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Governance at our charity

As a charity and a healthcare organisation, it is vital that the public, our clients and commissioners have confidence that the service we provide, is robust, fit for purpose, safe and appropriate.

The governance of our organisation starts with our board of Trustees who have ultimate responsibility for the organisation. Governance is then split between Clinical Governance and Corporate Governance.

Executive Leadership Team

The Executive Leadership Team is a team of experts in their individual fields who support our Chief Executive to set strategic direction for BPAS. As a team, they develop, implement, and monitor our annual Business Plan. Each member of the ELT has specific functions and responsibilities they discharge with the team(s) they lead.

The ELT:

  • Set appropriate frameworks and policies which support our organisational objectives and provide collective view of and plan for issues that impact and affect BPAS as a whole organisation;
  • Discuss issues affecting BPAS and the wider health economy and collectively identify advocacy opportunities that come from the work we do;
  • Hold responsibility for Equality & Diversity within our organisation but also for the clients we serve.

Lucy joined BPAS in 2017 and has been a member of the Finance Audit and Risk and Governance, Remuneration and Nominations Committee. Lucy was appointed as Executive Chair in November 2023 to support and develop the BPAS leadership team through a period of significant change.

Lucy’s is a Doctor by training and has a background in public health. She brings experience of senior leadership roles across the health, charitable and education sector. She has previously led a number of NHS organizations through transformation and brings strong networks and a track record of working across boundaries and in partnership.

Lucy says ‘ I am passionate about women's choice and excited to be leading BPAS at this time and very much looking forward to developing our abortion care service as well as expanding our research and innovation and advocacy, policy and campaigning.

Awaiting biography

Rachael Greshon, the Director of Nursing, Midwifery & Quality, is currently adding another layer to her wealth of knowledge by completing her MSc in Women's health and midwifery at the University of Hertfordshire. Steeped in a career primarily within the NHS, Rachael has also left her mark in the independent sector, showcasing versatility in healthcare leadership. Having trained as a nurse at Coventry University, and then completing an 18 months postgraduate course at De Montfort University in Midwifery her commitment goes beyond administrative roles – she's an enthusiastic mountain biker in her spare time and also conquered Everest Base Camp in 2017.

Having joined BPAS in 2021, Rachael's leadership is defined by a commitment to service transformation, ensuring the delivery of high-quality, safe, and patient-centred care. Now, as she continues her academic realm with her ongoing MSc, Rachael continues to be passionate about shaping the future of healthcare, seamlessly blending practical experience with a dedication to advancing women's health and reproductive choices.

As the Director of Operations, Cheryl brings a wealth of experience in strategic management, operational efficiency and regulatory compliance to the forefront. With a background as a skilled midwife and CQC inspector, she seamlessly combines clinical experience with a passion for transformational experiences in healthcare. Whilst keeping advocacy for womens reproductive healthcare rights at the forefront, Cheryl has navigated the complexities of regulatory frameworks, ensuring operational excellence and adherence to healthcare standards. Her commitment to delivering high-quality care while fostering positive transformations positions her as a dynamic leader in BPAS.

Awaiting biography

Dr. Patricia A. Lohr is the Director of Research and Innovation at BPAS, leading the development of new care models and, with her team at the Centre for Reproductive Research & Communication, delivering a research agenda to further access evidence-based reproductive healthcare and choices. Previous to this she was Medical Director at BPAS from 2007-2024.

Patricia is widely published and has contributed to clinical guidelines on abortion and contraception for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH), World Health Organization, Society of Family Planning, and National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE). She serves as an Expert Advisor to NICE, Associate Editor of BMJ Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare, Chair of British Society of Abortion Care Providers Education & Training Committee, and on the Advisory Group for Abortion Talk.

Patricia completed her medical education at the University of Southern California and trained in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Los Angeles County-Harbor UCLA Medical Center. This was followed by a Fellowship in Family Planning & Contraceptive Research at the University of Pittsburgh during which she was awarded a Masters Degree in Public Health. She is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians in Gynecologists and Fellow ad eundem of the RCOG. In 2015, she was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the FSRH.

Rosemary Cutmore is the National Business Development Director for BPAS and has been with BPAS for 40 years. Rosemary leads on Business Development opportunities and is also the SIRO (Senior Information Risk Owner).

She manages a team of five Business Development Managers, who develop partner-based relationships with our commissioners and other stakeholders, ensuring we provide the best service we can to our clients, whatever their geographic location.

Rosemary also manages the Client Information Department. With the increase in digitalisation of our information, she works closely with the Data Protection Officer and the Caldicott Guardian to ensure that client data is kept confidential and is stored, used and where necessary shared appropriately, in compliance with legal and regulatory obligations, including GDPR.

Jo Deans is the Director of HR & Organisational Development, with responsibility for delivering a strategic people agenda supporting the BPAS workforce to be capable of delivering high quality services in line with BPAS’ mission, vision, values and charitable aims. Jo has oversight of recruitment and resourcing, HR operations, employee relations, learning and development, internal communications and employee engagement, (including Equality, Diversity & Inclusion).

