PMA Conference Speakers

The PMA are delighted to have some of the UK's leading experts and specialists presenting the Main Plenary, running the Work Streams and conducting one-to-one sessions.


Dennis Dunn MBE JP Chairman, Mid Cheshire Hospitals  NHS Foundation Trust

Dennis is former Pro Vice Chancellor International of the Manchester Metropolitan University and Dean of MMU in Cheshire. A specialist in Business Information Systems, he has advised commercial organisations and universities around the world and is former Chairman of BITWorld. Dennis has served as Expert Advisor to a European Commission funded initiative on lean organisations and is currently Visiting Professor at Huizhou University in China. In the UK, Dennis serves on the Boards of a number of organisations and is a member of the Cheshire Business Leaders. He is Cheshire President of the British Red Cross and was appointed as a deputy Lieutenant of Cheshire in 2015. Dennis was made an MBE by Her Majesty the Queen and awarded Honorary Fellowship of the Manchester Metropolitan University. A former Governor of the Trust before joining the Board of Directors, Dennis was appointed Chairman of the MCHFT in July 2014.


Keynote Speaker

Dr Robert Varnam PhD MRCGP, Director Of General Practice Development, NHS England

Robert Varnam is a GP in inner city Manchester and Director of General Practice Development at NHS England. He has very diverse experience including local service and commissioning leadership, quality improvement, leadership development, health services research and national policy. He has been at the heart of work in recent years to embed integrated care, develop clinically led commissioning and transform primary care.
As Director of General Practice Development at NHS England, Robert contributes to vision, policy and strategy on the future of primary care, commissions support and evaluation for national innovation schemes, and provides direct support to practices, federations and CCGs teams leading change. He was one of the architects of the General Practice Forward View.


Alison Holbourn, Deputy Chief Inspector for PMS at CQC

I am shocked to say that I have worked in health care for 30 years now (tempus fugit…) but not always employed directly within the NHS. My experience is predominantly in primary and community care. I have worked in management, academic, research and consultancy roles as well as in NHS posts. Previous experience includes eight years as a founder director of GP-led social enterprise, Salford Health Matters, recently CEO of a start-up GP provider in Cheshire, and way back, Head of Primary Care and Associate Director (Health Authority), and GP fund holding manager at Castlefields Health Centre. I have spent a fair amount of time researching and teaching in health systems having worked as a senior lecturer at the University of Chester, University of Manchester, Liverpool John Moores University and Cass Business School. I have an interest in Complex systems and have organised various conferences on complex adaptive systems.

Along the way I have also worked as a health systems consultant all around the UK, in this capacity I worked to support a lot of new provider organisations in health care in particular social enterprises in primary and community care, mental health and public health. My experience of caring for people I love affected by health issues drives my passion to make a difference in health care. Since joining CQC in 2016 I have been struck by the commitment to patients that drives our work.

Alison Holbourn will discuss the first national experience of PMS regulation – what have we learned? And discuss the changes in the transforming provider landscape. How will CQC’s strategic plan be implemented, and what will this mean for new providers in primary care including at scale provision in primary care.

Julie Cooper MP for Burnley, Shadow Health Minister for Care in the Community

Julie Cooper is the Member of Parliament for Burnley and is the Shadow Health Minister for Care in the Community a position which she has had since October 2016. She was elected at the General Election on May 7th 2015. Julie is married to Brian and has two grown-up children.

She is a qualified teacher of English, a former business owner and a proud supporter and season ticket holder at Burnley Football Club. Julie has served as a Councillor for the Bank Hall Ward since 2005. During this time she has held several positions of responsibility including being Councillor Leader from 2012-2014.

Under her leadership, Burnley was recognised as being The Most Enterprising Town in the UK. She is also very proud to have introduced the Living Wage to Burnley Council. She has played an active part in the work of the Health and Well Being Board and is passionate about safeguarding the NHS. Other key roles have involved service on the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Panel and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership. She has also served as Armed Forces Champion for Burnley and is proud to have played a leading role in supporting former service people and their families.

