Council of Governors

Meet our Council of Governors

Chairman – Gillian Norton


Elected Governors


A headshot of Nasir Akhtar

Nasir Akhtar – from 01.02.2020

I have been a resident of Merton for the last 18 years and my family and I have benefited from the vital services offered by St George’s. I am passionate about the NHS service as I believe it plays a vital role in shaping the social fabric of our society. I have strong experience in industry, working with board members in companies to develop strategy and have also been a volunteer for over 20 years supporting local community members.

Headshot of Patrick Burns

Patrick Burns – from 21.04.2021

All our four children were born at St George’s and over the years the whole family has experienced – often in traumatic situations – the superb care the NHS provides there. Because our son has congenital heart disease, as well as severe learning and other disabilities, we’ve seen how important it is that the voice of carers and learning disability is heard in how the Trust operates. Professionally I’m a senior fellow with a business think tank, and director and former CEO of a trade association. Previous roles have included consultancy, communications, management journalism and working with trade unions.

Headshot of Chelliah Lohendran

Chelliah Lohendran – from 1.02.2024

Whilst a Councillor for London Borough of Merton, I chaired the Older People Scrutiny Committee. Here we monitored the wellbeing of all Merton residents and met regularly with CCG and hospital managers for current updates in the progress of the new hospital consultation (St Helier/Epsom).   Having left the council, I am the Chair for Merton Seniors Forum; I acquire funding to provide some excellent events and services for the Senior Citizens of Merton.  Within my roles, I have carried out care home inspections on behalf of Merton and Sutton Council with Healthwatch. With other members I also have completed main hospital and community hospital inspections (i.e:- A&E Dept, UCC, Ward, Children Ward etc.) I am very passionate about promoting Health and Wellbeing, which I have been able to do by being a member of several bodies within Merton CCG/HW and ICS.   Prior to the pandemic I started running a monthly group for parents and their children who have Special Educational Needs.  With my experience of working with a variety of groups and individuals with a different need, I am confident that I can help to improve the quality of care in the community.

Khaled Simmons – from 01.02.2021

I have 25 years’ professional experience in large, complex organisations, like British Airways, and central Government, to successfully hold executives to account for implementing strategy and delivering on their promises. I am an experienced St George’s user, having had major surgery in 3 expert services, and 22 departments, across all sites. I owe my life to St George’s. I’m well-qualified, passionate about patient experience, and have extensive experience in holding executives to account and of St George’s, among the first governors in 2013-2014 and as one of the most active Governors 2016-2019.


Afzal Ashraf Headshot

Afzal Ashraf – from 01.02.2020

I am proud of Wandsworth’s health facilities including the outstanding hospitals and other services provided by the Trust – which were superb on the rare occasions when my family have needed them. However, this complex and dispersed organisation needs high governance standards, particularly to improve value for money and engagement with patients and Trust members.

John Hallmark – from 01.02.2021

A local resident for 25 years, I have experience of St George’s as both an inpatient and A&E attendee. My professional background is in communications and marketing having worked in the Civil Service for many years and at the RSPCA’s Head Office. I now have my own company specialising in press, public relations and Parliamentary Affairs. I was previously a Wandsworth Councillor for 16 years.

Lucy Mowatt Headshot

Lucy Mowatt – from 01.02.2023

As a Wandsworth resident for 16 years, I am committed to the local community. I am an enthusiastic advocate of the NHS and have a great interest in the running of local health services, particularly St George’s. I am keen to support the Trust as it balances competing priorities whilst keeping the focus on high quality patient-centred care for all. I have worked on the NHS front line for 14 years as a Registered Dietitian, including 4 years at St George’s from 2012-2016, working in the specialist area of cancer and latterly critical care. I also chaired the England Board of the British Dietetic Association during that time. I moved to the Civil Service in 2018, and work with a public health focus in the area of diet and obesity at the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities. As a former elected Councillor of Wandsworth Borough Council from 2018-2022, I was a member of several committees including the Adult Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee where I helped monitor St George’s and other health services. As a registered carer for a member of my family with an acquired brain injury, I also have insight into a range of health care services at St George’s, so I know first-hand how important these are to the local area I believe that my background will enable me effectively to scrutinise as a governor, holding those on the Board to account, and provide a voice for the local community in Wandsworth.


