Meet the board
Healthwatch Birmingham Board
We’re always looking for people with a wide range of experience and backgrounds to become Non-Executive Directors on our Board. If you want to help us make a real difference to local health and social care click here to find out more.
Richard Burden - Chair
Richard was previously Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield from 1992 to 2019. He served as a Shadow Minister and on several Select Committees including chairing the Commons Committee set up to scrutinise West Midlands affairs.
An experienced community leader, Richard drove initiatives to build community resilience in South West Birmingham during a time of deep social and economic challenges, including those related to the loss of car manufacturing at Longbridge.
Richard brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the role and a passion for helping the people of Birmingham and Solihull
Jasbir Rai - Company Secretary
Jas is responsible for the efficient administration of Healthwatch, ensuring compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements and for ensuring that decisions of directors are implemented.
Jas is the Deputy CEO of BVSC and has worked in the sector for 17 years and has been company secretary for BVSC for over 10 years. Jas has been involved with Healthwatch Birmingham from when it was first set-up and has a wealth of experience in supporting boards and in strategic financial management.
Dr Janet Bailey - Non-Executive Director
Janet was born in Birmingham and currently lives in Hamstead, which straddles Birmingham and Sandwell.
Janet is a highly skilled practitioner, educator, and researcher. She has been a Registered Nurse for over 40 years with practice experience across adult, learning disabilities and mental health and holds a strong record for teaching and innovative curriculum development, particularly to support practice learning for student nurses.
Janet brings to Healthwatch Birmingham and Healthwatch Solihull her experience of partnership working at clinical, operational and strategic level across health, social care, public services, independent and voluntary services, for which she has received commendations for outstanding organisational and leadership skills.
She has always been enthusiastic about the patient voice so is delighted to able to bring her experience to the role of Non-Executive Director at Healthwatch Birmingham and Healthwatch Solihull.
Ranjeet Bhupla - Non-Executive Director
Ranjeet was born in Birmingham and is currently living in Birmingham. He is a husband and father of two children.
Ranjeet is a highly experienced Senior IT Leader with a strong track record of managing and delivering ICT services, programmes and solutions in demanding and fast paced environments in the public, private, and third sector. Driven and self-reliant, he sets targets and leads by example, demonstrating collective leadership and collaboration with strong values and good interpersonal skills to engage, motivate and encourage others through change.
Ranjeet has recently obtained a Masters in Leadership from the University of Birmingham. Having worked in the NHS for a period of 3 years, Ranjeet is passionate about the delivery of health and social care in Birmingham and Solihull, meeting the needs of the diverse communities that exist within.
Ranjeet currently works at Teach First as their Director of Technology, striving to improve the outcomes of children in schools and their families in disadvantaged communities.
Ruby Dillon - Non-Executive Director
Ruby grew up in Tipton and studied Human Nutrition at Oxford Brookes University, followed by a role as a community health worker in Bradford. She then came to Birmingham as a researcher for the British Association of Social Workers before her first job as a health promotion officer in the NHS in 1989.
Ruby worked in varying roles in public health in the West Midlands for 25 years. In 2014, Ruby left the NHS to work in the voluntary sector in Birmingham gaining 5 years experience in commissioning and contract managing services with and for people with multiple complex needs.
More recently, Ruby returned to public health within a local authority initially as a Commissioner for Drugs, Alcohol and Smoking. Currently working as a Public Health Practitioner, she is active in implementing post covid recovery plans, supporting interventions targeting the cost of living crisis and ensuring the reduction of health inequalities and inequity is embedded into practice.
Ruby is dedicated and committed to supporting the reduction of inequalities and inequity within our health and social care systems and is delighted to be a Non-Executive Director of the Healthwatch Board where she will strive to ensure local people in Birmingham and Solihull have their voices heard.
Dr John James – Non-Executive Director
John was born in West Bromwich, graduated from University of Birmingham and has spent his working career in Staffordshire, living in Lichfield.
