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Patient and Lay Group Members

The PLG has nine lay members, who are unpaid volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds, serving as individuals rather than on behalf of any organisation. There are also a number of medical members of the PLG who have a keen interest in improving the needs of surgical patients. They can also provide technical advice and a medical perspective on issues discussed by the PLG.

Lay Members

Joan Bedlington
Joan is a founder member and governor of the National Liver Patient Support Charity, LIVErNORTH. She is particularly interested in the patient and the public involvement in medical research. Her personal involvement in research projects includes: NIHR Health Protection Research Unit Liver Theme Steering Committee; NIHR Leeds In Vitro Diagnostics Co-operative; NIHR Blood & Transplant Research Unit – Organ Donation & Transplantation; Lay Reviewer for NIHR EME & NETSCC; Member of NHSBT Liver Patient Group; Lay plus member of Newcastle & North Tyneside 2 Research Ethics Committee. Through LIVErNORTH Joan organises and encourages PPI/E for various projects – reviewing research proposals, patient information sheets, consent forms, lay summaries, and information leaflets. Her other interests include travelling, music, theatre, social history, and genealogy. 
Joan Bedlington
Andy Burgen, Chair
Andy has worked with disadvantaged groups for most of his career. As a College Principal, he led innovative education programmes for carers and for disabled adults. Subsequent roles with the Disability Rights Commission and Leonard Cheshire Disability promoted the health and social care of disabled people.

He has worked with marginalised groups in India, Thailand, and Canada and has acted as an adviser to Oxfam and the British Red Cross. Andy has been involved in healthcare policy and practice in Wales through roles with Healthcare Inspectorate Wales, the Welsh Government and the North Wales Community Health Council. He is also a Governor of an NHS Foundation Trust in Liverpool and a member of the BMA’s Patient Liaison Group.

Andy Burgen, Chair
Sue Denmark
Sue’s professional background includes a full-time career in social work with leadership, systems thinking and management roles working with adults in the community, managing an adult care referral team and as a learning and development officer (safeguarding and mental capacity) in Wiltshire. Sue has personal experience of both caring and living with a long-term condition. She was a carer for many years and her experience led her to become an Ambassador for Carer’s UK and Trustee and Chair of Wiltshire Carers. In 2009, Sue was diagnosed with M.S. in addition to arthritis so needed to adapt and change her working opportunities. Since then she has developed a part-time working portfolio using both her professional skills and patient/carer experience locally and nationally. Roles have included working with the Coalition for Collaborative Care on person centred care and coproduction with patients, carers and the public and promoting the health coaching approach with Dr Penny Newman and Dr Andrew McDowell. Sue has been a speaker/presenter at numerous health and care events and conferences in the UK. In a voluntary capacity Sue is Chair of Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living and tutor for the RFU Safeguarding Team. Currently Sue is working with NHS England’s Diversity and Inclusion team as the Coordinator for the Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Programme. Sue’s wider interests include creative art and craft activities and supporting her local community and supporting local community action.
Sue Denmark
Douglas Findlay

Awaiting Content

Douglas Findlay
Nicci Iacovou, Vice Chair
Nicci has extensive experience of working in and with the NHS in a variety of health care fields, including medical personnel, learning disabilities and primary care development. In the last 20 years, she has mainly worked in research, training, and individual and team development. She was Director of the Health Services Staff Training Unit, based at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry - a team known for its high quality staff training and development. In addition to her HSSTU work, Nicci worked 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. More recently, she was Director of Quality Learning and Development, which developed a reputation for high quality staff training and development. Her professional and personal NHS experiences have developed her strong belief in active, appropriately informed patient and carer participation before, during and after surgery. She is also interested in the communication lines between surgeons and other staff.
Nicci Iacovou, Vice Chair
Carl Strack
Carl 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.
Carl Strack
Linda Westaway
Linda has a background in Human Resources and Learning & Development across a range of  sectors, including pharmaceutical, SME, and not for profit. She continues to support a number of Universities and charities with 1-2-1 coaching and mentoring of staff, and is currently an enterprise advisor, developing career and employability strategies with special schools in Hertfordshire.


 Linda's work as a non-executive Director with an 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.

