David Whitney | Chair, Board of Trustees, Member of: Strategy Sub-Group


Chair of the Board of Trustees, David Whitney was formerly the Chief Executive of Central Sheffield University Hospitals NHS Trust for 11 years, which included Weston Park Hospital.


He is also a former Director of the NHS National Leadership and Management Programme for Doctors 2001-2006, and is currently a Non-Executive Director of Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS FT and Chair of their Clinical Governance Committee.


David is currently Chair of the East Midlands ACCEA Committee (Advisory Committee for Clinical Excellence Awards) and until recently was the National Lead at the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine England; the Government’s London 2012 Olympic Sport, Health and Exercise Legacy Programme 2011-2014.


David holds a number of other positions, including as a Non-Executive Director of Westfield Health, a Non-Executive Director for One Health Group and Honorary Chair at the University of Sheffield.

Niall Baker | Chair, Audit & Governance Sub-Group


Niall Baker is the Chief Executive of the Business Legal Services (BLS) division of Irwin Mitchell LLP. He is a Director of IM Holdings Limited and a Board member of Irwin Mitchell LLP. He is also the Chairman of an asset management company.


Niall started his career as a private client lawyer specialising in Court of Protection work and the management of personal injury damages. He worked for 20 years managing the funds of catastrophically injured people and built the largest Court of Protection department in the country.


He continues to act as Deputy for many clients who are incapable of managing their own financial affairs. He was significantly involved in the drafting of new legislation with regard to mental health and has given evidence to both the House of Commons and House of Lords scrutiny committees regarding the needs of incapacitated adults.


“I decided to see if I could help the charity and was offered a position as a Trustee. There were three reasons for my decision. Firstly, I had seen first-hand the amazing work the hospital does with patients, having treated successfully two very close relatives. Secondly I am very much of the view that if you are in business in the City you should also contribute in some way to the charitable causes in that City. Thirdly, I wanted to do this in a way that was ‘under the radar’. It is not about me. It about the charity and this charity is perfect for that.


“There are a few challenges for us. We face unprecedented competition for donations given how much need there is for charity in our society. There is an increased need for compliance – which is expensive – and so growth is important to maintain the proportion of monies spent on patients. Finally, limited funds always result in difficult choices of how to spend them.


“My hope is that the Charity continues to grow and is able to provide funds to help even more patients and make a real difference to their lives”.


Niall lives in Sheffield, is married with two young daughters and his interests include playing golf.

Professor Rob Coleman | Chair, Strategy Sub-Group


Professor Robert (Rob) Coleman is Emeritus Professor of Medical Oncology at Weston Park Hospital and the University of Sheffield.


He graduated in medicine from Kings College Hospital Medical School in 1978 and trained in London and Edinburgh before moving to Sheffield in 1991, where he was instrumental in developing clinical cancer research in the city and establishing an internationally respected bone oncology research team in Sheffield.


Rob has held many leadership roles within the University and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Cancer Research Network. Recently retired from the University, he remains research active and has written more than 400 scientific articles and book chapters and still leads a number of national and international clinical trials. He is a past-president of the Cancer and Bone Society, the founding editor of “Journal of Bone Oncology” and a trustee for Breast Cancer Now, the largest breast cancer research charity in the UK.


Since 2014 he has been a part-time Medical Director for the global independent medical education provider, prIME Oncology™ developing and delivering both live and on-line educational programmes for oncologists and other providers of cancer care.


“I became involved as a trustee due to my major role in cancer research in the city and a passion for ensuring that Weston Park Hospital has a national and international reputation as a centre of excellence for cancer treatment and research.


“The main challenge for the charity is to secure sufficient funding and work even more effectively with the hospital and wider trust to enable Weston Park Hospital to re-establish and maintain its position as a “top 10” cancer centre.


“I would love to see the charity fulfil its potential to become the leading local health related charity in South Yorkshire”.


