• Professor John Earis
    Acting Chairman, Staff College and Director of Clinical Quality, University of Liverpool

    Professor Earis trained at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine in London and has spent most of his working life in the North West. In 1982 he was appointed as a Chest and General Physician at University Hospital Aintree in Liverpool and led the development of Aintree Chest Centre, which is now widely recognised for its clinical innovation and research. As well as his clinical practice and research interests John has been closely involved with undergraduate and postgraduate education. In the 1990s he set up the respiratory medicine training programme in Mersey Deanery and in 2007 he was appointed as Director of Medical Education and Undergraduate Sub-Dean at Aintree. When he retired from Aintree in 2015 he became the Director of Quality for the School of Medicine in Liverpool introducing new quality assurance and evaluation systems to the undergraduate course. He has recently retired from this position but continues to work for the Undergraduate School.

    He was made an Honorary Professor at Liverpool University in 2007 and in 2019 was awarded the title of Emeritus Professor. In 2016 he was delighted to be appointed Honorary Colonel of 208 Reserve Field Hospital (Army Medical Service). In 2013, working with Professor Aidan Halligan, John facilitated Staff College activities in the North West. Following Aidan’s untimely death John became Acting Principal of Staff College and continues his close association with Staff College as a Trustee and Deputy Chair of the Board of Trustees.


  • Ajit Abraham
    Principal, Staff College, Consultant HPB & Trauma Surgeon, Barts Health Barts Health Co-Chair Group Inclusion Board, & Undergraduate Dean

    Mr Ajit ABRAHAM MBBS, MS, MA (Medical Ethics & Law), FRCS, FRCS (General Surgery) is a Consultant General, Trauma & HPB Surgeon at the Royal London Hospital, Barts Health.
    At Barts Health, he has held a number of strategic leadership positions including Executive CAG Director for Surgery 2014-16, Chair of the Boards of Surgery & Cancer 2017-18, and Barts Health Deputy Chief Medical Officer 2016-18.

    On surgical sabbatical 2018-19, he re-established and led the HPB surgical service at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, Singapore delivering open and minimally invasive hepato-biliary and pancreatic surgical care to the local population.

    Ajit has a special interest in clinical leadership, equity and inclusion, quality improvement, patient safety and education. He has an MA in Medical Ethics & Law from Keele University, UK, 2004. He was Health Foundation QI Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and Harvard from 2011-12. He has been Principal of Staff College since 2016.
    He is an Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at Queen Mary University London and was appointed the Barts Health Undergraduate Dean in 2020. Ajit co-chairs the Barts Health Group Inclusion Board with Group CEO Dame Alwen Williams.

    He has a longstanding ‘Hatha Vinyasa’ Yoga and ‘Vipassana’ meditation practice.


  • Susan Acott
    Chief Executive, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust

    Susan started her career on the NHS’s postgraduate General Management Training Scheme and is now Chief Executive of East Kent Hospitals NHS University Foundation Trust. She has held Board level posts in acute hospital settings across the country including Operational, Strategic, Performance and Transformation portfolios. Susan is passionate about the role of clinical leadership in delivering and sustaining high quality, safe services for patients. She has had considerable experience of service improvement, service reorganization, mergers as well as delivering operational and strategic portfolios. Her experience has included the delivery of large scale Digital programmes and she has a strong vision of how IT, well planned and implemented, can support clinical innovation. Susan is a member of the NHS Employers Policy Board and on the Advisory Council of The Staff College for Leadership in Healthcare.


  • Dr Neil Ashman
    Deputy Principal Staff College, Consultant Renal Physician, Barts Health NHS Trust, and Deputy Managing Director at the Royal London Hospital

    I am the deputy Hospital Chief Executive Officer at the Royal London Hospital, and Chair of the Board of Medicine, at Barts Health NHS Trust. I am a practicing kidney physician, with an interest in system- and team-working to improve quality, governance and value.
    I have delivered innovation in a financially stressed metropolitan environment, for an ethnically diverse, socio-economically deprived population with significant health needs. This has emphasised the importance of fostering a culture of values-driven leadership to me, and the need to collaborate across traditional boundaries to get the best for those we serve.


  • Alex Bax
    CEO, Pathway

    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, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and founder member of the Faculty for Homeless and Inclusion Health.


  • Brigadier Kevin Beaton OBE
    Medical Director, Mid-Essex Hospitals NHS Trust

    Kevin is a founding Trustee of The Staff College: Leadership in Healthcare, contributing to the early design, vision and 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 medical leadership role including a Medical Squadron, Medical Regiment, Field hospital and a Medical Brigade. He was the Military Medical lead for the UK Ebola response to West Africa. He has now left the Army and is currently the Medical Director in Mid Essex Hospital Trust.


  • 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.