Augustine Odiadi – 01.02.2024

Why I want to be a governor   I lived at Battersea, Wandsworth since 1978.  Over the past 30 years, my family and I have received the highest standard of healthcare provided by St. Georges Hospital.  We are grateful for our healthcare to the hardworking management and staff at St. Georges.  Having used St Georges A&E for many years, I am proud of the care and attention we always received.   I have always asked myself how I can payback or contribute or say thank you to St. Georges that have given so much to me and my family for so many years.  I always feel I owe so much to this community and would welcome the opportunity to serve in any capacity, possible.

What experience and skills can I bring in my role as a governor   I have a recent legal career as a Solicitor with wide experience in Family, Housing and Immigration Law practise. I will use my experience in working with other governors for the benefit of the Trust. I listen to problems and proffer solutions.  I am a good contributor to debates and inquiries aimed at achieving set objectives.  I am also a good and quick learner.  I enjoy working as a team player. I also have wide administrative experience gained from management positions spanning over 40 years.  I enjoy being involved in problem solving and finding solutions; rather than blaming people.

Jackie Parker - Headshot

Jackie Parker – 01.02.2024

I am applying to be a governor as I am a passionate supporter of the NHS. My father worked for St George’s for many years before he died and my son is currently training to be a doctor, and I am very proud of them both. As a result, I have some insight into the challenges being faced by the service.

I believe I have skills that would be very useful. I have a Business degree and a Masters in Voluntary Sector Organisation. My career was in management in the voluntary sector in human rights. My last paid job was as Deputy Director of Amnesty International UK and I worked closely with Trustees and members, so I understand and value input from volunteer board members.

Since leaving my job to care for my three children I have undertaken a lot of voluntary work including director roles on the boards of three charities and I served as a governor at Glenbrook Primary school in Lambeth for many years, including terms as Chair and Vice Chair. I have experience of how board meetings work and have the time and commitment to attend all meetings and engage in them.

My contact to date with the Trust has been as a patient over many years, a Covid vaccine trial volunteer and as a local resident. I would be proud to serve as a representative of my community in Wandsworth.

Ataul Quadir Tahir

Ataul Qadir Tahir – from 01.02.2020

I have been a resident of Wandsworth for over 40 years and have held various positions of authority in the local community. Following a heart attack I received great medical care from St George’s and would like to help other people by contributing my ideas and knowledge to improve their experience. I regularly work with UK and international charities including fundraising for the British Legion’s Poppy Appeal and Humanity First amongst others.


Rest of England

Padraig Belton headshot

Padraig Belton

I am a journalist writing regularly for the BBC and I’ve regularly covered developments in medical research. I’ve written five short academic books with Routledge, and received a Fulbright fellowship and RUSI’s Trench-Gascoigne Prize. I am finishing a doctorate at Oxford. I’m a school governor of the Harris Academy South Norwood, one of the UK’s largest secondary schools with 2,000 students, formerly a failing school. There I’ve learnt much about taking public bodies from special measures into beacons of excellence. I’m secretary of Ted’s Light, a non-profit working with children in care. I’m also on the board of Irish in Britain, a national charity lately very involved in older immigrants’ Coronavirus medical needs.

Jim Bourlet - Headshot

Jim Bourlet – from 01.02.2024

From my family’s and my own experience of in-patient and out-patient services I have formed a high opinion of St George’s Hospital.

As an 81 year old economist, I have long followed the old saying “Physician or fool by forty”. Therefore, I have taken a lively non-professional interest in health issues whilst following my career directing the London-based Economic Research Council and lecturing on public and corporate sector policy making as Professor at The University of British Columbia in Canada, in London’s Guildhall University and at Keio University in Tokyo.

