Our Chair, Frances McCabe
Frances has been Chair since November 2013 and appointed the rest of the first Board.
For over 40 years, she worked in health and social care: as a nurse and health visitor, managing social services to Director level, in senior posts in charities, the Social Services Inspectorate and leading national health and social care projects at the Department of Health.
Frances has a Masters degrees in Geriatric Medicine and Life History Research (on GPs). For three years, she was the Chair of Age UK Brighton and Hove and remains a trustee. She has three children, two step-children (two of whom are local) and five grandchildren.
Our Board of Directors are all volunteers, and as well as guiding the organisation, many also act as representatives on other health and social care Boards across the city and get involved in our projects.
Bob has 15 years of experience in senior NHS Management in East & West Sussex working in a doctor’s surgery, Primary Care Group, Primary Care Trusts and acting as a lead in Older People’s Services, Children & Young People’s Services, and Mental Health.
He has also spent 23 years in the private sector in Canada and the UK in senior financial roles. As well, he has done some volunteer work for Age UK and was a board member of the LINk Steering Group.
Throughout her life Sophie has been supported by the NHS and adult social care in order to maintain quality of life. For 15 years she been working with the voluntary sector in Brighton and Hove in order to improve services and to empower people to make informed choices regarding their health and social care.
As a disabled person growing up with complex health and care needs she is particularly keen to use her experience to benefit others, Sophie does this working alongside many local and national disability organisations including being Chair of The Fed Centre for Independent Living and a Trustee for Brighton and Hove Speak Out. This work involves training students and practitioners in better care and service delivery.
Geoffrey has developed a successful healthcare communications business and has advised numerous healthcare organisations, including the Patients’ Association and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
As a former Councillor, he also has significant experience of health and social care scrutiny.
Catherine has worked in academia and the NHS, at local and national level. A chartered psychologist with a health background and honorary member of the Faculty of Public Health, she spent 9 years as Associate Director at the National Institute for Health and Social Care Excellence (NICE) developing national public health guidelines, leaving in 2015 to take up a senior research post at the Evidence for Policy and Practice (EPPI) Coordinating Centre at UCL.
Currently working on service user experience in adult social care, as a local parent and carer she has personal and professional interests in ensuring patients and service users play a central role in improving and delivering care for everyone.
Neil joined Brighton & Hove Healthwatch as a volunteer in May 2014 following a public sector career that included in ten years working at a senior level within the Ministry of Justice, Dept of Health and the NHS, focused on the development of specialized health services for offenders and other people coming into contact with the criminal justice system.
Neil's particular experience is with mental health, and he has spent the past eighteen months with Healthwatch representing patient interests with the major mental health service provider. Locally born and raised, he has lived in Brighton & Hove since 1980.
Christine has played an active role in Brighton and recently retired as a trustee at Martlets Hospice after 10 years. She is also Chair of SameSky, that delivers The Children’s Parade and Burning the Clocks in Brighton, and Trustee at South East Dance, where we are building a new dance space in Circus Street.
Christine’s previous roles included Founding Chair of the Basement Arts Productions now Sick Festival, Governor at Cardinal Newman School, member of the Brighton and Hove Economic Partnership, member of the Economic Development and Enterprise Board.
Karen has extensive experience of working within organisations focussed on supporting local people to live happy, healthy and meaningful lives. She started her career as a 'lifeline' call centre operator before moving into a number of management roles, including Area Manager for the Royal Voluntary Service, developing an online support platform for Macmillan Cancer Support and managing the wellbeing centre at St Peter and St James Hospice in Sussex.
As a Brighton and Hove City Councillor for four years, Karen was the lead member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, Chairing the Brighton and Hove Health and Wellbeing Board. In addition to her Healthwatch role, Karen is currently leading Sussex Police Charitable Trust, which supports police staff, officers and volunteers at times of need, hardship and distress.
Over 20 years’ experience working in the third sector and NHS in the fields of information provision, advocacy and patient engagement. Currently working in medical regulation.
Dr Khalid Ali
A senior lecturer in Geriatrics and Stroke Medicine in Brighton and Sussex Medical School, and Ageing Research Lead in Kent, Surrey and Sussex Clinical Research Network. His research expertise includes medication-related harm in older people, and upper limb rehabilitation strategies for stroke survivors funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the British Geriatrics Society (BGS).
He has published his research findings in high-impact scientific journals since 2006. He contributed to the 'Rehabilitation After Stroke' Guidelines commissioned by the National Institute of Health and Social care (NICE) in 2013. With a passion for film and humanities, he authored a book 'The Cinema Clinic: Reflections on Film and Medicine' in 2018.
Alistair Hignell, CBE
Alistair is a wheelchair user and lives with MS. He is the grandson, son, brother, and uncle of medics in the NHS. Until recently he was a Trustee of Leonard Cheshire Disability. Alastair is a former County cricketer, England Rugby Player, and TV commentator. Alastair has written an autobiography called “Higgy...Matches Microphones and MS”.
Past Board Meetings & Papers
The board holds regular meetings every two months to discuss activities. The public are welcome, though some matters may be discussed in private at end of meeting. We publish the board papers for our meetings online, as well as a summary of what was discussed.
Check out our past meetings to learn more.