  • Raj Bhamber
    Head of Improving People Practices, NHS England and Improvement

    Raj joined Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust in September 2018 from The Princess Alexandra NHS Trust where she was the Interim Director of People, Communications and OD.
    Prior to her recent interim roles, Raj was a Director in the people and organisation practice and a member of the Public Health Sector Board at PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) LLP for over three years. She has acquired extensive experience of working in the private and public sectors in the UK and abroad, including over 20 years of board level experience through a variety of Executive Director positions in health authorities and Foundation Trusts in London and the Home Counties.


  • Charlie Brown
    CEO, Staff College

    Charlie has led the charity through its formative two years as Chief Operating Officer before taking up the role of Chief Executive in 2018. She works closely with the Charity’s Trustees and Faculty to ensure the Charity continues to deliver programmes of the highest quality for the healthcare leaders it serves. 

    Charlie brings many years of NHS experience in clinical services, education and has supported the NHS Staff College since its inception. She is a passionate advocate of the importance of leadership and Staff College’s unique approach.

    Charlie started her career as an apprentice luthier (guitar repairer), gradually working her way up to running the largest independent guitar repairs workshop in Europe and working for musicians and bands from all over the world.


  • Dr Gordon Coutts
    Senior Faculty Lead, Staff College

    Dr. Gordon Coutts has a medical degree from London University and a business education from Harvard Business School. He has senior leadership experience across three continents, in large businesses in the private, public and private equity sectors. He has held P&L responsibility for £350m+ organisations and leadership experience of headcounts exceeding 4000. He has held Chief Executive roles for over 12 years including as CEO of an NHS Foundation Trust. High levels of employee engagement resulted in citations in the Top 50 Best Places to Work on four occasions.

    He has worked as an advisory board member and non-executive for a variety of organisations as well as co-chaired international business associations for the past 15 years.


  • Major General Julian R Free CBE
    Deputy Vice Chancellor (People Services and Operations), Lincoln University

    Despite being born in Plymouth into a Royal Navy family, Julian Free joined the Army and was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1986. He holds a B.Ed (Hons) (Exeter University) and a Masters in Defence Studies (Cranfield University). He has completed the Windsor Leadership Strategic Leadership Programme (2015-16) and the Leadership Centre’s Future Vision Programme (2016-17). He was appointed MBE in 2001, OBE in 2009 and CBE in 2012.

    Julian Free deployed on operations to Kuwait, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Iraq, Cyprus and Afghanistan in UK, UN and NATO appointments and trained and served in the UK, Germany, America, Canada, Belize and Kenya. He commanded G Parachute Battery (Mercer’s Troop) Royal Horse Artillery on operations in Kosovo and Sierra Leone, 26th Regiment Royal Artillery on operations in Iraq and Cyprus and 4th Mechanised Brigade on operations in Iraq, which included Op CHARGE OF THE KNIGHTS. As a major general he served as Chief of Staff of the NATO Allied Rapid Reaction Corps and Commandant Joint Services Command & Staff College.

    In April 2017 Julian joined the University of Lincoln as Deputy Vice Chancellor – and started to learn all over again.


  • Vice Admiral Mike Gretton CB CVO
    Associate, 2020 Delivery

    Mike Gretton joined the Royal Navy in 1963 and then studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Trinity College, Oxford before continuing his seagoing career, serving for over 34 years until retirement in 1998. He enjoyed five commands at sea including HMS Invincible, the Standing Naval Force Atlantic and the UK Task Group. He has attended the Royal College of Defence Studies and the Cabinet Office Top Management Programme. After retirement he went into youth development as Chief Executive of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. He maintained that interest as a Trustee of the Tall Ships Youth Trust, and as Chairman of Youth Options (Hampshire). Mike was Chairman of Winchester and Eastleigh NHS Trust from September 2007 to January 2012, when his primary interests were patient experience and clinical leadership. He is an Associate with 2020 Delivery, involved in providing leadership training in the public sector, and particularly the NHS. He lives near Winchester with his wife: they have 4 grown up children (2 are doctors) and nine grandchildren. He was a keen cricket, rugby and racquets game player, but now he just staggers around a Real Tennis court.


  • Neil Griffiths
    Managing Director, TeleTracking

    Neil Griffiths was appointed (Interim) Chief Executive Officer, UCLH, in September 2016 following over two years as Deputy Chief Executive, UCLH.  Neil has over twenty years hospital management and leadership experience having joined the NHS from Bristol University in 1992.  He has held operational, commercial and strategic roles in a number of different hospitals, including Lewisham, St Mary’s (now part of Imperial), East Kent, the Royal National Orthopaedic and UCLH between 2003-2008, during which time he was Director of the Heart Hospital, the newly opened UCH and Strategic Development.

    In addition to his NHS hospital experience Neil has spent the last six years working in the private healthcare sector and most recently as a member of the healthcare management consultancy team at McKinsey & Company.  Neil helped develop the McKinsey Hospital Institute (MHI) in the UK which was created to support NHS hospitals identify improvement opportunities and with the delivery of change and productivity programmes.  As well as a number of functional leadership responsibilities, an important component of the role of Deputy CEO is the development and implementation of a trust wide transformation programme.


