This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
The Prime Minister today issued a call to action for frontline nurses across the country to search out best practice and share it across the NHS.
Speaking at the first meeting of the Nursing and Care Quality Forum, the Prime Minister and Health Secretary Andrew Lansley outlined the push to free up nurses to provide the care patients and relatives expect. A range of measures were discussed by the forum, including:
Hourly nursing rounds to ensure patients are checked on regularly and know when to expect a nurse; A patient feedback challenge backed by a £1 million fund, where nurses and doctors can submit ideas on how best to use patient feedback. The best will be selected and shared; Promoting leadership to make sure there is an authority figure for nurses and patients to put their trust in.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said:
“I have seen many examples of excellent nursing leadership across the NHS. Nurses have told me that they want time to care for their patients and that strong leadership is key to making sure that standards for patients are high.
“These initiatives will strengthen the focus on leadership and openness about the quality of care. Our ambition is to provide excellent care everywhere. This new independent body of nursing and care experts will enable us to achieve best practice across nursing services.”
Measures such as hourly nursing rounds, which the Prime Minister announced as a nationwide priority in January, have led to big improvements in patient satisfaction and levels of care.
Acting on patient feedback will also be a priority for the forum and the Patient Feedback Challenge invites nurses and other healthcare staff to look at feedback from patients and work out where it can be used to make lasting improvements in their wards. Supported by a £1 million fund, the challenge was backed today by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.
Members of the Forum include top nursing figures and leading nurses who continue to work in the community and in hospitals providing care for patients.
The Forum will start their search by focusing on four main themes to ensure patients are getting regular top quality care from nurses. The main areas the Forum will focus on are how:
to promote accountable nurse leaders across the NHS. to encourage the right culture and the right values to involve, listen to, hear and respond to feedback from patients to make sure that nurses have the time to give high-quality care to patients
Chair of the Nursing and Care Quality Forum Sally Brearley said:
“We want best practice to be common practice. The Forum’s mission is to identify and spread best practice to help all nurses deliver compassionate, dignified, respectful and safe care. We want nurses to feel confident and proud to give top quality care to everyone, and to have the support they need to do this every time and everywhere.”
Other key members of the forum include:
Professor Tricia Hart, Director of Nursing and Patient Safety at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, will lead on encouraging the right values and culture; Janice Stevens, an independent healthcare consultant, will lead on promoting accountable nurse leaders; Elaine Inglesby, Director of Nursing, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, will lead on ensuring nurses have enough time to give quality care; Dr Ruth May, Nurse Director for the NHS Midlands and East SHA Cluster, will lead on patient feedback
Commenting on the Patient Feedback Challenge, Andrew Lansley added:
“Patients tell us that their experience of NHS care matters just as much as the clinical results they see. There are many great examples of how we collect patient comments, but there is little point if the information is not acted upon to make real changes for patients.
“Whilst there are some organisations making real strides to improve experiences for patients, I want to see change rolled out at scale in all areas of the NHS, and that is why we have created a £1 million fund to make these initiatives a reality across the NHS.”
Notes to Editors
Sally trained initially as a physiotherapist in Manchester. In 1988, she completed a degree in Nursing Studies at King’s College London. However, for many years Sally has been mainly involved in patient representation, including membership of Community Health Councils, Patient and Public Involvement Forums and Local Involvement Networks (LINks). She has been a member of the NHS Constitutional Advisory Forum, the Organ Donation Taskforce and the NHS Future Forum. Currently Sally holds visiting fellowships in patient and public involvement at the National Nursing Research Unit, King’s College London, and the Faculty of Health and Social Care Sciences, Kingston University and St George’sUniversityofLondon. She is also a lay member on the National Quality Board.
WORKSTREAM LEAD – Empowered and accountable nurse leadership
Professor Janice Stevens CBE. MA. RGN.
Janice has an extensive NHS career that has established an innovative and inspirational approach, which has transformed nursing care, clinical outcomes and patient experience at both national and local levels of the NHS. Janice has worked at the highest level in policy development, reporting directly to the Chief Nursing Officer for six years and has a track record of exceeding delivery expectations, demonstrating an ability to deliver large scale complex sustainable change.