In September 2015, Julie took up the post as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Seema Malhotra.

Dr Ash Patel, Chief Executive Officer Viaduct Health 

The challenges faced by General Practice remain as acute and varied as they have ever been.  Federations, devolution, GP recruitment, 7-day opening, working at scale and most importantly continuing to develop patient services in line with population changes, are but just a few of the challenges faced daily. Understanding what is happening elsewhere in the country and cross-purposing experiences into your localities, is overwhelming.

Louise Watson – Director, New Care Models Programme, NHS England

Louise joined the new care models programme in March 2015 as the national lead for the multi-speciality community provider (MCP) care model.  In June 2017, Louise became the Director of the new care models programme and is leading on the implementation of the new care models outlined in the NHS Five Year Forward View.

Louise has over 20 years’ experience working in the NHS.  During that time she has held Board level roles spanning both commissioner and provider organisations ranging from Clinical Commissioning Director of a large commissioning organisation, Commercial Director of an acute Foundation Trust to Chief Executive leading an organisation through transition.  Immediately prior to joining the new care models programme Louise operated as the NHS England Regional Operations and Delivery Director for the South of England.  Louise specialises in leading organisations through change and ensuring delivery of strategic plans.  Louise started her working career as a management trainee in the retail sector before training as a management accountant. Louise holds a Masters in Health Executive Management along with other post graduate health service management qualifications.

Jeremy Dawson - Professor of Health Management at the University of Sheffield

Jeremy Dawson is Professor of Health Management at the University of Sheffield, where he works jointly between the Institute of Work Psychology (part of the Management School) and the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR).

His research includes a range of topics in the areas of health services management, and research methodology. He has led several large-scale projects in the NHS, particularly focussing on team working, staff engagement and well-being and their links with patient outcomes, and he led the team that ran the NHS national staff survey between 2003 and 2010. Amongst his other research interests include team and organisational climate, and work group diversity.

He is a statistician by background, and teaches a wide variety of subjects in the fields of statistics and research methods, as well as researching in these areas. He has published over 50 papers in refereed academic journals, as well as numerous project reports and articles in practitioner publications. He is an editorial board member of six journals, and Associate Editor of the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology.

Andy Peers - Executive Director, Straightforward

For the last 17 years Andy has dedicated his working life to leading within and supporting organisations and individuals who are trying to make the world a better, fairer and more just place.

He has held the posts of Head of Sales for The Big Issue in the North, Executive Director for The Big Life group, Chief Executive for The Big Issue South West and Operations Director (Yorkshire) and then North of England Director for the British Red Cross.

He is now an Executive Director with StraightForward whose mission is to support individuals and teams in the development of great organisation that are seeking to make a genuine difference in world.

Alongside his leadership roles, Andy has also spent over eight years supporting the development of organisations from pre-start to established stages, from the locally to the internationally focused, with turnovers ranging from £0-200 million per annum and across a broad range of social, public, cultural and environmental issues.

His experiences have brought him close to a wide range of communities who need to see our health and social care system change for the better; close to the teams in primary, acute and social care who work tirelessly to be that change; and, to the strategy and policy makers who hold the keys to unlocking many doors that enable change.

Andy’s session at the conference will seek to share his experiences and thoughts about key principles of leadership from across sectors and about leading and manging through and beyond change. He will also focus the importance of co-operation and partnerships and how we all need to recognise that the challenges we face in society weren’t created, and won’t be solved, in vacuum.

Andrew Rose, Senior Policy Officer, ICO

Andrew joined the Information Commissioners Office in 2009. He is a Senior Policy Officer working with a range of public sector organisations to help them resolve issues which impact on information rights. He provides advice and support to help organisations minimise information rights risks, both to themselves and to individuals. Areas of particular interest include data sharing, integrated care and counter fraud projects, cyber security and the use of surveillance technologies for non-policing functions.

