• Brigadier John Wardle
    Chairman, Staff College

    Johnny Wardle was commissioned into the Coldstream Guards 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, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and founder member 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 Staff College: Leadership in Healthcare 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 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.


  • Raj Bhamber
    Interim Director of Strategy, People & Organisational Development, Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust

    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


  • 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 Board, University of Cumbria

    Geoff has held a portfolio of non-executive appointments within the Health and Higher Education sectors. In 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 was 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 is now the Chair of the board. He has also 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 FRCP(I)
    Deputy 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.