TRUSTECH Board of Directors

Executive Board

Don Hammond – Chairman

Don Hammond is an experienced businessman and has worked within both the private and public sector. He worked in industry before studying at Manchester Business School. After completing  his studies, he joined Citibank and then a small London merchant bank.

After 14 years in the City, he set up a small regional bank in the mid 1980’s raising venture capital from various institutions. This merged with a Regional firm of stockbrokers in 1988. After a period as Director of the Corporate Finance team, he became a business angel and now has investments in a number of emerging companies. Don was also the Chairman of Halton Hospital and then Cheshire Community Trusts.


Keith Chantler – Executive Director

Keith is a founder and Executive Director of TRUSTECH, the North West NHS Innovation Service, which provides innovation management services to North West NHS Trusts and the region’s Universities to discover and exploit bio/health intellectual property; working in partnership with the healthcare industry sector to develop new collaborations that accelerate the development of products and services to improve healthcare delivery. He is a member of the NHS Secretary of State’s Advisory Panel for NHS Challenge Prizes, is a Director of Smart Healthcare Ventures – the commercial arm of TRUSTECH –  and is a member of the Bionow Steering Committee and the Science and Technology Facilities Council Futures Advisory Panel.

Keith is also the Director of Innovation at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He has regional and national experience in NHS research and innovation management, and manages the Trust’s extensive commercial and innovation portfolio.

Dr John Beecham, OBE – Non-Executive Director

John’s experience and expertise are in new product innovation, science and technology strategy, R&D, and business-higher education partnerships and Networks. He spent 35 years in the Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industry where his last post was Research Manager and Chief Scientist for ICI plc. He was awarded a CBE in the 2000 New Year’s Honours List “for services to the Chemical Industry”.

John is Chairman of COGENT the Sector Skills Council for the Chemical/Oil and Gas/Nuclear Industry, Chairman of University of Liverpool Enterprises Ltd (ULivE) and a Director of the newly formed Bioscience for Business Knowledge Transfer Network.

He is also a director of CLIK, the CCLRC exploitation company and, for the last eight years, has also been an Industrialist/Advisor to the DTI. John is an Honorary Professor at Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores Universities and was awarded a DSc in 2004 by the new University of Manchester for his work on the amalgamation of UMIST/Manchester University. He is currently World President of the Society for the Chemical Industry (SCI).

Mr David Ford – Non-Executive Director

David Ford is an experienced International Board Executive and entrepreneur with substantive clinical and engineering experience in the biomedical sector.

Formerly an Executive Director of BSI Group, he was responsible for the worldwide Healthcare and Testing activity for the British Standards Institution. During David’s tenure, BSI became the leading certification and accreditation body to the global healthcare industry incorporating two notified bodies supporting the European Medical Devices Directive. David was also responsible for the world recognised ‘Kitemark’ across all sectors of industry, and was active on the board of BASEC, the global safety scheme for electrical cable.

David has more than 20 years experience in the medical device industry including product and licence management, strategic planning, managing change, systems integration, sales and marketing, research and development, and personal development. For the last 12 years, these positions have been at board level and have involved a number of ‘blue chip’ global medical device companies.

David is currently working with and advising private equity businesses and is also active in developing a number of new businesses in healthcare, industry and the public sector.

Prior to his industrial experience, he managed a bio-engineering unit team within an NHS hospital, where he also led the design of medical and research equipment. In industry, David managed a large multidisciplinary R&D team developing cardiac surgery products including prosthetic heart valves, and then progressed them through sales and marketing roles to general business management and subsequent board appointments.

Frequently the champion for clarity of policy, harmonisation of standards and outcome improvements, David has supported governments, ministries and developing nations in policy formation for medical devices and associated therapies. David has also frequently represented the United Kingdom at the World Health Organisation, the FDA and the European Commission in developing policy for medical devices and Medical Device Regulation.

Professor Sir Netar Mallick – Non-Executive Director

Sir Netar Mallick is Professor Emeritus of Renal Medicine in Manchester. He was knighted in 1998. He demitted office as Medical Director of the National Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards (2003–2006) after been Medical Director of the Advisory Committee on Distinction Awards 1999–2003.

From 1967 he worked in the University Department of Medicine in Manchester as Lecturer then Senior Lecturer in Medicine and was Associate Director of the Renal Transplantation Unit from its inception in 1968. From 1973, as Consultant Renal Physician, he developed an internationally recognised Department of Renal Medicine integrated with the Transplantation service.

