Management of the Fellowship

The Fellowship is run by members who hold elected Council positions

Gillian Prager (née Biggs)

(President) (retiring in 2021)

Gillian Prager trained as a registered nurse at St Thomas’ Hospital in London, following teaching for VSO in the South Pacific, which influenced her decision to become a nurse. Following a career in haematology and cardiology Gill specialised in interventional radiology in the 1980s, as a sister at St Thomas’ Hospital, co-founding a Specialist Nurse group at the RCN. Gill had worked as a sister at King Edward V11 Hospital for Officers in London during which time she toured with the European Community Youth Orchestra as a clinician and chaperone! She moved into the commercial sector as Manager for an American Radiology company before taking time out to get married and raise her family.

During this time, she volunteered with local charitable and support organisations; notably as the first regional coordinator in Hertfordshire for Breakthrough Breast Cancer. She returned to the NHS in 1995 working in Health Authorities and PCTs until her retirement in November 2011. Gill worked at Board director level for the last nine years of her career, with a special interest in corporate governance and partnership working; this included representing the NHS Confederation on the national Home Office Crime and Disorder Partnership Board. Gill remained dedicated to maintaining the highest possible standards of nursing care in all her NHS roles, and on retirement spent two years as the non-executive Board Nurse for Corby Clinical Commissioning Group

Gillian trained and works as an Executive Coach, particularly supporting clinicians in top management roles, and also finds time to walk her dogs and support local charities. She was a patron of the Cavell Nurses’ Trust from 2015 to 2018 and recently was installed as a Foundation Freeman of the Guild of Nurses. She is particularly honoured to be leading the Nightingale Fellowship during a time of change, renewal and the bi-centenary celebrations, for the birth of Florence Nightingale, in 2020.


Christine Taylor (née Watson-Jones) (Honorary Secretary)            (retiring in 2022) 

Christine Taylor did her general and intensive care training at St Thomas’ and worked as a Charge Nurse on Cheselden Ward. She trained as a midwife in Gloucester and returned to London to take up Ward Sister positions in a number of London teaching hospitals. Christine has experience in commissioning services and hospitals, setting and monitoring quality standards and managing in a variety of NHS settings as well as Local Government. She has an MSc in Clinical Nursing and a Doctorate in Business Administration. Her DBA explored the development of reflective practitioners within professional doctoral programmes.

Christine is married with two children. She currently works as a Registrar for Births Deaths and Marriages and provides voluntary assistance to the Derby Diocese; supporting mission action planning as a facilitator and minister development as an independent reviewer.

Shona Cornthwaite (née Morrison) 

(Honorary Secretary) (retiring in 2021)

 Shona was awarded her Nightingale badge in 1981 and has spent the majority of her career in community child health, with an emphasis on the promotion of health and prevention of ill health. On leaving St Thomas’ Hospital she trained to become a Registered Sick Children’s Nurse at Guy’s, after which she travelled to Australia where she worked in a Special Care Baby Unit in Melbourne. On returning to the UK she undertook her Post Graduate Diploma in Health Visiting at London South Bank University and initially practiced in the Clapham and Streatham areas of Lambeth. Thereafter she has worked within a number of locations with different challenging communities. Alongside this she has completed a BSc in Social Policy and Administration at the LSE and a MA in Health Service Management. Following a brief spell as a lecturer she returned to clinical practice and in the latter part of her career has worked as a Designated Nurse for Looked After Children within a large Safeguarding Team, as well as within a Family Nurse Practitioner team supporting pregnant teenagers. I am married to Peter and our two children are now adult living away from home, giving me more time to enjoy my hobbies of walking, tennis and my garden.


Maddie Blackburn

Maddie retired as Director of Care Development at Together for Short Lives, the national children’s and young people’s palliative care charity in July 2012. She has recently completed her doctorate at the Open University, undertaking research into the Sexuality, relationships and reproductive choices of young adults with life-limiting and or life-threatening conditions. Maddie is married, has two adult children, three grandchildren and a Siamese cat. With her husband, she regularly conducts guided tours of Embassy Court in Brighton, a grade two modernist building, designed by Wells Coates, Engineer.

Hilary Brian (née Wilson)  

After leaving St Thomas’ in 1977 Hilary moved home many times with her RAF doctor husband. She has carried out a variety of different roles including Director of Care Services at a Foundation for young physically disabled people; Chair of Trustees for an MS charity and vice-Chair of Governors at a public school. Her final working role was as a specialist in clinical IT systems.  She is a keen member of Rotary with whom she has worked in India and Africa on various health programmes. 

