Click each section below to view our Public Governors

Helen Casstles


I am a passionate supporter of our NHS. I have previously been employed within the NHS and have extensive experience of health services in Liverpool (acute and community) as a patient and as a carer.

My personal qualities and professional background are ideally suited to the role of governor. I am a strong believer that it is important to contribute to society and give something back to my community; the role of public governor at Mersey Care presents this opportunity. I will undertake this role diligently and in accordance with the Nolan Principles for Public Life.

I have good working knowledge of the NHS and the role of partner agencies and regulators including CQC and NHS Improvement. I am an experienced hospital governor (council governor at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, 2013-17) and former councillor (Labour councillor for Wavertree Ward, 2012-17).

As an experienced public health practitioner, I am competent at scrutinising and evaluating information presented either verbally or in written reports, a significant component of Council of Governor meetings, and am confident in challenging accountable bodies/individuals.

I strongly believe that the role of the Trust should go beyond treating people whilst they are sick; in particular the influence the Trust can have on the wider determinants of health is crucial, e.g. as a large employer and within the families and communities it serves and would be keen to participate in the development of this aspect of the Trust’s activities.

Term ends 30 September 2021


Susan Martin 


I have been involved in the field of good mental health for over 40 years. I have seen trends come and go, new ideas and treatments touted, services altered due to changing ideas and fluctuating finance. I have worked in the statutory and voluntary sectors. Throughout all this, I have remained committed to helping the person at the centre of it all, the patient. I am still down at grass roots level, albeit with an awareness of the constraints under which we all have to work.

It is at times hard for large organisations to remember why they were set up, and what was their primary purpose. I am always happy, in I believe a positive manner, to help remind them.

Term ends 30 September 2021


Jayne Moore


I am an experienced governor, who confidently challenges Mersey Care to ensure high standard of care provision is working for service users and that the role of a governor is meaningful.

I joined Mersey Care as a governor as my mum had vascular dementia. Sadly we lost mum this year, and I am committed to ensuring that patients and carers have a voice.  It can be challenging when working through a system of care, so my challenge is always from a place of experience and understanding of what a family is going through, while having the professional distance to not make this about my own journey. Learning examples of good practice and ensuring we hold the Trust to the highest standards is so important, not only for patients but for our staff.

I am not afraid to ask questions and challenge, our job as Governors is to make decisions based on information we have read and if it is not clear to gain a deeper understanding by asking difficult questions. Our role as Governors is to communicate effectively and I have a wide range of experience in communicating difficult subjects having worked in PR on campaigns like CALM, a suicide reduction campaign in the past. I have a voice and I am not afraid to use it for the wider good of the patients and staff of the Trust.

Term ends 30 April 2022


Paul Smith


I am a retired practice manager, having managed a medical practice in South Liverpool and Frodsham Cheshire. Before that I had a previous career in the shipping industry spanning some twenty five years. I ended that part of my work life as one of the terminal management team working for P&O Ferries on the Liverpool docks; the same part of the docks my father, a steavadour, worked on loading and unloading the ships in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

It did feel a little strange when I changed my career path via a late start university degree – I was the oldest student in the town or so the ‘proper students’ told me!  But it started my career in the primary care sector of the NHS, did I tell you my Mum used to be a doctors receptionist? She ‘managed’ a small single GP surgery, I ended up managing partner for the largest practice in Cheshire with 11 GP’s, 65 staff and a new health centre. I very proudly took my mum to see my practice in Liverpool once. Very nice she said what do all those computer things do? I told her they help us to organise the practice, automate prescriptions and appointments, do all the letters etc. Very good she said “I used to do all that with a typewriter and a note book”! I was never sure she was that impressed with modern developments.

Being at the heart of NHS primary care for the past 20 years I have seen huge changes and I see more change coming with the advent of the Strategic Transformation Plans (STP). The proposed changes to the structure of the NHS both locally and nationally will have a huge impact on service provision in the future. The current pandemic was not foreseen, nor the changes that have been forced upon the NHS with the need for social distancing and all of the other restrictions imposed. We, as governors, still need to ensure the needs of the public and patients are first and foremost in the planning process. As a governor for just over two years I have seen the skill and professionalism of the executive team and the managers and staff, both medical and non medical, on the front line of community and mental health services adapt and change long term working practice to these new demands. 

