Our Academy of Specialists

The Healthskills Partners are supported by a diverse team of specialists from the commercial and public sectors.  Our Academy of Specialists bring a wealth of clinical and managerial leadership expertise and experience that spans the health, local government and prison service sectors.  This team enhances our ability to provide innovative and leading edge support to our clients.

Academy Members:
  • Allen McKay

    Allen is a founding partner of a specialist internal and change communication agency. The agency defines its primary role as helping clients to change attitudes and behaviours to drive improved performance and faster achievement of commercial objectives.

    Allen has acted as a consultant / communications advisor to the senior management of a number of organisations in the public, private and voluntary / charity sectors.

    Allen’s work with clients is founded on a firm and un-shakeable belief that effective communication is at the heart of any successful organisation; it is the glue that holds everything together. Get your communication right and everything else will fall into place more easily for you.

    Allen takes a keen interest in educational issues – he is Chair of Governors at a 300 pupil Junior School in East Sussex and plays an active role in helping improve the effectiveness of the School Improvement Service, with particular reference to the role of governance in schools, funded by the Children’s Services Department at East Sussex County Council.

  • Bernie Brooks

    Bernie is a leadership and organizational development specialist with board level experience. He has worked as a practitioner, manager and consultant in the public and voluntary sectors at local, regional and national level. His professional interests include; the role of leadership in culture and place shaping, public sector policy – application and evaluation, governance and organisational form in public services, the role of groups and teams in organisational life and organisational discourse and narrative.

    Bernie works with the National School of Government as a member of faculty on the Cabinet Office Top Manager Programme – a senior leadership programme spanning the public, independent and private sectors.

    He was Head of Leadership and Organisation Development for a Strategic Health Authority (80,000 staff across Kent, Surrey and Sussex) and prior to that a Senior Fellow in Leadership at the Kings Fund - where he directed the Top Manager Programme and coordinated the consultancy practice.

  • Caroline Clarke

    Caroline has many years’ experience working with individuals and teams as a coach, trainer and facilitator, in a variety of sectors, to help people develop and fulfill their potential and deliver their services more effectively.

    Her experience covers operational training, consultancy and facilitation as well as nearly 20 years’ experience of client-centred coaching, while working in Learning and Organisational Development roles in large organisations, as well as working freelance.

    Her main training focus is around leadership and management and personal development topics as well as coaching for individuals and teams to support personal, professional and organisational development. As a coach she will challenge her clients while offering a safe, supportive environment for them to reflect and grow. As a facilitator she enjoys working with teams to help them fulfill their potential and improve service delivery.

    Caroline is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD (FCIPD), a Member of the Institute of Leadership and Management (MInsLM), a member of the European Coaching and Mentoring Council (EMCC) and holds an MSc in Human Resource Management (Consultancy), a Practitioner Coach Diploma and Certificates in Training Practice (CIPD) and NLP. She is accredited in the use of MBTI, TKI, SDI, FIRO-B, DISC and Belbin as well as being a facilitator of the NHS and Kouzes and Posner 360 reports.

    She is based in Buckinghamshire, in the UK, and is able to travel freely in the UK and beyond.

  • Heather Wicks

    Heather’s passion is empowering and delivering positive change with individuals and organisations. A career spanning 23 years within the NHS as a clinician and leader combined with a Masters in the Management of Innovation and Change and extensive coaching and OD practice, has resulted in a rare combination of deep and broad knowledge of the NHS and commissioning and expertise in making transformational change happen.

    Having worked as an executive director in a Primary Care Trust and a number of senior leadership roles in commissioning, quality and clinical governance as well as that of professional advisor to the Chief Health Professions Officer, Heather has a rounded and diverse experience of provision and commissioning of healthcare.

    Heather works with others using a dynamic and action orientated style to empower and facilitate change. She is a qualified personal development coach and has designed and delivered numerous learning and development events focused on coaching, leadership and organisational development. She has been extensively involved in clinical engagement and leadership in commissioning.

  • James Murray

    James works as principle associate of Provex Consultancy and is an Independent Financial Consultant.

