoming a trust governor seemed the ideal way.

I hope that the skills that I have learnt in commercial and strategic matters will be found useful to the Trust. It is my aim to assist the Trust in delivering the best possible care, whilst delivering the best possible use of public money.

I believe that the Trust must be transparent in all of its dealings and able to communicate with the public in a clear, concise manner. The last few years has proved extremely challenging, and this is likely to continue. However, the solution is not just about increased funding without also looking at the structure and efficiency of our hospital. 

First and foremost, we care for and treat patients whilst also offering support to their family.  We must always ensure that we have staff and management that can support that mission.

As a sufferer of Crohn’s Disease for nearly 50 years, together with its associated complications, I hope that I will have the opportunity to offer support and advice to others just setting off on this difficult journey.

Judith Reece

I was elected eight years ago, after having to retire from a voluntary community.  I had time and wanted to work on behalf of my locality, in a hospital I have worked in and frequented (rarely) since 1984. I am also a member of two subcommittees.

My working life was people centred; from Baptist ministry to psychiatric and adult nursing, involving practice and supervision. During Covid I was a telephone support worker with Red Cross/NHS.

I completed 30+ years in NHS and Higher Education, working as a Lecturer at three universities. I have been able to use these experiences, working alongside board and governors, to improve care and community services for those who need our local hospital, and its community services. I have experienced other service provisions and know how fortunate we are to have to this service in Chesterfield and Derbyshire. We’re not always perfect but striving to improve and develop.

I would like to finish my term knowing there is an effective integrated care system. I hope in this area communication is at the forefront of caring, that staff feel safe to communicate concerns, and success equally. I remain interested in the mental health component of care, having in the past researched, taught and practiced in the area of response to trauma and illness, both physical and psychological.

South Sheffield and Rotherham

Kenneth Stonebank

Before retirement, I worked in the Department of Education for 10 years, and also held a role at the Department of Health; so I have seen lots of work within the civil services, with a slight insight into the health industry.

I have three children, who have brought me four grandchildren - so it's safe to say my retirement hasn't been quiet! 

I wanted to take on something outwardly useful: to give something back. One of my first jobs was working in the Artificial Limb and Appliance Centre at Freeman Hospital, so with my knowledge of how hospitals used to work, I decided to put myself forward for the Council of Governors at Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS FT.

I've done lots of different jobs, and worked with contractors in different sectors, so I believe I bring lots to the table in terms of different perspectives. I've only been cared for by the NHS directly twice; after an accident and a triple heart bypass, so I'm glad I get the chance to help this Trust be the best it can be, and represent the views of the people, like myself, who use it.