Bringing with her over 40 years’ experience in NHS, local authority and third sector leadership roles at a strategic level, Kathy has been the Chief Executive of the Association of Mental Health Providers since April 2012. She is an advocate for true coproduction, and throughout her career, Kathy has championed the need for whole-person and whole-system approaches to the design, development and delivery of services, across health, social care and wider community.
Kathy has held key positions on several national boards and fora, representing the interests of voluntary, community, and social enterprise (VCSE) sector mental health service providers. Notably this includes the Department of Health and Social Care's recent COVID-19 Social Care Stakeholders Group for which she chaired the Mental Health and Wellbeing Advisory Group, bringing together key stakeholders from the sector.
As Chair for the Care Provider Alliance in 2020-21, during the pandemic, Kathy led the representation of the social care sector in national policy, the Mental Health Act Independent Review Topic Group on Advocacy, the Think Local Act Personal Board, and Professions Allied to Medicine. She has also co-chaired Health Education England's Peer Support Workers Oversight Group.
Kathy is a crucial member of the national network of Mental Health Leads, comprising of 16 leading CEOs, and was selected to chair the Governance Group overseeing the DHSC Mental Health Emergency Covid funding of £5m for the VCSE provider sector. Through collaboration with the network of Leads, Kathy initiated the creation of the Mental Health Sustainability Programme (MHSP) to support small grassroots providers of mental health services disproportionately impacted by Covid.
Through Kathy’s leadership, The Association has grown its membership to over 300 provider organisations. In addition to the MHSP, The Association has been selected as the mental health partner in the delivery of various programmes, such as the Enterprise Development Programme which supports enterprise development and trading models in SMEs.
Kathy qualified as an occupational therapist in the early 1980s practising in both health and social care. In the mid-1990s, she moved from being the Head of Occupational Therapy Services into a modernisation and development senior management role across adult and older people’s services.
In 2005, Kathy moved into the voluntary and community sector as a Director of Strategic Development where she was involved in looking at policy and influencing services at a local, national, and European level. In this role, Kathy led in inquiries and responses to Joint reviews and LA improvement plans, and was involved in various commissions and mental health clinical senate work.