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“We are the sum total of our experiences. Those experiences – be they positive or negative – make us the person we are, at any given point in our lives. And like a flowing river, those same experiences and those yet to come, continue to influence and reshape the person we are, and the person we become. None of us are the same as we were yesterday, nor will be tomorrow.”  

B.J. Neblett 

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In 1991 my sister Alison took her own life. She was just 25. It later emerged that she had been groomed and abused by an older male nurse when she had been a patient in an NHS mental health hospital three years previously. As a result of the crimes committed against her, Alison had endured a crisis pregnancy and an abortion which was arranged by hospital staff. The details of these events were hidden, withheld from the police, and omitted from hospital records.

In an unrelated incident over two decades later, I lost my job as a manager in the NHS after raising concerns and then whistleblowing to the regulator. I recognise the forces at work that lead to good people turning a blind eye to things they feel unable to address. I also know the damage closed cultures cause to patients and staff. Most importantly, I understand that we are all only human, and capable of dropping the ball -  it's what we do next that defines us. 

The unenviable at times incredibly difficult journey I have been on has given me unparalleled insights and a wealth of knowledge which I now use positively to great effect. There is no substitute for experience and I apply my lived learned and professional expertise creatively and sympathetically to help leaders at all levels develop and build wilfully aware cultures in which potential issues can be surfaced, understood, and addressed before they occur. 

As well as a budding author and regular speaker at the Annual Patient Safety Congress, I've contributed to various national consultations including revisions to the UK National Action Plan for Open Government, a 2020 report by the charity JUSTICE (justice.org.uk) entitled When Things Go Wrong, and in 2018 I was invited to contribute to The Kark Review commissioned by the Health Secretary into the effectiveness of standards for NHS directors.

As well as building up extensive international networks, I've set up and led numerous local, regional, and nationally significant projects with public, private, and third-sector partners, including a national technology project for NHS England related to Primary Care. I co-founded the first cross-sector rural health forum in England focused on the challenges of delivering health and care-related services in rural areas. And in a unique partnership with NHS Scotland, I was responsible for bringing telehealth to the NHS in Northern England. I have an MBA, an MSc, a PgCert in Digital Health and numerous diplomas. A full CV can be found on LinkedIn HERE 

I'm always looking out for connections and new knowledge, especially from those with different views and experiences. You can contact me using the form on this website, or connect with me on Twitter and LinkedIn...

"As the true method of knowledge is experiment, the true faculty of knowing must be the faculty which experiences. This faculty I treat of." - William Blake (or as we might say in the present day, experience is the best school, but the fees are high)

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