Meet our Governors

Meet our elected governors, patient governor, staff governors and our nine appointed governors.

Central constituency

Our Central Governors represent Bridges, Saltwell, Deckham, Lobley Hill and Bensham, Low Fell, High Fell, Chowdene, Lamesley, Chester-le-Street, Ouston and Pelton, Birtley and Washington.

Eileen Adams, Central governors for Gateshead Health

Eileen Adams

I have resided in the Gateshead area all my life. For over 20 years, I was employed by Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust and have been aware of the successful changes made to the hospital and local services. I have recently retired and would hope to represent the interests of patients and the local community to ensure a continuous and excellent service is provided.
John Bedlington, Central governors for Gateshead Health

John Bedlington

After serving 32 years as a fire officer, 24 years as chair of healthcare charity LIVErNORTH and nine years as a hospital governor, I believe I understand public service, healthcare and accountability. Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust is providing an excellent service to the borough and beyond, however, the entire NHS is having to meet unprecedented challenges and undergo significant changes.
Karen Tanriverdi, central governor for Gateshead Health

Karen Tanriverdi

Living in Gateshead all my life, I have in the past had need of hospital care for both family and myself and always experienced a high standard of care. Now recently retired, I would welcome the opportunity to give something back. Through working in administration, I have an understanding of many business aspects and have a common sense approach to life. I also have a strong empathy with people and believe these strengths together will enable me to fulfil a worthwhile position within the trust to the benefit of staff and patients alike.
Abe Rabinowitz, central governor for Gateshead Health

Abe Rabinowitz

As a volunteer in a number of local charities as well as being a Patient Advocate at The DASH Group – a local Patient Support & Advocacy Group – and having recently been an inpatient at the QE Hospital, I am familiar with the workings of hospitals both as a patient and as a patient support. I will use the position of Governor, in addition to my existing experience, to better ensure that EVERY patient receives the best level of care EVERY time.
Brenda Webb, Central constituency governor

Brenda Webb

I have always been a people person doing all I could. My job was in Accountancy and I helped to train young people I have always been involved with tenants involvement groups with Gateshead Housing and Gateshead Council. As a hobby I was involved with St. John’s Ambulance Service. When my husband died ten and a half years ago I was a Volunteer for The Queen Elizabeth Hospital for 3 days a week My late husband and I were involved with a hospital group meetings discussing illness etc regularly
Helen Jones, central governor for Gateshead Health

Helen Jones

I am a recently retired teacher and headteacher in special education and I am keen to use my knowledge, skills and enthusiasm to develop and support other areas of public service. I have experience of governance systems for schools and for an FE College which would be of benefit in this role. As a member of the local community, I have a personal commitment to my local hospital and to the NHS in general. I have a particular interest in ensuring access to generic services for children and adults with learning diffculties and disabilities and particular skills in this area.
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Western Constituency

Our Western Governors represent Prudhoe, Crawcrook and Greenside, Chopwell and Rowlands Gill, Ryton, Crookhill and Stella, Winlaton and High Spen, Blaydon, Whickham South and Sunniside, Whickham North, Dunston Hill and Whickham East, Dunston and Teams.

Leslie Brown, Western Governor for Gateshead Health

Leslie Brown

I care very much about our local health services. I have lived in the Gateshead area and worked in legal services for 30 years. I would like to contribute to the Council of Governors’ inquisitive and balanced thinking. Also, my aim is to communicate with local people – collecting their opinions and helping our communities to have a say in trust decisions and its future. My priorities will be on how our trust is supervised, responds to the needs of individuals and delivers within restricted budgets. Most of all I want to enhance our trust’s performance. I hope to be alert to the many whose voice matters. I believe patients, carers and those who work in and serve our Trust, deserve Governors who will undertake their duties responsibly and with care.
Mick Lamport, Western governor for Gateshead Health

