Our Board

Lucy Brown
Professor Mel Pickup, Chief Executive Officer

Mel joined BTHFT as Chief Executive Officer in November 2019. She qualified as a registered general nurse in 1990 and after a number of clinical roles, worked in management before moving back into a professional nursing leadership role. In 1998 Mel became the Deputy Director of Nursing at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Trust and was appointed Director of Nursing and Quality at Rotherham General Hospitals NHS Trust in 2001.

Mel then moved to Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust in 2003 to take up the post of Director of Nursing and Governance, a role in which she later became Director of Operations and Deputy Chief Executive. Mel was Chief Executive of The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust from January 2007 prior to her appointment with Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in 2011.

Professor Karen Dawber, Chief Nurse

Karen was appointed Chief Nurse at the Trust in August 2016, prior to this Karen has worked in Executive roles in three Foundation Trusts and has over 15 years of experience at Board level. An experienced nurse and service manager, she started her career as a paediatric nurse at Manchester Children’s Hospital before moving into general management and transformational work.

Karen enjoys not just working and leading services at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust but also a wider role across the Bradford District and Craven Place. Karen has a reputation for delivering, developing and initiating high quality services. Karen is passionate about patient quality and the impact that well-led and motivated staff have on the care we are able to give to patients.

She was named in the inaugural list of Health Service Journal’s LGBT leaders and takes a keen and active interest in the equality and diversity agenda.

Denise McConnell
Sarah Jones, Chair

Sarah joined the Trust from Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, where she had been the chair since 2016. She will take up the post on 4 March.

Under her leadership in Sheffield, the trust grew both in scale and the services it offers. She had overseen significant investment including a new hospital development and the installation of a helipad which will be completed shortly.

Sarah is passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion and while at Sheffield supported the setup of the colleague network groups. She also has experience of working within the integrated care system.

While in South Yorkshire she chaired the Mental Health, Learning Disability and Autism Provider Collaborative, as well as being a member of the Acute Federation and Sheffield Health and Care Partnership. She is chair of Realise, an apprenticeship and adult skills training business.

Sarah was born in Bradford and is a former pupil of Bradford Grammar School. She is married with a son and a daughter.

Andrew Bertram
Dr Ray Smith, Chief Medical Officer

Ray was appointed to the position of Chief Medical Officer at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in December 2020.

He trained at Leeds University Medical School, qualifying in 1988. His first job as a junior doctor was in Bradford the same year. Ray went on to train in Medicine and Anaesthetics in the Yorkshire region and Portland, Oregon.

He became a Consultant Anaesthetist at Bradford Teaching Hospitals in 1998, and has since gone on to hold a number of management roles within clinical risk management and service delivery. Prior to his appointment to the role of Chief Medical Officer, he held the Associate Medical Director and Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Professional Medical Standards roles.

He holds a particular interest in developing and supporting all Trust staff.

Sajid Azeb, Chief Operating Officer/Deputy CEO

Saj has worked across several NHS organisations and has significant experience of dealing with complex service issues through the various operational and strategic management roles he has held over his 20-year career within the NHS. Prior to joining Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, he worked at Leeds Teaching Hospitals.

Having joined the NHS in a clinical capacity in 2000, he moved into a career in NHS Management in 2003, while at the same time undertaking a Masters degree in Business Administration.

Saj is an experienced leader and has skills across performance, budgetary, personnel and service development functions. He is a highly regarded individual and has established an excellent reputation for service delivery among clinical and management colleagues both at a local and regional level.

Matt Morgan
Julie Lawreniuk, Non-Executive Director, Deputy Chair and Senior Independent Director

Qualified accountant Julie became a Non-Executive Director with the Trust in September 2019.

She was born and educated in Bradford and still lives in the city. She is passionate about Bradford and a supporter of the local football club.

Julie has a Master’s degree in Finance and Accountancy, and prior to joining the Trust was Deputy Chief Officer and Chief Finance Officer for the three Bradford District and Craven Clinical Commissioning Groups. She brings a wealth of NHS experience, with a career that has spanned over 27 years working across a number of NHS organisations including both providers and commissioners and covering a variety of senior leadership roles. Julie also worked in the private finance sector for 11 years before joining the NHS in 1992.

She is also a Board member at Incommunities.

Karen Stone
Matthew Horner, Director of Finance

Matthew has a degree in Accountancy and Finance, and is a qualified member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.

His NHS finance career spans over 30 years and covers a variety of finance roles. For the last 21 years, he has worked for the Trust in Bradford, progressing from Finance Manager to Deputy Director of Finance. Matthew subsequently joined the Board as Acting Director of Finance in November 2011, and was appointed substantive Director of Finance in August 2012.

Heather McNair
Faeem Lal, Interim Director of Human Resources

Faeem joined the Trust in 2019 and was the Deputy Director of HR before taking up the Interim Director of HR position. He has worked in a range of public sector HR roles across Education, Criminal Justice, Social Care and the NHS. Faeem is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development). He has a Bachelor’s degree in IT and Management (University of Bradford), a postgraduate diploma in HR (CIPD) (University of Huddersfield) and a Masters in Leadership, Management and Change (University of Bradford).

