New faces on NHS Kernow’s Governing Body

The search to find new people to strengthen the NHS in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has seen two family doctors and two health champions join the clinical commissioning group’s Governing Body.

NHS Kernow is thrilled to confirm that Dr Deryth Stevens and Dr John Garman have been appointed as our board clinicians to ensure clinical evidence underpins every decision we make.

They will be supported by sepsis health champion Melissa Mead, and patient advocate Nikki Kelly, who will ensure the public’s voice remains at the heart of all our work.

Melissa Mead has been a passionate campaigner to improve health services after her son William died of sepsis in December 2014.

Melissa, who lives in Penryn, is an ardent campaigner and works relentlessly for the Sepsis Trust, raising awareness of the condition among the public and health professionals to improve early recognition and help.   

She is looking forward to using her experience of working with the government and the NHS to improve the quality and performance of primary care services, and any concerns are acted upon. 

She said: “I’m really looking forward to getting my teeth stuck in. As a member of the public, I have experience of when things go both right and wrong, but also through my work with the Sepsis Trust I have first-hand knowledge of the inner workings of the NHS.

“Following William’s death, I was thrust into a world that I didn’t know existed. For the past four years I have worked alongside the NHS to help develop best practice in the diagnosis and treatment of sepsis and patient safety.

“I believe my ability to question and challenge how the NHS works will be of enormous benefit to people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and I’m excited to use my knowledge to support NHS Kernow and people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.”

Nikki Kelly joins the board as the lay member for patient and public engagement, and to support our workforce committee.

Nikki, who grew up in Cornwall, has more than 20 years of experience in advocacy, place-based regeneration, social justice, high impact community events and supporting people in some of the country’s most deprived communities, most recently as the director for premier league football club Tottenham Hotspur's Foundation. 

She said: “I have worked alongside the public sector to support people with long-term conditions both within acute care settings and within their community.

“I’m looking forward to using my knowledge and experience in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to work with like-minded people for the benefit of our community, its health and helping to develop services which impact on people.”

Dr Deryth Stevens is passionate about making sure people can access the same high quality care, no matter where they live.

Dr Stevens lives in Cornwall, but currently commutes to Warwickshire where, as the clinical chairman for NHS North Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group she oversaw the design of an out of hospital community service; a new stroke pathway; the redesign of maternity services and a new service to support the mental health of children and adolescents.

Dr Stevens is ready to roll up her sleeves in Cornwall and has begun looking for a GP surgery in Cornwall to work at.

She said: “At north Warwickshire, I feel I have shaped the culture of our CCG to be open, transparent, collegial, and supportive. This is something I’m looking forward to continuing in Cornwall.”

Dr John Garman is a well-known and respected face for people living in and around Helston, where he has been a partner at Helston Medical Centre for the past 12 years. He was also the Isles of Scilly lead GP for five years.

During his time at St Mary’s he helped transform the practice, which the CQC twice rated as being outstanding under his leadership.

He said: “I have a passion for person-centred care and my experience on Scilly has given me great insight into the complexities of commissioning and instilled in me a sense that anything can be achieved, with the right will.

“I’ve seen first-hand how things can develop when people work together, and I’m excited about supporting NHS Kernow to achieve its vision.”

NHS Kernow Chairman Dr Iain Chorlton said: “I am so pleased to welcome Deryth, John, Melissa and Nikki to our Governing Body. They each have unique skills that used collectively will support our upward journey to transform NHS Kernow and ensure we provide safe, high quality services for people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.”