Who we are

We all have lived experience as service users, patients or carers, and sometimes all three.

We are also members, or former, members of service user or carer organisations, which have their own individual needs and wishes, but we believe in the common core principles found in all such organisations.

There are now some 300 people who have become members


  • Ron Wood – Chairman
  • Wade Tovey – Projects Leader
  • David Morris – Vice Chair
  • Derek Stow,
  • Mike Maguire
  • Julia Wood

Ron Wood


My name is Ron Wood I am currently chair and treasurer of NESCHA and have been a member since the group was formed, I was Chair of both Redcar and Cleveland Patients and Public (PPI) and Local Involvement Network (LINKS) and Board Member of Healthwatch.

My Involvement in Health and Social Care matters involve me in being a member the Patient Led Assessment of the Care Environment team (PLACE) and Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust Fundamental Standards group. Also a Member of the Patients Practice group (PPI).

I am driven by my values and principals and helping the NHS and Social Care drive forward both shaping and improving the services of tomorrow and the future.

Wade Tovey

Projects Leader

Wade was Head of Social Work at Teesside University, then Assistant Dean Enterprise in the School of Health and Social Care and Manager of the Tees Valley Care Alliance. He
has led numerous projects, in a wide range different agencies. His interests have centred on best practice i participation, using of technology to facilitate this process. He has been
Projects Leader for NESCHA for over two years. He and Robert Adams, wrote Consultancy in Public Services, Empowerment and Transformation. He has chaired numerous groups,
conferences and charities regionally and nationally.

David Morris

Vice Chair

David has been a member of NESCHA for eight years and was recently made Vice Chair. He is a Volunteer with TEWV Mental Health Trust and actively involved with PLACE inspections; Infection Control; and recruitment of staff. He is also a member of South Tees CCG Patients Group and have a particular interest in
PHARMACY having helped to train such students at Durham and more recently Newcastle Universities.

‘I believe that NESCHA has much to offer our Region by informing the public through events and
activities that are related to health and social needs’

Ruby Marshall MBE

Ruby is former Chair and one of the founder members of NESCHA. She originally started work as a
hospital almoner before going on to be a Service Manager in Cleveland and then Hartlepool Social
Services. She has played key roles in Hartlepool Healthwatch, Hartlepool Carers, Young Carers, and CQC as an Expert by Experience. She continues to make great contributions with some of these groups and with the NHS Sounding Board nationally.

Derek Stow

Derek has vast experience of social work and social care, having been a Team Manager in Social
Services, before going on to work in an inspection and training roles. He has worked with the CQC
too. He has considerable experience of the health service too.

Mike Maguire

As MD/Community Pharmacist at Marton Pharmacy in Middlesbrough, Michael has transformed the health and wellbeing of his community. In 2009, Michael won the UK Community Pharmacist of the Year Award, and has since won national awards for Excellence in Training, Innovation and Excellence in Business, and an award from Mayor Ray Mallon for Services to the Community. Michael is an Honorary Lecturer at Durham University School of Pharmacy, and Chair of the Local Professional Network for Durham, Darlington, and Tees on behalf of NHS England. Michael has recently been instrumental in devising and launching the Award-Winning NHS111 Community Pharmacy Referral Service.

Julia Wood

Julia has a background in quality improvement, working predominately in the healthcare
sector, spanning secondary care, community services, CCGs and GP practices. She has
worked at a national, regional and local level.
Julia believes that all services should be built around the needs of patients and their
carers, and that teams and organisations need to work together to ensure that patients
receive a high standard of care regardless of which health and social care service they

Qualifications include

Four NESCHA members achieved degrees in Health and Social Care through Northumbria University, including one Masters, which helped lead to the formation of the original NESCA
PhD, Masters degrees, honours degrees, social work qualifications, voluntary work qualifications, business qualifications, engineering
Social workers, social work team managers, nurses, Ward Sisters, chemist, business and commerce, University manager in SHSC, engineer, military personnel including nursing.

Members experience

Members are, or have been, involved in various organisations, groups and activities


  • Healthwatches including Enter and Views
  • PPGs – various GP practices
  • CCGs
  • CQC Experts by Experience
  • Safeguarding Board
  • NE Pharmacy Optimisation Group AHSN
  • Health & Well Being Boards
  • Hartlepool Carers   –  Chair
  • Hartlepool Young Carers  – Chair
  • Hartlepool Voluntary Development Agency – Board member
  • Hartlepool Community Network
  • Hartlepool Borough Council
  • Dignity Champions
  • Transport Champions
  • Redcar and Cleveland
  • Audit and Governance
  • Scrutiny
  • South Tees NHS Trust
  • South Tees PLACE [ replaced PEAT] – Patient Led Assessment and Care – inspectors
  • Hartlepool Healthwatch Hospital discharge Project
  • Stroke Support Group, Whitley Bay
  • South Tees PPG
  • TEWV MH Trust
  • Teesside University – input to students in School of Health & Social Care


North East Social Care and Health Advisors

Helping to influence and improve the shape and quality of service in health and social care

NESCHA was originally founded as NESCA ( North East Social Care Advisors) out of some work undertaken by a group of volunteers working with Skills for Care North East, to improve the quality of the social care workforce. This work started in 2005 and the group formed then – most of whom are still together – undertook a range of projects for Skills for Care, and the Open Learning Foundation, the Tees Valley Alliance, Job Centre Plus, Universities and more, for nothing more than expenses and donations to the group.

Some members were encouraged to undertake some studies with Northumbria University and did so with three members achieving degrees and one a Masters.

The group was reformed as NE Social Care and Health Advisors in 2015, as it was felt that many of the issues that faced people with illness, disabilities or increasing age, as well as their carers, overlapped between the NHS and Social Care.

Our aim then was, and still is, to be a respected pro-active North East organisation that listens, values and shares best practice, and makes a difference, helping and shaping the services of tomorrow, with an emphasis on personalisation.

We all have lived experience, or are currently experiencing, of being service users, carers or patients, and sometimes all of these.

We are all volunteers who are driven by our values and principles, chiefly of confidentiality and trust, to do what we can to improve the quality of services that we, and others, receive now and in the future. We know, for example, that many people in care homes, both residents, relatives and the staff themselves at times, and some supported as individuals in the community, seldom have a significant voice and we aspire to assisting them.

We seek to achieve our aims by listening to our members’ views and collaborating with the organisations they represent, and by using what we hear in our extensive networks, to help articulate and influence the shape and quality of services.

We ensure that we do not share any confidential information from other organisations.

Our members will respond to calls for advice and guidance and support from individuals and organisations.

Safeguarding issues will have to be referred to the appropriate bodies but support will be given.

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