Janice is a professionally qualified, academically credible national director and previous trust executive nurse director with extensive experience in health service strategy, delivery and leadership. She has successfully designed and implemented three high profile operating framework requirements reducing MRSA by 80% and C.difficle by 60%. She also led the coalition commitment to eliminate mixed-sex accommodation, all of which had a direct impact on improving patient dignity comfort and safety.
Since leaving the Department of Health, Janice has continued to work independently with nurses, doctors, managers and Board members in over 20 Trusts. This work has included providing advice and coaching to front line nurses, undertaking a range of assignments including working in SHA London as a programme director, undertaking independent reviews at Trusts following adverse CQC inspections on aspects of quality safety, dignity and nutrition and working with red-brick university to advise on future nurse education strategy.
WORKSTREAM LEAD – Right culture and right values
Professor Tricia Hart, MA, MHSM, DipHSM, RGN, RM, RHV, CPT, FPCert
Tricia joined South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in April 2005 and is the Deputy CEO/Director of Nursing and Patient Safety (DIPC).
Jointly with the Medical Director, Tricia is responsible for Governance and Assurance across the Trust. As the DIPC, she has a lead role in ensuring the Trust continues with its zero tolerance culture around healthcare acquired infections.
Tricia was the expert nurse panel member in the Independent Inquiry into care provided by Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust and is now advising the Public Inquiry.
WORKSTREAM LEAD – Involve, listen to, hear
Dr Ruth May
Ruth May was appointed as Nurse Director for the NHS Midlands and East SHA Cluster in September 2011 following two years as Chief Nurse at NHS East of England. She provides strategic leadership for nurses, midwives, allied health professionals and healthcare scientists across the region. Her new role includes executive lead for the quality agenda across the new SHA Cluster.
Ruth has a theatre nursing background and more than 20 years experience of working in the NHS. During her career, she has held several high profile NHS management roles. From September 2007, Ruth was Chief Executive of Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust, where she was instrumental in turning round the Trust’s financial performance and achieving an ‘excellent’ rating for quality of services from the Healthcare Commission. Prior to this Ruth was Chief Executive at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Trust for two years. She played a pivotal part in turning round the organisation’s clinical and financial performance and greatly improved its reputation.
WORKSTREAM LEAD – Time to care
Elaine Inglesby joined the Salford Royal Foundation Trust in April 2004 and is currently their Director of Nursing.
Elaine has held Executive Nurse Director positions since 1996 in both specialist and large acute Trusts. She qualified as a Registered nurse in 1980 atWarringtonDistrictGeneralHospitaland specialised in critical care and general medicine. She has held various clinical positions at ward level and nurse specialist.
Educated to postgraduate degree level Elaine maintains her professional/clinical development through regular clinical shifts and executive safety shifts with frontline staff. She is a Florence Nightingale leadership Scholar and took the opportunity to undertake a women’s leadership programme for global executives at Harvard University as well as the Executive Quality Academy at the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, Boston. She has a strong track record in professional nursing and operational management.
Elaine is Executive lead for Nursing, Governance, Patient safety and Quality Improvement. She was instrumental in establishing a Nursing Assessment and Accreditation System withinSalford, which has enabled improvement in care given to patients, empowerment to frontline nursing staff and autonomy to ward sisters. She is currently involved in ongoing improvement work in particular the reduction of avoidable deaths, harm to hospital inpatients and patient experience.
Professor Jessica Corner
Jessica will play a particular cross cutting role across all four workstreams in the forum to make sure that they consider the knowledge, skills and educational needs of staff.
Jessica is Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and has over 25 years of experience in higher education. Among the first groups of students to graduate with a degree in Nursing from London University, she went on to specialise in Cancer Nursing at theRoyalMarsdenHospital. She gained her PhD in 1990 from Kings College London. She was Director of the Centre of Cancer and Palliative care Studies and Deputy Dean (Nursing) at theInstitute of Cancer Research at the Royal Marsden Hospitalfor 12 years and was the first nurse to be appointed to a Chair at the Institute. She joined theUniversity of Southampton in 2002. Throughout her career, she has a wide range of research interests focussed on improving the care and support for people with Cancer combining academic, clinical work and research. In 2005, she was seconded to Macmillan Cancer Support to work as Director of Improving Cancer Services returning to Southampton University in 2008. She continues to advise Macmillan Cancer support as the charity’s Chief Clinician.
