Our Self Care Champions support our work by providing their advise, expertise and skills. Meet them below.
Are you a Champion for Self Care? Do you want to join the Self Care Movement? Email email@example.com
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Mike Pringle was President of the Royal College of General Practitioners from 2012-2015, where he was also Chair of Council from 1998-2001. He is Emeritus Professor of General Practice in the University of Nottingham and a retired general practitioner. From 2004 – 2006, Mike was chairman of the Joining Up Self Care (JUSC) Project Steering Group, a self care aware action research project in a PCT. Mike helps to run CHEC (Collingham Healthcare Education Centre), an innovative primary care development project.
I have worked in a large busy general practice in Crawley, Sussex for all my professional life. Primary care offers new challenges with every patient, potentially serious illness alongside those who are important for different reasons. One of my principal interests is health education, trying to help people understand and manage their problems better and more appropriately.
I became a trainer in the 1980’s, and later director of one of the UK’s largest vocational training schemes, working with young doctors preparing for a career in general practice.
My involvement in medical communication has spread to the media, writing extensively for doctors, pharmacists and the public, with numerous appearances on both radio and television. Self care has always been important – not only does it enable people to take control of their own illness and seek advice appropriately, it is vital to the very existence of the NHS, at a time when the escalating costs of sophisticated treatments needs the support of all of us.
Peter has been a GP for over 13 years in Kingston upon Thames. His practice is a second wave PMS plus pilot that has used the new flexibilities to address health inequalities in a deprived area.
Peter was previously Vice Chair of the Association of Independent Multifunds, helped set up one of the first multifunds and with other colleagues set up Thamesdoc, the first night rota co-operative in the London area. He previously edited Guide to the Guidelines, the first collection of national disease management guidelines, has co-authored guidelines on inflammatory bowel disease and learning disabilities and has recently edited ‘The Handbook of Primary Care Trusts’. He is a member of the national Inequalities and Public Health Task Force. From 2004 – 2006 he was a member of the Steering Group of the Joining up Self Care (JUSC) Project a self care aware action research project in a PCT.
John Chisholm was appointed Chair of the charity Men’s Health Forum in 2013.
John has long supported the importance of self care. For four years he was a medical adviser to the NHS Working in Partnership Programme, which is addressing new ways of working, health education and self care, and a member of the Advisory Group overseeing the Programme. He is a Director of Concordia Health, a company providing NHS primary medical services, which is committed to encouraging self care, managing demand appropriately and joint working with pharmacy.
John Chisholm has represented doctors nationally for over thirty years. He is a member of the Councils of the Royal College of General Practitioners and of the British Medical Association. He is also a Vice-President of the BMA and a member of the BMA’s Patient Liaison Group. When Chairman of the BMA’s General Practitioners Committee, he led the negotiation of the new GP contract. His interests include medical ethics, healthcare reform and the relationship between health and work.
John was formerly a member of the General Medical Council and the Joint Committee on Postgraduate Training for General Practice, and of numerous other professional and Governmental advisory bodies. He has written extensively about the organisation of general practice.
Sara has been in Primary Care as a Practice Nurse for most of her working life, latterly also as a Nurse Practitioner at the Slough Walk-in Centre, and she is now the local nurse on the Slough Clinical Commissioning Group Board. She sees and advises people with minor ailments and long term conditions on a regular basis and therefore knows the benefit to patients of encouraging self-care. She has written several articles for nursing journals on how to self-care for various minor ailments and a similar booklet for the International Council of Nurses.
Sara is a former Chair of the Royal College of Nursing Practice Nurse Association. Apart from nursing, she has volunteered for many years with the charity Cruse Bereavement Care and is a Trustee of the Men’s Health Forum.
Simon trained at Westminster Medical School and completed a degree in pharmacology. He spent ten years in hospital medicine specialising in general and urological surgery. Awarded FRCS England in 2004. He changed career in 2005 and went into general practice. He has been a principal in Nottingham since 1986.
Simon developed a strong interest in the (failure) of communications between health care providers and consumers. In 1995 he founded the Doctor Patient Partnership (which changed its name to Developing Patient Partnerships) a charity focussing on improving communications. Unfortunately, due to lack of funding the DPP folded in 2008.
Simon has been a central figure in promoting self care. He secured the contract to develop the NHS Direct Home Healthcare guide and their web encyclopaedia. He was a member of the Medicines Management advisory board. He is currently the medical director of Making Sense of Health, an initiative to put health education into the national curriculum which has been successfully piloted in 350 schools.
Simon currently practices in Nottingham, Camberwell and Dulwich. He is the chairman of Concordia Health.
Current occupation: A&E doctor and general practitioner / medical journalist
In a previous life Ian Banks was once a television repair man. He might not be able to cure you but he can do wonders for your vertical hold. He has four children, delivering one himself. “Not quite the same as child birth but at least I got to shout ‘push’.” While working part-time as a family doctor and A&E officer in Belfast, he also represents doctors for the British Medical Association as a member of Council for the UK and awarded the BMA accolade, the Association Medal. He worked on the Developing Patient Partnerships (DPP formerly Doctor Patient Partnership) for six years.
He is the official spokesman on men’s health issues for the BMA, president of the European Mens Health Forum and the England & Wales Men’s Health Forum, vice president of the International Society for the Study of Mens Health, deputy editor of the Mens Health Journal and for six years the medical editor for The Men’s Health Magazine.
The BBC book ‘The Trouble with Men’ was written by Ian in 1996 to accompany the television series of the same name. It was followed by Men’s Health, The Good Patient Guide, The Children’s Health Guide, Get Fit with Brittas, Men’s Health in General Practice, Ask About Sex and the 50th NHS Anniversary book from the NHSE/HEA The Home Medicine Guide. He is also the author of the NHS Direct Healthcare Guide and Web site.
His other books include “the Dad’s Survival guide”, the Haynes” Man Workshop Manual” (2nd Edition) the Haynes “Baby Workshop Manual” (second edition), the Haynes Sex Workshop Manual. Haynes “Woman Workshop Manual” the Haynes “Cancer Manual” (the only book in 2004 to win the Plain English Award), Haynes HGV MAN manual on men and weight, â€˜Brain’ deals with men and mental well being. His latest book is ‘Toddler Manual’.
The City of Vienna and the International Society of Mens Health honoured Ian with their award for public health in September 2007.
Michael Dixon graduated in psychology and philosophy at Oxford University before studying medicine at Guy’s Hospital. Since 1984 he has been a general practitioner at College Surgery in Cullompton, Devon. In 2008, he and his partners created the “Culm Valley Integrated Centre for Health”, which is widely regarded as a prototype for general practice of the future.
Since the early 1990’s, he has been a leader of the GP/clinical commissioning movement with its aim of allowing frontline clinicians a far greater role in improving local services and health. He co-founded one of the first Locality Commissioning Groups in Mid Devon in 1993 and served on the National Executive of the National Association of GPs before becoming the first Chair of its successor organisation, The NHS Alliance, in 1998. He has continued in this role, by annual election, to the present day. In 2012, clinical commissioning was fully embedded in statute with the creation of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). A new organisation, NHS Clinical Commissioners” was created to represent CCGs bringing together the commissioning “arms” of NHS Alliance, NHS Confederation and the National Association of Primary Care. Michael is the acting President of this new organisation.
National roles have included:- Chair of the National LifeCheck Board, Special Advisor on Practice Based Commissioning to Lord Darzi and sitting on the steering group of the recent King’s Fund Enquiry into the future of general practice. Today, he is a member of the National Stakeholder Forum, sits on the National Steering Group and the National Strategy Group for Clinical Commissioning. He is also a member of the NHS Sustainable Development Unit National Advisory Group.
Since 2007, he has been Visiting Professor to the University of Westminster (Integrated School of Health) and was also appointed Visiting Professor of University College, London in 2012. He is an Honorary Senior Fellow in Public Policy at HSMC (University of Birmingham) and Honorary Senior Lecturer in Integrated Health at the Peninsula Medical School. He is a regular writer and broadcaster, having written several books including “The Human Effect in Medicine” and is President of the Health Writers Guild.
In 2010, he was elected Chair of The College of Medicine. This is the country’s first multiprofessional College, committed to patient centred care and improving health, with its motto of “Service, Science and Healing”.
Throughout he has been strongly supported by his wife Joanna, a professional artist, and they have three children. He is a keen gardener and fisherman, when time permits.
David Haslam has been a GP in Cambridgeshire since 1976 and is the Chair of the National Institute of Clinical Excellence and the National Clinical Adviser to the Care Quality Commission.
David is also the past-President of the Royal College of General Practitioners, and visiting Professor in Primary Health Care at de Montfort University, Leicester. He is chair of the NHS Evidence Advisory Committee, and a member of the NHS National Quality Board. David was Chairman of the RCGP from 2001 to 2004, and he has written 13 books, mainly on health topics for the lay public, and translated into 13 languages, and over a thousand articles for the medical and lay press. David is also an advisor to the Self Care Forum Board.
