Meet the team

Meet the network team

Dr Paul Mackenzie, Senior Clinical Network Manager


Paul has experience in commissioning, clinical care, inequalities and cancer and at the Academic Health Science Network specialising in Patient Safety.

He has developed expertise in various clinical areas utilising project and programme management skills. Paul is passionate about reducing health inequalities and involving patients in improvement work and has developed and implemented a number of health care strategies across the region. He has an academic background and expertise in the area of cancer prevention. He also has a strong clinical background in nursing, having worked in a variety of health care sectors including Hospice Care, District Nursing, Macmillan Nursing, Secondary Care and Tertiary Care as well as the third sector.

In his role at the SCN, Paul is leading on Diabetes across the North West Coast.

Mike Mayers, Quality Improvement and Assurance Programme Manager


Prior to joining the SCN, Mike has worked in the NHS for several years in a variety of transformation and redesign roles, improving quality and ways of working including transformation of mental health services in West Lancashire. Before that he was a senior commissioning manager for the North West CSU where he worked on a broad range of improvement projects and reviews for CCGs and providers across Greater Manchester. He was also head of business processes at Stockport CCG where he was involved in redesigning and improving pathways and patient journeys.

Before working in the NHS, Mike worked in the private sector, including several years in business analysis and improvement at AstraZeneca and various operations and procurement roles for manufacturing and service organisations.

Melanie Saunders, Quality Improvement and Assurance Lead


Mel is the Quality Improvement and Assurance Lead for Diabetes in Lancashire & South Cumbria for the North West Coast Strategic Clinical Network. She currently covers the Treatment & Care Programme and the National Diabetes Prevention Programme for Lancashire & South Cumbria.

Since joining the NHS in 2012, Mel has worked in Cardiovascular Disease across the North West covering diabetes, stroke, cardiac and renal. A Mental Health First Aider and First Aider for the Preston Office, she also makes it her mission to ensure staff are trained in the use of AEDs. Being active on Twitter, Mel dedicates time to promoting charity and NHS events, along with ‘making’ her colleagues eat mini cakes and do ‘fun’ runs to raise vital funds. Mel is qualified in PRINCE2 Project Management.

John Lee, Quality Improvement and Assurance Lead


As Quality Improvement and Assurance Lead for Diabetes, John provides project management to the Cheshire area and supports the Cheshire Diabetes Steering Group.

Since joining the NHS in 2011, John has worked in various project roles for NHS England, Public Health England and NHS Ashton, Leigh & Wigan PCT. These projects include providing data analysis to the Antenatal and Newborn Screening team, facilitating the implementation of a Sickle Cell and Thalassemia e-learning package for GPs and coordinating QA visits to maternity wards across the North West.

In his role with the Strategic Clinical Network, John has been working on the Footcare Pathway, Structured Education, the National Diabetes Prevention Programme and the Diabetes Treatment & Care Programme.

John is qualified in PRINCE2 Project Management, graduated with a BA(hons) in Business & Psychology in 2008 and a PGCert in Computer Science in 2016.

Laura Crompton, Quality Improvement and Assurance Lead


Laura is a Quality Improvement and Assurance Lead for Diabetes and covers the Merseyside area, providing support to the Merseyside Diabetes programme board Group.

She has previous Project Management experience in the Utilities industry and has worked in various project roles across Capital Development projects with a focus on customer care and stakeholder cohesion, financial management and environmental management. She also has experience managing business change projects with a focus on efficiency savings across the operations department.

She is an Association for Project Management (APM) Practitioner and Associate Member with an interest in the North West APM Committee event organisation.

Outside of work Laura enjoys singing with a local choir and performing at local charity events and spending time with friends and family.

Martyn Buckley – Project Manager for Lancashire & South Cumbria

Over the past 9 years, Martyn has worked within the NHS in a variety of administrative and service development support roles across Lancashire. In his most recent role before the network he managed the quality assurance of community commissioned contracts at Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group. Outside of work Martyn loves to spend time with his wife, little girl and two springer spaniels, and loves road trips to Europe in the summer. Martyn is also a keen enthusiast of single malt whiskies.


Kirsty Ross – Project Manager for Cheshire & Merseyside

Kirsty recently joined the Team as a Quality Improvement Project Manager for Diabetes, covering the Cheshire and Merseyside area.  She has previous experience within the NWC SCN team, having most recently worked for the Business Support Team.  She has extensive experience in project support and business management, gained from a number of roles within both Public and Private Sectors. Outside of work Kirsty enjoys horse riding, shopping and countryside walks with her sausage dog Frank


Pauline Whitby – Project Manager for the National Diabetes Prevention Programme (NDPP)

Pauline has worked for the NHS for almost 18 years. Her roles to date have been predominantly in the areas of Health Promotion and Health Education. Developing and delivering initiatives that promote health and wellbeing across Knowsley.  Most recently before the network she has been part of the Macmillan Living With and Beyond Cancer Team at the Royal Bolton Hospital, working towards the implementation of the Recovery Package, which is an initiative that aims to support, inform and empower patients to live well after diagnosis. In her free time she likes to attend concerts, music events and conventions, and loves to dance.

Meet the clinical network team

Dr.Cheong Ooi – Clinical lead for Cheshire & Merseyside

Cheong has been a consultant physician in diabetes and endocrinology at Aintree University Hospital since 2012. He started his medical school training in Liverpool in 1987 and completed his specialist training in Cheshire and Merseyside. He was appointed to his first consultant post at Warrington and Halton Hospitals in 2002, where he developed his interest in service redesign within his own diabetes clinic and as Advancing Quality hospital programme lead. At Aintree he leads the diabetes transition, young persons, insulin pump, and diabetes foot services. He was involved in the design of both the Knowsley Community Diabetes Service and the Liverpool Diabetes Partnership, and continues to provide community services in Knowsley, Liverpool and South Sefton. He is always happy to discuss all things diabetes, but the conversation has been known to stray towards the music of Bruce Springsteen, cooking or Parkrun.


Dr.Cathy Hay – Clinical lead for Lancashire & South Cumbria


Dr.Ruhal Thkur – Clinical lead for Digital and Apps

Dr. Thakur works as a GP and a GPSI (Diabetes) in East Lancashire. He clinically led the transformation of diabetes services for East Lancashire CCG and connected 220 GPs across the patch via social media. (Reference-  As a result, he received an award from East Lancs CCG for Transformation and Innovation in 2017. Recipient  and finalist of several awards,  , he often uses social media to disseminate messages about NDPP. . As a MacKenzie Research Fellow at UCLAN, he is a part of research at scale in Diabetes and does peer reviews for EMJ.