Our People

Meet the people behind our award-winning work

Our expert teams specialise in different types of palliative care to make sure we can tailor our support to what you need most. Here is some information about the different staff you might meet.


Our Nursing Team can review your medication, offer advice on managing your symptoms, and discuss any concerns you have. They can often act as your point of contact with the hospice if you’re being cared for at home, and can help you access other services. However all of our teams talk with each other to make sure everyone at St Catherine’s understands what you need. Members of our team can also help with your personal care needs, for example washing and dressing.



Our team of Doctors all specialise in Palliative Medicine. Their experience and knowledge means they can help find the cause of your symptoms and are experts in using the right medication to help. They can also explain what might happen as an illness progresses and help plan future treatment. By working with other specialists they can refer you for treatment to help you, such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy, and liaise with your hospital consultants and GP.



Your quality of life is the first priority of our occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and therapy technicians who are all specially trained in palliative care. They can help you stay independent by understanding how your condition affects you day-to-day and will come up with plans to help symptoms like fatigue, anxiety or breathlessness.

All of our physiotherapy and occupational therapy is specially designed for people who are living with a life-limiting condition and could be individual exercise, group classes or as simple as changing the order that you do things in a day.



Whether you are living with a life-limiting or terminal condition or close to someone who is, you can ask to have confidential sessions with our counsellors or Spiritual Care Team by asking another member of the team or calling our switchboard. Our Welfare Advisor can also help you with applying for benefits and financial aid, which can be really important when you or someone you are close to has a life-limiting condition.

Senior Management Team

Sam Farr

Sam has been nursing since 2000 and joined St Catherine’s Hospice in 2019. She has a varied nursing background, having worked in Hospital settings and Community settings, and has worked in wards, A&E, ITU, and has delivered care in people’s own homes and care homes. Sam has also worked in roles that have required her to work collaboratively across organisations and regionally.

Sam is a qualified District Nurse, Practice Teacher and a proud Queens Nurse, with many years of senior leadership experience across a variety of health care settings. She has a passion for standards of care, quality improvement, education, workforce and of course palliative and end of life care. Reflecting on her nursing career, plus professional and personal experiences of the Hospice, Sam says she is pleased to be part of the St Catherine’s team.

Cathy Heard

Cathy has a wealth of Financial, Strategic and Operational experience having worked within private healthcare for 15 years, in commercial and charitable organisations. Cathy has gained significant experience in organisations with redevelopment programmes and start up facilities.

Outside of work, Cathy lives in Box Hill Village, Tadworth and is currently renovating her house and garden. Cathy enjoys spending time with her family and unwinds with local walks

Elly Powis

Elly has a wealth of experience in HR across a variety of sectors, including the charity, retail, statutory and not for profit sector. Among Elly’s management qualities are her passion for people and deep commitment to working in a collaborative, transparent and inclusive way.

Elly is also passionate about people and is committed to helping support the work St Catherine’s and our outstanding team does and she has personal experience of St Catherine’s care as her mother was recently a patient at the hospice.

Paula McGoveney

Paula began her fundraising career over 20 years ago and hasn’t looked back since. She has risen through the ranks of a number of national charities, leading teams and working across all forms of income generation.

She believes in the importance of strong supporter relationships and the power of great storytelling and is excited to be working with the team to generate income for palliative care.

Alongside work, Paula can be found swimming laps at the local pool, attacking the ever-growing weeds in her garden or spending time with her family.

Dr Patricia Brayden

Patricia has been a Consultant at St Catherine’s since 2000 and heads up our medical team. She studied medicine at Cambridge and started working in palliative medicine in 1996. She was one of the first graduates of the King’s College London MSc in Palliative Care, which sparked an ongoing interest in service organisation and policy. Outside of medicine Patricia enjoys cooking, reading and travelling. She tweets as @StchMed.

Giles Tomsett

Giles has spent over 20 years in health and social care leadership, both in the UK and across the world. His closest friend was cared for by St Catherine’s and he is passionate about ensuring local people receive the very best end of life care possible.


Di Riley

Prior to retirement, Di had a scientific background in cancer research and strategic planning for cancer at Director level in both the NHS and the New Zealand healthcare system.  Di grew up in the local area and spent many years working with local and regional cancer service teams in Surrey, West Sussex, and Hampshire.  St Catherine’s is very close to Di’s heart after we looked after a very close friend, and more recently her mother and family, through Covid.  Di is very much looking forward to joining the team and St Catherine’s to give her experience and knowledge back to the local community.  With more free time on her hands, Di enjoys playing golf, hiking, and travelling, especially in the Southern Hemisphere.

Nicola Neal-Smith

Nicky has a professional background in Financial Services where she held Director level roles in Client Operations, Risk and Digital Channels.  Nicky is currently working in Project Management and is a qualified Business Coach.

She is also Chair of Trustees for the West Sussex Mediation Service and is a Parish Council Chair in the Horsham District.  Nicky had personal experience of the service delivered by St Catherine’s when they cared for her grandparents, and she has supported through fundraising over many years since.

Greg Andrews

Greg grew up in Australia and recently retired as Chief Operating Officer at Christ’s Hospital. He’s a qualified chartered accountant and spent most of his working life in finance, banking and investment management. He lives in Horsham with his wife, and enjoys music, cycling and travel. He’s looking forward to engaging with his local community and joining the team at St Catherine’s.

Kate Midgley

Kate has worked in the construction and build environment around compliance and governance for over 20 years and is looking forward to focusing her energy, time and commitment in St Catherine’s. She lives in Copthorne and feels passionately about the invaluable work of the hospice, and has supported us through fundraising for many years.

Philip Ingleby

Philip is a Chartered Surveyor and has worked in the business and property world for over 30 years, both in the UK and internationally.  He grew up in Horsham but now lives in Reigate with his wife and three children, and is a keen cyclist and beekeeper.  He is very much looking forward to supporting St Catherine’s in its vital work for the community.

Alison Livesley

Alison has been a Trustee since 2016.  Her professional career was in planning and project management, working on major airport developments including Heathrow Terminal 5.  She has been a Trustee for a special education charity, and a governor of a local special needs school.  Alison is a keen sewer, member of the Contemporary Quilt Guild and Secretary of local textile art group Curious Threads.

Richard Griffin

Richard was born and grew up in Crawley. He has worked in finance for over 30 years, mainly in technology and energy markets. St Catherine’s has a special place in his heart as his dad Geoff was cared for at the Hospice. Richard lives with his wife in East Grinstead and they have a son and a daughter. He enjoys cycling and golf in his spare time and is excited to be joining the team as a trustee.

Catherine Blackburn

Catherine joined us in October 2016.With a professional background in brand marketing, she currently works part-time in business consultancy. Away from work, Catherine’s a keen walker and regularly battles with her garden! She lives in Dorking and has one son.

John Abbott

John became Trustee Elect in March 2022. He was a global managing partner of a professional services firm and retired in June 2022. John remains a strategic advisor on a number of company boards and a Trustee of other charities. His wife, Tracy, was cared for by St Catherine’s so the hospice has a place in his and his family’s hearts. He and his three sons have been active in raising money for St Catherine’s over the last two years. In his spare time John enjoys travelling, walking, sailing, and golfing – and best of all time with his three grandchildren.