Members of the Trust Board

The non-executive and executive directors of the Trust, who together comprise the Trust Board, are listed below.

Non-executive directors


Peter Hollins, chair

Peter graduated in chemistry from Oxford. In 1973 he joined Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) where he undertook a series of increasingly senior roles in marketing and then general management.

Following three years in the Netherlands as general manager of ICI Resins BV, he was appointed chief operating officer of EVC in Brussels, a joint venture between ICI and Enichem of Italy, in 1992. He played a key role in the flotation of the company in 1994, before returning to the UK in 1998 as chief executive officer of British Energy where he remained until 2001. From 2001 onwards he held various chairmanships and non-executive directorships. In 2003 he decided to return to an executive role as chief executive of the British Heart Foundation, where he remained in post until retirement in March 2013.

Jane Bailey

Jane Bailey, senior independent director (non-executive director)

In 1985 Jane joined the pharmaceutical company Glaxo as a management trainee, having just graduated from London University with a degree in environmental science and pharmacology. Here she rose to senior commercial vice president, gaining experience of a broad range of disease areas across different regions of the world. She specialised in leading global research and development teams in the formation of strategies to bring new medicines to patients. She also worked to ensure that the medicines developed were supported by robust evidence demonstrating their clinical and cost effectiveness. In delivering this she gained extensive experience of leading large diverse teams across a complex global organisation. For five years she ran her own strategy development consultancy working across a breadth of healthcare organisations. In 2017 Jane gained an MSc in public health, with distinction, at King’s College, London University, where she focused on how to ensure the public are engaged in development of healthcare services and how social theories can help inform effective disease prevention and management. She is a director of Healthwatch Portsmouth.


Dave Bennett

Dave graduated in chemistry from the University of Southampton before entering management consulting, becoming a partner in Accenture’s strategy practice.

In 2003 he joined Exel Logistics (later bought by DHL), managing the company’s healthcare business across Europe and the Middle East. During this time, he established NHS Supply Chain, a UK organisation responsible for procuring and delivering medical consumables for the NHS in England, as well as sourcing capital equipment.

Dave joined the board of Cable & Wireless as sales director in 2008. He later set up his own strategy consulting practice serving the healthcare sector, completing numerous projects in the UK and the US.

Dave has also served as a non-executive director at The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust between 2009 and 2016, where he chaired the Trust’s quality committee. Dave is a non-executive director at the Faculty of Leadership and Medical Management and a director of Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Enterprises Ltd and RCGP Conferences Ltd.


Professor Cyrus Cooper

Cyrus Cooper is professor of rheumatology and director of the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit. He's also vice-dean of the faculty of medicine at the University of Southampton and professor of epidemiology at the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics (rheumatology and musculoskeletal sciences, University of Oxford).

He leads an internationally competitive programme of research into the epidemiology of musculoskeletal disorders, most notably osteoporosis. His key research contributions have been:

  • discovery of the developmental influences which contribute to the risk of osteoporosis and hip fracture in late adulthood
  • demonstration that maternal vitamin D insufficiency is associated with sub-optimal bone mineral accrual in childhood
  • characterisation of the definition and incidence rates of vertebral fractures
  • leadership of large pragmatic randomised controlled trials of calcium and vitamin D supplementation in the elderly as immediate preventative strategies against hip fracture. 
He is president of the International Osteoporosis Foundation, chair of the BHF Project Grants Committee, an emeritus NIHR senior investigator, and associate editor of Osteoporosis International. He has previously served as chairman of the Scientific Advisors Committee (International Osteoporosis Foundation), the MRC Population Health Sciences Research Network and the National Osteoporosis Society of Great Britain. He has also been president of the Bone Research Society of Great Britain and has worked on numerous Department of Health, European Community and World Health Organisation committees and working groups.

Cyrus has published extensively on osteoporosis and rheumatic disorders and pioneered clinical studies on the developmental origins of peak bone mass. In 2015, he was awarded an OBE for services to medical research.

Keith Evans

Keith Evans

Keith graduated in economics from Cambridge. In 1975 he joined one of the forerunner firms which now comprise PwC, qualifying as a chartered accountant in 1978.

At PwC he undertook a number of roles in audit, consultancy and corporate finance. He was a partner for over 25 years including being the senior partner for many years at the firm's Southampton office.

Since retirement he has taken on several non-executive and director roles. He has also been the expert witness on several major fraud cases.

He joined the Board as a non-executive director in January 2020. Keith chairs the Trust’s audit and risk committee.

Jane Harwood

Jane Harwood

Jane is a Southampton University graduate having completed her BSc in Biology before moving to London to complete her MSc in Applied Hydrobiology. Having completed two years of her PhD she moved out of academia to start working as an internal consultant for the Metropolitan Police.

Her career has spanned over 30 years working in senior strategic, corporate and business planning roles for the MPS, Surrey Police and Centrex (the organisation responsible for police training). After a short spell at the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council she moved to the Metropolitan Police Authority, leading the change programme to establish the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime and completing her MBA.

Jane then set up her own consultancy business and worked for a number of public and private sector organisations before returning to Surrey Police as part of the Chief Officer team responsible for HR, Finance and IT.  As the collaboration programme across Surrey and Sussex police accelerated she took on the lead for People Services across the two forces and was an active member of the Police CIPD forum. She spent the last two years before retirement leading an IT and change programme across Surrey, Sussex and Thames Valley Police.

