Our People

Our workforce have a range of experience, from lived experience and front line clinical practice to board level, spanning sectors including acute & community trusts, mental health, primary care, local authority, military and academia. Our teams bring the know-how in improvement, transformation, analytics, leadership, HR and organisational development, finance & performance, marketing & communications, and user involvement.

Aqua is also formally accountable to its Board which meets on a Quarterly basis.  The Board is made up of the Executive Management Team along with Independent Board Members and Associate Board Members.

Our Board

Our Board consists of a range of high profile leaders within the NHS, and wider public sector. The board offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise and their guidance ensures our members and customers are always at the forefront of our overall vision.

On Board

Sir David Dalton

Chair of the Board

Sir David Dalton joined the board in July 2019, following his retirement in March from the Northern Care Alliance, where he served as Chief Executive for 18 years.

A major figure in the health service, Sir David has 40 years’ of experience in the NHS and has over 20 years’ experience as an NHS Chief Executive. In 2014 David received his knighthood in the New Year Honours for his services to healthcare and was also recognised as the top Chief Executive in both 2015 and 2016 by the Health Service Journal.

Sir David is now an Independent Director at Dalton Consulting.

On Board

Fiona Taylor

Board member

Fiona is Chief Officer at Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership. Originally qualifying as a Registered General Nurse, Midwife and Health Visitor, she has held a number of roles across community care and service redesign.

In 2000 Fiona moved into her first Director level role with Mancunian Community Trust, and held several roles and portfolios, including as Acting Chief Executive. She moved to Sefton Primary Care Trust in 2007 and was appointed Chief Officer of the new Clinical Commissioning Groups in 2012.

As a system leader she is passionate about developing a strong sense of collaboration and partnerships with key stakeholders, to help improve the quality of care for the local population and communities.


On Board

Helen Bevan

Board member

Helen leads NHSEI’s Horizons Group as their Chief Transformation Officer. She has spent over 25 years within the NHS as a leader for change and has worked across a number of improvement roles and initiatives, including with the former NHS Modernisation Agency and NHS Institute.

Through the Horizons team, she aims to promote new ideas, approaches, and knowledge to help support improvements across health and social care, and champion emerging leaders for radical change. Much of this focus is through social movement thinking, community organising, improvement science, accelerated design and digital technologies.

On Board

James Mountford

Board member

James is Director of Quality at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, which has a multi-year programme focused on embedding improvement of quality and value into everyday work across the organisation.

James worked initially as an NHS doctor, then in consulting. From 2005-2007, he was a Commonwealth Fund/Health Foundation Harkness Fellow based at Massachusetts General Hospital, and at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), both in Boston, USA.

James is also the Editor of BMJ Leader, a journal focused on research, debate, and education on leadership in healthcare.

On Board

Janet Williamson

Board member

Janet is the Deputy Chief Inspector of Primary Medical services and Dentistry at the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Prior to this, Janet was the Director of National Improvement Programmes at NHS Improving Quality.

Janet has led national change programmes in cancer, heart disease, stroke, diagnostics, and lung disease, working on whole systems and pathways of care with care providers, commissioners, clinical networks and policy makers.

On Board

Jim Gardner

Board member

Jim is the Medical Director at Liverpool University Hospitals.

A GP by background and a former Health Foundation Leadership Fellow, Jim has held multiple senior roles across clinical care, medical management, and academia. These include: GP Partner, Executive Chair of a GP out of hours co-operative, NHSE Area Team Medical Director and Responsible Office, Group Medical Director in the private sector, Deputy Head of the School of Medicine at UCLan and non-executive director of an acute hospital and of a hospice.

In all these roles, Jim has sought to promote professionalism and leadership whilst developing high performing multi-disciplinary teams.

On Board

Joanna Bircher

Board member

Joanna is a GP in Greater Manchester. She is Clinical Lead to the RCGP/Greater Manchester GP Excellence Programme, Clinical lead for Quality Improvement at Tameside and Glossop CCG, a Generation Q Fellow of the Health Foundation. Additionally she is also a visiting Senior Lecturer in general practice at MMU.

She has a Masters degree in Leadership for Quality Improvement from Ashridge Business School and is co-author of the RCGP Guide to Quality Improvement. Her particular interest is in making established QI methodology relevant and accessible for Primary Care.

On Board

Louise Robson

Board member

Louise is currently the Non Executive Director at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital.

Prior to this Louise has worked in a variety of executive roles, including as Chief Executive at the Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, focusing on leadership and enabling others to reach their full potential, and as Deputy Chief Executive Officer at the Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

On Board

Sue Holden

Board member & Chief Executive of Aqua

On Board

Phil Wadeson

Board member

Phil is working as an Independent Financial Consultant to the NHS, currently providing some input to a developing Integrated Care System.

