Who's Who

Executive Team

Kate Phipps-Wiltshire)

Kate Phipps-Wiltshire

Chief Executive Officer

Kate Phipps-Wiltshire is an experienced CEO in the hospice sector having led both adult and children’s hospices including the John Taylor hospice in Birmingham for five years and, more recently, Tŷ Hafan children’s hospice in south Wales.

Her 25 year career also includes public service in local councils and the NHS and she has also been a charity trustee at the Sir John Moore Foundation.

Kate has a passion for life affirming care,  enthusiasm and dedication to the hospice sector and an impressive track record in setting up award-winning innovative services and experience in motivating teams, building strategic alliances and working in partnership with not-for-profit, NHS and social care organisations.

Kate commented, “With a powerful history and an outstanding CQC rating, The Hospice of St Francis is an incredible place. It holds an ambition to be the best in its field;  an ambition that I share.  I want the word hospice first and foremost to be associated with hope. Our society is living on the cusp of change, in the shape of its population and in the pattern of health and illness.  There is so much our Hospice can do to help people living with a progressive or life-limiting condition and their loved ones.

“Alongside extending the scope of our care, I am mindful of the income we need to sustain our vital services. I want The Hospice of St Francis to become the charity of choice for even more fundraisers and future volunteers and the employer of choice in the locality. I hope to lead by example with the fundraising effort and am always looking for the next challenge having tandem skydived, coast walked 50 miles and completed a beach rainbow run without sinking completely into the sand for previous charities!”

When not working, Kate has an insatiable curiosity and a love for family, friends, food, travel, the creative arts, gardening and outdoor living.

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Dr Sharon Chadwick)

Dr. Sharon Chadwick

Medical Director & Deputy CEO

Sharon has worked at The Hospice of St Francis since 2003, was appointed Macmillan Consultant in Palliative Medicine five years ago in 2007 and Medical Director in 2014. In 2017 she became deputy CEO.

Having trained in Respiratory Medicine, she has developed services locally for those suffering from advanced lung diseases and heart failure. As a result the Hospice of St Francis is recognised as a specialist centre for the palliative care of those conditions.

She is the medical and end of life Palliative Care lead at Watford Hospital and works there 2 days per week.

Increasingly Dr Chadwick is asked to teach at both local and national level.

At home Sharon enjoys staying fit in the gym and can often be seen pounding the pavements around her home. She loves to travel and has been lucky enough to enjoy the exhilarating experience of trekking to Everest base Camp and Machu Picchu.

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Fay Richardson)

Fay Richardson

Director of Care & Commissioning

Fay has been nursing for 30 years with the latter 25 years in oncology and palliative care nursing. For the last 18 years Fay has worked at The Hospice of St Francis initially working on the Inpatient Unit, then as a Community Clinical Nurse Specialist and then 5 years as Community Nursing Services team lead.

In March 2018 Fay became our Director of Care. During her career she has gained a BSC in Cancer Nursing and completed her Non medical prescribing extended role.

Fay is accountable for our Inpatient services, our Community Team, Spiritual Care and Catering Services. Fay is our CQC registered manager and Caldecott Guardian.  In her role Fay works closely with Dr Sharon Chadwick and Kimberley McLaughlin to ensure the best flow in referrals and admissions to and from the NHS and local authorities.  

Fay also shares responsibility with Polly Traxler (Head of Integrated Governance) for the effective operation of our Clinical Governance Committee and shares accountability with colleagues on the Executive Team for the re-negotiation of NHS contracts.

Fay is married with two teenage children. They socialise as a family with meals out, cinema, theatre, cycling, skiing and water skiing/boating holidays with extended family and friends.

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Karen Hart)

Karen Hart

Director of Finance and Performance

Karen is a qualified accountant who has considerable experience working with business owners to maximise their profits and streamline business processes.
For the last 14 years Karen has worked in the charity sector bringing this commercial expertise to organisations where the importance of maximising value for money is vital to be able to continue to provide support for various members of society. 
Karen's role within the hospice is to ensure that the money raised by fundraising, donations, legacies and trading is used to provide the best possible care to everyone who comes into contact with the hospice. She is passionate about the impact that the hospice has on the community through it's staff and the facilities at Spring Garden Lane.
Karen is married with two daughters. She is a keen amateur musician and a member of a number of music groups around the Aylesbury area, and is also a vice-chair of governors for a special needs school.
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Kate Grigg)

Kate Grigg

Director of Fundraising

Kate started her fundraising career, purely by chance in the 90’s, when she joined VSO as a temporary administrator within the fundraising department.

