Council of Governors

Our Governors are the guardians of our mission and values, and they help us achieve our objectives.


We have three different categories of Governor – public, staff and stakeholder.

Public Governors are elected by our non-staff members, who can be patients, students, local residents or anyone living in England or Wales who is interested in our work. These Governors make sure the voice of the communities we serve is heard right at the top of our decision-making process.

Staff Governors are elected by the people we employ and ensure our staff have a say in how we run our services.

Stakeholder Governors are appointed to represent the interests of our partner organisations.

Governors have an important role to play, although they are not responsible for the day-to-day running of the trust, and cannot veto decisions made by the Board of Directors.

Governors have two main areas of responsibility: 

Holding the Board of Directors to account

The Governors’ statutory responsibilities are to:

  • appoint (and, if appropriate, remove) the Chair and non-executive Directors
  • appoint (and, if appropriate, remove) the external auditors
  • approve the appointment of the Chief Executive
  • decide the pay and terms of office for the Chair and non-executive Directors
  • receive the annual report and accounts
  • contribute to the annual plan
  • ensure that the Trust operates in accordance with its terms of authorisation
  • hold the Board of Directors to account for the performance of the Trust

Representing members and partner organisations

Governors are our link between our members and the Directors who make decisions about our services. They are responsible for representing the views of members and partner organisations to the Board of Directors, and feeding back information about the Trust and its performance.

Council meetings

Our Council of Governors meets four times a year, although they are involved in various projects in the Trust all throughout the year.

Register of interests

Our Board and Governors have to declare any potential conflict of interest

Lead Governor

Elected as Lead Governor in December 2021

Kathy Elliott lead governor

“I bring to the Council of Governors the insight and learning from my role as Vice Chair of Voluntary Action Camden, and lead Trustee for health inequalities.

This builds on my experience working in public health and NHS strategic and operational roles delivering national, regional, and local services. I’ve developed expertise in improving population health outcomes; reducing health inequalities; building working alliances and collaboration; clinical governance; primary care; and specific public health priorities. 

Since ‘officially’ retiring I am enjoying using my skills and experience in new ways. A priority has been deepening my connections to my local community. I was a lay member of the Camden (NHS) Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for five years, providing leadership related to patient and public involvement; primary care; and equalities. I represented the CCG in the emerging joint commissioning arrangements between local areas, and I am vice chair of my General Practice, Patient Participation Group. 

I also contribute to strengthening the public health workforce as an active volunteer with the national UK Public Health Register."

Why did you decide to become a Governor?

"I joined the Council of Governors as a stakeholder governor, representing the Non-statutory Sector, through my role as a Trustee of Voluntary Action Camden.  I had worked with representatives of the Trust as part of the Camden Health and Wellbeing Committee and wanted to support their contribution to improving mental health and collaboration with health and care partners."  

Interests: Public health; health inequalities; primary care; equality, diversity and inclusion. 

Political Party: None.

Financial or other interest in the Trust: None.

Public governors

John Carrier

Re-elected for second term October 2020
John Carrier

I will bring to the Governing Body a knowledge of the demography and health needs of Camden’s diverse population.

I was elected as Governor for Camden Constituency for the Tavistock in August 2017 and I have attended 95% of all council meetings and I have been a member of the Tavistock Centre Programme Board and the Nominations Committee. I have attended the Annual General Meetings at the Tavistock, as well as training provided by NHS Providers. I feel I still have much to contribute to the Governing Body and the Trust. 

Criminal Justice and Mental Health (having been a prison visitor and a Magistrate) the relationship between the Tavistock and the Primary Care Services, the Health and Well-being of Children, and Mental Health Research.  I chaired the successful Closure of Friern Hospital between 1983-91.

I have a long history of public service in Camden and London. Local councillor, 1970s. Member, Social Services Committee, Chair, Public Health Committee and the Adoption Panel, First Chair of Camden Victim Support. Royal Free Hospital 1980-2000, NED & Chair; Representative on Tavistock and Portman Trust Chair, North Middlesex Hospital. 2013-2016 Chair, Camden Primary Care Trust, 2001-2012, Involved in policymaking and decisions about Equality and Diversity, Education and Training discussions, and patient and public involvement events. Chair, the North East London Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards for eight years which gave me insight into the professional lives of London’s leading Medical and Surgical practitioners. Honorary Fellow, Royal College Physicians Honorary Bencher, Lincoln’s Inn.

Declaration of Interests 

Political Party: Member of the Labour Party
Financial or other interest in the Trust: None

Freda McEwan

Freda McEwen.png

Appointed November 2019

“I am a passionate and enthusiastic person who thrives in creating an enabling environment for people with varied special needs.”

Why do you want to be a Governor?

