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Lay Members

The PLG has eight lay members, who are unpaid volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds, serving as individuals rather than on behalf of any organisation.

Ros Levenson - Chair 

Ros LevensonRos Levenson has been a member of the Royal College of Surgeons Patient and Lay Group (PLG) since February 2016 and became Chair of the PLG in July 2016.

Ros has been involved in health policy and health issues for many years in several ways. In her ‘day job’ Ros is an independent researcher and policy consultant. She has worked on health and social care topics for a range of statutory and voluntary organisations, and she has published widely in these areas, particularly on patient experience, patient and public involvement, medical professionalism, old age, age discrimination and long-term conditions.  She has also been a non-executive director of the NHS Litigation Authority since November 2013.

Ros has also held a number of other public appointments, including:

  • Appointed member of the Architects Registration Board since 2013 (continuing)
  • Member of the National Research Ethics Advisors Panel (part of the Health Research Authority) (2012-2016)
  • Member of General Medical Council; Chair of the GMC’s Standards and Ethics committee and member of post-graduate education board (January 2009 - December 2012)
  • Lay member of the National Commissioning Group (2007-2010)
  • Member of the Ethics and Confidentiality Committee (formerly the Patient Information Advisory Group) (2005 - 2010)
  • Non-executive director of an NHS Trust (1997-2007) and deputy Chair (2001-2007)
  • Lay member of the Health Professions Council (HPC – now HCPC) (2004 -2006)

Mark Davies - Vice Chair

Mark DaviesMark Davies’ career was in government audit including four years spent as Director of Health Value for Money studies at the National Audit Office, reporting to Parliament on the performance of the NHS across a range of health topics such as child obesity, tackling alcohol harm and major trauma care. More recently Mark has been Vice Chair of a Clinical Commissioning Group, with lead responsibility for public and patient engagement. He has also worked for NHS England and provided consultancy advice to an arm of the National Institute for Health Research. Currently Mark divides his time between advisory work and voluntary activities.

Mark’s interests include woodland and horticulture (he spends a day each week volunteering at Kew Gardens’ Sussex Estate, Wakehurst Place). He also enjoys motorcycling and owns two machines. 

Sheba Joseph - Vice Chair

Sheba JosephLay Vice Chair, Involved in the Joint Committee on Surgical Training and Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum Programme.

Sheba is a secondary school English teacher, currently working within a Local Authority in the North-East of England. Her interest in Surgery has developed over several years through her own experiences as well as witnessing the experiences of close family and friends. She strongly believes that it is absolutely vital that there is a holistic approach towards patient care, with appropriate communication being central to all matters. Each patient must be treated as having individual needs and the patient’s needs must be at the heart of all decisions taken.

Caroline Browne

Caroline BrowneCaroline is an experienced senior manager in the field of healthcare regulation and accreditation. She is committed to improving people’s experience of healthcare and believes strongly in the benefits of good regulation. Through her professional roles she has been able to work directly with healthcare providers, supporting their efforts to improve their services and meet national standards.

In recent years, her personal exposure to the NHS and surgical services in particular, has increased, both as a patient and a carer. She is particularly interested in post-operative care, the transition from acute to primary care and the provision of specialist services to patients following discharge from hospital.

Caroline previously worked at the Human Tissue Authority as the Head of Regulation, where she was responsible for regulation of the post mortem sector, leading on strategy and policy development and ensuring that the HTA’s regulatory approach was achieving regulatory compliance and service improvements.


Nicci Iacovou

The first half of Nicci’s career was in a variety of National Health Service management roles, in and around London, including medical personnel, learning disabilities and primary care development. She then worked for many years as a management consultant and trainer for the NHS.

Her last role, before semi-retirement, was Director of the Health Services Staff Training Unit (HSSTU), Centre for Primary and Public Health, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. In addition to her HSSTU work, Nicci worked with colleagues on a number of published research projects about the role of boards, quality assurance and improvement in primary care, and impact evaluations of learning on individual practice. 

Currently, she is delivering a TST training programme to primary care staff in east London on a free-lance, part-time basis and from September 2017 begins another voluntary role as lay member of the clinical oncology curriculum committee for the Royal College of Radiologists.

She is pleased to be part of the PLG and will contribute by using her managerial knowledge of the NHS and her own experiences. These have developed her strong belief in active and appropriately informed participation of patients, and carers, in their care, when having surgery and once they are discharged back into the community.  She is also interested in the communication lines between surgeons and other staff. 


Camilla Poulton

Camilla PoultonAfter studying Law at Cambridge University, Camilla qualified as a corporate finance lawyer. Most recently she has been working in training and development at another City law firm. During her school and professional career she has taken part in a variety of volunteer work with children and adults and is now enjoying serving as a member of the PLG, Children's Surgical Forum and BAPS Executive Committee, as well as being Chair of the Independent Monitoring Board at HMP Pentonville.

Carl Strack

Carl SrackCarl retired after 27 years in the civil service as a computer specialist. Since then he has become involved with Citizens Advice in Aberystwyth, as a volunteer general adviser, and is a volunteer Welsh Assembly appointed member of Powys Community Health Council. Living in mid-Wales gives him a unique view of the NHS, since Powys is the only area of England and Wales without a District General Hospital. He joined the PLG to further his interest in the health service by concentrating on factors affecting individual patients as opposed to general administration and management issues.

Linda Westaway

Linda has a career background in senior Human Resources and Learning & Development, with experience in strategic roles in Higher Education, Pharma, Technology and Charity sectors.

She has worked as a Relationship Counsellor and as a Visiting University Lecturer and is currently an Enterprise Advisor, developing career & employability strategies with Special Schools in Hertfordshire and also volunteering as an Employability Mentor with the charity Mind.

Working as a non-executive Director with a NHS Primary Care Trust convinced her of the need for commitment to public and patient engagement and to ensuring that patients and their carers have a voice.


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