Meet the Team

Jenny McVinnie - Hospital Manager

Jenny graduated as a Registered Mental Health nurse from Manchester University in 1997 with a Bachelor of Nursing degree. She has worked primarily in secure services within both the NHS and the independent sector.

Jenny has enjoyed undertaking a number of challenging roles which have provided her with a wide range of experience in both operational and clinical leadership. This includes working as the Assistant Director for In-Patients and Urgent Care and secure services within Greater Manchester West NHS Trust, during which time she completed a MSc in Nursing Studies, also at Manchester University. She has also spent time working as a Matron where she enjoyed working closely with service users to help aid their recovery. Jenny was appointed Hospital Manager of Cygnet Hospital Bierley in September 2014 and is also the Registered Manager of the hospital.

Laura McDonagh - Clinical Manager

Laura qualified as a mental health nurse from the University of Strathclyde in 2000. She has extensive clinical and operational experience within mental health services in the NHS and has previously worked across secure services and the criminal justice system in liaison and diversion. Most recently, she was employed as a service manager for liaison psychiatry, perinatal mental health and integrated care in West London.

Laura gained an MSc in Forensic Mental Health in 2012 and is currently studying for an MSc in Healthcare Leadership. She joined Cygnet in July 2016.

Rachael Waddington - General Manager

Rachael comes from an IT related background. She achieved a Batchelor of Science degree in Business Information technology and spent 10 years working as a Web Developer. She went on to run her own business within the food industry for over 5 years. Rachael’s management experience commenced within the banking sector at Barclays, moving into facilities management, then service management within the NHS at Leeds General Infirmary.

Her roles have been challenging at times, and this has given her experience and knowledge of creating happy, valued and productive teams. Rachael is hoping to streamline processes and procedures and introduce new initiatives to maintain the smooth running and development of maintenance, catering, housekeeping and administration within Cygnet Hospital Bierley.

Dr Robert F Kehoe – Medical Director

Dr Kehoe trained in medicine at the University of Leeds and in psychiatry at the University of Edinburgh where he completed an MPhil thesis on lithium monitoring. He was appointed as a Consultant Psychiatrist at Airedale General Hospital, West Yorkshire in 1993 and had responsibilities in clinical audit, clinical governance and became the Trust Associate Medical Director.

Dr Kehoe has worked at Cygnet Health Care since 2002 at Wyke, Brighouse and Bierley. He is the Medical Director for the West Yorkshire Cygnet Hospitals and is Responsible Officer for Cygnet Health Care and Cygnet Hospitals, overseeing the re-validation and regulation of doctors within Cygnet Health Care across the country. He also has a GMC appointment as a Suitable Person.

He has published more than 20 peer-reviewed papers and chapters on lithium, health service development, clinical governance and clinical audit. He has worked on a variety of Royal College of Psychiatrists committees.

Dr Kehoe has worked in low secure psychiatric settings and locked rehabilitation for the last 15 years. He also has a medico-legal practice for civil and criminal matters and has acted as an expert witness in a number of high profile cases.

Sam Barrow - Clinical Quality and Compliance Lead

Sam qualified as a nurse in 2004, and started her career with Greater Manchester West NHS Foundation Trust, at the Meadowbrook Unit in Salford, for clients requiring acute admissions and PICU. In 2007 Sam gained promotion with The Priory Group as a Senior Nurse in their Eating Disorders Unit at Bury, where after 6 months she was promoted to Acting Unit Manager and then Unit Manager. In 2011 when services in Bury changed Sam became the Unit Manager of the Male service for Challenging Behaviours.

Sam joined Cygnet from the Priory Group in December 2013 as the Ward Manager for Denholme Ward female PICU. Sam has a keen interest in patient involvement and recovery focused models of care.

Carmel Myles-Pollard - Bronte Ward Manager

Carmel qualified as a nurse in 2006; prior to doing her nurse training she worked as a Senior Project Worker for clients with learning disabilities. Carmel initially joined Cygnet Lodge Brighouse in 2006 where she was promoted to Charge Nurse after three years. She later transferred to Cygnet Hospital Wyke to work on Bronte Ward. When Bronte moved to Cygnet Hospital Bierley, Carmel moved to! Carmel was promoted to Ward Manager in 2013. She has an interest in Recovery and has a BSc in Psycho-Social Intervention from Leeds Met.

Carmel is passionate about training and involvement; she has been combining these interests on the ward and has developed ‘Ward Based’ workshops which have different topics related to mental health issues. Service users and staff attend these training sessions together. The long term plan is for service users to co-facilitate these sessions with staff.

Dr Kelly Elsegood - Head of Psychology

Kelly is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist, Cognitive-Analytic Therapy Practitioner and Dialectical Behaviour Therapist. She has also completed advanced post-graduate training in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and in 2012 she was awarded the “Prize for Excellence in CBT” from the University of Otago.

Kelly gained a BA (Hons) degree in Psychology from the University of Newcastle and a Doctorate of Clinical Psychology from the University of Liverpool. Since qualifying, Kelly has worked across a range of clinical settings including young people’s mental health services, adult mental health services and addiction services in the UK, New Zealand and Australia.

Kelly has extensive training and experience in delivering evidence-based psychological therapies. She has experience of achieving positive clinical outcomes with people presenting with severe and complex mental health problems and has presented these at international conferences. She is passionate about evaluating outcomes and using psychological formulation to inform a person’s care.

Ben Ramsey - Healthcare Support Worker & SRG Lead

Ben has worked with Cygnet Health care since 2005, as a Health Care Support Worker and also as Bierley's first Activity Coordinator. He has worked across all four wards during his employment and currently is a member of the team on Shelley ward, our low secure ward for men.

Ben has been the Staff Representative Group chair since 2014 and thoroughly enjoys the role. He particularly likes that the role involves working across all wards and teams and he aims to help staff where he can. Ben enjoys working with a range of different people and often plays a role in welcoming new members of the team to the ward and supporting our new staff in their induction.

Andy Clements - Activities Coordinator & SRG Deputy Lead

Andy joined the company in 2009 and worked as a Healthcare support worker for two years before joining the Therapy team as an Activities Coordinator. He has worked across all wards and is currently based on Bronte ward. Andy became the staff representative for the Therapy department in 2014 and later took the role of 'SRG Deputy Lead' in order to support Ben Ramsey (SRG Lead).

Brian English - Maintenance Manager

Following serving in the Army, Brian joined Cygnet in 2005 as a Maintenance Assistant. He has since worked his way up to his current position. In his time Brian has worked at a number of other Cygnet units, these include Wyke, Brighouse, Harrogate, Derby, Stevenage and Kewstoke giving him a wide range of knowledge relating to our services.

Brian is also our Health and Safety Lead and Fire Officer at the hospital. Brian holds a number of qualifications in maintenance and other areas of the building trade and is keen to develop his team as well as creating a safe well maintained environment, that is appealing to patients, carers and staff alike.

Stephen Dunwell - Head Chef

Stephen has worked in catering for almost twenty years, the last fifteen of which have been in the healthcare sector. Stephen is qualified in Diabetic cookery and to Level 4 in hygiene management.

Stephen is highly motivated and leads the catering team which provides well balanced and nutritious meals to all the hospital's clientele.