Mick Lamport

I am a retired police officer disabled in the course of my duty. I use an electric wheelchair and a walking stick to aid getting around. I have a lot of contact with the NHS because of my disabilities. I have found the service invaluable to my health. I became a governor to help others access the benefits available from the NHS and to give something back to the community that has helped me so much. If I can make a difference to the service and help others, I find this rewarding.
Geoffrey Riddell, western governor for Gateshead Health

Geoffrey Riddell

I hope that previous experiences would enable me to see the NHS and the trust in a positive way to allow me to be of assistance. These cover a variety of areas starting with joining the Merchant Navy then through to business, where I eventually became managing director of a large distribution company. I was regional representative for the FSB and travelled to Westminster to talk and meet with MPs and Ministers. I served in the RNXS at HMS Calliope and later when disbanded, joined the Special Constabulary with Northumbria force serving at the West End then as Head of the Specials in Washington. I have also worked with charities involved in education and via Rotary, in which I was a local President. Hopefully the knowledge I have gained will be positive for the trust.
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Ged Quinn

Over the years I have been a NHS patient on a number of occasions, this I feel has given me an insight into the views of patients, and what they expect of the hospital and therefore feel well placed to represent my constituency from that perspective. My daughter works locally in a maternity unit and can share experiences which could be of benefit to improving services to all users. Additionally I have family member who suffers from Dementia making me aware of the needs this despicable illness brings to all concerned. As a Governor, I will work to ensure that the best facilities, services and standards are available for patients, and that the marvellous staff and management strive at all times to deliver the best possible care.
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Eastern governors

Our Eastern Governors cover Felling, Windy Nook and White Hills, Pelaw and Heworth, Wardley and Leam Lane, and parts of Jarrow and Hebburn.

Desmond Costello, eastern governor for Gateshead Health

Desmond Costello

As a long-standing and participative resident of Felling, East Gateshead, for over sixty years, I have had recourse to access the trust’s services as a patient on several occasions AND received first-class medical and nursing care every time; giving me a powerful insight into the patient experience. While passionate about and proud of the excellent services and standards of the trust, I am equally passionate about healthcare provision for senior citizens. This is a group who still have an important part to play in society, but whose voice is not always heard. My role, therefore, would be a dual role – vigorously supporting staff and senior management in maintaining their service levels of excellence, whilst also acting as an active advocate for the physical, mental and emotional welfare of Gateshead’s elderly sectors.
Alan Dougall, eastern governor for Gateshead Health

Alan Dougall

I was a governor at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital until 2017, and I am pleased to be a governor again. I was born and raised in Felling, was in the RAF for 10 years, worked overseas for 8 years, then worked in the Team Valley until I retired. My outside interests are; Trustee of the Older People’s Assembly, Member of the Council Veterans Committee, Member of the Council Diversity Forum. And, in Newcastle, Member of Voice North Research panel, Member of P.I.M.S at the Freeman Hospital and a member of Unite, the Union, Retired Members Committee.
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Patient governor

Agatha Kanyangu, Patient / Out of Area governor for Gateshead Health

Agatha Kanyangu

Patient / Out of Area
Gateshead Health provides services to the community, and I would like to help the trust continue to improve and develop. My business management experience spans to over 27 years and I am a Fellow Member of the Chartered Management Institute (FCMI). Currently I work in academia, hence I am passionate about the professional development of staff and students alike. I believe the governor role is a perfect match for my experience as in the past I have been a trustee director for Citizens Advice Bureau as well as a governor for a school. If required I am not afraid to ask difficult questions on behalf of service users and all its dedicated staff who work so hard to keep this place running smoothly.

