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Public governors

Our public governors represent the local constituencies of Bromley, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark and our diverse local community. They provide the Trust with a greater understanding of the issues affecting patients and visitors as well as represent our diverse local community.

Tony Benfield – Bromley

I was born in Bromley and have now lived in Orpington for over 40 years. I started my career working in book publishing and then spent over 25 years working for BT. I have post graduate qualifications in both Business Management and Finance (ACCA).

In 2011 I changed career and, with my wife, set up a home care provider looking after elderly people in their own homes within Orpington and its surrounding areas. Through my business I have regular experience of both Princess Royal University Hospital and King’s College Hospital.

I am actively involved in the local Orpington community both through my local church and as a small business owner. My business has given me a fantastic opportunity to better understand the needs of the elderly and the workings of the healthcare system.

Victoria O’Connor – Bromley

I am passionate about health and have spent more than 25 years working in healthcare roles covering market access, public relations, corporate affairs and medical communications, both in the UK and beyond. Through my professional career, I have acquired good practical knowledge of patient and service pathways and the challenges faced in healthcare provision today.

As a mum of two and a breast cancer survivor, I have broad experience of the services King’s College Hospital provides for its community and I am keen to ensure the needs of patients are very much at the centre of decision making.

Devendra Singh Banker – Bromley

I have been a Bromley resident since 2004. I qualified from India as a doctor, specialising in anaesthetics and intensive care. I am also a graduate in Law. Currently I am working as an anaesthetist in London Northwest University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Having a law degree and a medical degree gives me a unique insight into the integration of healthcare providers with patient care. I chair the British Medical Association (BMA) London south staff and associate specialist committee. I am also a member of the BMA Pensions committee.

I plan to combine my professional expertise and experience to support King’s in enhancing staff morale and providing high-quality services in a safe, compassionate environment to improve the health and wellbeing of the community.

Katie Smith – Bromley

I have lived in Bromley since 2014. King’s is a vital part of our community and has provided so many of us, myself and my family included, with essential services and support.

I am a qualified lawyer with experience working in the public sector, where my work has included commercial contracting, procurement, and governance. I have also worked in senior management positions and have formal management qualifications, including an MBA.

I will use my experience and skills to support King’s and will work to the very best of my ability to do this, adding strategic value and helping achieve outcomes for the benefit of King’s patients, staff and the wider community.

Ibtisam Adem – Lambeth

I have lived in Lambeth for 20 years. I have been an outpatient of King’s for many years and had my children at this brilliant hospital. I am from a refugee background and came to the UK in 2002.

I have an MA in Applied Anthropology and Youth and Community Work and have worked as a youth worker and family education caseworker. I currently work as a youth caseworker supporting young asylum seekers and refugees. I also manage a mentoring project coordinator supporting young people from disadvantaged backgrounds with their education. I have been elected as a Labour Party Councillor in Lambeth since May 2022.

My work has always been about working with marginalised communities to improve access to services, improve educational outcomes for children and young people including children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), and advocating for children and young people’s rights.

As a public governor, I will bring my experience of community work to represent the views of minority communities and work to ensure they are able to access all the services provided by King’s College Hospital, identify and work to solve the challenges to access and engagement with services.

Rashmi Agrawal – Lambeth

I have lived in Lambeth for over 50 years and have actively engaged and worked with many health, social care, and voluntary and community sector organisations for the past 30 years. I have volunteered in the community, which has very diverse needs, with many experiencing significant health and social care deprivation.

I am from a BAME background and am a trustee of a large Patient and Public Participation Group network in South London. I work with Primary Care Networks, GP Federations and with the South East London clinical commissioning group (CCG) to improve health and social care services in local communities. I am also a member of the Cicely Saunders Institute for Palliative Care, Policy and Rehabilitation, which focuses on improving health and social care services for patients and their families, and developing a local support network for palliative care and end of life support services.

I hope my experience of working with our diverse communities and local support networks will help to identify some key challenges in the community. I look forward to working with our partners to develop opportunities for improvement in health and wellbeing to deliver the optimum level of care and support services.

Emily George – Lambeth

I have lived in Lambeth for over 12 years, and in this time my family and neighbours have been supported by many of the Trust’s services.

