About us

We have a demonstrable track record of delivering difficult change and corporate and medical staffing cash-releasing savings across a number of recent projects. Meet the team who are able to support you.
Steve Swayne

Steve Swayne

e: steve.swayne

Steve Swayne

Chairman Steve is an established expert in organisational transformation, with particular experience in complex, large and difficult turnarounds. This has included extensive merger and acquisition work. He has developed a very successful turnaround track record at CEO/MD level in the public and private sector.

Steve has worked extensively in the NHS and recent clients include Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust, Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust and West Middlesex University Hospital. He has delivered CIPs across a range of NHS organisations, including a number of CIP recovery situations. Steve has real life know-how and strong interpersonal skills, backed up by first class intellectual and analytical ability. He has excellent stakeholder management skills and has worked across organisations in localities, including in Newham, where he delivered a £70 million savings programme for the local authority, having previously delivered the PCT’s CIP, turning a £7m deficit into a surplus in four months.


Mark Gammage

Managing Director Mark joined the NHS as a national management trainee in the late 1980s and worked in general management and HR roles in acute and community NHS settings. He is now a highly experienced management consultant having managed Dearden since 2002. He has worked as a substantive or interim HR Director at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, London Ambulance Service, Princess Alexandra Hospitals NHS Trust, Chelsea and Westminster Hospitals NHS FT, Oxfordshire PCT, Newham PCT, East and North Herts NHS Trust and United Lincolnshire NHS Trust.

He is currently leading the HR working on Shaping a Healthier Future, the remodeling of healthcare across NW London and has considerable expertise and experience in medical staffing, medical productivity and job planning. Mark has an MBA from Henley Management College and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (distinction) an Advanced Diploma in Management Consultancy and a Certificate in Advanced Professional Practice in Senior Executive Coaching and Mentoring. Mark is an MBTI Step one and Step two accredited practitioner.

Mark Gammage

Mark Gammage

e: mark.gammage

Graeme Armitage

Graeme Armitage

e: graeme.armitage

Graeme Armitage

Director Graeme is an HR professional with more than 9 years’ experience of working as a Board Director in the NHS. He has managed complex change management programmes as well as working with independent organisations to support the development of their Human Resources teams and supporting them to deliver specific projects. He also has valuable experience in operational delivery, having managed community NHS services in Buckinghamshire for 12 months.

In addition he has also been involved in a number of mergers and acquisitions within the healthcare sector and undertook the role of Programme Director for a significant merger between mental health and community NHS providers

Juliette Stern

HR Consultant Juliette joined Dearden HR as an HR Consultant in August 2017 and offers over 16 years’ HR management experience within the NHS and prior to this some 14 years’ as a Registered Nurse.

She has a broad range of experience gained whilst she worked as an HR Business Partner in a busy acute NHS Trust including change management, management development, TUPE, redundancy, performance management, workforce planning and HR projects. Additionally, she has extensive experience in employment relations having dealt with several complex and contentious cases including those involving medical and dental staff using the Maintaining High Professional Standards in the NHS framework.

More recently Juliette has developed expertise in the field of medical HR. Prior to joining Dearden, she was Head of Medical HR at an NHS Foundation Trust and led the introduction of the new junior doctor contract, developed expertise in the areas of job planning and medical workforce productivity, gained an understanding of medical appraisal and GMC Revalidation requirements and has led on medical recruitment initiatives aimed at reducing locum spend.

During her career, Juliette has developed a professional interest in other areas such as alternative dispute resolution. She is a trained workplace mediator and a member of the College of Mediators. Juliette can offer formal mediation both on a one to one basis and in small groups. She has also run workshops for managers on handling difficult and contentious discussions with staff which have received positive feedback.

Juliette Stern

Juliette Stern

e: juliette.stern

James Cooper

James Cooper

e: james.cooper

James Cooper

Healthcare Productivity Lead James is an experienced operational manager specialising in medical productivity, income generation, 18 week and CWT delivery, service improvement and development, transformation and turnaround. He has extensive experience managing large clinical and non-clinical teams through times of complex change and transformation. His current area of interest is in reducing bank and agency spend in acute Trusts.

He has delivered multiple service restructures to help organisations achieve their transformational agendas and improve their medical productivity.

