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Meet our board

Chair and Chief Executive

Chair: Sue Musson

Sue Musson became Chair of Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in October 2019.

Sue has nearly 25 years’ board-level experience as an executive and non-executive director in commercial and public sector organisations, helping them improve their strategy, performance and organisational cultures. She has extensive experience of building local partnerships and of working collaboratively to integrate, develop and improve services. 

Sue is an experienced NHS chair, previously serving as chair of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust. Her involvement with the NHS started in 2007, following her son’s recovery from a serious illness. Sue feels privileged to hold a leadership role within the NHS and is committed to supporting the Trust in providing the best possible patient and staff experience.

Sue holds a first-class honours degree in History from Columbia University and is a dual citizen of the UK and the USA.

As Trust chair, Sue:

  • Chairs the board of directors and is responsible for ensuring the board develops its vision, strategy and culture to support the delivery of outstanding care for the population

  • Chairs the Council of Governors (CoG) and supports the effectiveness of the Council

  • Has a close working relationship with the Trust’s chief executive

  • Acts as an ambassador for the Trust with partners and stakeholders at a local, regional, national and international level.


Chief Executive: James Sumner

James Sumner joined LUHFT on 1st May 2022 and served for two weeks as Chief Executive Designate before becoming Chief Executive and Accountable Officer on 16th May 2022.

James has more than 20 years of experience in the NHS and was previously Chief Executive at Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. 

James joined the NHS in 1999, initially working in Primary Care before moving on to several regional quality improvement roles.

He moved into the acute sector in 2005 and has held a number of operational and strategic roles since, including Deputy Chief Executive at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, Chief Officer of Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and latterly Chief Executive of Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.


Non-executive directors

Non-Executive Director: Neil Willcox

Neil was appointed a Non-Executive Director at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on 1 October 2019 – he was previously non-executive director at Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust. Neil is a chartered accountant. He began work in the private industry before joining an international firm of chartered accountants as an audit senior and manager.

Neil is now the managing director of a software, hosted services and infrastructure company which supports medium and large organisations in the private and public sector. Neil has both executive and non-executive experience, the latter gained in the health sector.

Neil chairs the Audit committee and is a member of the committees for the New Hospital and Nominations & Remuneration.


Non-Executive Director: Mike Eastwood

Mike was appointed a Non-Executive Director at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on 1 October 2019 – he was previously Non-Executive Director and Interim Chair at Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust.  Mike is currently Diocesan Secretary (Chief Executive) of the Diocese of Liverpool as well as the Director of Operations at Liverpool Cathedral.

He has significant experience of working at director level in the third sector. He currently holds a number of voluntary positions supporting the church and local community development. He has a BA (Hons) in Modern History.

Mike is a member the Nominations & Remuneration Committee.


Non-Executive Director: Ibrahim Ismail

Ibrahim Ismail has over 19 years experience working locally, regionally and nationally in the voluntary and community sector.  He has Non-Executive Director experience in the housing sector. Ibrahim's experience includes holding Director positions at Bolton CVS as Chair of Trustees and Bolton at Home of which he has been Deputy Chair since 2019, having previously been a Non-Executive Director there since 2014.

Ibrahim's passion is how systems and institutions can be made inclusive and rooted in the local community and how anchor institutions can tackle inequalities in the wider sense.

Ibrahim is the Chair of the Charitable Funds Committee, and a member of the Audit and Nomination and Remuneration Committees.


Non-Executive Director: Tim Johnston (Senior Independent Director)

Tim was appointed a Non-Executive Director at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on 1 October 2019 – he was previously Non-Executive Director at Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust having been appointed to the board in January 2013.  

He is a graduate economist and a chartered accountant. He is a major shareholder and chairman of AMION Consulting – an economics and business planning consultancy. Tim was previously the national partner in KPMG with responsibility for its Infrastructure and Government line of business. He was also a leading partner in KPMG's national regeneration team. He is also chairman of Langtree Property Partners Ltd, a national commercial property developer and chairs The Big Trust Ltd.

Tim is chair of the New Hospital Committee and is a member of the committees for Workforce and Education and Nomination and Remuneration.


Non-Executive Director: Sheila Samuels

Sheila joined the Trust in September 2020 and has a wealth of experience in public sector management and leadership. She has previously held Executive and Non -Executive Director Board level roles in local government and the NHS.  

As a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Sheila has been instrumental in furthering effective Human Resource Management within organisations. Since retiring in 2013 after 35 years public service, Sheila has undertaken a number of consultancy assignments to support public sector and charitable organisations in addressing major organisational challenges.

Sheila also possesses an MSc in Humanitarian Studies gained from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. As part of this she studied health systems in developing and post conflict countries. Such insight has given her a gratitude and passion to ensure the continued effectiveness and success of patient care. 

Having lived in Liverpool throughout her life, Sheila is excited to take on the Non-Executive role with the Trust and to play her part in supporting the organisation and improvement of patient care and health outcomes in the area.

Sheila is a member the Nominations & Remuneration Committee.


Non-Executive Director: Professor Tom Walley

Professor Thomas Walley was appointed Non-Executive Director at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in July 2021.  He is the associate Pro-Vice Chancellor for Clinical Research at the University of Liverpool. He was previously a Consultant Physician at Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust between 1991 and 2018, and Professor of Clinical Pharmacology. He was director of several National Institute for Health and Care Research programmes, and a member of the National Institute for Health and Care Research Strategy Board for many years.

Tom was awarded a CBE for services to medicine in 2008. He is a life fellow of the British Pharmacology Society and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Tom is a member of the Audit and Nominations & Remuneration Committees.