He recently retired after a long career at board level in the NHS; his most recent post was Director of Finance for NHS England’s Cheshire and Merseyside region, which is responsible for the direct commissioning of primary and specialist care as well as funding and assurance for Clinical Commissioning Groups across the health and care system.

Prior to joining NHS England in 2013, Phil was Director of Finance at NHS Merseyside, which was made up of the four Primary Care Trusts across the region. Having worked in Liverpool for over 14 years, he oversaw the transformation of the city’s healthcare finances into one of the strongest and most resilient health economies in the country.

Before joining the NHS, Phil held board level positions in both local government and the private sector across the North West.

On Board

Nicky Clarke

Board member

Nicky previously worked as director of HR at Nottingham University Hospitals from April 2015. She joined the NHS in January 2013 at Chesterfield Royal Hospital as director of workforce and organisational development. Prior to joining the NHS, Nicky worked in the private sector, spending a large part of her career in HR at Boots UK, where she worked for 20 years in a variety of roles. After Boots, she undertook interim assignments at Gala Coral and Rolls Royce in Derby.

She has a generalist HR background and has worked on several change programmes, working closely with executive teams to support them on the overall shape and design of the organisation, the organisational culture and employee engagement.

Senior Leadership Team

Senior Leadership

Sue Holden

Chief Executive

Sue has worked in the NHS for over 38 years after initially starting her career as a librarian. Sue trained as a nurse, then midwife and worked clinically for over 15 years before developing her interest in OD and learning. Sue worked as an Executive Director in a Teaching Trust before moving to become the Lead Improvement Director for NHSI in 2015. For five years Sue worked with Trusts in Quality and Financial Special Measures and in 2019, she became the National Director for Intensive Support.

In June 2022, Sue joined Aqua as its new Chief Executive Officer. Sue believes it is more ‘how’ we go about supporting organisations than ‘what’ we do as a key part is enabling organisations to learn how to improve and sustain improvement.

Senior Leadership

Cath Hill


Cath was appointed as an Aqua Director in October 2013. She holds responsibility for the Advancing Quality (AQ) programme and analytics, as well as Aqua’s finances and business systems.

Cath was previously the Associate Director of Strategy and Business Development at Warrington and Halton NHS Foundation Trust. She is a qualified accountant with an extensive career in the NHS, covering a range of senior leadership roles in finance, consultancy, audit, strategy, and business development.

Cath is currently leading on the Well Led reviews of Foundation Trusts on behalf of Aqua, in conjunction with a number of our partners.

Senior Leadership

Elizabeth Bradbury


Elizabeth joined Aqua in 2010 as Director and leads improvement work on system transformation, mental health and lived experience and Aqua’s corporate communication and marketing team, strategic engagement and consultancy work.

Starting her career as a nurse specialising in urgent and emergency care she saw first-hand the need to integrate components of health and care systems and led multiple clinical quality and process improvement initiatives. She moved to hospital management and PCT and CCG commissioning roles and then to leadership roles in regional and national improvement programmes, including with the NHS Modernisation Agency and the Department of Health Emergency Intensive Support Team and as an improvement consultant for NHS Scotland.

She was a Health Foundation / Institute for Healthcare Improvement Quality Improvement Fellow in 2009-10 concentrating on system level change and models of integrated care. Elizabeth pioneered Aqua’s work on system integration in 2012 and has worked extensively with health and care system leaders to develop integrated place-based health and care systems and to build system leadership capability. She is also expert faculty on a number of aqua provider board programmes for members and consultancy customers.

Elizabeth is an executive leadership coach and was a board member of the International Foundation for Integrated Care (IFIC) 2014-16.

Senior Leadership

Neil Turton


Neil joined Aqua in 2020 as Director and leads the portfolio for the Academy, Shared Decision Making, Safety and Mortality.

Neil is an accomplished leader, with over 20 years’ experience of leading NHS and social enterprise organisations to improve health, wellbeing & life chances for people facing disadvantage.

Known for delivering innovation, improvement & service transformation in Salford, he was the founding Chief Executive Officer at Salford Primary Care Together, bringing together Salford’s GP practices to help transform the local health & social care system, and as Chief Executive at Salford Health Matters, where he lead this social enterprise to become one of the first primary care providers to be rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission.

During his career Neil has also worked as Deputy Director for Service Development & Delivery at Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, as an Executive Director with the Big Life group, established a community based mental health service in London, and run a management consultancy business.

Neil holds a degree in Physics, a masters in Engineering, a PhD in Social Policy from the University of Durham, and is a Chartered Director status with the Institute of Directors.

