The Healthwatch Advisory Panel is responsible for developing strategic business plans and monitoring outcomes and impact, in conjunction with the Executive Team, who are responsible for the delivery of activities.


Jeff Maslen (Chair)

Jeff Maslen has first hand experience of the workings of Local Healthwatch, having worked as Chairman of Healthwatch Hillingdon for four years. Jeff has a background in public service and social care, and is committed to the concept of services being shaped for and by local people.

Alan Hancock (Deputy Chair)

Originally a BBC radio and television producer, and a founder member of the UK Open University team, Dr. Hancock worked for a number of years in Asia and joined UNESCO in 1969 as a regional communication adviser for Asia and the Pacific. Moving to Unesco Headquarters in Paris in 1972, he spent more than twenty years with the Communication Division, where he was Director from 1987. In 1992, he became a Principal Director and established a dedicated programme for UNESCO in Central and Eastern Europe. After establishing himself as an independent consultant in 1996, he undertook numerous assignments for the European Commission in Brussels, the World Bank and communication agencies across Europe.

In retirement since 2014, Dr Hancock is active in civil society, where he has a particular interest in integrated health and social care, primary care and acute care. Becoming a Patient Champion of the National Association for Patient Participation in 2013, he was Chair of his local Patient Participation Group for three years, and a founding Trustee of the newly independent Healthwatch Milton Keynes, where he is Deputy Chair of the Healthwatch Advisory Panel. He was elected a Public Governor of Milton Keynes University Hospital Foundation Trust in 2016 and is an Expert by Experience on the Council of the East of England Clinical Senate.

Hilda Kirkwood

Hilda Kirkwood has over 25 years experience in social care. She was a founding member of the Parents and Carers Alliance (PACA) and was involved in the development of services for Young Carers. Hilda attends the Health and Wellbeing Board and the MK Clinical Commissioning Group Board.

Mike Newton

Mike has lived in Milton Keynes for over fourty years. He spent most of his working life at the Open University and is now retired. Family circumstances have made him realise the importance of good health and care services.

Geraldine Boyle

Geraldine joined the HAP in Dec 2018. She is a Senior Lecturer in Health at the Open University who teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students undertaking health and social care courses and she has undertaken research into care quality in a range of health and social care settings. You can find out more via her university webpage:

Carolyn Peirson

Carolyn represents Healthwatch Milton Keynes on the Older Persons Forum. She is an elected public governor of the Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust for Stantonbury, Stony Stratford and Wolverton communities. Carolyn worked in health services for 35 years, as an x-ray technician, medical photographer, medical records clerk and blood bank administrator.

Lesley Bell

Lesley worked nationally for 35 years in social services and social care, working at the interface with health services. She was responsible, on behalf of the Dept. of Health, for the development of the 1st set of national standards to regulate domiciliary care. Lesley sat on the board of governors of Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust from 2006 to 2016.

John Needham

The minutes from the Healthwatch Advisory Panel Meeting are publicly available.

To view the minutes click the link below, and search for 'Healthwatch Advisory Panel' in our Reports and Publications. 

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