I am keen to work in an environment where I can put my passion and experience into good use. In my private life, I have a son who is 23 years old with autism. Caring for him over the years has motivated and enabled me to be involved in making strategic decisions in public establishment that support people with complex needs. Having had the opportunity to study in Tavistock after years of being a member, I believe I have gained experience and personal skills that would contribute to helping the Board of Governors. Most importantly I feel I could become part of the team that supports the clinicians, staff and the well-being and safety of service users.

What experience and skills do you feel you could bring to the role?

I have been accrediting services for National Autistic Society for over 3 years and have developed a strong support for Therapy and that is why I love the works of Tavistock and Portman. This led me to make a career change from my legal background to delve into in the Therapeutic world and have an informed knowledge of Systemic Therapy and Psychoanalysis. I also have a facebook page with over 21,000 followers where I empower and encourage my readers and fans who have children with autism and mental health. I also have job satisfaction and fulfilment from writing books and public speaking on topics that relate to autism and mental health

Declaration of Interests



Richard Mark MurrayRichard Mark Murray.png

Appointed November 2019

“I get the context but more importantly I care about the Tavi, its exceptional work and wonderful and caring people!”

Why do you want to be a Governor?

I care passionately about well-being that involves good mental and physical health. The Tavi does some exceptional and valuable work in pursuit of areas of mental health that are too often under looked or under-valued. I was fortunate to be elected a Camden Governor a few years ago until I moved out of the borough. Visiting parts of the service and seeing the hard work and diligent care that the staff and members bring – every day - to the Tavi was both humbling and inspiring. As a teaching hospital as well as a provider of care, the Tavi creates health and learning. Hopefully without sounding too grand, there are simply not many more important things. I want to play a small part in preserving the great work of the Tavi and provide the best possible foundation for it to flourish in the future.

What experience and skills do you feel you could bring to the role?

As a previous governor I understand the context of the Tavi, the real value of its work and the dedication of its governors and leadership. Having worked in the health sector I understand the context of the Tavi’s work and the wider pressures in the NHS. I am currently support health and well-being at the earliest stages of life. Here I am part of the executive team of the National Childbirth Trust where I lead on planning, governance and its work on equality, diversity and inclusion.

Declaration of Interests


Julian Lousada

Appointed October 2021 Julian Lousada photo

I have extensive clinical and managerial experience which gives me the qualifications necessary for the role of governor.

I care passionately about mental health services in the community, the voluntary sector and the NHS. The current challenge is to translate the present-day awareness of mental health into a collaborative network of services. Responding to mental distress is challenging and demanding so it’s essential to offer support to clinical and administrative staff. The quality of services cannot be maintained without a consideration of how familial and social factors impact powerfully on mental wellbeing. In addition, I would support all initiatives where citizens minimise their contribution to the climate crisis. I have worked before retirement for many years at the Tavistock and would like to contribute to its future not just to its past.

I started one of the first community mental health centres in the UK, then worked in Islington as a psychiatric social worker before becoming a consultant social worker/psychotherapist in the Adult Department at the Tavistock, where I subsequently became its Clinical Director. I’ve led professional and regulatory bodies so I know about budget and strategy. I’ve had academic and training posts so I’m aware of the needs and complexities of training. I work well in groups and have consulted too many NHS and other organisations. We face a high demand for mental health services and no prospect of sufficient funds, so creative, non-competitive collaboration with other providers and local groups is essential. No service can be unaware of the need to respond to racism, diversity and inequality. 

Political Party: Labour

Financial or other interest in the Trust: None

Michael Arhin-Acquaah

Appointed October 2021Michael Arhin-Acquaah photo

Ex-service user, neurodivergent Psychology student, determined to amplify the voices of those impacted by such a crucial and important trust.

The accessibility of NHS services provided has always drastically impacted the lives of me and my peers. As the son of first-generation immigrants with understandably strong opinions on healthcare services, and the brother and friend to neurodivergent, nonconforming, minority ethnic individuals, it often felt like our needs were not being adequately met. I believe that the best way to represent service users and amplify their voices is to give them the platform, rather than providing a messenger

First-hand experience as an ex-GIDS user and part of the stakeholders’ group, where I take initiative to bring issues I feel should be discussed to the forefront. I also work on the interview panels- recently hiring a non-executive director for an NHS trust. My family is very big, with both a complex and diverse background as well as a long line of developmental disorders- especially in my younger brothers. I also work as a playworker at a playground offering stimulating play for children with additional needs. Outside of work, I am a 2nd Year psychology student at LSBU. This involves developing understandings through prior research and real-life applications. I am interested in neurodevelopmental disorders, cultural and environmental differences, and identity-which lead to independently conducting a qualitative study on BAME individuals who accessed CAMHS services that I later presented at a Tavistock BLM away day. I intend on bringing the perspectives and context of a young, culturally diverse, service user and student of a similar age to those accessing services at the Tavistock. 