Staff Governors

Steve Connolly, Staff governors for Gateshead Health

Steve Connolly

Hello my name is Steve Connolly, I am currently a volunteer with Patient Experience team at QE Gateshead. I have over 40 years’ experience working within Health and Social Care, having trained as a registered nurse. Making sure patients get the highest standards of compassionate care is very important to me and for that reason I worked for the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as a clinical advisor, assisting with inspections of care homes. I feel that I can bring this experience to my Governor’s role. I have previously been a Governor with the trust, but now I am an active member of the patient experience team. Being a staff Governor will give me the opportunity to represent and support all staff within the trust and be an advocate to ensure staff have a voice in the organisation.
Marceline Ndam, staff governor for Gateshead Health

Marceline Ndam

As a nurse and BAME staff network chair, I have 4 years’ experience within our organisation working on a care of the elderly ward. I am passionate about nurturing and maintaining an inclusively diverse environment, which not only improves staff health and wellbeing, it encourages them to come to work with their whole self. My priority as a staff governor will be to foster and promote the tenets of inclusion, diversity and equity so that no member of the trust feels disadvantaged based on their attributes, including the protected characteristics of the Equality Act. My intention is to be a great ambassador for our trust by adhering to the code of confidentiality, seeking, listening and presenting the diverse views of our staff in an authentic manner without compromising my professionalism. I believe my great interpersonal skills, infectious enthusiasm and effective communication will be instrumental to my success at this role.
Helen Adams, staff governor for Gateshead Health

Helen Adams

My name is Helen Adams. I am a Staff Nurse in the Trust. I have worked for the Trust since 2004 and worked on various Wards, I currently work in the Occupational Health Department. I live in Gateshead reinforcing my interest in the Trust and the community and staff it supports. I am passionate about public health both for patients and staff and have a particular interest in smoking cessation and how this can vastly improve the health of both patients and staff as discussed in the NHS Peoples Plan. I believe I would be an excellent addition to the council of governors as a Staff Governor. I always strive to be an advocate ensuring the views of patients and staff are listened to, in doing so I aim to improve services for the Trust not only now but also in the future.
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Claire Ellison

Andy Lowes, staff governor for Gateshead Health

Dr Andrew Lowes

I joined the trust in July 2020 after 3 years at JCUH Middlesbrough and my front line experience means I really do understand the current unprecedented pressures that Covid has placed on us all. The fact we have managed to more than survive is ultimately down to the reasons I enjoy working here namely incredible teamwork, camaraderie and people repeatedly going above and beyond for each other and our patients. Yet existing problems must also be acknowledged if we wish to solve them including staffing shortages especially amongst the nursing staff and their frequent redeployment. Effective communication and collaboration between the front line and the trust board will be of paramount importance in navigating a challenging winter and beyond. I promise to act as an advocate for staff colleagues and ensure that concerns raised in the changing and coffee rooms mirror those in the boardroom.
Richard Morrell, staff governor for Gateshead Health

Richard Morrell

I’m Richard Morrell a Consultant Radiographer working in Breast screening & cancer services at the Queen Elizabeth hospital. I joined the trust in 2018, however prior to this I’ve worked in multiple trusts around the region in various roles from a newly qualified radiographer through to senior management. I’ve gained experience and insight into working with, developing and managing staff along with developing my own clinical role, something which I feel gives me a unique view point on the workforce. I would love to represent the 4000 plus staff across this trust and bring the views of staff to the attention of the board and ensure the staffs voice is heard. I believe the healthcare landscape is changing dramatically and a key component to maintaining the first-class patient service provided by this trust is to work with and listen to all staff employed in this trust.

Appointed governors

There are nine appointed governors. The organisations authorised by the Trust’s constitution to be appointed to the Council of Governors are:

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Chris Toon

Gateshead College
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Gateshead Council
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Gateshead Diversity Forum
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Aron Sandler

Gateshead Jewish Community Forum
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Gateshead Voluntary Organisations Council
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Gateshead Youth Council
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Dr Laura Ternent

Newcastle University
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Professor Debbie Porteous

Northumbria University
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Newcastle Gateshead CCG

How do I contact the governors?

Make sure you state which governor you wish to contact.

via Corporate Services Office on 0191 445 6043