Meet our executive directors

Our executive directors are experienced NHS professionals with specific management and operational skills.  They are responsible for the day-to-day operational management of the trust.

Photo of Tracy Allen​Tracy was appointed to the post of chief executive of Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust (DCHS) on 1 April 2011, having previously worked as managing director when the services operated as an Autonomous Provider Organisation (APO) within NHS Derbyshire County Primary Care Trust. She led the creation of DCHS from the provider arms of six predecessor PCTs, its successful development into an APO and its establishment as a Community NHS Trust.

Her previous role was as executive director of strategy and service improvement at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust where she led the development of the service development strategy underpinning the organisation’s successful authorisation as a Foundation Trust.

Tracy is an ex NHS management trainee and has a wide range of operational and strategic management experience in NHS organisations.

Photo of Darren TidmarshDarren joined Derbyshire Community Health Services (DCHS) from United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust in September 2020. Prior to his role in Lincolnshire he led the people strategy at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust in Solihull where he joined the NHS.

Darren has a master’s degree in human resources management and is an experienced HR and organisational development professional with a strong public sector background. Prior to working in the NHS he held executive roles in the further/higher education sector, leading significant people transformations in a number of high performing organisations. Until recently he was a non-executive director and chair of the Board at Learn Sheffield, Sheffield City Regions School Improvement Company, and a trustee of two multi-academy Trusts.

As a science graduate from The University of Nottingham, Darren has had a diverse career working for a number of leading international companies including Severn-Trent, Nestle and Zurich Financial Services.

Darren is a champion of learning and development and a strong advocate of continuous improvement.

Darren was born and educated in Derbyshire. He has lived in many parts of the county and now lives with his family in Chesterfield.

Photo of Dean WallaceDean joined Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust (DCHS) on 1st September 2022, prior to this Dean had been Director of Public Health at Derbyshire County Council for 6 years.

Dean is a registered Public Health Specialist having completed the NHS Public Health Specialty Training Programme, he holds a Masters Degree in Public Health and is a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health.

Dean is a lifelong resident of Derbyshire and has worked across the public sector in the East Midlands and North of England for over 20 years, leading strategic activity in Public Health for the last decade. He took up the post of Director of Public Health for Derbyshire in 2016 and his practical, person-centred approach saw the area lead and pilot a number of national schemes during the pandemic, including a ‘highly commended’ MJ award for Public Health Improvement in 2021.

With a background in sport science and men’s health, Dean is passionate about unlocking the potential of communities across diverse areas like Derbyshire and placing health as a foundation stone to helping people achieve the best possible quality of life.

Photo of Peter HandfordPeter joined us in January 2023 as chief financial officer having previously worked as director of finance and ICT at Derbyshire County Council.

An accountant by training, Peter’s association with the county council goes back to 1987 when he joined as a graduate trainee. Over the past 11 years he has been working at director-level within the council and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to his NHS appointment with us.

Photo of Ben PearsonBen took up post as the medical director at Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust (DCHS) in June 2019, having previously held senior medical positions within Derby and Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

He was a consultant in Derby for 15 years, first being appointed to the former Derbyshire Royal Infirmary (now London Road Community Hospital), in 2004. His ties with the East Midlands go back much further to his junior doctor days.

While working in Derby he fostered close working ties between health partners in the acute, community and primary care sectors of the NHS as part of improving care for patients.

His early interests were in acute medicine and urgent care, redesigning the acute medicine pathways and introducing ambulatory care. Later on, he moved to work in the community with primary care partners and DCHS, concentrating on care homes and advanced care planning.

Ben is from Morecambe, where he grew up and went to school. He completed his first degree in zoology at Durham University, before going to King's College London to study medicine, graduating in 1993. He worked in London, Lincoln, Nottingham and Derby to complete his junior doctor training and his specialisation in geriatrics and general internal medicine.

He was the secondary care doctor for the mid-Nottinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Groups for seven years and he remains a council member with the East Midlands Clinical Senate.

He is passionate about people working together for the best interests of patients; about empowering staff to achieve their best work; about clinical governance as the supporting safety net for all that we do and about truly listening to our patients and our population to understand what they need.

In his spare time he is a nature lover with a garden "chaotically full of wild stuff, birds and insects and I don’t call anything a weed!" He also loves snorkelling which, he says: "is tricky in land-locked Derbyshire hence the need to travel. I like to head for the sea, preferably somewhere warm."

Photo of Michelle BatemanMichelle started her registered nurse training in 1985 at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, following a period of working as a nurse auxiliary at City Hospital, Nottingham, whilst attending college. She then went on to complete her midwifery and health visitor training and after a period of working as a locality manager, which included the development and management of services for older people, she moved back to Nottingham.

Since 2000 she has held a variety of posts which have all centred on clinical leadership, quality, risk management and patient experience. She completed an MSc in Health Policy in Organisations in 2002. She held the role of associate director of nursing for community and mental health services within Nottinghamshire until her recent appointment as chief nurse/director of quality at Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust, starting in February 2019.

Her passion centres on always striving to ensure services provided are safe and evidence-based and that staff are supported in providing the best care for patients.

In recent years she has been awarded the Queen's Nurse title and is currently the Regional Lead (Midlands and East) for the Chief Nursing Officer’s Black and Minority Ethnic Strategic Advisory Group.

Michelle is also the vice chair of Tuntum, a BME Independent Housing Association in Nottingham.

Photo of Jim AustinJim joined Derbyshire Community Health Services (DCHS) in April 2015, following a year-long induction through the NHS Executive Fast Track Programme, attached to Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust.

Prior to joining the NHS, Jim had accumulated 20 years of experience in the private, non-health sector and was, for seven years, the sales and customer service director at the AA. There he was responsible for over 2500 people, the vast majority of whom were customer facing. During his time at the AA, and previously in the financial services sector and telecommunications, he led and implemented wide-spread change and transformation, to improve customer experience and meet demanding financial constraints.

Prior to working in the private sector, Jim was a commissioned officer in the Royal Artillery and served both in the UK and abroad. Jim is the board champion for the LGBT+ community. Jim leads the digital and data work across Joined Up Care Derbyshire Integrated Care System and is a Fellow of the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT.

Photo of Melanie CurdMelanie has worked in the NHS for 18 years, the majority of her experience has been within community Trusts. Melanie has held a variety of posts within governance, the most recent being Derbyshire community Health Services NHS FT (DCHS) deputy Trust secretary until her appointment to the associate director of corporate governance / Trust secretary in September 2019. Melanie has an LLM in health law and a post-graduate qualification in health services management.

Photo of Jayne NeedhamJayne started her career in local government in 1987 and has since worked in a variety of local authority and NHS organisations in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.  After originally qualifying as an Environmental Health Officer, she gained her Masters in Public Health in 2007 and became registered as a Consultant in Public Health in 2009.  Jayne began working at DCHS in 2014, initially as the Divisional Director for one of the three operational divisions before taking on the role of Director of Strategy, Partnerships and Population Health in May 2022.  In this role Jayne leads on the development and delivery of the Trust Strategy and Operational Planning work and is the Senior Responsible Officer for Population Health Management for Joined Up Care Derbyshire.

From the very early part of her career Jayne saw the impact of poverty and inequality on health and her passion to continue to address these issues remains as strong. She has successfully led teams to gain recognition in these areas in a number of national awards including the Health Service Journal, the Municipal Journal and the Nursing Times.  

Away from DCHS Jayne spends time as a volunteer at her local Parkrun and is an Associate Lecturer in Public Health for the Open University.