She is co-chair of the Department of Health Cancer Patient Experience Advisory Group with Professor Sir Mike Richards, National Cancer Director. She is also Vice Chair of the Council of Deans for Health.
Sharon will play a particular role across all four workstreams in the forum to ensure that they consider all care settings.
Sharon Blackburn RGN RMN is the Policy and Communications Director for the National Care Forum. Until April 2009, she was the Managing Director for Heart of England Housing and Care Ltd. She has particular skills in the areas of the management of change and of Health and Social Care Policy.Sharonis passionate about quality, people and their potential. Until March 2002,Sharonwas the Chair of the RCN Mental Health and Older People Forum. She was the professional consultant to the Residential Forum, which the Department of Health commissioned to review Registered Nursing staffing levels in Care Homes. In 2003,Sharonwas the winner of the Nursing Standard Nurse Leadership award. Sharonis National Advisor to National Council for Palliative Care on Older People. Sharon sits on a number of national committees and forums. She is Chair of the DH-Chief Nursing Officer/Independent Sector Advisory Forum; a member of the Residential Forum and on the England Advisory Group for My Home Life; one of three chairs of the Dementia Action Alliance and a Board Member of European Association of Homes and Services for the Ageing (EAHSA). She is also a fellow of the RSA.
Trudie is a Unison Representative, Staffside Chair and Assistant Practitioner employed by Northern Devon Healthcare Trust. Trudie predominantly works in the Exeter, Eastern and Mid Devon area covering 12 Community hospitals and community services with around 4000 staff. She has been a Healthcare Assistant for over 25 years working in a local community hospital on a general medical ward nursing mainly the elderly. In 2006, she took the opportunity to undertake the two year training to become an Assistant Practitioner specialising in general medical care and rehabilitation. Trudie has been a Unison representative for over 10 years and represents the South West on Unison’s National Health Service Group Executive and National Nursing Sector. Trudie feels she can bring to the group examples of excellent nursing and quality care that have been achieved in the South West with an expectation that this will become common practice throughout the country.
Jo Coombs is Director of Quality and Nursing at NHS Airedale, Bradford and Leeds(Cluster PCT). Jo has been a Director of Nursing for over 8 years, predominantly working in a commissioning role. In October 2011, Jo became the PCT cluster director of Quality and Nursing with overall responsibility for securing high quality safe services across all commissioned services in Airedale, Bradford and Leeds. Her responsibilities include quality standards and compliance, patient safety, Healthcare Associated Infections, safeguarding children and vulnerable groups and patient experience.
Jo has been a nurse advisor for the Department of Health in the past and was a member of the Chief Nursing Officer’s working group on nursing in commissioning roles. She is a keen advocate for meaningful clinical engagement and improving the patient’s experience of care.
Janet Davies has been an Executive Director of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) since September 2005 and has the strategic lead for nursing and service delivery to its members.
She leads the Nursing, Learning & Development, Employment Relations, Policy & International, Members Support Services and RCN Direct departments. In addition, Janet is also chair of the Management Board of the National Clinical Guidance Centre of NICE and chair of HQIP (Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership). She is also an Executive member of the European Federation of Public Service Unions.
Before joining the RCN, she had a long career as a Nurse within the NHS. She was Director of Nursing inWest LancashireandLiverpooland Chief Executive of Mersey Regional Ambulance Service.
Catherine Gamble, Mental Health Consultant Nurse works for South West London and St Georges Mental Health NHS Trust. Her knowledge of, and clinical expertise in family work for Psychosis has resulted in her being asked to disseminate the approach in this country and abroad. Catherine has published widely, was Royal College of Nursing’s Mental Health Nurse of 2008 and is the first editor of Working with Serious Mental Illness: a manual for clinical practice (2006) Elsevier: London.
Annette Hall BSc DipN RN
Annette is a Senior Ward Sister at Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
On completing her Diploma in Nursing in August 2002 at theUniversity of Nottingham, Annette participated in the first surgical rotation at the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary (DRI) for her initial year as a Registered Nurse and experienced many surgical specialities. Annette then worked as a Senior Nurse for four years on the Surgical Assessment Unit at DRI. After a year working for the NHS National Blood Service collection team inOxford, she joined Milton KeynesHospital in August 2008 as a Sister on the Colorectal / General Surgical Ward, before becoming the Ward Sister in December 2009. Annette completed her BSc in Health Care Studies in August 2010. She is also a member of the Royal College of Nursing.
