Our Leadership Team

Barbara-Anne Walker – Chief Executive Officer

Barbara Anne Walker

I’m Barbara-Anne Walker and I became the Chief Executive of Ashgate Hospicecare in December 2017.

I have had an interest in hospice care since my early career when I worked with people affected by HIV. I have managed services providing support for people with long term conditions, including leading the national social care programme for Macmillan Cancer Support and, more recently, I was the British Red Cross Operations Director for local services across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Cheshire. I have also worked within the NHS, in Board roles and I was a Non-Executive Director of Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust for eight years.

I am delighted to be part of Ashgate Hospicecare; we are privileged to be allowed to care for people at such an important and precious time. The kindness of volunteers and staff and the pride that they take in their work is obvious from the moment you walk through the doors.

I live near Crich with my husband. I was born and brought up in Glasgow but I have lived in Derbyshire for over 20 years and it feels like home.

Rod Ismay – Director of Finance

Rod Ismay

I’m Rod Ismay and I joined the Hospice as Director of Finance in November 2018. I’m married to Sally, a primary school teacher and we have a son, Thomas, who enjoys school and loves music.

I’m motivated by working for an organisation that makes a difference to people’s lives. My previous job was in the charity sector, heading up the Finance function for the Diocese of York. I am also a Trustee of my local church in Sheffield.

Prior to my role in York, I spent 13 years at Post Office Ltd in Chesterfield, initially as Head of Audit & Risk and for the main part as Head of the Finance Service Centre. This involved managing finance relationships between thousands of post offices and hundreds of corporate clients while the business went through a complete reinvention. My team members and their families had many connections with Ashgate and so, with their stories in mind, the chance to join the Hospice carried a heightened blend of opportunity and responsibility.

I enjoy cycling and bell-ringing and I love family holidays in France. I organised church bells for the 2014 Tour de France in Yorkshire and wrote about it in a book cunningly called Bells and Bikes. “British eccentricity at its best” said a review by RoadCC.

Matt Corbishley – Director of People and Performance

Matt Corbishly

I’m Matt Corbishley and I joined Ashgate Hospicecare in July 2013 and am now Director of People and Performance.

I worked in financial services and revenue management before deciding to pursue a career in HR. I moved to the Peak District from London in 2004 and studied Human Resource Management as a postgraduate in Sheffield.

Prior to my role at the Hospice, I worked as an independent HR consultant, working with further education and the third sector and held a variety of specialist and generalist HR roles in logistics, the NHS, the police and higher education. My current role at the Hospice is Director of People and Performance.

I played a fundamental role in establishing the national Strategic HR & Workforce Leads network (SHaWL) within the hospice sector, of which I am currently Chair. My passion is in using my expertise to help build organisational capacity and capability to continue to deliver outstanding, sustainable care as demand for services grows. In addition to being an ambassador for the CIPD Steps Ahead programme, I am also a school governor.

I live in Sheffield with my wife and two young sons.

Dr Sarah Parnacott – Consultant in Palliative Medicine

Dr Sarah Parnacott

I’m Sarah Parnacott and I started at Ashgate Hospicecare in June 2003 as a Consultant in Palliative Medicine. I trained in oncology prior to seeing the light and switching to palliative care!

My qualifications include a BMedSci in anaesthetics, MBChB, I am a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, a Facilitator in Advanced Communication Skills Training and SAGE & THYME communication training. I am also the Clinical Lead for Schwartz rounds at Ashgate Hospicecare.

I see patients in the Hospice, in clinic and in their own homes. I enjoy educating other health and social care professionals in symptom management and communication skills to improve a patient’s experience of palliative care in the home, hospital or in nursing homes. I particularly enjoy the challenge of managing complex symptoms and situations and in empowering patients to stay in their own home for end of life care.

Outside work, I am learning to play the clarinet, I keep pigs and hens, and enjoy walking our dog in the Peak District and going to the theatre.

Graham Richardson – Director of Retail and Estates


Working for Ashgate Hospicecare as part of the Leadership team is very rewarding. As a team, we are committed to improving the standards of care, looking to influence and innovate within our areas of expertise. I have worked for over 30 years in blue chip retail brands and ten years in the Third Sector working within the Hospice and Charity sector has been one of my career goals. I enjoy using my skills to develop strategies, profits and ideas that make a difference.

I started working for Ashgate Hospicecare in 2008. Previously, I worked for Arcadia brands for over 20 years, primarily in Topshop and Topman as a Senior Project Manager Meadowhall; Hull and Humberside. I have also worked on many large retail projects Flagship Commercial project in London, Oxford Circus; Birmingham Bull Ring; Glasgow; Manchester Arndale and Belfast.

During my time at Ashgate Hospicecare, the Retail Team and I have developed a retail strategy that has seen income grow from £190,000 to over £2,800,000. We have overseen the opening of many new shops which include the Hasland site situated on Storforth Lane which Includes a Donation and Distribution Centre, The Ashgate Furniture Superstore, and inside this store you will find both new and donated furniture, as well as clothing, coffee and an online presence.

I am currently the Deputy Chair of the Charity Retail Association, a role that I am passionate about. The Charity Retail Association is the only body in the United Kingdom that represents the interests of charity retailers. Our members run more than 8,600 shops between them.

In my spare time, my partner and I love spending time walking in the Peaks and Dales, we like to keep fit and both enjoy various fitness activities. We have large family between the two of us, five children and a grandchild, that keep us busy most weekends.

Hayley Wardle – Director of Quality and Patient Care

Hayley Wardle

I’m Hayley Wardle and I’m the Director of Quality and Patient Care here at Ashgate Hospicecare. I started working at here in the summer of 2015, having worked for the NHS for 30 years as a nurse in a wide variety of roles across hospital and community care – the last 10 of which have been in management and leadership. Throughout this time, high quality care for patients and their families, in particular at the end of peoples’ lives, has been my passion.

I really enjoy developing both individuals and teams and feel that good supportive leadership is the key to successful outcomes for our patients, families and our staff. I am very proud of the care that we provide, whether that’s in our Inpatient Unit, in the Day Hospice, or in peoples’ homes in the community, which would be impossible without the support of our dedicated staff and volunteers.

Outside of work I love spending time with my family (our 5 children keep us on our toes!) and friends, being in my garden or allotment, walking in the Peaks and enjoying music and dancing. Life really is for living every day and I make sure that I do that to the full.