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.

  • Our Special Advisors

    Experts in their field, Special Advisors are highly credible individuals who have all held very senior executive posts across health and social care. With established personal and professional networks, all our Special Advisors are thought leaders committed to the principles of continuous improvement and learning.

    Dr Jackie Bene

    Special Advisor

    Jackie is an experienced NHS Executive, with a clinical background. She has an outstanding record of transforming organisational and system performance, and championing medical leadership.

    An experienced NHS Executive, of clinical background, Jackie has an outstanding record of transforming organisational performance, system, and medical leadership.

    Until recently she led one of the largest and most complex Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships in the country to become designated as an Integrated Care System and before this, as its Chief Executive led the transformation and turnaround of Bolton NHS Foundation Trust.

    Jackie additionally provided Executive Leadership to acute service reconfiguration in another large Integrated Care System in Greater Manchester and led the development of Bolton’s place-based partnership.

    She has a wealth of experience in developing excellent relationships and partnerships with key stakeholders including local government, and the voluntary sector, and has extensive knowledge of current NHS policy and landscape around Integrated Care Systems and developing place-based partnerships.

    Phillip Lewer

    Special Advisor

    As the immediate past Chair of Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, Philip has over 50 years of working across health and social care.

    Having recently retired as the Chair of Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, Philip has over 50 years of working across health and social care.

    Philip has extensive experience of system leadership, managing large scale complex organisations and quality improvement. He has worked as a board member to deliver sustainable change, whilst also working in organisations to transform service delivery, accountability, and governance.

    With an extensive and well used network of local, regional and national contacts, Philip has worked tirelessly to create positive workplace cultures in every organisation he has been a part of.

    Professor Ted Baker

    Special Advisor

    Ted has worked at every level in the NHS, for most of his career as a clinical paediatric cardiologist, combining this with an academic, a management and latterly a regulatory career.

    Ted Baker has worked at every level in the NHS, for most of his career as a clinical paediatric cardiologist, combining this with an academic, a management and latterly a regulatory career.

    He has led clinical services through improvement programmes and strategic reconfigurations and has led NHS trusts through mergers and programmes of cultural and governance change.

    For the last five years he has been chief inspector of hospitals at the Care Quality Commission, leading the regulation of NHS trusts and independent healthcare nationally.

    He was the chief author of the influential NHS well-led framework and instigator of a major reassessment of the regulation of patient safety across health and social care.

    He worked as a frontline clinician for 35 years and has served as a member of unitary boards in the NHS and regulation for over 16 years.

  • Lived Experience Panel

    Our Lived Experience Panel is vital in supporting the development and improvement of the services Aqua provides by bringing their experience of using health and care services, as well as expertise from their careers and personal life experience.

    Lisa Riste

    Lived Experience Panel Member

    Lisa joined Aqua as a Lived Experience Panel member in August 2022, alongside her current role as a Research Fellow in the Medication Safety Theme at NIHR Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre at The University of Manchester.

    Her interests focus on improving patient experience and ensuring that patient’s voices are included from the very start of change and transformation journeys. With a passion for co-production, she is the founder of Find Logo And Give Medication (FLAG-Me) pharmacy software alerts, produced in response to co-design workshop findings to support safer medication use for people with vision impairments in community pharmacy.

    Prior to this she was involved in producing educational resources for pharmacists – Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education Patient Safety Toolkit, and has co-created resources to support the diagnosis and management of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/ME) for patients, carers and General Practitioners.

    Anthony O'Connor

    Lived Experience Panel Member

    Anthony O’Connor currently undertakes paid and voluntary work for a variety of organisations across Mental/Physical Health provision and Adult Social Care.

    His main interests are Lived, Living and Learned Experience and Co-Production; these drive and inform all of the work that he does.

    My priorities with Aqua will be to help embed co-production values and the lived experience voice across every element of our work.