Rob is married with three grown up children and enjoys family time with an increasing number of grandchildren, travel, his garden and the theatre. He is also a Trustee at St Luke’s Hospice in Sheffield and for Breast Cancer Now.

Dr Patricia Fisher | Member of: Strategy Sub-Group


Dr Patricia Fisher went to medical school in Manchester and after qualifying worked initially in Manchester and Salford, then in Nottingham.


Early in her career she decided that she enjoyed caring for patients with cancer and subsequently did her oncology training in Leeds, Liverpool and Sheffield.


“I loved Sheffield from the moment I arrived in 1993, despite my initial impression that the city was obsessed with football due to the two teams meeting in the FA Cup Semi Final at Wembley shortly after my arrival.”


“I was therefore delighted to be appointed to a Consultant job at Weston Park Hospital in September 1998 with a particular interest in looking after patients with lung cancer and mesothelioma.”


In April 2010 she was appointed to the post of Clinical Director of Specialised Cancer Services and was also “privileged” to become a Trustee of the Cancer Charity. “Becoming a Trustee came automatically with the Clinical Director post – something I was unaware of at the time but has turned into a rather wonderful surprise.


“It will be a challenge to grow our fundraising efforts to match the aspirations of the hospital’s Transformation Strategy and make sure that all our patients, whether treated in Sheffield or one of our outreach clinics in Barnsley, Chesterfield, Doncaster and Rotherham, benefit from the funds we raise. However, I’m confident we can meet that challenge. In the 7 years I’ve been involved the Charity has changed enormously and very much for the better. I’m very proud to be involved and hope we continue to go from strength to strength”.


In what little spare time she has, Patricia enjoy the various swimming pools in Sheffield and long walks through Wheata Wood and Prior Royd. She is into detective fiction – the gorier the better!

Emeritus Professor Barry Hancock | Chair, Large Grants Advisory Panel; Chair, Funding Committee


Barry Hancock OBE (always affectionately known as ‘Prof’) is Emeritus Professor in Oncology, University of Sheffield, having retired in 2009.


He was born in London but has lived in Sheffield for nearly 50 years. He has always been foremost a clinician who placed a high priority of attaining the best possible standards of care for his patients. His research work paralleled his clinical interests and he was acclaimed a BMA Academic Role Model in 2005.


Prof Hancock’s achievements have been acknowledged by awards from the Lord Mayor of Sheffield (New Year Honour for service to the community, 1999), Sheffield Star Newspaper (Local Community Hero, 2002), University of Sheffield (Centenary Medal for outstanding achievement, 2005), British Oncological Association (‘Excellence in Oncology’ lifetime achievement, 2008), International Society for the Study of Trophoblastic Diseases (Gold Medal for significant contribution to new knowledge) and Sheffield City Council (‘Sheffield Legends’, honouring famous Sheffield people, 2010).


His OBE (2009) was for services to Medicine and Healthcare. He has been passionately involved with Weston Park Cancer Charity since its inauguration in 1994.


“I was privileged to be a founder trustee of the charity back in 1994 when we set out to fund quality facilities working together with the NHS. One of our challenges is to find the most effective ways to work collaboratively with the NHS and other charities to co-fund enhanced cancer care, treatment and research to the benefit of patients and their carers. We are working hard to help keep Weston Park Hospital as a national leader in cancer treatment and research, and to promote the hospital’s role in providing services for patients with cancer, and their carers, throughout South Yorkshire and Northern East Derbyshire”

Pat McGrath | Member, Small Grants Panel


Pat was formerly the Director of Accommodation and Commercial Services for the University of Sheffield. She was born in Sheffield and graduated from Sheffield Hallam University.


Pat spent the first part of her career working in London managing student accommodation and commercial services for a number of Universities. Returning to Sheffield in the early 90’s to undertake an MBA Pat started working for the University of Sheffield developing commercial services and the conference business whilst undertaking the restructure and subsequent redevelopment of the 6000 bed accommodation.


