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Membership Matters

Meet our Governors - York

Margaret Jackson

Margaret Jackson  PhotoMargaret worked in the NHS as a nurse, midwife and senior manager for a total of 43 years before retiring in 2011. She gained invaluable experience in the delivery of healthcare and in seeking and responding to the views of staff, patients and their families/carers and in working with a range of people from many different organisations.

Since her election to the position of Governor in October 2012, she has worked with her Governor colleagues to ensure that the Trust continues to hold the patient at the centre of all it does. In April 2014, Margaret was elected Lead Governor by her colleagues.
By attending meetings and being involved in various committees and groups she has been able to see how the Directors and Non-executive Directors fulfil their roles and how strategic plans are developed and put into action.

Following re-election, Margaret has welcomed the opportunity to develop and take forward the role of both Governor and Lead Governor in the Trust representing members and the community. She ensures that the views of patients and their families/carers continue to be sought, considered and taken account of when discussing services. She is fully committed to the role of Governor working with the Trust and its staff, willing to both congratulate and challenge the Trust on actions being considered or taken when delivering healthcare.


Robert Wright

Robert Wright PhotoRobert believes in holding people to account and that frontline staff should have a voice with regards to how services are delivered, but most importantly, he believes that patients and their families should be at the heart of everything the Trust does.
Robert feels that as a Governor he offers the Trust, fellow members and patients:

- His whole hearted commitment to ensuring the Trust delivers safe, effective and high quality care
- His belief in effective and robust governance and the importance of ‘speaking truth to power’
- His professional knowledge of what great leadership in the NHS looks like

Robert is a York resident with a young family who has much to thank the NHS for – in particular the health and wellbeing of him and his loved ones (3 children born at York, numerous A & E visits and surgical procedures etc) and his career in leadership selection (he works for NHS Leadership Academy which is like a business school aimed at developing new leadership behaviours in the NHS).

He believes his career experience of questioning and assessing NHS executives and senior leaders means as a Governor he is comfortable challenging the Board at York to assure patients, families and staff that they are doing all they can to provide first class, safe and value for money services.


Helen Fields

Helen Fields PhotoFrom the age of 18 until retirement, Helen’s career has been firmly rooted in the NHS. A registered nurse, nurse teacher with a master’s degree in education, she spent many years working in a clinical and teaching capacity For thirteen years she worked as a Senior Civil Servant in the Department of Health and was responsible for over 40 staff and a multi-million pound budget.

Helen is very familiar with the work required of a Governor having sat on the Board of the UK Sector Skills Council for Health and she was subsequently appointed as a Director of Strategy and Planning with the same body. It is these skills plus those of communication that she brings to the position..

Helen’s links with York Teaching Hospital are predominantly through patient experience both personally (following a mild stroke) and also through caring for her elderly mum who has since passed away.

Helen believes that giving time and commitment to the role of Governor can bring real benefits to promoting excellence in patient care. She believes the Governor community is highly valued and able to draw on a variety of experience and contributions.


John Cooke

John CookeJohn moved to York some 40 years ago which was prior to his retirement in 1990 after being a Personnel and Administration Manager with British Rail for 40 years in various locations including Rotherham, Sheffield, Doncaster, Nottingham, Leeds and finally York.

In 1980 John joined the worlds largest service organisation that of Lions Clubs International as a member of York Lions Club.  He was appointed Club President in 1985, Lions District Governor for Yorkshire and Derbyshire 1990/91 followed by the National Drug Awareness and Life Skills Officer for three years.

John was a Board Member of the Charity TACADE (The Advisory Council for Alcohol and Drug Education) from 1993-2003. Tacade produced Educational and Life Skills material for Primary and Secondary Schools.  John has been a School Governor and Pupil Mentor at Lowfield School, Acomb, and York.


Michael Reakes

Photo - Michael ReakesMichael states that he will bring experience, skills, and dedication to the role of Governor. He would like to represent members, help resolve issues and ensure the best possible healthcare. Michael recently retired to York, so have time to dedicate to this important role.

Michael holds a degree and doctorate in science. His career has focused on the development of e-learning and training technology to improve job performance and safety, including projects in the medical field. He has managed large projects, budgets, and supervised multidisciplinary professionals from a variety of nationalities. Michael has good leadership, listening and communication skills, and a record of creative, cost-effective solutions. He can see the big picture and both sides of an issue. Michael states he is detail-oriented, organized and motivated and has led community organizations, and has experience of focus groups and feedback surveys.

Michael brings a unique global experience of healthcare services, having lived, worked and received medical treatment in the UK, USA, and Middle East. He has experience of patient feedback committees. As well as seeking feedback from Trust members, he has friends who work in the NHS who can help him gain insight into issues and priorities.

Michael states that with his experience, skills, perseverance and dedication, he is confident that he can effectively represent members of York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, hold the non-executive directors to account, and help guide the development and delivery of safe, cost-effective, and sustainable healthcare in York.

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