Before joining the ICO, Andrew worked in the IT industry for over 20 years specialising in technical architectures and database design.


Work Stream Presenters

Tawhid Juneja, CEO Primary Care People

After a year researching the UK’s primary healthcare sector, entrepreneur Tawhid Juneja set up Primary Care People in 2013 with the ambitious goal of using his considerable expertise in recruitment to help to transform primary care in the NHS, the world-renowned healthcare service.

In just four years, the award-winning businessman has pioneered many initiatives that are making a difference. In a primary care sector that has a desperate shortage of GPs, Tawhid has created a Workforce Redesign programme, with advanced nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists and mental health practitioners alleviating some of the pressures on the overstretched doctors.

His vision for the primary care sector includes large scale change which will reduce costs; increase capacity by sourcing and providing solutions to problems such as GP’s astronomical indemnity insurance which prevents them from doing out of hours patient care, supporting the Royal College of General Practitioners and working with Clinical Commissioning Groups and Federations.

Under the direction of Tawhid, Primary Care People is developing remediation support for GPs experiencing challenges, improving continuity of patient care with Interim GPs rather than Locums and increasing the output of GP practices through the management of the clinical workforce by the company’s Client Services Managers.

Tawhid continues to develop a number of innovative primary care initiatives, including sourcing GPs from Europe to help fill the desperate skills shortage in the NHS. He says “Our vision is to revolutionise primary care and to transform people’s lives. It sounds very ambitious but we have come so far in just four years and I am confident that our vision is achievable with the passion and determination that we all have at Primary Care People.”

In the UK, Tawhid is regarded as one of the most original thought leaders and he intends to be as ‘disruptive’ as possible to bring about positive change and greatly improved working practices for GPs and quality of care for patients.

Barrie Nunn, Independent Financial Advisor, Insight Financial Associates

Barrie is a qualified independent financial adviser with over 40 years experience in the financial services sector, including 7 years in management with a major high street bank, and now over 20 years in the independent sector. He is able to advise clients on all aspects of financial and estate planning. His advice and expertise will enable you to realise your true financial potential, for both you and your family.

Barrie is also a member of the Institute of Professional Will Writers and is a qualified Will Writer and Estate Planner. If you would like to arrange an appointment with Barrie please Email him on:

Ian Tongue, BSc ACA Partner, Sandison Easson & Co

Ian gained an honours degree in finance and accounting before qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 2000. He Joined Sandison Easson in 2006 bringing with him experience gained at two of the ‘big four’ accountancy practices, KPMG and Ernst & Young. He was appointed partner in 2007.

Ian has been acting exclusively for the medical profession since joining Sandison Easson and has a substantial portfolio of GP clients, practices and federations throughout the UK advising them on a variety of matters in the ever changing world of General Practice.

Ian understands that GPs and practice managers are not accountants and nor do they want to be!  He supports his GPs and practice managers by providing an understandable approach to the important financial matters affecting them.

Sandison Easson is a specialist firm of medical accountants with over 35 years experience acting for doctors of medicine throughout the United Kingdom.  For further information please see

Ali Moran, Avensure

Ali is an experienced HR professional who delivers pragmatic and relevant advice and guidance on how to get the best from employees whilst staying within the law and mitigating risk. She works at both strategic and operational level, delivering focused and results-orientated training and advice, underpinned by a Master’s Degree in Employment Law. Ali has lectured in Employment Law at under-graduate and post-graduate levels in addition to delivering presentations to businesses of all sectors nationwide for several years.

Specialties: employment law advice; HR best practice; HR policies; performance management; conducting investigations; managing disciplinary and grievances; delivering seminars/training.

Paul Conlan, Operations Director, GP Surveyors

Paul has been employed by GP Surveyors since June 2007.  Paul is a registered valuer and attained MRIC status in 2006 having previously worked with Lothian Valuation Joint Board (LVJB) since August 1987.

