Meet the Team

Lesley Bainbridge

Lesley trained as a nurse and midwife in Gateshead in an apprentice style training that she loved.  She says she laughed through all the student years while making lifelong friends and importantly being privileged to work alongside, and learn from, nurses and midwives she still regards to be among the best in the business.   Since then she has complimented her training with graduations from Northumbria University.  Professionally there are two things that get Lesley out of bed every morning and they are nursing in its fullest sense and the care of older people.  She is very much looking forward therefore to progressing all of the clinical components of the regional frailty programme so as to make a positive contribution towards improving not only the lives of older people and their families; but the working lives of the staff providing the services also.

Andrea Brown

Andrea has worked in analytical roles within the NHS for over 14 years, initially as the prescribing and primary care data analyst for Easington PCT and then as Medical Information Scientist for the Regional Drug and Therapeutics Centre. She was the senior Business Intelligence analyst for NHS County Durham from 2007 to 2013 and epidemiologist at Northumberland CCG until mid-2017. Andrea now works for the North East Quality Observatory Service (NEQOS) with a dual role.

NEQOS are the current provider for the NICE National Collaborating Centre for Indicator Development (NCCID) programme and Andrea is the Project Director of this work. She is also the measurement programme lead for the AHSN NENC, producing the Health and Healthcare Surveillance report and developing the detailed measurement profiles for the Health Improvement programmes. She supports the NEQOS mortality work and was also recently involved in a project to look at Cardiac Outcomes in Mental Illness.

Andrea has a wide range of knowledge and experience of working with NHS data such as primary care and QOF, secondary care, urgent care and prescribing data. She has a degree in medical microbiology, a Postgraduate Certificate in Health Sciences and a PhD in Otitis Media with Effusion from Newcastle University, and has published articles in a number of high impact journals.

Dan Cowie

Dan graduated in 1999 from Newcastle University and qualified as GP in 2004. Over the last 14 years he has worked as a GP in various roles with a particular focus on elderly care. Dan has also been a part time clinical author of clinical knowledge summaries and writing guidelines for primary care.

He took up a role in Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning (CCG) Group and has been leading transformation work within the CCG and at a regional level and has particular interest in service redesign in the care and support of older people.

Louise Okello

Louise has spent the last 15 years in the NHS.  Before this she worked for the Inland Revenue and practiced Law in both the private and voluntary sector.

She has also spent 5 years working with local government as a manager of Social Care Services, Head of Customer Services and Strategic Partnership Manager.  She has developed a wealth of experience in health service management within the NHS, overseeing the development and introduction of the new General Medical Services (GMS Contract) and Quality Outcomes Framework (QOF). She was also involved in the development of a range of specialist local services to meet the needs of refugees and asylum seekers.

She then led on the development of a range of Tier 2 services for: CHD, heart failure, diabetes, dermatology and vasectomy, actively moving formally acute services into community settings.  She has spent the last 9 years in the commissioning of health services, leading on practice-based commissioning, heading up children’s commissioning, managing continuing health care services (CHC) and has developed particular skills and expertise in the joint commissioning of services with social care.

Janet Probert

Janet was appointed as Accountable Chief Officer for Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group  in December 2015.  Prior to this Janet worked in various senior nursing and executive roles across North Yorkshire. Having trained as a nurse and midwife in London, she then travelled extensively and worked in Australia and Asia before returning to senior nursing posts initially in London.   Janet then moved to Lancashire where both her children were born, before moving to North Yorkshire.

Janet has held posts including Director of Nursing, Managing Director for Community and Mental Health Services, Director in an Acute Foundation Trust and a Director of Partnership Commissioning across Health and Social Care.

In 2012 Janet was awarded the Florence Nightingale Leadership Scholarship, for nurses who show top leadership potential. The scholarship allowed the exploration of healthcare models and good practice in Sweden and the USA.

Outside work Janet enjoys spending time with her family; they are keen walkers, cyclists and skiers.  Recently Janet has discovered parkrun and regularly participates in the Saturday morning 5K jog being very clear “it’s a run not a race”!

Anne Richardson

In 2018 Anne was appointed Project Support Officer at the AHSN NENC to support the Frail Elderly and Mental Health programmes of work.  Prior to this appointment she was Project Officer at the Quality of Life Partnership providing project management support to the Elders Council of Newcastle a registered charity that works in partnership with other organisations in the city to meet the city’s ambition to become an age-friendly city.  Part of her role was to support Elders Council members to engage in the work of the organisation and to develop networks and partnerships with other organisations in the city in support of the organisation’s activity.

Anne has a BA (Hons) Degree in Leadership, Management and Organisation and a BTEC HNC in computing which she achieved whilst working in a full-time role

She has over 19 years’ experience working in the private sector; over 2 years’ experience working for the Local Authority and over 18 years’ experience working in the voluntary sector and has built up varied knowledge and skills during this time.

Jenny Steel

Dr. Jenny Steel is a GP who believes that we should be striving for excellent care for our population. Her ability to provide the best for any patient sat in front of her in her consulting room was limited not by her clinical knowledge or skill but by the lack of co-ordination and understanding between our health and care system.

Dr. Steel’s drive to try to make a difference comes from her time as a GP, Managing Partner, CEO of a new GP Federation, CCG Executive roles and now working with the Acute Provider Trust. She has realised there is so much excellent work that happens every day but there is so much we can do better or smarter with joined up strategic direction and management. Thinking and working as a system, keeping the patient/resident at the centre will start to help us make the right but sometimes difficult decisions.

Julie Gillon

Julie started her career in the NHS as a Registered Nurse moving on to hold several senior nursing and managerial leadership roles responsible for diverse and complex portfolios of work including implementing the clinical governance agenda into practice, strategic planning and system wide service change, quality improvements and operational performance, tangible through measurable delivery.

In her previous post as Chief Operating Officer/Deputy Chief Executive Julie was responsible for managing a significant and complex portfolio in addition to supporting the Chief Executive and Board to ensure successful delivery of quality, financial and operational performance. Julie was responsible for leading agendas such as emergency preparedness and cancer service delivery. A major factor in delivering the success of the emergency care agenda including delivering an infrastructure of care to support the challenge of frailty, ensuring the best treatment and care for the frail and elderly within the acute care sector or close to either their homes or residence of choice whilst preserving independence and dignity.

Julie was appointed Interim Chief Executive of North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust in October 2017 and continues to work in developing sustainable clinical services in a forward looking Trust.