Having then moved onto Cancer Research UK, working in the Community & Events team, she took a short break to have children, then continued her fundraising journey whilst overseas in the Middle East for seven years working in Major Donors and Corporate fundraising.

On returning to the UK Kate has focused on the Hospice sector, having worked for Sue Ryder and Rennie Grove Hospice Care before joining the Hospice of St Francis in January 2019.  Having previously had the opportunity to lead teams in all areas of fundraising, she is currently the  Fundraising Director, which is a role that allows her to work with the team of dedicated, passionate and skillful fundraisers to drive income generation, whilst also being able to remain close to our wonderful supporters and volunteers.  

Based in Harpenden, Kate is the busy mum of two girls and, in her spare time, manages to fit the occasional run in between chauffeuring duties.

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Sarah Coles)

Sarah Coles

Director of Sustainable Trading

After graduating Sarah began her marketing career joining Estee Lauder before moving to a London retail design consultancy working as Client Service Director on shopping centre projects around the country.

Later she juggled her own design business with bringing up her three children before joining the hospice in 2005.

She started in the Berkhamsted shop and from that moment on was hooked!  She opened and managed number twenty before moving to a retail marketing role at the hospice which saw the opening of Returned to Glory in 2011. In 2018 Sarah was elected a Director of the Charity Retail Association and is passionate about the role charity shops have to play both in raising funds and in supporting their local communities. She is incredibly proud of the shop teams and the volunteers who support them

When not working Sarah enjoys walking, singing and reading and can often be found shopping at Returned to Glory buying yet another cushion!

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Polly Traxler)

Polly Traxler

Director of Integrated Governance, Wellbeing and Family Support

Polly has worked at the Hospice since 2005 and has over 25 years’ experience of working in Health and Social Care in a variety of organisations including Social Services and the Voluntary Sector.

Polly has spent the last 18 years working in the area of Palliative Care. Polly is a social worker by profession and heads up our Family Support and Integrated Governance services.

Polly is responsible for our Social work, Carers, Bereavement, Children & Young Person’s services and takes the lead with our Safeguarding responsibilities with a specialist interest in the area of Mental Capacity and end of life care.

Polly also heads up our Integrated Governance ensuring the areas of clinical, financial and corporate accountability are managed efficiently and safely enabling us to provide outstanding care.

“Hospice care is such a diverse and extremely rewarding area to work in. I am passionate about being able to develop services and work with people and their families supporting their physical, emotional and social care needs.”

Polly has 3 children and enjoys a busy family life!

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Joe Burrows)

Joe Burrows

Director of Media & Communications

Joe has eight years experience working in media and communications. From a creative background, Joe previously worked for an independent TV production company, with highlights including the production and worldwide distribution of several brands, as well as building an online and digital presence.

Since joining the Hospice in 2017, Joe has overseen the development of several communication projects and helped grow community engagement across digital and non-digital platforms. Joe is passionate about the role the Communications team plays in helping the Hospice to offer a hand in the darkness to more patients and families.

Joe lives in Tring and when not working takes to the football pitch and golf course (although something of a fair weather golfer these days!).

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Linda Harris)

Linda Harris

Joint Head of Education and Learning

Linda joined the Hospice in 2013 following a career in IT both nationally and internationally.

She ran her own, owner/manager business for 23 years, providing accounting software solutions to a diverse range of market sectors in the SME marketplace. Partnering with organisations such as Computer Cab, The Match Rooms, Forth Medical, British Steel, and The Diocese of Gibralter in Europe.

Linda is keen to collaborate and build relationships with our peers and business partners. Motivated by the challenge of exceeding customer expectation and the building of a strong team she strives to deliver a first class service to our learners, thereby maintaining our reputation as a centre for palliative and end of life care excellence in education and learning.

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Claire Nicell)

Claire Nicell

Joint Head of Education and Learning

Claire is a Bachelor of Nursing with more than 30 years of clinical experience in many different settings. Throughout her career she has always had a keen interest in teaching and palliative care; so her present role as Lecturer Practitioner is her ideal job!

Her palliative care experience has involved working in hospitals, hospices and as a Community Specialist Palliative Care Nurse. More recently her focus and experience has switched to education. Within Hertfordshire she was part of the ABC project delivering palliative and end of life care to care homes throughout the county and then spent 18 months with the palliative care team at Watford General Hospital implementing The Rose Project (to promote dignity and respect at the end of life).

Claire loves working collaboratively with different colleagues across the social and health care sectors and helping individuals apply the principles of palliative care to their setting to promote excellent palliative care for those they care for.

She keeps her hand in clinically by working with her colleagues in the Community Palliative Care team and supporting a support group for patients with Pulmonary Fibrosis to ensure she practices what she teaches!

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