Our Executive Directors

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

Caroline Donovan, Chief Executive Officer

I am a nurse by background and have a passion for improvement and transformation.  Image of Caroline Donovan seated at table 

In my previous role as Chief Executive of Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust, a mental health and learning disability provider, I spearheaded an inclusive and patient-centred approach and oversaw improvements in quality across the Trust.

I was also formerly Chief Executive at North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust, a provider of mental health, primary care, social care, learning disability and substance misuse services where the Trust was rated ‘Outstanding’ by the CQC under my leadership.

I am committed to working with our staff and patients to design and deliver high quality services for the communities of Norfolk and Suffolk.


  • Communications and Engagement

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. 


  • Deputising for Chief Executive
  • Human Resources
  • Organisational Development
  • Education and Development



Jason Hollidge, Chief Finance Officer

Jason Hollidge I joined the Trust having previously held the role of Director of Commissioning Finance at the NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board. I have 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. I've experienced mental health issues through his family connections.


  • Finance
  • Estates and Facilities
  • Information and communication technology (ICT) (including Senior Information Risk Owner (SIRO))
  • Business intelligence
  • Procurement

Anthony Deery, Chief Nurse (Interim)

 Anthony Deery I joined the Trust in April 2024 as Interim Chief Nurse from Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust I am a registered general nurse and registered mental health nurse.


I have previously worked at executive director level across clinical, managerial, commissioning and regulatory roles in mental health and social care systems, in both the UK and in the United States.


I am passionate about the human rights of people in mental health and learning disability services, with a focus on safe high quality services, good clinical governance and advocacy.


Sarah Maxwell and Sohail Abrar - Chief Medical Officers

Dr Sarah Maxwell

Sarah Maxwell portrait photo

Before I became the Chief Medical Officer I was an Associate Clinical Directors and a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist working in our specialist eating disorders service in the Lighthouse Centre at Hellesdon. I've worked at NSFT since 2005.

Dr Sohail Abrar

Dr Sohail Abrar portrait photo

I am a doctor and have been working for the NHS for the last 20 years in various roles. Before I became the Chief Medical Officer, I worked as a Divisional Clinical Director of Suffolk. I continue to work in the frontline as a Consultant Psychiatrist in a Low secure Forensic Unit in Ipswich.

I am very excited to be part of our Executive team, to help improve the quality of care we are delivering to our community. I am passionate about developing and delivering effective and evidence-based care and treatment. I am an active advocate of patient and carers participation and co-producing care with our service users. I am keen on developing robust clinical leadership and improve engagement across the board. 


  • Medical workkforce and leadership
  • Research and Development
  • Innovation
  • Pharmacy
  • Mental Health Law
  • Model of Care
  • Clinical strategy
  • Medical education
  • Caldicott Guardian
  • Mortality
  • Clinical transformation

Kathryn Ellis, Chief Strategy, Improvement and Partnership Officer

Kathryn Ellis portrait photo 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.


  • Strategy development
  • Partnership management
  • Contracts and commissioning liaison
  • Recovery and improvement programmes

Thandie Matambanadzo, Chief Operating Officer

Portrait photo of Thandie Matambanandzo 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. 


  • Operational leadership
  • Strategic leadership
  • Emergency response
  • Performance

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