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 Healthwatch Committee

As the Healthwatch corporate body, Wandsworth Care Alliance (WCA) has set up a separate Healthwatch Committee 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 Committee is locally accountable so that it is able to meet its corporate responsibilities and contractual duties and act lawfully at all times.

The Healthwatch Committee 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 Committe members are elected every three years. 

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.

Sarah Forester - Healthwatch Vice Chair - 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 Sure Start 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.

WCA Trustee - vacant position

Clare Collins - WCA Trustee

Thomas Mytton - WCA Trustee

Tom joined the WCA Board as a Trustee in September 2019.

Tom specialises in corporate governance, assurance, and board development and has more than six years’ experience supporting organisations in healthcare, government, higher education, sports and the voluntary sectors. He has led significant quality improvement, redesign and strategy support programmes with clients across the UK, giving him insight into best practice delivery.

Jason Edgington - WCA Director

Jason joined WCA in July 2006, taking on the role of Director. Over the past 14 years Jason has helped and supported WCA become a successful and effective organisation that works with the local community and marginalised groups to influences local services.

Haren Thillainathan - Elected Member

Haran is passionate about ensuring health and social care delivers for the full diversity of Wandsworth's residents. Covid-19 exposed a number of new challenges for certain groups and he wants to make sure these are reflected in Healthwatch Wandsworth's future priorities.

Haran has been in the area for over 20 years in Battersea, Earlsfield and Tooting. Having lived with a congenital eye condition, becoming blind and then rehabilitating to life without sight, Haran has an appreciation of patient and client needs across health and social care. As a member of the London Sight Loss Council Haran advocates on behalf of the capital's blind and partially sighted community including on health and wellbeing matters. Haran's experience includes working with Wandsworth Council in developing its Sensory Impairment Strategy and the CCG on accessibility of Covid testing sites.

Haran's career comprises over two decades in the UK energy sector at a senior management level in public and private organisations. Haran has extensive experience of working in strong corporate governance environments with accountability for delivering key objectives.

Sara Turner - Elected Member

Sara worked in the NHS as a clinical psychologist for 32 years, with 21 years at Springfield Hospital taking leading roles in psychology services for older people, service audits and clinical governance. She has also worked with younger adults and people with learning disabilities. She has a keen interest in ensuring that the health needs of people from different cultures are better understood. At the mental health Trust, she researched differences in local South Asian and white older people's understanding of depression and dementia.

Sara has volunteered for Healthwatch Wandsworth since 2013 as a member of its Enter & View team and has been a driving force in visits to a wide range of local health and social care services. She has played a key role in planning, organising, and reporting on the experiences of service users and in making recommendations for improvement and has found it especially rewarding to see changes made based on what people have told us. Sara's career, volunteering and family experience of local services, over 42 years living in Wandsworth, have given her valuable insights into the needs of the local population.

Sue Stern - Elected Member

Sue is committed to ensuring that the patient voice is heard and has been the Chair of Thurleigh Road Patient Group for 4 years, charting the difficult balance between patients' concerns and the pressures on practice staff. Sue's group ran a wellbeing group for isolated patients, and made attempts to extend representation by establishing a virtual group of patients to whom they can circulate information and canvas opinion.

Sue has an MA in Public and Social administration which taught her how to write and understand research reports and analyse data.

Sue brings over thirty years' experience of working in multidisciplinary settings as a social worker and manager in the NHS and local authorities with specialist interests in mental health and child protection. Sue managed the day care service for disadvantaged children in Wandsworth and then went to central government as a Special Adviser to Sure Start and the regulation of children's day care.

Sue brings a lived experience to the role, having brought up a family in Wandsworth and cared for very elderly parents, one of whom was eventually in a nursing home. 


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