John currently works as the Medical Director for Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent STP. Prior to this he was a GP in Lichfield for 33 years, and held roles including Chair of South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsular CCG, honorary lecturer at the University of Birmingham, examiner for The Royal College of GPs and civilian advisor to the Tri Services General Practice Education Committee
John has always been committed to the development of future health professionals, through his involvement with the training of undergraduates, postgraduates, GP Registrars, Advanced Nurse Practitioners and Allied Health Professionals
In his roles he has always championed the involvement of the citizen in decisions as regards their health care, be that with the individual or the wider population.
John is passionate about ensuring the citizen and patient voice is central to the planning, commissioning and delivery of health care. John set up his practice’s first patient participation group in the early 1980s, developed a citizen and patient council for the CCG he chaired and has worked closely with Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Healthwatch in his role of STP Medical Director.
Marcus Parsons - Non-Executive Director
Marcus is an experienced leader within the health and social care sector and brings 25 years’ experience of tackling health and social care inequality through the provision of high-quality and compassionate service delivery.
Starting his career as a volunteer, he has worked across statutory and third sector organisations, mostly within the substance misuse sector. His passion is re-thinking how organisations deliver care through service user involvement and leadership. He has set up award-winning partnership services at a local and national level and advised the Norwegian and Swedish Health Ministries on developing similar treatment system models. As Deputy Director for a UK wide charity, he has advised the Home Office on tackling Child Sexual Exploitation and driven whole treatment system redesigns, characterised by genuine co-production with service users.
More recently he has worked within the private and third sector to help organisations show their wider societal impact.
A Birmingham resident, Marcus is delighted to bring his experience to the role of Non-Executive Director of the Healthwatch Board to ensure the voice of Birmingham and Solihull residents is at the forefront of tackling healthcare inequality at a time where the sector faces significant challenges.
Dr Peter Rookes - Non-Executive Director
Dr Peter Rookes is an experienced health service manager, educator and researcher, who has worked extensively in both the state and non-state sectors in the UK and overseas.
Peter most recently researched relationships between faith-based health providers and governments in developing countries. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Ramblers, with a special interest in the Walking for Health Programme.
Dr Rookes is a Non-Executive Director for Birmingham Voluntary Service Council and County International and Faiths Advisor for Birmingham Scouts. As Secretary for Birmingham Council of Faiths, he works to achieve cohesion between people of different faiths and promote the involvement of people of faith in civil society.
With the assistance of colleagues, Peter coordinates the annual Faiths for Fun for children, the twice yearly Faiths, Health and Wellbeing Seminars, and the Birmingham programme for National Interfaith Week.
Having worked in several developing countries, Peter is passionate that comprehensive healthcare should be available according to clinical need and free at the point of delivery, and there should be public involvement in making decisions about health service priorities.
Dr Dennis Wilkes - Non-Executive Director
Dennis has lived in Solihull and worked as a Public Health Specialist in the West Midlands NHS and Local Authorities for 30 years. In his retirement from General Practice and Public Health he wants to reinvest his experience and expertise in the use of evidence to improve the outcomes of health and social care service provision for local people.
Dennis believes that services should not be judged only on their professionally technical excellence. They should be responsive to the needs and decisions of the individual they are serving. It is therefore important that the patient/user/client/public voice is heard in evaluating the quality of service provision. This will make measuring that quality more difficult but that is a challenge well worth taking up.
Tim Phillips - Volunteer Board Representative
Tim Joined Birmingham City Council Older Adults section in 1994 post qualification as a Social Worker and spent 23 years as a practitioner and Assistant Manager leaving the council in December 2017. In the years of being a practitioner with the City Tim has been able to build a wealth of experience in terms of statutory service delivery and is familiar with some of the real and perceived barriers citizens hold of the role of social workers and the assessment process.
Tim has experience in the voluntary sector as chair of the Disability Resource Centre since 2004 and has been able to understand the difficulties disabled people have to overcome in all aspects community engagement and access to health, education, and employment and training. Recognising disabled citizens of Birmingham and wider West Midlands ongoing struggle for equality of access to all aspects of community engagement Tim has also broadened his voluntary activities in the community.
Some of Tim’s other voluntary activities include, Birmingham City Council’s Citizens Voice, Healthwatch Birmingham, Birmingham University Hospitals NHS trust which includes membership of Heartlands hospital site action group. Also membership of DMR company’s Children’s services as a Lay person on their fostering panel.