Naomi McVey talks about her experience of being a NICE Fellow

Are you an experienced leader in health and social care? Could you build an influential network that helps us to implement our guidance?

NICE Fellows are experienced leaders from the field of health and social care who are our ambassadors at regional and national levels.

Applications for 2019 have now closed. You can register your interest for 2020.


What's involved?

We aim to award 10 fellowships each year to:

  • Act as our UK-wide ambassadors for 3 years.
  • Support and maintain the connection between NICE and health and social care experts.
  • Engage with senior staff at NICE and in the health and social care sector.
  • Help us improve and promote the quality of health and social care.
  • Develop new ways of working in health and social care.

How does it work?

You'll be supported in your role through a series of workshops and access to an adviser. The fellowship also provides access to the expertise of our staff.

You'll be expected to spend around 7.5 hours per month on fellowship activities. Fellowships are unpaid and you must agree your application with your employer. Travel and subsistence will be paid.

Would I be suitable?

Fellowships are suited to roles such as:

  • medical and clinical directors
  • directors of nursing
  • heads of midwifery
  • directors of finance
  • heads of services for the allied health professions
  • directors or heads of adults and children’s services
  • directors of provider services in social care
  • consultant psychologists
  • heads of service for healthcare scientists
  • lay members from our committees
  • influential individuals working in the charitable and voluntary sector.



Elizabeth Robb

Senior special care dentist Elizabeth Robb talks about her 3 years as a NICE Fellow

Read the interview

Support from senior advisers

We've appointed 2 senior advisers to oversee the programme. 

They've a wealth of experience in health and social care and in working with NICE. The senior advisers provide expert support to our fellows and act as a key link person between them and NICE.

John Powell


John is a public health physician who works part time for NICE (as a consultant clinical adviser) and part-time at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford (as associate professor). He is also a visiting professor at Kings College London, and an honorary professor at the University of Manchester.

John is an editor of the NIHR Health Technology Assessment series and joint editor-in-chief of the SAGE journal Digital Health. His main interest is in digital health; he also has interests in evidence-based practice, knowledge management and systems improvement in the NHS.

Elaine Whitby

RN, MSc (Nursing)

Previously Associate Director of Education and Implementation Support at NICE, Elaine’s previous roles include researcher at the NHS Modernisation Agency and Associate Director at the Association of Greater Manchester PCTs, where she worked across 10 PCTs and 9 trusts on collaborative programmes to design and implement new developments incorporating NICE and National Screening Committee guidance.

Elaine now works for the RCN where she is Clinical Service Accreditation Lead and supports professional learning and development in the North West.

Her main interest is spread and implementation of innovation; supporting individuals or teams to develop evidence-informed practice and approaches to improvement in the real world of day-to-day practice. Associated areas of interest are quality improvement and clinical leadership.

Our current fellows

2018-21 fellows

Alison Sansome

Consultant community paediatrician

photograph of Alison Sansome

Alison is a consultant community paediatrician based in Cambridge and clinical director for Children and Young People in Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust. She did her pre-clinical degree at Newnham College, Cambridge and clinical training at Oxford. Immediately specialising in paediatric medicine, she held posts in Bath, Oxford and Great Ormond Street Hospital. Alison did her clinical research fellowship in neuromuscular disease whilst working at the Hammersmith and Queen Charlotte’s Hospitals in London.

Alison is chair of the East of England Neurodisability Group and, through the Community Paediatric Regional Network, has initiated a number of regional audits and written best practice clinical guidelines in line with NICE guidance. Within her large community trust she has been promoting the development of new models of care and integrated pathways for children with long term health conditions. The clinical teams in the trust are leading the way with community outcome measures and goal setting.

Alison will use her fellowship to develop the web-based risk management system further. This system will log new NICE guidance and alert clinicians to changes. The app links to the self-assessment template and so allows easy completion and monitoring. Clinicians and corporate teams are able to monitor the evidence of compliance and can, at any time, produce the assurance of high quality clinical standards. Above all, whilst participating in the fellowship programme, Alison will be an advocate and voice for children and young people.