Jo’s career started with training to be a Primary School teacher and quickly diverted into people management, where she cut her teeth within the Financial Services industry. A natural interest in people led her to formalise her people experience and HR qualifications and, in 2008, (whilst trying to juggle a new career and a small family), she joined BPAS as a part time HR Administrator. Since that time, Jo has moved through several key HR roles, each one adding a layer of skills and experiences that have served to inform and deliver against the strategic requirements of her current role.

In addition to her role at BPAS, Jo provides generalist HR support to her family business and volunteers as a Governor at her local primary school (where she is a Designated Safeguarding Lead). She is an active supporter and volunteer at her local rugby club in her spare time.

Whilst it is important that the Director of HR is the guardian of people policies and processes and the fairness and consistency these bring. Jo believes the most crucial part of her role is to advocate for, promote, foster, and deliver a well-functioning workplace culture where the people can thrive.

Rachael has been at BPAS since 2017, working on public affairs and advocacy to change the law around abortion in Northern Ireland, Early Medical Abortion at Home, safe access zones around abortion clinics, and the criminalisation of abortion. She builds partnerships with organisations across the women’s healthcare and rights sectors, and has been working on the sustainability of abortion services and their funding. Her background is in Westminster, where she worked on research and policy-making for the Liberal Democrats.

Verity Jowett started her career in the NHS in 2003, joining the NHS Management Training Scheme. She set up and ran the Bristol and Weston Diabetic Eye Screening Service for 5 years, successfully redesigning the service model to deliver national best practice uptake in hard to reach groups. In 2010, she moved into risk and governance initially for the national screening programme, where in 2015 she led an internal review into serious incident investigation quality within screening. She went on to hold a variety of risk and governance roles in both NHS and private healthcare and joined BPAS in 2022 to set up the Enterprise Risk Function. In September 2023, she moved into the role of Head of Corporate Governance. In addition to acting as Company Secretary for BPAS, she leads the newly established Corporate Governance Directorate.

BPAS Trustees

Our board of trustees ultimately lead our organisation. They are appointed to ensure we are doing what we were set-up to do and that we continue to achieve our goals and objectives. Each member of our board of trustees has specific skills, knowledge and experience to help us deliver our service and our strategy.

Our current board of Trustees are listed below:

Sam Smethers is a charity consultant and systems coach and has 12 years’ experience as a voluntary sector chief executive. Most recently as the CEO of the Fawcett Society, the UK’s leading charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights where she led the charity for five years until December 2020. Prior to running Fawcett, she was the Chief Executive of Grandparents Plus for seven years. She has extensive fundraising, governance, campaigns and communications experience. Sam has previously worked for the Equal Opportunities Commission as their Director of Public Affairs and also has nine years’ experience of working in parliament. She also sits on the board of Public Voice, a CIC specialising in service user co-design and is Chair of campaigning charity Pregnant Then Screwed.

Iain T Cameron is Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Southampton. After training in obstetrics and gynaecology, and reproductive medicine, in Edinburgh, Melbourne and Cambridge, Iain was Regius Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Glasgow from 1993-99. He was then appointed Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Southampton, and later Head of School and Dean of Medicine from 2004-18. He is Chair of MDDUS (Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland) and a Director and Trustee of The Telos Foundation, a charity that supports leadership development for leaders of charities. Iain joined BPAS in 2020 and has been Chair of the Clinical Governance Committee since August 2021.

Sanjay Shah has over 30 years' board-level experience in the UK and Saudi Arabia, across both the private and charitable sectors. His experience covers audit, financial and general management, strategic planning, investment, risk management and corporate governance.

Mr Shah studied economics at the University of Essex and in New York and began his career with Barclays Bank. After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, he spent 24 years in various finance and operational roles, including as Chief Financial Officer of The London Clinic from 2003 to 2014.

He then spent seven years in Saudi Arabia as a Board Member and Executive Vice President of the Fakeeh Care Group, Dr Soliman Fakeeh Hospital, Fakeeh University Hospital (Dubai) and the Fakeeh Family Investment Office. He was also Executive Chairman of Kameda Arabia, a leading healthtech company, and a Board Member of Saudia Medical Services.

Mr Shah is currently a Board Member and Trustee of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) and Chairman of its Finance, Audit and Risk Committee. He is a Trustee at the Royal Society of Medicine, King Edward V11 hospital, and Governor at Bath Spa University.

Julian is an experienced Non-Executive Director having held Board posts in a number of sectors. He is currently board chair of Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber Training, and a Non-Executive Director with both the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust and The Environmental Trust Scheme Regulatory Body. He is also a past president of the London Institute of Banking and Finance for Coventry and Warwickshire.

Julian's executive career was in financial services. He was part of the Executive leadership team and led the HR function at Coventry Building Society, where he worked for nearly 25 years. His early career was spent with the Thomas Cook Group and Marks and Spencer plc.

Julian is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and a Fellow of the London Institute of Banking and Finance.

Julian is passionate about promoting equality, diversity and inclusion, developing high performing teams and delivering excellent customer service.