Nigel Sparrow is the medical director for revalidation and chair of the Professional Development Board of the Royal College of General Practitioners, a member of the Standing Commission on Carers and visiting professor of general practice at the University of Lincoln. He has been a principal in General Practice since 1984 and has been the senior partner at the Newthorpe Medical Centre in Eastwood, Nottingham since 1997. He is a GP trainer and appraiser. He qualified from Bristol University in 1979. He has experience in the development and implementation of education and quality initiatives in primary care. He was Vice Chairman of Council of the Royal College of General Practitioners between 2004 and 2007 and has been an associate and deputy GP Dean in East Midlands. In 2013 Nigel became the new National Professional Advisor for Primary Care at the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Dr Raj Patel is a GP in Greater Manchester and Medical Director for NHS Greater Manchester and the NCB Area Team. He is a former GP adviser to the DH and chaired the Greater Manchester Clinical Strategy Board. Raj is a regular commentator in print and broadcast on health matters. He has often appeared on Granada, YTV and LWT’s Fatclub programme and wrote a weekly medical column in the Daily Express.
Raj chaired the Staying Healthy Clinical Pathway Group for NHS Northwest, and within this role promoted self-care to prevent illness and reliance on health professionals.
Steve was medical director, occupational services at Abermed and NHS Workforce Health & well-being lead reviewer before becoming the chief medical advisor to Capita’s DWP Benefits Assessment Services team.
He was appointed to lead the review of NHS workforce health and wellbeing in January 2009, this independent reported its conclusions in November 2009.
An experienced consultant in occupational health, Steve manages a small team of specialists whose, remit includes developing policy and approaches across areas of health, safety and environment within one of the UK’s largest businesses, Royal Mail.
Steve has worked in Royal Mail for nineteen years, as Chief Medical Adviser he has had responsibility for developing occupational health approaches across a diverse, widespread and complex business, which has included working actively on absence reduction and substantially changing Royal Mail’s occupational health and welfare provision in recent years.
Royal Mail’s corporate turnaround over recent years has achieved significant improvements in profitability, quality of service and employee morale – Steve has been directly involved in the cross business initiatives on managing attendance and supporting changes to make the business “a Great Place to Work” in. He was also involved in redesigning the organisation’s ill health retirement scheme, and improving opportunities for rehabilitation. Steve has published widely and is an experienced contributor to conferences and public meetings.
Susan was the Assistant Director of Quality Assurance and Self Care at the former NHS North West Strategic Health Authority. She started her career as a Registered Nurse and has an MSc in management Practice from Salford University Institute of Management. and has extensive experience in both the private sector and the NHS.
With over 30 years experience in nursing and healthcare both within the Independent Sector and the NHS, Susan is passionate about improving the quality of healthcare, population health and reducing health inequalities; supported by extensive knowledge and experience in the field of self care, service experience and quality.
As SHA lead and avid champion of self care, she has led and delivered many exciting initiatives including extending the Working in Partnership Programme Self Care for You project across five spearhead PCTs; design and delivery of the NW Self Care Challenge; established the North West Self Care Forum, a regional network of PCT self care leads; and most recently supported and contributed to the development of the RCGP Self Care Aware e-learning programme.
Susan was extensively engaged in the development of â€˜Your health your way’, formerly known as the Patients Prospectus, and now available on NHS Choices; and also contributed to the development of the common core principles to support self care.
Susan also led the SHA Triple Aim programme; an international learning collaborative developed by the Institute of Healthcare Improvement focused on improving the health of a defined population, improving the healthcare experience of the individual and controlling per capita cost.
Mark is a rare blend of clinician, management consultant and patient advocate. He works with organisations to help them realise the full benefit of their services and products, especially through the oft untapped potential of patients.
At the King’s Fund he founded the Ask About Medicines campaign and published ‘Producing Patient Information’. In the BBC he delivered a range of behaviour change initiatives to motivate people to improve their health and lifestyle.
Following roles in the publishing and telecoms sectors, Mark has worked with AstraZeneca, Central Office of Information, Department of Health, Microsoft, NHS Commissioning Board, Novartis, Scholl, Tunstall Group and UCB Pharma.
He contributes to various public and commercial Advisory & Editorial Boards including the National Stakeholder Forum, is a HealthBox Accelerator mentor, a judge for the Technology Strategy Board Innovators Den, and Chair of the Patient Information Forum.
He is a patient and carer, and lives happily in Manchester, England (despite being Scottish).
Amir is a full-time General Practitioner. He is a former clinical governance lead and was a member of the HealthSpace Reference Panel, NHS Connecting for Health. He is the Information Management & Technology lead at NHS Tameside & Glossop and the Primary Care IT lead, NHS North-West. He is an editorial board member of the Journal of Communication in Healthcare and is a member of the Clinical Leaders Network.
He has enabled over 800 patients in his practice to get access to their GP electronic health record. This has empowered them to get a better understanding of their own health and also the way health services are organised for them. Linking information from sources such as NHS Choices, Map of Medicine and common conditions that can be self-treated without the need to see a healthcare professional has enabled him to get a better understanding of the needs of a population that wishes to self care more and support them to do so. Local organizations eg pharmacies, district nursing services etc are now wishing to capitalise on this opportunity to enhance delivery of care by enabling everybody to become more effective. A proactive patient who is encouraged to selfcare more helps us all to become even better. He is actively engaged in helping patients, clinicians, managers and organisations to benefit from the IT systems we have in place, driving up quality and minimising costs and helping to change the culture of the NHS from one that is organisation-centric to one that is citizen-centric.
Gopa Mitra retired from PAGB, the UK trade body representing manufacturers of non-prescription medicines and food supplements, in December 2014 having served as its Director of Health Policy and Public Affairs. During her 34 years at PAGB, she has successfully led the drive for self care to be an integral part of health policy to successive UK Governments. She has worked collaboratively with the medical, nursing and pharmacy professions as well as patient groups in increasing their support for self care.
In 2011, Gopa spearheaded the setting up of a multi-disciplinary group, the Self Care Forum, which has the aim to further the reach of self care and embed it into everyday life. The Self Care Forum was inaugurated by the then Minister for Health, Rt Hon Paul Burstow MP, and Gopa was appointed chair of its Board in February 2015.
Gopa is currently Trustee and Vice Chair of the Men’s Health Forum, member of the RCGP Patients and Carers Partnership Group.
Gopa was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen’s Millennium Honours List for her services to the pharmaceutical industry, 31 December 1999.
Knut Schroeder is a part-time General Practitioner at the Concord Medical Centre in Bristol, Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Bristol, and Media Adviser for NHS Choices. He co-developed and taught a course on â€˜Clinical Diagnosis’ for students, which led him to develop his enthusiasm for work around patient self-diagnosis and management.
Knut’s practice currently works with the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement to develop a module on ‘Demand and Access’ for their ‘Productive General Practice’ programme (to be launched in 2011), part of which explores ways of helping people at practice level to manage self-limiting medical ailments themselves.
Knut is author of ‘Diagnosing Your Health Symptoms for Dummies’, a guide that aims to help lay people make informed decisions about common medical problems. He currently co-authors a book on ‘Sustainable Healthcare’ (to be published in 2012), in which he also explores the benefits that increased self-care can have for making health services more sustainable.
With a ‘portfolio career’ spanning several areas of medicine, my main role is as an NHS GP in Bristol. Within general practice I work in daytime and ‘Out-of-Hours’ surgeries, and am now the Long Term Conditions clinical lead on the board of Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). I have a particular interest in diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and am passionate about the importance of self care in all disease areas, to ensure that people can be empowered to manage their own disease, improving their confidence and their quality of life, and maximise the resources of the NHS.
I also work as a freelance medical writer and broadcaster working with a variety of magazines, medical newspapers, websites and on TV and radio, both local and national. I feel that in the overwhelming way all forms of media now dominate our lives, it is vital to have good, accurate, health messaging to inform and support patients with acute and chronic health problems.
When (occasionally!) everything else is quiet, I work as a doctor with an international air ambulance company, bringing patients back from around the world, a fascinating and satisfying job which also gives me insight into other health systems in different countries.
In my spare time, having achieved a degree in art, media & design, I enjoy my work as a glass artist- the mindfulness of focussing on colour, form and texture is very therapeutic and my creations, ranging from small jewellery pieces to large platters and cast sculptures, continue to enthral me.
Sue is Professor of Primary Care Nursing, Buckinghamshire New University, Nurse Advisor Londonwide LMCs and Nurse Advisor to HMP Bedford.
Over the years Sue has had experience as a school nurse, practice nurse, and nurse practitioner, as an Associate Director of Primary Care Nursing and National Project Manager for the Working in Partnership Programme. During these years she also developed a love of teaching and became a Trainer for the National Respiratory Training Centre (now Education for Health) in Warwick and later a Director for the organisation.
In 1992 she became the Chair of the RCN Nurse Practitioner Association and with other like minded individuals, laboured to make nursing in general practice recognised as a profession to be proud of. At this time she co-edited with Vanny Rimmer, the Nurse Practitioner Manual of Clinical Skills and the 2nd edition was published in July 2007.
Sue along with an American advanced nurse (Madrean Schober) and the support of the RCN, set up the International Council of Nurses, Nurse Practitioner/Advanced Practice Nursing Network. This Network was founded to provide a means of sharing research, education, social policy, etc to nurses working in all countries of the world; the Network now boasts a membership from 49 countries, details of which can be found on the ICN website.
Sue has published widely on aspects of education, asthma, allergy and general practice nursing both in the UK and abroad. She has also co-authored â€˜Vital Asthma’ with Dave Burns from the Respiratory UK Training Centre
In her spare time Sue flies light aircraft and plays the piano.