James Hawkins
Dr Paul Rice, Chief Digital and Information Officer

Paul Rice joined Bradford and Airedale NHS foundation trusts from his role as Regional Director of Digital Transformation for NHS England and Improvement in the North East and Yorkshire.

He has been the senior responsible owner for substantial national digital transformation programmes relevant to hospital electronic patient records, mental health, transforming primary care, maternal and child health.

Paul was formerly the Director of the Long-Term Conditions programme in Yorkshire and Humber with a focus on Telehealth. He has been a Primary Care Trust director, a transformation director in the NHS Modernisation Agency and a policy lead in the Department of Health.

Paul holds a BA degree in Law and Accounting (Manchester), a Masters in Informatics Leadership (Imperial) and a Doctorate in Medical Law and Bioethics (Manchester). He is also a graduate of the Said Business School (Oxford), where he completed the Major Projects Leadership Academy, and a Fellow of the British Computing Society.

Paul is a trustee of Yorkshire Cancer Research and a volunteer fundraiser with Macmillan Cancer Support.

Lynne Mellor
Reneé Bullock, Chief People and Purpose Officer

Born in Alabama, USA, Reneé is passionate and fully committed to working with patients, team colleagues and partners across the system and community to continue to build compassionate leadership driven through our People Plan, values and behaviours and building consistency of equality, diversity and inclusion for all.

Having started her HR and Operations career in the private sector, Reneé supported banks and blue-chip retail organisations across 32 countries to build improvement and learning cultures and environments. She found her true calling in healthcare and worked across local government organisations and then joined the NHS 15 years ago. She has worked across many different NHS settings including Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, London and more recently national focus including mental health trusts, community trusts and commissioning services.

Reneé has also supported the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s $1 billion healthcare fund which has helped grow and develop more than 30 hospitals and diagnostic centres across Nigeria, Kenya, India and Pakistan.

Lynne Mellor
Mark Hindmarsh, Non-Executive Director

Mark’s NHS management career started in 2005 when he joined the NHS General Management Training scheme, but he is also proud to have also worked in the catering department at Trafford General Hospital in Manchester – the birthplace of the NHS in 1948. Mark continues to be keen to help develop others and has a particular interest in the role of the NHS in reducing inequalities through improved partnerships and collaborative working.

He joins us from the NHS West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board in Kirklees, where he was Director of Integration and Strategy, and led on improvement work across the local partnership. Prior to this, Mark was Programme Director for Transformation working across Bradford District and Craven.

Earlier in his career, Mark developed a wealth of both operational and strategic experience of working in NHS provider organisations, having held senior management and leadership roles and has also worked in commissioning and commissioning support roles throughout his career.

Denise McConnell
Sughra Nazir, Non-Executive Director

Sughra was appointed as a non-executive Director on 20th January 2022.

Sughra is Director and a management consultant supporting the health and social care sector with care quality, safeguarding and regulatory compliance.  She is an associate with the Social Care Institute for Excellence and is currently contracted by the NMC. She is a serving Parish Councillor and currently Vice Chair for the Sandy Lane Parish Council.

Her previous roles include working for the Care Quality Commission as an inspector and as a National Provider Relationship Lead. Sughra has also served as a Governor with Bradford District Care Foundation Trust and has held Non Executive Director and Operations and Compliance Director positions with adult social care organisations.

Drawing on her regulatory background and 28 years health and social care experience, Sughra has addressed care provider conferences and written for trade journals on improving care quality, achieving outstanding CQC ratings and meeting the needs of diverse communities. Sughra is a member of a number of national diversity and disability networks and has particular interest in improving maternity, children with disabilities, learning disability and dementia services.

A lifelong Bradfordian, Sughra qualified as a social worker in 1997 and is very passionate about supporting the Trust to deliver the best patient experience and outcomes.

Lorraine Boyd
Karen Walker, Non-Executive Director

Karen has spent 30 years in the Customer Services industry, gaining a wealth of experience spanning financial services, utilities and telecoms at brands such as telephone and online bank First Direct, Centrica and Virgin Media.

She is currently Director of Strategy and Change at the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, the independent regulator of MPs’ pay and business costs, and is responsible for developing and delivering a three-year strategy that creates a customer-focused culture and a sustainable, efficient and seamless service for the UK’s 650 MPs and their staff. 

She has a background in operational and change leadership, culture change, regulation, credit management and customer service excellence and is renowned for developing purposeful customer-centric cultures to drive advocacy and great customer outcomes, breaking down barriers to service excellence.

Karen has a keen interest in people and customers and firmly believes valued people value customers. She is looking forward to translating her experience into helping Bradford achieve great patient outcomes and service excellence.

