Mandy AnsellMandy Ansell

Accountable Officer, NHS Thurrock CCG

Mandy has led NHS Thurrock CCG since its authorisation in April 2013. Thurrock CCG faces many challenges being in one of the most deprived areas in England. Despite this challenge Mandy has led a team that has ensured the CCG has achieved significant progress with innovative programmes, putting primary care and out of hospital care at the heart of improvements to patient care. The CCG is also part of the Mid and South Essex Sustainability and Transformation Partnership.

In the last 34 years, Mandy has held positions as a clinician, professional manager and general manager in acute hospitals and primary care in Bristol, London and Essex.

She has led a number of high profile projects in the last five years in South Essex including the transition to Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Mandy has a BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy from the Royal London Hospital and a Masters Degree from City University.

Dr Paul Atkinson MRCGPPaul Atkinson

GP and Digital Clinical Champion, Patient Online Programme, NHS England

Paul has been a practicing GP since 2007 and has working in a number of different primary care models in London, Nottingham and Derbyshire. In 2012 he moved to Gloucestershire and in 2015 was appointed as Chief Clinical Information Officer for NHS Gloucestershire CCG. Paul joined the Patient Online team in 2016 and supports “Team South” in particular with professional engagement and clinical advice. He has previously held posts in the Local Medical Committee and also the regional Faculty of the RCGP.

Rupesh BagdaiRupesh Bagdai

Optometrist and Chair, Local Eye Health Network for Cheshire and Merseyside

Rupesh is a qualified optometrist and Chair of the Local Eye Health Network (LEHN) for Cheshire and Merseyside. Dedicated to reducing health inequalities, Rupesh leads the network to focus on improving eye health services for those with the greatest need. He is currently leading on a pilot to provide eye care for homeless people and an eye care service for people with learning disabilities across Cheshire and Merseyside.

Rupesh also acts as a Commissioning Lead for Local Optical Committee Support Unit (LOCSU), leading on numerous service commissions across the country aimed at reducing ophthalmology referrals into secondary care and shifting secondary care activity into primary care. In addition to these roles, Rupesh is a Specialist Slit Lamp examiner for Cheshire Diabetic Retinal Screening Service, providing diabetic retinal screening to patients that cannot be screened by the standard photographic pathway due to mental health, physical disabilities or other ocular pathology.

Wasim BaqirWasim Baquir

Lead Pharmacist, Northumberland PACS Vanguard

Wasim Baqir has recently been seconded to NHS England to lead Pharmacy Integration for care homes.  He was the Lead Pharmacist for the Northumberland PACS Vanguard where he lead an integrated team of pharmacists and technicians, working collaboratively with doctors, nurses, social care and other professionals to develop and test services for patients across Northumberland.  Prior to this, he was the R&D and Quality Improvement pharmacist, leading on several projects including the Shine project; optimising medicines in care homes (www.health.org.uk/pills).  He is an Academic Health Sciences Network (AHSN) Innovation Scout and holds an Honorary Research Fellow position at Bradford University Pharmacy School. He has a passion for quality improvement and sits on the Trust’s Quality Laboratory and has been recently was successful in joining the Health Foundation’s Generation Q Network.

Nationally, he is a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Innovators’ Forum and the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists National Professional Committee.

Ian BiggsIan Biggs

Director of Primary Care Workforce & Infrastructure Programmes, NHS England

Ian is the national programme director for the Estates and Technology Transformation and General Practice Workforce programmes, which form part of the commitments in the General Practice Forward View. Ian joined NHS England as an area director in the south west at the time when CCGs were establishing themselves as commissioners. Ian started his career as an NHS graduate trainee in NHS Wales and has held national and regional director posts in the Healthcare Commission and CQC.

Dan Burningham

Mental Health Programme Director, NHS City and Hackney CCG

Dan has worked in the mental health field over the last 25 years. He has been developing primary care based mental health services in East London over the last three years including the expansion and re-design of enhanced primary care services. Dan managed an arts therapies service at Hertfordshire Partnership Trust, working in mental health inpatient and community settings before moving into healthcare consultancy. He was a director of mental health consulting at both Serco and Mental Health Strategies where is worked with a wide variety of mental health models across the UK and internationally. Over the last five years he has undertaken a number of strategic roles for commissioners and providers and has also been providing leadership coaching. Dan is passionate about the need to combine good systems and structures with softer elements such as leadership and culture.