I have worked as a GP (family doctor) in the East End of London, for the last 25 years. My training year was in Hackney, and then I spent 5 years as a single handed GP working at the bottom of a tower block in Tower Hamlets. Since 1992 I have worked in Newham, starting a new practice from scratch, in a porta-kabin on a piece of waste land. This has developed into a group practice with 6 doctors and 9,500 patients, in a purpose built health centre.
In 1994 I set up the Newham out of hours co-operative with 2 other GPs.
This organisation has grown to provide out of hours cover to the whole population of Newham, about 330,000 people. We are still a co-operative and I remain involved both at operational and strategic levels. I work Monday evenings from the urgent care centre.
I worked as a course organiser for 5 years, teaching GP trainees in Hackney. I have taught medical students for the last 14 years, and I am a clinical lecturer at Queen Mary college university of London. I have recently trained as a tutor for post graduate doctors, doing a work based training programme in general practice.
For 12 years I worked on Sundays with the Whitechapel mission in London E1. This day centre provides food and washing facilities and a change of clothes for street homeless men and women. I developed a deep interest in the treatment of addictive conditions, both to drugs and alcohol, during this time. I was awarded the MBE in December 2000, for the work I did with the Whitechapel mission.
The practice population reflects the demographics of Newham, about half of our patients are form ethnic minorities, with a greater number of younger patients, about one and a half times the national average for under 35 years. Despite the turnover of patients in this inner city practice, I developed a close knowledge and understanding of many families, from many different cultures. It has been a privilege to see families and individuals grow and develop. I have often been fascinated to discover lines of relationship that were completely unexpected amongst my patients.
My clinical interests apart form the fascination of family illness and family dynamics, are: Nutrition and obesity; mental health problems, minor and major; dermatology; urgent and out of hours care; teaching, patients, medical students and doctors.
I believe strongly in the modern focus of health promotion and better care of chronic diseases, including the prevention of these diseases where possible. Working with patients to avoid disease and improve their life style may not be too glamorous, but it will have the greatest impact of the health of the people!
In my some what distant younger days, I used to row, ran a couple of marathons, and worked for save the children in Nepal. My job there was sharpening the vaccination needles, on a stone outside the clinic, before they were boiled for re-use! That was before the advent of HIV infection.
I also painted a mural of whinee the poo in the waiting room. I have often wondered how long it survived.
I have some experience of radio and television, between 1996 and 2001 I was the occasional ‘doctor in the house’ for the Big Breakfast. Always an early start with lots of excitement to wake you up!
In 1994 I was the subject of a fly on the wall documentary ‘The big story’ a day in the life of an inner city GP for channel 4. (Tape available if you are interested!)
In 2002 to 2003 I was the media doctor to Liberty radio, a phone in problem programme on our local, Stratford E15 radio. Quite a challenge as was all live and I had no idea what the questions were about until, the caller spoke to me on air.
2003 to 2005 visiting doctor to ‘The big toe show’. A children’s afternoon show on BBC radio7 , digital radio. Children phoned me with problems, usually related to the programme theme, but some unexpected questions cropped up.
I have various one of media experiences, including:
A Richard and Judy interview on sun cream last summer
A live TV interview in 1995, with some witches
2 or 3 news night interviews some years ago, mostly about inner city medicine.
I hope that I am a good listener and my patients find me sympathetic. Although not a cardigan, I care strongly about doing the best for the people who come to see me for help.
I am on the panel of Doctors for doctors, the British medical association telephone helpline, for sick doctors.
Jeremy Taylor is chief executive of National Voices, the national coalition of health and care charities for England. He joined the organisation in 2009 – a year after its launch – and has been building its impact and visibility as a major voice for patients, service users, carers and their representatives.
In 2011 Jeremy was appointed to the NHS Future Forum, the expert independent panel which advised the Coalition Government on its health reforms, and he co-chaired its work on information. He currently sits on expert panels reviewing the NHS Constitution, information governance in health, and the prospects for a public quality ratings system for health bodies.
Jeremy is one of a handful of charity leaders to feature in the Health Service Journal’s annual list of 100 people with the greatest influence in health policy and the NHS. He is also included in the HSJ’s new list of prominent health tweeters.
A former senior official at HM Treasury, Jeremy was previously Executive Director of Groundwork East London, an environmental charity, and head of research at Social Enterprise UK.
Lynn was a district nurse until 1990 when she became the Primary Health Care Adviser, RCN.
She retired from the RCN in 2012.
In November 2004 Lynn was awarded an Honorary Fellowship Royal College General Practitioners FRCGP (hons) and has a seat on the RSM General Practice Council. She is a trustee of Acton Care Centre and the charity, Groundswell.
Through their contact with patients and the public groups actively promote positive mental and physical well being and improve individuals’ confidence and self esteem by assisting individuals to be confident in the actions they take and thereby in their self care choices in respect of minor ailments.
Stephanie Varah was previously Chief Executive of the National Association for Patient Participation (N.A.P.P) a unique UK wide umbrella organisation for patient-led groups within general practices. N.A.P.P is an independent registered charity with over 30 years’ experience and expertise in promoting, supporting and developing Patient Participation Groups (PPGs).
Stephanie has over 25 years experience of working at the leading edge of public and patient involvement in health, social care and the voluntary sector. A national finalist for a Cabinet Office Modernising Government Partnership Award, Stephanie gained recognition for her work in developing and implementing a user involvement/user-led organisational change programme for a large social services authority.
As Patient and Public Engagement and Experience (PPE) Lead for Trent Strategic Health Authority and NHS East Midlands Stephanie pioneered the involvement of patients in SHA performance management reviews and led a national project for the Department of Health to develop performance indicators and evidence measures for PPE and Patient Experience.
Working independently since 2006 as a consultant Stephanie has delivered numerous PPE related programmes for the Department of Health including running the LINks early adopter project and co-ordinating the implementation of LINks across one hundred and fifty local authorities nationwide.
Mike Farrar was the Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation from May 2011 to September 2013. He is now an independent health consultant.
Mr Farrar was chief executive of the North West England SHA from May 2006 to April 2011. He was previously chief executive of West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire Strategic Health Authorities, chief executive of Tees Valley Health Authority and head of primary care at the Department of Health. During his time at the Department of Health, he was responsible for establishing primary care groups, primary care trusts and Personal Medical Services (PMS). Mr Farrar chaired the Strategic Health Authority Chief Executive’s Group from 2002 to 2009. He chaired the NHS Confederation GP Contract negotiating team that successfully negotiated the new General Medical Service contract in 2002. He also worked as the national programme director of NHS Live, chaired the Office for Life Sciences Innovation Delivery Board and was the key architect of the NW Advancing Quality programme, which involved one of the worlds largest and most successful Pay for Performance quality improving schemes in health care.
Mr Farrar is also a board member of Sport England, where he has also acted as interim chair, and in August 2009 was appointed as National Director for Sport and Health. Mike was also awarded the CBE in 2005 for services to the NHS and is an honorary fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners and of the University of Central Lancashire.
Martin qualified as a doctor in 1981. He trained in general and vascular surgery before electing to enter General Practice. From 1990 until 2004 he was a GP partner in a training practice.
He has previously chaired a Primary Care Group and Professional Executive Committee and was Chief Executive of North Eastern Derbyshire Primary Care Trust from 2004-2006. From 2006-2012 he was Deputy Chief Executive and
Director of Strategic Planning and Health Outcomes for NHS Lincolnshire as well as a member of the National Patient Safety Forum and Vice Chair of East Midlands Specialised Commissioning Group.
He was appointed his new role within the Medical Directorate of the NHS Commissioning Board (now NHS England) in 2012.
Jag is a GP, Deputy Director of Postgraduate Programmes at Keele Medical School and a Non Executive Director at Birmingham Community Healthcare.
Building on practical experience gained as a director of primary care development in the West Midlands, Jag has led a wide variety of leadership development and management academic programmes through the University of Warwick, the Institute of Clinical Leadership, the Royal College of General Practitioners, the West Midlands SHA and the Department of Health. His international experience includes work with Latin American health care professionals, taught in Spanish and the delivery of modules and workshops in Hong Kong and Korea. He has worked for the Medical Protection Society’s Asia-Pacific division, leading on the development of shared decision making initiatives for doctors and dentists.
Jag has an MSc in Health Care Management, awarded with Distinction, from the University of Warwick and is undertaking a PhD in Management at Birmingham Business School.
LinkedIn profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jsdhaliwal
Patricia Wilkie is a social scientist with a particularly interest in the patient perspective. This is reflected in her academic work and in voluntary work with the medical Royal Colleges, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, disease organisations, charities and government committees. She is currently President of N.A.P.P.(National Association for Patient Participation).
Michael Holden read pharmacy at Portsmouth School of Pharmacy. He was awarded a BSc Pharm in 1976 and did his pre-registration year in Southport, Lancashire.Â Following a number of years in various management positions, Michael established his own community pharmacy group in Hampshire between 1988 and 2002. He then set up a consultancy to support the implementation of change in community pharmacy before working with Pharmacy Alliance between 2003 and 2005. In 2005 he was appointed Chief Officer of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Pharmaceutical Committee and jointly established balance consultancy in 2008.
Michael has always been actively involved in the expansion of community pharmacy services including the development of the Healthy Living Pharmacy initiative. He is a member of the recently formed Pharmacy and Public Health Forum, the Public Health England Engagement Group and the Pharmacy Clinical Leadership Network.
