Contact the team

If you have any questions about NHS Top Leaders please do get in touch with us - you can use the form below to contact the team.


Deborah Chafer

Deborah Chafer, Head of Talent Development and Resourcing, NHS Leadership Academy

Deborah leads the NHS Top Leaders activity and as a previous NHS Top Leaders participant herself, she has a strong background of clinical and managerial experience in the NHS. She worked in a number of roles in hospitals around Manchester, latterly focusing on organisational and leadership development. This led to her becoming Director of the NHS Northwest Leadership Academy in 2007.

"All throughout my career, I have both experienced and recognised that leaders in the NHS have some of the most challenging, exhausting, complex, and politically volatile and demanding jobs that you could imagine. I, like you, know that by supporting your development and wellbeing, offering you some ‘head room’ and enabling wider thinking, you will be more prepared to lead on the massive agendas that face you on a daily basis."

Contact Deborah 


Jennifer Platt contact

Jennifer Platt, Programme Lead - NHS Top Leaders

Jennifer joined NHS Top Leaders in late 2012, having previously worked as senior project manager for a large-scale service reconfiguration programme. As Programme Lead she is responsible for managing and implementing all elements of NHS Top Leaders, ensuring the effective, efficient and high quality delivery of the programme.

Jennifer’s background is in clinical research management and research programme management. She is a qualified PRINCE2 (Project Management) Practitioner and recently graduated with an MSc in Healthcare Management from the University of Manchester.

Contact Jennifer


Vanessa Trimble, Senior Programme Lead - Fast Track

Contact Vanessa


Dave Ashton contact

David Ashton, Head of Practice, NHS Leadership Academy

David has joined the NHS Top Leaders team from his role as director of the Learning Alliance, an NHS trading agency specialising in organisational, team and individual development. He will be leading on elements of the development options for Top Leaders participants, including action learning and the development of professional networks.

David has a clinical background in general nursing, and has worked at a senior level in nursing, human resource and general management across acute, mental health and primary care settings.

He has worked extensively in organisations with a range of people including Board and front line staff using an action learning approach to organisational and personal development. He also applies this methodology in the delivery of leadership development programmes for consultant medical staff and senior managers.

Contact Dave
Call: 07766 820 795


Martin Hancock contact

Martin Hancock, Associate Director - Executive Search

Martin joined the NHS Top Leaders team in January 2012 after fifteen years in the commercial executive search sector. Originally working for one of the foremost global recruitment brands, he then joined a start-up, where as a shareholder and member of the management team he helped build a business that became recognised as a UK market leader in its field.  Delivering Partner and Director level search and selection projects, most of his clients during this period were in the Management Consulting, Technology and Telecoms sectors.

More recently Martin worked for the executive search practice of an AIM-listed full service HR Consulting business, where amongst other things he established the Management Consulting sector search practice, designed and managed the largest single executive recruitment programme ever undertaken by the firm, and set up and led the Healthcare sector practice.

Prior to moving into recruitment Martin graduated from Bristol University with a BSc 2i (hons) in Biochemistry, after which he spent five years in the Army, leaving as Captain.  He lives with his wife on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales and in his spare time enjoys fell running and adventure racing.

Contact Martin
Call: 07557 012747 


General enquiries

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