Jane is vice chair of the national charity Missing People and is also a trustee for the Wooden Spoon charity. Jane still operates as an independent consultant and led the resident welfare and vulnerability response within the Surrey LRF Covid-19 response. 

Tim Peachey

Dr Tim Peachey

Tim qualified as a doctor from King's College Hospital School of Medicine in 1983. For nearly 20 years, he worked as a consultant anaesthetist at the Royal Free Hospital in London, specialising in pancreatic cancer surgery, liver surgery and liver transplantation. He also developed an interest in medical leadership and management and has held positions such as clinical director, divisional director and medical director at the Royal Free.

In 2012, Tim moved into full time management as chief executive of Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust until its acquisition by the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. He then worked as the London associate medical director at the NHS Trust Development Authority before moving to Barts Health NHS Trust as improvement director and subsequently became deputy chief executive.

In addition to his role at University Hospital Southampton, Tim is also a non-executive director and deputy chair for Isle of Wight NHS Trust. He is a practising mediator specialising in the healthcare sector. He also consults for companies in the medical information technology industry.


Executive directors

David French110

David French, chief executive officer

David joined the Trust in February 2016 as chief financial officer and also became deputy chief executive in 2019. He served as interim chief executive from April to September 2018 and took up that role again in November 2020 before taking on the role substantively in April 2021.

He read economics and social policy at the University of London before joining ICI plc, where he qualified as a chartered management accountant. David has extensive healthcare experience from the pharmaceutical industry, mostly Eli Lilly and Company where he held many commercial and financial roles in the UK and overseas.

He joined the NHS in 2010 as chief financial officer of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. David is currently a director of UHS Estates Limited, a subsidiary of the Trust and a director of Southampton Commercial Estates Development Partnership (CEDP) Project Company Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Southampton CEDP LPP, a joint venture between the Trust and Partnering Solutions (Southampton) Limited.

David lives in Hampshire and is married with two children.


Gail Byrne, chief nursing officer

Gail joined the Trust in 2010 as deputy director of nursing and head of patient safety. Prior to this, she has worked at the Strategic Health Authority as head of patient safety, and director of clinical services at Portsmouth Hospital.

Gail has also worked in Brisbane, Australia as a hospital Macmillan nurse, and as general manager of a special purpose vehicle company for the private finance initiative at South Manchester Hospitals.

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Paul Grundy110

Paul Grundy, chief medical officer

Paul graduated from the University of Southampton medical school in 1992. After house officer posts in Southampton General and then Royal Bournemouth, he worked as anatomy demonstrator at UoS and as senior house officer in neurosurgery at Wessex Neurological Centre. Having competed an SHO surgical rotation in Oxford then neurosurgical training and a research degree in Bristol, he spent a year on fellowship in Melbourne before returning to Southampton as a consultant neurosurgeon with a specialist interest in neuro-oncology in 2005. He led a transformation in neurosurgery here that resulted in the department’s innovative pathways and outcomes being acknowledged in the national GIRFT reports. He introduced day-case neurosurgery for brain tumours to the UK and developed new biopsy techniques and popularised awake surgery.

Paul became care group clinical lead in neurosciences in 2011, then division D clinical director in 2014, deputy medical director in 2019 and at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic became acting medical director. He has simultaneously held a number of national roles with NHS England and specialist bodies, including CRG chair for brain tumours and stereotactic radiosurgery, vice-chair of adult neurosciences CRG, national lead of neurosurgical service transformation program, Honorary Secretary of Society of British Neurological Surgeons and president elect of British Neuro-oncology Society.

He is also passionate about personalised care, shared decision making and continuous quality improvement and innovation.

Steve Harris

Steve Harris, chief people officer

Steve has worked at UHS since 2008 and has held a variety of roles within HR during this time; starting as a divisional HR business partner and progressing to lead the department as HR director in 2017. He was appointed chief people officer in 2020.

After graduating in business management from Solent University in 2001, he went on to gain a professional qualification in people management and development and is a chartered member of the Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). 

He joined the NHS in 2003 from the financial services industry following completion of a graduate management training scheme. His first NHS role was working for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight strategic health authority supporting the implementation of large system-wide workforce projects.

Prior to joining UHS, Steve worked in HR for the Isle of Wight NHS Trust and in Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.


Ian Howard 2

Ian Howard, interim chief financial officer

Ian was appointed to the role of interim chief financial officer in November 2020, having joined the Trust in March 2017 and serving as deputy director of finance since July 2018.

He read accounting and business studies at the University of Portsmouth before joining the NHS in 2007 on the national Graduate Management Training Scheme, where he qualified as a chartered management accountant in 2010.

He has worked across a variety of roles within the NHS, including Primary Care Trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups. Prior to joining UHS in 2017, he worked for NHS England in the Wessex Local Office, where he provided financial leadership and support to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight STP.

Joe Teape July 2021

Joe Teape, chief operating officer

Joe joined the Trust as chief operating officer in December 2019. Previously he was deputy chief executive and director of operations of a large health board in Wales which managed integrated services across three counties including four district general hospitals as well as mental health, learning disability and community services.

Prior to this, Joe worked in director roles across finance and strategy within provider acute trusts acros the south west of England.

Joe is passionate about providing leadership and support for all staff, whatever their profession, and contributing to excellent patient care. 

He is committed to open and ongoing engagement with the general public and often uses social media to engage with colleagues and with those who have an interest in healthcare.

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