Our Chair, 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 sits on the Health and Wellbeing Board and the MK Clinical Commissioning Group Board.



Our Board

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.

Jeff Maslen (Deputy 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, including Social Care, and is committed to the concept of services being shaped for and by local people.

Mike Newton

Mike has lived in Milton Keynes for over forty 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.

Marion Wale

Marion has been involved in patient engagement in Milton Keynes for over 10 years. She helped establish LINkMK and its successor, Healthwatch Milton Keynes. Her particular areas of interest are long term conditions, the elderly and carers. Marion's working life was spent in the private sector, specialising in HR.

Anita Devi

Anita is committed to seeing a more joint-up approach between education, health and the social care sector. She has over 20 years experience in the education sector and more than a decade of leadership in special educational needs, inclusion and disability (SEND). Anita strongly believes that to influence change, you first have to listen to the voices of those directly affected.

George Assibey

George Assibey is a pastor with over 16 years experience in governance for local schools and church councils. He has served on various consultation groups with MPs and local Councillors in Milton Keynes Local Partnerships.

George has lived in Milton Keynes with his family for over 30 years and takes keen interest in community affairs. He is keen to contribute his governance knowledge towards enhancing and improving local health and social care services for the benefit of the community in Milton Keynes, areas he views as vitally important for the community.

Caroline Higgins

Caroline has a passion for improving Mental Health in Milton Keynes. Having personal experience of the issues people can face whilst trying to navigate their way through the services; often when at their most vulnerable; she is committed to utilising her extensive business and process improvement skills gained throughout her career to assist the development of a more cohesive, collaborative and accessible pathway back to well-being for all.