Michael was Chief Executive of the National Pharmacy Association from 2011 to 2014 and became a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in March 2011.
Michael is married with three daughters and lives in Hampshire, England.
Mukhtar has been working in primary care all his life and has been at the forefront of public access. Community pharmacy has always been the first port of call for the NHS services. Mukhtar is a community pharmacist practising since 1988, and has worked in the Hackney area of London since 1993. Over the years he has helped in training GPs and other healthcare workers in management of substance misuse. He is a member of various committees in the locality, such as prescribing in primary care and medicine management, designing and providing pharmaceutical services.
Mukhtar’s main aim is to help address health inequalities in a deprived area like Hackney, especially for the population whose first language is one other than English.
Nick Pahl is CEO of the British Acupuncture Council, the largest body of 3,200 professional acupuncturists guaranteeing excellence in safe practice, training and professional conduct. Previously he was a commissioner in the NHS and is a member of the Public Health Register, following completing a Masters in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Sam Shakes has been working as a Self Care Facilitator for over seven years.Â She has her own business ‘The Patients’ Perspective’.Â She has published a book titled ‘Then Life Took Control’ that represents the Patient Experience and Self Care.
As a nurse, I am in the business of caring for others, but as the director of my own company, I am in the business of encouraging other diabetics to manage their own condition.
My original intention was to champion self care by writing a book about it – Diabetes From The Inside Out – which was well received but only after developing my own self management programme, did I feel I was able to fully advocate self care, as both a healthcare professional and a practitioner of it myself.
Carol has worked in the commercial, statutory and voluntary sectors, including the development and management of a range of projects. She has held various appointments as a director/trustee with voluntary organisations. Carol has been involved with various health based projects, including vulnerable young people, carers, substance misuse and advocacy work for individuals with complex mental and physical health needs.
Carol believes personally and professionally that for organisations to provide high quality services that are appropriate and accessible, it is vital to seek the views of all involved. She has long experience both with her own health and disability and also with care provided to members of her immediate family of various aspects of the medical profession and she welcomes and values the opportunities provided by the BMA to be involved as a member of the PLG. Carol currently works with individuals and families with cancer and other mental health issues including terminal illness.
Antony has only been volunteering in the health sector for 7 years, previously volunteering for ‘Samaritans’ and as a member of the ‘Independent Monitoring Board’ at HMP Ford. Antony lives with a long- term condition, which he self manages in partnership with health professionals. He learned many self management skills on an Expert Patient Programme course and then went onto become a volunteer tutor for the Expert Patient Programme Community Interest Company.
He is also a founder member of the former South East Coast SHA’s Peoples Engagement and Development Network; the first permanent patient group in any SHA. Antony has a passion for our National Health Service and is devoted to working with other service users in partnership with health professionals. He feels if you want to change something for the better, get involved. He is especially interested in issues around health inequalities.
He joined the RCGP PPG in 2007, became a vice chair in 2008 and was chair in 2009-2012.
Fiona Baskett is a family doctor. After brief spells in General Practice in Canada and Australia, she has spent most of her professional life in the UK. For many years she wrote a weekly column for a tabloid newspaper, and a monthly feature in a popular national women’s magazine. She has written and presented numerous medical television programmes, and was medical adviser to mumsnet, the parenting website, in its formative years in the early 2000’s. An interest in trauma led to her teaching on Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Courses run by BASICS and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, and she was Founder Chairman of an Immediate Care Scheme. She has experience in aeromedical repatriation and lectured in clinical aspects of aeromedical transport at Cranfield University and the University of Surrey. For twelve years she was medical officer for the F1 British Grand Prix at Silverstone. As Principal Lecturer in Primary Care at the University of the West of England she has taught nurses and paramedics in Diagnostic Skills, Physical Assessment and Clinical Reasoning. Currently she is a sessional GP and Appraiser in the Severn Deanery. As a GP, and media medic, she is a strong proponent for encouraging and supporting self care.
Roger Till began his working life as a geology lecturer and then moved on to work on developing exploration computer systems for BP.Â When all that got outsourced he moved on to run a small not for profit ecommerce standards body which was then merged into the worldwide barcode standards body.
Since retiring nearly three years ago, Roger has been involved with NICE (National Institute for Care and Clinical Excellence) as a patient/carer member of a Guidelines Development Group and now of a Quality Standards group, convenes the Patient Participation group at the Lawson Practice in Hackney and for the last year has been a Trustee of the National Association for Patient Participation (N.A.P.P.).
I am a partner, trainer and GP tutor in North West London. I am a CSA and Imap examiner. I am News and Views editor for Innovait and recently edited the Women’s Health Module for the e-LfH. Over the last year I have been involved in teaching the Health for Healthcare Professionals; unless we as doctors look after ourselves how can we teach our patients to self-care.
I am married with two children. I walk in the Chilterns and have an allotment with an asparagus bed. I like to eat well and sometimes run tutorials over hot chocolate in cafes.
Jean has recently been appointed as Business Manager for Health at Coventry City Council, a newly created post and one that exemplifies the commitment by both Jean and Coventry City Council to continue the work designed to improve the lives of the most vulnerable and deprived in society.
Jean has always had a passion for providing the highest standard of evidenced based care which is demonstrated by her move from nursing to undertaking a variety of roles which reflect this concern, including hospital Clinical Audit and Clinical Effectiveness Manager, Health Authority Research and Development lead and clinical lead for Commissioning during the GP Fundholding era.
Frustrated at the lack of ‘joined up thinking’ and seeing patients admitted with life threatening diseases, which were mostly preventable, Jean moved to working within a Local Authority where she believed she was better placed to work in support of reducing health inequalities in vulnerable communities. She initially worked in North Worcestershire where she established the very first Health Improvement Programmes (HImP’s) before joining Coventry with a ‘brief’ to reduce Health Inequalities across the city.
Coventry City Council has a cross party track record of supporting work in this area and in 2010 was named a ‘Marmot city’ by Professor Marmot. Mike Grady (Prof Marmot’s senior researcher) has been working closely with Jean and partner agencies in the city to help ensure the six main themes of the Marmot Review are embedded in its strategies and newly established Health and Well Being Board programme. Jean and her team’s work was recognised nationally when they were awarded the Beacon Award for Health Inequalities and only this week Jean will join partner agencies to receive the coveted Olympic Inspire Mark Award for their work in providing services in an innovative manner (within a Fire Station) to people who would not normally access the more traditional type statutory services.
Beth McCarron-Nash is a UK GPC Negotiator elected in July 2008. She has experience working in many different types of general practice and currently works in a large dispensing practice in North Cornwall. She was the lead GP for the BMA’s “Support Your Surgery” Campaign which resulted in 1.3 million people in just three weeks signing a petition against Government plans for Darzi clinics and increased commercialisation in the NHS. As a GPC Negotiator she represents GPs nationally and leads in QOF, Public and Patient Involvement, Education and Workforce, Sessional GPs and Communications. .A member of the councils of the BMA and RCGP and a regular BMA Spokesperson, she speaks and writes on many political and health issues with a particular interest in empowering patients and NHS and healthcare reform.
Dr. Ishani Patel is a recently qualified sessional GP in London. She is the RCGP E-learning FellowÂ and Clinical Lead in the development of the Self Care for Minor Ailments online learning module. She also works for the North West London Cancer Network striving to improve cancer diagnosis and follow up in primary care. She considers herself to be a new generation GP and contributes to an online blog for PULSE called ‘Surviving the First 5 years’ aimed at keepingÂ her peers informed about issues surrounding newly qualified GPs.
Having trained as a research organic chemist, I qualified as a teacher and became Deputy Head of a large 11-18 comprehensive school.
I then returned to higher education, as a research fellow for a Government technical and vocational education initiative, and a lecturer in chemistry education in initial teacher training.
My next move was into local government, firstly as a schools science adviser and then Chief Education Adviser and Deputy Director of Education. During this time I was closely involved in public health initiatives.
Later I became an inspector of schools for OFSTED.
I was previously Chair of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health, Chair of the Royal Society for Public Health and a Board member of the National Association of Clubs for Young People. I was also Honorary Editor of the RSPH Journal Perspectives in Public Health.
Currently I am Chair of Ambition, a leading UK youth charity, and an adviser to the Public Health England Well North Programme.
I was recently appointed as Co-Chair of the national Self Care Forum. I have a particular interest in improving the levels of people’s health literacy, especially through better health education for children and young people.
Dr Nicola Thomas is a self-employed nursing lecturer and researcher specialising in renal (kidney) care, with 30 years experience in clinical practice, education and research.
Nicola has a particular interest in self-care. Her Doctoral thesis developed and evaluated a self-management package for people with diabetes at risk of kidney disease. Findings showed that many patients did not fully understand the risk of developing kidney problems and more importantly did not know how to reduce that risk.
Nicola is currently involved in a primary care study, funded by the Health Foundation and managed by Kidney Research UK that is working with 28 GP Practices in England and Wales. One aspect of this project is to promote self-management of early kidney disease. www.kidneyresearchuk.org/enable
Nicola has a recordable teaching qualification and has a Masters Degree in Education. She has developed, taught and managed study days, conferences, short courses and University validated modules. She has extensive teaching experience for acute and primary care NHS Trusts, GP practices and Higher Education. She has a particular interest in understanding how to facilitate self-management, both from a patient and practitioner perspective.
