COVID-19 restrictions to remain in place at The Walton Centre

Restrictions remain in place across the NHS in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. The safety measures in place over the 18 months therefore remain in place at The Walton Centre - and in our other clinic settings within the community – until further notice.

Due to the increased transmission risk posed by the Omicron variant, visiting has been suspended within The Walton Centre except for exceptional circumstances.

Meet our Board

The Board of Directors ensures that the services the Trust provides are evidence based, safe, underpinned by quality and are delivered in a cost-effective way in order to meet the needs of patients, carers and the wider community and partner organisations. In doing so the Board of Directors ensures that the Trust complies with its Terms of Authorisation and all statutory obligations.

The Board of Directors comprises of six non‐executive directors (including the chair), five voting executive directors (including the chief executive) and one non‐voting corporate director.

Non-executive directors are appointed by the Council of Governors for a term of three years, at the end of this period non-executive directors are eligible for re-appointment up to a maximum of nine years. Other terms and conditions of appointment such as remuneration are the responsibility of the Council of Governors as detailed in the Trust’s Constitution.

The directors have collective responsibility for setting strategic direction and providing leadership and governance.

The Board is balanced and complete, having an appropriate mix of skills and experience in the areas of finance, operational management, governance, law, education, medicine, clinical research and nursing. There is a clear separation of the roles of the chair and chief executive, which are set out in writing and reviewed on an annual basis.


Seth Crofts nov 21

Seth Crofts, Acting Chairman

Seth was formerly the Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean for the Faculty of Health and Social Care at Edge Hill University. He is a registered nurse in both adult and mental health nursing with 33 years of nursing experience.

Seth is an experienced leader of health care education, has worked as a reviewer for the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) since 2002 and has been extensively involved in working to develop professional practice in higher education.

Seth has made a major commitment to developing graduate employability and is currently involved in developing practice in health and social care organisations, with specific interest in developing leadership skills in senior nurses.

Seth took over the role of Acting Chairman after Janet Rosser stood down in October 2021.


Nalin Thakkar 21

Professor Nalin Thakkar, Non-Executive Director

Nalin originally qualified as a dentist and later moved into academic and clinical pathology. His career has been broad and varied and his current roles include Professor of Molecular Pathology and Genetics/Consultant Histopathologist for The University of Manchester and Central Manchester University NHS FT (since 2004); Associate Vice President of the University of Manchester (since 2010); and Member of the Board of Governors for The University of Manchester (from 2017).

Nalin has been a Non-Executive Director for the Health Research Authority (2015-2019). He also acts as a national adviser to the organisation in the area of human tissues in research and genetics and genomics research.


Su Rai 21

Su Rai, Non-Executive Director

Su Rai is a chartered accountant in practice and established her own firm, Raise Associates, in 2010. Previous to that Su worked with international accountancy practices. In 2012 she became a Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit Committee at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

Other roles have included senior positions at KPMG and Audit Partner in Horwarth Clark Whitehill, and Mazars Accountants. Su has also undertaken a number of voluntary roles, including working with a mental health charity for young people.

Karen Bentley

Karen Bentley, Non-Executive Director

Karen is a transformation consultant and executive coach who established her own firm, Kinetic People Limited, in 2008. Karen's early career was in HR with Co-operative Financial Services, where she ultimately led on the people aspects of large change projects across the insurance and banking business. In Karen's consultancy work she has supported a wide variety of clients through complex change in diverse industry sectors.

Karen latterly held senior in-house roles in the energy sector as Head of Change at Inenco and Change Director at Electricity North West. She also has 12 years' voluntary experience on the board of a national not-for-profit organisation which champions the human rights of people with learning disabilities.

David Topliffe 21

David Topliffe, Non-Executive Director

David is a chartered chemical engineer with 37 years of manufacturing experience in the chemical industry, mainly with Royal Dutch Shell. Amongst various senior leadership responsibilities, he has served as a Non-Executive Director within joint ventures and a large trade association, where he chaired the audit committee and a technical committee.

David has a number of voluntary roles, including as a street pastor and a debt counsellor within a community-based debt advice centre.

Paul May

Paul May, Non-Executive Director

Paul was appointed as Merseyside’s first Paediatric Neurosurgeon (based at the old Walton Centre Rice Lane site) in 1991 after training in London, Dundee, Sheffield, Birmingham and Toronto. He established the paediatric neurosurgical service in Alder Hey and brought supraregional specialist craniofacial services to the city in 1997. He remained in active neurosurgical practice at The Walton Centre until September 2021.

