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Our Leadership Team

Dr Tony Romero - Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Romero graduated as a Doctor of Medicine in Spain and went on to complete his psychiatric training within the NHS North London rotations. In 2002, he became Director of Psychiatric Services for NHP Plc. In 2004, Dr. Romero co-founded Cambian Group, which went on to become one of the largest independent healthcare providers in the U.K.

As Group Clinical Director he created Cambian’s unique model of care ‘Active Care’ which was key to Cambian’s success. He was assigned Managing Director responsibility for the adult division, before leading a management buyout from Cambian Group Plc to UHS in 2016 and becoming CEO of Cambian Adult Services. In November 2017 Dr Romero was appointed CEO of Cygnet Health Care.

Mark Ground - Chief Financial Officer

Mark is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW) and comes from a strong professional background. Having graduated from Exeter University, he spent eight years with Arthur Andersen, in both the Audit and Advisory and Consulting divisions. He moved on to Whitehead Mann Group Plc for six years, where he held the position of Group Finance Director and Company Secretary.

Mark joined Cygnet Health Care as Chief Financial Officer in December 2008. He is a statutory director and is primarily responsible for the Finance and Procurement departments. In his spare time Mark is a keen sportsman and enjoys spending time with his family.

Mike McQuaid – Chief Operating Officer

Mike joined Cygnet following the purchase of the Cambian Adult Services portfolio by UHS in December 2016. Mike is responsible for the operational performance and quality of the Cygnet services. Mike was a founding team member of the Cambian Group and was appointed it’s Chief Operating Officer following the Group’s formation in 2004. He was responsible for overseeing operations and governance, with principal responsibility for regulatory and risk management, as well as overall responsibility for the Specialist Adult Services segment.

In 2014 Mike moved to oversee and help rebuild the then recently acquired children’s services, before returning in late 2015 to the adult Division ahead of its sale. Prior to Cambian’s formation, he had been employed by NHP plc from 2001 to 2004 where he was Director of Central Services. Mike began his career at Barclays plc as a graduate trainee in 1979 where he held a broad range of mainly international managerial positions over a 23 year period.

Lee Hammon - Chief Commercial Officer

Lee joined Cygnet Health Care on the graduate programme after gaining a 1st class honours in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge in 2000. His first substantive role was in 2001 where he was a General Manager for the St Andrew’s/Cygnet joint venture.

Since then, he has moved on to commission and operationally manage hospitals at Hospital Manager and Regional Director level, prior to his appointment as Managing Director (South) in November 2008. During this time, he was responsible for a number of hospital ‘turn-arounds’. He is currently the Chief Commercial Officer, responsible for managing the company’s vast array of NHS and Local Authority relationships, as well as identifying opportunities for business development and growth.

Outside of work, Lee is a keen footballer and has indeed helped Cygnet Hospital Beckton to win the company’s heavily-contested football tournament five times in total.

David Wilmott - Director of Nursing

A Registered Nurse for more than 20 years, David has worked across a number of services including acute and mental health. David has experience of commissioning services from within the NHS, which gives him insight into the things that really matter to our service users and clients. David is keen to work closely with Commissioners to build productive relationships that will provide the foundation to excellent outcomes for those in our care.

David has a passion for Nursing Leadership, involving patients and residents in the improvement of services, and for patient safety. David is also Cygnet’s Mental Health (Use of Force) Act Responsible Person.

Dr. Johannes (Jon) Van Niekerk - Group Clinical Director

Jon has been a medical manager and Consultant Psychiatrist within the NHS and the Independent sector.

Jon graduated from the University of Pretoria in South Africa. He completed his higher specialist psychiatry training in Manchester. Jon was part of the first cohort of Medical Leadership Trainees in the North West Deanery and completed the NHS Graduate Management scheme alongside his higher specialist training. He was a founding member of the Manchester Psychiatry Society and the past national Chair of the Royal College’s Psychiatry Training Committee.

Jon’s main research interests include medical education, leadership development, service improvement and change management within healthcare settings and he has published in the areas of medical leadership, recruitment and training of psychiatrists.

