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About Our Governing Body

NHS Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group’s Governing Body is chaired by Dr Steven Cleasby and Dr Majid Azeb is the Clinical Vice Chair.  Neil Smurthwaite is the Chief Finance Officer and Deputy Chief Officer.

The Governing Body has 15 members including GPs, secondary care specialist, registered nurse and lay member for patient and public involvement. It also has two non-voting members who are the Director of Public Health and the Director of Adults and Wellbeing at Calderdale Council.



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Robin Tuddenham, Accountable Officer


Robin took up the role of Accountable Officer in October 2020. He undertakes this role jointly with the post of Chief Executive at Calderdale Council, which he has held since June 2017. He is responsible for leading the CCG and Council’s workforce, and supporting system leadership in the place with public, private and voluntary sector leaders in support of our Vision 2024. He is responsible for the statutory duties associated with both roles. 

Robin is co-chair of the West Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum and joint Senior Responsible Officer for the Improving Population Health programme leading work to reduce health inequalities for the West Yorkshire Integrated Commissioning System. He is a member of the Expert Reference Group for the Independent Review Panel developing the future of drug treatment in the UK chaired by Professor Dame Carol Black, and the UK Prevention Research Partnership. 

Robin has worked in public services for over thirty years, in the voluntary sector, the Probation Service, and local government in London before moving to Yorkshire in 2010. Robin has Masters Degrees in Social Work (with distinction) from University of East Anglia, and Management from the University of Birmingham. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Trustee of the Lankelly Chase Foundation. He is a keen runner and hiker, preferably in the hills and mountains, usually with his black Labrador.

Dr Steven Cleasby, Chair of CCG

Steven has been a GP in Calderdale since 1999, when he started at Spring Hall Group Practice. His specialist area is Diabetes and also has a keen interest in medicines management. He has held a clinical leadership role in Calderdale since 2002 as the prescribing lead for the Primary Care Trust and joined Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group in 2007 as part of practice based commissioning where he was Chair. Steven went on to hold the position of Vice Clinical Chair at the CCG from 2013 until being elected as the Chair of the CCG from 1 May 2018.

Steven is currently a member of the CCG’s Remuneration Committee and Commissioning Primary Medical Services Committee and is Governing Body lead for Safeguarding, Cardiovascular Disease and the Voluntary Sector. He is also the Caldicott Guardian.

Steven is also Vice Chair of Calderdale’s Health and Wellbeing Board and chairs the Integrated Commissioning Executive of the Local Authority and the CCG. He is keen to develop the prevention agenda alongside Public Health, as well as see innovation in primary care. He lives in Calderdale with his family.

Neil Smurthwaite, Chief Finance Officer, Deputy Chief Officer

Neil Smurthwaite joined the CCG having previously been Chief Financial Officer with Airedale Wharfedale and Craven CCG.

He is a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and has worked in finance for more than 20 years, joining the NHS seven years ago.  Previously, he was a Director of Finance in social housing and worked for over eight years as a senior client manager in a top 10 accountancy firm in Leeds which specialised in public sector audit and consultancy.

Neil has lived in Calderdale for over 10 years and considers it his adopted home after moving from the south coast many years ago. He is married with three children and two dogs. After many years of being a slave to rugby, Neil has now turned his hand to running and gardening, in between being his kids’ taxi driver!

Neil is active in his local community as a school governor at his local primary school and as a head coach for a local junior rugby team. Amongst all this he is active in triathlons and encourages a number of CCG colleagues to participate in the NHS Fun TRI.


John Mallalieu, Lay Member (Finance and Performance)

John joined the CCG having been a Non-Executive Director of Calderdale Primary Care Trust from 2009 and is a Lay Member on the Governing Body.

John is currently the Chief Executive of the Bank Workers Charity, a benevolent society which exists to support the health and wellbeing of the banking community.

John has extensive experience in public, private and social enterprise organisations. He was the Managing Director of Turning Point, one of the Country’s leading social enterprises, and held senior roles in both NHS Professionals and NHS Direct, moving into healthcare following a successful periods in Senior Management Roles with Dixons Stores Group International and in Retail Financial Services. He also holds Trustee roles for a national conservation charity and a North-West Housing Association.

John is a member of the Finance and Performance, Audit and Remuneration Committees. He is also the Chair of the Commissioning Primary Medical Services Committee.

Dr Caroline Taylor, Clinical Vice Chair of the Governing Body

Caroline graduated from Leeds Medical School in 1992, underwent GP training in York and Otley, and has held a variety of hospital and GP jobs, including working at Overgate Hospice for two years.

Caroline has been a GP in Calderdale since 1999 when she started working at her current practice, Beechwood Medical Centre. She has always had a keen interest in mental health, and is the CCG’s clinical lead for mental health and children as well as being a member of the Quality Committee. She believes strongly that a key part of her role is to support individuals and communities to maximise their emotional and physical wellbeing and specifically works towards this integrated system approach as the co-chair of the North Halifax Community Wellbeing Partnership and a faculty member of the National Association of Primary Care.

Caroline promotes the importance of a healthy lifestyle in maintaining good emotional and physical health and her favourite way to unwind is walking, running and cycling in our beautiful Calderdale countryside.

Dr Farrukh Javid, GP Member of the Governing Body

Farrukh completed his GP training in Calderdale and Huddersfield before working in various practices across the region as a sessional GP, which gave him an understanding of local services and demographics, before taking up a partnership role at Rastrick Health Centre.

