Find out more about the NICE Diagnostics Advisory Committee members by reading their biographies.

Professor Martin Underwood

Head of Division of Health Sciences, Professor of Primary Care Research

Committee Chair

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Professor Underwood trained in Manchester. After GP training in Carlisle he worked for 10 years as a full time general practitioner, initially in Lusaka and subsequently in Manchester. He started his academic career in 1995, initially with the MRC General Practice Research Framework and subsequently at Barts and The London Medical School. He joined Warwick Medical School in 2007.

He works as general practitioner in central Coventry for the Sky Blue Medical Group. Professor Underwood has established a substantial track record of community based research into the improved diagnosis and management of musculoskeletal disorders, particularly back pain and osteoarthritis. He has completed large trials of exercise and manipulation for low back pain, (UK BEAM) and of anti-inflammatory ointments for knee pain (TOIB).

Professor Underwood is chief investigator on a current trial of exercise for the treatment of depression in older people living in residential accommodation (OPERA). This work is part of the portfolio of a trial run by Warwick Clinical Trials Unit. Professor Underwood's other work has explored the epidemiology of chronic pain and the beliefs and expectations around the diagnosis and treatment of chronic musculoskeletal pain from both the patients and the practitioners perspective. Professor Underwood has worked on the development of NICE guidelines for both osteoarthritis and back pain. In addition to his research, Professor Underwood has a leadership role as Head of Division of Health Sciences at Warwick Medical School.


Judy Birch

Retired teacher and CEO, Pelvic Pain Support Network

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Judy Birch co-founded the Pelvic Pain Support Network in 2006. Judy has been involved in Health Technology Appraisals for NICE as a patient expert in a Multiple Technology Appraisal, as a stakeholder in several guidelines as well as participating in events organized by NICE.

She is a keen advocate of user involvement in research through INVOLVE and the JLA (James Lind Alliance) priority setting partnerships for which she contributed to the JLA priority setting guidebook.


Dr Adrian Brown

Consultant in Public Health Medicine, Inner North West London PCTs

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Dr Adrian Brown is Principal Screening Advisor for Public Health England/NHS England London Region. This roles include: providing public health advise on the commissioning and contracting of new and existing national screening programmes in London; leading on a strategy to improve coverage and uptake of screening and improving the quality and patient experience of screening. The commissioning and provision of the screening pathways are complex and the role requires systems leadership and partnership working with a large number of organisations across the capital.

Adrian is a member of the Public Health England London Region Executive Team which oversees the delivery of PHE's London priorities. Prior to the transition of public health Adrian was previously Consultant in Public Health Medicine for Inner North West London PCTs where he led on screening, immunisation, cardiovascular disease and cancer. During this role he set up a number of innovative new services, especially around vascular prevention, community cardiology and stroke services and NHS Health Checks.

Prior to training in Public Health Medicine, Adrian trained in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and is a member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. He has an active interest in international maternal health and development and co-founder and Chair of the charity Maternity Worldwide. Currently the charity is working in Ethiopia, Malawi, Uganda and Zambia.


Richard Brownhill

Quality and performance lead (interim), Royal Bolton hospitals trust

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Richard Brownhill qualified as a nurse in 1993 and works in an acute Trust covering two Emergency Departments, responsible for Advanced practice development. He has for the past five years also worked in primary care as a prescribing nurse practitioner, holding interests in Musculo-skeletal problems and Mental Health.

He has a postgraduate qualification in research, an MSc in advanced practice and is a lecturer at the University of Huddersfield. He is a national committee member on the Royal College of Nursing Emergency Care Association and works as an independent consultant to a number of different organisations.