Paul acts for numerous GP practices across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, undertaking a diverse range of valuations, rent reviews, contract disputes and investment transactions.  He has a wealth of experience in the primary care sector and leads a strong team of 15 employees at GP Surveyors headquarters in Sheffield.

Andrew Rose, Senior Policy Officer – Policy and Engagement (Public Sector), Information Commissioner’s Office

Andrew joined the Information Commissioners Office in 2009. He is a Senior Policy Officer working with a range of public sector organisations to help them resolve issues which impact on information rights. He provides advice and support to help organisations minimise information rights risks, both to themselves and to individuals. Areas of particular interest include data sharing, integrated care and counter fraud projects, cyber security and the use of surveillance technologies for non-policing functions.

Before joining the ICO, Andrew worked in the IT industry for over 20 years specialising in technical architectures and database design.

Jane Gunn, Corporate Peacemakers

Jane Gunn specialises in collaboration, cross cultural communication and transforming business relationships and has helped open the eyes, hearts and minds of numerous companies to transform and secure the future of their organisation and the commitment and collaboration of their people.

As a trained mediator and facilitator she brings a diverse mix of skills, experience and insight that enable her to get people and groups with different priorities, incentives and ways of doing things, to work together successfully.

She has a powerful message supported by practical tools and techniques that applies to organisations of all sizes across all sectors. Jane is a member of the Board of Management of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) and is a director and board member of the Civil Mediation Council of England and Wales (CMC). She is a director and a past president of the Professional Speaking Association of the UK and Ireland (PSA UKI). She has been invited to speak at the United Nations, the White House, the European Commission and the International Energy Agency.

She has worked with organisations large and small including Cable & Wireless, The NHS, BAA, The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, ACCA and many more.

Jane is also the author of a popular book on conflict management “How to Beat Bedlam in the Boardroom and Boredom in the Bedroom”. Jane’s approach is both interactive and fun.


Dr Gary Lenden, Pathfields Medical Group

Dr Lenden joined Pathfields in 2005 and has lead on the business development side of things for Pathfields, facilitating our recent mergers.  He spends much of his time doing business development work both for the practice and for the wider health community devoting a lot of his time to the local Clinical Commissioning Group.

He does a lot of minor surgery for both the practice and Sentinel (another local health provider) and is an accredited GP with specialist interest in minor surgery and removal of low risk skin cancers.  He is one of our “go-to men” for skin lesions that may need surgery.

With all this chat about his other roles we nearly forgot to mention that he is an excellent primary care clinician, a key member of our acute medical team and patients think he is wonderful!


Heidi McVay, Director of Commercial Services, PSUK Ltd

Heidi McVay, Director of Commercial Services at PSUK, has been actively involved in Primary Care as a driving force promoting efficient purchasing and innovative strategy for over 12 years. Heidi was born in York and graduated in Sociology & Economics from Surrey University in 1999; she currently resides in York with her husband Paul and two children Nia and Magnus.

Previously Heidi worked for GP out of hours North Yorkshire Emergency Doctors, where her knowledge of General Practice began to grow and relationships and contacts with leading GPs in the Yorkshire area were built. Following the changes to the GP contract in 2004 and the decline in GP out of hours, Heidi became a Director of PSUK and the focus turned to aiding and advising on GP purchasing nationally as well as on home turf in Yorkshire.

In 2007 PSUK was purchased and incorporated into PHOENIX Healthcare; Heidi took a lead role in developing relationships with key manufacturers delivering innovative purchasing solutions at exclusive discounts which saw PSUK membership grow dramatically over a 12 month period.

Heidi is a recognised force in the healthcare sector pioneering NHS cost reductions in line with government initiatives and working with CCGs to analyse, evaluate and advise on efficient and effective purchasing and sourcing solutions.



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