Senior Leadership

Emma Walker

Associate Director

Emma joined Aqua in 2010, leading an extensive portfolio of programmes, and now works as an Associate Director.

Emma has led Aqua’s work in the area of shared decision making and self-management support over the past 6 years embedding it into practice with teams across the North West and beyond. Emma regularly links with SDM colleagues nationally and has attended all the NICE SDM Collaborative Events.  In 2018, Emma led the aqua study tour to the Hague to look at Buurtzorg nursing models in the Netherlands.

Previously a National Head of Service Development at NHS Direct, Emma led on innovation, long term conditions and Shared Decision Making. Here Emma developed online decision aids for the National Right Care Programme and the Dartmouth Summer School in the USA on Shared Decision Making.

Prior to NHS Direct, Emma has extensive NHS experience in both primary and secondary care, in the provision and commissioning of services as well as working with academic institutions.

Senior Leadership

Helen Kilgannon

Associate Director

Helen joined Aqua in 2015, she currently leads on System Transformation, Whole System Flow, Mental Health programmes and has corporate responsibility for Communications and Marketing and Relationship Management.

Helen has worked in the NHS for over 20 years, working in a range of provider and strategic organisations at Assistant and Associate Director Level.  As an Assistant Director of Organisational Learning and Development in a Mental Health and Community Provider, her key areas of work included leading coaching strategy, cultural development, health and wellbeing, communications and learning and development. At a regional level she has led major transformation programmes related to workforce and health and work, and in her early career she also led regional programmes for medicines management.

Helen is CIPD Qualified and is a qualified executive coach. Helen has extensive experience of delivering board and system level programmes and interventions.

Senior Leadership

Ruth Yates

Associate Director

Ruth is an Associate Director at Aqua leading a portfolio of programmes including the Advancing Quality programme and Aqua analytics and evaluation.

With extensive experience in leading the development and delivery of Business Intelligence services to Commissioning and Provider organisations, Ruth understands the importance of developing and delivering meaningful and actionable intelligence to a variety of audiences in order to deliver change.

At Aqua Ruth uses skills in data management, analysis and the use of data to improve in the Health Service to support our members and customers. Working with organisations to ensure they adopt an intelligence led approach to change, that they can understand and measure improvement and that they can evaluate the impact of interventions, Ruth and her team proactively use comparative analysis to support healthcare organisations to identify opportunities for improvement and measure change.

Our Staff

Staff Members

Amanda Huddleston

Senior Improvement Advisor

Amanda is an organisational wide advisor for Mental Health, Flow & System Transformation teams covering aqua membership and bespoke offers such as frailty, primary care & care homes.

Prior to joining Aqua Amanda had over 20 years’ experience in acute, community services and public health. She has experience as a provider and a commissioner as well as working in leadership and governance roles.

Most recently, Amanda has worked in service development, redesign and improvement. She also has experience of developing innovative ideas, enabling systems via large scale IT programmes and also is a good communicator (she used to co-host a regional radio show).

Amanda is passionate about ensuring patient safety and quality; this has been recognised by the title of Queens Nurse. This was awarded for her innovative patient centred work in the community.

Outside of work, Amanda enjoys exploring new places, eating and laughing.

Staff Members

Andrea McGuinness

Head of Improvement and NHS Quest Lead

Andrea has worked within the NHS for 30 years with experience in front line clinical services, managerial and quality improvement roles. With an MSc in strategic leadership and change management and trained as a Patient Safety Officer from Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI), Andrea has worked with Aqua since 2010 across quality, safety improvement and patient experience programmes. Andrea’s experience in safety and quality improvement roles includes responsibility for scoping, designing, delivering and evaluating programmes that enhance the development of improvement capability and capacity for organisations.

Andrea’s skills include working and collaborating alongside organisations and teams to define and improve outcomes both for those experiencing and for those working within services. Andrea has led on key national safety and quality improvement programmes, on behalf of Aqua, including those supported by The Health Foundation and NHS Improvement. Andrea’s current role includes the Lead for NHS Quest network and Head of Improvement at Aqua. Andrea is a member of the founding cohort of the Q Community.

Andrea believes passionately that staff have the drive and desire to improve the quality of the services they work within. Andrea sees her role clearly linked to developing staff and enabling organisations to deliver on the critical challenges facing health and care services today.

Staff Members

Brook Howells

Senior Improvement Advisor

Initially employed to support the Shared Decision Making Programme in 2012, Brook now delivers training and facilitation across the Safety, Mortality, Academy, Shared Decision Making & Self Management Support Portfolio. She is Delivery Lead for the Human Factors programmes and also continues to have a keen interest in supporting Person Centred Care.

