Staff Governors are elected and sit on the Council of Governors to represent staff members’ views within the four staff constituencies (medical; nursing; other clinical, scientific, technical or therapeutic staff; and non-clinical).

Ten Staff Governors

Declan Hyland

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I have been employed as a Consultant in general adult psychiatry in Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust since August 2016.  I work on a full-time basis at Clock View Hospital, one of the Trust’s inpatient units, where I look after a caseload of 23 inpatients across two wards.  Having completed almost all of my six years of psychiatry training in Mersey Care, working at various inpatient and community sites across the Trust and in various subspecialties of psychiatry, I always knew I wanted a Consultant post in the trust.  Aside of my clinical role, I hold numerous roles with the Royal College of Psychiatrists and am the lead for undergraduate psychiatry with the Liverpool School of Medicine. 

Whilst I am passionate about medical education, recruitment to psychiatry and training, I am equally passionate about patient care and ensuring that Mersey Care provides high quality and safe care to all of those patients under its care.  I am fully committed to representing my medical staff colleagues in Mersey Care and ensuring their views are heard at Board level.  I relish the opportunity to be an elected governor on the Trust Board and to do justice to this privileged role I have been given.

First term 1 October 2021-30 April 2024

Mark Chandley

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My name is Dr Mark Chandley (Dr by virtue of gaining a PhD) I am a Senior Clinical Nurse based in the secure division. I was born in Anfield and I am very proud of my working class, industrial origins.

I began as a Nursing Assistant (interestingly I would never get a job in Mersey Care today as I was only a builder back then). I worked up completing a degree and PhD in 2007 at the Manchester Metropolitan. I have worked in secure services for almost forty years and I still enjoy myself. 

I work also lecturing on violence and aggression across the UK and amongst others I have taught 3000 bus drivers for Nottingham City Transport.

I was seriously ill in 2015 and similar to long COVID it left me ill for a while, Mersey Care usually treated me as I wish others to be treated, that low point in life was a high point in the NHS.

I will bring passion to this role. Most of Mersey Care is robust but occasionally the best of trusts fall short. I put myself up for governor to be a conduit between the members & public and the trust board. I want to help the little guy.

I know from experience that the view from the top is different to the view at the bottom and I want the board to know both views. Your views on the importance of the services we offer. The services we offer often aspire to be world class, but I have been around a long time and I am aware that a great service can get itself into trouble very quickly. I want to be an excellent, reliable and accessible representative.

First term 1 October 2020-30 September 2023


Gillian Davies

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I am passionate and enthusiastic about getting the service right for all patients. I am confident to challenge and be challenged. I believe that staff are our greatest asset.

I began my Nursing career in 1991 and trained across a number of NHS services throughout Liverpool. I am a Registered General Adults Nurse and predominantly worked in the Royal Liverpool University Hospital. I initially worked on Vascular Surgery then became a Sister on Intensive Care.

After having my two children I desired a shift in focus and trained in Lancaster University to become a Health Visitor, working again across the whole of the city. I have performed as a Team Leader of Health Visiting and currently School Nursing. I have experience of Nursing across the lifespan of our patients.

I am proud to represent the Nursing staff of Mersey Care and be the voice of this constituency board facing. I never lose focus of keeping patients central to everything we do. I am passionate about ensuring the service is quality driven whilst maintaining efficiencies. Just entering Mersey Care as Liverpool Community Division places me in an ideal position to break down any barriers, say it as it is and strive to integrate our service into the Mersey care family. I strongly believe in valuing all staff and hope this role could give me an avenue to develop this, be the voice of the staff, challenge appropriately, celebrate our service, share and learn to become the best NHS provider we can be.

First term 1 May 2019-30 April 2022


Nicola Gelling

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I am committed to provide patient centred care and to ensure all services work together to give our patients the best care possible in the community. I am confident and passionate about patient care, and I will challenge, and I am happy to be challenged to ensure that as a trust we are delivering safe, effective, responsive, caring and well-led services for our patients, service-users and staff.

