Our governing body

Our governing body includes eight GPs from across Kent and Medway, five independent lay-members and three executive directors as the voting members.

Other directors of the CCG and partner representatives attend on a regular basis but are not voting members.

The role of the governing body is to make sure Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has plans and processes in place to exercise its functions effectively, efficiently, economically and in accordance with principles of good governance and the constitution of the CCG.

Paul Bentley

Interim Accountable Officer for Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS system leader for Kent and Medway

Paul Bentley joined Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group as interim accountable officer from 17 January 2022.

In November 2021 Paul was confirmed as the Chief Executive designate of the NHS Kent and Medway Integrated Care Board; which is due to replace the CCG subject to legislation proceeding through Parliament.

Named as one of the top NHS chief executives in the country by the Health Service Journal in 2021 – Paul previously held the position of chief executive of Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust since March 2016.

A father of grown-up triplets, Paul has a wealth of experience of not only NHS healthcare, but has also studied in the US. Prior to joining KCHFT, Paul was Director of Workforce and Communications at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust since 2011.

He has worked in the NHS since 1987 and as an NHS director since 1998 leading on strategy, organisational development and workforce and communications. During this time, he was also interim chief executive in Surrey, director of strategy at Ashford and St Peter’s Trust and held the position of non-executive director for NHS innovations South East.

Elected GP Governing Body Member

Dr Bob Bowes has been a GP at Kingswood Surgery, Tunbridge Wells, since 1987. He studied at London’s Guy’s Hospital and qualified in 1982. He has special interests in minor surgery, care homes and ear, nose and throat (ENT) services.

He was chairman of NHS West Kent CCG’s governing body and the lead on information management and technology. He was also Caldicott Guardian, responsible for ensuring patients’ data is kept secure.

His previous commissioning experience includes fundholding and working in primary care groups and practice-based commissioning groups.

Elected GP Governing Body Member ​​​​​​

Dr Simon Dunn has worked in the NHS for 35 years and has been a partner at St Anne's Surgery in Herne Bay for the past 24 years.

Simon has been involved in commissioning in various forms, largely from the mid-2000s with a special interest in chest diseases.

He also has a role in educating the next generation of GPs as both a trainer and, until recently, Programme Director of the local vocational training scheme.

Clinical Chair and Elected GP Governing Body Member

Dr Navin Kumta has been a GP at the Willesborough Health Centre in Ashford, since 2005. This evolved into Ashford Medical Partnership in 2019. 

His clinical area of focus has been care of elderly patients and respiratory medicine, along with the generalist aspect of general practice.

He became involved in clinical commissioning as clinical lead for a practice-based commissioning group in charge of children’s, maternity and urgent care commissioning in 2011. He has since been involved in the development of NHS Ashford CCG, the NHS East Kent Federation Forum and the Ashford Health and Wellbeing Board.

He studied in India and worked there for a year as a junior doctor before taking additional studies in medicine and intensive care at Medway and Cambridge.

He is a member of the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of General Practice. 

Dr Sarah McDermott

Elected GP Governing Body Member

Elected GP Governing Body Member​​​​

Dr Jonathan Bryant qualified from Guy’s, King’s and St Thomas’ School of Medicine in 2005.

His first job was at William Harvey Hospital and he has stayed in the area ever since. His postgraduate training as a GP was completed spending time working in each of the three hospitals in east Kent as well as a year working in Canterbury as a GP.

Jonathan has been a GP at New Lyminge Surgery since 2010. He has also worked at the White House Surgery in Cheriton since 2017.

He was appointed to South Kent Coast CCG's governing body in 2014.

Elected GP Governing Body Member ​​​​​

Elected GP Governing Body Member

Chief Nurse

Before taking on the role of Chief Nurse for Kent and Medway CCG, Paula Wilkins held the role for Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley, Medway, Swale and west Kent clinical commissioning groups. 

Paula worked for NHS England (Kent, Surrey and Sussex) as the Deputy Director of Nursing, before joining West Kent CCG as their Chief Nurse in 2017.

Paula trained as a nurse at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London and qualified in 1987. She worked St Thomas’ Hospital as a sister and Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital as a nurse specialist in haematology and head of nursing. 

From 2006 to 2014, Paula was the nursing director for Hospice in the Weald. She has a master’s degree in collaborative leadership.

Independent Lay Member for Patient and Public Engagement

Cathy has long been interested in health matters, especially from a patient perspective.

She worked in the NHS for several years before doing a master’s degree in health services research at the University of Kent. Her research project focused on patient experience.

Following this, Cathy worked for NICE Guidelines as a patient representative and is a director for the Centre of Independent Living in Kent - a role she has held for more than 10 years.  

Cathy worked for four years at the Motor Neurone Disease Association where she ran patient and family groups, as well as chairing multi-disciplinary teams, holding education sessions and designing conferences for the NHS and social care.

Cathy became the patient and public engagement lay member for NHS South Kent Coast CCG in 2018 and is a Senior Public Health Analyst for Kent County Council.

Independent member: Secondary care specialist

Dr Mike Beckett qualified from Kings College Hospital Medical School and at one stage worked as a junior doctor on the medical wards of the newly-opened William Harvey Hospital.

He subsequently specialised in emergency medicine and for 30 years was an A&E consultant at the West Middlesex hospital in London. He was also the hospital’s Director of Medical Education for 25 years and is still one of the editorial team of the Emergency Medicine Journal. Recently he has been the independent secondary care doctor on the boards of Dartford Gravesham and Swanley, Medway and Swale CCGs.

Elected GP Governing Body Member

Chief Finance Officer

Independent Lay Member for Governance and Audit and Deputy CCG Chair

Alistair Smith was appointed Lay Chair of the West Kent CCG Primary Care Commissioning Committee in 2016. 

Previously, he had served as a lay member on the CCG’s Finance and Performance Committee. He was also lay member for governance for South Kent Coast CCG.

Alistair started his career with the National Audit Office, has held board level finance roles with multinational companies and was the Chairman of Trustees for two large pension schemes.

Alistair is keen to make sure public funds are used to the benefit of the population and that appropriate finance, risk and assurance systems are in place to make sure member practices, the NHS Commissioning Board and the public, have confidence in the governance of the new organisation.

Independent member: Registered nurse

Maria has worked in the NHS for almost 40 years. She is a registered nurse and health visitor and has spent the majority of her working life in a Kent, working in both acute and community settings.

For the past 15 years she has managed a range of NHS community services for children in Kent. She has a track record of improving services and making sure safety and quality of care remains central to that transformation. Maria is passionate about ensuring patients receive the highest possible standard of care that is both clinically effective and cost effective, and most importantly accessible.

Maria joined NHS South Kent Coast CCG as the Independent Lay Member Registered Nurse in 2017.

She is keen to bring a simple and sensible approach to Kent and Medway CCG, to make sure the patient’s voice is heard, and the services that are commissioned are both safe and high-quality.

Independent Lay Member: Primary Care Commissioning and Chair of the Primary Care Commissioning Committee.

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