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).

10 staff governors

Declan Hyland


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.

Second term from 1 May 2024 to 30 April 2027

James Savage


As a Governor of our Trust, I will work together with stakeholders inside and outside of Mersey Care to create a better working environment for our staff and in turn better care for our patients.

I was a student and HCA within NWBH/Mersey Care until I qualified in March last year, for the last 6 months I have been a deputy manager on one of our inpatient wards.

I have always been passionate about helping people, I was previously a senior carer in Northern Ireland and a volunteer youth worker.

In the UK Youth Parliament, I advocated for young people and as Rep in the RCN I advocated for student nurses as they struggled to support the NHS during the pandemic.

I welcome the opportunity to advocate for my colleagues. I hope that I can be a voice for our nursing staff and bring issues they care about to the executive level.

I will support our staff to create a more positive, safer working environment that will in turn deliver a better standard of care for our patients.

As a nurse in Mersey Care, I have developed communication skills which I hope to use to reach out and engage with nurses across our Trust, we are a huge organisation but at the end of the day we are all colleagues with one common goal... to deliver better person-centred care for our patients.

First term from 1 October 2023 to 30 April 2026.

Jason O'Flaherty


I will always live by my values, hope to have courage and be able to speak truth to power.

Being a nurse is an important part of my personal and professional identity. I know the struggles of maintaining a healthy home work balance when looking after a dying parent and of being a single parent for a pre-school child.

I have been a nurse for almost 30 years and outside of nursing I have spent many years in the charity sector, as a Trustee developing and supporting projects in Romania, Africa, and the UK.

I will always speak truth to power, this aspect is so important to me. I struggle to live in a less than honest, open, and transparent world, where equality of opportunity is not available for all. I formally worked for NWBH and now work in a Trust wide capacity. This gives me the opportunity to engage with nurses working across the whole of this Trust, be it in the community, on the wards and across all the different divisions in the Trust.

I feel this unique trust wide insight which few other nurses are privileged to have gives me a more balanced and informed position which I can share with the Trust Board.

First term from 1 October 2023 to 30 April 2026.

Ann San

Ann Sann.PNG

I am honest, unafraid to ask awkward questions and have the skills to scrutinise and objectively look at the meaningful work of the Mersey Care organisation.

I am employed as a Community Matron working within a community team in Liverpool. I have worked in acute hospital community settings. I am interested in the supporting of and development of key health services, sometimes challenging those decisions in the best interests of patients and staff involved. As a nurse it is a privilege to be involved in patients and their care and to always put patients at the centre of any decisions. I consider this to be the benchmark for any organisation that makes policy or strategic decisions for its patients or service users.

I hope to be able to bridge the gap between the board and its members by taking an active part in the governor role and have a greater understanding of the role of the governors and the executive

board. The qualities I could bring are the qualities I use in everyday life; honesty, listening, compassion, problem solving skills, and a can-do approach to obstacles. I firmly believe if you involve your workforce in discussions and conversation you can gain so much as an outstanding performing organisation. which strives to achieve for every patient “perfect care”.

First term from 1 May 2022 to 30 April 2025.

Toni-Jayne Alcock

I am aware that the way in which I portray myself to others is a representation of the trust; therefore, I work with an excellent level of integrity and professionalism.

I graduated from Mental heath nursing in 2013, and have worked for 5BP, NWBH and also Mersey Care as an RMN. I currently work within CYPMHS; however, in previous roles I have worked in both adult social care and also in adult mental health teams.

I have a keen interest in working proactively to support mental wellbeing and take pride in being able to achieve this within my role, and within my personal life. I live with my soon to be husband, our son and two dogs who all play a large part in maintaining our own wellbeing.

I hold a positive and proactive approach to life and enjoy tackling any topics with a solution-based attitude. I enjoy a challenge, especially if the result endeavours to support others.

I enjoy helping others and will always go out of my way to support the wellbeing and advocacy of those who may not be able to do so themselves.

First term 1 May 2024-30 April 2027

Sean Doherty

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I care about my work community, and I have 23 years’ experience as a governor, and two as a local councillor. My experience of strategic decision making will be beneficial.

I am married and live in Maghull. I have worked in industry and the health service. My current role is as a Senior Pathways Advisor with Mersey Care Life Rooms, and I continue to work with Secure Division as a Health Care Assistant. I was previously representing staff as safety representative for the RCN in secure division, a position I took up because I always want to improve working conditions for both staff and service users. Outside of work I volunteer as an outreach worker helping homeless people in Liverpool and with a charity helping Afghan Refugees integrate into communities. My hobbies are travel, watching Everton and magnet fishing with my grandson.

I hope to gain a greater knowledge of how the Trust works and I hope to use my experience in governance, communication, and strategic planning to help the Trust on a journey of continued improvement for the benefit of all.

First term from 1 May 2022 to 30 April 2025.


Gary Rowland


I'm conscientious, hard-working, and passionate about representing the voice of my colleagues on the Council of Governors. In my professional life, I'm a Chartered Fellow of the Institute for Professional Development and I work primarily in HR for a private company. I volunteer as a School Governor and am also a Magistrate - two of my big passions, and through which, I believe I have gained the skills and knowledge to support in my role as a Governor for the Trust. Originally, I joined Five Boroughs as a Bank HCA and have continued to work primarily on Inpatient and Community teams continuously through to our new chapter as we merged with Mersey Care.

I have years of experience of working with stakeholders to represent their views, change management and engagement. I'm keen to utilise these skills to bring a balanced view to the role of the Governor. All NHS trusts are facing staffing challenges at the moment, and I feel that there is a real opportunity to ensure that Mersey Care staff receive the right representation. I am also keen to understand how our auditing bodies (internal and external) think we can develop as an organisation and how we influence how this is woven into our operational and people strategies.

First term from 1 October 2023 to 30 April 2026.

To be updated following Spring 2024 elections, and Governor eligibilty check completion

Wendy Heckels

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I am passionate about embedding anti-racism. I have the skills to make a meaningful contribution to this organisation and would work tirelessly to have your voice heard.

I am currently an operational manager in Sefton, Community Care Division, leading the delivery of safe care and improvement of our services. My ethos is striving for ‘perfect care’ and delivering the key objectives and remaining accountable to the people we serve. I would bring to this role of governor, 33 years of NHS experience in Scotland and England, pride in being a registered Dietitian, an Allied Health Professional and a champion of professional groups outside of nursing and medicine. I am a mum to 3 boys and 2 Labradors and strive for joy in my work life balance.

I have had a fantastic opportunity during my career so far to work within clinical, professional, and operational leadership, across physical and mental health, community dental and learning disability services and this enables me to build strong connections. My experience gives me strong foundations to represent a broad staff voice.

Having TUPE’d into the organisation just under 3 years ago, I have developed understanding of how Mersey Care continues to transform and am committed to the organisation in developing itself further to meet the needs of our service users and staff.

I have a strong focus on staff wellbeing and supporting staff to be the best they can be.

First term 1 May 2024-30 April 2027

To be updated following Spring 2024 elections, and Governor eligibilty check completion