In his spare time Jon likes to explore new places, go hiking and is a PADI approved Scuba diver.

Jenny Gibson - HR Director

Jenny began her career in HR in the railway industry, subsequently taking on a variety of HR roles, and building a keen interest in employment law. Moving into healthcare in 2005 with Cambian, Jenny was initially the sole HR person in the group. She was able to put into place systems and processes to support the business and grow the team.

As Cygnet's HR Director Jenny has the responsibility and privilege of managing a great group of people who look after resourcing, learning and development, HR operations and projects. In her spare time Jenny loves exploring new places and enjoys skiing and other outdoor activities.

Justin De Vally - Chief Information Officer

Prior to joining Cygnet, Justin was the Director of IT for Elysium Healthcare and Partnerships in Care. Justin was previously Technical Director for many years at a technology provider to enterprise which included Healthcare among many sectors and a vast array of technologies.

Justin is responsible for all Information Technology and Information Management across Cygnet's services. His focus is on integrating all of the ICT systems across the group and identifying further improvements that can be made. The aim is to ensure that colleagues are able to focus their energy on ensuring our service users receive the best possible care, and that our systems empower them to do this.

Outside of work Justin enjoys going to the gym, playing the violin and also has an interest in classic cars.

Vicky McNally - Director of Compliance

Vicky graduated in Law and worked in retail management before joining Cygnet Health Care in 1995 as a management trainee. In 1996 Vicky was appointed Hospital Director and was promoted to Regional Director in 2001. Vicky was then appointed Corporate Governance Director in 2008.

Vicky is responsible for monitoring performance and standards across the group to ensure required standards are achieved and exceeded. Vicky manages the Corporate Governance Team who work closely with units to identify risks to quality of care as well as sharing best practice in order to drive continuous improvement.

Vicky is an elected Board Member of the national Mental Health Network of the NHS Confederation. Vicky enjoys watching her sons play rugby and spends most weekends supporting from the side line.

Samantha Dunlop - Director of Risk Management

Samantha graduated with an MA in Art History from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and moved to London soon after. She has worked in the field of assurance, compliance, and safety for many years chiefly within healthcare and latterly in the housing sector.

Her two decades long interest in quality and safety began when she was employed by the CQC. She has since worked in various related roles at Camden Primary Care Trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. This experience stood her in good stead when she was approached to design and lead on the implementation of a wide-ranging 360 degree quality and safety audit of all of the properties within the Care and Support portfolio for a G15 housing association.

In June of 2017 the tragic events at Grenfell Tower unfolded, and with those came the realisation that even closer attention was required in the field of compliance in housing. Samantha then supported with the expansion and a restructure of the property compliance function and took over the responsibility for its operational delivery. In addition she led a team responsible for auditing and monitoring compliance performance and worked to embed a robust assurance framework.

In her spare time Samantha enjoys fine art, long walks with her two dogs, and spending time with her family.

Lucy Scarborough - Director of Communications

Lucy’s background in Communications has seen her undertake roles across public, private and charity sectors. As a trained journalist she has worked with the police to provide strategic media support on criminal investigations, appeals and unsolved crimes, as well as promoting crime prevention initiatives through PR and marketing.

More recently she headed up communications for the NSPCC and ChildLine in the North of England, delivering public awareness and education campaigns. She particularly enjoys working with service users to tell their stories and supporting staff through effective internal communications.

Immediately before joining Cygnet Lucy worked with NHS England to deliver stakeholder communications and events across primary care services.

Outside work Lucy loves spending time with her two young children. In a former life she was a dance teacher and occasionally still enjoys a night out at the ballet.

Pam Wenger - Board Secretary

Pam joined Cygnet at the end of December 2021 as Board Secretary. This is a new role for Cygnet, which will provide advice, support and development of the Board. Pam will work alongside members of the Executive Management Team, reporting into Cygnet’s CEO and our parent company UHS.

In her last role Pam was the Director of Corporate Governance for Swansea Bay University Health Board and was Chair of the NHS Wales Board Secretary Peer Group. Pam has held a range of positions in health boards across Wales.