I have a degree in Social Policy and expertise in service design and transformation. My career has been focused on improving public services, and championing the positive impact of co-designing services with stakeholders and communities. I currently work in local government, where my role involves improving social care and community services, including better integration with health services.

As a governor, I will represent the views of local communities so that the Trust can provide the best possible services. I will bring my skills and experience to the role, and seek opportunities to increase public engagement with the Trust, so that together we can improve health and wellbeing.

Daniel Kelly – Lambeth

I have lived in Lambeth for 30 years and have had various experiences of King’s both as a patient and as a visitor. I am the Royal College of Nursing Chair of Nursing Research at Cardiff University, and my career-long academic interests have been in cancer care research and education.

My current research includes cancer patient experiences and support needs, health workforce innovation, freedom to speak up, patient safety and leadership in the NHS. I hope to be able to bring this background and experience to the role of Public Governor. I am especially interested in how King’s will manage the challenges following the COVID-19 pandemic and how to improve what we know about the experiences of patients.

I am a visiting Professor at Edinburgh University and University College London. I am also Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing and was awarded an OBE in the 2021 New Year’s honours for services to cancer research and education.

Jaqueline Best-Vassell – SEL System

I have worked as a civil servant for over 41 years, ranging from working in the old ILEA (Inner London Education Authority) to my most recent post before I took retirement, working within the NHS.

I believe that in any job if a person can use their own initiative, regardless of how small it may seem, they, like myself have the making of a successful person. In my mind confidentiality is one of the greatest responsibilities I have had to carry out in my working career to date and I pride myself on being able to carry this out to the highest standards attainable.

As a SEL Public Governor I intend to give the Trust and the people we serve my best by being fully committed to their needs and being their voice as well as being a part of a team of people who help run this wonderful organisation in any way I can.

Jane Allberry – Southwark

I have lived in Southwark for over 25 years and my family has used a wide range of King’s services, from the Emergency Department to Oncology, Maternity, Neurosurgery, Haematology and Orthopaedics. I worked for the Department of Health for over 35 years, and I plan to combine my professional and personal interests and my experience to support King’s in providing the best possible services for the community.

Lindsay Batty-Smith – Southwark

With over 40 years working in the health service, I had a terrific career at King’s spanning 25 years in Radiography and latterly in Safeguarding and Learning Difficulties. I know the hospital well from the point of view of a patient, an ex-member of staff, a volunteer, a member of the Southwark community, a past Chair and current external member of the King’s LGBTQ+ network.

I have always been a keen supporter of best practice, having experience of working for CHI and the Healthcare Commission and writing radiographic policy. I hope to be a bridge between policy makers and delivery of service to make a difference to staff and patients at the centre of our care.

Angela Buckingham – Southwark

I myself have been a patient at King’s; once when I had my daughter and again when I had day surgery. I have been a volunteer at King’s since 2008 and have been keen to help in any way I can within the community. This inspired me to volunteer twice a week at the hospital with muscular dystrophy patients as well as on the neurology clinic.

I have been a patient ambassador for a GP surgery in Southwark where I started a garden group for patients within the borough. For the new Tessa Jowell Medical Centre I disseminated leaflets focused on what services patients would like. I was part of the working group designing the centre, involved in patient participation groups and locality working groups within the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

Hilary Entwistle – Southwark

I have lived in Southwark for 35 years and have a long association with King’s. I trained at the Trust as a medical student and referred patients for 30 years as a GP. My three children were born at King’s. My husband also had heart surgery here, and my mother, who has Alzheimer’s, was treated for a broken hip. I also volunteer on Trundle ward on a project to improve the hospital experience of orthopaedic patients with dementia.

As a GP, I was a clinical director on Lewisham CCG with a special interest in long-term conditions, mental health, patient involvement, and integration of health and social care. I am passionate about good quality healthcare, and the involvement of patients and carers in decision-making and in shaping services.

I now do GP locum sessions and volunteer at Freedom from Torture doing medico-legal reports for asylum seekers. I hope to be able to apply my enthusiasm, ability to ask questions and past experience to the governor role.

Contact us

To contact a governor please email [email protected]