    Mike Mahoney

    Lived Experience Panel Member

    Tori Otero

    Lived Experience Panel Member

    Wendy Bell

    Lived Experience Panel Member

  • Our Staff

    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.

    Amaan Khalid

    Programme Support Officer

    Before joining Aqua, Amaan studied Economics at Manchester Metropolitan University and worked at an Estate Agency Firm working in Accounts and Lettings.

    Amaan joined Aqua as a Programme Support Officer in 2022 and supports the Quality, Safety & Person-Centred Care portfolio to deliver output on Aqua’s improvement areas across the North-west and beyond.

    Outside of work Amaan like to enjoys eating out (he knows all the best places to eat in Sale), travelling, and watching the football.

    Amanda Huddleston

    Senior Improvement Advisor

    Amanda is a Senior Improvement Advisor for Mental Health, Flow & System Transformation teams covering the entire Aqua offer. Her background is nursing and health visiting. 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.

    More 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 and is driven by the motivation of reducing inequality. In 2012 she was awarded the title of Queens Nurse for innovative patient centred work in the community.

    Outside of work, Amanda enjoys exploring new places, fostering hedgehogs, learning Ukulele and Welsh (not at the same time!)

    Amy Connelly

    Digital Communications Officer

    Amy joined Aqua as a Digital Communications Officer in December 2022.

    She studied for her degree in Edinburgh for 4 years and had the opportunity to spend a year of her studies in Kuala Lumpur. After leaving university she worked in a Foodbank as a Marketing assistant with the aim to encourage donations and users to approach the service. Her last role was with NHS Scotland as a Graduate Communications Officer. She had the responsibility of creating website pages, graphics for posters, social media and newsletters, writing press releases and conducting research into the public’s experience with health and social care. She had to record, analyse and translate data into evidence base decisions for future improvements. This gave her the necessary experience to move into her role here at Aqua and she is excited to see where this opportunity takes her.

    Amy’s interests outside work include travelling, festivals, photography and drinking cocktails! She also loves trying new cafés and taking her dog Luna on walks with her friends.

    Andrea McGuinness

    Head of Improvement and NHS Quest Lead

    Andrea is a Registered Nurse and has an MSc in Strategic Leadership and Change. Andrea has an extensive background in safety and quality improvement and has over 30 years’ experience working clinically and in senior management roles within the NHS. Since joining Aqua over 10 years ago, Andrea has led national improvement programmes, including those supported by The Health Foundation and NHS Improvement.

    Andrea’s role includes the Lead for NHS Quest network and she is the Head of Improvement at Aqua. Andrea’s experience in safety and quality improvement roles includes responsibility for scoping, designing, delivering and evaluating programmes that enhance the development of safety and quality improvement capability and capacity for organisations. Andrea’s skills include working and collaborating alongside organisations and teams to define and improve outcomes both for people experiencing and people working within services.

    Andrea sees her role clearly linked to supporting people and organisations to deliver on the critical challenges facing health and care services today.

    Andy Taylor

    Head of Financial Reporting

    Andy is Head of Financial Reporting at Aqua. This includes monitoring and reporting on Aqua’s financial position, reporting to Board, budget setting, financial project work and long term financial planning.

    Andy is a qualified accountant (ACCA) with 8 years previous experience in the NHS and over 10 years in NHS consultancy specialising in long term financial forecasting, business cases and patient level costing.

    Outside of work he enjoys watching most sports and recently managed a Sunday League football team. He’s previously played cricket, golf, squash and chess to a decent level but mainly stays active nowadays by going to the gym on a regular basis.

    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.

    Bethan Potter

    Digital Communications Officer

    Bethan joined Aqua in November 2021 and leads on the design process for communications and marketing materials, platforms and campaigns. Her role involves designing and producing external and internal materials in multiple formats to engage our audience.

    Bethan has been working in the communications and marketing sector since graduating in 2019 with a First Class BA (Hons) degree from the University of Huddersfield in Graphic Design. Her previous experience has been within digital design agencies across the North West and within the education sector.