    He is a health sector finance professional with over 25 years experience in a number of different NHS organisations at senior level in primary care, secondary care and the civil service. James offers a range of skills in financial, planning, organisational and performance management issues.

  • Jane Warder

    Jane’s expertise is in leadership, transformation and coaching. She believes relationships are at the heart of results, working with people to build their understanding, capacity and capability, focusing on what brings about real change. She has contemporary NHS experience (25+years) and a significant track record, particularly at board level operational, strategy and improvement roles (last role as Chief Operating Officer and Interim Deputy Chief Executive at an NHS Foundation Trust). She has a clinical background and also draws on this front line clinical experience in her work. Her experience informs her ability to engage at all levels in and across organisations. Her approach, particularly her skilled group and team facilitation, her coaching style and her passion for, and use of, appreciative inquiry, is truly engaging and energising, enabling difficult conversations and new insight. With Masters degrees in both Organisation Consulting and Counselling Practice/Therapy, Jane draws from relational psychology and complexity theory in her practice. She balances this track record and knowledge with a sense of fun and enjoyment in the way she works.

  • John Philp

    John Philp is an independent training & organisational development consultant operating in the arena of leadership development; organisational change; strategic planning; team building; conflict resolution; stress management and communication skills.

    During the last 25 years, John has worked at senior levels within many major, multi-national organisations and has built an excellent reputation for delivering powerful results through his highly practical, interactive and participative training style.

    Based in Scotland, John consults extensively throughout the UK, Europe, the US and the Middle East. John has gained a successful and credible reputation for delivering highly impactful ILM accredited programmes for a variety of organisations, based in Europe and the Middle East. John has personally trained well in excess of 1000 delegates in the Middle and Far East from a wide variety of countries and cultures, including Syria, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Bahrain, Egypt, Pakistan and Malaysia.

  • Jon Billings

    Jon Billings is an executive-level strategist with the rare ability to develop narrative that connects the strategic to the operational. He is among the most experienced regulatory professionals in the UK health system having led design and delivery of multiple regulatory programmes in both provider and professional regulation across the UK and Ireland.

    A former NHS clinician and manager with twenty years experience of delivering frontline health services, Jon is passionate about bringing all his experience to bear to promote safer, better health and social care by helping organisations and professionals understand their strengths and weaknesses and navigate their complex worlds to deliver improvement.

  • Jude Goddard

    Jude is a highly skilled facilitator and organisational development consultant with over twenty-five years of public sector service. She was a Director of Strategic Development and Partnerships in a Primary Care Trust for five years, taking the lead in vital modernisation programmes in North Yorkshire.

    Jude holds an MA in Health Management and a BSc in Behavioural Science; and is also a qualified Mediator and non-practicing Psychotherapist.

    Jude is a member of the United Kingdom Council for Transactional Analysis; and has been commissioned by Healthskills to work with KPMG for the last four years focusing on board and team development and coaching.

    Work over the two years has focused on:
    • Organisational development and business planning with NHS Improving Quality, NHSElect. (Current)
    • Designing, developing and facilitating board to board workshops across health care organisations to enable them to create a way of working together to support governance and agree a supportive culture to deliver business. (Since 2010)
    • Team development for Senior Leadership Teams in educational Academy’s in Greater Manchester to improve performance and relationships as a team. (Current)
    • Carrying out board observation and working with boards Non Executives and Executive Directors Chief Execs, senior clinicians and wider teams to enable the writing and agreement of vision, mission and strategic direction for the coming year. (2013 and 2014)
    • Large scale facilitation for Commissioning organisations working with clinicians and senior managers to enable agreement to move forward on government reforms and secure best fit management arrangements. (Since 2007)
    • Professional coaching very senior staff as well as junior members of staff in Local Authorities, Education, Health and Social Care to enable individuals harness their personal power to their positive effect. (Ongoing)
    • Commissioned by NHS England to facilitate relationship breakdown of top team (2013-2014)

    Some of the clients that Jude works with include, NHS Improving Quality, Kirklees Local Authority, NHS Elect, National Gold Standards Framework, Wakefield CCG, Wakefield Integrated Substance Misuse Service, Preston and Chorley CCG, Bury CCG, Mid Staffs NHSFT, Calderdale & Huddersfield NHSFT, KPMG, St Winifred’s School, Calderdale and Huddersfield Commissioning Support Unit, Hope Construction Materials, The Health Foundation, Northgate, Albion Academy.

