Management of the FellowshipThe Fellowship is run by members who hold elected Council positions
Dr Christine Taylor (née Watson Jones)
A passion for high standards in nursing care started with the training I received in the Nightingale School. I qualified as a nurse in 1976, undertook the Intensive care course on Mead and worked as a Charge Nurse before leaving St Thomas’ to do midwifery training in Gloucestershire. I then returned to general nursing for ward sister posts in central London teaching hospitals. These experiences, combined with working as an RCN steward, gave me further grounding for my career as it took in broader and more senior management , developing services, commissioning new hospitals, and setting and monitoring clinical quality and standards.
Taking personal ownership for continued professional development was another core value instilled during my initial training and one I have subsequently encouraged staff and children to emulate, studying for a Doctorate (DBA) alongside my children with their GCSE and A levels . As a fulltime working mother I can also appreciate the difficulties and challenges to career and family life that providing and delivering a 24 hour service poses every day, irrespective of month, season or school calendar! The majority of my working career has been based in the Midlands. I now work for the Registration Service.Having experienced numerous NHS reorganisations over four decades and latterly within Local Government I have always strived to uphold the standards we would expect for ourselves and our loved ones when interfacing with public services.
Organising an outreach gathering for Nightingales around Derby made me realise the growing importance of developing new ways in which the Fellowship might operate in order to touch and make a difference to the lives of its members. It was an honour to be elected to the Council of the Nightingale Fellowship and I will continue to ensure the values, reputation and work of the Fellowship are maintained for the benefit of all we serve.
Jane Patten (née Lavelle)
Life at St Thomas’ started for Jane in November 1979. After receiving her Nightingale badge in 1983 she left to train as a midwife at St Mary’s Paddington in 1984, returning to St Thomas’ in 1986. Her career as a midwife over the next 35 years used the skills she had obtained from her nurse training to promote high standards of care, normality and choice for parents.
Following the birth of her two sons at home, her passion became supporting home birth and she was invited to join Chichester Home Birth, a local voluntary group. For the next 20 years the group organised meetings and conferences with speakers of world renown. These aimed to inform and empower both parents and professionals about home birth.
In 2010, after involvement with the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement at Warwick University, Jane implemented the VBAC pathway to promote normality and choice for parents, and thus began her life as a Specialist Midwife. Retiring in 2018, she has continued to work as a Bank Midwife, is an Independent Midwifery Expert and has joined the many nurses and midwives volunteering in Covid vaccination centres.
Jane is delighted to become a Trustee for the Nightingale Fellowship and looks forward to making a contribution to this final chapter.
Carolyn Driver (née Robinson)
Carolyn was awarded her Nightingale Badge in 1977 and left St Thomas to undertake midwifery training. Returning to general nursing and following an Intensive Care Nursing course she was commissioned in the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps where both her midwifery and intensive care qualifications were put to good use. Carolyn then trained as a Health Visitor and worked in north east Manchester prior to a career break to have her 2 children. She became a Practice Nurse in 1990 and subsequently undertook an MSc in Travel Health Medicine and spent the remaining 20 years of her career as a Specialist Immunisation and Travel Health Nurse during which time she held a number of positions on advisory Boards and Committees within these fields.
Carolyn was a founder Fellow of the Faculty of Travel Medicine at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and has also been involved with the National Travel Health Network and Centre from its inception in 2001 until her retirement.
Following her retirement in March 2019, Carolyn is combining the roles of carer for elderly parents, grandparent and volunteer for a charity offering lifestyle support for those struggling with chronic diseases.
COUNCIL MEMBERS, DIRECTORS AND TRUSTEES
Georgina qualified as a Registered Nurse at St Thomas’ Hospital in 1974 and then Registered Midwife at Treliske Hospital in 1976. She spent her earlier years working overseas starting in South Africa and then later spent she 14 years working in Australia where she worked predominantly in specialist care including accident and emergency and intensive care.
On her return to England in 1993 Georgina finally moved into Occupational Health and studied her degree at University of Bristol where she successfully graduated in 2001 as Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (Occupational Health).
Georgina continues to work as SCPHN, predominantly from home, in Cornwall. During 2020 and 2021 she has also been working for NHS professionals for the NHS Test and Trace programme as a Clinical Case Worker.
