Our Board

AQuA is formally accountable to its Board which meets on a quarterly basis.

The Board is made up of the Executive Management Team as well as a number of external appointments from both within AQuA's membership and the wider public sector.

Executive Team


David Fillingham CBE

David Fillingham CBE

Chief Executive

David was appointed as the first Chief Executive of AQuA in April 2010. David joined the NHS in 1989 from a career in manufacturing. He went on to take a number of Chief Executive posts including Wirral FHSA, St Helens and Knowsley Health Authority, North Staffordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, and Royal Bolton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

From 2001 to 2004, David was Director of the NHS Modernisation Agency, developing new ways of working and promoting leadership development across the NHS as a whole, For this work he was awarded a CBE in the Queens New Year Honours.

In 2010, David was made the National NHS Quality Champion in the NHS Leadership Awards. He has lectured internationally on the topic of quality improvement and leadership development, and has written a number of publications, including Lean Healthcare (2008) and Developing System Leaders (co-authored with Belinda Weir and published by The King’s Fund 2014).

In his work with AQuA David focuses on developing Improvement Leaders, working with Boards, and nurturing system leadership skills across whole communities.

David is also a Visiting Senior Fellow at The King’s Fund, and a Non-Executive Director and Deputy Chair at Aintree Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.



Elizabeth Bradbury

Elizabeth Bradbury


Elizabeth joined AQuA in 2010 as Director, with responsibility for Mental Health, Integration and Transformation, Patient Experience and Communications and Marketing.

A Health Foundation / Institute for Healthcare Improvement Quality Improvement Fellow in 2009 /10, she concentrated on system level change and models of integrated care, as well as improving her own knowledge and skills with a Masters in Public Health from Harvard and a number of IHI courses, including the Patient Safety Executive Development Programme and Executive Quality Academy.

Elizabeth has a long term interest in developing improvement capability and capacity stemming back to her career as a nurse specialising in emergency care. Having led clinical improvement initiatives, she moved to leadership roles in regional and national improvement programmes, including with the NHS Modernisation Agency and the Department of Health Emergency Intensive Support Team and as an improvement consultant for NHS Scotland.  

She is also an executive leadership coach and board member of the International Foundation for Integrated Care (IFIC).



Lesley Massey

Lesley Massey


Lesley joined AQuA as a Director and founding member of the management team in 2010. Lesley established and leads the AQuA Academy, overseeing the strategic development and delivery of quality improvement training and development, providing the tools and methodologies for building capability and capacity from Board to front line.

As a leading member of the AQuA expert faculty, she is also responsible for the design and direct delivery of executive team /board development programmes for quality and safety, as well as offering coaching support to both teams and individuals. 

Lesley has worked in the NHS since qualifying as an Occupational Therapist in 1985. She has an MA in Health Care Management and has undertaken a number of senior leadership positions in acute hospital care settings. Pursuing her passion and commitment to making improvements in care quality and patient safety, and as a senior improvement advisor, Lesley has led several large scale/collaborative regional and national improvement programmes, particularly in reducing hospital mortality rates, zero tolerance to patient harm, and shared decision making/self-management support.

Lesley has considerable experience of working in complex systems using stakeholder engagement, partnership alliances and influencing the culture for innovation and improvement in order to drive tangible results.  Prior to joining AQuA, Lesley was an Associate Director with the North West Improvement Alliance and had undertaken a regional review of quality improvement capability and capacity within NHS care systems. 



Cath Hill

Cath Hill


Cath was appointed as an AQuA Director in October 2013. She holds responsibility for the Advancing Quality (AQ) programme and analytics, as well as AQuA's finances and business systems.

Cath was previously the Associate Director of Strategy and Business Development at Warrington and Halton NHS Foundation Trust. She is a qualified accountant with an extensive career in the NHS, covering a range of senior leadership roles in finance, consultancy, audit, strategy, and business development.  

Cath is currently leading on the Well Led reviews of Foundation Trusts on behalf of AQuA, in conjunction with a number of our partners.


Board Members


Elaine Inglesby-Burke

Elaine Inglesby-Burke CBE


Executive Nurse Director and Deputy Chief Executive, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust

Elaine is the Executive Lead for Nursing Governance, Patient Safety and Quality Improvement and Deputy Chief Executive at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust. Since 1996, she has held Executive Nurse Director positions across both specialist and large acute Trusts.

As a Florence Nightingale leadership Scholar, she undertook the opportunity for a women’s leadership programme for global executives at Harvard University, as well as the Executive Quality Academy at the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, Boston.

