Governing Body members

Healthy People, Living Healthy Lives, in Healthy Communities

- The vision adopted by the CCG and supported by the CCG mission

Who we are - Governing Body

The Governing Body members are made up of senior executive positions, GPs, clinicians and lay members.

They ensure the CCG commissions the highest quality services, with a view to securing the best possible outcomes for the patients within the financial allocation, whilst maintaining a consistent focus on quality.

Our lay members have a clear statutory role to act as an independent, expert voice on the board.

Dr Tim Burke


Tim has been actively involved in GP or practice-based commissioning for a number of years while practising at Wallingbrook Health Centre, Chulmleigh.

He has lived in Devon since 1996 when he and his family moved back to the UK after a period living and working in Canada.

Tim is looking forward to continuing to build on the strong and effective working relationships that have been developed between managers and clinicians within the CCG to ensure that it delivers its vision in true partnership.

Voting member.

Simon Tapley

Interim accountable officer

Simon took on the role of interim accountable officer for both CCGs in April 2018.

Simon manages, and is accountable for, local budgets for community and acute contracts, and for prioritisation of funds. Simon also engages and develops relationships with all partners to deliver service redesign plans and encourage local innovation alongside national priorities.

Simon and his team promote local service redesign initiatives, working with partners to commission community hospitals, community nursing and care resources at locality level to meet local needs, as well as being responsible for delivery of all national and local targets, including performance management of appropriate providers.

Voting member.

John Dowell

Chief finance officer

John joined the NHS in London in 1987 where he stayed until 1997, working in a number of organisations, primarily St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington. During this time he qualified as an accountant in 1994.

Having grown up in Devon, John was pleased to return to Exeter in 1997 and has held various senior positions in the Devon NHS system, including director of finance at Exeter and East Devon PCTs, chief finance officer for Devon Provider Services and, most recently, Eastern Locality CFO at NEW Devon CCG.

John firmly believes in finance and the finance function as an enabler which allows for innovation and for systems to deliver. He expects his team to be supportive and challenging in equal measure with a view to getting best value for money for the community we serve.

Voting member.

Lorna Collingwood-Burke

Chief nursing officer

A qualified nurse and midwife, Lorna moved to Devon with her family in 1996 after returning from living and working in Canada for 10 years.

Lorna has extensive experience as a senior leader working across both NHS provider and commissioner organisations. Lorna also has experience in business management, setting up her own limited company and spending four years supporting NHS organisations across the UK in service redesign and patient safety and quality.

She was deputy director of nursing at NHS Devon, Plymouth and Torbay, leading on patient safety and quality and clinical leadership for the non-medical profession.

Lorna has been chief nursing officer at NHS NEW Devon CCG since June 2014, leading its nursing and quality directorate, which is responsible for quality improvement and assurance, patient advice (PALS) and complaints, safeguarding children and adults, healthcare acquired infections, equality and diversity and serious incidents.

Lorna undertakes the valuable position of Caldicott Guardian for the CCG. Click on Lorna's image to read more about the role.

Voting member.

Sonja Manton

Director of strategy

Dr Sonja Manton joined NEW Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and South Devon and Torbay CCG as the Joint Director of Strategy in April 2017.

Sonja has managed and led acute and integrated community health and social care in the NHS in a variety of roles since January 2003. Most recently, Sonja worked for Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust as their Associate Director for Community Health and Social Care. She previously held the roles of Chief Operating Officer, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, and General Manager for Health and Social Care at Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care Trust.

Sonja has a strong track record of working with clinicians and professionals in acute, primary and community health and social care provider and commissioning organisations, to deliver system-wide sustainable benefits for the population. She has significant experience of leading and supporting teams and partners through periods of significant development and change, with particular expertise in joint working and integration of health and social care, delivering a nationally and internationally recognised model of care.

With a PhD in systems dynamics, coupled with extensive experience of implementing change and innovation at an operational and strategic level, Sonja is passionate about working with people to deliver the best possible outcomes for everyone every time.

Sonja is a keen cyclist and outdoor enthusiast and loves to spend as much time as possible with her husband, family, friends and dogs, all of which keep a smile on her face!

Non-voting member.

Dr John Womersley

Chair - northern locality

John has been a GP in North Devon since 1987. For a number of years he has been involved with various Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) and now with their latest managerial manifestation as Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG).

John has also previously been chairman of North Devon Hospice and championed palliative and end of life services in North Devon. John believes that through clinical commissioning we have an opportunity to radically change how health and social care is both accessed and delivered in this country. Legally this will take significant engagement with the public as well as teamwork and imagination, of which we have abundance in North Devon.

Voting member.

Dr Shelagh McCormick

Chair - western locality

Shelagh qualified in Medicine in Western Australia in 1986 but has trained as a GP in both Australia and the UK, completing her GP training in Somerset in 1996.

She has lived and worked in Plymouth, the South Hams, and East Cornwall for 17 years, and was a Partner in a large rural practice in the Tamar valley for 12 years before leaving to work in medical management. Initially she worked in Cornwall as Medical Director of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Primary Care Trust, moved to NHS England as Deputy Medical Director for the local Area Team, and then to NEW Devon CCG as clinical lead for Mental Health, Children and Young People, Maternity and Dementia.

As a former Local Medical Committee Chair in Cornwall, Shelagh continues to actively support the role of the GP as the bedrock of good, safe, personalised care, but she is also interested in patient safety and quality at all points on the patient pathway from GP across to specialised care.