The governors are very well supported by the Mersey Care corporate team and we are all encouraged to undertake both internal and external training sessions. The internal or induction training gives governors a valuable insight into the workings of the various divisions within the organisation. The external training, via NHS Improvement, allows us to better understand the role and duties of a ‘governor’. I feel this extensive training has now equipped me to continue to contribute and whenever possible put the voice of the patient to the forefront of the decision making process and maintain a watchful overview of the important decisions of the board. 

Term ends 30 September 2021

Paul featured in the MC Magazine


Mary Sutton


Having been a resident in Knowsley for over 25 years, resident in Sefton for over 30 years and working as a Registered Nurse in Liverpool for over 30 years I have an extensive knowledge of service provision for mental and physical health across the region both personally and professionally.

As an elected Mersey Care Trust NHS Foundation Trust Governor I would be part of a team linking Trust members and the organisation with responsibility to ensure that the patients/ service users are represented as Mersey Care is now providing services for both mental and physical care and striving for ‘perfect care and a just culture’.

Term ends 30 September 2021

Garrick Prayogg


I have lived on the Wirral for over thirty years, formerly from London, and have worked and continue to work across Liverpool City Region and beyond.

My working professional life has been firmly grounded in social justice and equality. I have held equality and diversity position for a number of Las, and continue to work within equality and diversity with particular interest in the voluntary community and faith sector.

I strongly believe in the principles of equity across the board particularly for service providers. I feel strongly about health and social care agenda, in particularly mental health services, to this end I have join the national campaign work lead by Time to Change, Rethink and Mind three national charities.

I have lived experience of mental health stigma and discrimination. The campaign aims to Raising Awareness to mental health stigma and discrimination.

My own cultural background is  Jamaican/Caribbean, and I know from family and friends the difficulties people from African Caribbean background have in getting support for mental health sufferers. The mistrust and fear that black people have about services, criminal justices agencies and health services.

This is one of my main drivers to becoming a governor to help both services providers and services users to reduce discrimination and improve access to services period. I bring a wealth of knowledge about cultural awareness and inclusion working to the Trust.

I strongly believe in equity and inclusive service must be the offer to all users and potential users. I believe I can assist the trust deliver equity of service across its diverse service areas. I have a passion for fairness inclusion and social justice regardless of backgrounds.

I am a member of the Black Lives Matter national campaigning group and stand in solidarity for marginalised communities including race class and sexuality and health inequalities. I am also a member of the Windrush Defenders based in Manchester (a national scandal).

Other interest and activity is Asylum Seekers and Refugees rights and support and older people issues housing and social care a member of Older People’s Parliament. I am an active member of Liverpool Commonwealth Association representing Jamaica/Caribbean.

Having served three years I am delighted to be elected for a further three years Constituency Rest of England and Wales.

Term ends 30 September 2023

Read our interview with Garrick


Alex Till


Affiliated to the Trust since 2014 when I commenced my psychiatric training, I am a proud member of the team at Mersey Care and would like to strengthen the contribution I can make through election to the Council of Governors.

Witnessing first hand the incredible improvements made over recent years, the Trust’s initiative to strive for perfect care, and create a just and learning culture within the organisation, inspires me to help shape this agenda moving forward.

Combining my frontline perspective as a psychiatrist within the organisation, I would like to bring my experience as a specialist advisor with the Care Quality Commission and academic background in healthcare leadership and business through my MSc and MBA to the Council of Governors.

Working with them, drawing on this experience, I will ensure the views of members are represented and our non-executive team are held to account within the highest standards of corporate governance. This will ensure Mersey Care continues to grow and strengthen it’s position as a nationally renowned mental health trust that delivers the highest possible standards to it’s service users, workforce and local community.

Term ends 30 September 2021

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