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Belfast Speakers

Belfast 2018 Speakers

Speakers at Nursing in Practice Belfast 2018 include:

Chair: Marilyn Eveleigh,  Independent Nurse Consultant and Advisory Board Member, Nursing in Practice

As the former Head of Clinical Quality & Risk and Lead Nurse at NHS Brighton & Hove, Marilyn Eveleigh was the Named Nurse for Child & Adult safeguarding and has undertaken Serious Incidents investigations and led the Health Investigation clinical team. Presently she is a member of the Nursing in Practice Advisory Board, which supports national conferences, a bi-monthly journal, a lively website and national annual awards for primary and community nurses. She has led the development of Practice Nursing Competencies and a Competency Framework for Registered Nurses in Nursing Homes and acts as an independent trainer, clinical incident investigator and consultant for quality, patient safety and primary care nursing.

Chair: Heather Finlay, Nursing Officer, Department of Health

Heather Finlay is a Nursing Officer at the Department of Health with responsibility for nursing and midwifery workforce, education and health facility planning.  Heather has held a range of clinical, managerial and leadership posts throughout her career. She trained as a nurse in the late eighties at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald, and qualified as a midwife a few years later. She then moved to community nursing as a staff nurse in 1994 and became a District Nursing Sister in 1996.

Following a decade in community clinical practice, Heather moved into management in 2004 where she held Nurse Manager and Primary Services Manager positions in Ulster Community and Hospitals Trust.  In 2007 she was promoted to Locality Manager for community nursing and older people’s services in South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust. Before moving to the Department of Health in 2015, she gained further experience as a Project Manager for a Community Turnaround Team in the Ulster Hospital. Heather has undertaken a range of leadership programmes throughout her career and holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Health and Social Services Management and a Masters Degree in Public Administration.

Charlie Ataliotis, Heart Failure Nurse, South Eastern Trust


Joanne Henderson, Community Specialist Palliative Care Nurse, Foyle Hospice

Joanne Henderson is currently employed as a Palliative Care Community Specialist Nurse at the Foyle Hospice in Derry. She is part of a team of six specialist nurses who work alongside the primary care team to deliver specialist palliative care to patients in their own homes.

She qualified as a nurse in 1995 from the University of Ulster and has worked in both inpatient and community palliative care since then. She completed postgraduate studies in the Ethics of Cancer and Palliative Care at Keele University and the Marie Curie Centre, Liverpool.

She has a particular interest in supporting and mentoring pre-registration nursing students during their clinical placements and acting as facilitator for registered nurses undertaking the Princess Alice European Certificate in Essential Palliative Care.

Keynote: Claire MacLaine, Speech and Language Therapist, Communication Confidence

Claire MacLaine is an adult speech and language therapist, neuro-linguistic practitioner, and healthcare educator and trainer who has lived and worked in Scotland, England and New Zealand.

Claire coaches individual clients and professional groups to improve all aspects of communication skills. These skills are consolidated into everyday conversations to create effective interpersonal connections.

She also facilitates improvised comedy workshops to teach people spontaneity and creativity in conversation which increases their confidence communicating.

She is currently studying for her Masters in Speech Pathology researching how right-sided brain damage impedes linguistic inference and how that affects social problem solving.

Angela Patterson, Lead Clinical Nurse Specialist – Bladder and Bowel Dysfunction, South Eastern Trust

Angela Patterson is proud to lead a team of specialist nurses who have won eight local and national awards for innovation in practice. 

Angela has 17 years’ experience within the continence and urodynamic field, the last 14 as the lead for the service. She has studied extensively within her speciality, and recently achieved her Master’s degree in Urological Nursing.

Angela regularly presents at conferences and has a busy schedule of training at MDT level within the South Eastern Trust, and at QUB, CEC, RCN.

Gareth Thomas, Diabetes Specialist Nurse, Larne

Gareth Thomas works as a Diabetes Specialist Nurse and Independent Nurse Prescriber in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust. He has also helped set up services in both the
Southern and South Eastern Trusts in Northern Ireland during which he has worked as the community lead nurse in insulin pump services and lead in all of Northern Ireland’s prisons.
He has also worked for three years solely with very complex patients in North and West Belfast.
Gareth graduated with a BSc (Honours) degree from Queen’s University Belfast in Diabetes Specialist Nursing and during a varied nursing career has also worked as a Resuscitation
Officer and Night Charge Nurse (nurse in charge of Whiteabbey Hospital).
Gareth has co-authored recognition sheets for carers involved with diabetes patients in the community, now used extensively and successfully in both the Northern and Belfast Trusts.
Gareth has also served as Head of Medical Services for Diabetes UK on Northern Ireland adolescent camps.
Gareth has carried out his own research into alternative ways to educate and empower patients which is now incorporated into his clinical practice and has a particular interest in developing services for Type 2 diabetes patients.

Geraldine Wilson, Substance Misuse Nurse, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust

Geraldine Wilson trained in Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast and has been a registered nurse for over 40 years, working in various critical care areas throughout her career.

While working in the Emergency Receiving unit in the BCH she carried out a research piece for QUB called ‘Alcohol misuse in an acute care setting’, which led to an alcohol screening tool being introduced into the ERU admission pack. She was a ward sister prior to taking up this post as substance misuse nurse thirteen years ago. She is based within the general hospital, covering E.D., wards and pre-op assessment departments.

Geraldine has always had a strong interest in this subject and has completed modules such as dual diagnosis, counselling, motivational interviewing, brief intervention and harm reduction. She has also completed a level three accreditation in substance misuse and various other courses within the addiction field.