Annette is very committed to providing excellent patient care within a busy surgical inpatient area. Annette believes that her role and experience as a Senior Ward Sister is key to achieving this through leading and empowering the clinical team and through listening to and acting on the needs of patients.
Linda started her career as a registered nurse in 1987 working in Accident and Emergency and later in geriatric medicine before embarking in 1992 on an academic career in research at Hammersmith hospital – Imperial College NHS Trust. Linda then moved into the quality field in 2002, notably introducing outcome based frameworks and evidenced based quality standards into community based support services across social care and third sector organisations. In 2007, she moved to work with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, working with a dedicated team aiming to build research capacity and knowledge among practice pharmacists. In 2010, Linda joined the Society as Head of Quality and Evaluation and has been working to introduce and imbed quality standards across the Society’s core services.
Vicki Leah has been a consultant nurse for the past 8 years. She is currently working at University College Hospital London where her clinical work centres on improving the experience of older people admitted through the emergency department, with a special interest in dementia. She is qualified in physical assessment skills and independent prescribing, and is a qualified dementia trainer. Service development work includes improving the surgical pathway, person-centred care and continuity of care.
Vicki joined the NHS London Dementia Prescribing and Care Programme on a part-time secondment with the aim to reduce the inappropriate prescribing of antipsychotic drugs to people with dementia, through improving quality of care.
She has published a number of papers including improving the experience of older people admitted acutely to hospital, and is an honorary lecture at City University.
Katherine is Chief Executive of The Patients Association. She joined The Patients Association in 2003 as Head of Communications having come from a background in Nursing. She was appointed the Chief Executive in 2008. As Chief Executive, Katherine has been at the forefront of most of the recent campaigns at The Patients Association, and has initiated a number of other high profile initiatives that have featured largely in the media including:
The Care Campaign
- Patient Stories
- Dignity and Compassion
Katherine is a dedicated and tireless campaigner with a very strong interest in the rights and responsibilities of the patient and a true patient advocate. She is passionate about making sure the patient’s voice is central to every decision and that the patient voice is heard and translated into genuine quality improvement for all. The co-creation of policy and partnership decision making must be present in all health and social care encounters.
Katherine continues to set the strategic direction of the Patients Association. During her time with the organization, Katherine has worked with the Department of Health, National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA), Care Quality Commission, Cabinet office, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), Royal College of Nursing, Nursing and Midwifery Council and all the of Medical Royal Colleges and other health and social care regulators.
Katherine sits on many Committees and Boards always representing the views of the patient and making sure the rhetoric from politicians is translated into reality for patients and the public.
For the past 18 months, Katherine has dedicated her time and energy working in partnership with many NHS Directors of Patient Experience, cascading good practice through joint conferences on the patient journey in the hope that this will translate to good patient experience and outcomes.
In 2011, Katherine was nominated by the London Evening Standard as one of the capital’s 1000 most influential people.
Jayne Parker MBCS CITP
Jayne is a third year adult branch student at theUniversityofBrighton, qualifying in September 2012. Before starting her nursing course, she had worked as a Chartered IT Professional writing industrial software and managing control systems projects. During her course, Jayne has represented students within the Royal College of Nursing at national level, campaigning for pre-registration nurse education and on issues of diversity and inclusivity.
Candice Pellett is a Case Manager District Nurse at Lincolnshire Community Health Services. In 1999, she obtained a double-award BSc in Community Health Nursing and Specialist Nurse Practitioner (District Nursing). In 2007, she was awarded the Queen’s Nurse Title in recognition of excellence in practice, and innovation and improvement in patient care. Candice works in clinical practice and was previously seconded to the Department of Health as Clinical Lead for Nursing on the Transforming Community Services Programme and to theUniversity of Nottinghamas a lecturer/practitioner. Currently, Candice sits on the Royal College of Nursing District Nursing Steering Committee and the National Inter-professional Dignity Group. Candice cares for people with long-term conditions and delivers palliative and end-of-life care in the community setting. She is passionate about patient dignity, particularly when caring for people at the end of their lives. She has presented nationally for the Department of Health and has published both on dignity and end-of-life care.