I commenced my Nursing career as an Auxiliary Nurse in Broadgreen Hospital in 1992. I have worked within Sefton for 20 years where I started as a D Grade District Nurse. In 2013, I became a Community Matron which is a role that I thoroughly enjoy as I work with all members of the Multidisciplinary team regularly. I feel that I understand how it is to work at all grades within the Nursing service and the demands on each role within the team.

I regularly Mentor and Support Colleagues to assist with the development of their knowledge and skills. I enjoy Mentoring and teaching colleagues and staff as I feel it is important that we share our knowledge and skills to continuously provide the best possible care to patient and service users. As a Mentor I get a great deal of personal and professional pride in seeing colleagues and students develop professionally and feel supported in their roles. 

Patients are why we are here, and we should not lose focus of the need for High Quality Patient Centred Care and always ensuring their needs are met. As a Nurse within Merseycare it is important to me that all Patients, Service users and Staff are treated with dignity and respect at all times.

I am extremely honoured to have been voted by my peers to be a staff governor. I am passionate about Nursing and I feel that I have the experience and passion to represent my colleagues. I will endeavour to ensure that the staff’s views are represented by me in a constructive way. I hope to work in partnership with the board to voice the views of staff.

First term 1 October 2020-30 September 2023


Liam Stowell

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The voice of nurses is often ignored or suppressed in our society and I am determined to get this changed. We are thousands strong and together can make a difference.

I have worked within the NHS for the last 10 years. During this time, I have worked predominantly in children’s mental health services, from inpatient to community and now in crisis services. I’m from Bury but worked in Manchester mental health services at the start of my career before moving to Warrington, when I qualified as a nurse. I come from a family that have worked in the NHS and I am also married to a nurse. Nursing and the NHS have been an integral part of my life both professionally and personally and I want to continue this legacy.

I am truly a passionate individual about mental health nursing. Throughout my career I have often stood up for those who are oppressed or discriminated against. I have done this within the workplace and society. Nursing is a profession that requires great personal sacrifice. We often have to leave loved ones at home in order to support and help others who are vulnerable and traumatised. This can have a significant impact on our own wellbeing and is often not recognised or taken seriously. I want to be at the forefront for those who feel that nursing is not taken seriously and cement our place in society to showcase what invaluable and lifesaving work we do.

First term 1 October 2021-30 April 2024

Dean Hegarty

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I’m a community mental health support worker in Sefton and staff governor.

I travel around 150 miles a week on my bike, visiting people in their homes. I always try to help them to get out and about, sometimes we go for a bike ride. It can make a big difference to someone’s mood if they see the world outside. They’re on their own journey to recovery but we travel together.

I love working with people, helping them achieve their full potential. We do everything at their pace, step by step. I’m also a carers’ champion – carers are so valuable to everyone else involved in someone’s care - we should listen to them and direct them to places where they can feel safe too.

I wanted to become a governor so I could put the viewpoints of staff to the people making decisions. I feel privileged to be able to look out for the people who work at Mersey Care.

First term 1 May 2019-30 April 2022


Gie Peneche

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Keeping our service safe – is the driving force for my aspirations of becoming a staff governor. For me, providing safe patient care is not only about evidence based practise but also about the interaction, experience and the psychological safety of both patients and staff. It is therefore my passion to promote ideas and views, representing fellow colleagues and promoting better staff experiences, which in turn will improve the patient’s experience of service.

As one of the Just and Learning Ambassadors I am already part of cultivating an open, just and transparent culture. If elected, I will draw upon these skills to represent staff views, challenge decisions and ensure that issues specific to services will be addressed. Through my experiences, I have amassed and have built resilience that makes me flexible, courageous and well-rounded individual. The challenges that I have personally experienced over physiotherapy career of 20 years, have taught me to find my voice and speak up when I needed to; make my own ethical decisions everyday no matter how much pressure is being placed on me and the lessons I have learnt from colleagues’ experiences. Their wisdom is the reason why I enjoy the opportunity to collaborate.