Nicola is the editor of two renal textbooks: Renal Nursing (2008)(Elsevier) and Advanced Renal Care (2005)(Blackwells). She was President of the European Dialysis and Transplant Nurses Association/European Renal Care Association (EDTNA/ERCA) in 2000-2001.
Paul qualified as a pharmacist in 1992 and worked as a practising community pharmacist for Boots the Chemist. He became a teacher practitioner at Bradford University before moving to Portsmouth University performing the same role. In 1996, he took the post of a research pharmacist, and gained his PhD in 2000. His PhD centred on skill mix in community pharmacy. After gaining his PhD Paul took a full-time post as senior lecturer at Portsmouth University. His main duties were teaching various aspects of practice but in particular self-care and diagnosis. This culminated in the publication of two text books in 2004 and 2005 in the area of diagnosis for pharmacists. In 2005, Paul took a career break before joining the University of Wolverhampton in 2006. His main areas of interest centre on patient self-care. He is currently involved in a number of community pharmacy-based projectsÂ that are looking in to maximising pharmacist contribution to self care and evaluation of clinical decision making.
Joanne is Chair of NHS Direct, which provides remote and health advice and information services via phone, web and mobile channels, to patients and the public in England. She is also Chairman of Datapharm, a leading provider of digital medicines information to the NHS, the pharmaceutical industry, patients and the public.
Joanne has a background in the use of new communication channels for health and medicines. In her professional roles and in her writing for health publications, she is known for advocating partnership between patients and health professionals and supporting people to make better informed choices about their health.
She was recently appointed as a Non Executive Governor of Nuffield Health, the UK’s largest trading charity, operating in the hospital, corporate wellbeing, and health & fitness sectors. She sits on the board of the Money Advice Service and she is a director of the British Board of Film Classification.
Previously she was a Trustee for the Long-term Conditions Alliance, the umbrella charity for patient organisations supporting people living with long term health conditions. She chaired the not-for-profit company behind ‘Ask About Medicines’, the independent campaign to increase people’s involvement in decisions about their use of medicines, and worked internationally as a strategy consultant with the Boston Consulting Group.
I own a consultancy that specialises in helping pharmaceutical companies switch their medicines for self care application. I am a pharmacist with over 25 years experience in the medicines industry and have worked with companies such as Boots, Boehringer, Pfizer and Novartis, I championed the “first in class” switch of tamsulosin for Boehringer Ingelheim. It is obvious to me that most drug companies have untapped potential in their legacy prescription drug portfoilios but they don’t know its there or how to release it and some are afraid of the risk. I help pharmaceutical companies un-earth the opportunities for switch and provide the extra energy and safety circuits needed to create new self care possibilities that trigger behaviour change.
Jonathan is Clinical Adviser (Medicines) at NHS North East London and The City, Pharmacy Lead for the Dementia Calls to Action at the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, and a member of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia Champion Group.Â Jonathan is the former National Clinical Director for Primary Care and Community Pharmacy at the Department of Health.
Jonathan champions the development of medicines optimisation services which best meet the needs of patients and the public.Â Jonathan is passionate about the role of community pharmacy in improving the use of medicines and promoting and supporting healthy lifestyles. Jonathan provides clinical leadership to help shape future models of care.Â He has established a pharmacy clinical leadership network to support the development of pharmacy clinical champions to identify and spread best practice, and to help overcome barriers to service redesign and seamless delivery of care.
Jonathan has a wealth of experience in pharmacy practice including working in hospital and village pharmacies, laboratory-based research into drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, academia and medicines regulation. He has been working in primary care pharmacy since 1998.
Follow Jonathan on Twitter @jonathanmason
A General Practioner working with her husband Mark Gallagher at Alvanley Family Practice in Stockport. Jaweeda is the Clinical director for Service Transformation for Stockport Clinical Commissioning Group with priority for developing and implementing an integrated service for people with long term conditions. Recently Jaweeda became the Healthier Together Clinical Champion for people with long term conditions for Greater Manchester and strongly believes patients, families, carers and communities are the biggest asset to our health service.
Jason has been directly involved with Self Care provision, research and development for the last 7 years, working with NHS Oldham and Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust as well as third sector community arts, mental health and physical activity organisations.
Recognising the impact and benefit on staff and patients within clinical settings, but also the need for a community based approach in provision and support, he has worked strategically to develop the training package and forge partnerships with The Stroke Association, Arthritis specialists; Pulmonary Teams, Psychological Medicines, Children’s Centres and Remploy, with a view to helping service users take charge of their conditions whilst developing better health physically, mentally and socially.
With the help of a small core team, Jason has sustained and expanded the Self Care Project and Self Care for Young People, whilst developing and providing adapted materials and training linked with LTC’s. Most recently he has co developed a Work Place Health package using key Self Care strands, developed a brand new Teen Weight Management Programme and ran as a 2012 Olympic Torch bearer.
Chris Moon-Willems is regarded as a respected voice for older people and family carers based on her extensive experience in social care and the NHS combined with personal experience of caring for her elderly parents.
Chris became one of the pioneers of personal budgets and their influence on personalisation, at a national and local level in social care and the NHS. This included a secondment to the training arm of the DH and communicating with social care and health professionals to ‘win hearts and minds’ about self directed support and personalised care.
Chris is a qualified social work professional, author, CEO of Relative Matters and committee member of St Lawrence Surgery Patient Participation Group (PPG)
Nick was Marketing Director of the NHS Diagnostic Service and NHS PET/CT , where he worked extensively with the Department of Health, NHS Trusts, PCTs and SHAs. He later managed numerous national and local NHS initiatives where he began to recognise the requirement for patients, family and carers to explore their worries and concerns relating to a specific condition and their desire to open dialogue amongst themselves and with the healthcare professionals treating them. As a result he developed the PatientShare model with Walsall NHS Foundation Trust. (walsallbariatrics.org.uk) which utilises the Internet to establish patient forums, with the aim of empowering patients and supporting informed decision making.
Nick has spoken regularly on patient engagement and lives in Harrogate with his wife and three children.
Mike Beaman is a native of Leicester and qualified as a pharmacist in 1970. He was employed as a hospital pharmacist in Leicester for a number of years prior to becoming a Chief Pharmacist in London in 1983. He was responsible for creating new roles for community pharmacists during the 1980’s and 90’s. In 1989 he was one of the first pharmacists to be appointed as a pharmaceutical and prescribing advisor in the NHS and in 1991 was instrumental in forming the National Pharmaceutical Advisors Group. He was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in 1994. His last appointment, prior to retiring from the NHS in 2007, was as Chief Pharmacist for North Hertfordshire & Stevenage PCT. He now works as a freelance pharmaceutical advisor specialising in primary care and public health. He lives with his partner in West Sussex.
I have been a Service User Consultant Volunteer with Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust for 10 years working with and representing the mentally ill for ten years. I am also a Director of Integritas Advocacy Charity which freely helps the vulnerable of Inner City Nottingham.
I worked in Telecommunications for 30 years and retired in 2001. All my life before retirement I suffered with extreme bouts of depression, paranoia and anxiety, I then decided that I could put up with this no longer and decided that I would give up the conflict of my mind and accept my conditions. I then went into a bout of mindfulness and torment and after a year of struggle ‘found myself’. Remarkably all my troubles went and I have been totally free of paranoia, anxiety and almost the depression for ten years now. This was my own self care and after 45 years of constantly seeing psychiatrists and taking medication, I found my own solution. I do admit to still taking medication.
Dr Anita Nathan completed her GP training in the West Midlands in 2002.
Since the start of her GP career she has experienced the diversity of over 25 general practices and is therefore truly able to appreciate the successes and challenges in the provision of effective GP services.
She has also served as a medical advisor for AstraZeneca, which included delivery of the medical strategy leading to the launch of a major cardiovascular pharmaceutical brand to the UK market in 2011.
She is a practising GP in central London with particular interests in preventive medicine, mental health and weight management. She is currently advising on the London strategy for the National Obesity Forum and also a GP lead advisor for the British Association of Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT).
Josiane has worked in the NHS for over 25 years now, she has worked in secondary care and a primary care trust but mostly within primary care. She is passionate about patient and public engagement and ensuring high quality services within general practice are accessible to all patients. She chairs the West Sussex Practice Managers Association and is very clear that with well supported and highly trained Practice Managers, primary care can be the best it is able to be, to secure the future of the NHS and the health and wellbeing of all people.
Eunice currently works as Consultant General Surgeon in N. Ireland. She trained in General Surgery and abdominal organ transplantation in Scotland, England and the USA. During that time Eunice had a ‘work-hard, play-hard mentality’ so typical of many doctors in training. However, around 2003/4 Eunice began to question her own lifestyle and undertook a number of different trainings and courses (both academic and non-academic) and developed an interest in holistic healthcare and whole person medicine. In doing so, Eunice has transformed her own life and has developed a deep understanding of what it means to be truly self-caring and how that applies to the daily choices she makes. These choices are based on knowing the ‘self’ that is being cared for, which is universal to the human being and thus applicable to all. Eunice provides talks, workshops and presentations on a variety of subjects relating to self-care, to empower others to care for and heal themselves by understanding how ones daily choices can be beneficial or detrimental to health and wellbeing.
Eunice has an interest in Medical Education and is the Lead for Undergraduate Surgery teaching at her hospital and has been involved in other teaching initiatives. She has a Diploma in Clinical Education and she is keen to bring the principles of self-care to medical education such that the doctors of tomorrow truly care for themselves as well as their patients. A medical workforce that cares for itself will enhance the quality of care it delivers and lead to improved outcomes overall for patients.