Professor Ann Caress

Professor of Nursing, University of Manchester

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Ann-Louise Caress is a nurse who holds a joint professorial appointment between the University of Manchester and University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust. Her research focuses on living with and management of long-term and life-limiting conditions, especially respiratory and renal problems. She promotes nursing research at an international level as a Fellow of the European Academy of Nursing Science (EANS), within the Nursing Assembly of the American Thoracic Society (ATS) and as a Steering Group member and Conference Scientific Committee Chair for International Conferences on Community Health Nursing Research (ICCHNR).

Ann is a keen advocate of user involvement in research, particularly through her membership of INVOLVE's national Empowerment Working Group and national Advisory Group. Her NHS role focuses on development of research capacity/capability and promotion of evidence-based practice in the nursing workforce of a large teaching hospital.


Mrs Susan Cervetto

Senior Appraisal Pharmacist, All Wales Therapeutics & Toxicology Centre

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Susan Cervetto qualified in Scotland as a pharmacist in 1989 and has been involved over the past decade in health technology appraisals for the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG) as a senior appraisal pharmacist. Her role in the development, support and accreditation of the AWMSG HTA process and her involvement in the AWMSG Medicines Management programme is ongoing. She has experience in hospital pharmacy, in particular medicines information, and has been responsible for project work aimed at strengthening the link between clinical and evidence-based practice.

She has postgraduate qualifications in clinical pharmacy and health economics, and gained her Masters Degree in research related to the provision of health promotion through community pharmacy.


Lynda Cox

Knowledge and Information Lead, NHS England

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Lynda is a knowledge manager by background and has had various regional and national NHS knowledge, service improvement and transformational change roles. Lynda has an MSc in Knowledge Management and is an Associate of Fuse (centre for translation research in public health). She is a VMPS certified leader and a Fellow of the NHS Improvement Faculty.

Lynda is currently Knowledge and Information Lead at NHS England, working nationally to develop effective knowledge and information management.


Ailsa Donnelly

Lay member

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Ailsa is a lay reviewer for National Institute of Health Research funding applications and is involved as a lay/patient representative in research projects ranging from systematic reviews to clinical trials. She currently chairs PRIMER, the PPI group associated with the Centre for Primary Care at The University of Manchester, and is a member of the Executive Committee of the North West People in Research Forum.

Between 2005 and 2010 she was a lay member of the Patient Partnership Group of the Royal College of General Practitioners, chairing the group from 2006-2009, and sat on a NICE Guidelines Review Panel from 2006 to 2011. For many years she organised postgraduate occupational health training at the University of Manchester, where she currently sits on a departmental Ethics Committee. Current work commitments include telephone tutoring an access course for the Open University and freelance editing and proof reading.


Joyce Epstein

Former Director, Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths

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Joyce Epstein is a former Director of the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths. A psychologist by training, she has worked in social and health services in the UK, Canada and the US. A particular interest is making public services more oriented to the needs of consumers.

Her other roles include former Chair of a local authority Standards Committee, a member of an NSPCC research ethics committee (Kings College London) in psychiatry, midwifery and nursing and a member of an MHRA public engagement committee.


Dr Elvira Garcia

Consultant in Public Health Medicine - Health Protection Lead, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

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Dr Garcia is a Public Health Medicine Consultant in NHS Ayrshire and Arran leading Health Protection and Immunisation. She is a Clinical Lecturer at the University of Glasgow and a member of the Updating Guidelines Research Working Group.

She was an Evidence-Based Expert in GuíaSalud, the National Spanish Guidance Agency, being responsible for the Guidelines Catalogue and the Updating Programme. She authored the Spanish National Clinical Practice Guidelines Development Methodology Manual as a part of the Expert Group, and also led the development of the Prostate Cancer Treatment Guideline. Dr Garcia also provided Consultant leadership and advice in Health Intelligence for NHS Public Health Wales.