In 2015, Elaine was awarded a CBE for services to nursing in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Gail Briers

Gail Briers

Director of Nursing and Governance, 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Gail Briers is the Director of Nursing and Governance for North West Boroughs Healthcare (formerly 5 Boroughs Partnership) NHS Foundation Trust, and is a qualified mental health nurse working in the NHS for over 27 years.

She has worked in a variety of clinical roles across in-patient and community services, before embarking on a career path in clinical management. Her previous leadership roles have covered all business streams and most recently older people services. Gail has also carried out the role of Assistant Director of Nursing.

Gail is committed to ensuring that North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust creates opportunities to develop the nursing workforce, and supports them to take an active role shaping services both now and in the future.

Phil Wadeson

Phil Wadeson

Director of Finance, NHS England (Cheshire & Merseyside)

Phil is Director of Finance for the NHS England’s Cheshire and Merseyside region, which is responsible for the direct commissioning of primary and specialist care as well as funding and assurance for Clinical Commissioning Groups across the health and care system.

Prior to joining NHS England is 2013, Phil was Director of Finance at NHS Merseyside, which was made of the four Primary Care Trusts across the region. Having worked in Liverpool for over 14 years, he has overseen the transformation of the city’s healthcare finances into one of the strongest and most resilient health economies in the country.

Before joining the NHS, Phil held board level positions in both local government and the private sector across the North West.

Dr Janet Williamson

Dr Janet Williamson

Deputy Chief Inspector of Primary Medical services and Dentistry, Care Quality Commission

Janet is the Deputy Chief Inspector of Primary Medical services and Dentistry at the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Prior to this, Janet was the Director of National Improvement Programmes at NHS Improving Quality.

Janet has led national change programmes in cancer, heart disease, stroke, diagnostics and lung disease, working on whole systems and pathways of care with care providers, commissioners, clinical networks and policy makers.

Fiona Taylor

Fiona Taylor

Chief Officer, NHS South Sefton CCG & Southport and Formby CCG

Fiona is Chief Officer at NHS South Sefton and NHS Southport & Formby Clinical Commissioning Groups. Originally qualifying as a Registered General Nurse, Midwife and Health Visitor, she has held a number of roles across community care and service redesign.

In 2000 Fiona moved into her first Director level role with Mancunian Community Trust, and held a number of roles and portfolios, including as Acting Chief Executive. She moved to Sefton Primary Care Trust in 2007, and was appointed Chief Officer of the new Clinical Commissioning Groups in 2012.

As a system leader she is passionate about developing a strong sense of collaboration and partnerships with key stakeholders, to help improve the quality of care for the local population and communities.

Dr James Mountford

Dr James Mountford

Director of Clinical Quality, UCL Partners

James Mountford is Director of Quality and Capability at UCL Partners, working across the partnership to develop and deploy measures of quality and value and link measurement to improvement.

Before joining UCL Partners, James held roles as an NHS doctor and as a consultant at McKinsey. James has also been a Commonwealth Fund / Health Foundation Harkness Fellow, based in Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston and at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)


Dr Joanna Bircher

GP and Clinical Director for the Greater Manchester GP Excellence Programme

Andy Wilson

Dr Andrew Wilson

GP and Chair of NHS South Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group

Andrew is currently Clinical Chair of NHS South Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group, and Chair of the Connecting Care in Central Cheshire, which has involved a number of projects around large scale change and collaborative leadership.

He is also a part-time GP partner for Ashfield’s Primary Care Centre in Sandbach. Prior to graduating in medicine in 1996, he trained to be a pharmacist and research scientist. Andrew has been involved within quality improvement work for a number of years, and was also one of AQuA’s 2015/16 Leadership for Improvement Fellows.


Helen Bevan

Chief Transformation Officer, Horizons Group, NHS England

Helen leads NHS England’s Horizons Group as their Chief Transformation Officer. She has spent over 25 years within the English NHS as a leader for change, and has worked across a number of improvement roles and initiatives, including previously with the former NHS Modernisation Agency and NHS Institute.

Through the Horizons team, she aims to promote new ideas, approaches and knowledge to help support improvements across health and social care, and champion emerging leaders for radical change. Much of this focus is through social movement thinking, community organising, improvement science, accelerated design and digital technologies.


Gita Bhutani

Associate Director for Psychological Professions, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust


Tiffany Hemming

Director of Transformation at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust