Associate staff

HSMC maintains a team of associate staff whom we draw on from time to time, either because of specific skills and expertise, or because of capacity needs. Associate staff bring with them a range of skills and experiences in health and social care which are valuable in ensuring our desire to be both relevant as well as rigorous. HSMC offers associates interesting areas of work in teaching, consultancy and research and whole-day development sessions throughout the year.

Our Associate staff can all be contacted via: Robin Miller, or Sharon Casey

Steve Appleton

Steve Appleton, Associate staff HSMCSteve is Managing Director of Contact Consulting. He has over 25 years' experience of working in health and social care, as a practitioner and senior manager in both local authorities and the NHS and as a consultant. His work spans health, housing and social care, with a particular focus on mental health, learning disability, substance misuse and offender health.

Steve brings detailed knowledge of practice, central government policy and legislation, regional and local planning and delivery, combined with a strategic approach to service evaluation, problem solving and project management. He has contributed to and led work at national level and has been at the forefront of work to improve mental health commissioning and to develop housing and support solutions.

Gill Combes

Gill Combes, HSMC AssociateGill has held a variety of leadership and management roles in the NHS, the voluntary sector and research. The first ten years of her career in research and development, was followed by 19 years in NHS commissioning and leadership roles, including 3 years as a PCT Chief Executive.  This was followed by nine years in interim roles, consultancy and teaching.

Gill has a strong track record of achievement in both developmental and corporate roles, which are delivered by combining vision and innovation with practical change management skills. An open, inclusive and positive style is combined with strong strategic and critical thinking skills.  

Gill has been a senior associate at HSMC since 2007. She has worked on a number of professional development programmes including the Integrated Care Development Programme and the Aspiring Directors Programmes and undertakes coaching with senior NHS staff.  She combines this role with leading a research programme on long-term conditions within the West Midlands CLAHRC in the School of Health and Population Sciences.

Gill has a science first degree, a Masters and PhD in Psychology, and a post-graduate certificate in Health Economics and Health Policy.

Brian Cox

cox-brianx110Brian is a consultant in health and social care specialising particularly in whole system reviews aimed at shaping demand and aligning objectives, strategy and delivery. He has a strong background in education, development and workforce strategy with a particular emphasis on system leadership, the leadership of networks and health and social care integration for the benefit of users and patients. As a consultant he has worked as the workforce lead for the Putting People First Programme, was the Director of Leadership at the National Skills Academy for Social Care and has led reviews of commissioning in health and social care.

Brian has over 35 years of experience in research, local government, health services and development. Originally studying as community worker in Birmingham, he has practiced as a social worker, lecturer, researcher and senior manager. He led a national research project on inequality and ethnic minority take up of care services, managed a community development unit in Nottingham and delivered social regeneration and anti-poverty schemes in Birmingham. He was Assistant Director in Nottingham City Social Services for 9 years and a Regional Director for the NHS University. Brian currently works as a part-time Senior Lecturer on NHS leadership programmes.  

Brian is particularly interest in support the development of effective integration of services, supporting users, carers and patients to exert more control over the service they use and developing system leadership that is based in practice with partners and the experience of live challenges.

Jeremy Crabb

Jeremy was a successful senior NHS leader in both Primary Care and Acute sectors, and has a strong track record in working with Local Government.

His interest in systems leadership and Complex Adaptive Systems means he frequently works across the boundaries of organisations and teams, challenging cultural norms and behaviours. He has worked extensively with NHS Boards, Health and Wellbeing Boards, clinical and multi-agency teams, and enjoys the challenge of developing change with senior leaders and clinicians.

He has an MSc in OD and Consultancy for which he was awarded a Distinction and the Torres Pumps prize, and is an experienced coach.

Eugenia Cronin

Eugenia CroninEugenia is a consultant in public health who spends her time delivering independent technical public health expertise and organisational development and leadership support to organisations within health and social care systems in the UK and in Australia. Recent projects include population needs assessment and service evaluations for public health commissioners in London, facilitation of learning sets for public health teams in transition in the South West of England, and health care planning training for Medicare local staff in Western Australia. Alongside her independent work, she is senior scientific advisor to the Health Services and Delivery Research programme of NIHR, a role she has held since 2010. She holds visiting academic appointments in the UK and in Australia, and enjoys teaching on a number of academic public health programmes.