She has a particular interest in Women’s, Maternity and Sexual Health provision and currently works at Beaumont Villa Surgery which is one of the two University practices in Plymouth.

Voting member.

Dr Simon Kerr

Chair - eastern locality

Simon has worked in full-time General Practice in Ottery St Mary, East Devon for 20 years after GP training in Plymouth. He has held clinical assistant roles both in General Medicine in a local community hospital and in the management of an older people’s mental health ward under the employment of Devon Partnership NHS Trust.

As a younger GP involved in the running of a successful fundholding practice, Simon became interested in clinical commissioning, through practice-based commissioning.

Simon remains enthused by the opportunity to bring clinical knowledge and expertise to the commissioning table and he is committed to continuing four-five sessions/week in Primary Care which he believes is critical to being able to contribute meaningfully to the agenda.

Voting member.

Dr Nick Kennedy

Secondary care doctor

Nick has been a Consultant Anaesthetist and Intensivist in Taunton for 17 years, and was Clinical Director for Theatres and Critical Care in Taunton 2012-16. He commenced his role with NEW Devon in October 2015, and has held a similar post with South Gloucestershire CCG since 2013.

He has a major clinical interest in the care of obese patients, is lead anaesthetist for the South West Level 1 NHS bariatric surgical service in Taunton, and was Chairman of the National Society for Obesity and Bariatric Anaesthesia (SOBA) 2009-14. In his spare time he coaches youth football and plays tennis.

Voting member.

Dr Virginia Pearson

Director of public health - Devon County Council

Virginia is director of public health for Devon County Council, having previously worked in both service and academic public health and general management in the South West. She was a GP in Northampton before completing her training in public health.

From January 2007 to March 2013 she was joint director of public health for Devon Primary Care Trust and Devon County Council.

She is a member of the Devon Health and Wellbeing Board.

Non-voting member.

Ruth Harrell

Director of public health

Ruth was appointed as the Director of Public Health for Plymouth City Council in January 2017.

Previously she was a Consultant in Public Health at Plymouth City Council, taking a lead role in disease prevention.

Ruth completed her consultant training in 2014 in the West Midlands, where she worked on a range of different public health issues spanning the three areas of public health; health protection, health improvement and healthcare public health.

Ruth has a background of some 14 years in healthcare, working in commissioning and service improvement, and brought to those roles both academic and applied skills from a former career in physics.

Ruth’s main interest is to work across the health and social care system to improve outcomes for the population, in particular to reduce the differences seen in health outcomes across different groups in our population.

Jennie Willmott

Lay member, patients and public

Jennie is passionate about making sure people are given an opportunity to have a greater say in the way services are designed and commissioned and that their voice is heard in all sectors of the health community.

Jennie brings a wealth of experience in working in involvement at a community and partnership level. Her career as a health service manager in Wales spanned strategic planning and development, operational service delivery and commissioning. She has considerable experience of partnership working, running focus groups, patient reference groups and wider consultation events for a range of stakeholders when faced with organisational or service changes.

As the daughter of a Dawlish GP, and having grown up in south Devon, she is pleased to have returned home to Devon and able to contribute to the development of local health care services and to ensuring that the CCG delivers on the 10 agreed principles of patient & public engagement.

Voting member.

Michelle Law

Lay member, finance

Michelle is based in Exeter and became an independent consultant following a 13-year career in global investment banking in London, Hong Kong and Sydney.

She began in corporate advisory and equity capital markets and gained experience working with growth companies across a range of sectors and completed numerous fundraising transactions.

Following this, Michelle spent eight years in Sydney where she led the corporate strategy function for the Australian business of global financial services firm UBS. Michelle was promoted to the role of Asia-Pacific Operating Officer for UBS's advisory, capital markets and financing businesses where she was responsible for the smooth running of the department across the region including Japan, China and Australia during a period of significant organisational change.

The experience gained throughout her career has spanned all aspects of senior management including financial management, reporting and budgeting, strategic analysis, industry research, HR, legal and regulatory issues and internal audit. Michelle holds an MA in Economics from Trinity College, University of Cambridge.

Voting member.

Dr Chris Hanvey

Lay member, safeguarding

Chris was chief executive of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Most of his career has been spent working in both statutory and voluntary organisations. He was chief executive of the Thomas Coram Foundation, the UK’s oldest children’s charity, and deputy chief executive of Barnardo’s.

Chris also worked within the Cabinet Office, working on de-regulation issues, and was on the advisory committee of the Home Office’s Active Community Unit. He was also a trustee of Sentebale, Prince Harry’s charity which works with children and their families with HIV/AIDS in Lesotho.

Chris was a school governor and non-executive director of a community health trust and is now vice chair of the government’s Family Fund.

Chris lives with his family in Topsham.

Voting member.

Nick Ball

Lay Member, governance and probity

Nick is a Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) qualified accountant, with extensive NHS experience. He has held senior finance roles in health and education, including the Director of Finance positions at Plymouth College of Further Education and South Devon College.

He was, until Sept 2016, Chair of Cornwall Housing, the largest provider of Social Housing in Cornwall, providing homes to over 10,000 people in the County.

Nick has particular interests in corporate governance and services that bridge the transition from acute to community settings, and he chairs the Audit Committee.

Nick is also a non-executive director at South Devon and Torbay CCG.

Nick is also the Conflicts of Interest Guardian for the CCG which is a requirement by NHS England to oversee any declarations of interest and ensure compliance.

Voting member.

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