About the Executive Team
The Council’s Executive Team is based on a combination of nation representatives and portfolio-based posts to support the Council’s aspiration to work across research, education impact, regulation and global activities on a multi-professional basis.
Members of the Executive Team are drawn from across the Council’s membership and are elected on the basis of one vote per member institution. Members serve for a period of three years, with the option of standing for one further three-year term. The Council’s Executive Team meets six times a year and has has adopted the Thinking Environment as a core component of its meetings. The minutes of these meetings are available in the Members’ Area of the website. For more details about the Council’s governance please contact Jenny Williams.
Brian Webster-Henderson (Chair)
University Dean of Learning & Teaching / Professor in Nursing, Edinburgh Napier University
Professor Brian Webster-Henderson is University Dean of Learning and Teaching and Professor in Nursing at Edinburgh Napier University. Prior to this Brian was Assistant Dean at the Faculty of Health, Life & Social Sciences, Edinburgh Napier University and has previously worked as Head of the School for Nursing & Midwifery at Robert Gordon University. As both a mental health nurse and an adult nurse, Brian has held senior clinical positions in both areas prior to moving into higher education in 1997. Brian’s research interests are within substance misuse, with a particular focus on alcohol related issues including substance use and misuse amongst higher education students.
Jan Draper (Vice Chair)
Professor of Nursing, The Open University
Jan Draper is Professor of Nursing at The Open University. Following a clinical background in adult nursing, Jan moved into higher education in the late 1980s, supporting students on both pre-and post-qualifying nursing programmes at a range of different academic levels. Over the last fifteen years this has been predominantly in the field of distance learning, firstly with the Royal College of Nursing Institute and, since 2007, at The Open University. A key focus of this activity concerns learning and development opportunities for the healthcare support workforce including a unique, part-time distance learning route to nurse registration for employed healthcare assistants. Jan has undertaken a range of research projects under the broad heading of ‘life course transitions’ and a second research theme relates to professional work-based learning including student support in practice, the transition to registered practitioner and beyond and the impact of learning on practice.
Iain Beith (Treasurer)
Head of School of Allied Health, Midwifery and Social Care, Kingston University and St
George’s University of London
Iain Beith is a Professor in Health Education with a long track record of providing and leading high quality healthcare education and research in a range of Higher Education Institutions. In addition he sits on many committees and working groups in external organisations at local regional and national levels including HEE, NHS England, NHS Improvement and DH, often representing the Council and a range of health professions. In addition he has a number of governance roles in the statutory and charity sectors which provide a good basis for taking on the treasurer role. He is keen to help the Council navigate a path to a more independent status.
Brendan McCormack (Executive Member – Research)
Head of the Divisions of Nursing, Occupational Therapy & Arts Therapies, Queen Margaret University
Brendan’s internationally recognised work in person-centred practice development and research has resulted in successful long-term collaborations in Ireland, the UK, Norway, The Netherlands, Canada, Australia, Slovenia and South Africa. His writing and research work focuses on person-centred practice, gerontological nursing, and practice development and he serves on a number of editorial boards, policy committees, funding panels and development groups in these areas. He has a particular focus on the use of arts and creativity in healthcare research and development. Brendan has more than 600 published outputs, including 190 peer-reviewed publications in international journals and 10 books. He is the ‘Editor Emeritus’ of the “International Journal of Older People Nursing”. Brendan is a Fellow of The European Academy of Nursing Science. In 2014 he was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing, awarded the ‘International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame’ by Sigma Theta Tau International and listed in the Thomson Reuters 3000 most influential researchers globally. He is currently in the top 100 ‘most cited’ nurse researchers globally. In 2015 he was recognized as an ‘Inspirational Nursing Leader’ by Nursing Times (UK nursing magazine) and in 2016 made a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
Nigel Harrison (Executive Member – Education Impact)
Executive Dean, College of Health and Wellbeing, University of Central Lancashire
Professor Nigel Harrison is an adult and mental health nurse who has worked in a variety of clinical and management roles in the Midlands, London and North West of England. He is Executive Dean of the College of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Central Lancashire, providing education, research and innovation with nursing, midwifery, allied health and sports science students. Nigel is chair of the North West Council of Deans of Health and co-chair of the Health Education England NW Higher Education partnership. He has six years’ experience working across the UK as an NMC reviewer and was a member of the NMC Quality Framework steering group which developed the ‘light touch’ approach for monitoring. Nigel is a Principal Fellow of the HEA and led a university working group implementing the HEA framework, enabling staff to obtain fellowship through a practice route. Nigel’s research has focused on enhancing teaching and learning.