Sarah-Jo Davies (née Hill)

Formerly a School Nurse, Sarah-Jo works for a Children’s Charity supporting families with their various parenting issues including separation.  She has been part of the management team of a Children & Family Centre, worked for the Youth Offending Service and worked in Governance and Quality at a BUPA hospital.  A long standing Secondary School Governor/Chair of Governors, she is a Freeman of the City of London belonging to both an ancient Livery Company and the modern Guild of Nurses.

Pauleene Hammett (née Brown)

Pauleene Hammett trained as a nurse and a midwife at St Thomas’ and began teaching Midwifery in 1977.  For the last 10 years I was Head of Midwifery education at King’s College London until retiring in 2007. Throughout my career I was fortunate to maintain close links with St Thomas’ through placing and supporting midwifery students and working closely with clinical staff to develop relevant curricula at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. I was sadly widowed in 2010 and 4 years ago I trained as a Pastoral Assistant and find this part of my life very fulfilling. It gives me the privilege of walking alongside others when they are going through difficult times. I have 2 adult sons who are both married and I am now a very proud Grandma. I love spending time with family and friends and travel whenever possible.

Helen Sanders (née Morris)

Following a diverse nursing career working in the NHS, the private sector and a short career commission in the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service, Helen currently works part time (having semi-retired) as a Staff Nurse in a very well equipped small community hospital. Her primary role is that of a theatre nurse but she also covers Ophthalmology Outpatients.  Helen has found it very rewarding to know that patients receive high quality holistic care in a hospital setting close to where they live.  

Helen is married with two adult sons and lives in Mid Wales. Since retiring she has more time for her family, garden, singing and learning Italian! Helen is a member of Council and also serves on the Benevolent Fund Advisory Committee.

Elizabeth Wiacek (née Elsom)

After qualifying in 1990 and completing the post reg staff nurse period at St. Thomas’, Liz spent some time working in France as a nurse.  She then went to Edinburgh and trained as a midwife.  After getting married and returning to the south, Liz worked for several years first in urology and then district nursing.  She now works for the Open University as a lecturer and Practice Tutor, working closely with pre-registration student nurses.  She feels privileged to be able to combine her love of nursing with her love of teaching.

Liz has three grown up children and has recently relocated to Devon with her husband.  In her spare time, Liz runs, swims and walks her dog.

Non-elected, paid management personnel


Fiona Geiger (née Roddan) (Editor)

Listing to be found under Vice Presidents below

Patsy Dale (Sub Editor)

Patsy assists Fiona Geiger the Editor in producing the Nightingale Fellowship Journals twice a year.

The Trust Partnership

Mia Duddridge (Clerk to the Trustees/Administrator)

Mia and the team are the administrators who handle all the daily enquiries for the Fellowship and its’ members from their offices in Tetbury, Gloucestershire.

Conferred Honours


Elizabeth Jenkins FRCN (née Winder)

Liz completed her 4th year, and got her Nightingale badge in 1965, and went to Guy’s to work in the renal unit as sister and nursing officer until 1984. 

In 1986 she was appointed Director of Nursing at St Thomas’, and the following year became the hospital first Unit General Manager. She finished her nursing career as Assistant General Secretary at The Royal College of Nursing.

In 1986 Liz was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal College of Nursing.

Sue Sheridan, OBE (née Norman)

Sue Sheridan retired as Chief Executive of the UKCC (now NMC) in 2002 since when she has been President of National Association of Theatre Nurses (now AfPP), a Trustee of Burdett Trust for Nursing and chaired a supported housing charity. She recently stood down as Chair of the Florence Nightingale Museum Trust Board and having enjoyed nine years as President of the Fellowship is now focussing on a different set of interests.

Sue was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2014, as President of the Nightingale Fellowship, for her Services to Nursing.

Natalie Tiddy

Past Chief Nurse to West Lambeth Health Authority and past President of the Nightingale Fellowship.


(past council members who have held honorary office with outstanding contribution)

Sir Jonathan Asbridge

Past President of the Nursing and Midwifery Council and Government ‘Patients Champion’ for A&E services. Now Director of Clinicenta.