Up until 2009 Eugenia worked in public health in London and most recently held the post of director of public health in Haringey. She is particularly interested in determinants of health and comparative healthcare systems. Her PhD explored the impact of different health care systems on primary care for depression. She is also Regional Continuing Professional Development Advisor for the Faculty of Public Health, and honorary secretary of the Climate and Health Council.

Susan Fairlie

Susan Fairlie, Associate staff HSMCSusan is a former Director of Nursing, specialising in Quality Improvement and Organisation Development. She has extensive experience of the NHS and has held several national leadership positions.

She is Visiting Professor at Worcester University and holds an MSc in Organisational Consulting from Ashridge. She is an Executive Coach, an NLP Practitioner, an accredited Leadership Framework Facilitator and licensed to use both the Strengths Deployment Inventory and Emotions and Behaviours at Work Facilitation. She is particularly interested in organisational relationships and believes that organisations flourish when they pay attention to these; supporting both individuals and teams to do this and, where necessary, helps them have courageous conversations.

She is an experienced facilitator and is particularly skilled in applying innovation, co-design, service improvement and transformation techniques. She has designed and delivered a number of clinical leadership development programmes and co-designed large-scale change programmes with a focus on improving patient safety, experience and effectiveness.

Sarah Faulkner

Sarah Faulkner, Associate staff HSMCSarah is a successful and highly experienced leader in health and social care consultancy and interim leadership. Her passion is connecting strategy and performance: enabling leaders, teams and individuals to work collaboratively and deliver high quality outcomes. She has a track record of delivering complex strategic programmes, specialising in strategy and organisational development, workforce planning and management, organisational change and capability building with a commercial project management approach. She is an integral part of the delivery team for the Nye Bevan Leadership Programme.

Sarah began her career as an NHS Graduate Management Trainee and has worked extensively in the public and private sectors. She holds a Diploma in Health Services Management and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. As well as working with HSMC she is also Honorary Fellow at Manchester Business School.

Steve Gulati

Steve Gulati, HSMC AssociateSteve has 20 years' experience working in the health and social care, ten of those at Board or Head of Service level. With a background in Human Resources, Organisational Development and Patient and Public Involvement, his main areas of interest are in organisational behaviour and especially how this links to patent and service user experience. A passionate advocate of empowerment and autonomous employee leadership, Steve combines his role as a Consultant with his work with HSMC.

Having worked across the Acute, Community and Primary Care, and Mental Health sectors in the NHS, Steve brings a detailed knowledge of a variety of organisation types and sizes. His areas of expertise include leadership development, service user involvement, change management, the formulation and implementation of strategy, and workforce engagement. Steve has combined his work with academic partners since 2008.

Jeanne Hardacre

Jeanne Hardacre, HSMC AssociateJeanne is founder and director of Impact4, a specialist consultancy focusing on enhancing impact and outcomes for services and the people using them through leadership development and organisation development. 

Jeanne started her career as a graduate NHS management trainee, and after several years in operational management jobs, took up a range of training and development roles, latterly as Head of Education & Development at a large mental health trust. She later worked as a Senior Fellow at the Health Services Management Centre, where she led the unit's leadership development work in the NHS, combining post-graduate teaching, research and consultancy. 

Jeanne has run her own consultancy since 2004, with a wide-ranging portfolio of design, delivery and evaluation work at a local and national level. Her work includes coaching, personal development, team development, organisational development and multi-agency systems development. Underpinning Jeanne's work is an emphasis on organisations as social systems, with the most fruitful possibilities for sustained improvement and change lying in the relationships, dynamics and interactions between people. 

Jeanne has an MSc by research from the University of Birmingham and a PhD from Warwick Medical School, for which she researched links between leadership behaviours and service improvement in the NHS. She is a qualified MBTI practitioner, is MCIPD qualified and is an accredited Oshry Power & Systems facilitator. She is an OD Associate at the Centre for Innovation in Health Management,  University of Leeds Business School and an Associate with Aston OD.