    Outside of work Bethan enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, and going on walks with her Sprocker Spaniel, Bruno.

    Brook Howells

    Senior Improvement Advisor

    Brook is a Senior Improvement Advisor at Aqua, working across a range of programmes, and has a lead role in developing the Human Factors programmes and support we offer. She also leads on our Appreciative Inquiry work and enjoys working with people to utilise both approaches for their improvement ambitions. Having initially joined Aqua in 2012 to facilitate on the National Shared Decision Making programme, she continues to advocate for personalised, as well as safe and high quality care.

    Brook is currently studying for an MSc in Human Factors at Loughborough University, and is building her portfolio for registration with the Chartered Institute for Ergonomics and Human Factors. She previously studied Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of York, and also completed a Masters in Practical Ethics at York.

    She has two young children who she enjoys making crochet toys and blankets for, although as a keen horse rider she spends much of her time training and competing in eventing, dressage and show jumping. She is vice chair of her local riding club committee and also enjoys volunteering at eventing competitions across the North West.

    Casey Leigh

    Programme Support Officer

    Casey joined the NHS and Aqua in 2016 and supports numerous programmes of work from across the organisation including Mental Health, Patient Experience and System Transformation, to deliver outputs on Aqua’s improvement priorities in the North West and beyond.  As a Programme Support Officer, 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. She also 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.

    Cath Sloan

    Head of System Transformation

    Cath joined Aqua in 2014 as a Senior Improvement Advisor to the Integration programme.  In 2016 became Head of System Transformation, leading the programmes of work concerned with integration, transformation, and system Organisational Development.

    Cath has over 20 years’ experience of working in the NHS in a variety of senior roles, including operational management in district general hospitals, as well as acute university teaching hospitals.  She has also worked in commissioning and service improvement and redesign.  A common theme in all her roles has been a keen interest in quality improvement, leadership development and management of change. Cath is also a qualified Coach and is an accredited feedback facilitator for the NHS Leadership Academy Healthcare Leadership 360 Assessment.

    Cath is a committed governor at her children’s primary school and plays an active role in school life.  She particularly enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her family on Anglesey.

    Christina Thomson

    AQ Project Manager

    Christina joined Aqua in 2022 as a Project Manager, working across the Advancing Quality (AQ) and Analytics and Evaluation programmes to deliver improvements in standards of care and evaluation projects for members.

    Christina is a PRINCE 2 practitioner and is qualified in PRINCE 2 Agile project management methodology.  She has several years of project experience, working most recently to support large scale programmes of work for Health Education England and Manchester Metropolitan University. She also has a Masters in English at Distinction level.

    Outside of work, Christina enjoys travelling up to Scotland to climb mountains, going out for dinner and drinks with friends, and watching live music. She will be welcoming a puppy into her home next month which will be taking up the majority of her free time very soon!

    Delphine Corgie

    Improvement Advisor

    Delphine comes from Reims, France and joined the NHS in 1992. Delphine joined Aqua in September 2019, she leads the NHS Quest’s Improvement Science for Leaders (IS4L) programme and delivers QI capability programmes. She is also one of the Improvement Advisors who delivers our Academic portfolio of QI learning.  Delphine is an experienced Quality Improvement Advisor, Clinical Auditor and recently completed a Green Belt level in Lean Six Sigma.

    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 the 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 focussing mostly on primary care settings.

    Outside of work Delphine enjoys gardening, a lot! And “literally spend hours picking, trimming, mowing, just watching my garden!”. Delphine also has a keen interest in painting.

    Easha Aslam

    Programme Support Officer

    Easha joined Aqua in 2021 as a project support officer and currently supports the Mental Health, Patient Experience and System Transformation portfolio to deliver output on Aqua’s four improvement areas to support members and customers in the North West and beyond.

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

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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 uses her research and writing skills to support programme content development, as well as 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.