Rahul ChaudhariRahul Chaudhari

Head of Primary Care, NHS Thurrock CCG

Rahul Chaudhari has been the Head of Primary Care for NHS Thurrock CCG since 2015. He is responsible for developing and promoting clinical leadership, quality and innovation in primary care. He is also leading on the implementation of the ‘General Practice Forward View’ plan and Out of Hospital Estates Transformation agenda for the CCG.

Rahul began working for the NHS in 2002 as a physiotherapist. Specialising in Musculoskeletal (MSK) pathology, he continued to develop advanced clinical skills through a variety of formal and informal training. In 2008/09 he headed up the spinal and musculoskeletal assessment service at Havering PCT.

From 2010 onwards he pursued a career in management and had a variety of managerial roles in contracting and commissioning of NHS services, joining Thurrock CCG in 2012 as Senior Commissioning Officer.

Rahul continues to do some clinical work in a local general practice as an MSK specialist practitioner.

Janet Clarke MBEJanet Clarke

Deputy Chief Dental Officer for England

Janet Clarke qualified in the 1980s from Birmingham University and went on to work in general practice, but primarily the community dental service in and around Birmingham. She has significant involvement with the British Dental Association, firstly as Chair of the Central Committee for Community and Public Health Dentistry and then as BDA President in 2011. She was a member of the Steele Review team in 2008 and led the production of the Commissioning Guide for Special Care Dentistry that was published in 2015. She is currently Deputy Chief Dental Officer for England, chairs the Local Professional Network for dentistry in the West Midlands and was awarded an MBE for services to dentistry in 2010.

Jana DaleJana Dale

Head of Stakeholder Engagement and Strategy, Patient Online Programme, NHS England

Jana heads up stakeholder engagement, patient participation and communications for the Patient Online ensuring that the programme is guided by the views of patients, GPs and practice staff and that an effective dialogue takes place and issues are resolved for the benefit of all parties. Jana has worked in healthcare all her working life, both in the NHS and in the independent sector. She has held a number of senior positions within informatics and organisational development.

Chris EdwardsChris Edwards

Accountable Officer, NHS Rotherham CCG/Joint Chair Rotherham Accountable Care System

Chris Edwards has worked in the NHS for 21 years. After graduating from the NHS Management graduate training scheme he has worked in Acute hospitals, mental health trusts, community trusts, the Department of Health and Primary Care Trusts.

In 2011 he took up the role of Chief Officer at Rotherham PCT and he led to formation of the Clinical Commissioning Group, becoming its Accountable Officer in 2013. Chris also become the Joint Chair of the Rotherham Accountable Care System in April 2017.

He is a champion for social prescribing and he is a strong advocate of integrated partnership working across health and social care and the voluntary Sector.

Keith FarrarKeith Farrar

Senior Responsible Officer for Digital Medicines, NHS England

Having spent many years as a hospital pharmacist, including several as Chief Pharmacist at Wirral Hospital, Keith moved into the development of information technology to support clinical care. He spent a decade in the commercial sector before re-joining the NHS team in October 2014. He has published research papers on pharmacy practice and on information technology and has been an advisor to a number of national and international pharmacy organisations. He is a member of the Shadow Board of the Faculty of Clinical Informatics.

Andrew GilliverAndrew Gilliver LGBT Foundation

Pride in Practice Coordinator, LGBT Foundation

Andrew has worked with LGBT Foundation since 2000 in various roles from sexual health to communications and community engagement. He is now part of the organisation’s Pride in Practice team which provides a quality assurance support service that strengthens and develops Primary Care Services relationship with lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) patients throughout Greater Manchester.

Andrew is one of three account managers who offer practices access to training around LGBT inclusion, information on how to provide appropriate services to LGBT people, support around Gender Identity, Trans Status and Sexual Orientation Monitoring, myth busting, and a suite of accessible resources.

Pride in Practice is suitable for GPs and their practices, dentists, pharmacists and optometrists.  It is endorsed by The Royal College of General Practitioners and funded by Greater Manchester Public Health & Development Service and NHS England.


Alistair GrayAlistair Gray

Clinical Services Lead Pharmacist, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, based at the Royal Blackburn Hospital

Alistair is from Sunderland where he also completed a BSc (Hons) degree in Pharmacy in 1988. His pre-registration year and early career was with Boots in community pharmacy in various pharmacy and store management roles. In 2002 seeking a new challenge he moved to the hospital sector, gaining a clinical diploma from Manchester University in 2008.