Toto is committed to changing relationships in the NHS and creating opportunities for the expertise of the self to emerge. She holds to heart values of integrity and fairness; respect for people and their perspectives; the importance of co-creation; openness and transparency of our services and a duty of candour.
Toto brings over 25 years of experience in a variety of roles in health, social care and the third sector. She is currently Chair of Patients’ Council, College of Medicine, and has worked in health informatics and the third sector, having started as a hospital Medical Physicist and researcher in non-invasive diagnostics.
As part of a spell of lifelong learning Toto completed a diploma in International Primary Care Research at UCL, specialising in the use of the narrative in health research, care and education.
An area of special interest is valuation of personal and societal outcomes of improvements in the NHS.
Toto’s blog “We are what we speak” is about changing the language in the health and care sector. She hopes this will promote good dialogue, as well as help change “patronising” to “supporting” so that patients no longer are the elephant in the room. In her spare time, she climbs mountains and keeps bees.
Fleur is the Health Engagement and Equalities Manager across Cannock Chase, Stafford Surrounds and South East Staffs and Seisdon Clinical commissioning Groups. Fleur started her career in nursing, then gained a Psychology BSc at Aston University and is currently studying her Post Graduate Diploma in Public Sector Commissioning at Birmingham University.
Fleur has a varied career in many roles facilitating engagement and co-production, with over 20 years’ experience working in the private sector, Voluntary and Community Sector, County Council, District Council and the NHS. In all of her roles Fleur has been every interested in enabling people to help themselves in all aspects of their lives. Fleur believes that lots of aspects in peoples lives can contribute to a person’s sense of health and wellbeing and that the whole story often needs to be looked at to fully enable supported self care. Positive connections with others and communities are vital for everyone to feel happy and are often overlooked. Fleur is passionate about equality and diversity, she is passionate about reducing health inequalities and endeavours to keep this at the forefront of commissioned services.
Andrew Mooney, qualified as a Physiotherapist in 1997 from the University of Queensland, in Australia and has now 19 years experience in both conventional and complementary medicine, having worked in Europe, Asia and Australia during this time.
He believes in a holistic approach to medicine, and his clinical observations and experiences have led him to the conclusion that life itself is medicine and how we live on a daily basis contributes greatly to our health and wellbeing.
A Chartered Physiotherapist, Complementary Health Practitioner, Researcher and Presenter, he continues to work in both the private and public health sectors in Cornwall. He has a special interest in back pain and has completed a research thesis on low back pain in Australia.
Andrew is committed to living a life of self-care outside of his workplace that supports himself to be consistently dedicated and caring for his clients, by practicing himself everything that he advises his clients. As a result clients are inspired not just by words or treatment techniques but simply by observing the health and vitality which Andrew obviously lives every day.
He firmly believes in the importance of connection and care in medicine and that when this is present it can tangibly be felt and appreciated by both clients and practitioners. All too often people feel jaded by the medical system because their practitioners seem as tired, exhausted and stressed as they are! Such is the importance of self care both for our ailing population and also our health care practitioners alike.
Nick Sinfield is Clinical Director at Digital Life Sciences Group and a Chartered Physiotherapist with an unwavering passion to improve the back pain epidemic facing our society today.
Following working and treating patients in the UK, New Zealand and Australia Nick founded the Healthy Back Company in 2009. This provided back pain educational materials in accordance to NICE guidelines. Contracts completed include UK and international clients. This company was acquired by Spring Active in August 2014.
Nick is the author of the workbook The Back Pain Personal Health Plan and “Now I Can Bend My Back!” The essential self help guide to back and neck pain, which have been featured in the national press and BBC radio.
In 2011 he was a Finalist at the CSP Congress “Dragons Den” competition, where he presented The Back Pain Personal Health Plan.
Nick’s educational information was selected by the NHS Choices Live Well website to provide exercise programmes to the public. These include programmes such as Low Back Pain Exercises, which has received a 4 out 5 star average rating from 657 customer reviews. This can be viewed at http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Backpain/Pages/low-back-pain-exercises.aspx
Nick is a spokesperson and clinical advisor to the UK National Back Pain Charity BackCare, appearing on BBC Breakfast, BBC radio and in the National Press. In 2015 BackCare selected his workbook TakeBackControl 10 Recovery Steps as their self-management information to members.
Nick was runner up at the 2014 BMA Patient Information Awards for his self-management booklet ‘Top 10 Exercises for Back Pain Relief.’
In 2015 Nick won the 2015 Vocational Rehabilitation Association Initiative Award for Proof of Concept Trial to Deliver a Digital and Physical Rehabilitation Model to Patients with Back Pain
Nick is a National and International Conference Speaker on back pain.
The aim of 21st Century healthcare must be to move from a passive healthcare model to the patient taking an active role to self-manage and improve their health. A main aim of supported self-management is to enable long term behavioural change in the patient, this can be achieved through the creation of a culture and environment that supports their health and wellbeing.
Renata’s professional background is in strategy consulting at KPMG, EY and, latterly, the Capita Group plc. She has therefore had many years’ experience of providing business advice to boards in commercial, public sector and charitable organisations in the UK, Europe and the Middle East.
She has also had a very long-standing interest in health sector issues, with a strong focus on the improvement of outcomes for those living with long-term conditions. She was an elected Trustee at Diabetes UK and at National Voices. She also has NHS provider and commissioner experience as a Non Executive Director at two district general hospital Trusts, and a Primary Care Trust and Primary Care Trust Cluster. Renata was also for some years Chief Executive and Trustee of the self management uk Charity (formerly the Expert Patients Programme Community Interest Company – EPP CIC), having originally joined as a Non Executive Director of EPP CIC.
She is currently a Non Executive Director at the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care, and a Non Executive Director at Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. She is also a Board member of the Self Care Forum.
Georgie Oldfield MCSP is a leading physiotherapist and chronic pain specialist promoting a pioneering approach to resolving chronic pain through her SIRPA Recovery Programme and her clinics in London and Yorkshire.
Georgie is the founder of SIRPA, an organisation dedicated to promoting the concept that pain can be due to learned nerve pain pathways rather than physical abnormality, hence full recovery is possible once the pathways are reversed.
As well as treating patients and training health professionals, Georgie gives talks and writes widely about the concept.
Sarah Collis is the director of Self Help Connect UK and Self Help Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, and has more than 25 years experience working in health and social care in community settings, working with volunteer and third sector organisations to tackle health inequalities and promote community empowerment and social justice.
Sarah joined the charity in 2008 from the Big Lottery Fund, where her expertise was in the funding of infrastructure within the third sector. Before this, she worked extensively in the voluntary sector, engaging with people to find their own solutions to health and social challenges through mutual aid.
Self Help Nottingham and Nottinghamshire has been at the forefront of developing self help group support for more than 30 years, and its local knowledge and expertise has been recognised as a unique service, a service which the organisation now aims to replicate across the UK.
Sarah has led the self help charity to develop a national arm, which is launched in 2013 as Self Help Connect UK.
This new venture aims to promote and support the development of specialist resources for self help groups across the UK, and to underpin the development of a thriving and sustainable self help group sector.
By working closely with commissioners, the voluntary sector infrastructure and self help groups themselves, Self Help Connect UK aims to provide a national framework to support local self help and mutual aid groups and promote the value of peer support in sustaining self care and empowering patients.
Self Help Connect UK is committed to supporting the self care campaign and enabling the cultural shift which needs to take place to allow the principles of self care to become embedded into our health and social care economy.
Dr Katie Coleman is the joint clinical Vice Chair of the Islington Clinical Commissioning Group. She chairs a number of committees, including the Patient and Public Participation committee, the Self Care working group and the Primary Care Development Group. She also sits on the Integrated Care Programme Board and the Quality and Governance Committee, providing support to the clinicians that lead on these areas.
Her particular interest is in empowering patients to enable them to self-care, understanding their experience of health services and how to make this service better by helping patients to have a collective voice in the Islington Clinical Commissioning Group’s work.
I am a locum pharmacist with 37 years of experience in community pharmacy at a variety of outlets in London and West Midlands.
During these locum placements, one of my duties was to provide medicines for top ten minor ailments (under a PGD scheme) and also to advise on duration of the condition and any other relevant self-care and lifestyle issues.
Currently I work at the walk-in centre where we see a variety of self-limiting conditions which can easily be diagnosed by me and the relevant treatment provided accompanied by self-care advice. The staff at the centre are very confident of my clinical knowledge and consultation skills.
Jane currently works as the Staff Engagement Manager at Great Western NHS Foundation Trust, as well as being a Senior Lecturer at the Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham, and a Leadership Development Associate at the Centre for Innovation in Health Management, Leeds University Business School.
She has worked in healthcare, and the wider public sector for over 34 years with an extensive background gained across Organisational Change, Leadership Management & Personal Development, Board Member & Executive Coaching and Employee Engagement with specialist expertise in dealing with deep rooted behavioural issues at work; health and wellbeing at work to support resilience and self-care for all NHS staff including healthcare professionals, and leaders, and is able to apply a range of diverse learning methodologies to enhance workplace productivity.
Jane has published papers, presented at many conferences, and also undertakes qualitative research in healthcare settings. Jane’s Phd studied ‘Developing self-care at work’.