  • Dr Anwar Khan
    Chair for Waltham Forest Training Hub (CEPN), visiting Professor of Medical Education, Samarkand State Medical Institute, Uzbekistan, and Clinical Lead I&R Scheme, National Recruitment Office

    Dr Anwar Khan has been a GP and Trainer in London for over 30 years and is a Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners. He has extensive clinical leadership experience, most recently as the Chair of Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group (2013-19), Chair of the North East London Joint Clinical Commissioning Committee (2017-19) and Clinical Lead for Medicines Optimisation and Workforce Planning for the East London Health and Care Partnership.

    Anwar has a particular interest in education and research. He has been an MRCGP examiner since 1996, runs post-CCT GP assessments as the UK National Clinical Lead for I&R Scheme and is the Clinical Chair and Director of Research and Education at the Waltham Forest Training Hub. He is a Senior Research Fellow at Kings College London, an Academic Fellow at University East London and Visiting Research Fellow at University of Winchester. He is also Senior Clinical Advisor, National Safety and Learning Lead (GP) at NHS Resolution.

    Anwar has pioneered improvements in healthcare internationally. He is currently an Advisor in International Healthcare in India, Bulgaria, Turkey, Kazakhstan and is a Visiting Professor of Medical Education, Samarkand State Medical Institute, Uzbekistan.


  • Caroline Laurie
    Head of Sustainability, Kingfisher Plc

    Having started her Career as a CIMA qualified accountant for Asda Wal Mart, Caroline joined Kingfisher Plc 15 years ago as a buyer before being promoted to category manager. In this role she was instrumental in the decision to remove all gas patio heaters from B&Q. It was then a natural step for Caroline into her current role as Head of Sustainability. Prior to that she was a management accountant for Asda-Wal Mart for 10 years.

    Caroline often attends meetings with senior officials both within the UK & EU Governments, to discuss and inform environmental policy. Caroline often speaks as a sustainability expert at conferences, including at Bloomberg’s offices to an investor conference about the importance of sustainable business practice and at Westminster for environmental lobbyists Green Alliance.

    Caroline has a strong combination of team leadership, financial, commercial and change management skills combined with a strong track record of influencing both internal and external stakeholders. Caroline has significant experience of strategy creation, delivery, change and leadership.

    Caroline has a passion for sailing and in her spare time you’ll often find her cruising and racing on the Solent.


  • Michael Pantlin
    Executive Director of Workforce Development, Barts Health

    Mr Michael Pantlin, Group Director of People, joined Barts Health NHS Trust in 2012. Previously he was at Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, the Royal Bank of Scotland in Commercial and Retail Banking sectors across England and Wales. Prior to this, Michael headed HR for the specialist brands of the Thomson Travel Group.

    Originally, during his professional training, Michael spent some time working at the Mildmay Hospital, which specialises in palliative care for HIV/AIDs. He moved to the private sector knowing one day he wanted to return to a similar organisation.


  • Brigadier Toby Rowland
    Head of the Defence Medical Academy

    Leading the newly formed Defence Medical Academy since 2019, Toby is responsible for providing Defence personnel with the knowledge and skills needed to deliver Armed Forces healthcare. As part of this remit he has launched an initiative to enhance healthcare leadership across the Defence Medical Services, work underpinned by his personal research interest in leadership development and his practice as a Level 7 qualified Coach and Mentor.

    Toby’s military career has focussed on the training, development and deployment of field healthcare in a variety of operational roles and austere environments. Internationally, this has included serving as the UK’s overall military medical commander in Iraq (2007) and Afghanistan (2013), as well as NATO’s head of medical capability development and training. He has also served as senior medical commander to the UK’s armoured division and as commander of the UK’s medical brigade. Throughout his career Toby has worked in close cooperation with NHS colleagues and, in preparation for his current appointment, was seconded to Headquarters Health Education England.


  • Melanie Toyne-Sewell
    Partner, Life Sciences

    Melanie leads on financial communications within the life sciences team. She has 20 years of experience advising life sciences companies on financial communications. Prior to joining Instinctif Partners, she built and established the life sciences practice at the Hogarth Partnership. She was a partner in the Financial Dynamics (now FTI) Life Sciences team and a Director at Merlin Financial PR. She has extensive experience of capital market transactions and corporate issues. Before entering business communications, she was at Price Waterhouse where she qualified as a chartered accountant.

    She has a BA in Biochemistry from Oxford University.


  • Tracey Westley

    Tracey is an independent training facilitator and management consultant who has nearly forty years of experience in the NHS holding a variety of nursing roles in both acute and most recently community NHS Trust settings. Roles include good governance through effective risk management and quality improvement, with overall responsibility for clinical policy, clinical audit implementation and CQC compliance.

    Tracey believes in teamwork and bringing together the strengths of people and networks to provide compassionate leadership resulting in improved patient safety and a positive experience of services.

    She holds a Masters in Public Administration, a Post Graduate Diploma in Risk Management with an enquiring mind believes in continued development and provides mentorship to nurses developing senior roles in the workplace.