He received the 2012 Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Medicines Safety Award for work in Transfer of Care. He continues to have an interest on transfer of care issues; and he is the innovator of Refer-to-Pharmacy which went live in October 2015.

In September 2016 Alistair received the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Leadership in Pharmacy award, and in February 2017 the North West Coast’s Innovation Champion at the Research & Innovation awards both for his work on Refer-to-Pharmacy.
He is currently leading an improvement science project in his Trust called Dedicated Ward Pharmacy.

He is co-author of the Clinical Pharmacy Pocket Companion (the second edition of which is aimed at supporting hospital and community pharmacists with medicines optimisation tips) and the Injectable Drugs Guide. He likes spending time with his family, playing guitar, song-writing and is passionate about Formula 1 motor racing.

Dr David GriffithsDavid Griffiths

GP in Oxford and NHS England Clinical Lead

David Griffiths is a portfolio GP working in a salaried role in a 14,700 patient practice in Oxford. David provides leadership, clinical advice and workshop facilitation for development programmes delivered by NHS England’s Sustainable Improvement Team.

For four years he was Programme Director for the GP training scheme in Oxford while also working as an advisor to NHS London’s primary care transformation team, focusing on GP innovations. From 2009-12, David advised Commissioning Support for London (CSL) on clinical engagement.

Over the past 5 years, David has facilitated workshops all over the country looking at the topic of safety in general practice. He is passionate about improving the outcomes and experience of patients by redesigning the systems we use and exist within, moving away from a culture of individual blame to one which supports and enables healthcare staff to do the right thing first time.

Eileen HallEileen Hall

Commissioning Manager for Person Centred Care, NHS Sheffield CCG

Eileen Hall has worked in the NHS for over 20 years, locally, regionally and nationally, as a clinician, manager, coach, mentor and coordinator of projects. Eileen has a background in learning and organisational development. Eileen has a Master’s degree in Coaching and Mentoring and is an accredited feedback facilitator for the HealthCare Leadership Model. Recently returned to the NHS after five years working in further and higher education in academic, coaching and business roles, Eileen’s current position as Commissioning Manager for Person Centred Care draws upon this experience and knowledge.

Emma HallidayEmma Halliday

Implementation Lead, Patient Online Programme, NHS England

Emma is an Implementation Lead for South East and South West England, providing support to CSUs and CCGs with the implementation and utilisation of GP Online services at GP practices. She also leads on benefits work for the programme with a focus on patient surveys and the nursing strategy. Emma worked in the public sector for over 10 years in a variety of roles and joined the NHS 4.5 years ago Roles have included: researching and analysing data for the NHS England 100k Genome Programme, coordinating complex and varied projects for 100 Days of HELP (Healthy Environment for Leeds People) project, managing community funding applications and distributing grants for Leeds City Council, developing processes and procedures for Leeds City Council, carried out internal audits and managed external audits.

Dr Ollie HartOllie Hart

GP partner, Sload Medical Centre, Sheffield

Dr Ollie Hart is one of the 3 clinical leads for the local GP Neighbourhood (federation), covering 36,000 patients. He also works for NHS Sheffield as a clinical commissioner, leading projects in person centred care and physical activity. He is an executive board member for the Move More project in Sheffield, a culture change program to make it easier to be active in Sheffield. He is a national champion for RCGP in their Collaborative Care and Support Planning program. He is a Director for Peak Health Coaching a company that specializes in health coaching training and organisational development for person centred care. If not at his standing desk, Ollie is most at home running or biking in the Peak District, or toiling on the family allotment with his 2 daughters and wife.

Sara Hurley BDS(UBrist) MFGDP(UK) MSc(UCL) MA(KCL)Sara Hurley

Chief Dental Officer England

Sara Hurley CDO England joined the Chief Professionals’ Office in July 2015 where she supports NHS England. Previously Sara served as a clinical dentist with the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine before expanding her career portfolio across the domains of public health, wider healthcare policy and commissioning.

Kirsten LawrenceKirsten Lawrence

Associate Director of Primary and Planned Care, NHS North East Hampshire & Farnham CCG

Kirsten is a pharmacist who spent the first few years of her professional career working in the community pharmacy sector. Since joining the NHS in 2000, she has worked with a number GP surgeries supporting them with Medicines Optimisation. She joined the CCG in 2012 as Head of Medicines Management and moved to Associate Director of Primary and Planned Care in 2015. During this time, she has been involved in the introduction of a social prescribing model, clinical pharmacists in GP surgeries and seen the development of practices working in localities.