I am a Canadian born and trained GP. I received my primary medical degree from the University of Toronto in 1978.
I practiced in the Toronto area before becoming qualified in the UK in 2007. I relocated to the UK with my English wife who wished to return home. I did a GP registrarship in 2006 as an induction into the NHS and received my MRCGP with distinction in 2007. In addition, I am also board certified as a Family Physician in Canada with the Canadian College of Family Physicians. I retain a licence to practise in Canada. After qualification in the UK I became a part time partner in a small rural practice in East Sussex until July 2013.
I have been interested in the area of patient self care since the inception of my career, wondering why some people are able to resist becoming patients and others can’t wait to become one. In my last GP surgery, I began a patient participation group to explore the possibilities of self care, amongst other initiatives. It became clear that patients needed very specific information that was credible. I had been writing a monthly article for the village newsletter on health matters and it is striking how people will follow the advice of someone they have a relationship with.
It is important that they use information that has been “endorsed” as it were, by someone they know personally and can trust. In my current role as Deputy Medical Director of Integrated Care 24, a large not for profit out of hours provider, I am exploring ways of systematically encouraging self care when appropriate, to patients presenting in out of hours, as there is a vast opportunity to do this, if done intelligently and sensitively. I am pleased to have found the Self Care Forum’s patient education materials as they are of very high quality and utility.
Secretary of NE London Pharmaceutical Committee (NEL LPC); Past-President of RPS, past Chairman of NPA, Past Vice-Chairman of PSNC. Designer of a new pharmacy practice model: Selfcare Pharmacy that empowers patients, Carers and the public.
Catherine is the current chair of the Patient Liaison Group for the BMA. She is an ex-officio member of BMA Council, Political Board and Professional Activities Board. The Patient Liaison Group has produced a Self-Care resource which is available on the BMA website.
Catherine worked for 23 years in local government in housing, social services, policy and organisational development. She currently works as a coach/mentor and consultant with public and voluntary sector organisations, helping them to review services to meet the needs of users, and coaching their staff to help them grow and develop in their careers.
She has a long-standing personal and professional interest in health and is committed to improving health outcomes for individuals and for society as a whole. As a former carer and someone with a disability, she is using coaching to support unpaid carers and people with disabilities to build confidence and motivation, develop resilience, and achieve success in all aspects of their lives.
I am a clinical psychologist working in the NHS. I specialise in the treatment of psychological trauma, working in a trauma service as well as a health psychology service.
I think that information is a powerful source of help and support. In my day job I see first hand how empowering it is for clients to access accurate information about their conditions. The internet has dramatically changed how we access information, and I’m excited by using the web to share information about mental health to educate clients and professionals. To this end I have developed two web sites to share psychological knowledge and to promote self-care: PsychologyTools and Self-Help Tools. These are used by clients and therapists worldwide.
Dr Diane Ashiru-Oredope is the Pharmacist Lead for Antimicrobial Resistance and Stewardship and HCAI at Public Health England and the Department of Health Expert Advisory Committee on Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infection (ARHAI)..
An antimicrobial pharmacist by background, she is the professional project lead for the English Surveillance Programme for Antimicrobial Utilisation and Resistance (ESPAUR) and Chair of European Antibiotic Awareness Day and Antibiotic Guardian activities in England.
I have been a nurse practitioner in primary care for the last 11 years covering urgent care centres, GP out of hours and currently General practice. I have a masters in Advanced professional Practice and my role is to assess patients with undiagnosed conditions and advise and treat accordingly. I also run regular long term condition clinics too which also involves promoting self care. The benefits to working within general practice and advocating self care management is that we see the advantages to patients who have the knowledge and skills to look after themselves. I am an active comitte member of the local practice nurse forum too.
Mr. Skinner is a biochemist with a long history of advocating for self-care. He spent his early career conducting practical research and in 1979, Mr. Skinner was invited to join Consumer Health Products Canada with Scientific and Regulatory Affairs responsibilities.
From 1983 until 2013, he held the position of President for the Canadian National OTC Trade Organization. Over the past 35 years he has been involved in major healthcare reform initiatives in Canada and continues to speak and offer policy advice on self-care issues internationally.
Suzy is a Coaching Psychologist specialising in wellbeing, stress management and facilitation of healthy lifestyle change. She holds a B. Psychology (Hons) degree from the University of Sydney and a M. Psychology (Org) degree from the University of New South Wales, Australia, is a certified yoga teacher, and a qualified personal trainer. Her coaching is informed by Positive Psychology, the Mindfulness Tradition, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
Suzy offers an integrated approach to wellbeing: nurturing head, heart and body, and is passionate about teaching tools of self-care to help people weather and recover from periods of stress, loss and change.
For a description of her self-care framework see her ‘Vitality Wheel’ journal article (on page 22).
Noreen Caldwell works as Public Engagement and Involvement Manager at NHS South Cheshire CCG and NHS Vale Royal CCG and has over 17 years’ experience in developing meaningful and impactful engagement with local populations.
Originally from Scotland she has been instrumental in developing unique engagement opportunities with hard to reach patients, ensuring their voices are heard and their feedback shapes the commissioning of services in the future.
Understanding the power of patient involvement she has also developed robust and detailed models of primary care patient participation, enabling GP practices in Central Cheshire to gain positive support and challenge from their patient populations to improve and shape services. This model has self-care engrained in the responsibilities of the participation groups, ensuring that the on-going support and education of the local population continues through patient engagement and involvement.
Adaku Efuribe is a Clinical Pharmacist / Independent Prescriber. She is a firm believer of the benefits of self care and healthy living in preventing diseases and managing chronic disease conditions
A United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) champion who advocates for better healthcare systems for all.
Her pet project- ‘Ask Your Pharmacist’ With Adaku (Health Promotion videos and articles) – educates the general public and creates awareness on self-care and wellness.
She has experience in the community, primary and secondary care sectors where she has offered clinical, advanced and enhanced services on behalf of the NHS.
I am the founder of The Talking Room, a one-stop information and resource centre for life wellness, health and social care, with over 25 years’ experience in health administration and management. I am also an integrated wellness consultant, adult educator and author. Above all, I am mother and wife to beautiful people with special needs. Understanding the demands and joys of this experience makes me committed to helping others in similar circumstances. For me, self care is central to my quality of life and I am passionate about promoting this ethos to others.
I am an information scientist and founder of a startup, Plan Heal Health Companies, Inc. a global health data platform that marries technology and social to empower people to become their own health and safety advocate.
My professional experience includes angel investor and board member for startups, executive roles leading the development of API strategies that leverage data to better serve the population. I am also a product development leader that has successfully positioned new products in the Europe; Asia-Pacific; and MEA markets.
I welcome the opportunity to work with organisations that are enthusiastic about using data to solve global health and safety issues.
Stephen is a former senior police officer who retired in 2017 after a career spanning 30 years and is now dedicating his time to the field of mental health. Throughout his career, he gained significant experience in training, coaching and mentoring police negotiators in building emotional resilience and in crisis management. He currently works with Headtorch providing mental health training to organisations to create positive mental health at work. He is a trustee with Lifelink a social enterprise providing mental health crisis support and the Samaritans. He practises meditation and yoga as an antidote to stressful living.
Rhian is the Education Lead at Education For Health and Editor in Chief of General Practice Nursing Journal
Now working in clinical education, Rhian has a long and valuable experience as a GPN, specialising in the care of patients with multiple long term conditions. She is a Guy Rotherham Award winner for her work in setting up nurse- run specialised clinics for patients with multiple long term conditions in a challenged inner city GP surgery.
Immediate past member of the NICE Quality Standards Advisory Committee (having served two x three year terms)
RCGP Yorkshire Faculty Board (nurse educator)
National Primary Care Network (part of the National Association of Primary Care)
Outside of work, Rhian is a Dementia Champion for Dementia Friends, an Alzheimer’s Society initiative, and the Social Media Coordinator for Dementia Friendly Leeds – a voluntary role.
I am the founder of L-W-O https://www.lymph-what-oedema.com published September 2013. Having been diagnosed with secondary lymphoedema in 2011, I believe passionately in raising awareness of lymphoedema and therefore an advocate to share knowledge and support others. I do this through my website, blog and social media platforms across the UK and globally.
I have been volunteering in one form or another for the last 40 years for various communities or groups. I am a great believer in the University of Life and that we never stop learning. This includes taking care of ourselves both physically and mentally.
Shanley Lewis is an Assistant Psychologist working within the NHS with people experiencing a wide-range of mental health difficulties and their families; with a big interest in self care and mental wellbeing.
Shanley is the Founder of Good to Me, which supports people in the practice of self care to improve their wellbeing. It aims to provide people with the tips, tools, and techniques to support their practice of self care .This is done through coaching sessions , workshops, events and a monthly self-care subscription box.
From working as a mental health care professional, I myself reap the benefits of practicing good self care. I encourage all my clients I work with to practice self care. We talk about the commitment, practice, persistence, and patience that it takes, for this big reward.
Now largely retired – and with five long term conditions to self-manage – Julian’s focus is on maintaining and improving his own wellbeing, whilst developing a robust method for doing this – and helping other patients and citizens do likewise. With a background in business coaching, and the design and maintenance of systems aiming at safety, free flow, quality and productivity, he hopes that the same principles can be practically applied to optimising the health & wellbeing of an individual – for surely each is also a unique whole system?