    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.

    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

    Jacqui Baker

    Project Support Assistant

    Jacqui joined the NHS and Aqua in 2013, and supports the Advancing Quality team to deliver outputs in line with the ‘4 pillars’ of the AQ Programme offer to support NHS Hospital teams participating in the AQ Programme within the North-West and beyond to highlight improvement opportunities through the structured use of data. Jacqui facilitates programme administration activity from planning and co-ordinating to ensuring the smooth running of events.

    Before joining Aqua, Jacqui worked for a training organisation based in Horwich, Lancashire, delivering government funded apprenticeships as their senior quality administrator.

    Outside of work, Jacqui loves horse-riding and country walks with her husband and dog.

    Jane Coutsavlis

    Administration Officer and PA

    Jane is responsible for providing high quality administrative support to the Aqua Corporate Office and Senior Leadership Team.  This includes supporting HR and office management responsibilities, providing PA support to the CEO and Directors, and supporting the Executive Leadership Coaching programme.

    Prior to joining Aqua, Jane worked in various roles within the private sector including: dance teacher, civil servant, PA, project manager and senior telecommunications manager.

    Outside of work, Jane enjoys creative writing, theatre, cinema, reading, yoga and tap dancing.

    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.

    Jen Hopes

    Programme Manager – System Transformation

    Jen is a Programme Manager for System Transformation, leading 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.

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

    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 and consultancy 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 in a variety of settings, providing data analysis, knowledge management and improvement support, and spent many years conducting academic research in healthcare delivery, particularly emergency care.

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


    Josh King-Cox

    Communications and Marketing Officer

    Josh joined Aqua as a Communications and Marketing Officer in 2022 and is responsible for delivering day to day communications and marketing activities across our range of programmes and communications platforms. This includes content creation for various communications platforms and audiences, leading social media, writing email bulletins, managing the website and more.

    Josh graduated from Newcastle University in 2020, earning a BSc in Marketing. He joined the NHS straight away, spending two years working in communications within Primary Care.

    Outside of work Josh enjoys listening to music, playing guitar, going to gigs, watching football and spending time with friends.

    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.

    Katie Lockley

    Head of Communications and Marketing

    Katie joined Aqua in 2015 and leads the organisation’s Communications and Marketing functions. Her role is managing all Communications and Marketing activity, both internally with staff and externally with members and customers. With her team, Katie is responsible for publications, branding, social media, marketing and design.

    Katie has been working in communications within the NHS since 2006, working in a variety of organisations and roles. A media graduate from the University of Sunderland, Katie is also accredited by both the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

    Away from work Katie enjoys travelling to new places, running around after her daughter and learning to sew.

    Kimberley Smith

    Head of Business Systems

    Kimberly is the lead for finance and business systems across Aqua. Her responsibilities include leading on the coordination of Aqua’s finances, governance, board performance reporting, business planning and capacity models.

    Kimberly is a qualified accountant with extensive experience across the NHS and Local Government. Her previous roles cover various areas across finance, including specialist project support, financial management, internal audit and financial accountancy.

    Lee Knowles

    Senior Improvement Advisor 

    Lee is a pharmacist by background and has worked within the NHS for approaching 30 years. He has significant experience working in senior clinical, leadership and management roles. He has a postgraduate MSc in Clinical Pharmacy and an MBA that focused specifically on healthcare.

    Lee is now delivering training and facilitation within our Safety and Mortality team at Aqua; he has a particular interest in Healthcare Safety, Quality Improvement, Innovations via Technology and Mental Health Care.

    Outside of work he can often be found watching sport (WBA and LCCC), at a gig or in the cinema and pub quizzing.

    Lismy Cheripelli

    Senior Improvement Advisor

    Lismy joined the Advancing Quality (AQ) team in April 2022, and her main role 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.

