Non-Executive Directors

Chairman: Professor Ian Cumming OBE

Ian started his career in the NHS as a Scientist and, after qualifying, worked in the field of hereditary coagulation disorders before moving into NHS Leadership in 1990.

Since then Ian has held a variety of NHS general management posts including over 11 years as Chief Executive of acute hospital Trusts, three years as the Chief Executive of a healthcare commissioning organisation, and three years as the Chief Executive of the NHS in the West Midlands. From 2012 to 2020, Ian was Chief Executive of Health Education England (HEE), the largest education and training organisation in the world, responsible for the education, training and development of the current and future NHS workforce.

Ian has a personal interest in both pre-hospital care and in sports medicine, an area in which he holds an MSc. Through his role with Health Education England Ian was keen to see the paramedic profession flourish.  He is determined to keep the Trust at the forefront of developing patient care and embrace the future delivery of healthcare through the potential use of robotics, artificial intelligence, genomics, home-based clinical informatics and the ‘internet of things’ which will bring huge opportunities for WMAS together with the evolving role of paramedics in the delivery of healthcare away from their traditional role in 999 services; together these bring an array of exciting opportunities for WMAS.

In addition to his role as Trust Chairman, Prof. Cumming also holds roles as Professor of Global Healthcare Workforce and Strategy at Keele University and is the UK Senior Responsible Officer for Health in the Overseas Territories, and the NHS Global Workforce Ambassador. In 2003 Ian was awarded the OBE for services to the NHS and in 2010 Ian was made an honorary Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners. Ian has also been recognised with honorary degrees from 5 universities.

Ian has an interest in Sport and Exercise Medicine, is a qualified level 3 swimming coach, a keen snow skier and enjoys sailing and hill-walking.

Non-Executive Director: Narinder Kaur Kooner

Kooner, Narinder New 2009

Narinder has been a local authority Councillor since 2006 and has held the prominent position of Assistant Leader of Birmingham City Council. Narinder is a Local Government Association Labour Peer and on the Executive of Sikh Council UK.  She is also a qualified Neuro-Linguistics Programming Practitioner and Mental Health First Aider. Narinder was recognised as one of 350 influential Sikh Women across the world and has had numerous awards in recognition of her Leadership and Community Work.

Narinder was instrumental in shaping devolution in Birmingham and is passionate about tackling unemployment and supporting and empowering local community groups. She has strong links with businesses, voluntary, third sector and community organisations within the city.

She is a Director of Sikh Women’s Action Network (SWAN), an organisation which provides one to one support to victims of abuse, Child Sexual Exploitation and Grooming.  SWAN delivers workshops to raise awareness of the impact of abuse on families and children and works in partnership with statutory organisations to feed into policy, influence service delivery. Narinder also co-hosts a talk show on TV to address issues that exist within South Asian communities that are not openly discussed.

Non-Executive Director: Professor Alex Hopkins

Alex has been a nurse for 46 years, first qualifying in 1980 and working in cancer nursing as a staff nurse and ward sister until the early 1990s.  Further study of nursing at Manchester University led her to qualify as a nurse teacher and she moved into nursing and health education full time.  A variety of lecturing roles culminated in taking a post at the Royal College of Nursing in 2007 to develop and deliver distance learning top up degrees for nurses.  Following this, Alex returned to mainstream higher education latterly as Faculty Dean at the University of Wolverhampton, where she enjoyed working in close partnership with local and regional NHS Trusts, notably WMAS.  In 2021 she retired from he Faculty role and took up a number of consultancy posts with other Universities.  She was recently appointed as a visiting Professor in Nursing and Health at Newman University Birmingham.  Alex has retained a passion for and commitment to promoting excellence in quality patient care.  Outside of work her time is devoted to her family and friends, travel and reading.

Non-Executive Director: Mohammed Fessal

Mo Website

Mohammed is no stranger to the Board having initially joined on the NExT Director scheme in 2019.   The NExT scheme supports talented people to become the next generation of non-executives in the NHS.