  • Jude Ryan

    Jude is an executive coach and change management consultant. She is an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) of the International Coaching Federation (ICF), a qualified nurse, adult education teacher, NLP Master Practitioner and mindfulness practitioner. She has worked in Health & Social Care for over 30 years as a front line leader, operational leader and for 6 years as a Director within a private social care organisation. She is a Recognised Training Provider for the National Skills Academy for Social Care. Her style is person centred, collaborative, transformational and solution focused yet empathetic and compassionate. She is committed to helping individuals and teams to grow and develop their self-awareness, self-leadership, resilience, creativity & sustainability in these turbulent and challenging times. Jude has used a coaching approach throughout her career as it is a highly effective way to support and develop individuals and teams. It unlocks personal potential and enables transformational change to occur that is achievable and sustainable. She believes developing a coaching culture within organisations has an empowering and positive impact on individuals and teams as they are able to adapt and perform more effectively and resourcefully to the challenges they face which can ultimately result in better outcomes.

  • Karen Greenwood

    Karen is an experienced executive coach and organisational development consultant with extensive expertise in partnership working across health and social care. She works with senior managers and clinicians to develop their leadership skills and skills for working within complex organizations in order to increase their effectiveness and design local workable solutions. Her particular interest is in systems based approaches for both individual and team coaching. She is qualified to use MBTI, Hogan and FIRO-B as diagnostic tools with individual and teams. Karen also offers coaching for career planning, career transitions and planning for retirement.

    Karen has fifteen years experience as a senior manager in the NHS working at Director and Board level. Since becoming an independent consultant over ten years ago she has worked with Health Organisations (including a particular focus on community and primary care), Local Authorities, Further Education Colleges and Voluntary and Community organisations to address their challenges and develop tailored offers to meet their needs. Karen works with individuals and organisations to develop and sustain new forms of collaboration to deliver change and improve the quality of services.

  • Karen Hunter

    Karen has over 20 years’ experience of working as coach, mentor, facilitator and supervisor supporting individuals and teams to develop on a personal and professional level. Working with private and public sector organisations, she has experience of coaching across a wide range of levels from first line managers to director level.

    Her specialist areas are leadership, service improvement, change management and enhancing performance when working under pressure. Karen has 25 years’ experience in the public sector and has worked with the NHS leadership centre.

    Karen has an open and flexible style which encourages clients to understand what is happening to them and what action they can take to achieve their business goals. She keeps the client focused on their goals and in the words of one client, "Karen quickly understands the management position and will ask open and challenging questions in a non-threatening way. She helps you to understand that the answers are within you and makes sure you are clear about the way forward."

  • Katherine Foreman

    Katherine is a highly experienced organisational development consultant, facilitator and coach. She is a board level clinician and has worked with national and international leaders to facilitate significant change in NHS organisations. With 37 years’ experience, she on the Governing Body of a Clinical Commissioning Group, is a Clinical Adviser for the CQC, and a Coach for the Faculty of Medical Leadership & Management, where she also delivers leadership development for senior leaders. Katherine is a qualified Executive Coach and Leadership Mentor, is a member of the British Psychological Society, and is accredited to use a wide range of instruments including Level B+ in Occupational Psychology, CPI 260, FIRO-B and Myers Briggs. Katherine enjoys coaching, facilitation in various forms and working with teams and individuals to fulfill their potential.

