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Annual Conference 2019: Speaker Biographies

Kirsty Boyd

Kirsty has worked clinically as palliative medicine consultant at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh for over 20 years. Her research and quality improvement work seeks to enhance palliative care in all care settings through better understanding of the experiences of people with advanced illnesses and their families and by working collaboratively with professional colleagues from diverse health and care teams. Kirsty is lead tutor for the Effective Communication for Healthcare programme (EC4H) which delivers highly rated training in anticipatory care planning, realistic medicine and shared decision-making. She has recently developed a range of communication education resources to support ACP decision-making as part of the Macmillan Building on the Best programme led by the SPPC.

Lynne Carmichael

Lynne Carmichael’s career in Specialist Palliative Care began in 2000 within the Ayrshire Hospice within various roles, initially as a Staff Nurse then a Community Specialist Palliative Care nurse. In 2011 as part of the Hospice Strategic Review the concept of a Hospice at Home Service originated and as Respite and Response Team Manager she scoped, designed and developed the Respite and Response service. This was a new concept of hospice care in Scotland. The work was done as part of a Masters of research and where a passion for “caring for the carers” was ignited. Lynne led and developed the implementation of the CSNAT (Carers Support Needs Assessment Tool) to ensure a consistent approach to carers assessment. Her current role is Head of Clinical Governance and Practice Development at the Ayrshire Hospice.

Gail Ewing

Dr Gail Ewing BSc PhD is a Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge.

Her background is in Social Science/Nursing. She has been involved in palliative care research with patients, carers and health care professionals in primary, secondary and hospice home care for over 20 years. Her work is focused on developing complex interventions and their implementation in practice, initially for family carers within hospice home care, and more recently this has extended to carers of people living with breathlessness, carers of stroke survivors and currently carers of people with motor neurone disease.

This work has been done in collaboration with Professor Gunn Grande at The University of Manchester. Ewing and Grande developed and validated the Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) intervention which uses a person-centred approach to carer assessment and support. To support implementation in practice the CSNAT research team has developed an online CSNAT Training and Implementation Toolkit in response to the high level of interest nationally and internationally in the CSNAT intervention.

Marie Fallon

Marie Fallon is the St Columba’s Hospice Chair of Palliative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh and an Honorary Consultant in Palliative Care at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, Scotland. She leads the largest portfolio of multicentre clinical trials in Palliative Care in the UK, specializing in cancer pain control; assessment and treatment, including both drug trials and complementary therapies, e.g. TENS and acupuncture. She also has a specific interest in cancer cachexia. Marie Fallon has embedded clinical biomarkers in her research programme with the aim of moving towards efficient prediction of the most effective treatments for individual patients.

She has an active PhD programme, with palliative medicine, neurology and anaesthetic trainees having been awarded higher degrees.

Professor Fallon is a joint editor of the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine (4th, 5th and 6th editions) and has served as editor of the ABC of Palliative Care (two editions) the ABC of Pain and the Textbook of Cancer Pain. She is a member of the grant committees for the CSO PhDships, the Melville Trust for the Care and Cure of Cancer, the Columba Trust and the Marie Curie Cancer Care Research Fund. She is a Co-Director and a Visiting Professor of the European Palliative Care Research Centre, which is based in Oslo, Norway. She is on the Scientific Committees for several international conferences, including EAPC, EPCRC and ESMO.

Jake Garber

Jake Garber is a service designer and systems thinker who has been exploring cultures and systems of support around death and dying for over a decade.

In 2011, Jake co-wrote the Demos publication, Dying for Change, which set out a vision for the future of end of life care in Britain. Since then, Jake has worked at the cutting edge of public service innovation at Participle, Innovation Unit, Demos and the Young Foundation. In 2017, Jake co-founded WIGS, a social change organisation that supports the development of the ‘Social Imagination’ – our ability to collectively create alternatives to the challenges our society faces. At WIGS, Jake is currently involved in building a ‘community of imagination’ for end of life care. This group of innovators from the sector and beyond will support each other in conducting small scale, safe but radical experiments that have the potential to shape the future of death and dying in our society.