Political Party: None

Financial or other interest in the Trust: None

Michael Rustin

Appointed October 2021Michael Rustin photo

I have had a long association with the Tavistock, and am strongly committed to its outstanding psychotherapeutic and educational tradition.

I believe I will be able to make an effective contribution to the development of the Tavistock at this difficult time, through my substantial knowledge of its clinical, educational and research activity. .I had a major role in setting up the Tavistock's partnership with the University of East London, which led to the academic accreditation of many Masters and Professional Doctorate degrees, on some of which I still teach as a visiting lecturer, . I am concerned that the Tavistock's fine traditions should be sustained, at this difficult time, and believe that Governors should be active in seeing that this happens,. I contributed from this perspective to two chapters in the Tavistock's 2020 centenary volume.

I was an active member of the Council of Governors for three years until 2018, During that term of office I had particular concerns about the development of the Gender Identity Dysphoria Service, which I pursued through many questions and interventions within the Trust, though not in the public domain, in the hope that this would lead to improved services for clients. In addition to my knowledge of the Tavistock, I have had substantial relevant experience as a staff governor of the University of East London, and as a trustee of several charities, including Open Door (the Young People’s Counselling Service in Haringey), the Amiel-Melburn Trust, and the Stuart Hall Foundation. The Stuart Hall Foundation with my support has been contributing to the Tavistock's current mission of attending to issues of ethnicity. 

Political Party: Labour

Financial or other interest in the Trust: Yes

Details of Financial or Other Interest

I provide some teaching services to the Trust, through a small part-time secondment from my university. 

Michelle Morais

Appointed October 2021Michelle Morais photo

I am professionally passionate with a track record of improving patient care through collaborative practices and strong partnership work.

I believe in the work of the Tavistock having first-hand experience of the organisation as a Masters student, and a referring mental health partner. My experience of managing a thriving Mental Health Enablement service which straddles Local authority and Health directives has skilled me in the understanding and delivery of public services. I recognise the need to continuously reviewed and appropriately adapt service offer in line with the changing needs of both our client population and environment. For me this can only be achieved though co-production in its truest form, where the people we serve are considered at the very heart of all clinical practice. If elected I will promise to do my best to listen and action the voices of those who need appropriate advocacy at board level. My contribution will be a thoughtful clinical and personal one that aids the essential presence of diversity, insight and compassion.

My relevant experience includes working as a clinician for statutory mental health services for nearly 20 years. My specialist fields include co- pioneering the Enablement model in mental health service, suicide prevention, and delivering service support for Carers of those with mental health challenges. My skills are strongest in leadership and developing excellent partnership ties with relevant agencies across the sectors of secondary, primary and third sector ensuring patients’ needs are viewed holistically and met efficiently. I hold the budget for my service so I appreciate the need to maintain the very best of professional standards when under pressure.

Political Party: None

Financial or other interest in the Trust: None

Kenyah Nyameche

Appointed October 2021 Kenyah Nyameche photo

I would like to contribute my organisational development & Systemic skills and experience to shaping Tavistock and Portman Trust’s future.

I am not afraid to be curious and ask questions that seek clarification and perturbs the system, to reach outcomes. I have worked in several health settings including the NHS CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services). I am able to draw on both my skills and training to engage in different strategic decision-making processes, be it in education or clinical. I am also keen to be included in the discussions and change around anti-racism that actively makes a difference to the communities the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust serves.

To the role of Governor, I bring the skills of exploring solutions to problems; Public speaking; Accountability; Reporting outcomes; Evaluating change; Communicating with different groups of people from diverse communities; Team building; Confidence building; IT skills; Managing stress & conflict; and managing new challenges. These are all supported by my experience below: Previous Business Tutor at City University; Previous Internal Auditor; Trained Family & Systemic Psychotherapist (with a special interest in trauma work) - UKCP, AFT & EMDR registered; I am a Clinical Supervisor (In training); Facilitator in Learning disabilities; Facilitator in Equality & diversity training; Previous Board Trustee for Housing project; and Writer & researcher. I have lived experience of Learning disabilities (Dyslexia); and Lived experience of Racism & Bullying in education and in the workplace.

Political Party: None

Financial or other interest in the Trust: None

Sheena Bolland

Sheena BollandAppointed Dec 2021

I have a long and varied history working alongside children and families or cared in many fields including emotional well-being.

For many years I have attended training at the Tavistock and Portman have worked with children and their carers who have accessed service’s. The role of a governor is to support the accountability of the organisation to service users, the wider community and commissioners alongside encouraging plans for the future direction of services. I am an experienced trustee on the board of national charities with the same skills will readily transfer to being a governor. I have proven myself to be committed and passionate which I would also bring to this role.

