Our Honorary Fellows

In 2013 we launched the first of our annual lectures, delivered by Sir Robert Francis QC following his recent report into Mid Staffs. Since then, we’ve been honoured to have a wide range of inspirational leaders joining us as Honorary Fellows, and delivering one of our annual lectures. In 2015, we dedicated our lectures to our founder and visionary leader, Professor Aidan Halligan.

Free and open to all, the lectures provide a wonderful opportunity for our members and supporters to come together for an insightful evening. In 2020, we delivered this as our first virtual event and had an international audience stretching from New Zealand to Canada. If you want to be the first to know next year’s speaker, sign up to receive our newsletters and you’ll be the first to know.

Aidan Halligan Memorial Lecture 2022

This year’s Professor Aidan Halligan Memorial Lecture was delivered by Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam, Kt, MBE, FMedSci, University of Nottingham’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences and former Deputy Chief Medical Officer (2017-22).

In his lecture “Leading by Accident”, Jonathan spoke with his characteristic candour about how he found himself taking a pivotal leadership role during the Covid-19 pandemic. He reflected on the many leadership challenges he faced, as well as the later success of the rollout of vaccines and antiviral drugs for the UK. He talked about the manner in which he communicated the data and science honestly to politicians, to ensure they had the essential information to make policy decisions. And shared what he’d learnt from being in a leadership role in government, as a non-politician.

Were you unable to join us?

You can watch the whole event here

Dr Navina Evans CBE

In our first hybrid lecture, in person and also streaming live, Dr Navina Evans CBE, shared powerful messages, searching and uncomfortable questions for leaders and touching personal stories. In her inspiring talk, “Focus on the People and the rest will follow”, Navina spoke about the many narratives of equality and deep value of diversity for society, the importance of leaders understanding the impact of their behaviours and the role of feedback, the need to understand what we’re doing to prevent change and most crucially, the improvement in the quality of care for patients and their engagement with their care when leaders develop a culture of kindness and respect.

Just to top the Staff College playlist, we were even treated to a favourite Deming quote:‘Every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets.’

Were you unable to join us?

You can watch the whole event here

Lord Victor Adebowale CBE

Lord Victor Adebowale presented a provocative and passionate call to arms in the first virtual Aidan Halligan Memorial Lecture on 24 November 2020. Victor is Chair of Social Enterprise UK and the NHS Confederation and is a non-Executive Director of the Co-Operative Group, Collaborate CIC, Nuffield Health, Visionable and Leadership in Mind.

In his lecture, “The Truth Revealed in a Crisis”, he spoke about the underlying inequality within society that the global Covid-19 pandemic had exposed. He talked about the incredible advances that have been made in history, and can be made by a single individual, recognising an injustice and seeking to do something about it.

Were you unable to join us?

You can watch the whole event here

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh KBE

In November 2019 Staff College were delighted to have Prof Sir Bruce Keogh, Chair of Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust present the fourth Aidan Halligan Memorial Lecture.

In his lecture, “Is the NHS fit for the future?”, he spoke about why, how and what the NHS needs to develop and how leaders are involved to enable our NHS to continue to deliver world class care.

Alwen Williams

Staff College were thrilled to have Alwen Williams, CEO Barts Health NHS Trust present the third Aidan Halligan Memorial Lecture, ‘Leadership and Legacy – it’s personal.’ Alwen’s talk centred on the importance of inclusive leadership, living our values and the role that we all, as leaders, play in the future of our NHS.

Professor Sir Ian Kennedy

In November 2016, Professor Sir Ian Kennedy delivered the second Aidan Halligan Memorial Lecture, ‘Leadership in the NHS – Limits and the Role of Language.” His impassioned talk centred on the importance of the use of language, understanding the constraints within the system and the role politics plays in it. This also marked the official launch of Staff College as an independent charity.


Brigadier Kevin Beaton OBE QHP

In November 2015, Brigadier Kevin Beaton delivered the first Annual Aidan Halligan Memorial Lecture, ‘The need for an NHS Staff College – a military medical perspective.” He gave a very powerful, and at times emotional, talk which reflected on why and how the military medical services prepare for and deal with trauma in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan and shared his first-hand experience of the medical response required by the Ebola crisis in West Africa. Based on over 30 years experience as a military doctor he made a compelling case for the NHS’s need for a Staff College and the critical importance of coherent leadership development for leaders throughout healthcare.

Duncan Selbie photo

Duncan Selbie

In autumn 2014, Staff College were privileged to host Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of Public Health England for the second Annual Staff College Leadership lecture. Duncan gave an amusing and thought provoking talk during which he reflected on the challenges faced by PHE specifically and the NHS more generally. He endorsed the importance of good leadership at every level of any organisation and the significant contribution the Staff College makes in supporting leaders throughout the healthcare community.


Sir Robert Francis QC

In autumn 2013, Sir Robert Francis QC, who headed the inquiry into failures at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, delivered the first Annual Staff College Leadership lecture. In his report Sir Robert had identified failures in leadership as a critical contributory factor to the widespread  failures in patient care at that hospital. He also recommended the establishment of an NHS Staff College.  At the end of his lecture he accepted the first Honorary Fellowship of the NHS Staff College.