Cecilia Fenerty

Consultant ophthalmic surgeon

photograph of Cecilia Fenerty

Cecilia has been a consultant ophthalmic surgeon at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital (MREH) since 2002. She runs a specialist tertiary referral service for complex adult and paediatric glaucoma. She is clinical lead for anterior segment services at MREH and associate clinical director of the Eye Hospital. Her research interest is mainly clinical, including diagnostic and treatment methods for glaucoma in adults and children.

Cecilia has been a member of several NICE working groups including the glaucoma guideline development group 2009 and 2017, glaucoma quality standards group 2010, and glaucoma commissioning group 2010.

In her role as NICE Fellow Cecilia aims to improve the uptake of our glaucoma guidance. This will assist in reconciling the demands and capacity of glaucoma services. The barriers faced in implementing NICE Guidance, and the differences experienced by large teaching hospitals versus smaller hospitals, has already been studied by NICE Scholar Reshma Thampy. This learning will be applied to Cecilia’s project to support ophthalmic care providers and commissioners in overcoming these hurdles, and tools will be developed to facilitate implementation of our guidance.

Debra Woolley

Specialist antimicrobial prescribing adviser

photograph of Debra Woolley

Debra has been working for the past two years as a specialist antimicrobial prescribing adviser for ABMU Health Board in Wales, leading the successful multidisciplinary “Big Fight Campaign”. This initiative, funded by the Welsh Government, has seen improvement in Antimicrobial Stewardship across primary care. This has resulted in more appropriate use of antibiotics, as part of a wider national strategy to tackle the growing threat to society from antimicrobial resistance.

A pharmacist by background, Debra’s extensive blend of clinical, operational and commercial experience has been acquired over a number of years in a variety of roles. These include Chief Pharmacist for an NHS organisation in England and a Specialist in Public Health, has involved championing and leading the implementation of our guidance across a range of NHS settings.

Debra sees her role as a NICE Fellow as an opportunity to help support individuals and organisations to implement our guidance, particularly in relation to the safe, clinically effective and appropriate prescribing of antibiotics. In addition, by promoting engagement with the public, patients and carers, supporting co-production to change attitudes and beliefs around antibiotic use, ensuring the best chance of winning the war against “superbugs”

Emma Salt

Consultant musculoskeletal physiotherapist

photograph of Emma Salt

Emma originally qualified as a chartered physiotherapist in 1993. She went on to gain an MSc in musculoskeletal physiotherapy in 2000 at University College London and a PhD in 2014 from the University of Birmingham. She currently works as the consultant musculoskeletal physiotherapist at Burton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust where she leads a team. In 2015, Emma was the first non-medical member of staff to be awarded the ‘Clinician of the year’ award. In addition the trust nominated her for ‘employee of the year’ to the Burton Mail Business Awards 2015 where she was one of three finalists. She was highly commended for her ability to think innovatively and lead a team.

Emma’s clinical and research areas of interest are in the management of persistent shoulder pain and differentiating cervical from shoulder pathology. She has recently completed a post doctorate internship at Keele University where she was evaluating suprascapular nerve blocks as a mean of management for shoulder pain. Emma has published in a number of peer reviewed journals and has presented at national and international conferences. She currently is part of the scientific committee for the European Society for Shoulder and Elbow Rehabilitation.

In her role as a NICE Fellow, Emma aims to establish if primary and secondary care practitioners in musculoskeletal health are aware of Clinical Knowledge Summaries (CKS), to understand how the CKS are being used and identify what could be changed to further improve their use. Emma anticipates that she will promote the summaries to professional groups who are less aware of the CKS and improve the use of summaries to existing and new users and patients.

