Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors comprises full-time executive and part-time non-executive members.

Executive directors are employees of the NHS Foundation Trust, led by the chief executive. They are responsible for the day-to-day management of the Trust.

Non-executive directors are not employees, but officers. They bring to the Board an independent perspective. It is their role to challenge decisions and proposals made by the executive directors. They also hold executive directors to account.

The role of the Board of Directors, led by the Chair, is to provide effective and proactive leadership of the Trust; to set the strategic aims of the Trust, ensuring the quality, safety and effectiveness of the services provided as well as ensuring that the Trust is well-governed in every aspect of its activities.

The description of each of the current directors’ areas of expertise and experience demonstrates the balance, completeness and relevance of the skills and knowledge that the directors bring to the Trust.

Non-Executive Directors

The Board considers all non-executive directors to be independent as they were appointed to their roles through open competition and are not employees of the Trust.

Heidi Travis
Acting Chair

Heidi joined the Trust as a Non-Executive Director in March 2018. She joined Sue Ryder in March 2010 as Director of Retail, and took on the role of Chief Executive in September 2013.

Previously, Heidi had worked as a business consultant developing small businesses. Before that, she spent 25 years at Marks and Spencer, most recently as an executive in group planning and strategy as well as managing a buying group.

Heidi also worked as a lay member of the Aylesbury Vale CCG until 2013. She became a non-executive director for Bucks PCT (now Bucks NHS) in 2008 and chairs a Bucks speech and language therapy group. She lives in Milton Keynes.

Heidi took on the role as Acting Chair at MKUH in April 2024.

Gary Marven
Non-Executive Director
(Chair, Audit Committee)

Gary joined the Trust as a Non-Executive Director in April 2022. Gary is an accomplished senior executive with over 20 years’ leadership experience, the majority of which he operated at board level, spanning both private and public sector organisations, from SMEs to globally-recognised brands. Gary commenced his career as a Chartered Accountant with Ernst & Young and progressed through various financial director roles in a major retail company, before moving into general management at the BBC where he ultimately led a major technology project, before becoming CEO of MLL Telecoms.

Gary retired as CEO in 2020 and has continued to work with MLL Telecom as a Non-Executive Director. Gary also provides free consultancy to charities supported by The Cranfield University Trust.

Haider Husain
Non-Executive Director
(Chair, Charitable Funds Committee)

Haider joined the Trust as a Non-Executive Director in April 2020. He has held senior positions in a variety of multi-national companies in the technology sector, including GE Healthcare and Microsoft. He has a passion for quality, and has previously been an ISO auditor, Six Sigma Blackbelt and is currently a British Standards Institute committee member for Healthcare Organisation Management.

Haider serves as the Chief Operating Officer for Healthinnova, which specialises in transformational healthcare technology. He holds a BSc in Medical Informatics, and a Master of Informatics. Haider is married to a nurse, has a young son and lives in Bedfordshire.

Dr Dev Ahuja
Non-Executive Director
(Chair, Quality and Clinical Risk Committee)

Dev joined the Trust in September 2022 as an Associate Non-Executive Director and was promoted to a substantive Non-Executive Director role in January 2023. Dev is a physiotherapist by background with special interest in complex trauma and chronic pain. He worked in India and the UK as a clinical physiotherapist before transitioning to case management services. Working first as a case manager and then as operational manager, Dev gained hands-on experience of developing and enhancing rehabilitation services.

Dev completed his doctorate looking at factors influencing adherence and attendance in musculoskeletal physiotherapy. He has presented at over 50 conferences internationally as well as running training courses for healthcare professionals around workplace rehabilitation. Dev currently works as Clinical Director for RTW Plus, a rehabilitation services company.

Dev is also a current Trustee at MK Community Foundation and a Parish Councillor for the Broughton and Milton Keynes Village Parish Council. He is passionate about enhancing quality outcomes in healthcare and community engagement into local service delivery.

Mark Versallion
Non-Executive Director

Mark joined the Trust as a Non-Executive Director in January 2023, previously serving on the boards of Luton & Dunstable NHS Hospital from 2013-20, and NW London NHS Hospitals Trust from 2008-13. He brings experience from the commercial sector with BAE Systems plc, Capgemini plc, and ten years as director of a London marketing agency.

He has worked for a US Senator and for a UK Government Minister and has held a number of national and local government roles, as well as directorships in the public and private sectors.

He was a Royal Navy officer for 14 years in the Reserves, and was a London Councillor for nine years. Since 2011, he has been a Central Bedfordshire Councillor, holding senior positions in schools, social services, housing and healthcare. Mark is married with four sons and lives in Heath and Reach, Bedfordshire.