I would like to bring my knowledge and experience to the decisions of the St George’s Hospitals Trust.

James Giles Headshot 

James Giles – from 01.02.2024

There is increasing pressure to improve early diagnosis, treat patients more efficiently, and reduce hospital running costs.

As representatives of the community, governors have a duty to press management to improve hospital cleanliness so that infection is further reduced, and to spend a more funds on clinical provision and patient care and less on bureaucracy.

As a former Governor of Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, I know the role and if elected will hit the ground running to ensure St George’s delivers outstanding care to patients.

I’m currently an elected councillor in the neighbouring borough of Kingston upon Thames, and have also sat on the Health Scrutiny Panel during my time as a councillor.

I have experienced first-hand the excellent care that can be provided here, and also witnessed occasions when things could have been far better… fortunately these instances have been few and far between.

I’m keen to represent those who use St George’s who don’t live in the immediate locality, to ensure excellent care for all patients. If I’m elected, I’ll hit the ground running to ensure the hospital is consistently delivering outstanding care.

Sandhya Drew Headshot

Sandhya Drew – from 01.02.2022

I was born in St George’s Hospital when it was in Hyde Park. I was ‘re-born’ in St George’s Hospital in Tooting in January 2016 when my life was saved through 11 hours of risky and complicated brain stem surgery. Thanks to the skill and care of staff, I have emerged unscathed and healthier than before my operation. I have raised funds for St George’s through running and swimming and I also participated for two years in the patient group Voice. I am a barrister and academic at City Law School specialising in employment and public law.

Staff – Nursing and Midwifery Staff Constituency

Dympna Foran headshot

Dympna Foran – 01.02.2024

Having served as a nursing sister at St Georges from 1987 to 1997 and later resuming my career in 2015, currently as Cardiology Nurse Practitioner, my connection with the organisation spans several decades.

Throughout my professional journey, I have exemplified a steadfast commitment to the principles of transparency, accountability, and patient-centred care. With a background deeply rooted in nursing, I possess a comprehensive understanding of the challenges facing our healthcare system. I am eager to leverage this to contribute effectively to the governance process and drive positive change within St George’s.

My involvement in school governance since 2008, spanning four primary schools over the last 15 years, serving as Chair of Governors for three schools and as a designated National Leader of Governance from 2014 – 2019, has equipped me with an awareness of the critical role of effective governance plays in steering organisations towards excellence.

Staff – Allied Health Professionals and Other Clinical and Technical Staff Constituency

Atif Mian Headshot

 Atif Mian – on 01.02.2024

As the lead critical care technologist at St. George’s Hospital, I’m deeply committed to the well-being and advancement of our clinical and technical staff. I believe that my experience, dedication, and vision make me the ideal candidate to represent the Allied health professional’s constituency as their governor.

Throughout my career, I have witnessed the vital role that AHPs, clinical and technical staff play in the healthcare system. We are the backbone of patient care, working tirelessly to ensure the best outcomes. I understand the unique challenges we face, from the pressures of frontline care to the need for continuous education and professional development.

My leadership within the critical care team has honed my ability to collaborate, communicate, and advocate for our colleagues’ needs. I have consistently championed initiatives to improve working conditions, ensure access to necessary resources, and promote staff well-being. I will work tirelessly to ensure that our voices are heard at the highest levels of decision-making within the organisation.

Staff – Medical and Dental Constituency

Abdul Siddiky

Abdul Siddiky – on 1.02.2024

I am a Consultant Transplant & Dialysis Access Surgeon and was honoured to be appointed to the Trust in early 2020 at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, with my first duties being to support the Trust’s response in dealing with this unprecedented situation. I then helped to kickstart our transplantation programme within the pandemic, becoming the first adult London Unit to do so on site. I am also an active member of the Trust’s Organ Donation Committee and I am the surgical representative to the London Kidney Network, helping to improve and develop renal care at our Trust within the collaborative framework of the city and beyond. I am passionate about our staff feeling valued and heard and will be acting as a Freedom to Speak Up Champion at the Hospital.