Janet Folland

Professional lead for occupational therapy

photograph of Janet Folland

Janet graduated as an occupational therapist from Oxford Brookes University in 1995. She has worked primarily in mental health services, particularly across older people’s mental health services. For the past 8 years she has been in professional development and improvement roles, both as a practice development lead for occupational therapy and as professional lead of occupational therapy. During this time Janet completed an MSc in Advanced practice and PGCert in Knowledge Management and Organisational Learning.

Janet has led on an organisation wide practice development programme aimed at the implementation of evidence-based and theoretically driven occupational therapy services. She has also co-led on a county wide programme of work bringing together occupational therapists from 4 organisations to align pathways and develop cross organisational working relationships, using improvement methodology. She has been heavily involved in England’s first system-wide Allied Health Professions strategy for the North Cumbria Sustainability and Transformation Partnership.

As a NICE fellow, Janet plans to explore the range and relevance of our work to support a system wide enablement strategy across North Cumbria’s Integrated Health and Care System. She will work with our leads, our field team and associates across the health and social care system to implement the NICE Pathway on policy, strategy and commissioning to help change behaviour and use our guidance to inform the development of the system education plan.

Matthew Rogers

Head of professional development

photograph of Matthew Rogers

Matthew is a practicing osteopath and head of professional development for the Institute of Osteopathy, the professional membership organisation for UK osteopaths. Since qualifying he has worked in a variety of private healthcare settings, as a health charity Director and in the NHS in a mixture of clinical and management roles. He also now sits on the Public Health England AHP strategic development committee.

In his current directorship level role, Matthew is responsible for the delivery of a multiple stream quality improvement and development programme. He is passionate about ensuring the highest possible standards of patient care and is in a unique position to raise awareness of NICE, its products and how to implement those relevant to osteopathy throughout the osteopathic profession.

Nicola Thorley

Consultant HIV and sexual health

photograph of Nicola Thorley

Nicola is a consultant in HIV and sexual health and clinical lead for service development and evaluation within the Umbrella Sexual Health Service for Birmingham and Solihull. Her areas of special interest include service development, quality improvement through feedback, data collection and evaluation and healthcare professional education. She completed the postgraduate certificate in medical education in 2015. As a NICE Scholar in 2015, she utilized real-time monitoring to evaluate uptake of hepatitis B vaccination in at-risk groups.

She is currently clinical lead for the Umbrella Primary Care Subgroups for GPs and community pharmacists. She’s passionate about collaboration with community organisations to overcome traditional barriers between disciplines, destigmatise sexual health and HIV and improve patient care and experience. As a NICE Fellow, she will be focusing on increasing awareness and uptake of HIV testing, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and chlamydia screening in primary care, and improving awareness and uptake of contraception.

Tessa Lewis

GP partner

photograph of Tessa Lewis

Tessa has been a GP partner since 1995 and for much of this time has also been involved in promoting the safe and effective use of medicines. She was medical advisor to the All Wales Therapeutics and Toxicology Centre for 10 years and involved with various NICE workstreams since 2011. As Chair of the Wales NICE Liaison Group 2016 -18 she worked with colleagues to develop a strategy to support the awareness, discussion and implementation of our guidance to people ‘on the front line’ in all settings.

Currently a member of NICE quality standards and indicators advisory committees, clinical guideline update committee (Chair) and management of common infections (Chair). She’s keen to continue working with colleagues to support the cascade of key messages, particularly relating to our quality standards, multimorbidity and managing common infections guidelines.


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2017-20 fellows

Carol McCrum

Consultant physiotherapist in musculoskeletal medicine


Carol McCrum is a consultant physiotherapist at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust and visiting research fellow at University of Brighton. She works clinically within the multidisciplinary teams in rheumatology and orthopaedic outpatient services at the Trust and with the musculoskeletal physiotherapy team. Carol completed her doctorate in 2011 and is active in clinical research and supervision.

