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Consent task and finish group

The list below shows the members’ full names and biographies. These members were selected to represent a range of perspectives and they include legal, medical, health and social care experts as well as patients and carers.

Professor Deborah Bowman – Chair

Professor of Bioethics and Clinical Ethics and Deputy Principal (Institutional Affairs) at St. George's, University of London

Deborah’s academic interests concern the role of emotion in ethical decision-making, moral distress, public involvement in ethical debate and therapeutic relationships.

She has written and published extensively, both in the academic and popular press. Deborah is a regular commentator in the media, including as a programme consultant to, and regular panellist on, BBC Radio 4’s series Inside the Ethics Committee. Most recently she developed and presents Test Case in which she explores the ethico-legal stories that changed clinical practice.

In 2016, Deborah was awarded the MBE for Services to Medical Ethics.

Deborah’s interest in consent, both in relation to theory and practice, is longstanding. With clinical colleagues, she co-authored a book on consent for Cambridge University Press and she has often written and spoken about the subject throughout her career.

Professor Felicity Astin

Professor of Nursing at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust and the University of Huddersfield

Felicity’s current role is to grow research capacity across the organisations she works for and support evidence-based practice. She maintains close links with NHS partners, patients and carers with the shared goal of translating research into practice to improve NHS services.

In her role as Chief Investigator she led a programme of research, funded by the National Institute for Health Research, about how to optimise the informed consent process for patients undergoing coronary angioplasty. The findings have shed light on both patients’ and health professionals’ attitudes and beliefs about informed consent, providing valuable information to inform the revision of current GMC guidance.

Felicity has also worked as a clinical nurse specialist, researcher and lecturer in the UK and Australia during her career.

Professor Alison Britton

Professor of Healthcare and Medical Law at Glasgow Caledonian University

Alongside her role as a professor, Alison is Convener of the Health and Medical Law Reform Committee and Member of a Public Policy Committee at the Law Society of Scotland. Formerly, she was a member of the Scottish Government Steering Group on new Psychoactive Substances and on the Scottish Medicines Consortium Task and Finish Group which worked on the assessment of medicines for very rare conditions at the end of life.

Alison’s academic and professional interests lie in public healthcare and policy, clinical negligence, mental health law and professional ethics. More recently, her role has focused upon the practical application and the role of law in matters of public health.

She was the Legal adviser to the Health Committee of the Scottish Parliament for the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007.

Dr Adi Cooper

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services

Adi has spent over 20 years in local government as a social worker, manager and Executive Director. She has spent two years as an independent consultant specialising in adult social care and safeguarding.

Adi also holds a number of other roles: Adult Safeguarding Network Co-Chair; Consultant on Adult Social Care and Safeguarding; and Care and Health Improvement Advisor for the Local Government Association (London region and Safeguarding lead). She also chairs two Safeguarding Adults Boards.

Mr Wayne Crocker

Director of Mencap Cymru

Wayne has worked in the third sector for over 25 years, working in a higher education charity and with people with a learning disability since 1994. Wayne has led on a number of key health initiatives in Wales including the introduction of Annual Health Checks for people with a learning disability and more recently the introduction of Learning Disability Care Pathways in acute hospital settings.

Wayne sits as a magistrate on the Gwent bench and has a particular interest in how issues relating to people with a learning disability or mental health issues are dealt with in the criminal justice system. He is a former chair of Dolen Cymru (the Wales Lesotho development charity) and a trustee or advisory panel member of a number of Welsh organisations.

Professor Julian Hughes

RICE Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at the University of Bristol

Julian is the RICE (The Research Institute for the Care of Older People) Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at the University of Bristol. He was previously Honorary Professor of Philosophy of Ageing in Newcastle and is trained in philosophy and medicine.

Julian has published widely in the area of philosophy and ethics in relation to dementia and ageing. He has led nationally funded research in connection with the Mental Capacity Act. Julian is the Deputy Chair of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.

Dr Vinnie Nambisan

Consultant in Palliative Medicine at North Middlesex University Hospital
Consultant in Palliative Medicine, Clinical Lead for End of Life Care and Responsible Officer (Interim) at The London Clinic

Vinnie is a Consultant in Palliative Medicine in the NHS and in the independent sector. His clinical work covers hospital and community settings, although he was previously a consultant in a hospice for five years. He has a longstanding interest in medical ethics and law, and teaches as a tutor in medical ethics and law at undergraduate and postgraduate level, through affiliation with University College London, and through his clinical roles.

Vinnie has been a tribunalist with the MPTS for five years, four of which have been spent on Interim Orders Tribunals. He has been a CQC Specialist Advisor for end of life care on an ad hoc basis for 18 months, joining inspections to advise on end of life care. He is also a GMC Associate and will be starting work as a GMC Case Examiner in August.

Mr Terry O’Kelly

Consultant Colorectal and General Surgeon at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and Senior Medical Officer for the Scottish Government

Terry is a consultant in a busy university teaching hospital. He has an interest and experience in safety, quality and governance. He was appointed after clinical training in both England and Scotland, and academic training in Oxford and University of Nevada.

Terry is active in elective (mainly colorectal cancer) and emergency (general) surgery. He teaches medical students and trains core and speciality trainees. He was previously Programme Director and then Chair of a regional training programme. Formerly, he was a medical manager with sector and Health Board responsibilities. He joined the Scottish government and has a variety of interests and responsibilities including surgery, medical devices, patient experience and consent.

Dr Toby Reynolds

Anaesthetic registrar (ST5) NE Thames rotation

Toby was formerly the National Medical Director's Clinical Fellow at the GMC where he worked on standards and ethics projects including the duty of candour guidance. He is a member of the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland's working group on "The Good Anaesthetist" which aims to translate Good medical practice into specialty-specific advice. Before medicine, he was a foreign correspondent in Africa.

Mr Alan G Richardson

Lay member, dementia friends champion and local volunteer representative with Alzheimer’s Society

Alan was a carer for his late mother who lived with dementia for nearly 15 years. The positive help he received from all involved in her health and social care made him want to volunteer and understand more about how the partners in care worked together, and make more people aware of what help is available.

In addition to other roles, he is currently a Join Dementia Research Champion and a GP practice patient participation group member. Formerly, Alan volunteered with a carers’ organisation and a primary care trust.

Mr Steve Tupper

Lay member

Steve is a former carer, Head of Health and Safety for a large IT company (including a period in Bangalore, India) and Chair of Hospital Patient Council. Because of his experiences with health and social care in his private life (including as a carer for his wife in Wales and England), he is very keen to ensure that any documents produced are unambiguous and easy to understand by people within the medical profession and the general public.