Non-Executive Director: Eustace De Sousa

Eustace was appointed a Non-Executive Director at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on 1 September 2020.

Eustace has worked in social care, health and wellbeing for 20 years in the North West. He has managed adult and children’s social services, and led a range of regeneration, community and housing programmes. He worked for the NHS in regional health authorities, overseeing health service performance and commissioning.

Between 2013-2020 he worked at a national level for Public Health England, leading on health inequalities, child health and healthy ageing. He is now an independent Public Health Specialist Consultant and an Honorary Fellow at the Royal College for Paediatric and Child Health.

Eustace is a member of the Nominations & Remuneration Committee. 


Executive directors


Chief Finance Officer / Deputy Chief Executive: Rob Forster

Rob was appointed Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Finance Officer at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on 1 April 2020.

He was previously Director of Finance and Deputy Chief Executive at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust. After qualifying academically and professionally in Law, Rob then went on to become a Chartered Accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, and subsequently achieved a Masters in Business Administration. Rob worked in a variety of senior finance and director roles within General Motors, living and working in both the UK and Europe for a number of years. Rob joined the NHS in 2009.

In addition to his Trust role, Rob chairs the national HFMA Technical Issues Group, Cheshire & Merseyside Provider CFO Group, Finance Skills Development Steering Group and is on the Board of the NHS Finance Leadership Council.

Rob is passionate about advancing the inclusive reach and effectiveness of the Finance profession in the NHS and beyond, with a special interest in innovation and Social Value.


Interim Medical Director: Dr John Brennan

John was appointed as Interim Medical Director in October 2021.

He has been a Consultant Vascular Surgeon in Liverpool since 1997, covering all aspects of vascular disease with a specialist interest in complex aortic aneurysm repair. He led the programme of both open and endovascular repair of complex aneurysms for which the unit has a national and international profile.

He was Clinical Director for Vascular Surgery from 2006-2014 during which he played a major part in a Review of Vascular Services in Cheshire and Merseyside in 2010, which concluded that there should be a single arterial centre for North Mersey. He then oversaw the introduction of the Liverpool Vascular & Endovascular Service based at the Royal Liverpool in 2012. This has been widely recognised as a very successful merger.

He was one of the principal founders of the British Society of Endovascular Therapy in 2006 and served as its inaugural President until 2013. This is now a thriving venture focusing on endovascular practice within vascular surgery. He was elected to the Council of the Vascular Society in 2009 for a 3 year term and was subsequently appointed to be Chair of the Training and Education Committee in 2012 for a further 3 year term.

In 2017 he was appointed as Care Group Lead for Cardiovascular and then following Trust merger in 2019 he was appointed as Divisional Medical Director for Surgery in January 2020.

He believes that the Trust merger in 2019 was a very positive move for healthcare in the city and is keen to ensure that the benefits experienced by the vascular team are realised across all of our services.


Interim Chief Nurse: Dame Elaine Inglesby-Burke

Dame Elaine Inglesby-Burke was appointed Interim Chief Nurse for Liverpool University Hospitals in October 2021.

She has spent over 43 years working in the NHS and has been nationally recognised for championing safe staffing levels in the interests of patient safety. Throughout her career Elaine has maintained her professional and clinical development through regular clinical shifts at ward level.

Currently Dame Elaine is also a non-executive director on the Board at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and a Deputy Lieutenant (DL) for Merseyside.

It was in 1980 that Elaine qualified as a Registered nurse at Warrington District General Hospital and has since worked in the North West in a variety of positions, including ward manager and nurse specialist. She has held executive nurse director positions since 1996. In 2004 she became the Chief Nurse at Salford Royal.

Dame Elaine was at the cornerstone in the success and achievements of Salford Royal, which is rated as Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission, helping drive forward and lead the quality improvements for the organisation.

She also served on the Prime Minister’s Nursing and Care Quality Forum and was the only nurse on the Berwick National Advisory Group of the Safety of Patients in England.

In 2020 she was awarded a Damehood for services to nursing, following on from being awarded NHS England’s first national Chief Nursing Officer’s (CNO) Gold Award for Excellence in Nursing in 2019, and receiving a CBE in 2015 in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.



Chief Operating Officer: Beth Weston

Beth was appointed Chief Operating Officer at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on 1 October 2019 – she was previously Chief Operating Officer at Aintree University Hospital.

Beth joined Aintree University Hospital in April 2015 and was appointed Acting Chief Operating Officer in October 2017 before becoming substantive on 1 February 2019. Beth previously worked at Central Manchester University Hospitals (CMFT) for 12 years as director for a number of hospitals, more latterly as Director of Trafford Hospital following its acquisition by CMFT in 2011.

Beth joined the NHS in 1995 and graduated from the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme in 1997. During this period Beth also graduated from Manchester University with a masters in managing healthcare organisations.


Chief People Officer: Debbie Herring

Debbie was appointed Chief People Officer at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on 1 October 2019 – she was previously Executive Director of Workforce and Deputy Chief Executive at the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust (RLBUHT). Debbie joined RLBUHT on 31 July 2017 from Alder Hey Children’s Hospital where she was director of strategy and development.

Debbie has held various senior roles in the NHS including Director of Strategy, HR and Organisational Development at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, Director of HR and Organisational Development at Aintree University Hospital and Director of HR and Organisational Development at Countess of Chester Hospital.

Debbie is also the Vice Chair of NHS Employers’ policy board and chair of NHS Providers HR Directors Network.