Carol was a member of the guideline development committee for the recently published NICE guidance on spondyloarthritis in over 16’s: diagnosis and management. This group of inflammatory conditions can be challenging to diagnose and to date the average time from symptom onset to diagnosis has been around 8-9 years, despite significant advances in imaging and treatment.

In her role as a NICE Fellow, Carol aims to help raise awareness and support the implementation of the NICE Guidelines on spondyloarthritis using strategies including professional education events, clinical and professional networks, and presentation and publication strategies. This also includes raising awareness of the implementation support tools and services we provide to help with guideline implementation in healthcare organisations. Carol is also keen to help improve understanding of how guidance is developed, raise awareness of the work of NICE and its resources, foster engagement in its activities and help support the contributions to evidence development and evidence informed practice through the research recommendations

Erika Damato

Consultant medical ophthalmologist, Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre

Erika Damato specializes in uveitis and inflammatory eye disease and medical retina and also works in the National Centre of Excellence for Bechet’s disease.

Erika trained in general medicine in the South West before embarking on a career in medical ophthalmology at Bristol eye hospital. She then travelled to New Zealand where she worked with the Fred Hollows foundation and undertook a clinical research fellowship in diabetic retinopathy in the Pacific. The aim of the fellowship was to report the severity and significance of diabetic eye disease in this part of the world.

In her role as a NICE fellow, Erika aims to improve the care of patients with uveitis and inflammatory eye disease by developing guidelines and auditable pathways for such patients and also by implementing existing NICE guidance into current practice. Patients with medical eye problems often have significant systemic associations and co-morbidities, whose care is often delivered by a multidisciplinary team. Delivery of such care may vary between different institutions. Erika aims to use this opportunity to work together with NICE and help to standardize the care of patients with sight threatening ocular inflammatory conditions irrespective of where they live in the UK.

Geeta Kumar

Consultant obstetrician & gynaecologist and clinical director, Wrexham Maelor hospital

Geeta qualified in India. After doing her masters in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, she moved to the UK in 1995. She completed a 7 year UK speciality training programme from Manchester deanery and started her first consultant post in Manchester in 2003 before moving to North Wales. Her special interests include menstrual disorders, menopause, gynaecological ultrasound, medical education and medical leadership. She completed a PG certificate in clinical leadership with distinction in 2015 and is currently undertaking a senior clinical leadership programme with King’s fund, London.

As the current chair of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ Patient information committee, she leads a multi-professional team working towards improving patient and public education and empowerment. As a member of the NICE Quality Standards Advisory Committee for over 4 years, she has contributed towards development of high quality evidence-based health care standards.

Geeta is passionate about the role of service users and carers in decision-making. As a NICE fellow she hopes to become a true ambassador and champion for NICE, trying to ensure education on active patient involvement as well as helping implement an evidence-based approach to healthcare amidst the significant challenges currently faced by the NHS.

Jim Thomas

Programme head for workforce innovation and redesign


Jim was Cambridgeshire County Council’s and Cambridgeshire Health Authorities Joint Training organiser in the 1990s, running a broad programme of integrated learning and development programme. In 2000 he led the development of integrated teams across Cambridgeshire's adult social care and health services. He also worked for the Valuing People Support Team as their expert advisor on workforce development.

Since joining Skills for Care in 2007 he has led a range of national programmes of workforce Innovation. These include developing a framework for workforce redesign, with the principles of workforce integration, in partnership with ADASS, LGA, NHS employers, TLAP and Skills for Health. His current programme includes workforce commissioning, commissioning for wellbeing qualifications, skills led approaches to community development, transforming care, digital champions and looking at the shared strategic learning and development issues for housing and social care.

He will spend his time as a NICE fellow exploring the links between NICE’s work programme and the strategic and operational workforce requirements for adult social care working. He is looking to find ways to use both the work of NICE and Skills for Care across all aspects of adult social care workforce development.

