Senior Management Group

Senior Management Group

Please call 0300 111 7000 to speak to a member of our Senior Management Group.


Maxine Espley, Executive Director of Health, Social Care and Support

Maxine joined Accord in September 2015 from the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust where she worked as the Director of Planning and Contracting. In this role, she leads contract negotiations with commissioners, drives quality improvements and manages all new business opportunities and market engagement exercises. With a career that started as a social worker, Maxine has worked in mental health and for the Prime Focus Group before moving into the NHS, initially with the Wolverhampton City NHS Primary Care Trust and then with the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust in 2011.


Di Stirling-Chow, Assistant Director of Health, Social Care and Support

Di joined the team as Assistant Director in August 2016. Di’s background in housing began in primary and secondary co-ops in London in the late 1980s. Since then she has worked as a consultant and interim for many years. Her roles have included Director of Housing, Supporting People Lead Officer and Group Manager (Head of Service). Di has worked with local authorities, housing associations and care and support specialists. The majority of her roles and contracts since the early 1990s have focused on care and support services, particularly the transformation of services, quality and culture. Her role as Assistant Director focuses on the operational delivery of services across Care and Support. .


Alex Hicken - Head of Quality and Compliance

Alex has worked at Accord for over 20 years in a variety of roles and positions. Having completed a degree in Social Policy at York University, Alex joined Accord as a support worker in 1993. Working in mental health and then learning disability services, Alex became a Registered Manager in 1997 before moving onto a senior management position in 2002. Since 2006, Alex has specialised in quality management and has been the Head of Compliance and Quality since 2011. Alex is committed to ensuring that our services meet and exceed the requirements set by our regulators, that there is a strong culture of continuous improvement within our services and that our quality systems are driven by what matters to our customers and the outcomes they want to achieve from our services. As one of the organisational lead officers for adult safeguarding, Alex also has both a strong commitment and expertise around safeguarding.


Rachael Dutton - Head of Research and Intelligence

Rachael has worked in research roles in social care, housing, health and university settings. She has over 20 years experience developing and leading research projects at local, national and European levels. She has specific expertise in management, social research, outcome evaluation, research ethics, user engagement, usability engineering, system and service design, assistive living technologies, older people and dementia. Previous roles have included: Research Manager with a housing association, and Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC), and a Local Authority Social Care Directorate; Director of a Scottish health promotion charity; Research Associate with the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Communication Interface Research (CCIR); Senior Health Information Scientist with NHS Scotland; Health Representative for the Scottish Civic Forum Council; Health Promotion Tutor for University of Edinburgh medical students; and Visiting Research Fellow with the University of the West of England. Rachael gained a Post-Graduate Certificate in Management with distinction from Northampton University, an MSc in Health Promotion and Health Education from the University of Edinburgh (awarded fellowship from the Health Education Board of Scotland), an MSc in Human Computer Interaction from Heriot-Watt University, and a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and French.


Nicole Beeching - Head of Service Development

Nicole has worked for the Accord Group since 1999, initially within day opportunities for people with dementia then as the Dementia lead for the organisation developing a range of best practice tools and guidance for use within a variety of care settings and the wider community. Nicole is now the Head of Service Development and continues to use her passion for quality care services to develop new and innovative ways of working, alongside customers, staff and commissioners.