Rita Newland RGN,RM,RHV,DN, MSc, PGdip, BSc,
Rita Newland is director of Education at the Nursing and Midwifery Council and appreciates the importance of lifelong quality education and learning to registered nurses and midwives.
As a registered nurse and midwife, Rita’s professional career has also taken her into the fields of district nursing and health visiting. More recently, she has worked in higher education where she has contributed to the delivery of pre-registration nursing education and lead the development and delivery of education programs for those entering the fields of health visiting, district nursing and school nursing.
Rita has particular interest in the integration of theory and practice and in making learning accessible to practitioners in practice. Her roles since qualification have enabled her to progress this interest. She was a lecturer practitioner in a large Primary Care Trust in North East London and worked closely with practice teachers as a programme director to facilitate their contribution to curriculum development and the learning and assessment of learners in practice.
She is author of Record Keeping and Documentation, Principles into Practice and is a member of the author team for the E-Learning for Health Care Healthy Child Programme.
She is Honorary Senior Lecturer at City University London and a reviewer for Community Practitioner and Primary Care Research and Development.
Gill Duncan has been in post as Director of Hampshire County Council’s Adult Services since December 2008.
Prior to joining Hampshire County Council in 2004, Gill was a Primary Care Trust Chief Executive bringing with her over 10 years board level leadership and a clinical background in nursing and community services.
As the Director of Adult Services in Hampshire, Gill oversees around 4,000 staff commissioning and providing residential, day care and home care services to older people and people with disabilities and mental health problems. The County Council supports more than 90,000 adults and older people each year including support for over 6,000 living independently in their own homes.
Gill is leading the Department towards new ways of working embracing the challenges that Personalisation and Transforming Social Care will inevitably bring. This includes an ExtraCare housing strategy for Hampshire which is supported by a £45m capital investment programme to deliver housing, care and support solutions.
Kathryn qualified as a State Registered Nurse (SRN) in 1981 and continued to accumulate a wealth of general nursing experience until 1994 when she became a ‘General Practice nurse’. Kathryn says that during her career she has been fortunate to work with excellent teams and colleagues who have been and are conscientious, showing caring and compassion and who daily deliver quality care.
Kathryn has gained practical experience in chronic disease management as well as undertaking diplomas in Advanced COPD, Asthma, Diabetes, Cardiovascular disease and sexual health and reproduction. She is a specialist practitioner with a diploma in health education in community health and has had a role as a clinical placement supervisor for practice nurses.
Recently Kathryn has become a ‘Nurse representative for Pendle locality Clinical Commissioning Steering Group’ in East Lancashire, looking at pathways to maintain and improve care in Pendle and East Lancashire, engaging with nurses, primary care teams and patients, whilst focusing on the changes and opportunities ahead.
Kathryn is interested in motivational interviewing and use this and neuro-linguistic programming when seeing my patients in general practice. She is passionate about the delivery of good quality patient care and treats each patient with dignity and respect, as though they were a valued member of her own family. Kathryn thinks innovatively and wants to go that extra step towards ensuring that quality care is not only expected but given willingly.
Throughout her years of nursing Kathryn says that she has felt honoured and humbled that patients, their families and her working teams have trusted her and respected that she will care for each and every patient that she sees to the very best of her ability. Kathryn believes that Nurses should let their light shine and be proud to do so.
Lorna Catlin, DPSN, Bsc (Hons) Nursing, MSc Advanced Clinical Practice
Lorna Catlin is Matron for Acute and Specialist Medicine at Burton Hospitals NHS Trust. This role involves Leadership, support and delivery of high quality patient care to three acute medical wards, the Coronary Care Unit, the Medical Day Case Unit and Discharge Lounge.
Lorna has recently implemented ‘Tea with Matron’, which has yielded some extremely positive results capturing real time patient experience and enabling changes that directly impact on patient care. Lorna has also been instrumental in taking forward an ‘Ask me campaign’ where patients have been encouraged to ask staff about their care and management plan. This has resulted in excellent patient experience results within the Trust.
Lorna is extremely engaged in ensuring patients receive safe effective quality care which will result in their hospital stay being a positive experience.