Joanna Williams

Associate director of Social Care, Torbay and South Devon NHS 

Joanna undertook her Masters qualification in Social Work at the University of Leicester. During her social work career she has worked with a wide variety of different people who use social care services, staff in front line, senior management, strategic and commissioning roles. She also worked as a paid carer for several years in her early career. Her more senior roles include working as the Head of Learning Disabilities in a London Borough and latterly as the Associate Director of Social Care for Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust. This role gives her responsibility for all social work provision, adult safeguarding Deprivation of Liberty and a range of other social care services for a pioneering integrated care organisation.

Joanna has a special interest in ensuring that people and communities are in control of services and that they hold the power to control their own lives. Joanna hopes to use her time as a NICE Fellow to practically support the availability of high quality and safe health and social care in the community. She also hopes to use her extensive experience in operational and strategic social care to strengthen NICE’s voice and promote its role in ensuring choice of high quality social care provision that the people who rely on it deserve.

Naomi McVey

Head of programmes for the Chief Allied Health Professions Officer, NHS England

Naomi is responsible for overseeing national programmes of work to support implementation of AHPs into Action, the framework for the 14 allied health professions (AHPs) in England. She works closely with other arm’s length bodies and a range of national and local stakeholders.

Naomi is currently on secondment from her substantive role as the North West AHP Workforce Lead, Health Education England, where she is responsible for supporting workforce transformation for AHPs in the region.

Naomi will use her time as a NICE fellow to promote the range and relevance of NICE’s work to AHPs. She aims to increase awareness of the NICE guideline development process. She also hopes to broaden understanding of how AHPs and other healthcare professionals can get involved, as well as the role and breadth of NICE’s work. This is with the aim of helping them to improve and transform health and care services.

Natasha Sloman

Head of hospital inspection at South East Region, CQC

Natasha is a social worker and approved mental health professional (AMHP). She has worked in NHS mental health services for almost 20 years. Her early years were spent working in central London with people who were sleeping rough and had long term mental health conditions. She has managed assertive outreach and AMHP services and was head of social work and social care at Camden and Islington Foundation Trust.

She now works for the Care Quality Commission as a head of hospital inspection for mental health, learning disability and substance misuse for the South East of England. Natasha is passionate about the place of social care in health settings and the importance of providing integrated services. She is driven by the desire for social justice and putting people who use services and frontline staff in control.

Opinder Sahota

Professor in ortho-geriatric medicine & consultant physician, QMC, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

Opinder has been and is currently involved in a number of NICE guidelines, including the NICE Falls Quality Standards and NICE Acute Medicine Clinical Guideline and hopes to use this experience during the fellowship.

He is a full time NHS physician, lead clinician in Ortho-Geriatric Medicine Nottingham, with a research interest in vitamin D, muscle function and fractures.

Tony Sharples

Public health specialist at Cheshire West and Chester Council

Tony started his career as the lead analyst for the North West Public Health Observatory. He contributed to the development of public health intelligence tools at a regional and national level but soon turned his attention to other aspects of public health and health care. He was a founder member of the Cheshire and Merseyside Public Health Collaborative (ChaMPs), sitting on the steering group for the network and setting up the Information and Knowledge Management Group. He is currently a member of the Commissioning Leads Group looking at improving the effectiveness and efficiency of public health commissioning across the sub-region.

Tony studied for a degree in Health and Community Studies and later was awarded a Ph.D. in Epidemiology and Prognostic Markers from The University of Liverpool in 2002. He completed the National NHS Leadership Scheme in 2009. Tony is passionate about using research and evidence to improve the quality of health and social care services for local populations. He has worked predominantly in the NHS and academic settings and more recently in Local Authorities.

He has extensive experience of public health intelligence and over his career has held a range of subject specific portfolios, including: drugs and alcohol, older people, sexual health, cancer, CVD, suicide prevention, falls prevention and safeguarding. He has significant experience of strategy development, service re-design, pathway development and partnership working.


