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The Tavistock Centre


Our Trust welcomes four new Governors

Our Foundation Trust membership has elected four new Governors to our Council. We are delighted to welcome Jocelyn Cornwell, Maisam Datoo, Stephen Frosh and Sebastian Kraemer to their new roles with our Trust.

Our Governors are the guardians of our mission and values, and they help us achieve our objectives by holding our Board of Directors to account and representing our Foundation Trust membership and partner organisations.

Kathy Elliott, our Lead Governor, says: “I am delighted to welcome Jocelyn, Maisam, Stephen and Sebastian to the Council of Governors. All four want to be part of the next stage of the Trust’s development. They bring a commitment to mental health services, and an understanding of the NHS and the Tavistock and Portman. I look forward to working with them as they represent the membership and make a contribution to the Council of Governors.”

Jocelyn Cornwell

Why did you want to become a governor?

I have a lifelong interest in the quality of mental health services, and connections with the Tavistock and Portman for decades, both personally and professionally.

This is a critical time for the Tavistock and I would like to help. The NHS is in crisis: adults, children and young people with mental health problems are experiencing long delays accessing vital treatments; we do not have enough staff and the staff we do have are exhausted, demoralised and anxious about the standards of service.

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

I recently left my job as Chief Executive of The Point of Care Foundation ( I now teach and do advisory work. I believe I have relevant skills and experience, and time, to be an effective governor.

I have a good knowledge and understanding of NHS policy, patient safety, quality improvement and the governance of NHS Trusts. I worked for decades in the NHS: in research, management, central government, regulation, patient and public involvement, and latterly as a national advocate and champion of more human healthcare for patients and staff. I am not hierarchical and I am a good team player. I am a good listener, and generally calm, good-humoured and collaborative but I will stick my neck out and speak up when I think it is required.

Maisam Datoo

Why did you want to become a governor?

The governor opportunity allows me to learn about and engage the Trust more meaningfully. It also gives me the opportunity to inform and involve (in the decision-making process) a key resource of our Trust – its staff. I feel a tremendous commitment to our Trust and by extension, to the NHS. For me, it’s the closest thing, we, in this country have to a national religion. I often bristle at wastage and want to see us get the best deal(s) possible.

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

I have been involved in strategy and organising in past roles and am able to galvanise people around a common cause. I am presently a student at the Institute of Group Analysis and have staffed and been a member on numerous Group Relations Conferences. I am learning more about groups, authority, leadership and followership and am deeply interested in the organisational unconscious.

Stephen Frosh

Why did you want to become a governor?

I am delighted and honoured to have been elected to the governing body of the Tavistock. I worked in the Child and Family Department from 1990 to 2000 as a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and was also Vice Dean of the Department for four years. I see the Trust as an immensely important centre for psychotherapy, especially psychoanalytic and family systemic therapy, and a beacon for caring mental health practice. Its standards of training and clinical work have always been high, and the creativity of its staff has meant that its national and international influence have been disproportionately great given the size of the organisation. I hope very much that I can contribute to an institutional culture in which these great strengths can be maintained and developed as the Tavistock enters its second century.

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

As well as my background in clinical psychology, including ten years working at the Trust in the 1990s, I have pursued an academic career for the last forty years. I am currently Professor of Psychology at Birkbeck, University of London, based in the Department of Psychosocial Studies, which I founded in 2007 as an interdisciplinary department working on the conjunction of social and psychological concerns. I was Pro-Vice-Master of Birkbeck for fourteen years, with successive ‘portfolios’ in Learning and Teaching, Research and Internationalisation, so I have a very strong understanding of these areas, all of them relevant to the Tavistock. I have published widely on psychosocial studies and on psychoanalysis and have a strong involvement with work on social identities, antiracism and gender issues – all areas that abut on the clinical and research issues that engage Tavistock staff. I am currently an elected Governor at Birkbeck, representing the academic community; I am also a director of a preschool and have been Chair of Governors at a primary school in Haringey, so I have experience of governance at various levels and with differently-sized institutions. I am very keen to work alongside the talented group of Governors that support this wonderful organisation.

Sebastian Kraemer

Why did you want to become a governor?

I want to ensure that, in its organisation and trainings, the Trust builds on its own brilliant innovations in professional development.

Better meetings: The Tavistock and Portman clinics are rightly famous for NHS psychotherapy trainings and services. Less well known is their realisation – discovered over many decades’ engagement with all kinds of organisations, even with industry and the army – that effective teamwork depends on the authority of every member of the team, including those who are less powerful or less articulate. What this means is that each gains enough confidence in themselves to speak up, but also to change their position without being pressured to do so.

Wherever they take place, most meetings are not like that. People in groups tend to censor themselves, or feel silenced by louder and stronger voices that take over the proceedings. It is often easier to go along with what seems to be the majority view, obscuring the bigger picture. Yet there are many occasions in public services, such as multidisciplinary team meetings and case conferences, or any gathering (such as a council of governors) whose precise purpose is to incorporate all views, however contradictory they may be.

I have worked in acute paediatrics and psychiatry in the NHS since 1971 and still see for myself the harm done to patients when colleagues fail to collaborate. In whichever field or capacity they may work in future, I want to support the next generation of Tavistock and Portman trainees to make full use of the Trust’s unique, home-grown resources – group relations conferences, reflective and work discussion seminars – to grow the courage and leadership needed for better professional partnerships.

As the 2023/2024 Training Prospectus says, “we know people learn differently when they live through and experience things for themselves”. Learning from experience is both intellectual and emotional labour. This is harder, but more productive than following instructions.

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

Since 1976 I have been identified with the Trust in a variety of roles, from trainee to consultant, from teacher to writer, mentor and honorary consultant. My election as governor continues the association.

For many years I directed the Tavistock training of child and adolescent psychiatrists, the only course in the Trust exclusively for doctors, preparing them for NHS consultant posts. In parallel I was for 35 years consultant psychiatrist in the nearby Whittington hospital paediatric department, working during that time with thousands of young people and their families admitted in emergency suicidal crises and supporting nursing and medical staff in the care of these and other complex cases. I now work with NHS staff groups in medicine, paediatrics and mental health.