Board of Directors

Voting executive directors

Diane Wake – Chief Executive 

A nurse by background, Diane joins us from Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust where she was chief executive since 2013. She has extensive experience in both clinical and leadership roles. Previously, she was interim CEO at Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital NHS Trust, where she also worked as Chief Operating Officer and Executive Nurse.

Educated at Wombwell High School in Barnsley, Diane went on to carry out a pre-nursing course at Barnsley College, where she undertook some placements at Barnsley Hospital. Following that, between 1984 and 1987, she trained to be a registered nurse at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, quickly rising through the ranks to become a staff nurse, and then matron, in surgical specialties.

Diane soon became a general manager, before joining Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust as Deputy Director of Nursing and then onto interim chief executive in Liverpool before her appointment as CEO of Barnsley Hospital.

Diane lives on the Shropshire/Cheshire border with her partner, who is a medical director.

Karen Kelly – Chief Operating Officer

Karen joined us in January 2018 from Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust where she held the post of director of operations. A graduate of Keele University, Karen qualified as a nurse in 1993 and worked for more than 20 years at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire. She became part of the Transformation Team tasked with turning around Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust – becoming Head of Nursing there in 2010. Following this, she held the post of Medical Nurse Director, followed by deputy director of operations at The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital Trust. Karen is passionate about quality of care being delivered that ensures our patients are safe.


Tom Jackson – Director of Finance

Tom joins us from NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group and brings with him more than 25 years’ experience in NHS finance. A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance, Tom has fulfilled a number of financial leadership and transformation roles in the NHS. He has worked in most core NHS finance roles and has spent the last eight years at director level. In his previous role as chief finance officer, he provided strategic advice on financial management and played an active role to implementing the corporate strategy. Motivated by adding value, transformation and system working, Tom is excited at the prospect of supporting the Trust to improve services for the people of Dudley.



Julian Hobbs – Interim Medical Director

Julian has joined us from Royal Liverpool where he has been deputy medical director and has been since 2013. Julian is also a deputy medical director and leads on Mortality for Cheshire and Merseyside area team at NHS England.

Julian is a consultant cardiologist by background and has worked at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital alongside his current roles.
Julian has had extensive experience in medical management roles for several years.
He grew up in the Midlands area and is looking forward to returning, and hopes to fit in some running and cycling in Cannock Chase.

Julian said, “I am looking forward to being part of a Trust that is so well known for delivering safe and effective care and I am keen to get out and meet as many staff as possible. I am looking forward to being part of the new Electronic Patient Record project which will make systems more efficient and release more time for patient care.” 

Non-voting executive directors

Glen Palethorpe – Director of Governance and Board Secretary


Glen is a member of the Institute of Company Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) and also a qualified accountant.  Glen is a member of the Healthcare Finance and Management Association and is a member of the governance technical group which supports the production of various guides including the NHS Audit Committee handbook.

Glen’s experience in governance, risk management, internal control and assurance was gained during his time working at KPMG, Baker Tilly, Bentley Jennison and RSM Tenon. During his career, Glen has offered insights to a number of Boards on their effectiveness and the effectiveness of their reporting committees and groups.

Glen’s role at the Trust is that of Trust Board Secretary and Director of Governance, which sees him supporting the Chair, Chief Executive, Board of Directors and the Council of Governors in all aspects of governance and regulatory compliance. Glen is also responsible for the corporate governance team which supports divisional and Board risk management, incidents and claims processes, along with oversight of the Trust’s clinical audit team.

Mark Stanton – Chief Information Officer

Mark joined the Trust in 2014 after spending seven years as an executive director at a private healthcare organisation supplying diagnostic services to the NHS. Mark has held a number of senior IT positions internationally in large organisations including Siemens, BUPA and General Motors. During his career, Mark has been involved in large scale transformational change both within IT infrastructure and patient systems.

Mark is focused on the Digital Trust programme which includes delivering a new Electronic Patient System (EPR) and a Health economy wide Shared record system

Having brought IT services in-house in 2015, Mark is also responsible for developing the infrastructure and IT services to meet the needs of the Trust including delivering services that can be accessed directly by patients including Free WIFI and electronic patient letters.

The IT team has a commercial IT function that generates revenue for re-investment in the Trust; Mark is responsible for managing this function and growing the revenue stream.

Andrew McMenemy – Director of Human Resources


Andrew has worked in the NHS for more than 20 years and has held two board-level positions in the West Midlands. He joined the Trust from Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust where he was Deputy Director of Workforce.

He graduated from university in Glasgow with a degree in Law and also studied labour management relations in the United States. Andrew is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and is also a recent graduate of the NHS Nye Bevan programme for senior leaders.




Natalie Younes – Director of Strategy and Business Development

Natalie has joined us from Lincolnshire and District Medical Services (LADMS) where she held a joint role of Commercial Director with the GP Federation and Mental Health Trust since 2011.

Natalie originally started her career working within social welfare, housing benefits and family liaison and moved into Local Authority working with enterprise. Natalie then entered the NHS in 2010.

Natalie said, “I am very excited to join the Trust and have the opportunity to drive business and service improvement and prepare for the NHS challenges of the future.”


To contact our Board of Directors, please email Board Secretary Glen Palethorpe