As a statistician and social scientist Julian seeks to locally research the extent to which individuals can legitimately and safely take charge of their personal health outcomes. He has found that becoming actively involved in his own community as a Patient Leader helps him enhance his own wellbeing as well as grow the community’s social capital. And now that GP practices are being contracted to install Social Prescribers, Julian hopes that some of his cohort will agree to becoming further tooled-up as volunteer “Community Connectors”.
With the help of the IVAR Building Health Partnership initiative in 2017-18, Julian co-created a 5 level model that integrates Self-Care with Social Prescribing and this is guiding our GP Network as we seek to establish the provision of both activities – copy available via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Simon Stones is an award-winning patient leader, advocate and researcher, who was the winner of the international WEGO Health Award for Patient Healthcare Collaborator in 2017. He is a passionate advocate and ambassador for people living with invisible illnesses, inspired and empowered by his own journey with arthritis, fibromyalgia, and inflammatory bowel disease since childhood, and his experience as a carer for his mother who has a significant amount of ill health. As a result, self-management and self-care have become fundamental, and quite frankly, life-enhancing strategies which he has used to advocate for better care. Simon believes it is essential that people are equipped with the knowledge and confidence to be able to manage their own health and wellbeing. He is advancing this concept among young people living with arthritis in his PhD research, where he is looking at integrating self- and shared-management support across the patient journey. Simon is also an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society, a trustee of Fibromyalgia Action UK and RAiISE – Invisible Illnesses in Schools and Education.
I am passionate about holistic health care gained from working with a leading charity (self management uk), who deliver self-management training, for 17 years – roles covering trainer to executive team. My final role, before redundancy (September 2017), was Policy and Projects Manager, where I had the privilege of being external consultant to 32 health and third sector organizations, using co-produced methodology to develop self-care programmes, this ensured that individual preferences – where they live, how they live, knowledge of condition, goals and aspirations are considered in a holistic way. In 2017, I completed my master’s degree in Health, Ethics and Society.
I began volunteering for Healthwatch West Sussex in 2013 and became a staff member in October 2017 as their Community Involvement Worker and have a second role since February 2018 as Community Partnership Co-ordinator. These roles enable me to work across systems to ensure that the voice of patients is part of the health and social care system.
Other things I am involved in: volunteer peer reviewer for the British Medical Journal since 2010, and European Journal of Public Health (2012).
SEN, SRN, Dip HE Clinical Nursing Practice , BSC Hons Specialist Practice Nurse, MSc Advanced Clinical Practice in General Practice Nursing , Royal College of Nursing Advanced Level Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Director, NMP and Queens Nurse. Institute of Directors (IOD).
Debbie began her nursing career in 1980 at a local general hospital in Lewisham, South London where she trained and worked for many years in a variety of departments and wards. After completing further training Debbie moved into Primary Care in 1997 where she continues to work to this present day. Throughout Debbie’s career she has continued to develop professionally and expand her management skills to become Nurse Consultant for Lewisham CCG in both a strategic and operational capacity. Debbie has been appointed as Clinical Director at Lewisham CCG. Debbie is the Editor in chief for the Practice Nursing Journal. Debbie is also an active member of several lead nursing forums, including NHS England, and the RCN GPN forum. Debbie was instrumental in setting up Lewisham Community Education Provider Network (CEPN) Training Hub, and is the Clinical Director. Debbie was voted Inspirational Leader by her CEPN colleagues across South London. Leadership and development is Debbie’s passion and continues to drive her to talent spot and support others to be the best they can be.
I worked at Seven Seas Ltd between 1982 and 2014 as the Company’s Nutritionist. My responsibilities included providing nutrition information, particularly on omega-3 polyunsaturates, vitamins and minerals; coordinating and monitoring clinical trials and small scientific projects sponsored by the Company; maintaining a scientific database; product development; providing information on food supplement regulations; as Deputy Drug Safety Officer, I provided a pharmacovigilance service. I represented the Company at ILSI, AOCS and SCI.
Qualifications: PhD BSc (University of Southampton)
Accreditation: RNutr – retired
Memberships: Nutrition Society; International Association for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL)
I am a business and career success coach based in Etchingham in East Sussex. A true gemini leading a double life as Head of Brand for a fruit company three days a week and coaching ambitious business professionals the rest of the time as well as trying to live a balanced and inspired life on my own terms.
I’m passionate about helping others find their true calling in life and helping them to live their best version of that life. I work with ambitious business professionals who are looking to make career or life changes and I help them build and navigate a route map to success.
My focus is on adding a sprinkling of self care into my coaching as well as positive mindset and mindfulness techniques that we all need in this space right now.
As a corporate executive who has had over 12 years in senior high paced, high stress roles, I bring my own knowledge and experience into my coaching and understand the realities of life of my clients. I believe potential is within us; we just need someone with the right powerful questions to help us bring out our own answers.
Dr. Nakhla is a pharmacist and academic with a keen interest in self-care. As a faculty member at the University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy, Dr. Nakhla has spent the past decade designing and delivering curricular content on the assessment of self-treating patients, common illnesses and self-medication using nonprescription medicines in both the lecture and laboratory setting. Dr. Nakhla is also an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Toronto Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy where she has developed and coordinated a number of minor ailment management courses for pharmacists as well as the undergraduate and graduate programs. She has spoken at provincial, national and international meetings on these subjects, and has authored three chapters for the Canadian Minor Ailments reference. As a columnist for Pharmacy Practice + Business, Dr. Nakhla writes about common and current issues related to nonprescription product counselling. In addition to her extensive academic work, Dr. Nakhla is an owner of an independent pharmacy and practices as a community pharmacist with a focus on the provision of expanded scope services.
She is an effective, enthusiastic and knowledgeable educator who is dedicated to and actively involved in the education and empowerment of community-based patients, pharmacists and healthcare providers.
Sarah is currently on secondment to Healthwatch England as Policy Advisor. During her secondment she is working across the Healthwatch network, sharing best practice and writing guidance for the network on various aspects of Healthwatch’s work. Prior to secondment, Sarah was Manager of Healthwatch Bristol, so has experience of working with various boards and health and social care leaders. Sarah is passionate about equalities, inclusion and ensuring the seldom heard voice is included through her work. Whilst in Bristol this included lots of work with BAME, LGBTQ+ communities, as well as parent carers of children with learning disabilities. Healthwatch works on lots of prevention and public health messages, and self-care is a large part of that, bringing knowledge to patients about their rights and being informed about screening, vaccination programmes etc. For more information and to find your local Healthwatch contact www.healthwatch.co.uk
Dr Dominique Thompson is a GP, young people’s mental health expert, TEDx speaker, author and educator, with over 20 years of clinical experience caring for students, including as a police and expedition doctor, and most recently as Director of Service at the University of Bristol Students’ Health Service. It was for this work that she was named Bristol Healthcare Professional of the Year 2017.
Dominique has helped design apps to support student mental health, and is the author of the Student Wellbeing Series of books. She has been interviewed widely, including by the Guardian and Radio 4’s Today programme.
Her TEDx talks include “What I learnt from 78,000 GP consultations with university students” highlighting possible causes behind the recent rise in young people’s mental health distress, and “Understanding the Why” suggests ways in which everyone can better support the younger generation.
She is a Clinical Advisor for NICE, the Royal College of GPs, and for Student Minds, the UK’s student mental health charity. She was the GP member of the NICE Eating Disorders’ guidelines development group, and the Universities UK StepChange and Minding Our Future committees. Dominique is also a member of the UK Mental Wellbeing in Higher Education group (MWBHE). In 2019 she was nominated as one of the Top 100 West Women of the Year.
Dominique has now launched her own student health and wellbeing consultancy, Buzz Consulting, to assist organisations in improving their student support offer. You can follow her on Twitter @DrdomThompson and on Instagram as drdom99.
Austen is Director of the Self-Care Academic Research Unit (SCARU) at Imperial College London School of Public Health. He is Primary Care & Public Health Research Manager at Imperial College London, and is supporting the WHO Collaborating Centre for Public Health Education and Training, the NIHR London in vitro Diagnostic Co-operative and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (ICHT) Directorate of Public Health & Primary Care in the same capacity.
Austen holds a PhD in Medicine and is a Master of Public Administration. He sits on a number of advisory boards including the International College of Person-Centred Medicine.
Austen is author of the Self-Care Matrix: a unifying framework for self-care which offers a new point of departure for self-care thinking. He remains an active member of the WHO Expert Review Group for Self-Care Interventions and is currently working with a consortium of international partners and governmental organisations to advance the study and application of policy prescriptions to promote vitality in ageing, and the adoption of health-seeking lifestyles fit for 21st century living. Austen joined the Self Care Forum Board in 2019.
I suffered a debilitating spinal injury 29 years ago, with many years of re-injury and surgical intervention. I started to self-manage a few years ago and now my life has completely turned around. I have two grown up children who are both doing very well in their chosen careers. I also have a house rabbit (no idea where the connection is) except trying to walk dogs has done me no favours over the years. I work full time after being medically retired on three separate occasions. I really enjoy helping other people and aim to help at least one person every day. That could be a simple “hello” to a stranger or much more in depth support. I have worked and volunteered across the voluntary sector for many years and prior to this had a diverse working background including 6 years in the British Army. My life has had some dark journeys to follow but, once recognised, it is in all of us to change things and live a Happier, Healthier and at Home lifestyle.