Staff – Non-clinical

Huon Snelgrove

Huon Snelgrove – From 01.02.2023

Huon Snelgrove has worked at St George’s as an educationalist since 2014. In this role he has collaborated closely with clinical teams to expand simulation-based team learning in the hospital. He has worked to promote interprofessional and multidisciplinary training using both laboratory-based and in-situ clinical simulation.

During the Covid pandemic he co-designed major simulation-training interventions ‘at scale’ for large numbers of hospital staff being deployed to Covid wards. He was also deployed to intensive care as a ‘runner’ and ‘ward clerk’. In ITU he helped set-up a Family Liaison Service for Covid patients and a training course in communication skills for recruits to the service.

Post Covid he has been recruited and trained as a voluntary Trauma Risk Management practitioner (TRiM) for hospital staff. He has a long-standing engagement with the voluntary sector and is part of a Rapid Response Team for rough sleepers in London.

Appointed from stakeholder organisations

Alfredo Benedicto - Headshot

Alfredo Benedicto – From 01.02.2020

Member of the Operational Committee of Healthwatch Merton. Alfredo had a long corporate career in Consumer and Financial services in several locations in Europe and America. Upon his retirement he has devoted his time and energy to the voluntary sector. On top of his role in Healthwatch Merton, he is part of the steering group of Adults First, a programme of Merton Mencap, and of the PEG of the Merton CCG. A Merton resident for the past 24 years and a carer of a daughter with learning disabilities.

Katherine Curtis

Professor Katherine Curtis – From 14.04.2021

Katherine is a nurse by way of professional background and Associate Dean for External Engagement at Kingston University. She is very well networked nationally and with Health Education England and sits on Universities UK’s Council of Deans for Health.

Sarah Forester Headshot

Sarah Forester – From 01.02.2021

I am an elected member of the Healthwatch Wandsworth Committee, having retired recently after a career in the NHS and Local Authority Children’s Services. My professional background is as a qualified Nurse and Health Visitor. I have also worked at a national level as a professional officer with the CPHVA, a professional body and trade union. This involved working with Government departments, statutory regulators and professional bodies, to develop policies and good practice standards for Health Visitors and Community Nurses. I have lived in Wandsworth for over 40 years and both myself and my family have used St Georges on many occasions, across a wide range of services, including midwifery, the emergency department, orthopedics, orthodontics, skin cancer and the stroke unit.

Julian Ma headshot 

Julian Ma – From 01.09.2022

Professor Julian Ma is the Hotung Chair of Molecular Immunology and Director of the Institute for Infection and Immunity at St. George’s, University of London. He also holds honorary Consultant appointments in Oral Medicine at King’s College London and in Infection and Immunity at St. George’s University Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trust.

Julian graduated in dentistry at Guy’s Hospital in 1983 and went on there to gain his PhD in immunology. He was a post-doctoral fellow at The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California and returned to King’s College London as a Wellcome Trust Advanced Fellow to establish his independent research group. He took up his Chair at St. George’s University of London in 2003. His research explores applications of plant biotechnology for prevention of global infectious diseases, particularly those affecting the poor in developing countries, including HIV, rabies, Chikungunya virus and now SARS-CoV-2

Dr Sangeeta Patel – From 9.7.2018

Dr Patel is a GP and senior partner at the Balham Park Surgery in Wandsworth and represents the Wandsworth Clinical Commissioning Group.

Stephen Worrall Headshot

Cllr Stephen Worrall

Cllr Stephen Worrall is a Wandsworth resident and the Labour Counsellor for Shaftesbury and Queenstown Ward on Wandsworth Council.

He works in the Voluntary Sector in the HIV and Sexual Health Field. He was previously a Governor at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.