James has significant experience of managing clinical services as well as scoping, managing and delivering projects for the National Health Service and internationally in the private healthcare sector. He has recently returned from a two year contract working for Lord Ara Darzi in the state of Qatar where he developed, introduced and managed a national triage service for walk in patients (similar to the NHS rapid assessment nurse system.) This was for a client organisation where he also streamlined, integrated and absorbed a partner organisations emergency care walk in service into the same client organisation, this included the successful transfer of employment for over 1000 clinical staff.


Debbie Welch

PA and Admin Debbie provides PA and administrative support at Board and Executive level. She has 16 years’ experience in the recruitment sector across multilingual, financial services and creative industries. She is fluent in French, Spanish and English.
Debbie Welch

Debbie Welch

e: debbie.welch

Sam Cope

Sam Cope

e: sam.cope

Sam Cope

Team Administrator Sam joined us in July 2016 and provides administrative and project support. She is a qualified Project Manager and has 15 years’ experience of working in consultancy on public sector procurement projects.


Philip Holton

Associate Philip’s consultancy work spans coaching, leadership, organisation development, action learning and the management and delivery of sustainable change. Philip joined the NHS as a trainee in the 1970s and worked in general management and HR roles in acute and regional NHS settings. His last substantive role in the NHS was Head of OD with a Strategic Health Authority. Recent consultancy work has focussed on improving medical productivity.
Philip Holton

Philip Holton

e: philip.holton

Rainy Faisey

Rainy Faisey

e: rainy.faisey

Rainy Faisey

Associate Rainy is an independent HR and OD consultant, with over 26 years’ experience as a senior HR and OD Manager within the NHS, working with Directors and Board members. Rainy joined the NHS in 1989 and has worked within Regional, Acute and Community organisations. Rainy has been Deputy Director of HR at Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, acting up to Director of HR on several occasions.

Since 2011, Rainy has undertaken senior HR interim and project assignments at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, Leicester University Hospitals NHS Trust, Mid Essex Hospital Services MHS Trust, Northampton Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, London Ambulance Service NHS Trust and most recently at London North West Hospital NHS Trust.

Rainy is qualified in 16PF and MBTI psychometric assessment, is an experienced coach and mentor and holds an MBA (HR stream), an MSC in HR Leadership, and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (FCIPD).


Ken Jarrold

Associate Ken Jarrold is an Associate of Dearden HR, Chair of the Board of Management of Brighter Futures, Patron of the NHS Retirement Fellowship, a Patron of the Cavell Nurses Trust and Chair of the Government’s Pharmacy Rebalancing Programme Board.

Ken was an NHS Manager for 36 years having joined the NHS in 1969 after achieving a 1st Class Honours Degree in History at Cambridge University. During his time as an NHS manager Ken was Director of Human Resources and Deputy to the Chief Executive of the NHS in England for three years and a Chief Executive of District, Regional and Strategic Health Authorities for 19 years. He held many national roles including President of the Institute of Healthcare Management, Chairman of the Working Group that produced the Code of Conduct for NHS Managers, of the Group that produced the learning materials for Managing Health and Social Services and of the National Reference Group on Health Inequalities. Ken is an Honorary Professor in the School of Medicine and Health at Durham University and has been an Honorary Professor of York and Salford Universities. He is also an Honorary Doctor of the Open University.

Ken Jarrold

Ken Jarrold

e: ken.jarrold

Viv Walton

Viv Walton

e: viv.walton

Viv Walton

Associate Viv is a psychologist who specialises in the assessment and development of clinicians and executives for leadership roles in the NHS. Viv has worked in or around the NHS all her working life and brings a contextual element to the assessment and development that she provides. She is a qualified and experienced coach and an experienced facilitator. Recent work has focused on values and behavioural assessment of candidates for consultant posts and development of leadership qualities in primary care clinicians.

Sharon Thumwood

Bookkeeper Sharon joined the company in August 2017. She is a qualified Chartered Management Accountant of 13years and has worked within the finance Sector for over 25years. Prior to joining us Sharon worked for DHL Express UK as Head of Financial Planning & Analysis managing a team and budget in excess of £130m. Sharon is a mother to 3 young children and in her spare time enjoys running.

Sharon Thumwood

Sharon Thumwood

e: sharon.thumwood