Ewan Kelly

Ewan Kelly enjoys hill-walking, watching live music and rugby with friends and a beer, and playing golf badly. He believes passionately that the greatest resource care professionals have is our humanity and how we find meaning in life and work is crucial not only for our flourishing but the quality of care we offer. Ewan has worked in healthcare chaplaincy as a practitioner, educator, researcher and as a strategic leader with NHS Education for Scotland. He was formerly a senior lecturer in pastoral theology for many years at the University of Edinburgh and latterly co-founded the European Research Institute for Chaplains in Healthcare based at the University of Leuven, Belgium. Ewan has published widely in the field of spiritual care - Soul of Health and Social Care: Fostering Spiritual Wellbeing in Emerging Paradigms of Care (Jessica Kingsley), co-edited with John Swinton, will be published later this year. He is currently working free-lance as a facilitator, speaker and pastoral supervisor. Ewan will re-visit New Zealand next year where he will co-facilitate the bi-annual conference for Australian and New Zealand Clinical Pastoral Educators and enjoy Wellington.

Heather Richardson

Heather Richardson works as one of the Joint CEOs of St Christopher’s Hospice, London. She has previously held the role of National Clinical Lead for Hospice UK, serving as executive lead on the National Commission into the Future of Hospice Care and worked as Clinical Director, then Strategy Advisor to St. Joseph's Hospice in East London. Until recently she worked also as a senior associate of the Innovation Unit in London. Heather is a registered general and mental health nurse and has worked in hospice/palliative care since 1988. She has a PhD, her research concerned with users’ experience of day hospice. More recently she has developed a research interest around public health and end of life care. She currently serves as an honorary professor in palliative care at Lancaster University.

Kim Steel

Dr. Kim Steel is a Consultant in Palliative Medicine in NHS Fife. She is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of St Andrews, teaching on both the BSC and ScotGEM courses. She graduated from the University of Dundee and completed training in Palliative Medicine in Manchester. She has a Masters in the Ethics of Cancer and Palliative Care from the University of Keele. Her professional interests include palliative care in the acute setting and interprofessional education. Kim was awarded a Scottish Deans Award for services to Undergraduate Medical Education in 2018. She is the lead tutor for EC4H in NHS Fife.


Tony Walter

Tony Walter is a sociologist who writes, lectures and consults on death and society, and Emeritus Professor at the University of Bath’s Centre for Death & Society. His death-related research has included end of life care, social networks and care, funeral practice, bereavement, spiritualism, belief in reincarnation, the idea that the dead become angels, mass media and social media, pilgrimage, and the use of human remains in exhibitions. His books include ‘Funerals – and how to improve them’ (Hodder 1990), ‘The Revival of Death’ (Routledge 1994), ‘On Bereavement’ (Open University Press 1999), and most recently ‘What Death Means Now’ (Policy Press 2017). He is currently writing a book on relationships between the living and the dead in the 21st century.

Michael West

Professor Michael West is Senior Visiting Fellow at the King’s Fund, London and Professor of Organizational Psychology at Lancaster University Management School. He is Visiting Professor at University College, Dublin and Emeritus Professor at Aston University where he was formerly Executive Dean of Aston Business School.

He graduated from the University of Wales in 1973 and received his PhD in 1977. He has authored, edited or co-edited 20 books and has published over 200 articles for scientific and practitioner publications, as well as chapters in scholarly books. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, the American Psychological Association (APA), the APA Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology, the International Association of Applied Psychologists, the British Academy of Management, the Academy of Social Sciences and a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. The focus of his research over 30 years has been culture and leadership in organisations, team and organizational innovation and effectiveness, particularly in relation to the organization of health services. He provides regular policy advice to many UK National Health Service organisations. He led the Department of Health Policy Research Programme into cultures of quality and safety in the NHS in England from 2009 t0 2013. He also led the NHS National Staff Survey development and implementation for eight years and has built a large evidence base. He assisted Health Education England and NHS Improvement in developing the national framework on improvement and leadership development in England (Developing People, Improving Care - 2016) and the Department of Health in Northern Ireland in developing the Collective Leadership Strategy for Health and Social Care (2017). He also provided substantial input to the development of NHS England’s culture and collective leadership programme, now being employed by many health care organisations nationally and internationally. He lectures widely about compassionate leadership for health services and the results of his research and solutions for developing effective and innovative health care organizations. He is currently chairing an inquiry on behalf of the United Kingdom General Medical Council into the mental health and well-being of doctors.

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