Linda Westaway
Edna Young
Edna started her career in the Diplomatic Service, where she organised Mikhail Gorbachev’s first visit to the UK. She later moved to the Treasury, before moving into financial services regulation, specialising in financial crime issues. Edna now provides consultancy services on financial crime to financial services firms. She is also a Trustee Director of the Fraud Advisory Panel, a counter-fraud charity. Edna has taken an interest in health issues for many years. As well as being a member of the PLG at the RCS, she is currently a member of the Lay Governance Group of the Royal College of Pathologists, and is the lay member of the UK Chemotherapy Board.
Edna Young


Professional Members

Mr John Abercrombie MB BS FRCS
John Abercrombie was born in St Bartholomew’s Hospital and subsequently qualified from that institution in 1985. He was awarded FRCS in 1989. He has been a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon at Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham since 1998. His areas of specialist practice are in bowel cancer screening colonoscopy, inflammatory bowel disease, abdominal wall reconstruction and the surgery of intestinal failure. He was Core Training Programme Director and then Head of the School of Surgery in the East Midlands (North). He has provided specialist advice to the NHS ombudsman and to the coroner’s court. He currently sits on the CRG for specialised colorectal services and was elected to the RCS Council in 2013.
Mr John Abercrombie MB BS FRCS
Mr Josh Burke BSc (Hons) MBChB MRCS PGCert
Josh is a National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Academic Clinical Fellow (ST3) at the Department of General Surgery, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. After graduating from The University of Manchester in 2015 he completed his Academic Foundation training in East London whilst completing an honorary research fellowship with the National Institute of Bowel Research and a postgraduate certificate in medical education. His interests include Colorectal and Trauma Surgery, Abdominal Wall Reconstruction and Surgical Technology & Innovation. He is the current postgraduate lead for the NIHR MedTech Foundation, Associate Trainee Editor for The RCS Bulletin, Vice Chair of White Rose Surgical Research Collaborative and former steering committee member of STARSurgUK. Josh sits on the PLG as a representative from the Association of Surgeons in Training (ASiT).
Mr Josh Burke BSc (Hons) MBChB MRCS PGCert
Mr Stephen Chadwick MOrth FDSRCS
Dr Stephen Mark Chadwick has been Consultant Orthodontist at the Countess of Chester NHS Foundation trust since 1999. He qualified from the Dental School, University of Liverpool in 1987, and completed his FDS at the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh 1990 and an MSc in Orthodontics at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne in 1993. Having passed his MOrthRCS England in 1994, he was appointed as Senior Registrar in Orthodontics at the University of Manchester where he was appointed as Consultant in 1997 having achieving his FDS(Orth)RCS. An MA in clinical education followed from the University of Lancaster 2005 that provided a foundation for examinerships for FDS, MFDS, Diploma in Orthodontic therapy and Bi-MOrth. He has been the chair of examiners for both the Diploma in Orthodontic Therapy, MOrth and is currently Chair of the Bi-MOrth board. He was elected to the RCS Faculty of Dental Surgery Board in 2013.  He is a previous senior Vice-Dean of the Faculty and the Chair of the Faculty's Examinations Committee.
Mr Stephen Chadwick MOrth FDSRCS
Professor Chris Franklin OBE FRCPath
Chris was a consultant pathologist from 1985-2014 and Professor of Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology. He was Postgraduate Dean from 1998-2013, responsible for postgraduate education and training of doctors and dentists in the then Trent NHS region, and Chair of UK Postgraduate Deans Committee. Chris was President of the British Society for Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology from 2006-2009. He was awarded an OBE in the 2011 New Years Honours list for services to healthcare.
Professor Chris Franklin OBE FRCPath
Mr James Glaseby MRCS MBBCh BSc
James is the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Academic Clinical Fellow at the University of Birmingham with interests in global surgery, colorectal surgery, trial methodology, perioperative care, and surgical training. He is the senior lead for STARSurg collaborative, and Steering Group member for GlobalSurg at the NIHR Unit on Global Surgery, and EuroSurg. Yearbook Editor to the Executive Committee of the Association of Surgeons in Training. He has an active interest in patient safety and quality of care improvement in surgery, and is involved with national collaborative audit and research networks. James sits on the PLG as a representative from the Association of Surgeons in Training (ASiT).
Mr James Glaseby MRCS MBBCh BSc
Professor Stephen Porter BSc PhD MD FDSRCS FDSRCSEd FHEA
Professor Stephen Porter is Institute Director and Professor of Oral Medicine of Director UCL Eastman Dental Institute and current President of the European Association of Oral Medicine. His research interests include the diagnosis and management of potentially malignant disease of the mouth and the treatment of immunologically mediated disease of the mouth and salivary glands. He has published over 450 scholarly works including original research papers, review articles, editorials, textbooks and computer-based works. He was elected to the RCS Faculty on Dental Surgery Board in 2014. He is a previous Senior Vice-Dean of the Faculty and is the Chair of the Faculty's Research committee.
Professor Stephen Porter BSc PhD MD FDSRCS FDSRCSEd FHEA

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