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Executive Directors

The membership of the Board of Directors is balanced, complete and appropriate as demonstrated by the biographical details of both Executive and Non-Executive members.


Chris Butler

Chris Butler, chief executive

Chris joined what was Leeds Mental Health Teaching NHS Trust as its Chief Executive in January 2005, and continued his appointment as Chief Executive following its authorisation as an NHS Foundation Trust in 2007. The Leeds Partnerships NHS Foundation NHS Trust became the Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in February 2012.

Chris has a broad range of experience. He started his career as a student mental health nurse in 1978, subsequently training as a State Registered Nurse. Chris spent a number of years in clinical practice including working as a senior charge nurse in psychiatric intensive care in south east London. Chris gradually took on more responsibilities leading him into nurse then general management.
Chris joined the Department of Health in 1991, and in 1995 was appointed as Assistant Chief Nursing Officer.

Wanting to return to frontline work, in 1997 Chris re-joined the NHS as the Chief Nurse and Deputy Chief Executive of the South West London and St George Mental Health NHS Trust. During his time with the Trust, Chris was responsible for health and social care integration across five London Boroughs.

In 2002 Chris was appointed as the Chief Executive of the Kingston Primary Care Trust in London. During that time he enabled the PCT to go from deficit to financial balance, introduced new contracts for GPs, and integrated health and social care services.

In addition to his Chief Executive duties, Chris has been active in developing the wider NHS in many different ways. Chris is a member of the Yorkshire and Humber Local Education and Training Board (LETB) and is the chair of the LETB Partnership Council for West Yorkshire. He is also a member of the NHS Regional Leadership Council for Yorkshire and the Humber, and of the Programme Board of the Yorkshire and Humber Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Research and Health Care. Chris was involved in setting up the Academic Health Science Network in Yorkshire and the Humber. He is involved in the work of the Royal College of Nursing, Nurses in Management and Leadership Forum which is concerned with the professional development of aspirant and established leaders in nursing.

Throughout his time as Chief Executive, Chris has been directly connected to the experience of staff, service users and carers by spending as much time as he can in front line services and by directly engaging with staff and with groups representing people who use its services. Chris has also maintained his professional registration as a nurse, as part of this Chris uses his annual leave to work as a volunteer nurse for a week each year.

Nationally, Chris has an extensive network of contacts with the Chief Executives of other mental health trusts and leaders in the professions. In March 2015 he was named as one of the top 50 chief executives in the NHS by the Health Service Journal.


Jill Copeland

Jill Copeland, chief operating officer

Jill joined our Trust in October 2009 as Director of Strategy and Partnerships; and on 1 April 2013 she took up the role of Chief Operating Officer. In her current role, Jill is responsible for operational management of all our clinical services; strategy development and business planning; partnership working; and the programme management office. She is also the Deputy Chief Executive of the Trust.

In her previous role in the Trust, Jill was responsible for strategy; integration of services from York and North Yorkshire; partnerships and social inclusion; communications; campaigning; governor and member engagement; equality and diversity; and board and governor development. Before joining the Trust, Jill was Executive Director of Strategic Development at NHS Leeds, where she led on strategy; partnerships; commissioning for priority groups, including mental health and learning disability services; organisational development through World Class Commissioning; and estates.

Jill has worked in healthcare for over 25 years; and her experience includes policy development and implementation at the Department of Health, and leading national service improvement programmes. Jill graduated in philosophy and holds a Masters in Business Administration from Manchester Business School. She is committed to working with people and local communities to improve services so they provide the very best outcomes for the people who need them.


Anthony Deery

Anthony Deery, Director of Nursing

Anthony joined the Trust on 1 November 2014 as the Interim Director of Nursing, he was later appointed substantively on the 1 April 2015. His clinical background is in mental health and general nursing. He has worked in both the UK and US healthcare systems and has senior experience in policy development, standard setting, commissioning and operational management within the NHS.

Anthony has senior NHS experience having joined the Trust from Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, where he worked as a Group Nurse Director, and prior to this he was Head of mental health strategy at the Healthcare Commission between 2005 and 2009, and Head of Mental Health Operations at CQC between 2009 and 2011.


Dawn Hanwell

Dawn Hanwell, chief financial officer

Dawn was appointed as Chief Financial Officer from 1 August 2012. She started work in the NHS in 1986 as a financial management trainee in Rotherham where she went on to gain her CIPFA qualification in 1990.

Prior to joining our Trust Dawn was the Director of Finance in Barnsley NHS Foundation Trust. She has worked across the NHS, predominantly in mental health and for a short while in a primary care trust. She has worked in Sheffield, Wakefield, Derby and Leeds; including being the Deputy Director of Finance of our predecessor organisation, Leeds Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust, when she was part of the team that led on securing our foundation trust status.


Dr Jim Isherwood

Dr Jim Isherwood, medical director

Jim was appointed to the substantive post of Medical Director on 1 September 2012.

He trained at the University of Leeds Medical School and after graduation worked in hospitals in West Yorkshire before undertaking the North Yorkshire rotational training scheme in psychiatry. He then worked in Wessex as Senior Registrar for four years before taking up a consultant post to develop forensic psychiatry services in North Yorkshire in 1996. In 2004 he became the Medical Director of the Selby and York PCT, a position he maintained until services transferred to our Trust in February 2012.


Susan Tyler

Susan Tyler, director of workforce development

Susan was appointed to the substantive post of Director of Workforce Development on 1 January 2012.

She has worked for a number of trusts across West and South Yorkshire including as Deputy Director of HR at Mid-Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust and HR Director at Barnsley NHS Foundation Trust. During her career she has also held a number of senior roles in training and organisational development. Susan has experience across all aspects of healthcare provision including acute, primary care and mental health / learning disabilities. She holds a masters degree, MCIPD and ILM level 5 in coaching and mentoring.