Kirsten said ‘I am passionate about linking NHS services together to ensure patients have a seamless journey. I believe all of us want to have access to our ‘family doctor’ therefore it is vital CCGs support practices to work in different ways to free up resources so they focus on improving patient care’.

Ash Patel BDS MFGDP DipImpDent RCS(Eng) FFGDP(UK)Ash Patel

Clinical Lead, Office of the Chief Dental Officer

Ash Patel joined the office of the Chief Dental Officer as clinical lead, in February 2016. He is supporting work streams around innovation and improving performance. He is a practising dentist, and also an advisor for NHS London Region.

Eric Rooney MBE, BDS, MSc, DDPH, FDS (RCS) EnglandEric Rooney

Deputy Chief Dental Officer, NHS England, Consultant in Dental Public Health and Honorary Professor of Dental and Oral Health Policy, University of Central Lancashire

Qualified as a dentist in 1983, Eric has worked in clinical practice and also held a number of roles in the National Health Service including Clinical Director, Medical Director and Dental Public Health Lead.

He has wide experience of Dental Policy development, initially through the British Dental Association in the 1990’s and since 2002 directly with the Department of Health for England.

In 2008/9 he co-authored NHS Dental Services in England, An Independent Review led by Professor Jimmy Steele, looking at the future of NHS Primary Dental Care. Following the review he facilitated the development, agreement and review of the clinical pathways being delivered in the governments NHS dental contract reform programme. He is currently Clinical Lead for the programme and Chairs the Evaluation Sub Group.

In his Dental Public Health role, he facilitated the development of the guidance for dentistry as part of Public Health England’s response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa

He has been a Board member of the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of England and is President of the British Association for the Study of Community Dentistry (BASCD) for 2016/17. He was appointed Honorary Professor at the University of Central Lancashire in 2016.

He took up post as Deputy Chief Dental Officer at NHS England in November 2015 and was awarded an MBE for services to Dentistry in the same year.

Ed RosenEd Rosen

Project Director, Lambeth GP Food Coop

Ed has been leading the Lambeth GP Food Co-op since 2013. They are a community lead health Co-operative of patients, nurses, doctors and local people who have come together to grow food and in doing so improve our health and well being through mutual help and support.

His NHS experience began in post-graduate medical education where he had the privilege to support senior clinicians become skilled in education and appraisal skills. Following a short secondment to the Department of Health to lead the national appraisal training programme, he returned to a new post at the South East regional office to lead the NHS Lifelong Learning strategy across the region.

Ed’s final national role included developing a mentoring framework for the NHS. HE took up a foundation post at London South Bank University (LSBU), Faculty of Health to support the late Professor Bob Sang in developing innovative approaches to implementing patient and public involvement in health. The Lambeth GP Food Cooperative has its roots in the work begun at LSBU which focussed on social enterprise, mutuals and co-operatives in and for the NHS.

In 2015 he began a one year development role as Director of Patient Experience, Engagement and Community Participation working with AT Medics.

His main areas of interest are self management, patient empowerment and growing vegetables.

Jennie SmithJennie Smith

Engagement and Support Manager, Patient Online Programme, NHS England

Jennie works on the Patient Online programme, promoting GP online services to patients. She sees the digital agenda as something vital for real improvement and transformation across the NHS. Her areas of interest include engagement, communications, events and campaigning. She aims to champion the youth voice and has an interest in accessibility and equality. Previously Jennie worked on the national review of Congenital Heart Services in England and Wales with NHS England. She led a consultation for the service transformation programme in Calderdale and Huddersfield with a focus on urgent and emergency care.

John TaylorJohn Taylor

Head of Improving Access to General Practice, NHS England

John has over 15 years’ experience working at national level in primary care policy and service development, driving innovation and continuous improvement. He worked in the civil service for over 20 years before moving to NHS England in April 2013. In his current role he leads the work on improving access to general practice services. He led the national Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund programme, which became the GP Access Fund, testing innovative approaches to improving access and care in at-scale general practice. He is responsible for the implementation of the mandate commitment to deliver improved access to the whole of the country by March 2019. John is passionate about primary care and how important it is to patients, GPs, clinicians and the role it can play in delivery a sustainable NHS. John lives in Yorkshire with his family and dog Stella.

Dr Robert Varnam PhD MRCGPRobert Varnam

Director of General Practice Development, NHS England

Robert Varnam is a GP in inner city Manchester. He has diverse experience of leadership in the NHS, through roles in practice and PCT leadership, practice based commissioning, service redesign and public health. While at the National Primary Care R&D Centre, he researched patient safety, quality, patient experience and staff satisfaction in primary care.

