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North East Speakers


We are pleased to announce the following speaker faculty for Nursing in Practice North East 2018.

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

George Coxon 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.

Chair: Jean Golightly, Director of Nursing and Quality, NHS Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees CCG, NHS South Tees CCG

Awaiting chair biography

Keynote: Marianne Oakes, Lead councillor, GenderGP

Marianne started training at the age of 47. After three years of volunteer counselling (and a lifetime of being trans) she set up a private practice, specialising in the treatment of patients with gender variance. Marianne was one of the first to specialise in this field and her unique insight made her the perfect fit for GenderGP, an online health clinic for gender variant patients, where she now practices. Marianne’s goal as a counsellor is to create a space for people who are not comfortable in their birth gender, to talk openly about what can be an extremely difficult subject to articulate. Her hope is that, through conversation and understanding, her patients will find self-acceptance.

Una Adderley, Lecturer in Community Nursing, University of Leeds, Advisory Board Member, Nursing in Practice

Una Adderley has a clinical background in district nursing and specialist tissue viability nursing and a research background in wound care and clinical judgement and decision making.  She currently works as a lecturer at the University of Leeds where she teaches undergraduate and post-graduate nurses and undertakes research.  She is particularly keen on demystifying research so as to help nurses deliver evidence-based care, especially in the field of tissue viability.

Melissa Canavan, Respiratory Nurse Specialist, Respiratory Care Solutions

Melissa has been a nurse since 2008, she initially worked in A&E and then as a practice nurse.  After attending a PCRS respiratory leaders event in 2013 Melissa co- founded Leeds Respiratory Network with a colleague. This led to the development of a new social enterprise called Respiratory Care Solutions (RCS) of which she is now a company director.  September 2016 Melissa left her job as PN to work back at the hospital as a RNS on a 12 month contract.  The end of 2017 RCS obtained a contract with a collaboration of GP’s to standardise respiratory care and reduce variation between 8 GP practices. So Melissa now works full time as a Respiratory Nurse Specialist for the social enterprise.

Dr Christy Chou, Primary care surgeon, Dermatology department, County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust

Christy  works in both plastic surgery and as a primary care surgeon for dermatology since 1996. He is passionate about teaching skin surgery to GP’s and junior doctors on the fundamentals of Plastic Surgery. Christy has been the surgical committee member for the Primary Care Dermatology Society since 2006, and runs GP surgical training courses across UK. He is an associate member of the Royal College of Surgeons, London, and a member of the international Dermoscopy Society. Christy is the chairman of Darlington dermatology society which provides teaching for nurses and doctors on Dermoscopy and cryotherapy and other Dermatology topics.

Dr Janet Gallagher, Associate Specialist in Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare, South Tyneside Foundation Trust

Janet has worked for many years in the field of sexual and reproductive healthcare. She enjoys training and teaching, but also  continues to learn herself. She is the primary trainer for FSRH in Gateshead and South Tyneside. She has also been involved in PGD development for community pharmacists and provides their training.

June James, Co-Chair, TREND-UK, Nurse Consultant (Diabetes), Honorary Associate Professor, University of Leicester

June James works as a Consultant Nurse in Diabetes for the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, is an Associate Professor for the University of Leicester and is co-chair of TREND-UK. Until recently, she worked in partnership with NHS Diabetes to produce the national Safe use of insulin e-learning module and other safety modules, and was a steering group member of the Institute for Diabetes in Older People. She is co-author of the Six steps to insulin safety free e-learning module.

June promotes the ethos of integrated care through publication and by working on various multidisciplinary committees, such as TREND-UK and the Joint British Diabetes Societies. June worked for many years with Diabetes UK, serving as Vice Chair of the Council of Healthcare Professionals and chaired the 2006 Annual Professional Conference Organising Committee. She had the honour of presenting the Janet Kinson Lecture at the Diabetes UK Annual Professional Conference in 2010 and presents regularly at National and European meetings.

Angela Lockyear, CCG Learning Disability and Autism Clinical Lead, Sunderland CCG

Angela trained as a RGN and a Registered Midwife, and due to personal experiences went onto meet many brain injured children and children with learning disabilities or autism. At this point, she deicded to go into practice nursing. She is now a semi-retired practice nurse, still working two days per week in general practice. She applied for the Clinical Lead role as she has personal experience in the transition of care from child to adult services, and could see the faults in services and delays in diagnoses, along with the consequences this has on lives.

Isabel Quinn, Palliative Care Specialist Nurse and Senior Lecturer, Northumbria University Newcastle

Isabel Quinn has worked as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Palliative Care for many years and also as a National programme manager for End of life Care. She currently is Programme Leader for Palliative Care at Northumbria University. Isabel also sits on the RCN Pain and Palliative Care Forum Committee.

Carole Rutherford, Director of Services, Autism in Mind

Carole has been supporting families and individuals living with autism in Sunderland for 18 years. She has two autistic sons who are now adults, and are the driving force behind the work she does. ‘Autism is our normal and our lives are as colourful as the autistic spectrum’.

Wendy Simpson, Independent Immunisation Trainer

Wendy Simpson is a registered nurse and health visitor with 25 years’ experience of health visiting, team management and child safeguarding and has delivered keynote speeches and facilitated workshops at large multi-agency conferences in the USA on three occasions.

She has worked for the Health Protection Agency as a specialist nurse on vaccine preventable disease, epidemiological studies and emergency planning.

Wendy has been a Senior Public Health Nurse within a PCT, covering immunisation advice, training and production of PGDs and retired in March from her post in Public Health England as Screening and Immunisation Manager, leading on immunisation, chairing immunisation Programme Boards, and working at a strategic level to ensure a good immunisation uptake delivered safely and to the highest standards.

She has delivered immunisation training sessions for a private provider conforming to the national standards for immunisation and has also participated in national workshops on policy and vaccine development.

Jennie Smith, Engagement and Support Manager, Patient Online team at NHS England

Jennie works on the Patient Online programme, promoting GP online services to patients and supporting practices across England. She sees the digital agenda as something vital for real improvement and transformation across the NHS. Her areas of interest include engagement, communications, events and campaigning. She aims to champion the youth voice and has an interest in accessibility and equality. Previously Jennie worked on the national review of Congenital Heart Services in England and Wales with NHS England. She also led a consultation for the service transformation programme in Calderdale and Huddersfield with a focus on urgent and emergency care.

Suzanne Wightman, Admiral Nurse Professional and Practice Development Facilitator, Dementia UK

Suzanne Wightman, RMN has 30+ years experience of working  with people and families affected by dementia..  Graduating with an MSc in Advancing Clinical Practice in 2005 she focussed on areas of interest including DCM, relationship-centred care and life story work. Suzanne established the UK’s first multi-disciplinary care home liaison team in 1999 and in 2004, developed the business case for a Nursing Times award winning team.  Having a passion for team working and leadership and as a qualified coach she also enjoys supporting staff to reach their potential. Suzanne has been an active campaigner for Admiral Nursing for many years and since 2015 feels privileged to support Admiral Nurses more widely through her role with Dementia UK.