This site is intended for health professionals only
Also from Nursing in Practice:


Conference chair

George Coxon, Chair, Mental Health Nursing Association (MHNA), Advisory Board Member, Nursing in Practice

George trained in mental health nursing in the north east of England during the 80s before moving to the south west and then spent many years working as a CPN, team manager, counsellor, therapist, training and service manager before becoming primary care mental health advisor at Avon Health Authority, Bristol. George has retained a very hands on role in dealing with MH issues in his role as Director of a care provider company running care homes in Devon and also has a commissioning background working with NHS Devon across all aspect of health care most recently as end of life care programme lead where is continues to do much work.   He is the Chair of the Mental Health Nursing Association and regional lead for Wales and has recently returned from developing links between mental health nurses in China and is becoming involved in work with the DH in the Partners in Health initiative.

Conference speakers

Valerie Anderson, Dermatology Specialist Nurse, Sirona Care & Health

Valerie Anderson is the Dermatology Specialist Nurse for Sirona Care and Health in South Gloucestershire primary care. Val’s role involves supporting patients with chronic inflammatory skin conditions (mainly psoriasis and eczema) in managing their condition via holistic assessment, treatment planning, liaison with other health care professionals and psychosocial interventions.

Val has worked within the dermatology speciality for over 20 years with previous jobs including Sister in dermatology outpatients at the RUH in Bath, where she gained experience in delivery of phototherapy, patch testing, topical treatments and minor dermatological surgery.  Val has obtained many specialist qualifications in dermatology including the N52 advanced dermatology nursing course at Southampton University.

Val is currently undertaking the MSc Dermatology Skills and Treatment course at the University of Hertfordshire and is a member of British Dermatological Nursing Group. 


Amanda Pegden, Acute Medicine Consultant and Sepsis Lead, Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Amanda Pegden qualified from Westminster Medical School in London in 1982.

After several years working in South Africa and Portugal, Amanda came back to the UK to work in 2009, first as an Acute Medicine Consultant in the Gloucestershire NHS foundation trust and then in November 2011 she took up her present post as an Acute Medicine Consultant in the Great Western NHS Foundation Trust Swindon. Recently she has become a fellow of the RCP.

Amanda is passionate about identifying, quickly treating and managing sepsis. She is clinical lead for sepsis where she works. She has been innovative in helping to develop regional sepsis working. She has now launched a new team – The “ASK” team – Acute Sepsis and Kidney Injury- which pre-emptively picks up patients with these pathologies and puts in care bundles.


Jen Nash, Clinical Psychologist and Chartered Associate Fellow, British Psychological Society, Editorial Board Member, Journal of Diabetes Nursing

Dr. Jen Nash is a Clinical Psychologist and Chartered Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. She specialises in diabetes and obesity and is the author of Diabetes and Wellbeing’ (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013) and ‘Why the F Are We So F-A-T? (It’s Not Just ‘Food-And-Treadmills’. It’s ‘Feelings-And-Thoughts’), a 30 Day Experiment revealing the ‘non-hunger’ reasons why we eat. Jen is an Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Diabetes Nursing. She was named an ‘Outstanding Educator’ Finalist in the Quality in Care Awards 2014 and was awarded the honour of a ‘World Diabetes Day Hero‘ in 2012 by the International Diabetes Federation. Jen has been living with type 1 diabetes since childhood and is the founder of ‘Positive Diabetes’ and ‘The Eating Blueprint’ – online educational services for people with type 1 and type 2 and health care professionals. If you would like to receive free resources, please visit and


Sue Romain, Heart Failure Specialist Nurse, Bristol Community Health

Sue Romain has been nursing in Cardiology since 1987 working at the Brompton and Papworth.  Sue also gained experience working in California.

She was involved in the set up and development of the Community Heart Failure service in Bristol in 2004, where she currently works as one of the senior heart failure nurses in Bristol Community Health.

She leads on clinical audit in the team, she has recently had a paper published in the Primary Health Care Journal on sick day rules outlining patient guidance around Heart Failure medications and kidney protection in the sick patient.


Dr Dominique Thompson, Director of Service, Student’s Health Service, University of Bristol

Dr Dominique Thompson has been a GP for 15 years, and joined Bristol Students’ Health Service (SHS) in 2002, after working as a forensic medical officer, expedition doctor, and for BPAS. She was appointed Director in 2010, and has since led an innovative drive to develop new services, particularly to support mental health. The Bristol Uni First Step primary care Eating Disorders service was successful enough to be rolled out to the whole city.

In 2013 SHS was nominated GP Practice of the Year and Innovators of the Year. In 2014 the practice topped the UK’s Sexual Health Services for 50 university practices surveyed. Our social media/blog received a special mention for their high quality. Dr Thompson is currently campaigning to reduce the risk of self-harm by asking the BMA to lead a change in prescribing legislation, to allow instalment prescribing for antidepressants. She has recently been appointed to the new NICE Eating Disorders Guidelines Development Group. She was named as one of five GP heroes, in a national survey of GPs, by Pulse magazine, in September 2014.


Cath Williams, Locality Leader – Rurals, North Somerset Community Partnership

Cath Williams qualified in 1988 with BSc Hons Nursing and initially worked within an elderly care rehab setting before qualifying as a District Nurse. She spent nearly 20 years working as a Bladder & Bowel Specialist Nurse developing the service from a single practitioner to a team of 5 working with adults and children in clinics and care homes. She is an independent non-medical prescriber and in 2013 obtained an MSc in Specialist Practice, with a dissertation focusing upon the needs of patients performing intermittent self-catheterisation. She works for a community interest company providing community health services in the south west.

In 2014 Cath moved into management. She is now responsible for Specialist Services, Learning Disability Team, Rehab Services and the independent personal health budget team Partner 2 Care.  She has been the chair of the Association for Continence Advice, and still sits on the executive committee, representing the ACA on the Excellence in Continence (NHS England), the All Party Parliamentary Group and the Expert LUTS group.


Gwen Hall, Independent Diabetes Specialist Nurse

Gwen Hall has long experience as a Diabetes Specialist Nurse and Facilitator/Educator having worked across Surrey and, more recently, as part of the award winning Portsmouth Community Health Services primary care team. In 2005 she was elected Vice-Chair of the Primary Care Diabetes Society, a post she held for 9 years.  Until 2014 Gwen was Associate Editor-in-Chief of Diabetes & Primary Care and was responsible for re-writing Mary MacKinnon’s book Providing Diabetes Care in General Practice. She was awarded the Mary MacKinnon lecture at Diabetes UK’s Annual Professional Conference in 2008. In addition, she is an Associate Clinical Teacher for the University of Warwick. Gwen has recently returned to her roots at Haslemere Health Centre as their Diabetes Specialist Nurse, having worked there previously for 19 years, and continues to be heavily involved in teaching and education nationally.