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Operational Board
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Dr André M. Schmidt - Chief Executive Officer, MEDIAN Group

Dr. André M. Schmidt has been CEO of the MEDIAN group of companies B.V. & Co. KG and its predecessor companies since 2011 https://www.median-kliniken.de/de/.

He has a graduate degree in Biochemistry from Leibniz University Hannover with a special focus on Theoretical Chemistry and his doctorate in natural sciences in 1998 from TU Darmstadt on protein folding studies. During this period, he was the owner of an advisory business for mobile computing and from 1998 to 2003 he worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company. As commercial director, he managed a rehabilitation clinic for three years before taking over the duties of COO of Casa Reha Holding GmbH from 2006 to 2010. From 2010 to 2011, he was COO of the McKinsey Hospital Institute in Frankfurt am Main.

Dr Schmidt led the integration of Priory with MEDIAN, to create Europe’s leading rehabilitation and mental health services provider, with a focus on health and social care services in the UK. He remains a member of Priory’s Operating Board.

Rebekah Cresswell - Chief Executive Officer, Priory

Rebekah joined Priory Group in November 2012 working as Director of Quality in Priory Healthcare for four years. During this time, she set up systems and processes, governance structures, strategically driven continuous quality improvement, led on safeguarding, H&S, regulation, patient safety, risk, audit & policies to ensure the delivery of high quality services to patients. She moved to the Group Wide role of Director of Performance and Regulation in January 2017 to drive improvement and lead on regulation interfacing with the 7 regulators across Healthcare, Education and Adult Social Care. In March 2018, she moved to Priory Adult Care full time as Chief Operating Officer to be responsible for service delivery, ensuring the people we support and care for reach their potential and enjoy their lives.

Rebekah joined Priory from NHS North West where she was Assistant Director of Clinical Quality & Patient Safety, where she led on Child Safeguarding CQUIN and CQC, with oversight of quality & safety for Greater Manchester. This included monitoring QPIs, responding to serious incidents, supporting Trusts experiencing quality issues, assessing and helping prepare organisations for Foundation Trust Status.

On 1st November 2021, Rebekah was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Priory, overseeing Priory’s operations in the UK across its Healthcare and Adult Care divisions.

Jim Lee - UK Finance Director

Jim was appointed to the role of UK Finance Director in July 2021 and has UK-wide responsibility for the finances of Priory. In addition to day-to-day finance activities the finance department seeks to provide strategic and operational insight to every aspect of the business to help and support the operations to enhance the health, stability and quality of the organisation and our patient care.

Jim joined the Priory Group in February 2011 as Group Tax Director, with responsibility for the management of the Group’s tax affairs, its relationship with HMRC, tax compliance and reporting and providing tax advice on acquisitions, restructurings and other transactions.

In February 2020 Jim took a broader role across the finance team with oversight of, and providing support to, the Treasury, Financial Accounting, Sales Ledger and Purchase Ledger departments within Priory, in addition to continued responsibility for the Group’s tax affairs.

Before joining Priory, Jim was in private practice with Deloitte for over ten years. During this time he qualified as a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Adviser, specialising in corporate tax and transaction support, with a particular focus on the healthcare sector.

Dave Hall - General Counsel and Company Secretary

Dave is a UK-qualified solicitor and joined the Priory Group in 2007 as its first General Counsel. Dave leads the Legal & Compliance teams at Priory who advise on all legal, regulatory, H&S, risk management, insurance, data protection, corporate, commercial and property matters.

Dave has considerable transaction experience having worked as an M&A lawyer in the London office of Linklaters for 9 years prior to joining Priory and he has been central to the success of the Group’s acquisition programme having acted on the purchase of Affinity, Harbour Care, Peninsula, High Quality Lifestyles, New Directions, CastleCare, Lifeworks, Progress Care and Aspire.

Paula Stanford - Chief Operating Officer, Healthcare

Paula has worked for Priory for over 6 years, joining as Hospital Director in 2015 and following several promotions is now a member of the Operating Board from June 2021. Paula is responsible for the delivery of operational services in the UK, she also manages a team of professional heads across the group, developing and improving practice and working with other Board members to achieve the highest level of service and quality.

Paula joined Priory from NHS, North West Boroughs where she was Assistant Director of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services; she represented the organisation by holding a seat on 4 local safeguarding boards.

During Paula’s 19 years of as a nurse, she has always been passionate about service user involvement, in the delivery of our services. She has a specialist interest in development of the Private aspect of the business, including the use of digital solutions.

Colin Quick – UK Director of Nursing

Colin has worked in nursing since 1992 initially as a Nursing Assistant, then completing his registered nurse training in 1998. Since then he has worked across a number of NHS and Independent Sector providers, as well as serving as a Nursing Officer in the Royal Air Force. In his career he has held both operational and professional leadership roles covering community and inpatient services within mental health, learning disability and physical care services.