Sarah Whiteman
Non-Executive Director

Sarah is a local Milton Keynes GP and recently retired as the Chief Medical Officer of our Integrated Care Board.

She has always enjoyed a portfolio career with a breadth of senior roles with the General Medical Council, Health Education England and the wider NHS. Latterly she was the interim joint Group Medical Director for Jersey before returning to Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes as Medical Director and then Chair of the Clinical Commissioning Group.

In her retirement Sarah will be undertaking several non-executive director roles with other trusts, is an active member of a local gym and is also enjoying grandmotherhood!

Jason Sinclair
Associate Non-Executive Director

Jason joined the Trust as an Associate Non-Executive Director in September 2022. Jason is an experienced executive director, management consultant and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute with over 20 years in strategic executive and operational posts, including within corporate business, SMEs and within higher education.

His experience spans employment and resourcing/recruitment management within corporate organisations to SMEs, from early careers to executive hire level, and experience of location change project management and implementation of large-scale resourcing for new locations. An Equality, Diversity and Active Inclusion Transformation Lead, with a focus on executive D&I strategy development, governance and D&I best practices in recruitment lifecycle and staff development, Jason is passionate about all things people.

Precious Zumbika-Lwanga
Associate Non-Executive Director

Precious joined the Trust as an Associate Non-Executive Director in January 2023. Precious is an experienced Executive, Chartered QS, Cost & Commercial Expert and Strategic Advisor who commands over 20 years’ experience in the construction industry. Precious is the founder of Carus Advisory Services, a boutique construction and management consultancy. She is an advocate of diversity equity and inclusion and a strategic change expert drawing from her own professional and personal experiences. She has extensive experience facilitating leadership team (SLT & Board level) conversations and is a Cranfield University Executive Development Associate/ Facilitator where she curates and develops leadership modules on inclusive leadership and how to develop high performing teams.

She is current Chair and founding committee member for the Milton Keynes Ethnic Business Community whose purpose is to connect business owners and professionals from black, asian and other minority ethnic backgrounds with the wider Milton Keynes business community.

She was named one of the NatWest Top 100 most inspirational women in 2021 in the Oxford Cambridge Arc and is a passionate speaker on leadership, inclusion and sustainable procurement.

Ganesh Baliah
Associate Non-Executive Director

Ganesh joined the Trust as an Associate Non-Executive Director in January 2023. Ganesh graduated in Podiatric Medicine 20 years ago and has worked in the NHS since that time. He has previously held consultant privileges at the local private hospitals and continues to practice privately in Bedfordshire. His clinical interests are sports medicine, musculoskeletal medicine, foot and ankle surgery and paediatrics. Ganesh was also a key contributor to the landmark Sak’s Report commissioned and published by the Royal College of Podiatrists in 2021.

He is currently the Chief of Allied Health Professionals for the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System, and chairs their AHP Council as well as providing senior leadership to their AHP Faculty. Prior to this he was Regional Head of Allied Health Professionals for NHS Health Education England (Midlands & East). Until recently, he was the national lead for Equality, Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging for the HEE AHP programme and now provides strategic leadership for the SNEE ICS in this field, working in partnership across the system with provider EDI & B leads.

Outside of work, he is a school board governor at his children’s primary school and a Board Trustee. He is keen to ensure that all patients and staff have equitable access to services, treatment as well as training and development.

Executive Directors

Joe Harrison
Chief Executive 

Joe Harrison joined Milton Keynes University Hospital in 2013, transforming its record in quality, performance and finances. Under his leadership the trust has gained teaching hospital status and pioneered digital advances that have revolutionised patient care and experience.

Joe has championed innovation and expansion, overseeing significant development across the hospital estate, including the building of an academic centre in partnership with the University of Buckingham and a new cancer centre, along with multiple other developments to improve access and keep up with patient demand in one of the fastest growing places in the country.

Along with an ambitious digital innovation programme, Joe has championed workplace wellbeing to improve the working lives of the team at MKUH. He is also a board member of the Oxford Academic Health Science Network, chair of the Clinical Research Network Partnership Board for Thames Valley, member of the NHS Confederation Employers Policy Board and the University of Buckingham Council. Joe also works nationally with NHS England to transform health information across the health and care sector, giving patients power over their own information and enabling organisations to work together more effectively to provide better care.

John Blakesley
Deputy Chief Executive

John has over 30 years’ experience in the NHS. His career started in pathology, before moving into general management.

He has undertaken a range of executive director roles as director of performance and delivery as well as deputy chief executive and director of market management (commissioning for a large PCT).

