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Part of NHS Digital Annual Report and Accounts 2019 to 2020

Board members’ biographies and register of interests

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Current chapter – Board members’ biographies and register of interests


All directors have confirmed that they know of no relevant audit information of which the auditors are unaware. They have also confirmed that they have taken all the steps that they ought to have taken as directors to find out relevant information and to establish that auditors are aware of it.

The register of interests of board directors is included within the board papers for each public meeting

View a summary of directors’ expenses


Managing directors

Sarah Wilkinson

Chief Executive

Image of Sarah Wilkinson, Chief Executive

Sarah joined NHS Digital in August 2017. She was previously Chief Information Officer (CIO) at the Home Office and, prior to that, worked in financial services, where she held CIO roles at Credit Suisse, UBS, Deutsche Bank and Lehman Brothers.

Sarah is also a non-executive director of NatWest Markets, the investment banking arm of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, a member of the Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee of Kings College London and a member of the advisory board of the Department of Computing at Imperial College London.

Pete Rose

Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Information Security Officer

Image of Pete Rose, Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Information Security Officer

Pete joined NHS Digital in May 2020 and leads our Live Services, Cyber Security, Solutions Assurance and Infrastructure functions, as well as our sustainability agenda. Alongside this, he has also adopted the new role of Chief Information Security Officer for the Health and Social Care System.

He has nearly 30 years of experience of delivering mission-critical digital and technology services and business change in the defence, security and public safety sectors. Before joining us, he was Director of Enterprise Services and Deputy Chief Digital, Data and Technology Officer at the Home Office.


Executive directors

Professor Jonathan Benger

Executive Director of Clinical Governance and Chief Medical Officer (a.i.)

Image of Professor Jonathan Benger, Executive Director of Clinical Governance and Chief Medical Officer

Jonathan joined us in October 2019. He is Professor of Emergency Care at the University of the West of England and an NHS consultant in emergency medicine and pre-hospital care. He works as a clinician at the Bristol Royal Infirmary and with the Great Western Air Ambulance, which he established as its first medical advisor between 2007 and 2011.

Between May 2013 and July 2019, Jonathan was the National Clinical Director for Urgent Care at NHS England and led reform of the ambulance services and emergency care system, including implementation of the NHS England review of Urgent and Emergency Care, the development of the NHS Long Term Plan and the Emergency Care Data Set. Before 2013, he chaired the Clinical Effectiveness Committee of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and served on the college’s council and executive.

Carl Vincent

Chief Finance Officer

Image of Carl Vincent, Finance officer

Carl heads NHS Digital’s Finance and Estates directorate. He joined NHS Digital in June 2013 on secondment from the Department of Health and Social Care. In addition to his current responsibilities, he has had periods leading NHS Digital’s commercial, human resources and data and information functions. Carl joined the Department of Health and Social Care as an economist in 1996 and had a number of roles in analytical services, commercial and finance. He also spent a year on secondment at Ernst and Young.


Non-executive directors

Noel Gordon

Chair

Image of Noel Gordon, chair

Skills and experience: Noel chairs the NHS Digital Board.

Noel is also a non-executive director of NHS England and Chair of the Healthcare UK Advisory Board. He also serves as a non-executive director of the Payments Systems Regulator. He was formerly a member of the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy Board, the Accelerated Access Review and the chair of the Specialised Services Commissioning Committee.

Previously an economist and a banker, Noel spent most of his career in consultancy, where he was Global Managing Director of the banking industry practice at Accenture from 1996 until his retirement in 2012. Prior to that, he was a partner in Booz Allen and Hamilton based in both London and New York. He has extensive practical experience in restructuring complex organisations across technology and business cycles and driving fundamental innovations in transforming

Appointed to the Board: 1 June 2016.

Term expires: 31 August 2020.

Committee membership: Chair of the Talent, Remuneration and Management Committee; co-chair of the Digital Committee in Common; member of the Investment Committee.

Professor Soraya Dhillon MBE

Image of Professor Soraya Dhillon MBE

Skills and experience: Soraya is the Senior Independent Director and leads on clinical safety and governance, e-channels and diversity and inclusion for the NHS Digital Board.

Soraya has 35 years’ experience in academia and clinical practice, retiring as Dean of the School of Life Sciences at the University of Hertfordshire in November 2016. She is a non-executive director at Health Education England and has held a number of non-executive posts in the NHS since 1991. She was Chair of Luton and Dunstable NHS Foundation Trust (1999-2010), non-executive director and vice chair at The Hillingdon Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (2014-2020), a member of the General Pharmaceutical Council and a board director for the Eastern Academic Health Science Network. She is a non executive director at Health Education England.

Soraya is a fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), holds the Charter Gold Medal for Science and Practice and was awarded an MBE for her contribution to Health Services in Bedfordshire.

Appointed to the Board: 1 January 2017.

Term expires: 31 December 2020.

Committee membership: Chair, Equality Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group; member of the Talent, Remuneration and Management Committee; member of the Research Advisory Group.

Daniel Benton

Image of Daniel Benton

Skills and experience: Daniel leads on IT delivery excellence, operational transformation and technology strategy for the NHS Digital Board.

Having spent most of his career at Accenture, where he was Global Head of Technology Strategy and Digital Strategy practices, Daniel has extensive experience in setting and implementing technology agendas for large organisations going through periods of transformational change, including the implementation of consumer-facing technologies. He led much of Accenture’s thinking around the impact of technology on business and on transforming IT organisations. He was also seconded twice as chief information officer to an international bank and a large global insurer.