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2016-19 fellows

Catherine Williams

Lay representative in maternity

Catherine is an experienced lay representative in maternity. A microbiology graduate – formerly a property lawyer and Law Society policy adviser – her maternity work began when she joined an NHS Maternity Services Liaison Committee (MSLC) as a service user member in 2004 – working with commissioners, other service users, midwives, and doctors to monitor and improve services. Her work with MSLCs has included initiating and developing community outreach and involving women in service co-design. Catherine qualified as an NCT Antenatal Practitioner in 2012. She currently works for a local Healthwatch, the statutory ‘consumer champion’ for health and social care.

Catherine was a lay member of the GDG for NICE CG190 Intrapartum Care – care of healthy women and their babies during childbirth. She serves on a number of maternity working groups including: Reading, Wokingham & West Berks MSLC, which she chaired for three years; NHS Berkshire West Maternity Steering Group; NCT Research Advisory Group; and, as Vice Chair, UKmidSS Steering Group (NPEU). Catherine tweets about evidence and maternity matters as @BerksMaternity and blogs at her Birth & Biology wordpress blog.

Catherine will use her time as a fellow to promote wider understanding of the value of NICE process, and the need for lay people and clinicians alike to be involved, whether as GDG members or as stakeholders. She also has a strong interest in supporting evidence informed decision making by service users. She will continue to maintain her strong links with her multidisciplinary MSLC, NCT-Professional/Research, and #MatExp networks.

Debra Adams

Head of IPC; NHS Improvement (Midlands and East)

Dr. Debra Adams undertook her Registered Nurse training in Birmingham, UK. During her career she has gained extensive experience in infection prevention and control (IPC) and research co-ordination. She has further developed her academic portfolio by completing her PhD (Pharmacy; Aston University, Birmingham. UK). Her thesis examined three key areas of scientific interest associated with both pharma and device related aspects of microbiology.

Debra plans to spend her time as a NICE Fellow facilitating the implementation of the evidence based NICE Quality Guidelines and Standards associated with IPC across the health care system (PH36, CG139, CG74, QS61, QS113). She is particularly interested in healthcare worker safety associated with sharps injuries.

Dee Christie

Occupational therapist (retired)

Dee trained as an Occupational Therapist (Dip OT, CMS, MA Health Studies) qualifying in 1974. She has worked for the NHS in neuro-rehabilitation and has spent 35 years in local government social care.

In 1987 Dee was appointed as Head of Service with West Sussex County Council to set up a countywide OT Service. During that time Dee managed a portfolio of rehabilitation and support services for people with disabilities including OT. She developing professional standards and practice, introduced the support worker role for OTs, developed specialist services for children and also for people with sensory impairments. Latterly she managed the development of reablement services, a ‘first point of contact‘ for all people in need of adult social care and initiated an integrated rehabilitation strategy with the NHS.

Dee has been active for the College of Occupational Therapists (COT), serving on a number of regional committees and boards throughout her career. In 2004 she was elected to the COT Council, the board of directors and trustees for the COT, as Member for Social Care. In 2006 she elected was Chairman of Council for the COT for 3 years.

Dee retired in 2014 but continues her commitment through professional activities with the COT Conference Committee and as a CQC Specialist Advisor. In February 2015 Dee was appointed to Chair a NICE National Guideline Committee on Intermediate Care including Reablement. As a NICE fellow she is looking forward to promoting the work of NICE and importance of evidence based practice.

Helen Bromley

Consultant in public health, Cheshire West and Chester Council

Helen started her career in nursing but soon turned her attention to the broader area of public health. She studied for a degree in geography and a master’s degree in geography and population health. Helen was awarded her PhD (Geography and Social Medicine) in 1998 from the University of Bristol and her Master of Public Health degree from The University of Liverpool in 2007.