Graham Colbert studied Chemistry at Exeter University before qualifying as a Chartered Account in Birmingham. He continued his career by joining a large multi national company and spent the next 25 years working across research and development, supply chain and sales and marketing, experiencing different healthcare systems in Europe, The Americas and Asia. In 2014 Graham joined Genomics England and worked alongside the NHS and other partners to deliver the ground breaking 100,000 Genome Programme. He has experience of the NHS as a non-executive director and interim chair and has served as a trustee of two national charities, both working within healthcare.

Ed Dorman is a consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist working in East London since 1999. He is a passionate advocate for reproductive health rights and has been an active abortion provider throughout his career in the NHS. For the past 5 years he has also worked as a surgeon for BPAS.

He is co-chair of the RCOG abortion task force which brings together key players with the aim of improving access to abortion care and ensuring the sustainability of services for the future. One of his key concerns is the establishment of robust systems for training future generations of abortion providers, particularly surgeons, with skills in second trimester abortion. He is a UK representative on the board of FIAPAC and is on the education and training committee of BSACP.

He is a keen musician and is a highly regarded French horn player, playing regularly in orchestras in London and in Europe

Debra joined BPAS in 2023 and has been a member of the Clinical Governance committee.

Debra is a nurse by background and has always worked within women’s health, in many different areas and settings. She is passionate about advanced nursing practice and nurse education. She teaches and works with the Royal College of Nursing Women’s Health forum to develop the role of the nurse within women’s health and education to underpin practice, working with a wide network of nurses in the UK and beyond.

Debra says – I have had women’s choice in all areas of healthcare at the centre of my career and am excited to be with BPAS to help to shape and develop abortion care services.

An experienced professional healthcare leader, with a wide range of experience and achievements in Womens Health, service delivery, governance and most recently in Regulation both in the UK and in Ireland.

Dawn completed her Nurse Training in Dublin and her midwifery training in Surrey in the UK She spent many years working in hospital and community settings working in women’s health. She moved into management and was General Manager/ Director of Maternity Gynaecology and Children’s Services in a large London Hospital Trust. She relocated to Ireland in 2014 to take up the post of Group Director of Midwifery in the West of Ireland.

Dawn was appointed a Board Member of NMBI (Irish regulator for Nurses and Midwives) in 2015 to represent Directors of Nursing and Midwifery in the Irish Health Service but resigned from this role when she was appointed to the NMBI staff as Director of Midwifery in 2017

Dawn has in the past was a Fitness to Practice Panelist for 8 years with the NMC (UK) and has also assisted with reviews of services for the Health Care Commission (UK) and Health Inspectorate Wales.

Siobhan Kenny MBE is an experienced CEO, Board Executive and Non-Executive, specialising in the Creative Industries and Government, with a background in marketing and communications. Currently advising a variety of media businesses in the UK and Ireland as well as mentoring senior women.

Siobhan worked in strategic communications in No10 Downing Street in the late 90s and launched the London Olympic bid as Director of Strategy and Communications at DCMS. She spent seven years as CEO of Radiocentre, the industry body for commercial radio, before launching her own consultancy in 2022.

Welcoming our newest trustee, Dr Caroline Turner, an accomplished Consultant in Sexual and Reproductive Health having worked in the NHS for 30 years. She brings a wealth of experience in genitourinary medicine and reproductive health, coupled with a proven track record in leadership, clinical governance, clinical excellence, research and education. Caroline is fuelled by a passion for our cause, evident from a 20 year career in Sexual Health. She joins us with a commitment to advancing our mission and contributing to our growth. Beyond her professional achievements she has a passion for advocating for women’s’ rights. As she steps into this role, Caroline envisions a future where our clients have barrier free reproductive choice and receive high quality, safe innovative care. We are excited to benefit from her expertise, dedication, and fresh perspective as we collectively strive to make a meaningful impact in our community. Welcome aboard, Caroline!

Natasha has been a trustee since November 2021, Natasha has over 20 years of experience in digital, undertaking both operational and management roles at a senior level. Natasha is a graduate of Imperial college London, and the NHS Digital Academy. Natasha has led several high-profile NHS England’s digital and diagnostic programmes across the Southeast region over the last 5 years including the tech delivery for the SE Vaccination programme and is currently leading on the implementation of Frontline Digitisation, digitizing diagnostics and the EPR leveling up programme.

Natasha is passionate about women’s health and addressing the health inequalities that are in health, with a specific interest in gender bias in AI. Natasha is currently supporting the KSS Health Innovation Network deliver the Women’s Health Strategy. She is also supporting the professionalization of DDAT workforce and women in technology across the NHS.

Sheelagh joined the BPAS Research and Ethics Committee in 2016 and was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 2019. She is currently a member of the Governance, Remuneration and Nominations Committee. 

Sheelagh is a legal academic with particular interests in health law and the regulation of reproduction. She is a Professor of Law at the University of Bristol Law School and a member of the School's Centre for Health, Law, and Society. Prior to working at Bristol Sheelagh held posts at the University of Birmingham and Keele University.