Colin joined Priory in 2019 as the Group Deputy Director of Nursing and his role supports the development of the Nursing profession, ensuring safe practice on infection control, the physical health needs of our service users and our adherence to the requirements of mental health legislation.

Louise Griffiths – Director of Business Development

Louise joined Priory in 2018 as the Adult Care Service Development Director, with the remit of working with her team, alongside Operations to grow and develop new services for people with complex and challenging behaviour both in residential and supported living settings.

Louise has over 18 years of experience of developing services and leading service development teams in both healthcare and social care settings having worked at Aspirations Care, Inmind, Care Aspirations, Cambian, Ramsay Healthcare and Cheadle Royal Hospital (prior to Priory owning it).

In April 2021 Louise was appointed to the role of UK Director of Business Development and is responsible for looking after Business Development and Strategic Growth. This department works to manage Priory’s reputation, protect its core bed base, drive strategic development of services and maximise service occupancy through referrer engagement, service promotion and referral management.

Specialist Directors
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David Watts - Director of Safety

David is a registered mental health nurse with experience of managing community mental health teams. He is now more involved in patient safety.

David has spent time working in a variety of patient safety-related roles and latterly worked at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, overseeing incidents and serious incidents reported across the trust.

David joined the Priory Group in December 2012. His brief is to ensure that serious incidents, complaints and claims are effectively reported, investigated and to ensure that any lessons learnt are shared and improvements made.

Adrian Cree – UK Medical Director

Adrian joined Priory Healthcare in his first consultant role in 2007 and became a Medical Director in 2011. Following a period working for Partnerships in Care, he returned to Priory when the two organisations merged in 2016 and became a Regional Associate Medical Director in 2017, overseeing the South Region. He was appointed UK Medical Director in 2020.

Adrian is Responsible Officer and Caldicott Guardian for Priory, and also oversees our ongoing involvement in high quality research through his leadership of the Priory Research Group. His responsibilities in the Healthcare Division include oversight of prescribing practices, a focus on enhancing the recruitment of medical staff and the leadership of projects related to record keeping and patient safety.

David Ewing - UK IT Director

With a background in Electrical & Electronic Engineering, David has worked in IT for over 30 years, spending the first part of his career in the Legal & Finance sectors, working for technology companies, before moving into the private healthcare sector over 20 years ago.

David has held senior positions in a number of private healthcare providers.

Matt Rowlands – Director of Marketing

Matt joined Priory in 2015 as the Deputy Director of Marketing, focusing on the Healthcare Division, before taking on the Director of Marketing role in 2021. Matt’s remit covers the marketing activities of both Healthcare and Adult Care Divisions, supporting operations and business development teams. He also oversees the Digital Marketing function, including the management of the Priory websites, with an aim to provide a smooth and informative online enquiry experience for clients and referrers.

Matt has over 20 years’ experience within healthcare, including a number of senior marketing roles at Bupa, where he led marketing and communications strategy for corporate, retail and partnerships teams. A key area of focus for Matt is to help ensure the customer is kept at the heart of our strategy, and to help to normalise mental health discussions for those in need.

Mark Wilson - UK Commercial Director

Mark joined the Priory Group in July 2011 and has responsibility for a range of commercial activities within Priory, including leading on contract and price negotiations with NHS, local authority and other commissioners.

Mark is a chartered accountant, having qualified with KPMG in 1991. He has over twenty years’ experience working in the Health and Social Care Sector, holding a number of senior finance and commercial roles in that time.

Katie Groom – UK Director of NHS Partnerships and Bids

Katie joined Priory Group in 2013 from Serco Health, where she was a lead architect for some of the Health Division’s largest bid opportunities. As Group Director of NHS Partnerships and Bids, Katie is responsible for leading Priory’s engagement across the emerging network of Provider Collaboratives alongside key NHS and independent sector partners.

Katie also leads the development of Priory’s large tenders and proposals to deliver services across our four divisions, and is experienced in leading large bid teams and processes.

Phil Bytheway - Director of Estates and Facilities Management

Phil is responsible for managing the provision of Estates and Facilities Management across Priory.  He oversees all the major capital projects, Estates budgets and other functions provided by the Estates Team. Initially, Phil joined Priory in 2004 as Estates Manager. He then moved on to become the Head of Estates in 2019 before taking up his current role as Director of Estates and Facilities Management.

Phil is a Chartered Building Surveyor with a BSc in Building Surveying. Before joining Priory, he was a regional property surveyor for a major brewery and hotel chain undertaking new builds and refurbishment projects.

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