When time permits, she enjoys gardening, exploring Cornwall and is busy with house renovations. She maintains strong ties with Australia and brings her work experiences to contribute to the council.
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.
Jessica was a November 1985 set and currently works full time as Nurse Consultant for Public Health at a Central London NHS Trust. She is a Queen’s Nurse and 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).
Most recently, Jessica has started a full time PhD sponsored by her NHS Trust. She is exploring school nursing health assessment from the perspective of children and young people.
She has also written a novel about school nursing ‘Last Summer in Soho, to raise the profile of school nursing, with all profits going back into school nursing education.
Jessica has really enjoyed singing with fellow Nightingales at the Nightingale Fellowship AGM.
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.
Having gained her Nightingale Badge, Josephine began her nursing career as a midwife in Suffolk before working in a number of positions to include Senior Staff Nurse, Sister in Acute Care settings, Accident and Emergency and General Surgery.
Josephine has further qualifications in Palliative Care, A Bsc in Home Nursing and District Nurse qualification and spent 9 years working as a District Nurse/Team Leader in the North Yorkshire market town of Pickering , where she worked closely with the MacMillian Nurse to ensure that patients were given the opportunity to receive End of Life care in their own homes .
After leaving the NHS Josephine has spent the last 8 years managing a private residential home for older people in Pickering, to include guiding the Home through the first 14 months of the Covid pandemic ensuring all the residents remained well and safe.
Recently retired, Josephine and her husband life in the picturesque village of Thornton le Dale with their two dogs. When circumstances allow, Josephine enjoys meeting up with old friends and her Godchildren.
Julie Smith (neé Irwin)
Julie was in the July ’79 Set but, after completing her post-reg certificate, she relocated to East Anglia in 1985 and restarted her career.
She has nursed across many general settings in the NHS and in the independent sector, during which time she became a Modern Matron, managing three community hospitals, before spending 12 years in an acute trust, leading on quality improvement, trust-wide regulatory compliance, controlled drugs accountability and lead for mortality.
Julie left the NHS in 2021 to work for the Diocese of Norwich in 2021 as the Strategic Programme Manager and also served as Steward and Safety Representative for the RCN for 25 years.
Julie is proud of her achievements in strategic leadership, coaching, representing and championing the value of nurses to society.
She has been a member of the Nightingale Fellowship since qualifying and I am always moved by the stories from colleagues about their lives and service to nursing. For me, this is at the heart of the profession and the reason I am still proud to be a Nurse and of course a Trustee of The Nightingale Fellowship.
Dr Val Thurtle, (neé Coleman)
Throughout her career Val has worked in public health and education. She undertook the integrated programme run between Nightingale Training School at St Thomas’ Hospital and the University of Southampton, becoming a state registered nurse and health visitor with a degree in Sociology and Social Administration. Val worked as a health visitor in Hampshire and later Suffolk and ventured back into a hospital to qualify as a midwife. A move into education fitted with family life but she had found her niche and has worked with, nursery nurses, early years undergraduates, pre-registration student nurses, school nurses, health visitors and district nurses both in terms of teaching, curriculum development and research.
Most recently she was the Programme Director for the BSc / Pg Dip Public Health at City, University of London. Val spent time as an educator with King’s Sierra Leone Partnership, getting caught there as the pandemic commenced. Back here in the UK she returned to clinical practice as part of the vaccine programme and continued as a NMC Visitor, external examiner and writer of various material for health visitors and community nurses. Virtually retired, Val works with the local Citizens Advice as a generalist advisor and is trying to learn to paint and play bridge
As a member of the Council at a time of change she is keen to celebrate all that has and is being achieved by the Fellowship and efficiently ensure that our resources can be directed to support those needing developmental input and to those of our members in need; now and in the future.
Non-elected, paid management personnel
The Trust Partnership
Mia Duddridge (Clerk to the Trustees/Administrator)
The Trust Partnership are the administrators who handle all the daily enquiries for the Fellowship and its’ members from their offices in Tetbury, Gloucestershire.
Mia Duddridge is Clerk to the Trustees and the main contact who assists the Trustees in all their meeting management and Governance requirements.