Robert co-chaired the NHS Future Forum integrated care programme, and has been at the heart of national work to support the development of CCGs and redesign services, including at the Royal College of General Practitioners, the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement and NHS Improving Quality.

As Director of General Practice Development at NHS England, Robert contributes to vision, policy and strategy on the future of primary care, commissions support and evaluation for national innovation schemes, and provides direct support to leading change. He was one of the architects of the General Practice Forward View and is responsible for spreading innovation in models of care, workforce, technology and partnership with patients and other providers in health and care. He commissions the General Practice Development Programme, supported by £126m of new investment.

Robert aims to inspire and support leaders, professionals and policymakers across England and internationally about ways to release more of the potential of primary care.

Paul VaughanPaul Vaughan

Director of Nursing – Transformation, NHS England

Paul works with NHS England as a Director of Nursing. Currently, the focus of his role is on general practice, community and district nursing. He will also lead a national initiative on the image of nursing.

Recently Paul was the Regional Director with the Royal College of Nursing (RCN). Leading and managing the RCN services in the West Midlands, Paul worked with key stakeholders to ensure the needs of RCN members within the region were met and the interests of nurses, HCAs and nursing were promoted and protected.

Engaging members in the work of the RCN was a key focus for Paul. Through his conception and delivery of the Local Learning Event Programme (branch engagement) and the Cultural Ambassadors Programme (addressing concerns of BME members with the disciplinary and grievance process) the region gained a reputation for listening to members and working with them to deliver positive change.

Paul has also been the RCN’s HCA Adviser, offering advice to HCAs, Assistant Practitioners (AP) and employers on issues relating to the employment and development of these roles. He also made a significant contribution to the development of the HCA role in general practice through his role as the National Project Manager with the Working in Partnership Programmes (WiPP), Health Care Assistant Initiative.

Paul is currently studying for a Masters in Management with the University of Liverpool and his dissertation focused on the factors that enable nursing staff to raise concerns in their workplace.

Rachel Webb

Locality Director for Mid and South Essex, NHS England (East)

Rachel Webb joined NHS England as the Locality Director for Mid and South Essex in May 2017. Rachel works alongside STPs and CCGs to assure sustainable delivery of national standards to patients and their families, prioritising Mental Health, A&E, Cancer and Primary Care Development. Rachel also leads on Mental Health, Better Care Fund and Health and Justice across the East region (of Midlands and East).

Rachel began her career in the NHS as student nurse in 1987. Since then Rachel has had the opportunity to work in acute, mental health and community settings in a variety of roles. Her most recent role (prior to NHS England) was as the Director of Transformation at Colchester Hospital NHSFT. Rachel has also held senior roles at Whipps Cross University Hospital NHS Trust and South Essex Partnership FT (now Essex Partnership University FT) and worked for the Department of Health working with providers to improve delivery of planned care as part of the national 18 week Improvement team.

Dr Edward WernickEdward Wernick

Clinical Director for Acute Services Transformation and Performance, NHS North East Hampshire & Farnham CCG

Edward trained at St Bartholomew’s Hospital (Barts) and the Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry, qualifying in 2002. He has been a partner at the Downing Street Group Practice in Farnham for six years.

Edward was elected to the Governing Body in early 2015. He was the CCG’s Clinical Lead for dementia and elderly care before being appointed as Clinical Director for Acute Services Transformation and Performance.

He said: “I’m passionate about working to integrate services across the Frimley Sustainability and Transformation Partnership and also about the design and delivery of new healthcare models, tailored to our population.”

Janet Wheatley Janet Wheatley

Chief Executive, Voluntary Action Rotherham

Janet is Chief Executive of Voluntary Action Rotherham (VAR) supporting over 1400 Voluntary and Community groups and 49,000+ volunteers in Rotherham. Her involvement with the Voluntary and Community Sector spans 30 years and she represents the Voluntary & Community sector on a number of Boards/ Advisory groups within Rotherham, regionally and nationally.

Since 2012 VAR, with Rotherham CCG, has operated two types of Social Prescribing Services working with GP’s and Long Term Condition Patients and the local Mental Health Trust and service users. Both schemes refer people to voluntary and community support and activities in their area. Research shows significant improvements in people’s wellbeing and quality of life and reductions in use of health services.

Dr David Wilson

GP and Clinical Lead, NHS Halton CCG

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