Christopher Heginbotham

Christopher Heginbotham, HSMC AssociateIn addition to his Associateship at HSMC, Chris Heginbotham is Emeritus Professor at the University of Central Lancashire and Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Health and Science at the University of Cumbria. In a 45 year career he was, for most of the 1980s, Chief Executive of Mind, the National Association for Mental Health, then Fellow in Health Services Management at the Kings Fund (1989-2003), and subsequently Chief Executive of two NHS Trusts and two health authorities. His final post was as Professor in the International School for Communities, Rights and Inclusion at UCLan.

He has been a non-executive director of Hampstead Health Authority (1981-1988), Waltham Forest DHA (1989-1991), and Chair of Redbridge and Waltham Forest FHSA (1991-1993). Recently he finished a further six years as a non-executive director on Lancashire Care Foundation Trust (2008-14). He has published five books on mental health and wellbeing, most recently with Dr. Karen Newbigging, ‘Commissioning Health and Wellbeing’ (Sage, 2013). He believes strongly in service users and patient involvement in shaping health and social care; and his main interests are in equity and epidemiology of mental health and wellbeing, rationing and resource allocation in health care, and in the philosophy and application of psychoanalytic theory to historiography.

Kim Jelphs

Kim is the Director of KU Limited who currently works as an Independent Development Facilitator and for one day a week as an OD Consultant in an NHS Foundation Trust. 2014 saw her take up roles as a Visiting Academic Fellow to the University of Curtin in Perth Australia and as an Associate to Keele University where she is contributing to Medical Leadership programmes. Her earlier career saw her work as a  Senior Fellow at the University of Birmingham (where she is still  an active Senior Associate),   and as a Clinical Director in the NHS where she lead clinical governance in an innovative way, with some processes and tools receiving national recognition. Her NHS experience includes senior roles in acute, primary and mental health organisations.  At Birmingham University her role focussed on leadership, organisational development and coaching. She led national leadership development programmes, including the NHS Management Training scheme and contributed to MBA and MSc programmes in the UK and in Hong Kong. 

She is an accredited Executive Coach, has a master's degree in Primary Health Care Policy and Management and is qualified to use a wide range of psychometric tools and assessments. Kim has extensive experience of working with individuals, teams and organisations (at local, national and international level), on both long and short term projects in public, voluntary and independent sector organisations. She is a creative, skilled facilitator and coach who passionately believes in helping people to make sense of things, in order to develop organisations, teams, systems and themselves.

Eileen Kibbler

Eileen Kibbler, HSMC Associate staffEileen has over 30 years experience of working in the health service, starting her career as a nurse and undertaking successful leadership roles within acute, community, Department of Health , primary care, and public health settings. This has provided her with a strong expertise in both developing strategy and service delivery.

At a time of radical changes in the health service, Eileen has been an inspirational leader in overseeing the reconfiguration of major services, reshaping workforce capacity whilst supporting effective delivery for new service models of care.

Eileen has a successful track record of strategic commissioning that has resulted in major service improvements. She is passionate about addressing health inequalities and improving health, working in collaboration with stakeholders including diverse communities and developing a range of innovative services that have had a positive legacy.

She particularly enjoys nurturing talent, supporting and motivating people at all levels , undertaking executive coaching and mentoring people from all backgrounds.

Vega Roberts

Vega Roberts, Associate staff HSMCVega works as an organisation consultant, coach and project supervisor, primarily in mental health and social care services. Her special interests are developing leadership at all levels of an organisation, and supporting more effective inter-group and inter-agency collaboration, through enabling people to challenge the self-limiting assumptions that can get in the way of learning and innovation.


Chris Tanner

Chris Tanner, HSMC AssociateChris is a leadership coach, organisational consultant and researcher in health and social care.  Following an early career in education, he has worked as a service director with the Priory Group, and has also managed therapeutic communities for troubled adolescents.   He is a senior lecturer/ cohort director on the NHS Leadership Academy Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Programme, and course director for the University of Essex MA Management and Organisational Dynamics. Chris is also an Associate Consultant with the Kings Fund.