As a qualified pharmacist, Mohammed has over 15 years of experience across the NHS, private and voluntary sectors. Currently Chief Pharmacist at CGL, a voluntary sector organisation specialising in substance misuse, homelessness, domestic violence and young people’s services, Mohammed is passionate about supporting the most vulnerable in society by empowering and tackling discrimination.

Mohammed is a member of the Advisory Council of Misuse of Drugs,  which is an advisory non-departmental public body that makes recommendations to the Home Office on the control of dangerous or otherwise harmful drugs. He also works as a specialist advisor for the CQC, sits on the CQC Controlled Drugs National Sub-Group and is a member of the Approved Premises Governance Board.

Non-Executive Director: Wendy Farrington-Chadd


Wendy has over 25 years experience at Executive Board level within the NHS both in Finance and General Management, and has undertaken several Executive roles at Chief Executive and Finance Director level.

She has worked across the complete spectrum of the healthcare system both in hospital providers and in commissioning, and has experience in both England and Wales. Wendy joined the NHS through the National Graduate Financial Management Training Scheme in the North West and undertook several senior roles prior to obtaining Finance Director positions.

She has also undertaken several national and regional Chair and leadership roles including: Chairman of the West Midlands HFMA; lead Chief Executive for the National Specialist Orthopaedic Alliance; Chair of the Local Education and Training Committee informing workforce strategy for NHS providers, and Chair of NHS West Midlands Providers.

Wendy has worked as a Management Consultant since 2015 and supports the British Academy of Audiology as Consultant CEO, as well as undertaking Financial Turnaround and Strategic Consultancy assignments for the NHS and private sectors. She is also a qualified Executive Coach. Wendy lives with her husband Trevor near Shrewsbury in Shropshire and has two grown up children.

Non-Executive Director: Mushtaq Khan

next-director-placement-mushtaq-khan.jpgMushtaq is a legal consultant to corporates. He is a highly regarded solicitor with more than 20 years’ experience, including at a senior level as partner and head of department at top 50 national corporate law firm, Freeths LLP. He has worked with a wide range of enterprises spanning the private, public and the third sector.

Mushtaq is a former President of The Birmingham Law Society, the largest UK regional law society established in 1818. He has been highly recommended as a leading lawyer in the globally renowned directory on lawyers – Chambers & Partners UK.

He has been identified in the Birmingham Post, Power 250, as a senior figure who (with others!) is key to the future of Birmingham.

Mushtaq supports values led social businesses and is a board director (non-executive) at the Accord Group, one of the largest housing and social care organisations in the Midlands, with an annual turnover of c£120 million, an asset base of c£700+ million, providing over 13,000 affordable homes and health care support to 60,000 people and employing over 4,000 colleagues. He is a board director (non-executive) at the Birmingham Education Partnership, a charity and company (not for profit) that is focussed on school improvement through partnership works including contractual or commissioned work, membership services and traded activities to over 500 schools in Birmingham.

Non-Executive Director: Julie Jasper

Julie joined the Board of WMAS in October 2022 as a Non-executive Director and Chair of the Audit Committee. She qualified as an Accountant in 1985 and has enjoyed a successful career in Senior positions and Executive Director roles in the Public, Private, Voluntary and Nationalised Industry sectors.

Julie is an experienced Non-Executive Director and was first appointed to the role at Dudley PCT in 2006, and has held Non-Executive, Audit Chair and Lay Member roles in Dudley CCG, Sandwell & West Birmingham CCG, Black Country Custer CCG and West Birmingham Local Commissioning Board.

Julie has also held a number of Chair positions in the Education Sector spanning over 25 years, and is still Chair of an Ofsted “outstanding “ rated school in Walsall.

She is a passionate advocate for addressing inequality issues and supports her severely disabled son in his professional career and sporting interests! Julie has also been listed in the “WHO’s WHO” of Business Elite, and was “Midlands Businesswoman of the Year” in 1998.