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 involves overseeing the our HR, Training and Volunteering functions as well as IT services.

I played a fundamental role in establishing the national Strategic HR & Workforce Leads network (SHaWL) within the hospice sector and was their founding Chair.  I am also Chair of Hospice Quality Partnership, a social enterprise procurement partnership for the hospice sector. My passions are people and technology (and mountain biking!) and finding ways to help build organisational capacity and capability to continue to deliver outstanding, sustainable care.

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 2002 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.

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.

Peter Stone – Director of Income Generation

I’m Peter Stone and I joined Ashgate Hospicecare in May 2020 as the Director of Income Generation with a remit covering Fundraising, Retail, Procurement and New Business Development.

Prior to joining the hospice, I ran my own consultancy practice for over 15 years working almost exclusively with voluntary and public sector organisations. Before establishing my practice, I worked for many years within a range of charities, including the Royal Society of Nature Conservation, the Woodland Trust and the Holocaust Museum.

I have a keen interest in the role which the voluntary sector plays in society and helping ensure that each charity can make an optimal effect on behalf of its clients. The move to Ashgate has allowed me to bring my experience to bear on generating income for one of the lost important charities in the area and I am delighted to be able to play a role in helping it continue its invaluable work.

Outside of work, I enjoy running my own voluntary organisation supplying fresh water to schools in Africa. I also enjoy long distance running, walking and gardening.

Helen Furnivall – Interim Head of Marketing and Communications

I’m Helen Furnivall and I’m the Interim Head of Marketing and Communications at Ashgate Hospicecare. I’ve been helping Ashgate since September 2019 and it is wonderful to work with such a caring, dedicated and compassionate team.

My much-loved father in law received wonderful end of life care at Trinity Hospice in Blackpool after he was diagnosed with a grade 4 brain tumour which first helped me understand the difference hospice care makes to families at such an important time.

I have my own communications agency called High-Rise Communications which works with charities and other clients that are seeking to make a difference in their communities. My previous staff roles include Head of Corporate Strategy Development and Head of UK Operations Communications at the British Red Cross, where I led the communications response for a number of UK emergencies including the Cumbria floods. This training has come in very handy while our team have been helping tell the story of the Ashgate response to the challenge of Coronavirus.

The support for Ashgate’s Urgent Appeal shows that the hospice has a really special relationship with its supporters and local community. I think that trusted relationship also means that the local community should begin to know a little more about all the different aspects of the end of life care that Ashgate provides and also learn more about the challenges Ashgate and other hospices face when so much of their income comes from fundraising and charity shops, rather than from health budgets. I will be helping Ashgate to tell that story over the next few months.

I’m also a Director at HQP (Hospice Quality Partnership) advising on communications and marketing strategy and helping ensure that hospices are well informed about the difference HQP can make to support them. This is particularly important given the challenging funding context hospices are likely to face in the coming months and years.

I volunteer at Ashgate on reception and am a member of the People’s Powerhouse executive team.

I’m married with three grown up children, a dog, a cat, and a very unreliable VW campervan.