Brook studied Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of York, and then stayed at York for a Masters in Practical Ethics. She started working for the NHS in 2009, supporting quality improvement initiatives with the Greater Manchester CLAHRC before moving to aqua. She holds a PGCert in Innovation and Improvement Science and has completed an Apprenticeship in Non-Technical Skills and Human Factors.

A very keen event rider, Brook competes her horse Corey regularly around the UK, and otherwise spends her time crocheting toys for her two children.

Staff Members

Casey Leigh

Programme Support Officer

Casey joined the NHS and Aqua in 2016 and supports the Mental Health, Patient Experience and System Transformation portfolio to deliver outputs on Aqua’s four improvement priorities to support our members in the North West and beyond. Casey facilitates project and programme administration activity from planning and co-ordinating to ensuring the smooth running of events and programmes run by Aqua.

Casey achieved a BSc (Open) degree and Cert HE Humanities whilst simultaneously studying at the Open University and working as Executive Office Assistant in Aqua’s corporate team and successfully passed the ‘AgilePM 2014 Foundation’ project management qualification in 2018.

Outside of work, Casey enjoys reading science fiction, painting and making memories with her beautiful blended family.

Staff Members

Cathy Sloan

Head of System Transformation

Cathy joined Aqua in 2014 as a Senior Improvement Advisor, in 2016 she became Head of System Transformation.

She has 20 years’ experience of working in the NHS in a variety of senior roles, including operational management, commissioning as well as service improvement and redesign.

Cathy is in the process of completing a Level 5 qualification in coaching and mentoring.

Staff Members

Chris Jackson

Senior Improvement Advisor

Chris is a Senior Improvement Advisor for NHS Quest and Aqua. He is responsible for leading the Site Lead Network within NHS Quest. Chris also helps to deliver a number of programmes in NHS Quest and across Aqua’s Quality, Safety and Person-Centred Care. He has worked NHS for over 18 years, working and manging addiction services. From 2015 Chris moved into project management and more recently Quality Improvement roles within Community services before joining Aqua in 2019.

Chris brings his experience of clinical work and managing teams along with knowledge of quality improvement methodology and project management. He has an MSC in Leadership and Management, Prince 2 practitioner qualification and is also a Lean and Six Sigma Green belt.

Outside of work Chris is a huge sports fan and follows Wigan Athletic FC and Lancashire County Cricket.

Staff Members

Delphine Corgie

Improvement Advisor

Delphine comes from Reims (France) and joined the NHS in 1992. Delphine joined Aqua in September 2019 and supports the NHS Quest programmes amongst other programmes. She is also one of the Improvement Advisors who delivers our Academic portfolio of QI learning.

Delphine has worked across a number of organisations including The Christie NHS Foundation Trust ; Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust where she started her Quality Improvement career managing a variety of programmes such as Stroke 90:10 project, NHS QUEST and others within Haelo. She then joined CLAHRC GM in 2014 to focus on patient centred approaches and research in healthcare.

Outside of work Delphine enjoys gardening, a lot! And “literally spend hours picking, trimming, mowing, just watching my garden!

Delphine also have a keen interest in painting and runs a watercolour club in Stretford, and every second Friday of the month.

Staff Members

Dr Becci Pearce

Advancing Quality Programme Manager

Becci is sociologist and NHS quality improvement professional with a background in academic health and care research, teaching and quality improvement. Her doctoral research explored the process of engagement amidst older service users with complex healthcare needs, which was enriched by programme management and quality improvement roles both in community and acute NHS organisations. As a lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, she taught qualitative and quantitative research methods and is now an ambassador for the NHSE/I Making Data Count initiative. She has expertise in change and programme management, human factors and is an advocate of speaking up within health and care, having previously worked as a Freedom to Speak Up champion.

Becci has played touch rugby for approximately 9 years and has recently completed her Level 2 England Touch Association refereeing certificate and Level 1 Coaching Certificate. She also enjoys speaking with her cat on a daily basis through the webcam she had installed in her living room.

Staff Members

Easha Aslam

Programme Support Officer

Easha joined Aqua in 2021 as a project support officer and supports the Mental Health, Patient Experience and System Transformation portfolio to deliver output on AQUA’s four improvements areas to support member in the North west and beyond.

Outside of work Easha enjoys running, eating out and going to the gym. Easha recently ran the Manchester half marathon for charity.

Staff Members

Dr Eileen McDonach

Evaluation Programme Lead

Eileen is responsible for leading Aqua’s evaluation work, supporting members and partners to design evaluation programmes, manage their delivery and disseminate subsequent learning.

Engage clinicians, leaders and partners to develop meaningful, robust and feasible evaluations for a range of healthcare improvement projects, programmes and interventions.