Yorkshire born and bred,  Karen enjoys being outdoors and spends most of her spare time at the side of a rugby pitch, supporting her son and keeping the players safe in her role as Club Welfare Officer at Siddal ARLFC.  

Mohammed Hussain, Non-Executive Director

Mohammed works at senior level in a portfolio career spanning national regulation, education, national health care technology and service redesign.

Mohammed is the Senior Clinical Lead for Live Services at NHS Digital. This role is responsible for leading a multidisciplinary clinical team ensuring that NHS Digital’s services have the appropriate clinical assurance and governance. He has been working in national clinical informatics roles since 2009 delivering services such as the Electronic Prescription Service, NHS Mail, Summary Care Records and more across England. Mohammed is a Founding Fellow of the Faculty of Clinical Informatics.

Mohammed was a Council Member on the General Pharmaceutical Council, the pharmacy regulator and is a Fellow of both the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK, both awards recognising distinction for services to the profession of Pharmacy.

Mohammed has had previous roles as a lecturer practitioner at the University of Leeds and as a pharmaceutical advisor for the NHS in Leeds. He is currently a member of the Expert Advisory Board for the School of Pharmacy at Bradford University. Mohammed continues to practice as a pharmacist alongside his other duties at NHS Digital, Bradford Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust and NHS England.

Mohammed is passionate about health technology, championing diversity and delivering excellent clinical care.

He holds a particular interest in developing and supporting all Trust staff.

James Hawkins
Zafir Ali Non-Executive Director

Zafir has extensive audit/business knowledge and experience as a Chartered Internal Auditor. He has devoted his career to public service and has worked extensively in advising central government departments in governance, assurance, risk management and counter fraud environments and 10 years working in public-facing frontline roles within the civil service.

He currently holds a number of roles at the Government Internal Audit Agency including Deputy Head of Internal Audit and Counter Fraud Specialist for the Department of Health and Social Care; Head of Internal Audit for the Health Research Authority and Head of Internal Audit for the NHS Counter Fraud Authority.

He joins us from the Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust where he has been an Associate Non-Executive Director for 3 years.

Zafir is West Yorkshire born and bred. He is passionate about public service delivery, with a keen interest in workforce wellbeing and also the need to work collaboratively within partnerships to join up service delivery. His aim is to share and apply his knowledge of working with central government, at a local NHS level. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors and is accredited as an NHS Counter Fraud Specialist.

Altaf Sadique, Non-Executive Director

Altaf Sadique, Founder, Investor and Managing Director at iBox Healthcare, a Leeds based technology SME.

He has enjoyed a successful serial entrepreneur leadership career spanning 32 years and has delivered major projects for both global retail businesses, as well as, public sector organisations including healthcare providers. iBox Healthcare’s software solution focusses principally on Healthcare Virtualisation and Patient Flow Management for NHS Trusts and prominent international clients including Helios Healthcare. Additionally, he has help build the IoT enabled Cloud Computing Platform and the Customer Centred Connected Retail Platforms for the 2012 London Olympics (LOCOG).

Altaf has experience of collaborative healthcare research and innovation projects funded by the EU European Commission Horizon Program and the UK Technology Strategy Board working on the Future Internet & 5G PPP, IoT and Connected Supply Chains for FMD. More recently, he has been appointed Chief Technology Officer for the 6G for Health Institute (Leipzig), where he is currently developing the 6G Healthcare standards for both next generation platforms and telecoms infrastructure.

Altaf is born and bred in Yorkshire, and enjoys golf, travel, sufi poetry and music.

Lynne Mellor
Bryan Machin, Non-Executive Director

Bryan has joined the Trust having recently retired as the director of finance and deputy chief executive at Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust.  A qualified accountant, his 40-year NHS career spanned many organisations and many organisation types across Manchester and Yorkshire.

Bryan is also vice-chair of the Board of Trustees at St Anne’s Community Services, a charity that is committed to enabling over 1,600 adults across the North of England, including Bradford, to live their best life.

Bryan is a season ticket holder at Bradford City FC and also, reluctantly, admits a long-term affinity with another club from his hometown of Liverpool.

Bryan is delighted to be joining the Trust and is looking forward to finding out more about its services and the people who provide them.

Denise McConnell
Professor Louise Bryant, Non-Executive Director

Louise is a Professor of Psychological and Social Medicine at the University of Leeds, and Deputy Dean for Equity Diversity and Inclusion in the University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health. She is an academic psychologist by background and her research focuses on screening in pregnancy and health inequalities experienced by people with a learning disability.

Louise is a member of the UK National Screening Committee and an advisor to the Department of Health and Social Care’s Fetal Anomaly Screening Programme (FASP). She chairs the FASP Information and Education sub-group that oversees the development of evidence-based, high-quality information for women and partners, and education and training for health professionals who offer screening.

Louise has strong family connections with Bradford and has both worked and studied in the city. She feels privileged to be a NED for the Foundation Trust and to play a part in delivering their vision.