Before qualifying as a GP, Farrukh undertook a Leadership fellowship during which he was involved in the development of a psychiatric liaison service in conjunction with South West Yorkshire Partnership Foundation Trust, Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust and the CCG. He also helped to develop content for the “Ignaz” smartphone app, which allows doctors to easily access local clinical guidelines and information.

Farrukh has recently completed an MSc in Healthcare Leadership with the NHS Leadership Academy, and in his spare time likes to stay active and enjoys playing football, badminton and running.

Dr James Gray, GP Member of the Governing Body

James qualified from Leeds Medical School in 2008 and completed his GP training in the Pennine VTS training scheme in 2013. He also holds a BSC in Physiology.

He is a GP and partner at Bankfield Surgery in Elland. He has previously worked as a locum at multiple local practices in Calderdale and Huddersfield. James is passionate about people and business and is always seeking new and innovative ways of working to help optimise the best care for the local community.

For a number of years James was also a volunteer Bishop, where he oversaw marriages, funerals, baptisms and Sunday meetings. He now volunteers in his local hospice and oversees a local youth group. James is married with four children and in his spare time he enjoys watching films with his family, and regularly attending his local gym. He enjoys watching and participating in all sports, his favourite being football. He continues to be a lifelong supporter of Sheffield Wednesday.

Dr Rob Atkinson, Secondary Care specialist

Rob studied medicine at the University of Leicester, before qualifying in 1996. He is currently a Consultant Gastrointestinologist at Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and the Clinical Director for Acute, Specialist and Emergency Medicine, with responsibility for clinical strategy, quality and governance.

He joined the Governing Body for NHS Calderdale CCG in July 2017 as our Secondary Care Specialist and also sits on the Commissioning Primary Medical Services Committee.

Away from work, Rob is married with three children and enjoys cooking, tennis, bridge and walking.

Dr Robert McSherry, Registered Nurse

Rob’s enthusiasm, motivation and passion for the nursing profession is unwavering, with over thirty years’ experience he continues to support and facilitate teams in the quest for excellence in practice.

In December 2010 Rob was awarded a Fellowship to the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery from the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland, for his significant contributions to nursing/patient safety and the Higher Education Academy, National Teaching Fellowship (NTF) 2011 in recognition of his excellence in learning and teaching.

Rob is Professor (Emeritus) of Nursing and Practice Development, School of Health and Social Care, Teesside University, Middlesbrough and visiting Professor with Narh-Bita College, Ghana. He was previously adjunct professor University of Tasmania in Australia, visiting professor with Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran, and clinical associate professor with the Australian Catholic University, in Brisbane, Australia.

Penny Woodhead, Chief Quality and Nursing Officer

Penny has worked in the NHS for 30 years, trained as a general nurse in a London teaching hospital specialising in oncology and palliative care, and has clinical and management experience across tertiary, secondary, primary care and the voluntary sector.

Penny has been involved in clinical governance since 1998 at service and organisational level, and she holds the role of Chief  Quality and Nursing Officer in the CCG.  Penny is responsible for making sure that the services that are commissioned are of a high standard.  This includes patient safety, safeguarding, clinical effectiveness and patient experience.

Penny is also the organisational lead for Patient and Public Engagement and Equality and Diversity, and is a member of the Quality Committee. Penny represents the CCGs on the Local Safeguarding Children and Adult Boards.

Alison MacDonald, Lay Member, Patient and Public Involvement

Alison MacDonald, lay member, CCG Governing BodyAlison is our lay member with responsibility for Patient & Public Involvement. She has lived in Calderdale for 23 years and has a successful career in credit management. She has also spent the last several years as a volunteer for the local branch of the Calderdale National Autistic Society.

Over the last ten years she has been a supportive advocate of numerous family members, with various conditions. She brings to the Governing Body a wealth of experience of being a patient, parent & carer.

Alison has spent the last several years working with numerous organisations to help improve services for those with autism and mental health conditions and she is looking forward to broadening this experience to help others in Calderdale.

She is passionate about ensuring the voice of the patient is heard and that we actively consider patient & public opinion in the services we commission.

Denise Cheng-Carter, Lay Advisor

Denise joined Calderdale CCG as lay advisor in December 2019.

She is a qualified accountant (FCCA) and is currently the Deputy Principal, Finance & Resources at Calderdale College.

Her wealth of experience extends from statutory audit, financial due diligence, strategic planning, project management, change management, human resource management, corporate governance, and risk management.

She initially worked as an auditor in accountancy practices, then joined the manufacturing sector and has worked in the education sector for the past 20 years. She is also a Foundation Governor at a local high school.

Denise is married, has a daughter and in her leisure time likes to keep fit and socialise with her family and friends.



Professor Peter Roberts, Lay Member and Chair of the Audit Committee

Professor Peter Roberts - lay member, Governing BodyProfessor Peter Roberts joined the CCG in December 2019 as Lay Member with responsibility for audit, compliance and conflicts of interest. He is chair of the Audit Committee and also contributes to a number of other key strands of activity, including sustainable development and governance.   He is also the CCG Freedom to Speak-Up Guardian,

His interests in health and social care reflect his previous experience with the Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust (as a board member) and his current role as co-chair of the NHS Confederation’s Sustainable Development Group. Peter is also involved in various other activities including the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (Chair), Change Housing (Chair of Audit and Risk) and the University of Leeds (Professor Emeritus of Sustainable Spatial Development).

Peter has also researched and published on topics associated with planning, housing, health and social care, regeneration and environment. He lives near Huddersfield and is involved locally as a trustee of Kirkwood Hospice. In his leisure time he enjoys hillwalking, classical music, restoring classic cars and watching Liverpool Football Club continue on its path of glory!

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