Elizabeth Browse MBE

Having been Sister on Alexandra & Page wards since 1976, and although she officially retired in 2010, she is very much enjoying being back working part-time with the colorectal cancer nurse specialist team at St Thomas’.

Fiona Geiger 

Fiona Geiger is currently working as a Matron in the Division of Surgery at Manchester Royal Infirmary. She was a Ward Sister on Wardroper Ward at St Thomas’ Hospital from 1986 – 1991. She is married to Philip and has two teenage boys – Richard and Matthew.

Jo Jacques

After leaving St Thomas’, Jo Jacques worked in Germany with the British Army and then in Guildford on the district and as an agency nurse.

She subsequently moved into chaplaincy initially in mental health and general hospital chaplaincy, then in prisons and finally, in a school for boys with specific learning difficulties. Having recently retired after twenty years in chaplaincy, she is combining her duties as a Trustee of The Nightingale Fellowship and a Foundation Governor of a school for children with complex learning and behavioural issues.
She has an MA in Pastoral Studies, and gained a further MA in Contemporary Ethics in 2015 with a dissertation on the ethics of being retired. She is married with three adult children and three grandchildren.

Katie Scales

Katie was awarded her Nightingale badge in 1982 and enjoyed a successful and rewarding career in critical care nursing and education. Having completed her neonatal ITU course at UCH and her adult ITU course at St Thomas’ she joined the Nightingale School as Clinical Teacher for the ITU course on Mead Ward and later worked as a lecturer in intensive care nursing and physiology at the Nightingale Institute. In 2000 Katie became one of the first Consultant Nurses in the UK when she was appointed Consultant Nurse in Critical Care at Charing Cross Hospital and later at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, a role she held until her retirement in 2016. Katie worked for many years as a member of the medical team for Chain of Hope, a children’s charity providing cardiac surgery and interventional cardiology in developing countries. Katie was a founding board member of NIVAS and provides expert advice on infusion therapy to the MHRA. Katie is widely published and works as an expert witness for IV therapy and critical care, she is also a member of the Advisory Board for RCNi and Nursing Standard magazine. Katie was elected to the Council of the Nightingale Fellowship in 2006 and was Honorary Secretary to the Fellowship from 2012 – 2015.

Elizabeth Stevens

Past Director of Nursing at St Thomas’ Hospital and Poole Hospital NHS Trust.

Roisin Tierney, MVO

Past Nursing Officer of Mead (ITU) and Phipps Respiratory Unit at St Thomas’ Hospital, followed by a Senior Nurse post at Guys and employment in the Royal Household at St James’s Palace. Honorary Treasurer of the Fellowship for 13 years until 2008.  Roisin worked at St Thomas’ from 1960 – 1983 and also for many years in the Nightingale Office at St Thomas’ until retiring in 2009.  Roisin is now happily and busily retired from ‘active service’ at St Thomas’ Hospital and the Royal Household.  Her involvement with St Thomas’ continues, although rather on the periphery.

Ros Villiers-Boddington (née Plant)

Ros worked in the NHS as a Clinical Teacher and Tutor in the Nightingale School, followed by roles in staff, team and leadership development in large Acute Trusts and at Regional and National level. Her last post was Associate Director of the National Clinical Governance Support Team. She was Honorary Treasurer of the Fellowship from 2008 – 2014. Ros now undertakes part time consulting work in the field of personal and team development and is a volunteer speaker for Dogs for the Disabled.


David Green

Director, Florence Nightingale Museum

The Reverend Mia Hilborn

Head of Spiritual Care, Guy’s & St Thomas’

Professor Helen McCutcheon

Head of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work.  University of Queensland Australia
Past Dean of the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery at King’s College London

Helen McCutcheon is currently working at the School of Nursing, Midwifery & Social Work, at the University of Queensland, Australia.

Professor Ian Norman FRCN

Executive Dean, King’s College London

Dame Eileen Sills, DBE

Chief Nurse & Deputy Chief Executive, Guy’s & St Thomas’

Eileen Sills trained in Stockport and qualified as a registered nurse in 1983, she held a number of post registration positions within both general and Accident & Emergency Medicine, before moving to London in 1985 where she took up her first senior position as a Sister in a busy Accident & Emergency department at North Middlesex Hospital. After 3 years she took up a position as a Clinical Tutor for the ENB Accident & Emergency Course but after 18 months took the decision to return to clinical practice.