Daniel is a trustee of the Grange Festival.

Appointed to the Board: 1 January 2017.

Term expires: 31 December 2020.

Committee membership: Chair, Investment Committee; member of the Audit and Risk Committee; member of the Digital Committee in Common.

Deborah Oakley

Image of Deborah Oakley

Skills and experience: Deborah leads on assurance and risk for the NHS Digital Board.

Deborah has a long-standing passion and commitment to the NHS, which stretches back to 2000 when she started as a volunteer at University College Hospitals. She was formerly a non-executive director and chair of the audit and risk committee of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), chair of the audit committee at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, chair of the Health Protection Agency’s Biological Medicines Technical Committee and chair of the audit committee at NHS Camden.

Deborah’s executive career is in the financial services sector. She worked at Newton Investment Management for 20 years and became a director of the company. Since 2010 she has worked at Veritas Investment Management where she manages portfolios for private clients, trusts and charities.

Deborah is involved in several charities including a winter night shelter for the homeless and a weekly welfare scheme in Camden.

Appointed to the Board: 1 July 2018.

Term expires: 30 June 2021.

Committee membership: Chair, Audit and Risk Committee; member of the Information and Cyber Security Committee.

John Noble CBE

Image of John Noble CBE

Skills and experience: John leads on information and cyber security for the NHS Digital Board.

He was Director of Incident Management at the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), where he led on nearly 800 major cyber security incidents. Before this, he spent four years at the British Embassy in Washington DC.

During his 40 years of government service, John has specialised in operational delivery and strategic business change. He was awarded a CBE for his work in creating effective partnerships in the run-up to the London 2012 Summer Olympics.

Appointed to the Board: 1 July 2018.

Term expires: 30 June 2021.

Committee membership: Chair, Information and Cyber Security Committee; member of the Audit and Risk Committee.

Rob Tinlin MBE

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Skills and experience: Rob leads on integrated care, digitising social care, change management and organisational development for the NHS Digital Board.

Rob is a non-executive director on the board of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and chairs its audit and risk committee.

He was chief executive of Southend-on-Sea Council from 2005 to 2017. He previously served as chief executive of South Northamptonshire Council for seven years. Under Rob’s leadership, Southend council was awarded LGC Council of the Year (2012) and MJ Senior Leadership Team of the Year (2016). He was awarded an MBE in 2017 for services to local government.

Rob was the chief executive leading on health and social care for the East of England and was a founding member of the Southend Health and Wellbeing Board. He has been a member of the National Information Board, the Anglia Ruskin MedTech Campus Board and the advisory board for the Queen Mary University of London School of Business. 

Appointed to the Board: 1 January 2017.

Term expires: 31 December 2020.

Committee membership: Member, Talent, Remuneration and Management Committee.

Professor Sudhesh Kumar OBE

Image of Professor Sudhesh Kumar OBE

Skills and experience: Sudhesh is Vice-Chair and leads on big data, partnerships with the research sector, clinical informatics, medical technology and life sciences for the NHS Digital Board.

Sudhesh is Dean of the Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick. He is also a non-executive director on the University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust Board.

He is a clinical endocrinologist with 24 years’ experience as a consultant physician in the NHS. His research has included developing novel approaches in areas such as medical technology, obesity and diabetes management. His work has helped to transform and improve patient care and treatment. He has published more than 240 papers and six books.

Appointed to the Board: 1 January 2017.

Term expires: 31 December 2020.

Committee membership: Member of the Audit and Risk Committee and member of the Research Advisory Group.

Dr Marko Balabanovic

Image of Dr Marko Balabanovic

Skills and experience: Marko leads on innovation, emerging technologies, partnerships and technology transfer for the NHS Digital Board.

Marko has been driving innovation in academia, corporations and start-ups both in the UK and the USA for more than 20 years. As Head of Innovation and Artificial Intelligence at Medopad, his role is to develop market-leading digital health technologies to be deployed around the world. Previously, he was Chief Technology Officer at Digital Catapult, the UK’s advanced digital technology innovation centre, working across emerging technologies including machine learning, 5G, the Internet of Things, virtual and augmented reality and blockchain.

Marko has been instrumental in bringing several new technologies to market. At a start-up called State, he helped to launch a digital global opinion network. He was head of innovation at lastminute. com, where his team launched an array of award-winning mobile phone apps. He studied computer science at the University of Cambridge and has a PhD in Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence) from Stanford University, where he led foundational work on recommender systems.

Appointed to the Board: 1 January 2017.

Term expires: 31 December 2020.

Committee membership: Member of the Information and Cyber Security Committee and member of the Investment Committee.

Balram Veliath

Image of Balram Veliath

Skills and experience: Balram leads on culture, values and stakeholder relations for the NHS Digital Board.

He is the Director of Quality, Risk and Assurance at the BBC, where his responsibilities include internal audit, risk management, safety and security, and assurance of critical projects.

He qualified as a chartered accountant in 1988 and has over 25 years’ experience of risk governance, including developing and implementing risk management systems, assisting organisations to assess their capability to handle risk, and supporting boards in culture, diversity and inclusion.

Previously, he worked in senior executive roles at the Royal Bank of Scotland and ABN AMRO, covering internal auditing and risk management across operations and technology. He worked at KPMG for 12 years, including as a partner with responsibility for financial audits across a range of sectors.

Appointed to the Board: 1 July 2018.

Term expires: 30 June 2021.

Committee membership: Member, Audit and Risk Committee.

Last edited: 15 July 2020 6:27 pm