Eileen has a background in applied health research and has successfully delivered a range of developmental evaluations of complex quality improvement initiatives in multiple health and social care contexts. Eileen has a PhD in health services research, a Masters in Health Psychology and an MA (Hons) in Psychology. She is also a qualified PRINCE 2 Project Management Practitioner.

Outside of work, Eileen is a keen fell runner and is a member of her local club.

Staff Members

Elaine Fahy

Administration Officer and PA

Elaine is responsible for providing high quality administration support to the Aqua Management Team and to ensure smooth running of the corporate office.

Elaine has extensive PA and office management experience in both the NHS and private sector.

Outside of work, Elaine enjoys travelling to new places and dining out.

Staff Members

Hollie Rose

Communications and Marketing Manager

Hollie joined Aqua in 2018 and is responsible for the operational management of the communications and marketing function. This includes providing communications support to our members and customers across the UK. Hollie is also responsible for the management of our key communications channels, including the website, social media, and much of our content creation.

Hollie has worked in Communications and Marketing for 10 years. Having worked across the education and not for profit sectors, she built up a broad range of experience before joining Aqua. Completing a BA (Hons) in English Literature, she has also completed a CIM Certificate in Professional Marketing.

Outside of work Hollie enjoys spending time with family and friends, eating out, and travelling as much as possible

Staff Members

Jacqui Baker

Project Support Assistant

Jacqui joined Aqua as the Programme Support Assistant for the Advancing Quality Team at the end of September 2013. Jacqui is responsible for handling administrative tasks such as scheduling and recording meetings, in addition to assembling and disseminating information. In addition to this, Jacqui is responsible for arranging venues and booking travel in relation to the Advancing Quality Project.

Before joining Aqua, Jacqui previously worked in the position of senior quality administrator for a training organisation based in Horwich, Lancashire.

Staff Members

Jane Coutsavlis

Administration Officer and PA

Jane is responsible for providing high quality administrative support to the Aqua corporate office and Senior Leadership Team.

Prior to joining Aqua, Jane developed her extensive PA and Management experience in the private sector.

Outside of work, Jane enjoys creative writing, theatre and watching new films at the cinema.

Staff Members

Jane Harper

Business Operations Manager

Jane is responsible for the day to day operations management of Aqua, including leadership of the core admin team. Jane manages multiple elements of a diverse portfolio, including budget management and human resources. She also provides support to other aqua teams with their budget management tracking and any issues that may arise.

Jane has been working with Aqua since March 2008, starting as a Project Manager for the Advancing Quality (AQ) Team helping to organise and plan Collaboratives across the North West and also managing the AQ budget expenditure. In April 2015 Jane was appointed as Business Operations Manager for Aqua.

Outside of work, Jane enjoys living life to the full.

Staff Members

Jo Higgins

Senior Improvement Advisor

Jo’s main role involves working with healthcare teams in the Advancing Quality (AQ) Programme across the North West to improve the quality of care. This involves using AQ and national data to identify opportunities for improvement, providing  bespoke support for local quality improvement projects, sharing learning and building improvement networks.

Prior to joining Aqua, Jo worked in the Medical Technologies Evaluation Programme at NICE, helping to develop guidance and advice to encourage adoption of innovative technologies in the NHS. Jo has also worked on national NHS quality improvement collaboratives and spent many years conducting academic research in healthcare delivery.

When not at work, Jo enjoys discovering new walks around Cheshire and Lancashire and relaxing with a good book.


Staff Members

Julie Clark

Strategic Engagement Lead

Julie joined Aqua in October 2015 in the newly created post of Strategic Engagement Lead. Julie’s aim is to actively support members to secure the best return on membership investment, by aligning Aqua offers to the strategic plans of the organisation and the transformation agenda.

Prior to joining Aqua on a full time basis, Julie worked with us as an Affiliate, primarily on our Mental Health programmes. In addition she led the NHS NW programme for “Eliminating Same Sex Accommodation” and has recently worked as a CQC inspector. Julie is also a Health Foundation Leader for Change.

Staff Members

Katie Lockley

Head of Communications and Marketing

Katie joined Aqua in 2015 and leads the organisations communications and marketing function. Her role is managing all communications and marketing activity with members and customers. This involves publications, events and conferences and branding.

Katie has been working in communications within the NHS for over 15 years in both commissioning and provider organisations. A media graduate from the University of Sunderland, Katie is also accredited by both the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

Away from work Katie enjoys travelling to new places and attempting to knit (not at the same time!).