He has served as the first Chair of the Neurosurgical Clinical Reference Group for NHS England and from 2013 to 2019 chaired the Trauma Programme of Care Board for NHS England. In 2016 he was elected as President of the Society of British and Irish Neurosurgeons, the first from Liverpool in the society's 100-year history. In January 2020 he was appointed as Director of Clinical Academic Development  to the University of Liverpool and is currently the National Clinical Lead for Adolescent and Paediatric Neurosurgery in the GIRFT programme.  

ray walker

Ray Walker, Non-Executive Director

Ray is a Registered Nurse (Adult and Mental Health) with over 40 years of operational and strategic experience in a diverse number of roles across the NHS, the Department of Health, Health Education England and the university sector. He has held a number of senior positions including Executive Director of Nursing at Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust and Chief Nurse for the North of England at Health Education England. Whilst in his leadership roles he actively contributed to shaping the national nursing agenda as a Member of the Prime Minister’s Commission on the future of nursing and as chair of the national safe, sustainable, and productive staffing guidance (mental health)

Jan Ross Nov 21

 Jan Ross, Chief Executive Officer

Jan has over 30 years' experience working in the NHS after qualifying as a nurse in 1995. She joined The Walton Centre in November 2018, as the Director of Operations and Strategy, following similar roles at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, Warrington and Halton Hospital Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust. Jan has a passion for delivering extremely high standards of care through highly skilled and capable people.

Andrew Nicolson 21

Dr Andy Nicolson, Medical Director and Deputy Chief Executive 

Andy was appointed as a Consultant Neurologist at The Walton Centre in 2005. He has a specialist interest in epilepsy, and remains part of the multidisciplinary team providing epilepsy services at the Trust.

Andy has previously provided an outreach neurology service to the Royal Liverpool Hospital and Arrowe Park Hospital, and currently runs a community general neurology clinic in Wirral. He was Director of Medical Education 2007-2013 and then Assistant Medical Director 2013-2016. He was appointed as Medical Director in 2016, and Deputy Chief Executive in 2021.

Lisa Salter Nov 21

Lisa Salter, Chief Nurse

Lisa completed her nurse training in 1994 and has over 30 years’ experience working as a nurse in different organisations. After completing her nurse training at the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen Hospital, Lisa held a number of senior nursing roles including Matron, Divisional Head of Nursing and Surgery, and Assistant Director of Nursing. She has also worked at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital.

Lisa joined The Walton Centre in 2017 as Deputy Director of Nursing and Lead Nurse for Neurosurgery and was appointed as the Chief Nurse in 2018. She is also the Executive Lead for Quality, Safeguarding and is the Director of Infection Prevention and Control.

Lisa holds a diploma in renal medicine, BSc Hons in Clinical Management and an MSc in Healthcare Leadership, the latter being as part of the NHS Leadership Academy. She has also completed several leadership and coaching programmes throughout her career. 

Mike burns Nov 21

Mike Burns, Chief Financial Officer

Mike joined The Walton Centre in 2012 as Deputy Director of Finance after previously working for the Strategic Health Authority and Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust. He qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant (CIMA) in 2001 after gaining a BSc (Hons) in Economics. Mike has worked in a range of sectors including consultancy, financial services, banking and retail. Mike took up the post of Director of Finance at The Walton Centre in 2016 and has responsibility for finance, procurement, capital, commercial development and corporate information. 

Mike Gibney Nov 21

Mike Gibney, Chief People Officer

Mike has worked in charitable organisations and local government, including nine years in social services. He joined the NHS four years ago, through the Gateway to Leadership Scheme. His role at The Walton Centre includes responsibility for human resources, training and development, fundraising, research and development and digital services. 

Lindsey Vlasman

Lindsey Vlasman, Acting Chief Operating Officer

Lindsey qualified as a nurse in 1997, and has held a variety of senior nursing and operational roles across Cheshire and Merseyside. She joined The Walton Centre as Deputy Director of Nursing and Governance in April 2018 from Aintree University Hospital Trust. In April 2021 she was appointed to the role of Deputy Chief Operating Officer. Lindsey holds a BSc Hons in Health and Social Care Practice, an MSc in Advanced Practice and an MSc in Healthcare Leadership and Management. She was appointed as Acting Chief Operating Officer at The Walton Centre in November 2021.

Page last updated: 31 December 2021