    Prior to this, Lismy worked as Project Manager in a commissioning role at the NHS Cheshire CCG from 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 has been part of academic and research teams at the 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 covers: Quality Improvement, Knowledge Management, Academic Research, Teaching, and as registered nurse – more than 15 years in NHS and abroad since qualifying as a Nurse/Midwife in 1997.

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

    Louise Gelder

    Senior Improvement Advisor

    Louise has over 20 years’ experience in organisational development supporting teams and leaders across the health and social care landscape. Prior to this, Louise worked in a variety of social care roles including supporting those homeless or insecurely housed, drug and alcohol services and mental health services. Treating all people with respect, health inequalities and supporting systems and leaders to create engaging cultures so their teams can offer an amazing service to the communities they serve are what bring Louise to work every day at Aqua.

    An experienced facilitator, Louise can bring a range of models and tools to her work including action learning, individual coaching, team coaching and mediation. Working with people in systems Louise loves supporting people to connect, build relationships and have clarity of vision and values. Louise has worked across all levels and sectors, from newly qualified practitioners to chief executives and she loves the range and challenge that this brings.

    An advocate of all things organisational development, Louise believes that staff engagement, compassionate and intentional leadership, and positive cultures are the building blocks for any successful service.

    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 to 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.

    She plays the keyboard, enjoys city walks and trying different places for eating out. She loves swimming and enjoys pop music.


    Neil Wilkinson

    NHS Quest Project Manager

    Neil is responsible for the day to day running and management of NHS Quest. His role also includes report writing, preparing papers for the Board, finance management, the organisation and management of national events, workshops and senior level CEO meetings. Neil also supports programmes within Aqua including the Advanced Improvement Practitioner course.

    Neil joined the NHS in 2004 and has had various roles in both primary and secondary care. Neil has experience of working on numerous improvement projects including implementing paper-lite clinics across Salford Royal Hospital. In recent years he has worked in Information Governance at SRFT and has also had project management and event management roles at Haelo Innovation & Improvement Science Centre.

    Outside of work Neil enjoys cycling, running… around after his little boy, photography, going to the cinema, and researching his family history. He is also a music lover, collects vinyl and loves going to gigs.

    Paul Greenwood

    Programme Manager

    Paul manages the mental health, whole system flow and lived experience programme at Aqua. He has delivered a range of programmes from restraint reduction, physical health and mental health developments, pathway diagnostics and re-designs around whole systems. Paul also supports continuous improvement development across health and care and in particular building QI capability in people with lived experience alongside the Aqua lived experience panel. Paul has published papers on restraint reduction, physical health/mental health and new ways of working in mental health.

    He has worked in health and social care for over 35 years as a practitioner (RMN), staff development officer and regional development lead (National Institute for Mental Health, NW SHA). He has led on mental health legislation including the Mental Capacity Act implementation in the region. He has developed skills around workforce development, equalities agenda and co-production over the years at a regional level.

    Away from work, Paul loves gardening, art, creative therapies and theatre, and has an eclectic taste in music.

    Paula Clare

    Senior Improvement Advisor

    Paula Clare joined Aqua as a Senior Improvement Lead in 2022 and has worked in the NHS since qualifying as a registered nurse in 1997.

    For 21 years critical care was Paula’s world where she had varying roles, latterly as a clinical Sister within the department. She co-ordinated the operational activity to ensure the safety of the patients within their care. During her career she has had the opportunity to develop within seconded roles. Firstly, in a community quality improvement team supporting action plans on services following CQC inspection. She returned to her substantive Trust to manage the deteriorating patient portfolio with a focus on sepsis, also returning to Critical Care to support during the two waves of COVID-19. In 2021 Paula moved organisations into a patient safety role and was asked to support the women and children’s department with governance, which enabled her to understand the serious incident process and subsequent investigations.

    Paula has two children in university, two stepchildren, two dogs and a tortoise and she tries to squeeze in Peloton sessions when she can!

    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 at Aqua, 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.