Staff Members

Kimberley Smith

Head of Business Systems

Staff Members

Louise Gelder

Senior Improvement Advisor

Louise has 15 years’ experience in learning and organisational development roles across the health and social care landscape including VCSFs. Prior to working in learning and development Louise worked in social care roles and working for equity for all irrespective of social circumstance or background is an important value of mine.

An experienced action learning facilitator, Louise also has a ILM Level 5 Certificate qualification in Action Learning Facilitation. Louise has coached and facilitated many groups and individuals; enjoying the range this brings, from facilitating groups of students or newly qualified practitioners to bringing together commissioners or leaders to develop communities of practice. Louise is an experienced coach, working with managers across all settings and is currently completing a ILM level 5 coaching qualification.

An advocate of all things Organisational Development, Louise believes that staff engagement, great leadership and positive cultures are the building blocks for any successful service.

Staff Members

Manar Aldean

Project Manager

Manar joined Aqua in October 2021, and is a creative, committed and motivated professional, with extensive experience working and building relationships at every level within different NHS organisations.

Prior Manar’s role at Aqua as a Project Manager, she was a Project Support Officer for the Manchester Royal Infirmary Transformation & Improvement Team, working closely with the Transformation & Change Programme Director and the Assistant Director of Improvement alongside colleagues across the hospital and partner organisations to improve outcomes for patients and staff. Working to support the Improvement and Transformation Directors and project leads in creating, designing and providing improvement means and toolkits across a wide range of projects and service delivery tools and systems.

Manar’s previous experience extends to cover Senior Leadership recruitment, events and high-level board meetings’ arrangements, Staff development/ improvement through action learning sets, and Improvement workshops.


Staff Members

Neil Wilkinson

NHS Quest Project Manager

Staff Members

Paul Greenwood

Programme Manager

Paul manages the mental health programme including the CAMHS improvement programme supporting Aqua colleagues and members in improving mental health across all services. He is the Corporate lead , supporting the lived experience panel in ensuring all our programmes are co-produced. The panel are also supported by Paul in delivering lived experience to our members.

Paul has worked in health and social care for over 30 years as a practitioner (RMN), staff development officer and regional development lead (National Institute for Mental Health, NW SHA). At Aqua Paul has delivered a range of programmes from physical health and mental health, Armed Forces mental health, restraint reduction, children and young peoples mental health and supporting organisations in quality improvement including lived experience and co-production.

Paul has published papers on restraint reduction, physical health and new ways of working in mental health.

Away from work, Paul is a lover of gardening, art and theatre, and has an eclectic taste in music.

Staff Members

Peter Ledwith

Programme Manager

Peter has extensive experience in leading quality improvement initiatives in both the armed forces and healthcare sector. As the senior lead for quality improvement programmes across Safety and Mortality, Peter is responsible for overall management of the programmes. He previously held the role of Senior Improvement Advisor and was responsible for leading the Human Factors, Lean and Improvement Practitioner programmes.

Prior to joining Aqua, Peter held a number of roles with the Royal Air Force. Peter’s notable positions with the Royal Air Force include Quality and Continuous Improvement Team Leader, Station Error Management Coordinator and Technical Engineering Asset Management Training Instructor/Facilitator.

Outside of work, Peter enjoys spending time with his family in North Wales, watching football, cycling and sea fishing.

Staff Members

Rachel Bryers

Senior Improvement Advisor

Staff Members

Rebecca Ajibola

Programme Facilitator

Rebecca works with the Whole System Flow team and member organisations to facilitate the smooth running of the Whole System Flow programme throughout the lifespan of the diagnostic and design phases. Each phase of the programme concludes with a final report. Rebecca’s involvement includes business process analysis, facilitating diagnostic and design activities/events, measurement for improvement and capability building, and report writing.

Rebecca’s educational background is in Information Systems with International Business, with continuous professional development centred on project management and improvement of business processes. Her NHS experience spans over 12 years in both acute and community settings, starting as clinical support staff before following the ranks in a number of administrative roles.

Away from work, Rebecca enjoys spending time with her family, taking on knitting and sewing projects and find out about new things.

Staff Members

Sam Doddridge

Senior Improvement Advisor

Sam’s main role within the Advancing Quality (AQ) Programme is to drive improvement in standards of care delivery, develop clinical focus areas and to support Trusts to implement AQ measures locally via quality improvement initiatives.

Sam joined the Advancing Quality (AQ) team on a full time basis in July 2014. Prior to this, Sam held a dual role between the AQ team and St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. As part of this role Sam worked regionally supporting other AQ Trusts with improvement, whilst also managing the Trust’s participation and performance in the AQ Programme and other National Programmes.

