Board of Directors

The role of the Board of Directors is to manage the day-to-day running of the Trust. This includes setting the strategic direction of the Trust, monitoring our performance against objectives and ensuring that we provide high quality, effective, patient focused services.

The Board of Directors is comprised of the following people:

  • Chairman
  • Chief Executive*
  • Five Non-Executive Directors
  • Deputy Chief Executive/Director of Finance and Performance*
  • Director of Nursing and Quality*
  • Medical Director*
  • Director of Workforce*

(*Executive Directors)


Pearse Butler was appointed Chairman in June 2018, having previously served as the Chairman of University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust.

Pearse has had an extensive NHS Management career, including having been Chief Executive at both the Royal Liverpool Hospital and the Cumbria & Lancashire Strategic Health Authority. Subsequently, he worked for a major US IT company for over eight years.

Chief Executive

Wendy Swift was appointed Director of Strategy/Deputy Chief Executive in December 2013, prior to which she was the Managing Director for Community Development and Transformation (from November 2011). She was previously Chief Executive of NHS Blackpool, a position she held since the Primary Care Trust was established in 2002. She has worked within the healthcare service for 38 years and has experience in a wide variety of settings within the NHS. Wendy was appointed Chief Executive (Interim) at the Trust in February 2016 and was appointed to the substantive post in June 2017.

Non-Executive Directors

Non-Executive Directors (including the Chairman) are not full time NHS employees. They are people who live or work in the local area and have shown a keen interest in helping to improve healthcare for local people. Their presence on the Board helps to ensure that the Trust works in the best interests of the people it serves.

Non Executive Director

Mark Cullinan is the former Chief Executive of Lancaster City Council.  He has more than 40 years of experience working in the public sector with 16 years as Chief Executive at Lancaster from the year 2000 and immediately prior to this as Director of Social Services with the City of Wakefield Metropolitan Council.  He has extensive experience of multi-agency partnership working at a strategic level and is also currently the Deputy Chair of the Board of Trustees at St. Johns Hospice, Lancaster.

Non-Executive Director

Steve Finnigan was a police officer for 41 years until his retirement in June 2017.  He served in Merseyside Police for almost 25 years before joining Lancashire Constabulary in 2001 as a Chief Officer.  In 2005 he was appointed as Chief Constable and worked hard over the next 12 years to encourage greater collaboration with partner agencies in the county, including with colleagues in Health and Social Care.  From 2009 he led for the police service on performance, encouraging a better understanding of the demands and needs each police force faced, and a clear focus on risk, threat, harm and vulnerability, rather than just chasing targets.  Whilst he dealt with many notable events during his time as a Chief Officer, such as the Burnley riots in 2001 and the Morecambe Bay cockle pickers tragedy in 2004, his most challenging period was over the last 9 years as he led Lancashire Constabulary through austerity, whilst trying to uphold high quality policing services.


Non-Executive Director

Michael Hearty is a highly experienced, professionally qualified, senior manager with extensive experience of strategic and operational leadership in two large and complex UK Government Departments; the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Education, the latter at Board level. 

More recently Michael spent five years on the Board of the Welsh Government, the executive arm of the devolved government in Wales, where he provided strategic advice, challenge and support directly to the First Minister for Wales and the Welsh Finance Minister on a wide range of strategic, finance and corporate matters.

Michael is widely respected for his integrity, strategic insight and pragmatism with particular strengths in transformational change, leadership development and partnership working.

He is also an experienced Non-Executive Director and has advised a number of high profile organisations such as the Department of Health and Public Health England, as well as the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) where he is currently a member of the Council. 

Non-Executive Director

Keith Case has over forty years’ experience in the nuclear and utilities sectors, much of it at senior manager and director level.  After graduating with a degree in chemical engineering, Keith qualified and worked as a chartered engineer before progressing to work in commercial roles for companies including British Nuclear Fuels, National Grid, Southern Water and Sellafield. 

Keith brings experience of business leadership and change management in large organisations as well as specific competences in procurement/supply chain management and negotiating solutions to complex situations between organisations in both public and private sectors.

Non-Executive Director

Mary Whyham is an experienced Board member both in the NHS and the voluntary sector, retiring  as Chair of the North West Ambulance Service in 2014 after over 8 years’ service.  Mary was born and educated in Blackpool.  She worked for the Lancashire Probation Service for almost 34 years, retiring as Assistant Chief Officer with responsibility for HR.  She was appointed MBE in 2001 for services to the probation service and the community in Lancashire.  Mary is currently a Trustee and Vice Chair of Parkinson's UK and a Governor of Singleton School.

Deputy Chief Executive/Director of Finance and Performance

Tim Bennett joined the Trust as Director of Finance and Performance in November 2013. Before this he was Director of Finance and Deputy Chief Executive at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust following previous Director appointments in a Primary Care Trust and a large Health Authority.

A qualified accountant with an MBA from the Lancaster University he has developed and implemented large scale transformation and improvement projects in the NHS and led the process for gaining Foundation Trust status within an acute Trust.

A former chair of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (North West) and chair of the student conference of the Finance Skills Development association he takes a keen interest in developing the careers of those around him. He is also a non-executive board member of a local cancer charity.

Director of Workforce

Currently Vacant

Medical Director

Professor Mark O'Donnell has more than 30 years experience in medicine and has worked as a consultant at Blackpool Victoria Hospital for 18 years – 13 years as a Consultant Geriatrician and five years as a Consultant Stroke Physician. Mark is also the Trust's Caldicott Guardian.

Director of Nursing and Quality

Marie Thompson (RN,BSc Hons, MSC, PGCE)  joined  the Trust in February 2009. Marie has over 25 years’ Nursing and Senior leadership experience in the NHS covering Acute, Community and Higher Education.  She is passionate about providing high standards of care and has an excellent track record in improving professional standards and quality.