    Her recent work includes:

    • Establishing & leading clinical leadership development for a CCG
    • Designing a Frailty Programme for a CCG
    • Writing a primary care strategy for a CCG
    • Facilitating leadership development of GPs for a CCG
    • Coaching doctors for NHS England
    • Designing and leading quality improvement leadership development of clinicians in a Community Trust
  • Kelley Webb Martin

    Kelley has over 15 years experience in Health and Social care with a focus in Service improvement, change management and transformation. Kelley developed service specifications following diagnostic and system analysis and successfully implemented independent management of care packages for clients with challenging health and social concerns and received a recognition award as a result. Kelley is a clinician with a post-graduate in Public health and the NHS environment is of particular interest. She has held posts as an Interim Manager in Clinical Governance, worked as part of a project team to develop DPO and tariffs for a service provider in London and facilitated professional development forums for managers, as part of re-structure and transformational processes.

  • Lesley Cave

    Lesley believes that effective change and real service delivery only occurs through peoples’ willingness to adapt. Her strategic vision is tempered with a strong ability to deal with detail and tight deadlines. Lesley highly values integrity, openness and honesty.

    Lesley has excellent business and organisational skills. She is a highly motivated and determined leader with significant depth and breadth of knowledge and experience across the Public Sector & Private Sectors, she consistently delivers improvement. She uses compelling and persuasive influencing skills to build valuable partnerships and to instigate collaborative working. Lesley is adept at working beyond authority and across organisational boundaries. Lesley willingly accepts personal accountability for the delivery of challenging strategic objectives. She is politically astute in her drive for results.

  • Liam Stapleton

    Liam is an experienced development consultant, with experience in healthcare and with retailers including Boots and Superdrug. He has held senior learning and development, operations and commercial roles following clinical and academic roles as a pharmacist earlier in his career.

    Liam’s key skills lie in delivering high energy workshops that are both challenging and fun, and producing training support materials that are visually and mentally engaging help people apply the skills and knowledge they have learnt. His major interests are in helping clients utilise improved communication skills to become more effective in management, leadership and influence and helping teams manage their own motivation. The programmes that Liam runs use a range of metaphors to help participants grasp important concepts and then gives people space to put these concepts into their own context.

    As a coach and facilitator, Liam supports individuals and teams to better understand themselves or their situation, and draws out the skills and knowledge they already have to overcome problems and barriers. His action orientated approach leads to an increased level of self-reliance that encourages clients to move to the next level of performance.

    Liam lives with his wife and four children in Melton Mowbray, travelling throughout the UK and Ireland to deliver programmes. He is a keen cyclist and musician.

  • Dr Mary Holmes

    Mary has a Masters degree in leadership in the public sector and in leadership and learning in the context of complex change. She has worked in health and social care organisations facilitating change and developing teams to achieve results.

    She has considerable experience in all sectors of the NHS, often working across local health communities to build partnership that relate to the needs of service users.

    Mary facilitates action learning sets with clinicians and managerial staff and provides coaching to enhance personal effectiveness. By using a range of psychometric instruments (including 360-degree leadership tools) she can help individuals and teams to focus on behaviours that will enhance performance and delivery.

    Mary is a personal development advisor on the NHS management training scheme (MTS) and has delivered Managing Health & Social Care (MHSC) programmes for a range of organisations. In addition she has written open learning materials and developed a web-based self assessment tool that encourages an analytical approach to reflective practice and personal development planning.

  • Miranda Coates

    After starting her career at the Leeds General Infirmary, Miranda worked for the Institute of Health Services Management and also for the Market Research Society. In 1997 she established herself as a training consultant working with public and third sector organisations.

    Miranda has worked across the NHS offering both training consultancy and intensive coaching for individuals with performance problems. She has strong experience of developing managers, whatever their background, and facilitating their leadership skills particularly in action learning.

  • Sarah Faulkner

    Sarah is a successful and highly experienced leader specialising in health and social care consultancy and interim leadership. She has a track record of delivering complex strategic programmes, specialising in organisational change, and capability building. Her passion is connecting strategy and performance: enabling leaders, teams and individuals to work collaboratively and deliver high quality outcomes.

