Healthwatch Warrington HAB

Our Board

Our Board works to ensure that we are fulfilling our legal and statutory obligations. You can find out more about our Board members below. 

About our board

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 Warrington adheres to the core principles of; confidentiality, respect, feedback, transparency and influence.

Our Chair, Gary Skentelbery

Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. 

Managing Director of magazine publishing group Orbit News Ltd with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington.

Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. 

Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce 

Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. 

Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

Fellow Warrington & Vale Royal College

“As a local resident of Warrington and using the local health and social care services, I am interested in the delivery of services.  I am passionate about working in the local community, and making a positive “

Our Board

Dida Goode 

I have been involved in several projects within the local community of Warrington that focused on people’s physical and mental health. Having worked in the field of substance misuse for 16 years.

Working directly with individuals who use drugs and alcohol as well as with their family members or concerned others, have given me the opportunity to learn about the importance of the mental health, either of

the user (dual-diagnosis) or that of a concerned other. This has led me to understand and focus on the importance of improving the provision of Mental Health Services so that it becomes equal to that of Physical Health.

I am confident that Healthwatch Warrington will, with the support of all - staff, volunteers and the members of its Advisory Board - fulfil its objectives of improving the services available to everyone living in Warrington, in the areas of health, adult and children’s social care.

Gillian Thomas

Gill is the Chair of Women In Nuclear UK North West ) on key areas related to Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (ED&I), younger generation career development and educational advice, mentoring and support to youth networks, local high schools, and education support initiatives.

Gill has worked in the nuclear industry for 30 years. She has worked within the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority for the past 13 years. In her spare time, she is an active participant in community-related fundraising and a number of charitable organisations.

Julie Howson

 I have worked closely with Healthwatch Warrington for many years before I became a HAB Member.

I have always found Healthwatch staff engaging and passionate about their roles in supporting the people of Warrington to express their views on health and social care issues. Within my professional

role I have gained a lot of experience and knowledge around this subject and this gave me the drive to take the step and become a Healthwatch volunteer. It has been quite frustrating during lockdown not to be able to work to full capacity, however, I am eagerly waiting to get back into the full swing of things in trying to make a positive impact.

David Edwards 

David has a wealth of experience when it comes to Health and Social Care.

He grew up during WW2 experiencing, bombings, rationing, and shortages of everything. His father died 4 years after the war which fired him up to want to help and learn medicine. in 1966 David qualified. He has worked in many aspects of NHS--hospital, public health, and general practice for 17 years. From there he went to work for the Dept of health with responsibilities for general practices in Cheshire &. the Wirral. Followed by 3 years as Director of Medical Services for the Family Health Services Appeal Authority (FHSA.)

David  has had many initiatives for general practice which have been taken up nationwide, and was responsible for many resolutions from the Shipman enquiry.  He was elected Shadow governor of Royal Liverpool hospital  for 5 & half years representing Cheshire,North Wales & the Wirral

David has volunteered for Healthwatch for several years before joining the Health Advisory Board. 

Chris Judge 

Chris spent 15 years working in Criminal Justice and Substance Misuse. Initially as a Probation officer then Senior Probation Officer for Cheshire Probation he managed high-risk offenders made subject to community sentences or long prison sentences by the Courts.

He then moved on to work as a Director of a regional substance misuse charity setting up and delivering large treatment services across the midlands and North West as well as a residential rehabilitation unit in Lancashire. Working with such a socially excluded community Chris quickly realised the health inequality suffered by huge numbers of people.

After establishing his own Men's Mental Health peer support organisation in 2019 Chris started liaising with Healthwatch Warrington and quickly realised the amazing work they were doing locally to give communities a voice, closely aligned with his own values and experiences. He was therefore delighted when he was approached to become a member of the Healthwatch Advisory Board.

Patricia McClaren

Pat McLaren in an experienced healthcare communications professional working in the NHS hospitals sector for nearly 20 years.  She has held board positions in her last three organisations and is responsible to the Board for communications, engagement, involvement and fundraising.

Pat began her NHS career as a biomedical scientist working in Manchester before moving abroad to the Middle East where she retrained in communications.  Over the following 18 years Pat worked for some of the world’s biggest healthcare and consumer brands as well as with a number of governments and high-profile Middle Eastern companies.  She returned to the UK in 2002 with her family and resumed her NHS career in which she continues to work, serving the past seven years with Warrington and Halton Hospital.  She lives in Warrington.

Fiona Jenkins

Fiona has 30 years’ experience of serving in public service including criminal justice, health and third sector.  She is passionate about ensuring that people have a voice, feel supported and are empowered to make decisions about their lives.

Whilst employed as the service manager of a Warrington carers service, Fiona also held the position of safeguarding lead for the organisation. Fiona has supported and advised other carers services across the UK.

Fiona is currently working in a transformational NHS programme delivering positive change in specialist mental health services focusing on adult eating disorders and children and young people’s mental health (EmpowerED and Level UP Lead Provider Collaborative).

Fiona has supported fundraising for many charities including local charities that have positive impacts on the lives of Warrington residents.

Norman Holding

My background is in Engineering and Facilities Management in both the Public and Private sectors.  For the last 8 years I have been a Governor and Lead Governor at Warrington Halton Hospital Trust. 

I have a strong commitment to promoting equality, inclusion, and diversity, to these ends I have worked with Governors to promote WHH in the ethnic and minority groups in Warrington to bring their voices to the table.

I believe that to ensure that we achieve the best outcomes for all we must work in an environment that is open, transparent, we have integrity were everyone is respected, and everyone is accountable to each other and the organisation.

Past Board papers

We make the papers for our public Board meetings available online. We also publish a summary of what was discussed. Check out our past meetings to read more.

Find out more