Governance and decision making

Our governance shapes the way that we carry out our work to understand local health and care issues and the feedback and experience that local people share with us. We operate within the legislative framework for Healthwatch and the guidance provided by Healthwatch England and we involve local people in shaping the work we do.

We hold four free public events each year called Assemblys. These events act as a forum for us to inform local people about local health and care developments and to discuss topics. Local decision makers can hear directly what people think about services and how they should be designed and we are able to present and account for our work. 

Our Executive Board

As the Healthwatch corporate body, Wandsworth Care Alliance (WCA) has set up a separate Healthwatch Executive within the governance structure, to support strategic decisions on the direction of Healthwatch Wandsworth, to contribute to monitoring of performance and to support the work of our staff team, volunteers and representatives. The Executive is locally accountable so that it is able to meet its corporate responsibilities and contractual duties and act lawfully at all times.

The Healthwatch Executive now has eight voting members, four are WCA Trustees (of whom one will be Chair), and four members are elected from among the Healthwatch membership. Elected Executive Board members are elected every three years. 

Cherill Scott - WCA Trustee

Cherill Scott has lived in Wandsworth for many years, and has been actively involved with WCA for the past seven years. She was Chair of the Board for two years, and takes a special interest in WCA's mental health project and the Voluntary Sector Coordination Project. Cherill is involved in Healthwatch as an Executive Board member, a Healthwatch Representative and as an Enter and View volunteer.

Elizabeth Berner - WCA Trustee

Elizabeth has spent her professional life in teaching in secondary education, predominantly with the Girls’ Day School Trust and as a tutor in higher education in HMP Wandsworth. She has also been a Non-Executive Director of Merton Sutton and Wandsworth Health Authority.

As a service user, Elizabeth has at different times been a carer for three generations of family members whose illnesses have included long term disability in the community. Elizabeth also sits as a participating observer on the SGH Quality and Safety Committee.

Stephen Hickey - Healthwatch Chair

Stephen's earlier career was in the civil service, mainly in social security (also health and management training), and latterly in transport. He had joined the DHSS after a serious health problem in his 20s: so when he retired Stephen was delighted to have the chance to support the NHS again through the Hospital Charity and the CCG.

Joining Healthwatch is a chance to build on that experience.

In the last few years Stephen has worked closely with the NHS, as a lay member of Wandsworth Clinical Commissioning Group (and, before that, the PCT); as a member of the Wandsworth Health and Wellbeing Board; and previously as a Trustee and Chair of St George’s Hospital Charity. Living in Wimbledon, St George’s is his local hospital.

Jamie Gillespie - Vice Chair

Jamie was employed in NHS Mental Health Services from 1966 to 2009 and was also an elected councillor in the London Borough of Bromley, chairing a social services committee. Jamie has a wide experience of providing health and social care and an understanding of its politics enabling him to challenge providers of care and promote public and patient involvement in commissioning and provision of services.

Jason Edgington - WCA Director

Jeremy Cowper - WCA Trustee 

Jeremy Cowper joined the WCA Board as a Trustee in May 2014 and took on the role of Chair from April 2016 when Cherill Scott stood down. Jeremy is serving as interim Chair of Healthwatch Wandsworth Executive during 2019 while the leadership arrangements are being reviewed.

Jeremy’s experience of the health and social care sector before he joined WCA was as a service user and carer of a family member.

Jeremy retired as a senior civil servant after a career as a policy administrator, including work at the centre to modernise the organisation, governance and performance of the public sector. Later on, as part of responsibilities for government policy for food and agricultural production he was on the board of a company promoting the growth of co-operatives in UK farming and food.

Charlotte Langley - Elected Member

Passionate about health, Charlotte has worked at two NHS Foundation Trusts, Guy’s and St. Thomas’ and The Royal Surrey County Hospital and lived in Wandsworth for many years.

A seasoned fundraising, communications and marketing professional with over 30 years experience mostly at a managerial or directorial level. Charlotte's career has been in health and social care (Muscular Dystrophy, Leonard Cheshire Disability, Elizabeth Finn Care and Parkinson’s UK) as well as in the NHS, higher education, international development and the arts.

Strong on governance, Charlotte is a strategist with great energy, drive, determination, resourcefulness, resilience, persistence and tenacity.

Penny Oakley - Elected Member

Born in Wandsworth, Penny has spent most of her life in and around the Borough. Her teaching career was spent in Wandsworth Primary Schools and her final position was as Deputy Head and SENCO at a large School. During that time she liaised with many agencies in health and social care so that children’s needs could be met.

Since retirement Penny has been working for Wandsworth SCITT helping trainee teachers gain QTS. At present she is supporting a number of trainees in four local schools. In her free time Penny is a member of two local choirs.

Sarah Forester - Elected Member

Having lived in Wandsworth for 40 years and having personal experience of local health services, Sarah has a good understanding of the diversity of the community and inequalities in health outcomes in the area.

She has experience of a lifetime working in health and social care. Her professional background is in Health Visiting, mainly working with families with young children as well as working directly with homeless young people and drug users. For the last 16 years she has worked for Wandsworth Local Authority Children Services taking the lead for developing a multi-agency SureStart Programme in Roehampton and Children Centres across the Borough before moving to a health commissioning role.

She has a wide knowledge and experience of working with public health, CCG, acute and community health providers and voluntary sector partners in the Wandsworth including mental health services. At a strategic level, Sarah has been involved in quality assurance, reviewing, planning and commissioning health services for families and vulnerable young people. She was glad to work with Healthwatch during the commissioning of health visiting service to ensure a strong user involvement in designing that service.


Staff and volunteers joining Healthwatch Wandsworth (HWW) are asked to declare any political, commercial or other local interests which could be perceived as a conflict of interest. Our staff and volunteers also observe the code of conduct which describes how to maintain the independence, integrity and accountability to act in the best interests of the organisation and the public it serves.

Decision Making

We have developed a decision making criteria to help guide or decisions and manage our limited resources.

Find out more about our decision making criteria


Healthwatch Wandsworth Governance Framework

The purpose of the Healthwatch Wandsworth Governance Framework document is to explain in more detail the basis for the arrangements the Wandsworth Care Alliance has put in place for the governance and delivery of its responsibilities as the body corporate of Healthwatch Wandsworth, focusing on the HWW Committee and also referring to the other HWW forums.

Healthwatch Wandsworth Governance Framework