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Header image for the current page Executive Team

Executive Team

team member

Michael van Hemert

Managing Director

Michael was appointed to the role of Managing Director of all four Commissioning Support Units in April 2024.

He is an experienced leader of business service organisations in the commercial sector and the NHS and has a track record in strategy development, service management and business turnaround.

Michael champions a customer-centric approach, driving higher quality and standardised operations, and is strongly invested in consultative service provision.

“CSUs are full of talented people and I am immensely proud to be a part of it and the NHS, providing insight, innovation and best practice sharing to meet the current and future needs of our customers.”

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Louise Newcombe

Director of Clinical Services / Customer Account Director – Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire / Interim Deputy Managing Director

Louise leads the clinical services directorate which encompasses Continuing Healthcare, Medicines Optimisation, Clinical Governance, Individual Funding Requests and Personal Health Budgets. Louise has a proven track record of improving health outcomes by developing productive relationships between patients, clinicians and management.

Louise has over 25 years’ experience in the NHS, predominantly working as a commissioner. Previously Programme Director for EMPACT, she first joined the NHS as a graduate management trainee. Louise spent a significant part of her career establishing and running Bassetlaw Primary Care Trust and then went on to establish one of the first commissioning support organisations across the East Midlands. 

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Paul Davison

Executive Director of IT

Paul provides strategic leadership for the IT directorate delivering end-to-end services including strategic planning, infrastructure, systems development and user support.

Paul is a qualified accountant and throughout his long NHS career has held senior leadership roles in IT, contracts, finance, BI and procurement functions. Before joining Arden & GEM in his previous role of Chief Operating Officer for Essex, he worked as Director of Transformation and Strategy for North East Essex CCG where he led the Essex CCGs' major IT procurement via the lead provider framework.

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Helen Seth

Director of Business Intelligence and Provider Management

Helen leads our Business Intelligence and Provider Management directorate, delivering the data, analysis, insight and contractual innovation that is integral to providing appropriate, resilient and sustainable health services.

A diagnostic radiographer by background, Helen has over 30 years’ NHS experience in provider and commissioner organisations including service delivery, operations management, corporate strategy and system wide transformation. More recently she was asked to undertake the role of Director of Health and Care Integration as part of the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Better Care Together programme – successfully leading across organisational and professional boundaries. With a wealth of strategic and operational experience, Helen has led a series of CSU service developments to improve data availability, standardise systems and simplify processes.

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Mark Smith

Director of Finance

Mark provides senior leadership support to customers across our Finance service and is also responsible for Arden & GEM’s corporate finance function - ensuring our organisation maintains strong financial controls and grows its customer base. He also leads on the development of our commercial strategy and oversees all partnership activities.

Mark has over 20 years of senior financial leadership experience within healthcare spanning both the NHS and private sector. This includes: Director of Finance LPF for Optum, Chief Finance Officer and Acting Chief Officer roles for North Derbyshire CCG, as well as numerous senior positions within primary care trusts (PCT) and Health Authorities.

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Rose Taylor

Executive Director Health and Care Transformation

Rose provides senior leadership for our Healthcare Solutions directorate, with a focus on supporting boards and system leaders to deliver their Triple Aim duties through the development of strategic commissioning, provider collaboration, board and system leadership development, transformation and population health.

Rose has 24 years NHS experience including clinical practice as a nurse/health visitor and holding several senior management roles within both provider and commissioning organisations. She retains her live nursing registration and having left her position as a Director with PricewaterhouseCoopers at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, she returned to frontline nursing as part of the national response. Before taking her current role within Arden & GEM, Rose completed 13 years in consulting practice and successfully delivered assignments within NHS Trusts, commissioners and NHS England.

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Paul Thefaut

Chief Operating Officer (NHS England) and Director of Procurement

Paul provides strategic leadership across a portfolio of services provided to NHS England - as well as being the executive lead for our Procurement directorate and provision of Advisory Services.

With over 20 years’ NHS experience, Paul is a versatile senior leader who’s specialities include financial turnaround/transformation, programme and general management. Throughout his career Paul has held a number of senior operations and finance positions. Prior to joining Arden & GEM he was both Director of Operations and Commercial Director for Midlands and East Specialised Commissioning and prior to joining the NHS held Finance Director positions at Royal Mail and Computer Sciences Corporation.

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Alison Tonge

Executive Director of Strategy and Innovation

Alison is Executive Director of Strategy and Innovation at Arden & GEM and is responsible for ensuring our organisational strategy, innovation process and planning approaches are robustly developed and delivered.

With over 30 years’ experience in healthcare, she has held senior leadership roles within NHS England, provider Trusts, a Canadian integrated care system and the private sector. Alison has a passion for enabling quality and cost improvement through evidence based innovation, mobilising action at scale and a focus on analysis measurement and accountability.

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Mike Walker

Director of Business Services

Mike provides senior leadership support to customers across all business services including Human Resources (HR), Corporate Governance and Engagement, Communications and Marketing.

Mike joined Arden & GEM from NHS Nottinghamshire County where he was Director of Workforce and Organisational Development and was host Director of the Nottinghamshire Health and Social Care Workforce Team. During 2012, he was seconded to the NHS Commissioning Board Authority as HR Lead for Commissioning Support Units and Clinical Commissioning Groups. Mike brings a mix of both public and private sector experience with previous roles spanning the Ministry of Defence, GEC and Marconi.