My personal experiences and attributes have led me to believe that I would be well suited to be a governor and all that it entails. Furthermore, it is just simply to make a difference at a place where everyone is welcomed, and I can only attain that with your support.

Second term 1 October 2021-30 April 2024


Sam Gorst

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My name is Sam Gorst and I am currently working as a Nursing Assistant/Mental Health Support Worker at Mersey Care. I am hoping to carry out a Nursing Associate degree and eventually progress to become an RMN.I have worked for Mersey Care for two years and thoroughly enjoy the therapeutic time I have with my patients.

There's nothing better than witnessing and being involved in the journey and progress of someone becoming physically and mentally well after trauma or life's stresses. I am also a City Councillor and POA Union Health and Safety representative. These roles have given me valuable transferrable skills and knowledge that I apply to the ward I work on whether that is helping with housing advice, signposting to relevant agencies or improving safety at the unit. I am passionate about continuously improving the health and safety standards of the unit I work on.

I believe this will improve staff wellbeing and morale, creating a more compassionate working culture. I am an advocate for BAME staff - we must eradicate ignorance and prejudice to strive for a more content, equal and diverse workforce. In all the roles I carry out in life including those mentioned above and additionally as a parent, I pride myself on the importance of being approachable and actively listening. Approachability is key to gaining trust and transparency.

First term 1 October 2020-30 September 2023

Karen Elliott

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I have 30 years’ experience working in the health and social care sector, beginning my career as a practitioner supporting individuals who have historically experienced prejudice, discrimination and segregation to access appropriate health and social care services, building their confidence and skills to live more independently.

For the past 16 years I have worked in Learning and Development supporting colleagues to continuously develop their knowledge and skills to deliver the best possible care and support to patients, service users and carers.

I have worked for Mersey Care for 3 years and believe that Mersey Care have great values and principles.  In all core decisions patients are always put first and our staff members lead by example in representing the trusts values.

It is a great honour to be elected as a staff governor and I want to ensure that our staff members’ views are represented in the best possible way.  As a member of the Council of Governors I will represent the interests of members to hold the Chair and Non-Executive Directors to account for the performance of the Board of Directors through constructive challenge and partnership.

I am committed to and passionate about the transformation of health and social care services and the drive towards an integrated approach to address the needs of patients, service users, staff and the communities we serve. The NHS is going through great challenges and changes and I want to make sure that our members’ views can be represented in an effective manner in the Governing body.

My ambition is to work collaboratively with colleagues and the people we serve to advance the modernisation of health and social care services to deliver Perfect Care. I am a dedicated individual with lots of energy and passion and I believe that I have the right blend of experience and values to represent our members appropriately to help drive the continued improvement that make a positive difference within the Trust.

First term 1 May 2019-30 April 2022


Chris Boland

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I have 14 years’ experience in Merseycare in Corporate Services and over the past year I have spent most of the year supporting Local Services at Hartley Hospital.

I came to Merseycare as a staff member after a long spell in the Service Users and Carers Forum, where I served on working parties and interview panels and shortlisted candidates.  I have a long history of campaigning on Equality and Human Rights issues in Mersey Care and served as an Assistant Equality Advisor within the Workplace team.  I organised Hate Crime workshops with the Anthony Walker Foundation and administered Unconscious Bias training.  I have brought those experiences to bear in Local Services, supporting both staff and service users. I also helped devise Level 2 suicide prevention training for staff.

I have a long record of public service in Mersey Care and the Civil Service, where I managed teams in the Tax Credit Office and worked as a National Insurance Inspector.  I have an in-depth knowledge of both Health and Welfare issues and experience of working alongside senior management in the Public Service.  I have highlighted Equality issues in Merseycare and have brought it to the attention of managers when work practices have fallen short of those policies and values.  I am able to master policies and briefing documents and highlight ways in which they might be improved.  Above all, I am committed to ensuring that both staff and service users are treated with dignity in the way they deserve.

First term 1 October 2021-30 April 2024