Healthwatch Dorset CIC was created by three local not-for-profit organisations - Help & Care, Citizens Advice in Dorset and Dorset Race Equality Council. The Board is made up of three Executive Directors (appointed by the three organisations) and four Non-Executive Directors (appointed by an independent Appointments Panel), one of whom acts as Chair.


Our Chair, Joyce Guest

"My entire career has been spent in local government. I was Corporate Director with responsibility for Commissioning at North Dorset District Council. My role included management of contracts and partnerships, primarily in, revenues & benefits, waste and leisure. I also led a team, mainly from the housing and voluntary sector working with Department for Work and Pensions measuring the effect of the Government’s Welfare reforms in rural areas.

Prior to moving to Dorset in 2001 I was Head of Business Support in a social department for a council in Lincolnshire. I worked closely with the voluntary sector improving home care for older people.

I am a strong advocate of equality and social inclusion and worked voluntarily for an equality group in Lincolnshire trying to improve the lives of Asian women.  My role at North Dorset involved working with the gypsy and traveller community where I achieved a Police “diversity in action” award for helping to set up a temporary traveller’s site, which is used on an annual basis, by travellers attending the Great Dorset Steam Fair. 

In 1999 after the war in the former Yugoslavia I went to Bosnia to oversee the local government elections. This experience was both harrowing and challenging. It opened my eyes to the importance of living in a democratic society.

In my spare time I love to listen to music, particularly world music. My sporting activity is now restricted to being a spectator, but I still take a keen interest in Southampton Football Club. I originally come from Southampton and was a season ticket holder for many years. You can still find me in the gym a couple of mornings a week trying to maintain my fitness!"

Other Board members

Margaret Guy

Non-Executive Director for Governance and Compliance.  Vice-Chair.

Margaret grew up in Dorset and went to school in Bournemouth. After completing her medical training in London, she returned to Dorset to train as a General Practitioner. She subsequently worked as a child health doctor in Dorset and then trained as a Public Health Physician in East Anglia.  Over a medical career spanning 30 years, she has worked at all levels of the Health Service, as well as at the Department of Health. Her most recent post was in London where for eight years she was Director of Public Health and Medical Director of NHS Westminster. 
Margaret has a particular interest in Diabetes and worked with Diabetes UK for many years - this included developing national recommendations for the care of people with diabetes in Primary Care.  She was also an elected member of the Board of the Faculty of Public Health for many years. 
Margaret lives with her husband in Swanage.


Anna Andersen

Executive Director appointed by Dorset Race Equality Council


David Sargent

Non-Executive Director for Finance and Performance Improvement

David has recently retired from the financial sector and wanted to utilise the experience he has gained in an organisation that supports the community. He hopes that his experience will contribute to the strategic direction of the organisation in meeting its objectives. He welcomes the challenge to support consumers to improve the way healthcare is delivered within the community.

Poole-based David specialised in financial and human resources management. Before retiring last year, he was employed as a Working Capital Consultant and as Head of Managed Services with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), where he was responsible for an international debt collections team.  As a consultant, he has been involved with business restructuring and growth strategy assignments and delivered a business process and people improvement project for a major healthcare provider.

David is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (FCMA) and an accredited mediator (CIArb) and held various roles as managing director and finance director in FMCG manufacturing companies and a personal development organisation. 


Des Persse

Executive Director appointed by Help and Care.

Des has worked in the social care sector for almost 30 years. In his native city of Dublin, he held a number of roles supporting and developing services for people with learning disabilities. On moving to Dorset in 2002, Des worked in the homelessness and supported housing sector for 13 years working with vulnerable and excluded people.

As Director of Services at Help & Care, Des Persse is responsible for overseeing the day to day delivery of Help & Cares' services in the community - while collaborating with a range of stakeholders in developing new provision.


James Palfreman-Kay

Non-Executive Director for Diversity and Inclusion

James is Equality and Diversity Adviser at Bournemouth University.


Scott Faulkner

Executive Director appointed by Citizens Advice in Dorset

Scott has a legal background with special interests in charity law, company law, public law and criminal law. He is a Trustee of two independent charities: Christchurch Citizens Advice Bureau and Citizens Advice in Dorset. He is a member of the Charity Law Association.

Scott has previously worked in police investigation, with a special interest in missing people; maritime search & rescue and broadcasting. He has also studied ethnomusicology and ensemble performance traditions in Bolivia, Peru and Indonesia.

Scott has an active interest in healthcare, particularly inflammatory diseases and mental health. He is passionate about suicide prevention and works closely with charities to provide support to people who are distressed or struggling to cope.

Minutes of past Board meetings

Our Board meets four times a year, in different parts of the county.  The public is welcome to attend and observe.  We publish online the minutes of what was discussed. Check out our past meetings to read more.

Find out more