In addition, John has experience of the commercial sector with a specialised surgical company. He has a particular interest in using information systems to improve patient care and decision-making.

Dr Ian Reckless
Chief Medical Officer / Deputy Chief Executive

Ian was appointed as Chief Medical Officer in April 2016. He qualified from St George’s Hospital Medical School, London and undertook postgraduate training in the Oxford region. He worked as Special Adviser to the Healthcare Commission in 2004 and was Special Assistant to the UK Government’s Chief Medical Officer in 2005-06.

Ian was appointed Consultant Physician (Acute General Medicine and Stroke Medicine) and Senior NIHR Research Fellow at Oxford University Hospitals in 2007. He also held the roles of Associate Medical Director (Quality) and Clinical Director, Neurosciences. Ian has a good understanding of system working having been a member of the Governing Body of a Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for several years and is currently leading work with partner organisations on behalf of MKUH.

Ian has a particular interest in postgraduate education, having previously served as Training Programme Director, and has authored books on general medicine, and the interface between medicine and the law.

Ian was appointed as a Deputy Chief Executive in 2020, with a particular focus on working with partners across Milton Keynes and the wider system.

Ian is a non-executive director of the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital (Birmingham). Ian is currently seconded on a part-time basis (2 days per week) to Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) Integrated Care Board as CMO.

A headshot of Dr Steven BeaumontDr Steven Beaumont
Interim Chief Nursing Officer

Steve joined the Trust as Interim Chief Nursing Officer in April 2024.  Steve has extensive experience as a senior nurse. He trained in the NHS then served a Nursing Officer in the Princess Mary’s Royal Air Force Nursing Service.  n addition, Steve has undertaken senior roles in the NHS, private sector and overseas in Qatar.

Steve is passionate about improving the quality and safety of the care we give to our patients.


Emma Livesley
Chief Operating Officer

Emma joined MKUH from Nottingham University Hospital where she has spent the last 6 months as interim Deputy Chief Operating Officer. She has a wealth of NHS experience which started in Public Health and migrated into operational and management experience in the acute provider sector. She was Director of Operations at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire, and held senior management roles in Calderdale and Huddersfield FT and East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, the Royal Free, Guys and St Thomas’ London. Prior to her appointment in Nottingham, Emma also spent 18 months with NHS Improvement in regulation.

Emma’s passion is building high quality operational teams who deliver the best services for patients through partnership working and embracing the transformation agenda.

Jonathan Dunk
Chief Finance Officer

Jonathan joined Milton Keynes University Hospital in February 2024 from Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust. In his Essex role as Chief Commercial Officer, Jonathan led the merger transaction that created one of the biggest NHS provider organisations in the country, along with being responsible for a wide range of major strategic and commercial programmes of work. More broadly, Jonathan has significant NHS experience across both acute and system organisations, and previously served as Director of Finance at MKUH between 2012-2016.

Jonathan is a CIPFA qualified accountant and a graduate from the NHS Leadership Academy Nye Bevan programme. In his remit as Chief Finance Officer, Jonathan’s portfolio includes finance, procurement and transformation. He is also the executive lead for the Trust’s sustainability agenda.

Jonathan has a strong focus on ensuring that the organisation has the right corporate infrastructure to optimise decision making and maximise the resources that can be invested in delivering improvement in patient care outcomes.

Kate Jarman
Chief Corporate Services Officer

Kate has substantial experience as a communications professional and company secretary.

She has worked on and with boards in the acute health sector and police and criminal justice agencies. Before joining MKUH as director of corporate affairs, Kate spent a number of years at Bedford Hospital. At Bedford she held a number of posts including associate director of corporate affairs and communications as well as company secretary.

Kate is passionate about staff and patient engagement, leadership and culture. She is also interested in developing integrated governance systems to support the delivery of safe, effective, high quality care.

Danielle Petch
Chief People Officer

Danielle joined the Trust as Director of Workforce (now Chief People Officer) in July 2018. Before joining MKUH, Danielle worked at a variety of NHS Trusts, including large and small acute hospitals, a mental health Trust and a community provider. Danielle holds an MBA and a BSc (Hons), along with having completed the NHS Leadership Academy’s Nye Bevan programme. Throughout her career Danielle has led on a variety of initiatives to maximise workforce efficiency and staff experience.

Danielle is passionate about recruiting and retaining the best people to work at MKUH and strives to create a working environment and benefits offering which are supportive to staff during all stages of their career. Under Danielle’s leadership the strategic focus of the workforce agenda is to recruit and develop the workforce required today and for the future.


Last Modified: 8:24am 29/05/2024