Helen is passionate about using research and evidence to improve the quality of health and social care services for local populations. She has worked predominantly in NHS and academic settings, both in the UK and overseas, including Canada, New Zealand, China, Mexico, India, Syria and many European countries.

She has extensive experience of developing participatory and qualitative approaches in health research, as well as training others to undertake such research. Currently, Helen is a Consultant in Public Health at Cheshire West and Chester Council and a visiting professor at the University of Chester.

Julian Hamilton-Shield

Professor of diabetes and metabolic endocrinology

Julian is a Professor of diabetes and metabolic endocrinology at the University of Bristol. He undertook his clinical training in Bristol and the Hospitals for Sick Children, London.

He has been an honorary consultant paediatrician at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children since 1997. He is currently the deputy director of a National Institute for Health Research, Biomedical Research Unit in Nutrition at Bristol researching ‘optimising nutrition in children with chronic disease to improve health outcomes’ and has research interests in the causes and treatment of all forms of childhood diabetes, obesity and later cardiovascular risk.

He hopes to use his fellowship to work in his areas of speciality interest: diabetes, obesity and chronic disease in childhood and more broadly to work with NICE medical device evaluation. Having a chronic renal condition himself, he also hopes to use this experience in the area of patient involvement in NICE decision making.

Mark Tighe

Consultant paediatrician, Poole Hospital

Mark Tighe is a consultant paediatrician at Poole Hospital. His special interests include paediatric gastroenterology, and oncology, and he was part of the NICE guideline on gastro-oesophageal reflux in children. He’s also an Associate Editor of Archives of Disease in Childhood, and leads the paediatric research program at Poole Hospital.

Richard Seal

Chief pharmacist – NHS Trust Development Authority

Registered pharmacist, Richard Seal MSc FRPharmS FFRPS is passionate about helping people to make the most of their medicines and enabling them to become more involved in making decisions and managing their own care. During his career, he has worked in a wide variety of operational and national NHS pharmacy roles and in 2014 was made a fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

Sarah Fishburn

Lay healthcare reviewer

Sarah has a keen interest in all aspects of healthcare and has developed an expertise and understanding of how women and families using maternity services experience healthcare. She has been a lay member on a number of NICE guideline development groups for the Intrapartum Care Update and Intrapartum Care for High Risk Women as well as Pregnancy with Complex Social Factors. She is also a member of Rapid Update Committee A and was a member of the guideline review panel, as well as developing training tools for systematic reviewing and health economics. She originally qualified as a physiotherapist and specialised in acquired neurological conditions, but is not currently practising.

She chairs the Pelvic Partnership support group for women with pelvic girdle pain related to pregnancy and is a lay reviewer with the local supervising authority, Mott MacDonald, the Nursing & Midwifery Council and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG).

As one of the first lay fellows at NICE she will promote NICE guidance within the NHS and the voluntary sectors. As an ambassador for NICE, she will encourage the involvement of people using health services in both accessing and implementing guidance, in order to improve the quality of care.

Sarah Silverton

Patient & public experience lead

Sarah graduated from the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing & Midwifery, Kings College London and has nearly twenty years of practical experience working in hospital and community environments as a mental health nurse in acute and crisis services. For the past four years she has been the Patient & Public Experience Lead at Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and recently completed an MSc with the NHS Leadership Academy.

Sarah was a NICE scholar 2013-14 and a finalist in the NICE Shared Learning Awards 2015. As a scholar she spent her time focusing on complaints and the patient experience of the NHS complaints process. She used every complaint as a learning opportunity to support healthcare staff in improving patient experience. Using the NICE guideline and accompanying quality standard on patient experience, complaints were categorised and themed to identify areas of poor practice and solutions to improving care.

Sarah will take the opportunities offered as a NICE fellow to continue to build on the work she did as a scholar and share this with other healthcare organisations. She also intends collaborating with the mental health and community sector using the NICE guideline and accompanying quality standard on patient experience in mental health services to improve the experience of patients with mental health problems in the acute sector.


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