Angela Adams is the Journal coordinator/administrator and is the ‘go to’ person for any enquiries relating to the Journal and assists Mia with the administration.
Gillian Prager (née Biggs)
Following VSO teaching in the South West Pacific Gillian qualified as a registered nurse in 1976 and midwife in 1979. She undertook further studies in Tropical Medicine, statistics, infectious diseases and cardiology. Most of her clinical career was spent at St Thomas’ except a two year’s sister’s post at King Edward V11 Hospital (Sister Agnes). She toured with the European Community Youth Orchestra on several occasions, and was at the forefront of nursing in interventional radiology.
Gill studied for a Master’s in Public Administration at Warwick University and then entered the commissioning side of the NHS working at Health Authorities and PCTs. She was a board director for ten years and represented the NHS Confederation at the Home Office, with particular reference to violent crime and community engagement. Following her long career Gill worked as an executive coach and finally retired to Pembrokeshire in 2018. She lives with her husband and two dogs, enjoys walking, travel, music and is currently learning Welsh. Gill is now looking forward to spending more time visiting her two daughters and granddaughter who all live overseas.
Gill was honoured to be elected to council and to have been President of the Fellowship during a time of significant change; her passion for nursing excellence, compassion in patient care and support of those in need will never diminish.
Sue Sheridan, OBE (née Norman) (2008 – 2016)
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.
Elizabeth Jenkins (née Winder) (2001 – 2008)
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.
Natalie Tiddy (1988 – 2001)
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)
Shona Cornthwaite (née Morrison)
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.
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 completed her registered general nurse training in 1981 and was awarded her Nightingale badge later in the same year. She worked at St Thomas’ as a Staff Nurse, a Senior Staff Nurse, and as a Clinical Teacher before her appointment to the Ward Sister post on Wardroper Ward in 1986.
Following her marriage to Philip in 1992, Fiona moved to Manchester and worked for many years, in a variety of full and part-time posts, at Manchester Royal Infirmary (now part of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust). In 2018, and after 40 very happy years nursing in the NHS, she retired from her Matron post in surgery and is now enjoying the opportunity to pursue some of her creative hobbies.
In January 1987 she became the honorary assistant editor of The Nightingale Fellowship Journal. Following the retirement of Rosemary Morris in 2000 she became Journal editor and managed the production of some 40 editions. This was a role she loved, and she felt privileged to have had the opportunity to engage with so many Nightingales, and their stories, during this time. She stood down in the summer of 2020. Fiona has two sons – Richard and Matthew – both of whom are living and working in London.
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. She is now a Foundation Governor of a school for children with complex learning and behavioural issues.
Jo 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 was a member of the Nightingale Fellowship Benevolent Fund Advisory Committee from 2009, and then joined the Council in 2011, becoming Hon. Treasurer from 2014-19. She is married with three adult children and four 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.
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 was awarded her Nightingale Badge in 1975 and worked at St Thomas’ in a variety of clinical areas and as a Night Sister. This was followed by roles as a Clinical Teacher and Tutor in the Nightingale School during which time she obtained a MSc in Adult Education. On leaving St. Thomas’ she worked in large acute Trusts in London and Birmingham as well as at District, Regional and National level in the field of staff, team and leadership development. Prior to retirement, Ros was an Associate Director of the National Clinical Governance Support Team. Since then, she has undertaken consulting work in the field of personal and team development.
Ros enjoys keeping her large garden under control, reviving her piano skills and is a volunteer speaker and temporary boarder for the charity Dogs for Good, which provides assistance dogs for adults and children with physical and learning disabilities. She also works in a special needs school one day per week with a Pets as Therapy dog.
Ros was Honorary Treasurer of the Fellowship from 2008 – 2014.
HONORARY VICE PRESIDENTS
Director, Florence Nightingale Museum
David Green is the Director of the Florence Nightingale Museum. A graduate in history and politics, with a post-graduate qualification in museums and heritage management, David joined the team in July 2017 having previously worked in a variety of senior management roles across the heritage sector. This included time with Nottingham Castle, The Natural History Museum and The National Trust, as well as working with several smaller museums. David is passionate about using heritage as a catalyst for community cohesion projects and civic regeneration. Away from work David enjoys visiting heritage sites across the world, notably in Asia and Latin America and volunteering with Wimbledon Greyhound Welfare.
