Header image for the current page Executive Team

John Parkes, Managing Director

John is the Managing Director of Arden & GEM and has led the Commissioning Support Unit since its creation in 2013. He has extensive NHS experience, including over 25 years’ as a Chief Executive of commissioning organisations and hospitals in a number of locations across England.

John also brings a unique insight into the challenges facing major reconfigurations, having been a Board Member of the National Independent Reconfiguration Panel established to provide advice to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on disputed or controversial service reconfigurations. He has also been a visiting professor in healthcare management at Northampton University.

Gill Scoular, Finance and Strategy Director and Deputy Managing Director

Gill is responsible for all areas of Arden & GEM’s corporate finance function and ensures that the Commissioning Support Unit maintains a strong financial footing. She also leads on the development of our commercial strategy and partnerships, as well as acting as Deputy Managing Director. 

Gill is a very experienced finance director having undertaken leadership roles in both the commissioning and provider sectors. This includes finance director roles spanning a Strategic Health Authority (SHA), acute trust, primary care trust (PCT) and PCT cluster. In addition to a wealth of financial expertise, Gill also has extensive turnaround and performance management experience. 

Mike Walker, Director of Business Services

Mike provides senior leadership support to customers across all business services including Human Resources (HR), Corporate Governance, Finance and Engagement, Communications and Marketing.

Mike joined Arden & GEM from NHS Nottinghamshire County where he was Director of Workforce and Organisational Development and was host Director of the Nottinghamshire Health and Social Care Workforce Team. During 2012, he was seconded to the NHS Commissioning Board Authority as HR Lead for Commissioning Support Units and Clinical Commissioning Groups. Mike brings a mix of both public and private sector experience with previous roles spanning the Ministry of Defence, GEC and Marconi.

Louise Newcombe, Director of Clinical Services

Louise leads the clinical services directorate which encompasses Continuing Healthcare, Medicines Optimisation, Clinical Governance, Individual Funding Requests and Personal Health Budgets. Louise has a proven track record of improving health outcomes by developing productive relationships between patients, clinicians and management.

Louise has over 25 years’ experience in the NHS, predominantly working as a commissioner. Previously Programme Director for EMPACT, she first joined the NHS as a graduate management trainee. Louise spent a significant part of her career establishing and running Bassetlaw Primary Care Trust and then went on to establish one of the first commissioning support organisations across the East Midlands. 

Wendy Lane, Director of Consultancy Services

Wendy is responsible for consultancy services, product development for new and emerging markets and relationships with the third sector. She also provides senior leadership for Service Transformation including programmes that redesign processes, support the integration of service models and deliver efficiency savings across the health system.

Wendy has over 16 years’ experience in the health service, working predominately in the Acute Sector before moving on to senior commissioning roles. Wendy’s highlights include designing and delivering a Discharge to Assess model which won a Patient Experience Network Award and implementing a mental health redesign programme that significantly improved patient care, delivered savings of over £12 million and won an HSJ Value Award.

Helen Seth, Director of Business Intelligence and Provider Management

Helen leads our Business Intelligence and Provider Management directorate, delivering the data, analysis, insight and contractual innovation that is integral to providing appropriate, resilient and sustainable health services.

A diagnostic radiographer by background, Helen has over 30 years’ NHS experience in provider and commissioner organisations including service delivery, operations management, corporate strategy and system wide transformation. More recently she was asked to undertake the role of Director of Health and Care Integration as part of the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Better Care Together programme – successfully leading across organisational and professional boundaries. With a wealth of strategic and operational experience, Helen has led a series of CSU service developments to improve data availability, standardise systems and simplify processes.

Anthony Upshall, Director of IT

Anthony provides strategic leadership for the IT directorate delivering end-to-end services including strategic planning, infrastructure, systems development and user support.

Anthony is passionate about harnessing the power of information and technology to deliver solutions that make health and care better for both patients and NHS employees. He has considerable NHS and IT experience, and for the past 20 years has worked in a range of NHS organisations across the country delivering major IT projects and programmes.

Paul Thefaut, Chief Operating Officer (NHS England and NHS Improvement)

Paul provides strategic leadership across a portfolio of services provided to NHS England and NHS Improvement - as well as being the executive lead for our Procurement directorate and provision of managed services.

With over 20 years’ NHS experience, Paul is a versatile senior leader who’s specialities include financial turnaround/transformation, programme and general management. Throughout his career Paul has held a number of senior operations and finance positions. Prior to joining Arden & GEM he was both Director of Operations and Commercial Director for Midlands and East Specialised Commissioning and prior to joining the NHS held Finance Director positions at Royal Mail and Computer Sciences Corporation.

Nigel Cullumbine, Chief Operating Officer (Norfolk & Waveney)

Nigel provides strategic leadership in Norfolk & Waveney for a wide portfolio of commissioning support services provided to the five Clinical Commissioning Groups and Sustainability and Transformation Partnership.

Nigel is a senior leader with experience spanning project/programme management, operational IT management, business intelligence and business development. In addition to over 12 years’ experience in the NHS, his previous positions provide insight from the private sector and local authority. Before joining Arden & GEM Nigel’s roles have included: Chief Information Officer for NHS Anglia CSU and Director of Analytics for NEL CSU.

Paul Davison, Chief Operations Officer (Essex)

Paul delivers strategic leadership across all commissioning support services provided for seven Clinical Commissioning Groups serving the population of Essex.

Essex born and bred, Paul has spent most of his NHS career working with providers and trusts across the county. He is a qualified accountant and has held senior leadership roles in IT, contracts, finance, BI and procurement functions. Before joining Arden & GEM, Paul worked as Director of Transformation and Strategy for North East Essex CCG where he led the Essex CCGs' major IT procurement via the lead provider framework.