Management of the FellowshipThe 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 Treasurer) (retiring in 2022)
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.
COUNCIL MEMBERS, DIRECTORS AND TRUSTEES
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.
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.
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.
Georgina qualified as a Registered Nurse at St Thomas’ Hospital in 1974. She spent her earlier years working overseas starting in South Africa and later spent 14 years working in Australia where she worked predominantly in specialist care including spinal injuries and completed her Intensive Care Nursing Certificate Course. On her return to England Georgina finally moved into Occupational Health at the University of Bristol and graduated in 2001.
Georgina continues to work, predominantly from home, in Cornwall not far from the sea, where she spends time with her two cats. She maintains strong ties with Australia and brings her work experiences to contribute to the council.
Following her training at St Thomas’, Carolyn worked for Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps putting her Intensive Care Training to good use. Since marrying and raising her two children she undertook a distance learning programme for a Master of Science Degree in travel medicine and has, for the past 18 years, specialised in this field. Carolyn is a founder Fellow of the Faculty of Travel Medicine at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and has also been involved in the National Travel Health Network and Centre from its inception in 2001 to the present time. She is now approaching retirement and is looking forward to being proactive during her Term of Office.
Cecilia Orchard (née Page)
Cecilia began her Nightingale career in her training set of 1977 and has been pro-active in hosting tea parties and organising a 40th reunion. She has maintained her links with Nightingales throughout. Following her training she did Midwifery at Odstock Hospital before returning as a staff midwife at St Thomas’ Hospital and the West London Hospital, Hammersmith. Having retired Cecilia works as the Flu Vaccinator in the Antenatal Clinic in Salisbury where she lives. Whilst taking a career break Cecilia remained extremely active in running parenting course, on various committees and, with her husband and children, has also been involved with the Order of Malta Volunteers as part of the medical team which facilitates holidays for severely disabled guests. Cecilia brings her experiences to the Council and will enjoy facilitating action and fun.
Jessica was a November 1985 set and currently works full time as Named Nurse for Looked After Children in Central London Borough. She is a Queen’s Nurse practice educator and writes for the nursing press as an advocate for public health and community nursing. Jessica has also been School nursing Advisor to Public Health England and is on the executive committee of SAPHNA (School and Public Health Nurses’ Association).
Jessica feels privileged to sing at the Chapel Service every year on AGM Day as part of the Nightingale Soloists. She is clinical lead for the charity Our Time, which supports children with the impact of parents with mental illness. She has also written a novel about school nursing ‘Last Summer in Soho’.
Carol Walton (née Beamont)
Carol qualified as a Nightingale at St Thomas’ Hospital in 1966 and, apart from short breaks when her children were born, she has continued to work as a nurse and midwife in Scotland, England and Wales in a variety of settings. Since moving to Cardiff in 1985 where she worked as a midwife in a large county in South Wales, she became a specialist midwife as the lactation consultant and breastfeeding adviser for her trust. Carol was a previous Council member from 2006 – 2014 and welcomed the opportunity to contribute to the Fellowship once again and in particular in relation to the celebrations planned for Florence Nightingale’s bicentenary in 2020 and for the future of the Fellowship.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
HONORARY VICE PRESIDENTS
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.