The Reverend Canon Mia Hilborn
Hospitaller, Head of spiritual health care and chaplaincy team leader, Guy’s and St. Thomas’
Mia took up this post in 2001, and was previously paediatric and free church chaplain at Barts and the London. She was ordained in 1989 a United Reformed Church minister, in Nottingham, and was re-ordained an Anglican priest in 2002. She is also head of chaplaincy for the London Fire Brigade and chaplain and trustee for the Firefighters Memorial Trust. Mia has also written several articles and chapters on trauma chaplaincy and end of life care, and she teaches on spiritual assessment, disasters, psychological first aid, psycho-spiritual trauma response and clinical ethics. The chaplaincy team at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ specialises in training, with several courses running each year such as PG Cert in healthcare chaplaincy or spiritual care, and are also setting up a Masters in spiritual care (through London South Bank). Mia is a Third Order Franciscan and a member of the Community of the Cross of Nails and Together for Hope, part of Coventry Cathedral’s reconciliation ministry. She is married to David, a theological college principal, and has two children, Matt and Alice.
Professor Helen McCutcheon PhD, MPH, BA, RN, RM
Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean Gender, Equity and Inclusion | Faculty of Health Sciences Curtin University
Having worked as Professor of Nursing at the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Palliative Care King’s College London, and Adelaide and Queensland Universities, Helen was invited to be an Honorary Vice President in recognition of her strong support to the Nightingale Fellowship. Her current role as Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor in Perth encompasses all clinical fields including medicine, nursing, midwifery, social and psychological service and public health as well as other clinical specialities and biomedical sciences.
Professor Irene Higginson OBE
Professor of Palliative Care and Policy, Executive Dean, Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Palliative Care, Kings College Hospital London and NIHR Senior Investigator (emeritus)
Prof. Higginson is Director of the Cicely Saunders Institute, at King’s College London, the world’s first purpose-built Institute of palliative care, integrating research, education, clinical services and support and information. She is an NIHR Senior Investigator (emeritus) and was in 2013 awarded Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences for her contribution to palliative care. She remains active in research, education and clinical care, founded the MSc in Palliative Care at King’s College London. In 2019 she was recognised as being in the top 1% of cited researchers in applied health research. She is well known for extending palliative care beyond cancer, and for her work in breathlessness and home care.
Chief Nurse Guy’s & St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust, Vice President Florence Nightingale Foundation & Honorary Vice President of The Nightingale Fellowship.
Avey Bhatia qualified in 1991, having trained at Maidstone Hospital in Kent. She has held various staff nurse and sister posts at hospitals in London including St George’s, where she moved into management, eventually becoming a divisional director of nursing. In 2011 she was appointed deputy chief nurse at South London Healthcare Trust and became chief nurse at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust in 2013. She started as Chief Nurse and Director of Infection Prevention and Control at St Georges University Hospital Foundation Trust in February 2017. Since February this year she has been carrying out the role of Chief Operating Officer, helping to lead the Trust’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Avey Bhatia joined as Chief Nurse & Vice President of the Florence Nightingale Foundation at Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, in November 2020. She is returning to the Trust having trained as a critical care nurse at St Thomas’ in the early part of her career. Her clinical experience includes theatres, general intensive care, coronary care and cardiothoracic nursing. Avey holds a post graduate diploma in Health Services Management and a Master’s in Public Administration.
Organist for the Annual Nightingale Fellowship Chapel Service
Martin Black has been organist for the annual chapel service since 2002, and has played the organ for many services, joyful and sad, at Guy’s and St Thomas’ since 1993. He is a mathematician, and by profession a project manager and chartered engineer (software engineering). Whilst a management consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers one of his specialisms was pharmaceutical research and development, consulting for seven years with Aventis (now Sanofi). He has had a parallel career as a musician, playing the organ for his first service on Easter Day 1970. He has given organ recitals at St Paul’s Cathedral and St Giles’ Cripplegate. His commitment to Music & Health began when as a schoolboy he played the piano for a Christmas carol service at a local hospital for soldiers gassed in the trenches in the First World War, still in hospital fifty years later. He is a Freeman of the City of London and a member of the Court of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists.