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).

Bill Ponzini


I am a keen advocate of obtaining patient and carer views to ensure these personal stories are supported by short- and long-term strategies.

I am retired and in the last four years have experienced carer responsibilities for elderly parents who have sadly passed away. Prior to retirement I was a Business Process Analyst working to ensure systems and processes aligned and met customer needs.

Pre Covid, I assisted the running of a Thursday Night Club for adults with disabilities and I will never stop espousing individuals’ positivity in the face of adversity far greater than anything I have experienced. I hope to gain a greater insight into the challenges which patients, carers and the organisation face.

My previous experiences will enable me to ensure strategy and plans focus on improving patients and carers’ experiences and ultimately their lives.

First term from 1 October 2023 to 30 April 2026

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 from 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.

Third term from 1 May 2024 to 30 April 2027

Chris Whittle

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I have resided in Knowsley for 40 years. Proactively working within the field of community care for 35 years within Knowsley. Representing/advocating for people in their community.

I am a retired Mental Health Nurse. I am also the main carer for family members with Parkinson’s disease and Dementia.

I have 9 years prior experience of being a Governor and holding the position of Lead Governor for 6 of them. I am currently a member of Healthwatch Knowsley; being part of their management team as Mental Health and Military Veteran’s Champion. I am a Military Veteran and proactively support Veterans and families. I have also set up Boots on the Ground project in respect of suicide awareness of Military Veterans.

As a Governor, I maintain a high level of professionalism, dignity, and respect for the position. I have a comprehensive understanding of Foundation Trusts, which is vital in fulfilling my primary role of representing members, patients, carers, and the public in holding the Non-Executives to account for their performance delivering the highest standard of patient and carer care. 

First term from 1 May 2024 to 30 April 2027

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 from 1 May 2022 to 30 April 2025

Karen Alcock


I want to make a difference within my Constituency, to work with and support Non-Executive Directors, to provide improved quality and outcomes by promoting the interests of patients.

I have very recently retired from my role as a National Lead for Operations in the third sector. I worked for a mental health not for profit charity, providing support for those with enduring mental ill health. I worked with commissioners nationally, and other relevant stakeholders. I worked within the mental health sector for nearly 14 years. My previous role was working in the corporate sector, which I did for over 23 years, included analytical roles, management roles, including managing the stakeholder relationships, in particular the regulatory relationships. I have carried out numerous volunteering roles including, mentoring within schools, Mind, Probation and community voluntary work.

I look forward to representing local councils, charities and stakeholder organisations in promoting patients’ best interests and improved outcomes. I have worked closely with my organisation's Non-Executive Directors, leading on key performance measures in providing good quality support, care and housing. I am leading on a new Tenants’ Panel Charter for those using our housing services, this is to provide a voice for those using the services directly to our Group Leadership Team and our Board. I believe I have the governance awareness that I have developed in my current role, in particular as lead on our Service Governance Group.

First term from 1 October 2023 to 30 April 2026

Daniel Baker

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I am a father of 4 beautiful children, and I have a loving partner, I am an average guy who loves the NHS and wants to change it for better.

I am a stock & systems clerk for Wincanton screw fix and a regular guy, I like painting models and spending quality time with my kids and play grand strategy games in my spare time. I am proud to say I have contributed many hours for voluntary causes particularly during my youth where I was awarded Halton young volunteer of the year 2005 winner for my effort spent working with amazing young people with disabilities.

I am a father of 4 children first and foremost and understand the frustration of sometimes being able to see someone in regard to children with disabilities and the general problem of seeing a GP for a loved one or child who may need an appointment. I would like to understand better first hand how this happens and look at ways we can do things better. As a stock and systems clerk details are important. I would like to go through every last piece of information and see from an outside perspective if I can make a difference in making our NHS work better for us.

First term from 1 May 2024 to 30 April 2027

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.

Third term from 1 October 2023 to 30 April 2026

Liam Wood

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I believe I have the qualities to give carers and patients a voice that deserve to be heard and opinions on local services across to those who need to listen.

As my first job I spent 7 years in a busy NHS hospital working in outpatients department and latterly in theatres. The last 5 years I've been employed by the Co-Op firstly as a community champion and recently into retail management.

I'm an avid Evertonian and a busy dad of 4 beautiful children; 2 of those having disabilities and complex health needs.

In the role as a Governor, I hope to gain the confidence and experience to represent the wider community fairly and equally.

I'm an extremely good listener who fairly assesses any situation before making any comment. I'm someone who treats everyone fairly as I believe you treat people how you'd like to be treated.

I'm someone who takes on board criticisms to improve myself and my skills.

First term from 1 May 2024 to 30 April 2027