Our governing body

NHS Swale Clinical Commissioning Group has a Governing Body made up of local GPs and other healthcare professionals. The group work with service providers and the public to commission the right services, in the right area at the right price.

Our governing body members:

Dr Fiona Armstrong

NHS Swale Clinical Commissioning Group Chairman Dr Fiona Armstrong has worked in Swale for 26 years, 20 of those on the Isle of Sheppey. She is now based at Grovehurst Surgery, Kemsley. She said: “I am passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of patients and providing high quality care in or near their homes wherever possible. I would like to make more use of our community hospitals, of which we are very proud.”

She has been involved in commissioning medical services for many years through previous organisations including the primary care trust.

In her spare time she plays competitive tennis and enjoys cycling and walking through the Kent countryside. She added: “There are some great walks and cycle rides on the county council’s website.

Gillian Wells

Gillian Wells has been a manager and chief executive in the voluntary and community sector for 25 years. She is the lay member for patient and public engagement for the NHS Swale CCG’s governing body.

It is her job to ensure that public and patients’ views are heard.

She has been involved in clinical commissioning, supporting the CCG during its authorisation process. She supports health promotion and has specific interest in projects and research focusing on improving the quality of life for older people.

She is a former non-executive director of NHS Kent and Medway and chaired its Serious Incident Committee. She is a member of the Ethics and Confidentiality Committee of the National Information Governance Board.

She lives in Chartham Hatch and works with carers, the homeless and organisations, supporting minority groups to develop them and strengthen their voice. She is also on the governing body of the neighbouring NHS Canterbury and Coastal CCG.

Glenn Douglas

Glenn DouglasGlenn was appointed accountable officer by all eight clinical commissioning groups in Kent and Medway in March/April 2018. He is also chief executive of the Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Partnership.

Glenn has a wealth of senior leadership experience in the NHS in hospital trusts and health authorities. He was chief executive of the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust from October 2007 to September 2017. Prior to this he was CEO of both Ashford & St Peters Hospitals and Eastbourne Hospitals.

He has worked in finance and operational management in Sussex, Kent and Manchester. He is an accountant by profession.

Glenn’s shared accountable officer role covers the clinical commissioning groups of: Ashford; Canterbury and Coastal; Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley; Medway; South Kent Coast; Swale; Thanet; and West Kent.

Ian Ayres

Ian AyresIan is Managing Director for Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley; Medway; Swale; and West Kent clinical commissioning groups. Prior to March 2018 Ian was Accountable Officer for NHS West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group.

He joined the NHS in 1995 working with GPs in south west London, leading a large total purchasing project. He then worked as a chief executive officer in the first wave of primary care trusts (PCTs), as a director of operations for a strategic health authority, and was a chief executive of two other PCTs.

He worked for BUPA Health Dialogue in 2007 as a management consultant and re-joined the NHS two years later as Deputy Chief Executive officer and Director of Commissioning Development at NHS Norfolk.

Dr Mick Cantor

Dr Mick Cantor is the clinical advisor for NHS Swale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

He has recently retired from general practice in Sittingbourne where he practiced for over 30 years. During this time he was an active member of Swale Doctors Forum, Swale Primary Care Group and subsequently practice based commissioning, as well as being a full time GP.

Mick was involved in the development of Swale CCG. Over the years he has continued an active interest in prescribing, information management and technology, Swale finances, medical quality and innovation.

For many years Mick worked as Medical Officer for Demelza House Children’s Hospice.

He is married with three children and his interests include walking, travelling, wildlife, gardening, woodwork and anything DIY.

Ashley West

Ashley WestAccountant Ashley West is chairman of the audit committees across Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley and Swale Clinical Commissioning Groups.  He also acts the Conflicts of Interest Guardian and Governing Body representative for emergency preparedness, resilience and response across both CCGs.

He is the chairman of D W Holdings Ltd is lay member for governance and holds several other non-executive director positions including non-executive chairman of Medway Community Estates Ltd.

He is a non-executive director of East Thames Group, a £96 million social housing organisation based in Stratford and is chairman of its risk and audit committee.

He was recently appointed chairman of the audit committee for the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable. He is a member of the governing council of the University of Kent.

This year he stands down as chairman of MHS Homes Ltd, the largest social housing group in Medway, after nine years on the board.

During his 40-year career he has held a range of high level finance positions in the manufacturing, service and banking industries and has considerable experience as a group finance director of listed companies, initiating many turnaround strategies.

He is married with three adult daughters. In his spare time he enjoys cricket, tennis, music, the theatre, travel and fine arts.

Dr Joyanta Sahu

Dr Joyanta Sahu is an elected GP lead

Professor Jackie Cassell

Professor Jackie Cassell is a doctor based at Brighton and Sussex Medical School and the secondary care doctor representative on the Governing Body of NHS Swale CCG and holds the post of Freedom to Speak Up Guardian.

She joined the CCG in January 2013 and in addition to her role on the Governing Body, will contribute to both the Clinical Strategy and Audit and Risk Sub-Committees.

Professor Cassell is a consultant in Public Health and Genitourinary Medicine (sexual health), and is interested in using health information to improve public health and health services.

Mike Gilbert

Mike Gilbert is the Company Secretary for NHS Swale Clinical Commissioning Group. He has worked in health and social care management for the past 15 years, following a successful career in the Royal Air Force in personnel management.

On leaving the RAF, his initial role was as Assistant Business Manager at the South Thames NHS Regional Office. Following later roles at the Social Services Inspectorate and a brief return to the NHS Regional Office, Mike joined East Kent Hospitals in 2001 as Assistant Director for Women, Children and Clinical Support Services and Deputy Site Manager at Kent and Canterbury Hospital.

