Our Executive Directors

Executive Directors are employees of the Trust. Along with the Non-Executive Directors, they are accountable for the Trust's performance.

Stuart Richardson, Chief Executive Officer

Stuart Richardson, Chief Executive Officer I have been the Chief Executive at NSFT since September 2021; having joined the organisation in 2018 as Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive. 

I am a Registered Learning Disability Nurse and have over 25 years’ experience in Health, Social Care and the Voluntary Sector; including senior clinical, Director and Board level positions. My clinical background has been complemented by a BA (hons) in Professional Studies and an MA in Leading, Managing and Partnership working.

I am passionate about equality and the reduction of health inequalities within our society. The transformation and sustainability of the NHS and public services is very important to me whilst ensuring we can provide meaningful outcomes for people who access services and support. I also have personal experience of accessing mental health services. 

Cath Byford, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief People Officer

Cath Byford, Deputy CEO and Chief People Officer I joined the Trust after nine years in executive roles in the Norfolk and Waveney health and care system. Since 2019, I was Chief Nurse for Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group.   

I trained as an Adult Registered Nurse in Cardiff. I worked in several clinical specialities before moving to Suffolk in 2005.  I worked in Ipswich Hospital in various roles. Then I moved to the Norfolk and Waveney system in 2013. 

I have a passion for solution-based improvements in patient and staff experience. I led the commissioning of services for people with learning disabilities and autistic people. I also led on the quality oversight of those services.   

I have led on many areas of the COVID-19 pandemic response across Norfolk and Waveney.  

I am proud to work for the NHS and delighted to have joined NSFT.  I look forward to supporting the Trust on our improvement journey. 

Jason Hollidge, Chief Finance Officer (Interim)

Jason Hollidge Jason joined the Trust having previously held the role of Director of Commissioning Finance at the NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board. He has worked in the NHS for more than 14 years, including holding Deputy Chief Finance Officer roles at Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Norfolk Community Health and Care. Jason has experienced mental health issues through his family connections.

Diane Hull, Chief Nurse

Diane Hull, Chief Nurse I joined NSFT in 2018 after two years as Chief Nurse with Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. There I helped drive through significant improvements to patient care. Before this, I held senior roles at East London Foundation Trust. These included Interim Director of Services, Deputy Director of Nursing and Associate Director for Forensic Nursing.

I qualified as a Registered Mental Health Nurse in 1990 and worked at St Clements in East London. When I moved to Hackney, I fulfilled roles such as Nurse Specialist, Matron and Lead Nurse. I have a family member who has experienced issues relating to their mental health and wellbeing during their teenage and early adult years. I have supported, cared for and been part of their struggles, this has been both a privilege and a challenge.

At NSFT, I am responsible for improving safety and service users' experience of care. Recruiting and retaining high-​quality staff is important. Our aim is to offer exciting opportunities which enthuse people. Meanwhile we seek to look after our existing staff and make sure they feel valued.

I am committed to help create the conditions and culture to improve mental healthcare for everyone in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Alex Lewis, Chief Medical Officer (Interim)

Alex Lewis, Chief Medical Officer I am a consultant psychiatrist with experience of working to deliver mental health care. This includes supporting projects to improve care both within and outside the NHS. I have had senior roles in NHS trusts and worked nationally in the regulatory environment. 

I recognise the hard work and determination of all our staff to do a good job on behalf of the people we serve. I look forward to working with everyone and contributing to improvements that we all want for our patients and citizens. 




Kathryn Ellis, Director of Strategy and Partnerships

Kathryn Ellis I joined the Trust in May 2021. My previous role was the Locality Director for Great Yarmouth and Waveney for NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group. 

I’ve worked in a variety of commissioning and provider roles across Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire. Those roles were in acute hospital, primary and community care, and mental health. 

Before my appointment as Locality Director I worked as Transformation Director at East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH). Before that I held director-level roles in community provider and CCG organisations.

I am passionate about mental health care and wellbeing, starting my career at Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health Care Trust and have lived experience of mental health.

I am delighted to join NSFT as we increase partnership working. I see this role as an opportunity to foster greater collaboration between health, social care, VCSE and community partners. This will aid the development of services across Norfolk, Suffolk and at regional level.

Thandie Matambanadzo, Chief Operating Officer

Thandie Matambanadzo, Chief Operating Officer I am a nurse. I have also worked in senior operational roles in mental health, community and acute Trusts for over 22 years.

Before I joined NSFT, I was Director of Nursing for System and Professional Development in the South East for NHS England and Improvement. 

I am very excited to be part of a dedicated and committed team. We are working together to tackle the current complex healthcare landscape. There is much for us to celebrate. There is also much for us to do. Demand for mental health support is rising, and there are national workforce shortages. We must also close the gap in health inequalities. 

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