• Brigadier John Wardle
    Chairman, Staff College

    Johnny Wardle was commissioned into the Coldstream Guards in in 1964 and completed 32 years military service in December 1995 in the rank of Brigadier. Since that time he has undertaken a number of senior roles within the NHS. He served as Chairman of Northallerton Health Services NHS Trust for 6 years. In 2002 he formed Craven, Harrogate and Rural District PCT serving as Chairman and again in 2006 when The City of York and the North Yorkshire PCTs were formed into NHS North Yorkshire and York, retiring in March 2010.

    In the autumn of 2009 the late Professor Aidan Halligan visited Camp Bastion in Afghanistan, which at it height was the busied trauma center in the world. Aidan saw NHS Reservists working to an entirely different leadership culture and ethos. Immediately on his return he asked Johnny to help him set about forming the Staff College to take the lessons learned to the NHS as a whole. Since Aidan’s untimely death in March 2005 Johnny and colleagues have worked to develop the model that is today the charity ‘The Staff College: Leadership in Healthcare’.

    Johnny has also served in a number of voluntary roles, as a Deputy Lieutenant of North Yorkshire from 2004 and as Vice Lieutenant.

    He was appointed OBE in 1985 and awarded a Queen’s Commendation for Brave Conduct in 1966. Married to Jane, they live in North Yorkshire.


  • Ajit Abraham MBBS MS MA (Medical Ethics & Law) FRCS FRCS (General Surgery)
    Principal, Staff College, Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Consultant HPB & Trauma Surgeon, Barts Health

    Mr Ajit Abraham has been a Consultant HPB & Trauma Surgeon at Barts Health since 2005, and is an Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at Queen Mary University London. He is an active clinician whose specialist interests include benign and malignant disease of the liver, bile duct and pancreas, trauma, and emergency surgery. He also has a background in Medical Ethics & Law.

    He was recently appointed Barts Health Deputy Chief Medical Officer with responsibility for quality improvement and patient safety across the Barts Health system, and retains his Group Director role, balancing a busy clinical workload with leadership responsibility for the Surgery & Cancer CAG – helping to shape the future surgical and cancer strategy and related service reconfigurations and standards for Barts Health and East London.

    His other areas of interest are clinical leadership, quality improvement and patient safety and he was Health Foundation QI Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and Harvard 2011-12.

    He lives in Wimbledon, with his wife Natalie, and three children Kasper (2007), Anjolie (2010) and Bodhi (2016).

    Ajit enjoys playing the piano, cooking, and cryptic crosswords and plays golf badly! He has a particular interest and a longstanding personal practice of ‘Vinyasa’ yoga and ‘Vipassana’ meditation.


  • Alex Bax
    CEO, Pathway and Former COO, Staff College

    Alex has worked to improve health and social care in London for many years. He is founding Chief Executive of Pathway – the homeless health charity created by Prof Aidan Halligan. He is also visiting fellow at the Institute of Health and Human Development at the University of East London and Chair of inequality campaign group My Fair London. He has been a senior policy advisor to two Mayor’s of London: on health, city planning and social policy. He has a Masters in London Studies, is a member of Faculty for Public Health and of the Faculty for Homeless and Inclusion Health.


  • Brigadier Kevin Beaton OBE QHP
    Director of Studies, Staff College and Brigadier, MOD

    Kevin is a member of the Board with responsibilities for the evolving design of the NHS Staff College and its operational theoretical underpinning. After a degree in history and politics he went to Sandhurst and then later left the military to study medicine. He is a GP who has served in the Balkans, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and Iraq. He has been a doctor for military families and battle groups as well as having commanded a Medical Squadron, Medical Regiment, Field hospital and a Medical Brigade. Most recently he was the Military Medical lead for the UK Ebola response to West Africa.


  • Brigadier Greville Bibby CBE
    Clerk to the Worshipful Company of Grocers

    Greville brings over 30 years military experience to the NHS Staff College. He has held leadership roles throughout his career which has seen him serve on military operations in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2009 he spent 9 months as Deputy Commander of the UK Task Force in Helmand for which he was awarded the CBE.