Recent consultancy projects include the design and delivery of several leadership development programmes (Health Trusts, HE sector), an evaluation of a care homes community engagement initiative (voluntary sector), and a director-level coaching programme (private sector).  He is an experienced facilitator, regularly providing support for teams under pressure.

Chris's special interests include personal leadership and team effectiveness: what are the cultural, dynamic, and personal factors that aid resilience, performance, and compassion in teams? How can teams find the courage to both face the 'internal' conversations they need to have to be sustainable, and face the challenge of building collaborative 'external' relations in complex systems? 

Carol Ward

Carol Ward, HSMC Associate staffCarol is a highly qualified Organisational Development Consultant and Healthcare Professional (former Nursing Director), with over 30 years experience. Her achievements include leading major organisational change and development programmes on behalf of Local Authorities, NHS Trusts and the Community and Voluntary Sectors. She is an experienced multi method facilitator, qualified executive coach and MBTI practitioner. She also has multiple experiences of communication with, and engaging, different stakeholder interest groups and individuals at all levels. Carol is a freelance consultant, alongside working part time as a Senior Lecturer/ Cohort Director on the NHS Leadership Academy, Elizabeth Garret Anderson programme.

Belinda Weir

belinda-weirBelinda Weir is a leadership and organisational development consultant in health and social care and Director of Centaura Consulting. She has over thirty years' experience in the public, private and voluntary sectors as a director, leadership programme coordinator, management consultant, and academic with a particular interest and expertise in systems leadership and developing leadership in integrated care.

Belinda works part-time as a Leadership Development Associate with The King's Fund- the leading health policy think-tank; she is a Visiting Fellow in Leadership at University Campus Suffolk, a part time senior lecturer in the Health Services Management Centre at the University of Birmingham, where she teaches on the Leadership Academy Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and Nye Bevan programmes, and an Associate with the National Skills Academy for Social Care. Belinda was Chief Executive of a mental health services provider for 8 years, and was deputy chair of Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust during her 7-year term of office. She has worked with hundreds of public sector leaders to develop integrated approaches to care delivery as well as directing large scale leadership programmes for board level and senior leaders in public, private and voluntary sectors.  Belinda is a qualified MBTI practitioner, and accredited in Oshry Power + Systems, Firo-B and Prince 2.


Catherine Weir

Catherine Weir, HSMC Associate staffCatherine has worked in and around health and social care for 25 years.  Having completed a Masters in Medical Demography she moved into research in the care of older people in London and from there into working with the voluntary sector in West London. Since then she has held various senior strategic and service delivery positions in the NHS including PCG Chief Executive and PCT Director of Services. She has acute and primary care commissioning experience and has led the re-design and re-commissioning of a range of services in London and elsewhere. She has a Masters in Health Management combined with a commitment to community health initiatives. She has  bid for and implemented   a number of local, community based primary care led initiatives, a common theme being a focus on collaboration, engagement and addressing inequality. She is an experienced facilitator and Director of a small consultancy, Alpha and Omega Management Consultants Ltd. She is currently providing support to a local Hospice, a national charity and is a Tutor on the NHS Leadership Academy Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Programme.

Simon Western

Simon Western, HSMC AssociateSimon Western has an international reputation as a scholar and practitioner. He brings an unusual depth and breadth of experience to the world of leadership and organisational change. Simon is known for his work on Eco-leadership, and Autonomist leadership, where he applies learning from social movements and diverse organisational structures, to re-think leadership in large organisations in today's network society.

Simon established Lancaster University's executive coaching provision, designing and delivering postgraduate coaching programmes and in-house company programmes. He now works with CEOs and senior teams to offer leadership coaching and deliver whole-system interventions in global organisations.

Simon's recent clients include: Leaders in Global OD team, international bank, IMD and London Business School, NHS Chief Executives UK, CEO of Chemistry SME. Ireland, Leaders in the educational sector.

Utilising his well-researched Analytic Network Coaching Systems© he has developed this advanced coaching methodology that he now offers internationally as an advanced training for experienced coaches and as in-house leadership development for leaders.