Mrs Diana Gordon

Director, DRG Consultants

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Diana qualified as a nurse in1968; in 1971 she moved from nursing to residential social work and gained a social work qualification; between 1987 and 1991 she was a middle manager with a large local authority, supervising residential services for older people and people with physical disabilities. Between 1991 and 2004 Diana specialised in the regulation of care services for adults and children, working both at local and national level; during this time she gained a degree in law. Since 2004 Diana has been an independent consultant in health and social care with a varied portfolio, focusing on raising standards in care. Diana is currently contracted to work for the Isle of Man Government, the States of Jersey and does other contracted pieces of work for the private sector. Diana also works for the Office of the Public Guardian and the Tribunal Judiciary.


Barbara Graham

Information Consultant/Senior Health Economist, PHI , NHS National Services Scotland

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Barbara Graham studied Biology at London University following which she undertook applied medical research with the MRC Iron & Red Cell Metabolism Research Unit, Wits University, Johannesburg, and later at the MRC Reproductive Biology Unit, Edinburgh, Scotland. Barbara then took an M.Phil in Health Economics & Healthcare Resource Management at St. Andrews University.

Barbara took up a research fellowship at Edinburgh University and PMR Hospital in the Cochrane Collaboration Muskuloskeletal Injuries Sub-Group, she then returned to South Africa as a lecturer and set up and led the Pharmacoeconomics Unit at Wits University and carried out work for ODA, Save the Children, Red Cross.

Barbara returned to the NHS in Edinburgh as a Senior Manager and Health Economist in ISD of the CSA working with Scotland’s Health Data for the benefit of the People of Scotland; she is also the UK Health Economist to the World Endometriosis Research Consortium.

Barbara has worked on a wide range of projects including for the UN, HM Treasury, The Cabinet Office, numerous academic, private, voluntary sector and government institutions.


Angela Green

Lead clinical research therapist, Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

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Angela qualified as a physiotherapist in 1987. She oversees clinical governance and research activities for therapy services (physiotherapy, occupational therapy, dietetic, speech and language therapy, orthotic and prosthetic services) within the Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, and runs a clinic for people with cancer-related fatigue. She completed a PhD in 2008.

Angela is also seconded part time to the National Institute for Health Research Yorkshire and Humber clinical research network to engage allied health professionals in portfolio research. Angela was appointed a NICE fellow in 2012, and is on the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy evidence endorsement panel.


Dr Steve Hajioff

Self Employed Consultant in Public Health Medicine, Public Health England

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Steve Hajioff is a public health consultant working in specialised commissioning in London and is the national public health lead for specialised women's and children's services. He is a former GP academic and researcher into clinical decision support systems.

More recently, he led the research team for a review of the health of the working aged population for three government departments, developed a series of prevalence modelling tools for eye diseases for a consortium of eye charities, been Medical Director of the world's largest provider of clinical risk prediction analytics and led on several work streams for DH. He was Chairman of the Representative Body of the British Medical Association and has worked WHO, UNICEF, OECD, the European Observatory on Health Care Systems, the European Insurance Forum, the Albert Schweitzer Foundation, the World Bank, many NHS organisations, Reuters, BMJ, Bupa, AT Kearney and several overseas governments.


Dr Anthony Larkin

General Practitioner, The Alexandra Practice, Whalley Range

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Dr Larkin is a General Practitioner in an ethnically diverse urban practice in Central Manchester. His clinical interests include diabetes and dementia. He is a board member of Central Manchester Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). The CCG aims to develop health services which are high quality, safe and affordable, and which support all communities to be the healthiest they can be.

After gaining degrees in pathology and medicine from the University of Manchester, he then went on to complete his training in General Practice. He has a Masters degree in Health and Public Leadership, and a postgraduate diploma in health economics.


Dr Donal O'Donoghue

Consultant Renal Physician, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust

Honorary Professor of Renal Medicine, University of Manchester

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Donal O'Donoghue has been a Consultant Renal Physician at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust since 1992.

