Our Board

Frances Russell, Chair

Frances has enjoyed a long career, initially in Nursing, where she became Director of Nursing Services/Deputy Chief Executive of Richmond Twickenham and Roehampton NHS Trust, and latterly in General Management. She was appointed as Chief Executive of Sussex Weald and Downs NHS Trust in 1993 and took early retirement in 2002. Since her retirement she has been actively involved in the voluntary sector as a Trustee of Age UK West Sussex and Chairman of The Aldingbourne Trust. She was appointed as Chair of Healthwatch West Sussex in 2013. Frances has also been Chair of Governors at Chichester College and was Chair of her local Parish Council in Cocking. She has lived in West Sussex since 1996.


Sally Dartnell, Chief Officer

Sally is responsible for supporting the Board on all matters relating to the governance of the organisation and ensuring that all contractual and statutory obligations are met. Sally has over 20 years of professional business management experience in senior roles in public, private and third sectors. Her corporate background is in Environmental and Business Management and Corporate Responsibility. In the last 10 years her senior roles have covered Health & Wellbeing, Diversity & Disability, Community Impact, CICs and Social Enterprises. She is a Trustee of a West Sussex Community Group has been a volunteer Youth Leader for over 20 years.


Steven Cooper, Independent Director

Steven spent most of his 30 year executive working career in the IT customer services market running global divisions and business units for McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing), Northgate IS and the Dell Corporation. On leaving Dell in 2016 he joined West Sussex County Council as an independent member of their Remunerations Panel and Standards Committee and has also joined the South Downs National Park Authority as an independent member of their Standards Committee. He served a 3yr term as a Parish Councillor in Bedfordshire before returning to live in West Sussex in 2015. Steven is a qualified alpine ski coach and trainer and is also active as an executive mentor.


Jeremy Gardner, Independent Director

Jeremy is a former journalist, working on local newspapers in West Sussex and Portsmouth early in his career, and later a director of communications and engagement in the NHS.  He was involved in organising community engagement and consultation on major hospital and primary care changes in London as well as working with local diverse communities and groups to ensure their voice was heard and acted upon by NHS organisations. He worked on NHS contingency plans around the 2012 Olympics and led a series of public health campaigns, working with the community to help east Londoners improve their health and well-being.


Martin Phillips, Independent Director

Martin Phillips BSc (Eng) is a Chartered Electrical Engineer spending over 30 years in industry with the last 15 as a main board director. After taking early retirement he spent 7 years as a non executive Director of Western Sussex NHS Foundation Hospital Trust and was initially involved in the merging of the two general hospitals in West Sussex. He also served as a Magistrate for 10 years and was chair of Relate for Brighton, Hove and Worthing for a number of years. Martin has been a volunteer with Citizens Advice for 14 years with the last 7 as the employment specialist for West Sussex where he represents clients at Employment Tribunals. Currently he is also a volunteer advocate for Impact Advocacy assisting adults with physical and mental disabilities. He is a member of the West Sussex Safeguarding Adults Board where he represents Healthwatch. In this last role he chairs the sub group for Public Engagement.


Linda Cairney, Independent Director

Linda is a business leader at BT with over 20 years’ experience introducing IT solutions to clients including government and health in the UK, and internationally across 7 countries including China, India, Australia and USA.  She is an advocate for learning and development and presents at UK and international conferences to raise awareness, and drive uptake, of digital innovations.  Over the years Linda has supported multiple volunteer organisations including RNLI, and the Tabitha foundation helping vulnerable communities in Cambodia.  Linda has studied at universities and business schools in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Hertfordshire and has an MBA, MSc IT and is a fellow of the chartered management institute.


Alan Pickering, Independent Director

Alan is a Finance specialist and Director with over 20 years of experience at Board level. He has successfully developed and led the financial strategy and operational performance at several major NHS organisations. He also has Board level experience for Performance, Risk, Assurance and Support Services.


Helen Goodman, Independent Director

Helen has worked in the Rail Industry for over 24 years and was a Director of The Rail Safety and Standards Board for 8 years where she was responsible for business operations functions including Human Resources, Communications, Information Technology and Finance and Supply Chain. She delivered a number of significant business transformation projects and brings with her a broad range of skills and understanding including risk management, governance, culture change and stakeholder engagement. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and has held a number of operational and business roles working for companies including Network Rail, Railtrack PLC and British Rail. Having previously lived in West Sussex for a number of years, she now lives on the Sussex/Surrey border.


Mark Sharman, Member Director

Mark is the Chief Executive of Help and Care, having joined as a part-time worker in 1985 when it was a three month pilot project. Over the years Mark has held a number of local, regional and national advisory roles relating to innovation in public service delivery, community engagement and organisational leadership. He was awarded the OBE in the New Year Honours list for 2003, and an Honorary Doctorate from Bournemouth University in November 2003. Mark has maintained his commitment to Community Development, with the aspiration that everyone can take part in the issues that affect their lives. He enjoys contributing to Healthwatch West Sussex as a vibrant consumer champion that supports people and communities living the lives they choose.


Emma Leatherbarrow, Member Director

Emma Leatherbarrow is the Director of Partnerships at Help and Care. She brings experience from wide ranging roles in the public and third sectors which have helped her to develop an excellent knowledge base across the breadth of public policy, from waste to welfare. She has set up successful initiatives ranging from farmers markets and youth forums to the first joint Health and Wellbeing Board in England. Particular achievements include leading the development of a successful programme to turn around the lives of families with complex problems and working in partnership to help victims of domestic abuse.

Past Board papers

We make the papers for our public Board meetings available online. We also publish a summary of what was discussed. Check out our past meetings to read more.

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