Meet the Core Team

Lesley Bainbridge, Clinical Lead

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.

Claire Braid, Personalised Care Programme Manager – North East and North Cumbria

Claire is a qualified Occupational Therapist, graduating from York St John in 2003.  Claire’s clinical specialism is stroke and neurorehabiltation, and she completed a Master’s degree in Advanced Clinical Practice (Neurological Rehabilitation) in 2012.  She later took a leap out of clinical practice and into the world of service improvement, leading the Neurological Conditions Clinical Network for the North East and North Cumbria.  Following a side step into the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Clinical Network, Claire joined the NHS England Health and Justice Commissioning Team for Cumbria and the North East, where she led a cross-system transformation project focused on improving mental health provision for children and young people involved in the criminal justice system.  She then took on the role of Commissioning Manager, with responsibility for the healthcare commissioning of two Secure Children’s Homes in the North East and oversight of an additional two in the North West.

Throughout her varied roles, Claire has always believed that the person should be at the centre of any healthcare intervention, with services delivered based on what matters to them.  This is the ethos of the occupational therapy profession and what drew her into her current role as Personalised Care Programme Manager for the North East and North Cumbria.  Claire is passionate about driving a change in culture across health and social care, to embed a more flexible and person-centred approach for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Louise Burn – Ageing Well and Urgent and Emergency Care Lead

Louise is a qualified nurse who spent many years in intensive therapy and coronary care. She joined the National Critical Care Collaborative programme in 2000 and discovered service improvement. In 2008, as part of service improvement team for South of Tyne Wear PCT’s, she was educated to deliver the Virginia Mason Production System, which included a week in Seattle The VMPS  is a systemwide programme to change the way it delivers healthcare and in the process , improve patient safety and quality . Louise took this knowledge to all the subsequent roles including deputy director of nursing South Tyneside and Sunderland; always keeping the patient centre of what she does.

Now she works for North East Commissioning Service. She is still looking for opportunities to improve patient experience and involve staff in collaborative working to make everyone’s journey better. It’s what gets her out of bed in the morning!

Michelle Coleman, Project Manager

Michelle has recently been appointed as Ageing Well Project Manager.

Dan Cowie, Clinical Lead

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.

Paul Danvers, Digital Lead for Community Health Services

Paul is a Senior Project Manager in NECS who has a background in IT within Health and Social care stretching back to 2004. Whilst working in and eventually supervising an IT department at a Community Interest Company, he built a blend of skills and qualifications including leadership and management, technical, training, assessing and projects. Supporting a group of companies including domiciliary care, training, charity, and voluntary helped to produce a wide-ranging understanding of working with people as well as technology. Developing an apprentice and other people not in employment, education, or training (NEET) was a particular highlight, along with writing and delivering IT skills training courses for staff, job seekers and older people.

This experience has been further enhanced through NHS roles since 2014, including Desktop Engineer, Service Delivery Facilitator and Senior Project Manager. As Digital Lead for community health services in conjunction with the Ageing Well team, Paul aims to use digital and data advances along with project methodology to make a positive difference to the lives of older people and those working to support them.

Janet Probert, Ageing Well Programme Lead

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”!

Christine Scollen

Christine joined the NHS in 1985, to train as a nurse. After qualifying in 1988, she worked as a register general nurse in several clinical settings including A&E, and Trauma and Orthopaedics. She has also worked in as a special nurse in the community. In her last clinical role, she was exposed to project management,  working as a project lead in the National Falls Collaborative, an initiative overseen by the NHS Modernisation Agency. Over the past 10 years working in NHS commissioning, Christine has contributed to the successful delivery of a range of projects including service reviews, pathway redesign, and strategy development. Christine is committed to involving patients, carers, and other stakeholders to improve services, and is an advocate for a patient-centred approach and personalised care. Now she works for North East Commissioning Support (NECS), and is providing dedicated project management support to the Ageing Well Programme.

Jenny Steel, Clinical Lead

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.