Kate Smyth

Lay Leader


Kate has lived in Todmorden, Calderdale for thirty six years and is currently a Non-Executive Director at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. In this role, Kate is the NED lead for patient experience and social value. Recently, Kate has been working with NHS Improvement to increase the number of Non-Executive Directors with disabilities on NHS Boards. This has led to the development of a support network – the Disabled NHS Directors Network, which Kate co-chairs.  Kate is also a member of the Cabinet Office – Disability Unit’s North West Regional Stakeholder Network.

Kate is a volunteer disability adviser at Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust and trains Healthcare Assistants in supporting people with significant impairments to improve the way that disabled people are nursed in hospital.

Kate is a chartered town planner and worked in planning and economic development for many years in local authorities across the North West. She is a retired member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Institution of Economic Development. She then ran her own consultancy business for twenty five years specialising in economic development and disability, and has extensive experience working in the public, private and community and voluntary sectors. From 2012 to 2019, she was the Lay Member (Patient and Public Involvement) at Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group. Kate was also the equality lead and the lead for deprivation, poverty and housing. From 2010 to 2019, she was an independent board member (latterly, the deputy chair) at Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing and the equality champion.

Kate is a full-time wheelchair user and is always accompanied by her extremely handsome golden retriever assistance dog. Kate is the head gardener at home and also keeps pedigree geese and chickens.