Her background is in Emergency Care of which she has worked in a number of roles including emergency nurse practitioner, senior sister and matron within the Emergency Department. Lorna is a Trauma nurse instructor and the Non Medical Prescribing lead for the Trust. Over the last year, Lorna has led on the high impact action ‘Ready to Go – no delays’ which has involved equipping nurses with the skills and knowledge for complex patient discharge.
Other achievements include introducing LEAN working practice into the Emergency Department; introducing a system of initial assessment that improved patient flow and patient management; and involvement in peer reviews across the west midlands for emergency care. Lorna worked with other nearby Trusts and the University in order to develop a module in emergency care. She is also a visiting lecturer at a number of Universities across the midlands. Lorna has worked on a number of Trust projects including development and implementation of the Knowledge and Skills Framework.
Gill was appointed as Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Nursing and Performance at Wrightington,Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust in 2010. This followed her appointment as Director of Nursing and Patient Services and Director of Infection Prevention and Control (DIPC) in 2007. This very senior role means that she is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Trust as well as professional and strategic leadership for Quality.
In her current role, Gill provides strong professional leadership to the Trust’s nursing and midwifery workforce. She strives to ensure that patients receive the best and safest standards of care. She very much drives the adoption of NHS values throughout the Trust through her relentless promotion of compassion, dignity, respect and the delivery of improvements to our patients’ experience. Gill is also responsible for Operational Management, Quality and Safety, Engagement, Patient Relations, Resilience and Legal Services. Within the health economy Gill is the clinical lead for the multi-agency QIPP programme, which promotes self-care, community case management and admission avoidance.
Gill’s leadership role also extends to a number of regional commitments including the North West Director of Nursing Lead for Energise for Excellence. She is lead Executive Director for the Trust for theNorth West’s Advancing Quality Alliance (AQuA) and a member Director of its Board. Additionally Gill leads for the Trust in its participation in the North West Transparency Pilot and NHS Quest. Her active involvement in these initiatives clearly demonstrates her commitment to the highest standards of patient care, quality and safety.
EXPERT ADVISORS TO THE FORUM
Professor Jill Maben is Director of the National Nursing Research Unit, King’s College London. She is a registered nurse and recently experienced being part of the direct care nursing workforce again, working on an elderly care ward in an acute trust. Jill’s expertise lies in research in the healthcare and nursing workforce, particularly the quality of the work environment and nurses’ working lives and the effects of these on patient and staff outcomes and on the patient experience. Jill is an experienced researcher with 20 years experience, widely published and was lead author of Nurses in Society; Staring the debate (2008). She sits on national advisory committees supporting work on the healthcare workforce, role of the nurse and compassion and humanity in care.
Jill is expert advisor to the Nursing and Care quality Forum, representing the wide ranging expertise within the National Nursing Research Unit. Research includes national and international studies on workforce issues, improving care quality and measuring patient experience.
Professor David Oliver is the National Clinical Director for Older Peoples Services, seconded to the Older People and Dementia branch of the Social Care Division in the Department of Health (DH).
He was formerly a specialist clinical advisor to the DH (leading on falls and bone health services) and frequently advised governmental bodies before he became NCD. He combines this role with a very hands-on clinical job as a consultant physician in geriatric and general internal at the Royal Berkshire NHS foundation trust, where he has been since 2004 and was until recently a clinical director. This ensures he remains in touch with the realities of frontline practice and helps him to deliver his civil service role and retain clinical credibility.
From 1998-2004 he was a consultant and a clinical director at what is now South London NHS Trust. He is an active researcher, teacher and lecturer, with over 100 publications – on subjects such as falls and bone health, health services for older people, age discrimination and healthcare ethics and law and having been Senior Lecturer at the University of Reading until 2009 is now visiting professor of medicine for Older People at City University London. He is a former national secretary of the British Geriatrics Society and has frequently commented in the media on services for older people.
In addition to his initial medical degrees from Cambridge, he has a BA in Physiology (Oxford), research doctorate (MD) from the University of London, Masters Degrees respectively in Health Management (London), Health Leadership (Middlesex) and Health Care Ethics and Law (Manchester), and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal Society of Medicine. He works closely with other NCDs and across the DH and government in helping to secure better services for older people.