Sam has worked in the NHS for 20 years, since graduating from University. Prior to working for Aqua, Sam supported improvement at a Trust level in a number of National audits and local programmes; Myocardial Ischaemia, National Heart Failure Audit (NHFA) National Audit Project (MINAP), National Joint Registry (NJR), National Hip Fracture Database (NHFD), Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMS), Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme (SSNAP), Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA) care monitoring.

Staff Members

Sarah Walker

Programme Manager

Sarah first worked as part of the Academy team as an Associate and has experience of delivering QI training to members since 2012.

Sarah joined Aqua at the start of 2018 as Programme Manager for Capability Building with responsibility for designing, delivering and evaluating the QI programmes delivered by the Academy and supporting staff across the Quality, Safety and Person-Centred Care portfolio.

Sarah has worked in improvement roles for the last 13 years both with Aqua and at a Trust where she has supported teams and partner organisations to deliver sustainable change through integration and redesign of services. With an NHS career spanning 26 years she brings improvement experience across a range of organisations and disciplines including as a qualified accountant where she supported quality improvement through service change.

Sarah holds an MSc in Leadership and Culture for Improvement. Her skills as a facilitator, teacher and coach are underpinned with a qualification in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning sector and she is currently working towards here CMI Level 7 Coaching award. She brings an extensive knowledge of quality improvement methodology and practical experience of providing improvement leadership to a range of programmes and supporting organisations to develop their own system and culture for improvement.

Staff Members

Simon Wickham

Business Intelligence Analyst

Simon is responsible for advising on measurement plans and appropriate metrics for projects, analysing data for evidence of improvement through SPC and Run charts and the development of bespoke Excel documents for recording, charting and presenting data. He also provides coaching on improvement methodology and measurement for improvement and is responsible for analysis for Assurance and research, and producing monthly reports for aqua and project evaluations.

Simon has been working in the NHS since 2016 in data related roles and has been involved in a wide variety of projects, including working with GP practices on Improvement Capability, with acute providers on regional service improvement projects and with trust departments on their departmental improvement aims. Simon also holds an MPhys in Physics with a particular interest in Theoretical Physics.

Outside of work, Simon enjoys days out walking or cycling in the local countryside and hosting BBQs at home.

Staff Members

Siobhan Reading

Project Manager

Siobhan is responsible for supporting Programme Leads and Quality Improvement Advisers in the Safety & Mortality, Person Centred Care and Capability Portfolio to schedule and manage quality improvement programmes.  She is responsible for the day-to-day office management of the PSO Team and managing the portfolio finances.

Siobhan has worked for the NHS for 12 years in an administrative support role.  She has worked with Active Case Management Team, Practice Education in community and acute services, the Interpretation and Translation service and Dentistry at Health Education North West.

Away from work, Siobhan enjoys knitting and can knit a mean sock!

Staff Members

Tom Jenks

Senior Business Intelligence Analyst

Tom is part of the Advancing Quality Business Intelligence team, and is responsible for analysing and reporting on data for a variety of conditions, including pneumonia, hip & knee replacement and COPD. He works with the rest of the AQ team and with hospitals to highlight improvement opportunities through the structured use of data.

Before joining Aqua in 2017, Tom worked for 10 years in trauma audit as database manager for Europe’s largest trauma registry. During this time, he contributed to a number of academic research papers. He has a Master’s degree in Information Processing and is also a qualified teacher.

Tom has a PhD in Creative Writing and is interested in books, art and music.

Staff Members

Helen Kibble

Project Support Officer

Helen joined the NHS and Aqua in January 2022 and supports the Mental Health, Patient Experience and System Transformation portfolio by organising and coordinating Aqua’s quality improvement programmes. Helen assists her colleagues at all levels to plan, deliver and evaluate events and programmes for Aqua members in the North West and beyond.

Before joining Aqua, Helen worked as a secondary school Chemistry teacher for 12 years. She has a BSc (Hons) degree in Chemistry.

Outside of work, Helen enjoys baking, reading and spending time with her family.

Staff Members

Bethan Potter

Digital Communications Officer

Bethan joined Aqua and the NHS in November 2021 and is responsible for the digital communications aspect within the Communications and Marketing team. Focusing on the design of digital documents, video editing and social media graphics.

Bethan has worked in communications and marketing since 2019 and has previous experience in the education sector. Bethan has a BA (Hons) degree in Graphic Design from the University of Huddersfield.

Outside of work Bethan enjoys spending time with her family, friends and her dog Bruno.

Staff Members

Lismy Cheripelli

Senior Improvement Advisor

Lismy’s main role within the Advancing Quality (AQ) Programme is to support the Trusts to implement AQ measures locally via quality improvement initiatives and drive the improvement in standards of care delivery and develop clinical focus areas.

