Graham Puntis (he/him)
Vice Chair of the Board
Graham is a strategic leader, with over 20 years of experience in management and leadership roles across a range of engineering sectors. He has led teams through all stages of the business cycle and has a strong belief in achievement through teamwork.
Graham brings his strategic and commercial skills to the board, along with his experience of governance and performance management.
Helen Baker (she/her)
Chair of People Committee
A proud LGBTQIA+ woman, wife, and mother to two children, Helen has worked in the corporate world for 25 years, working in the fields of customer services, user assistance design, and product software development.
Over the last four years, Helen’s career has shifted to blend her passion for leadership with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), working with Sage as Global Director for DEI to deliver a robust DEI strategy. Through this, she has built an intentionally inclusive and equitable colleague experience for candidates, partners, and customers.
Helen and her family have personal experience of receiving support from specialist mental health services, and she has a deep respect for the work that we do. She is looking forward to sharing her skills and experience to support our culture over coming years.
Himal Kakad (he/him)
Chair of Finance Committee
Himal is currently a Vice President at State Street Global Advisors, an international asset manager.
In this role, he is responsible for leading all finance activities for the exchange traded fund business across Europe and Asia.
He has extensive experience in making operational and commercial decisions within complex financial constraints; developing and driving financial strategy; and working within diverse, multicultural teams.
Himal has had an extensive finance career with a broad range of experience gained across a number of organisations, most recently Aon, MSCI, and American Express.
Himal has a Masters degree in Business Administration from Warwick University and is an Associate Chartered Management Accountant.
Steven Bainbridge (he/him)
Chair of Governance Committee
Steven is a quality and risk assurance professional with experience working across health and social care and education. With a background in professional services, Steven has implemented governance frameworks and quality assurance processes across a number of organisations, playing a key role in quality improvement and good governance.
Steven is passionate about ensuring that governance works for the benefit of service users and is keen to lend his skills to the Board to help in embedding the organisation’s values and developing its strategy.
Professor Neil Watson (he/him)
Chair of Quality and Performance Committee
Neil is an experienced system and clinical leader with expertise in healthcare transformation, Advanced Therapies, population health, and innovation adoption.
His experience includes roles as Director of Pharmacy at Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Chief Operating Officer of North East and North Cumbria Vaccination Programme, Director of Pharmacy at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Professor of Practice at Newcastle University.
Chris Gibbons (he/him)
Chris is a digital health leader, bringing over a decade of experience working with national and local NHS organisations to deliver large-scale technology transformation.
Chris is Director of Digital Health & Technology Transformation at KPMG, and he is passionate about the opportunities to transform experiences and deliver inclusive services enabled by technology. He brings his technology experience, along with his commercial and growth strategy acumen, to the board.
Anila Arshad-Mehmood (she/her)
Anila has experience working with children and young people from nurseries to adult education, most recently in Further and Higher Education as a Professional Services lead, Senior Leader for Welfare, Safeguarding and Personal Development.
Anila now works in people wellbeing and development, leading training on anti-racism, mental health, and wellbeing and safeguarding. Anila volunteered to join the People and Wellbeing committee due to a strong belief in the role of people development as a gateway to self-reflection and ongoing development in both self and society.
Dr Brigid Joughin (she/her)
Brigid has been a GP in Throckley in the Outer West of Newcastle for 30 years, with a long-standing keen interest in improving mental health services.
Among her roles, Brigid was the Mental Health Lead for Newcastle Clinical Commissioning Group from 2011-2014 and Clinical Director of the Outer West Newcastle Primary Care Network from 2019-2023.
Richard Bold (he/him)
Richard joined our board in 2023, bringing over 20 years’ experience in HR, corporate governance, policy, and risk management spanning the financial services, healthcare, contact centre and services sectors. Richard has been involved in leading strategic people planning, transformation, and other governance-related activities in complex operating environments.