Pam is a qualified Governance Professional with extensive health service board and corporate governance leadership experience having spent the last 28 years working in the NHS. Pam has implemented governance frameworks and significantly improved governance to be well recognised by the Regulators.

Pam is passionate about people development. As a coach and mentor she has supported and developed many colleagues over the years to enable them to be the best they can be.

Nick Ruffley - Managing Director, Healthcare Division North

Nick began his healthcare career as a porter in the 1980s before commencing nurse training, qualifying as a RMN in 1988.

Nick worked for 15 years in general adult and secure mental health services in the NHS progressing from staff nurse to general manager of mental health services.

Since 2003 Nick has continued to broaden his clinical and leadership experience in a variety of settings. He has managed and developed secure mental health and learning disability services, specialist autism services across a care pathway and mental health and learning disability rehabillitation services.

Nick was appointed Managing Director of our Healthcare Division in October 2018.

Peter Smith - Managing Director, Healthcare Division South

Peter joined Cygnet in June 2016 as Operations Improvement Director supporting the development and improvement of the quality and operational teams to ensure the delivery of our strategic goals across the company.

Peter has worked both nationally and internationally with 20 years’ experience in independent healthcare. Peter trained and worked as a nurse in New Zealand before coming to England in 1991 and held a number of managerial posts in the NHS before joining the independent sector in 1998.

Peter graduated from Kingston University with a BSc (Hons) in Health Studies in 1996 and an MBA in 2003 where he was awarded the Glaxo Smithkline Prize for best healthcare dissertation.

He has a broad experience both managerially and clinically holding various posts including Hospital Director, Director of Nursing and Operations Director across his career to date.

Dr Salim Matta - Regional Medical Director, North Region

Before studying medicine Salim completed an honours degree in Chemistry, following which he worked in research which led to publications. He then attended medical school and graduated as a medical doctor in 2004 having trained in the Caribbean, New York and London.

Salim is a specialist in General Adult and Addictions Psychiatry. He initially joined Cambian in March 2017 as a Consultant Psychiatrist. In May 2018 he became Cygnet's Regional Medical Director for the North. Prior to working for Cygnet Group, he worked in the NHS for over 10 years.

In his spare time Salim is a keen published photographer, traveller and amateur track racer.

Dr Naresh Rasquinha - Regional Medical Director, Midlands Region

Dr Rasquinha completed his Higher Psychiatric training at South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and he also trained at the National Psychosis Service, the National Adult ADHD Service and the National Addictions Service at the Maudsley Hospital.

He has extensive experience of working as a Consultant Psychiatrist in a wide variety of settings including medium secure, low secure, rehabilitation, PICU and Acute wards. He has published in high impact peer reviewed journals and has presented at national and international conferences. He is passionate about quality improvement and has actively led service improvement initiatives. He has a special interest in Mental Health Law and has completed a Diploma in Mental Health Law.

Dr Rasquinha joined us in 2018 as Medical Director for Cygnet Hospital Maidstone before being appointed Regional Medical Director for the Midlands region in 2020.

Dr Arokia Antonysamy - Regional Medical Director, South Region

Dr Arokia Antonysamy (Samy) has trained in adult psychiatry, addictions and perinatal psychiatry and has a range of clinical and senior leadership experience in NHS Trusts, Ministry of Defence and the Independent sector. She completed her Master’s degree in leadership and public health at Manchester Business School in 2010 and has been involved in a number of local and national projects.

Samy is the Clinical Lead for Mental Health at the National NHS Benchmarking Network. She won the Rethink academic prize for her research project in 2008 at Manchester. She is the recipient of the ‘Innovator award’ in 2010 for developing the MaZon tool to help monitor patients in hospital and community. Her team’s efforts in improving patient outcomes received national recognition when their approach was broadcasted on the BBC in 2014. Samy was also involved in the development of a quality improvement toolkit for mental health, launched at the House of Commons in 2016.

Samy’s main interests include leadership, improving patient experience and quality of care and building positive relationships. She enjoys travel, exploring different cultures and cuisines with her husband and daughters.