Meet the Team

Richard Clark - Hospital Manager

Richard has almost twenty years’ experience of working in mental health services. Originally starting as an Occupational Therapist, Richard joined St Andrew’s Healthcare in 1997. Richard subsequently worked his way up through a number of positions including ward manager, clinical services manager and hospital director. Most recently he has been the Service Director and Registered Manager of St Andrew’s Women’s Mental Pathway. Richard was appointed Hospital Manager of Cygnet Hospital Coventry in January 2016.

Paul Tennant - Clinical Manager

Prior to qualifying as a nurse in 2005 at De Montfort University in Leicester Paul worked as a health care support worker within the learning disability trust. Since gaining his nursing qualification Paul initially worked as a staff nurse in a psychiatric intensive care unit. Paul went on to work in the private sector and has worked in a number of low and medium secure services as a clinical team leader, charge nurse and ward manager, including the Alvaston service at Cygnet Hospital Derby.

Paul is very driven to support his team to deliver high quality nursing care to all service users and to enable them to make a speedy recovery. Paul is very keen on supporting staff on the ward to develop in their chosen career path and is an advocate for professional development.

Dr Kajal Patel - Medical Director

Dr Patel has extensive experience working in forensic psychiatry managing patients throughout their care pathway from high security, through medium security to rehabilitation wards, and in the community in both hostel and independent settings. She joined the Cygnet Hospital Coventry team from Priory where she held the position of Medical Director.

Dr Patel has a strong academic background that underpins her clinical expertise and has been a Psychiatric member for the Parole Board for England and Wales for over five years. Dr Patel brings strong leadership skills and a passion for developing quality, evidence based services.

Jo McHugh - Acting Ward Manager, Ariel

Jo has had eight years of experience in the NHS working within a variety of mental health services. She began her career as a health care support worker, and after qualifying as a registered mental health nurse she went on to specialise in eating disorders. Having a particular interest in this area Jo quickly progressed into a management role.

Since joining Cygnet in January 2017 Jo has completed her DBT training and is motivated to implement and deliver this treatment on the ward. She is now looking forward to developing this innovative, unique and specialised ward which is tailored to meet individual’s needs, and work collaboratively with service user’s to empower them in their recovery.

Flair Birch - Ward Manager, Middlemarch

Flair has eight years' experience working in secure mental health services. She has worked in medium secure services with women and men; an HMP prison service and on an innovative joint project between the NHS and the Transport Police.

Flair has a strong clinical and academic background. She has a particular interest in the physical health of mental health service users and a specialist interest in risk assessment and management. Flair is recovery focused and is looking forward to developing a new service by supporting staff and service users to reach their potential.

Tracy Thomas - Administration Manager

Tracy joined the Coventry Cygnet team in July 2016. She had previously worked for the NHS for 11 years and brings to the team a wealth of experience across a range of roles within administration. Tracy will be implementing efficient working systems and practices and will be responsible for the line management of reception and the wider admin team.

Dr Jill Peters - Lead Psychologist

Dr Peters has worked in the NHS for the past 17 years. She qualified as a Chartered Clinical Psychologist jointly from the University of Warwick and Coventry University in 2004 and has worked locally in mental health services ever since.

In recent years, she has spent the majority of her time working in secure inpatient services for men and women. Dr Peters is passionate about innovation, collaborative working and evidence-based practice. One of her primary interests is trauma and she has extensive experience in this area. She is intensively DBT trained and brings her knowledge, experience and enthusiasm to leading the new women’s service in Coventry.

Maria Harris - Lead Occupational Therapist

Maria has worked in mental healthcare for the past 11 years and gained significant experience working with women within an inpatient setting. She has been involved in creating and establishing new services and developing robust Occupational Therapy (OT) pathways of care across multi-sites.

For the last 2 and a half years Maria has held the role of Lead Occupational Therapist for the Women’s Mental Health Service at St Andrew’s Healthcare, delivering and developing clear OT services for both complex mental illness and Personality Disorder across a range of security levels. She also comes to us with a wealth of experience in delivering Dialectical Behaviour Therapy.

Emily Lynott - Maintenance Manager

Prior to joining the Cygnet team in April 2017, Emily worked for the Government for 14 years in various roles including Project Management and Procurement/ Contract Management. Emily will be responsible for the overall Facilities Management of the building and have line management responsibility to Maintenance and Housekeeping Staff. Emily has developed many transferable skills whilst working for central government including organisational and budget management skills. Emily hopes to implement robust processes and procedures in order to maintain the highest standards.

Neil Jones - Head Chef

Neil has extensive experience of working in the hospitality industry, providing top quality food, both in the UK and internationally. He has spent the last 18 years providing catering services for vulnerable adults with all different types of dietary needs.

Neil prides himself in providing nutritional fresh food that must be presented well, he always says that if food looks good on a plate then the customer or patient is more likely to enjoy.