In 2004, Mike joined the Eastern and Coastal Kent PCT’s service improvement team as the lead for strategic business planning and contract performance management. In 2007 he joined the Kent and Medway contracting and performance team as Assistant Director, before becoming Deputy Director.

Mike took up his post as Company Secretary with Swale and Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley CCGs in December 2012.

He lives in Sittingbourne with his wife, and two children and is actively involved in the Scout movement at a Swale District level and enjoys motor racing, gardening and DIY.

Alan Jenner

Retired primary school headmaster Alan Jenner, a father-of-two and grandfather of three, says he has always been a passionate defender of the NHS. He said: “I have seen enormous improvements and advancements in the NHS but I believe it is now more important than ever to ensure the NHS ethos of free, high-quality healthcare at the point of delivery is guaranteed for future generations.

“Since I have become involved with the CCG I have realised how hard its members work and how passionate they are about providing the best healthcare for Swale. I am proud to be playing a part in that.”

He lives in Sittingbourne with his wife Ruth. (Non-voting)

Gary Jessop

Gary Jessop is the Independent Lay Member for Business Standards and Deputy Chair of the Primary Care Commissioning Committee. He is also a member of the Audit Committee and Remuneration Committee.

In his role as Business Standards ‘protector’ Gary is responsible to the Governing Body for overseeing compliance with all forms of business standards, including conflicts of interest.

Gary worked for 40 years in the City of London as a bank executive but is now relishing the opportunity to apply his experience and skills to the CCG. He is a staunch supporter of the NHS and is proud to serve on the CCG for the benefit of the Swale community.

He lives on Sheppey, and is married with three grown up daughters (all of whom live and work locally) and has one grandson. In between the demands of his family (taxi and repair services mainly) Gary enjoys gardening and DIY.

Nicola Reeves

Nicola Reeves is the Governing Body Practice Manager representative.

She is the Practice Manager at the Grovehurst Surgery in Sittingbourne and she has been a Practice Manager in the Swale area for 13 years.

Nicola was born in Birmingham and moved to Sittingbourne in 2000. She is married with two children and her interests include supporting Birmingham City FC, going to the theatre, cinema, history and listening to all kinds of music, especially 1950’s rock and roll.

Gail Arnold

Deputy Managing Director for DGS and Swale CCG

Dr Hilary Audsley

GP Partner at Chestnuts Surgery

Reg Middleton

Chief Finance Officer

Reg Middleton is DGS, Swale and West Kent CCG’s Chief Finance Officer and is responsible for providing financial advice and supervising financial control and accounting systems. He was previously Deputy Finance Director at West Kent Primary Care Trust. He has mor

e than 30 years’ experience in the NHS, working at a wide range of organisations in Kent and Sussex.

He studied at Liverpool John Moores University and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. He is married and has two children.
He spends his spare time with his family and enjoys walking and watching football.

Paula Wilkins

Chief Nurse 

Paula is Chief Nurse for Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley; Medway; Swale; and West Kent clinical commissioning groups. Prior to joining West Kent CCG as their Chief Nurse in April 2017 Paula worked for NHS England (Kent, Surrey & Sussex)as their Deputy Director of Nursing.
Paula trained as a Nurse at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London and qualified in 1987. She worked St Thomas’ Hospital as a Sister and Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital (GSTT) as a Nurse Specialist in Haematology & Head of Nursing. In 2006 Paula left her role as Head of Nursing at GSTT and moved to Hospice in the Weald where she was their Nursing Director until 2014.
Paula has a Masters Degree in Collaborative Leadership.

Caroline Becher

Independent Member (Nursing)

Caroline Becher (RGN, BSc Hons) trained at Guys Hospital London. She was a major scholarship winner by exam supporting her degree studies in Nursing.

More recently she gained experience at executive level as Director of Nursing in three acute Trusts, two of these gained Foundation Trust status.

Since retirement she was keen to remain engaged with the NHS  and has been a non- executive director for a community and acute Trust.

Currently she is a freelance Nursing and Management consultant conducting assignments for Trusts in the South of England. Alongside this she is a Trustee of ‘Scotts’, an organisation that provides residential and daily support services for users who have learning disabilities.

In Caroline’s free time she enjoys being with her family, playing club tennis, golf and skiing and watching cricket at all levels. She loves music and plays the guitar alongside growing her own vegetables on her allotment.​

Governing body meetings

NHS Swale Clinical Commissioning Group Governing Body meetings are held on a bi-monthly basis.  Members of the public are welcome to observe and can submit questions on agenda topics in advance or on the day. 

If you are not attending the meeting and wish to submit a question it may be more appropriate for you to submit a Freedom of Information request.

Meeting dates, locations and related documents are available in our meetings section.

Our commissioners cover the following areas:

  • Mental health and integrated care
  • Urgent care, end of life care and care homes
  • Long term conditions (incl. respiratory, cardiology, diabetes)
  • Planned care (incl. surgical specialties, pain, physio and outpatients) and cancer
  • Medicines optimisation, medicines management and prescribing
  • Specialist assessments and placements team.

Children’s Health and Maternity Service is commissioned via South East Commissioning Support Unit

Email: swale.ccg@nhs.net
Phone: 03000 425100

Please ensure the subject of your email includes one of the above programme areas so that it can be directed to the correct person.

You can find out more about the roles and responsibilities of CCG governing bodies here.