    He is a graduate of the Army Staff College and spent two years as an instructor at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He has held a variety of appointments including a total of five years in the Army’s career management department and three years as principal staff officer to the Head of Army Personnel.


  • Geoff Donnelly
    Chair of the Employment Policy Committee, University of Cumbria

    Geoff has held a portfolio of non-executive appointments within the Health and Higher Education sectors. Within the Health sector these have included Health Authority, Strategic Health Authority and Primary Care Trusts; his final appointment was as Vice-chair and Audit Chair of North Yorkshire and York, one of the largest geographical PCTs in England with a budget in excess of £1bn. He is currently a non-executive director of Diagnostic Healthcare Limited, a private healthcare company based in Manchester.

    He has been a board member of Oxford Brookes University for 13 years culminating in being the Chair of the board for four years until his retirement in July 2016. He continues to be a board member of the University of Cumbria and has, until recently, been a board member of the Higher Education Academy and the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education.

    Prior to these appointments Geoff worked in the private sector in a range of roles from personnel management, consultancy and finance with organisations such as BOC Ltd, Marks and Spencer and Legrand. His final appointment was as Finance Director and Company Secretary of Legrand UK Ltd, the UK subsidiary of Legrand SA a worldwide leader in the manufacture of electrical wiring accessories.


  • Professor John Earis MD FRCP
    Deputy Chairman, Staff College and Director of Clinical Quality, University of Liverpool

    Professor Earis trained at London University but has spent most of his working life in the North West. In 1982 he was appointed as a Chest Physician at University Hospital Aintree. He led the development of Aintree Chest Centre which is now well recognised for its clinical innovation and research. In 2007 he was made an Honorary Professor at Liverpool University.

    Professor Earis has now retired from clinical practice but continues working at Aintree as Director of Medical Education and Undergraduate Sub Dean. In 2013, working with Professor Aidan Halligan, he established the first Staff College campus outside London at the hospital.


  • Professor Kathy Pritchard-Jones
    Chief Medical Officer, UCLH Cancer Collaborative, Cancer Programme Director for UCLPartners Academic Health Science Network, and Professor Paediatric Oncology at UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health

    Kathy Pritchard-Jones is chief medical officer for the University College London Hospitals (UCLH) Cancer Collaborative that incorporates London Cancer, an integrated cancer system serving a population of 3.5 million in North and East London and West Essex. She is also the Cancer Programme Director for UCLPartners Academic Health Science Network. She works closely with commissioners and academic collaborators to develop the means to evaluate outcomes of whole pathways of care and understand the impact of these changes on local health economies.

    She is also Professor of Paediatric Oncology at UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health and chief investigator for the national clinical trial in childhood renal tumours, where she heads the translational research laboratory focussed on biomarker evaluation to improve understanding of the factors that affect the efficacy and safety of first line therapies.


  • Dr Caroline (Caz) Sayer
    Chair, Camden CCG

    Caz has been working as a GP since 1987 and from 1994 has worked at Adelaide Medical Centre in North London. Her non-clinical roles have included Medical Director for Westminster PCT, GP member of the Professional Executive Committee for Camden PCT and Camden Local Medical Committee Chair. She formed a commissioning consortium for practice-based commissioning and was responsible for re-designing and setting up CCAS (a referral management service), a community Musculo-Skeletal service and a Community Diabetes service in Camden.

    In July 2011 she was elected Chair of the Camden Clinical Commissioning Group, since when she has established the Board and groups of practices as Localities within Camden. ‘She is part of the CCG team developing and implementing with partners across health and social care in Camden a model of Integrated care which she hopes will transform services delivered to the elderly and those with long-term condition improving outcomes and experience and improving value.

    She was a member of the Staff College’s pilot Leadership course. She found this immensely helpful with both excellent content and the opportunities to forge networks amongst clinicians and managers. She has remained very keen to do anything possible to promote and extend the Staff College and its influence, recognizing the future benefits that such training and relationships offer.