    Sarah has in-depth knowledge of health and social care policy having worked within a range of organisations in the NHS and the private consulting sector in her thirty-year career. More recently at the Centre for Workforce Intelligence she led complex programmes on the future shape of the workforce. As a PCT workforce director Sarah led leadership and workforce development across a health economy. She was instrumental in leading commissioning development as part of the world class commissioning process within a PCT and across a region. She also led the change process to support merger and development of a mental health trust.

    Sarah began her career as an NHS Graduate Management Trainee, holds a Diploma in Health Services Management and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

    She is also a ‘Visiting Fellow in Nursing and Integrated Care at Bucks New University’ and works in collaboration with Manchester Business School and the Health Services Management Centre, Birmingham.

  • Shirley Ficken

    Shirley Ficken is a People Development Practitioner and has a passion for working with organisations, teams and leaders who want to maximise their potential. She worked as an Internal Consultant in Financial Services for 25 years where she developed and delivered leadership development programmes, competency frameworks, performance and talent management practices in alignment with organisational goals and people strategies. Moving into other industries and sectors including NHS Trusts, Shirley has worked with a wide variety of leaders and specialist teams, facilitating interventions that enable them to recognise the impact of their personality and behaviour so that they can improve performance, motivation and wellbeing.

    Shirley has a Post Graduate Certificate in Business & Executive Coaching, a Post Graduate Diploma in Coaching Psychology and is a member of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) which exists to promote ethical practice in the profession. She is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD, a trained Action Learning Set facilitator and accredited in the use of a variety of personality psychometrics. Clients typically find Shirley to be good humoured, challenging yet supportive.

  • Toby Lindsay

    Toby is a People and Organisation Development specialist, he combines warmth and professionalism to offer expert facilitation of learning, leadership and organisational development. Working with Senior Leaders and Business owners across a range of sectors, he helps them develop organisational and self awareness, efficacy and impact using a range of interventions and methods. Toby draws on his own experience of leading organisations and extensive training and personal development to offer relevant and impactful leadership, organisation and business development.

    Toby supports, challenges and guides those he works with to make sense of their organisational experience, integrate learning and theoretical frameworks and author their leadership development, mindful of the complex and emergent nature of organisation. Understanding the competing and conflicting needs of organisations, Toby works with inquiry and curiosity to explore and identify strategic approaches to organisational growth, health and effectiveness.

  • Val Irvin

    Val has over 30 year’s experience in the area of personal and organisational development gained from working in the public and private sectors, including the NHS and higher education. Her main focus os on leadership, organisational development and change management and her clients are primarily chief executives, directors and senior managers.

    Val has particular interest in 1:1 and small group interventions including coaching, action learning sets and team facilitation. She is passionate about helping others develop their effectiveness and to bring about real and lasting change.

    Val is a qualified user of psychometric tests at levels A and B, including Myers Briggs Type Indicator, 16PFS and the Hogan Development Survey. She is also accredited to use 360° degree feedback on a range of tools including the Transformational Leadership Questionnaire and is a trained workplace mediator.

    Val is also a facilitator at the Leadership Trust, one of the leading centres for leadership development in the UK.

  • Vivian Wood

    A specialist in Board Development, Leadership Development and an Executive Coach.

    Highly experienced Board level leader with over 25 years experience in a range of roles in the NHS. Extensive experience working with Boards, and Board members, as they take their organisations through considerable change. In recent years Vivian has led a number of substantial programmes of work including:

    • Foundation trust application
    • Establishment of a new NHS Trust
    • Acquisition of Community Services
    • Integration of Health and Social Care

    She has been closely involved in both the structural change and the organisational development aspects of these projects and has first hand experience of the impact that major change has on the workforce at all levels.

    Vivian has been coaching for over five years and has completed ILM Level 7 in Leadership and Mentoring. Since 2012 she has been part of the London Leading for Health coaching register which provides coaching support to senior NHS staff in the London area that are affected by change. She has a particular interest in both Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and MBTI, and their application in coaching. Having completed a diploma in NLP in 2012, she is currently undertaking an NLP Practitioner course.

    Vivian originally joined he NHS as a radiographer and worked clinically for a number of years before moving into management roles. She has an MBA from Ashridge Business School.

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