    Rachel Bryers

    Senior Improvement Advisor

    Rachel Bryers is a Senior Improvement Advisor leading on personalised care programmes for Aqua. She is an Occupational Therapist who completed an MSc in Advanced Practice where she developed an interest in shared decision making. This focused on collaboration with older people, managing risk and understanding the application of The Mental Capacity Act to support shared decision making.

    With twenty-six years’ experience as an Occupational Therapist, Rachel has clinical experience in both physical and mental health. Her role now involves working with clinicians and organisations to understand universal personalised care, with an emphasis on shared decision making. This involves presenting the case for shared decision making, the competencies required and using QI approaches to embed shared decision making within clinical pathways. She has acted as an expert witness for the shared decision-making panel at the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) and is an assessor for the International Network of Shared Decision-Making Practitioners (SHARP).

    She has a keen interest in motivational interviewing and using the voice of people with lived experience to influence and support quality improvement programmes.

    Rebecca Ajibola

    Programme Facilitator

    Rebecca is a System Transformation Improvement Advisor at Aqua, who specialises in improvement and redesign of service offers and pathways. Rebecca has wide ranging experience of quality improvement including in paediatric urgent care, end of life, children and adult mental health, care navigation, pressure ulcer and facilitating QI taught sessions and workshops. She is particularly interested in joining the dots, operationalising strategy, and demonstrating the impact and people side of change.

    She aims to help develop and embed sustainable and impactful solutions to system challenges through systems thinking, systems leadership, continuous quality improvement, and innovative and tactical solutions design.

    Rebecca is a member of Q and has a degree in Information Systems with International Business. She has over 15 years NHS experience in clinical and admin support, business analysis, process improvement, business change, project management and quality improvement.

    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.

    Sarah Walker

    Programme Manager

    Sarah joined Aqua in early 2018 to lead the Academy and is responsible for an extensive range of programmes. Her responsibilities span design, delivery and evaluation of programmes that offer QI capability building for individuals through to system level. Sarah also leads the Aqua Leadership for Improvement Fellowship and has a particular interest in developing skills and improvement leadership for all staff.

    As an experienced Advanced Improvement Practitioner, Sarah holds a PG Cert in Improvement Science and brings an extensive knowledge of quality improvement methodology and practical experience of providing improvement leadership to a range of programmes. In her early career as a qualified accountant, she supported quality improvement through service change and more recently worked in improvement roles in an NHS Trust for 10 years.

    Sarah has been a member of the Academy team since 2012, delivering QI training to members as an Aqua Associate; she demonstrates developed skills as a facilitator and teacher and is qualified to teach in the lifelong learning sector.

    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.

    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.

    Tom Jenks

    Senior Business Intelligence Analyst

    Tom is one of Aqua’s Principal Business Intelligence Analysts, providing data, analysis and reporting for the Advancing Quality (AQ) programme, delivering measurement training, presenting at events and supporting skills development in measurement. He contributes to AQ’s research portfolio, supervises data flow and has responsibility for PIQS, AQ’s data entry and reporting system. He also works across Aqua on internal information management processes, providing operational intelligence.

    Before joining Aqua in 2017, Tom was Registry Manager at the Trauma Audit and Research Network (TARN), managing Europe’s largest database of traumatic injury. 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 outside of work is interested in books, art and music.

    Yiinubari Nwigbo

    Principal BI Analyst

    Bari joined Aqua in 2022 as a Principal Business Intelligence analyst to provide analytics support to our different portfolios, with a particular interest in Quality Improvement and Measurement for Improvement to improve the overall care of patients and stakeholders.

    Bari has a background in Data Analytics, software development and Cloud computing. He is a qualified software engineer and further developed his skills studying for a Masters in Information systems and Business analytics to gain first hand insight on how data can help us make informed decisions, understand and translate complex business challenges into workable metrics that drives transformation and create sustainable growth.

    Outside of work, Bari enjoys playing ping-pong, football and volunteering.

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

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