Prior to retirement Pat led the introduction of a wholly owned commercial subsidiary for the University, opening shops, restaurants, hotel and retail opportunities including a number of cafes.


“My husband Nick was diagnosed with cancer in 2011 and following an operation at Barnsley Hospital he was sent to Weston Park. Prior to that date I had never been inside the building or even thought much about it. I had passed Weston Park almost every day for almost 20 years and really knew nothing about the place or what went on. I was amazed to meet so many wonderful caring people who were able to instil such confidence in their treatment plan for Nick, we never doubted their commitment or care. From that day I knew I needed to “give back” in whatever way I could to this magnificent organisation.

“As I see it, the Charity needs to ensure the needs of the patients are clearly identified so that its funding is targeted to provide the best possible care. Its partnership with the hospital will set out a clear strategy to continually improve the facilities that the charity funds. However, it’s vital that we raise awareness of the needs of Weston Park to potential donors.


“We need to make sure that the charity’s profile is raised within the region, as we offer vital services in community locations other than Weston Park. We will foster an ever closer working relationship between the hospital and the charity so that the transformation strategy can be implemented”.


Pat lives in Penistone with her husband Nick and spends her retirement travelling, walking and learning to cook. Pat is a governor at Notre Dame and a non-executive director for Sodexo.

Dr Kash Purohit | Member of: Strategy Sub-Group


Kash Purohit is a consultant clinical oncologist / honorary senior lecturer at the University of Sheffield, based at Weston Park Hospital since 1995. He is a Fellow of Faculty Radiologists, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, a Fellow of the Royal College of Radiologists London and Doctor of Medicine at the University of Sheffield.


“I’ve treated all kinds of cancer; particularly children in my youth but for the last 20+ years head and neck cancer, breast and skin cancer have been my specialities.


“Since 1991 I have developed a research program in bone metastases with my colleague Professor Coleman and have published several papers in various international journals. Bone metastases have always remained my speciality – I have been the bone lead for Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust for well over 20 years.


“I have always believed that the National Health Service has a finite funding – being a researcher I always struggled to get enough funds through the NHS and have also been supported in my two years of research in the early nineties by a Yorkshire research charity which allowed me to complete my doctor of medicine degree. I believe that with all my experience, including having formed a charity in Edinburgh 25 years ago, I can make a significant contribution in supporting a fine charity such as this one by joining as a trustee. Fundraising is not an easy task, particularly with so many other charities competing for funding. We need to invest appropriately in state of the art research and recruit more trustees with different backgrounds for support. My hopes for the charity are that it will continue to thrive as it has been doing over recent years, and that it can recruit appropriate people at the earliest opportunity when vacancies arise. As its work expands I’d also like us to find suitable premises to provide an excellent environment for the Charity.”


Kash is married with two children, both of whom are studying medicine. He enjoys music, cooking and football, and has been a crowd safety doctor for both Sheffield football clubs since 1993.

Neil Riley | Member, Funding Sub-Committee


Prior to his retirement in 2016, Neil had spent over 35 years in NHS management of which the last 20 years had been in Sheffield. From 1995 to 1998 he was Chief Executive at Weston Park Hospital.


From 2002 he held the post of Assistant Chief Executive at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals .He is a Trustee of the Cathedral Archer Project and a Lay Adviser to the Ampleforth Abbey Trust. “I had fond memories of being the CEO of the hospital some 20 years ago and was delighted to be approached as a Trustee. We need to make sure that as a charity we are reaching out to South Yorkshire as a whole, to make the best possible impact. “As far as the future is concerned, my hope is that the Charity will be recognised as a strategic partner and source of innovation in the delivery and development of specialist cancer services”


Neil is married with two grown up sons and lives in Doncaster. He runs a part time consultancy practice helping organisations to ensure there is good governance in their organisation. He is a keen, if somewhat slow, road cyclist.