He has been President of the Renal Association of Great Britain and Ireland and Adviser to Her Majesty’s Government on renal disease. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (London) and ad personam of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of Edinburgh and of Ireland and of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. He has written and lectured widely on renal disease and renal replacement therapy.

Until 2000 he was Medical Director of Central Manchester NHS Trust. He has been President of the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society and of the Manchester Medical Society.

Mr Alun Davies – Non-Executive Director

Alun Davies is an independent business advisor and management consultant.  He has over 20 years of hands-on commercial experience with early stage and high growth businesses in multiple sectors, including health care, technology, property, professional services and non profit.

Alun’s roles have included Chief Executive of Sheffield Orthopaedics Limited, one of the UK’s leading independent orthopaedic health care providers, European Managing Director and Vice President of Marketing for Rockliffe, a Californian software company, and Commercial Director of FiLGROUP, a property development company involved in urban regeneration.  He is also the Chairman of Leeds-based CASAC, one of the UK’s leading social enterprises.

 Dr Shikha Pitalia – Non-Executive Director / General Practitioner

Dr Shikha Pitalia, graduated from Manchester University and was honoured to be GP of the year in 2008, as awarded by the Royal College of General Practitioners, Mersey Deanery.

Dr Pitalia is Governing Body member for St Helens CCG and previously chaired a GP Commissioning Consortium (2006-2012) across Wigan and St Helens with circa 100,000 patients. Shikha pioneered the ‘Acute Visiting Service’, significantly reducing unscheduled admissions for the consortium in St Helens. Her work in urgent care and improving patient access has been nationally acclaimed, winning many awards including GP Enterprise Award (2009), NHS Live (2009) and NHS Alliance Acorn (2007) and was highly commended at the HSJ Awards (2007 and 2012) and NAPC (2009).

Shikha has worked at local, regional and national level with a range of NHS bodies, including the DH and formerly the SHA and PCTs. She is regularly asked to share her urgent care experience and has been an advisor to a number of clinical commissioning groups.

Shikha, with her husband Dr Sanjay Pitalia, is the co-founder of SSP Health. SSP Health is the largest GP services provider in the North West with over 40 practices caring for around 130,000 patients. SSP Health has an impressive track record of high performance and excellence in delivery of primary care services and premises development and attributes its continued success to excellent systems and processes plus the early adoption of innovative ideas in the provision of healthcare.

John Leach – Non-Executive Director

John Leach Jul13John founded the Winning Pitch consultancy in 2006, with a mission to help start-ups, SMEs and larger companies to create value from innovation. He specialises in developing high growth businesses and unlocking the potential of new ideas.

A chemistry graduate from the University of Manchester, John began his career in technology research before moving into the consultancy sector and developing a series of tools and techniques to boost business growth. Winning Pitch operates from five offices across the UK, and has also identified new international markets for its enterprise advisory services.

John is the author of two successful books – ‘Pitch Perfect’, a guide to strategic and ethical selling and ‘Success Factor’ which focuses on the psychology of entrepreneurship.

A visiting lecturer in entrepreneurship at the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University’s Centre for Enterprise and Lancaster University, John is also a regular blogger and speaker on business growth and innovation:

Paul WillanPaul Willan – Non-Executive Director

Paul gained his law degree at Liverpool University and qualified as a solicitor in 1980. He worked for a number of North West firms before founding his own practice in 1989. He joined Linder Myers in 2004 following the merger of his firm, Willan Bootland. Paul has also been managing agent of Greg’s Properties Limited since 2004 and Roveglio Limited since 2003.

A partner in the Corporate Commercial Department, his expertise includes company takeovers and mergers, joint ventures, corporate finance, patent licensing and intellectual property, contract negotiation, tax and commercial conveyancing.

His previous commercial appointments include being a member of the Residential Investor’s Committee of the British Property Federation (BPF) and a Director of Tysons (Contractors) Plc, Spath Holme Limited and Globe Equities Limited. He is the former chairman of the BPF Working Party and was Secretary to Powerbeam Technologies Ltd (a joint venture with the Atomic Energy Authority).

Born in Italy, Paul is a Cavaliere al ordine del merito della Republica Italiana (the equivalent of a Knighthood).

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