Donal was the inaugural president of the multi-professional British Renal Society, is a former Treasurer and was elected President of the Renal Association in 2006. He was appointed the first National Director for Kidney Care in England in 2007. After gaining degrees in Physiology and Medicine from Manchester University, Donal trained in Renal and Internal Medicine in Leicester, Nottingham, Manchester and Edinburgh. Research training was as a Medical Research Council fellow at Hopital Necker in Paris. Donal has published over 85 peer review papers, book chapters and articles across the spectrum of nephrology, dialysis and transplantation.


Dr Mahendra Patel

Principal Enterprise Fellow and Pharmacist Academic, University of Huddersfield

Committee Vice Chair


Mandy Sainty

Research and Development Manager, College of Occupational Therapists

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Mandy Sainty is an occupational therapist with a diverse career in health and social care. She has worked in practice, quality development, project management and commissioning, together with a short period seconded to the Cabinet Office as a Charter Mark Assessor.

Mandy has an MSc in Gerontology with clinical and research interests in social care and older people. She joined the College of Occupational Therapists in 2010 and her post includes responsibility for research governance, and a facilitative and editorial role supporting occupational therapists to develop practice guidelines. Mandy was lead for the College's successful submission for NICE Accreditation for the process it uses to develop practice guidelines and has also been an external adviser for the NICE Accreditation Programme.


Dr Sara Twaddle

Director of Evidence – Healthcare Improvement Scotland

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Sara is a health economist and health services researcher and has a PhD in the economics of maternity services.

She has worked in NHS Scotland in a variety of roles since 1988, including research, operational management and commissioning. Since 2003 Sara has been Director of SIGN and a Trustee of Guidelines International Network (G-I-N), an umbrella organisation covering guideline agencies across the world. Sara was Chair of G-I-N from 2008-10. Sara is also an Honorary Senior Lecturer in Public Health at Edinburgh University.


Dr Charles Young

Chief Medical Officer, Capita Healthcare Decisions

Editor-in-Chief Clinical Case Reports

Emergency Physician, St Thomas’ Hospital, London

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Charles manages the clinical decision support strategy and portfolio for Wiley Blackwell. In the past he has worked as Editor in Chief at the BMJ Evidence Centre and Executive Editor at The Lancet medical journal. In addition to his publishing and editorial roles, Charles continues to work clinically as an emergency physician at St Thomas' Hospital emergency department.

Charles lectures internationally on publishing related topics, clinical decision support, putting evidence into practice, and research appraisal. He has written several book chapters and numerous peer reviewed publications in leading medical journals. His specialist areas are interest are Clinical Guidelines, Clinical Summaries, Referral Guidelines, Interventional Procedures, Healthcare Technologies, Drugs and Devices, Other: Clinical Decision Support tools and resources; Performance Improvement tools and resources; and Clinical Analytics.


Mrs Ruth Wakeman

Assistant Director of Professional Development and Support, Royal Pharmaceutical Society

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Ruth registered as a pharmacist in 1988, initially practising as a community pharmacist before taking up a series of roles with national pharmacy organisations. Ruth has worked at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society since 2010, leading a team delivering professional standards, guidance, information and advice to provide professional development and support for pharmacists in all areas of practice to ultimately support patient care.

Ruth was involved in the development of the first GB wide standards for hospital pharmacy services, as well as standards for public health practice in pharmacy and homecare services.


Mr Duncan Service

Evidence Manager, Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN)

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Duncan is an Evidence Manager at SIGN. He is responsible for advising guideline group members and staff on SIGN methodology, and ensuring that new international developments in methodology are incorporated into SIGN.

He has worked at SIGN since 2000 and has been involved in the development of guidelines for a wide variety of topics. He has also delivered training internationally on guideline development methodology.

He was also the lead for WP3 of the EU funded DECIDE project which looks at what patients and the public want from guidelines.

Duncan has been a member of the Guidelines International Network (G-I-N) Board since 2011 and became their Treasurer in August 2013.

More information

Find out more about the committee and read papers from previous meetings.

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