My experience in the field of children’s and adults social care and health would mean I have an understanding as a clinician and a senior managers in this field of work which is not essential but important to being a governor as well as my experience as a trustee.

Political Party: None

Financial or other interest in the Trust: None

Staff Governors

Jessica Anglin d’Christian

Re-elected for a second term October 2021

Jessica Anglin d'ChristianI served as a Police Constable with the Nottinghamshire Constabulary, which demanded high levels of self-discipline and self-control, crisis management, listening, mediation and conflict resolution skills. Whilst there, I advocated for local policy changes to the use of police powers when supporting clients from ethnic minority backgrounds.

I helped establish a Psychiatric Intensive Care unit in S.E. London, formulating policies and procedures, and I run a successful private psychotherapy practice, holding weekend workshops and seminars teaching on mental health. I believe empowerment and education are effective change agents, and through building and shaping relationships we can make a positive difference. I remain committed to reducing stigma around mental illness within society and on reducing barriers that discourage individuals from engaging with services.

I have twenty years’ experience supporting clients, carers and staff within the NHS and currently work across two NHS Trusts. This affords me the ability to draw on good practice, highlight strengths and promote change through comparison.

I appreciate the rich diversity of ethnicity, culture and social dynamics and as the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion lead for MOSAIC CAMHS I remain fully committed to ensuring that the Trust’s Race Equality Strategy is systematically taken forward with the right voices. I will be an excellent link between the BAME network and the Board of Governors, and will represent the views of all staff, helping to ensure that the Trust strengthens its commitment to diversity and moves a step closer to becoming more reflective of the community which it serves.

Political Party: None
Financial or other interest in the Trust: I am employed by the Trust as a Family and Systemic Psychotherapist

Badri HoushidarBadri Houshidar.jpg

Appointed November 2019

‘I believe my passion, experience and commitment will make a difference. It will be an honour to represent my colleagues’

Why do you want to be a governor?

I am a passionate supporter of the NHS as both a user and as a staff member. I consider high quality practice and research; transparency of policies and procedures to be the cornerstones of a successful NHS Foundation Trust. I would like to be a link and voice for all my colleagues.

What experience and skills do you feel you could bring to the role?

I have almost 30 years’ experience of working within and alongside the NHS in various roles supporting health care professionals, students and colleagues. My journey began as a volunteer in 1996 and I worked my way up to the role of Administrator then Office Manager, Office Co-ordinator and finally Head of a large administrative team. Through ongoing support and encouragement from my managers and team leaders who believed in me and my abilities, I was able to excel and grow. I believe it is time for me to give something back and I can do this by being a Governor. I consider it a privilege to serve as a Governor and be the voice for my colleagues and will perform my role with energy, enthusiasm and integrity. I believe that with my managerial, administrative and technical experience that I have gained through my previous and current roles, together with passion, commitment, patience, strong communication and networking skills, makes me a perfect candidate to be the voice of my colleagues in this constituency.

Declaration of Interests: None.

Paru Jeram

Paru JeramAppointed Dec 2021

Fairness, equality and strong work ethics are my core values. I will advocate the Trust’s mission and objectives with pride.

To me, the NHS represents dedication, excellence, passion for the greater good, equality, diversity, service, education and innovation. Having worked at the Trust for over five years, I value the amazing work undertaken in the field of mental health. I am proud to be working for an organisation which makes such a massive contribution to supporting the community and which supports professional development and education. As a governor, I want to provide a voice for colleagues, students, and users, and to support both the Department of Education and Training (DET) and the Trust more widely in shaping a positive future and to better support and serve the diverse breadth of staff, colleagues, and students across the Trust and to contribute hugely to the changing landscapes of the Trust and the NHS more widely.

I have worked in Higher Education for nearly 20 years and having worked within DET at the Trust for over 5 years, I have a unique perspective from both the education and clinical services. As a governance and quality assurance officer, my role is to ensure the Trust’s academic regulatory and learning and teaching processes are upheld and are of the highest standard, compliant with professional and regulatory bodies and reflect innovation within the sector. I strive for excellence, enhancement, governance, integrity, equality and fairness. I am an excellent team player; have strong communication skills and I build strong and positive partnerships with colleagues, and I hope to bring my professional and personal skills to this role.

Political Party: None

Financial or other interest in the Trust: None

Stakeholder governors

Currently vacant

Mrs Jane Perry

University of East London

Appointed November 2020Jane Perry photo

Professor David O'Mahony

University of Essex

Appointed May 2021David O'Mahoney photo

Kathy Elliott

Appointed May 2021 Kathy Elliott photo