Meet the team

Meet the team responsible for delivering Healthwatch Staffordshire.

In delivering Healthwatch Staffordshire, the ECS Board are advised by a Healthwatch Advisory Board drawn from members of the public. This group provides advice on:

  • Healthwatch priorities
  • The Enter and View programme to monitor the quality of care
  • Identifying key public concerns
  • Community engagement activity

They act as the voice of the people and make sure that Healthwatch Staffordshire adheres to the core principles of confidentiality, respect, feedback, transparency and influence.

Simmy Akhtar | Chief Officer

Simmy joined Healthwatch Staffordshire in January 2020 and is also Chief officer at Healthwatch Stoke-on-Trent. Simmy brings both legal and voluntary sector experience and knowledge. Her role is to lead Healthwatch Staffordshire strategically and operationally, on behalf of the... more

Carol Hewitt | Engagement & Information Lead

Carol joined Engaging Communities in 2017 after a move to Staffordshire and a career change. Carol had spent many years working in London, with nearly 20 years working in the minor metals industry which involved establishing good working relationships... more

Karren Winters-Cavalot | Information, Communications and Projects Officer

Karren qualified as a Registered General Nurse working at a large hospital for several years in Emergency Medicine before becoming a Ward Sister and then Operational Bed Manager. Karren then moved on to be a Fertility Nurse Specialist supporting patients... more

Ian Wright | Community Outreach Lead

Having left North Staffs Polytechnic in 1978, Ian entered the local ceramics industry with Wedgwood. He stayed within the ceramics industry, principally at what later became Waterford Wedgwood until 2009, working as Account Manager, Sales Manager and National Accounts Manager.... more

Catherine Wetton | Community Outreach Lead

Originally from Stafford, Catherine (Cat) has been involved with helping others from her teens onwards; where she volunteered for the Variety Club, then becoming chair of the Rag Society at Sunderland University. After university she had several different administration... more

Maggie Matthews | Chair Healthwatch Advisory Board

Maggie has a mixed background of working in Business and later trained as a teacher. In 1988 she moved from teaching into the Education Advisory service using her speciality of... more

John Bentley | Healthwatch Advisory Member

John became involved with Healthwatch Staffordshire when he retired from the NHS in 2013. He worked in a mental health and community Trust in the North West of England,... more

Derek Hoey | Healthwatch Advisory Board Member

I am 66 years old, married with two sons and two granddaughters. I have lived in Tamworth for the past 38 years, although I am of proud Scottish heritage, having... more

Frances Beatty | Board member of ECS.

Most of my career was spent working for a membership organisation, (Country Land & Business Association – CLA), influencing national/regional government policy making: - steered by the evidence base of... more

Mike Dent | Healthwatch Advisory Board Member

I have lived in Cheadle since moving up from the South (Hertfordshire) in 1977. I am married and have 3 adult children – and 2 grandchildren. As Emeritus Professor (Staffordshire... more

Fiona Shield | Healthwatch Advisory Board Member

My childhood was spent in Herefordshire where my father was a single-handed rural GP with the practice just off our kitchen. I, therefore, have lots of memories of working as... more

Dave Bassett | Healthwatch Advisory Board Member

Dave has been involved with Health and Social Care since 1972, working for Cumbria, Derbyshire and Staffordshire Social Services. He has also held senior management roles in the NHS... more