Lismy joined the Advancing Quality (AQ) team in April 2022. Prior to this, Lismy worked as Project Manager in a commissioning role at the NHS Cheshire CCG since April 2020. Lismy also held a Transformation Project Manager role with the NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG prior to the CCGs merger.  Lismy has worked in the NHS since 2003 and been part of academic and research teams at the renowned higher Education Organisations (University of Aberdeen and University of Glasgow). Lismy has a publication to her name and can be accessed at: Group-based healthy lifestyle workplace interventions for shift workers: a systematic review – PubMed

Lismy’s experience also cover: Quality Improvement, Knowledge Management, Academic Research, Teaching, and as registered nurse – more than 15 years in NHS and abroad since qualified as Nurse/Midwife in 1997.

Outside of work, Lismy enjoys cooking and supporting and actively involving in the local church activities and events.

Staff Members

Eleanor Battrick

Evaluation Officer

Eleanor supports the design and delivery of a wide range of evaluation projects, collaborating with internal colleagues, and external partners and customers as part of Aqua’s membership and consultancy work.

Prior to joining Aqua, Eleanor worked at the University of Manchester for four years, first as a PA and then supporting funded PhD students. Eleanor has an MA in Social Research, on the ‘Environment, culture and society’ pathway. Her BA was in English Literature, Creative Writing and Practice. Eleanor is excited to use her research and writing skills in a more public-serving role at Aqua, to undertake literature reviews to support programme content development, as well as in data collection and analysis. Eleanor appreciates the importance of evaluating the impact of interventions in facilitating knowledge transfer.

Outside of work, Eleanor enjoys Iyengar yoga, cooking over-complicated recipes and ineptly growing fruit and vegetables.

Staff Members

Jen Hopes

Programme Manager – System Transformation

Jen is a Programme Manager for System Transformation, covering Aqua membership and consultancy. Jen leads the Safer Salford programme as well supporting whole system flow and transformation programmes.

Prior to joining Aqua, Jen has experience as a Commissioner and Service Improvement Manager within Clinical Commissioning Groups, Acute Trusts, local authorities and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

Jen has worked across a wide range of portfolios including general practice, Primary Care Networks (PCNs), community health and care services, urgent care, elective care, end of life care and children’s health and social care.

Jen is passionate about integration, especially building relationships and effective partnership working within and across organisational boundaries. Jen is a supporter of initiatives that promote health and care closer to home and enjoys working with partners to make services and pathways as efficient and effective as they can be.

Outside of work, Jen enjoys family time, travelling, running and spending time with friends.

Staff Members

Andy Taylor

Head of Financial Reporting

Staff Members

Lee Knowles

Senior Improvement Advisor 

Staff Members

Josh King-Cox

Communications and Marketing Officer

Staff Members

Yiinubari Nwigbo

Principal BI Analyst

News and Insights

Aqua appoints new Chief Executive Officer

Following a recent interview process, we are pleased to announce that Sue Holden has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer for the Advancing Quality Alliance (Aqua). Sue, who is currently the National Director for Intensive Support at NHS England and NHS Improvement, will take up the post in […]

18 Mar 2022

Acute Medics as Improvers: Fundamental Quality Improvement Skills for Clinicians

Aqua is working in partnership with the Society of Acute Medicine to deliver key training to junior doctors, advanced clinical practitioners and physician associates. The programme is open to anyone working in the above roles and will give attendees an understanding of the principles of quality improvement, helping them identify […]

15 Nov 2022

Appreciating Health and Care – share your case studies

Advancing Quality Alliance (Aqua), Appreciating People, and West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN) are currently working in partnership to produce “Appreciating Health and Care,” a book and practical resource for anyone involved in health and social care. The book will look to build on the many great examples of […]

01 Nov 2022

Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF) – events to support you!

Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF) will replace the current Serious Incident Framework (2015). The framework represents a significant shift in the way the NHS responds to patient safety incidents and is a major step towards establishing a safety management system across the NHS. It is a key part of the NHS patient […]

26 Oct 2022

Hospital Acquired Pneumonia Research Project

Project Introduction Hospital acquired pneumonia (HAP) is the most frequent hospital acquired infection in England, but little is known about the national burden of the condition. Developing HAP has a pronounced detrimental effect on patient outcomes, increasing length of stay and mortality, and is associated with antimicrobial resistance. This collaborative […]

07 Oct 2022
International Women's Day Banner

International Women’s Day 2022: Q&A

  International Women’s Day offers us time to reflect on the incredible achievements of women across the world, as well as the chance to understand the steps we can continue to take on the journey to equality. With this in mind, we took the opportunity to speak to a couple […]

08 Mar 2022

If you’d like to find out more, or have comments and enquiries please get in touch.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Sign Up For Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.