Ten Public Governors

Public Governors are elected and sit on the Council of Governors to represent public members' views within the three public constituencies (Liverpool, Sefton and Knowlsey; Halton, St Helens and Warrington; and Rest of England and Wales).


Election will be held autumn 2023

Paul Denny

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I have represented the public as a governor at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital (six years) and Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (two years) always wanting the best outcome.

I am a dad of a 16 year old son, I qualified as a registered nurse back in 2003 and remain in this profession. I have raised over £200,000 for various charities across Merseyside. I currently organise a weekly walk for people across Liverpool. I have experience of being a governor and have represented the 1.4 million people across Merseyside whilst at Alder Hey and 490,000 people across Liverpool when I was at Liverpool University Hospitals. This experience I feel will help me in my role as a governor. I expect the care given to patients to be of a high standard.

I and will hold the management to account for any failings or shortfalls.

First term 1 May 2022 to 30 April 2025

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.

Second term 1 October 2021 to 30 April 2024

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 stevedore,  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 doctor’s 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 notebook!’  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 nonmedical,  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. 

Second term 1 October 2021 to 30 April 2024

Alan Griffiths

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I am the Parent/Carer of my 39 year old son who has a Severe Learning Disability, Autism and Epilepsy, who is under the care of Mersey Care. I was a founder Governor of NW Boroughs (formerly 5 Boroughs). Before that I was the Chair of Governors at my son's Special School. I have been a Trustee of National Mencap, Chair of Liverpool Mencap and I remain Chair of St Helens Mencap. I sit on the Cheshire and Merseyside Transforming Care Board for people with a Learning Disability as well as Autism alongside officers of Mersey Care.

Although I am passionate about Learning Disabilities, and especially the health inequalities that they undoubtedly suffer, I have also become very aware of mental health issues over the last few years. COVID for example has highlighted these issues with many more people presenting with mental ill-health than ever before.

I feel that the experience I have gained over the years, along with the passion, will enable me to be a useful and effective Governor of Mersey Care. I understand the needs and wants of patients and carers as well as the constraints of the service providers. I believe I can use this experience and understanding to help ensure the Service Users get the best possible care using the available resources.

First term 1 May 2022 – 30 April 2025

Colin Pearson


I have been a volunteer for over forty years serving the community of Merseyside. The last twenty years within North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Trust.

I trained as an architect and in 2000 I was medically retired due to clinical depression. During my recovery at Hollins Park, the hospital chaplain asked would I teach the mental health patients ‘art and crafts’. This has not only helped my recovery but also the patients. Many hospital corridors and offices are now adorned with some wonderful artwork. Both the patients and families are so grateful to the Trust for this excellent therapy. During my twenty years I have supported the Trust on many events and committees.

During my working life I have spoken on Radio Merseyside, given many presentations and speeches. Together with my training background and excellent communication skills I became a valuable member of the trust e.g. Capital Planning, Research and Audit Committees as well as building contracts and a major part in the design and construction of the Atherleigh Park mental health hospital at Leigh.

First term 1 October 2021 to 30 April 2024

Previous NWBH Governor for 3 years

Ian Thomson


I have served a life career in the NHS in my role as State Registered Paramedic caring in the community and wish to continue serving as a Council Governor.

In 1975 I commenced my career in the NHS because I believed with training that I had good and positive people skills . I continued other aspects of public service to the present time as a Justice of the Peace. Similar, as an Independent Lay Inspector of Her Majesty’s Prison Service.

I was appointed as a befriender at Ashworth Hospital in 2019 and continue to enjoy that role. In my role as Governor, I will do my utmost to promote excellent standards of care for clients and influence the staff employees better working conditions within Mersey Care NHS Trust.

I have throughout my working adult life gained considerable knowledge and life experiences with several public organisations. I have promoted continual personal development with the NHS-Judicial College-Prison Service. I have been fortunate to sit on many committee groups steering organisations with senior officials and I would be open and honest in my opinions when expressing my own personal views. As a Governor I will work with other members, building on successes and truly listening to staff and all persons that the Trust is seeking to change their lives for the better.

First term 1 October 2021 to 30 April 2024


Election will be held autumn 2023

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 positions for a number of years 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 marginalized 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 year Constituency Rest of England and Wales.

Second term 1 October 2020 to 30 September 2023

Dr Siu Man (Simon) Kan

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The NHS is facing its greatest challenges with current pandemic and demands rising inexorably, financial resources constrained and a workforce struggling to cope; there is a need for clear leadership.

I am a UK qualified GP with over 20 years practice in Liverpool. I had first hand experience with Mersey Care for over 10 years as a hospital practitioner, I  have a good understanding of the Trust and also a perspective having worked in Royal Liverpool University Hospital and Liverpool Prison; a GP in NHS South Liverpool Treatment Centre; GP appraiser S12 approved physician (MHA);  member of Liverpool Medical Committee and RCGP Mersey faculty; Trustee of Merseyside Domestic Violence Service; and Chinese Well-being Merseyside.  I am regularly in contact with patients and staff all over Merseyside, this makes me well positioned to understand current key issues.

I believe no health without mental health, I believe I am approachable  and  can effectively bring issues raised by GPs, primary care, multi-disciplinary teams and patients to the attention of the executive team. I will give a clinical perspective whenever needed, I recognise the hard work and dedication shown by all Mersey Care staff, and will work to ensure that the trust helps, not hinders your efforts and attack the role with vigour and enthusiasm on your behalf.

First term 1 October 2021 to 30 April 2024