Ruth Taylor (Executive Member – Workforce)
PVC and Dean, Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, Anglia Ruskin University
Professor Ruth Taylor is Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education at Anglia Ruskin University. The faculty educates nursing, midwifery, social work, social policy and education students. Ruth is a nurse by background, working in oncology and general practice settings across the world before moving to Robert Gordon University in 1998. Ruth’s research focused on the student experience and was influential in the development of initiatives that improved student retention nationally. Her research interests currently focus on compassion in the curriculum, workforce issues including the culture of healthcare practice, and leadership including student nurses as leaders. Ruth was awarded a prestigious Florence Nightingale Foundation leadership scholarship in 2012 which took her to Seattle, Sydney and London where she was able to investigate approaches to nursing education, women’s leadership, and forge collaborations around an area of expertise (social capital in nursing education).
Paula Holt (Executive Member – Regulation)
Pro Vice Chancellor, Dean of College of Health and Social Care, University of Derby
As PVC Dean at Derby Paula has responsibility for all areas of Health and Social Care at UG, PG and Doctoral level and delivery of different levels of Apprenticeships. Subject areas include Nursing (Adult and Mental Health), Nursing Associates and Assistant Practitioners, Diagnostic Radiography, Occupational Therapy, Therapeutic Arts, Counselling and Psychotherapy Programmes, Public Health, Social Work, Youth and Community and other social care programmes. The College has its own Research Centre committed to applied research and evaluation that benefits our region, with two centres of Excellence that have international impact. Paula Holt is an adult and mental health nurse whose work in the NHS included heading up drug and alcohol and mentally disordered offender services, and setting up mandated drug treatment for offenders. She served as an Army Officer for 8 years serving in SE England, Germany and Scotland heading up mental health services for Forces personnel and their families, and had operational tours of Bosnia in 1993/4 and 1997. Paula’s research interests reflect her passion for creative and inclusive learning, teaching and assessment that offers all students the opportunity to maximise their success, and active commitment to wide participation in higher education. Other areas of research interest include post trauma sequelae and changing health behaviours. Paula is Governor at an NHS Trust, Non-Executive Director of a Primary Care Organisation and Director of the Soldiers Arts Academy which promotes arts for recovery for veterans. She sits on several national boards for HEE, and is deeply engaged regionally in all strategic boards and groups that commission, provide and plan health and social care.
Guy Daly (Executive Member – Global)
Executive Dean, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Coventry University
Professor Guy Daly is the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at Coventry University and has over sixteen years of experience of leading and managing in higher education. He comes from a health and social care background professionally and is a social policy academic. The Faculty of Health and Life Sciences is responsible for the education and training of a variety of health and social care professionals including: clinical psychology, dietetics, midwifery, nursing (all four fields), occupational therapy, operating department practice, paramedic science, physiotherapy and social work. Its research is focused on three main areas: applied biological and exercise science; psychology, behaviour and achievement; technology enabled health research. Guy’s own research focuses on social care (personalisation, choice, adult social care), housing policy, local government, and the governance of public services generally.
Ceri J. Phillips (Executive Member – Wales)
Head of the College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea University
Ceri is Head of the College of Human and Health Sciences at Swansea University and Professor of Health Economics at Swansea Centre for Health Economics. He is also Chair of the Council of Deans of Health Wales. He is the University non-officer member of ABMU Health Board and a member of the ARCH Programme Board. He is currently a member of the Ministerial Taskforce on Primary Care Workforce in Wales. He sat on the Panel commissioned by the Minister of Health and Social Services to review the NHS Workforce in Wales and was a member of the Panel that undertook the Review of Health Professions Education Investment in Wales in 2015, along with the Williams review that has led to the establishment of Health Education Wales. He was formerly a member of the Bevan Commission that initiated the notion of Prudent Healthcare in relation to the health system in Wales and of the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group. He has also been a member of NICE Programme Development Groups on a range of public health issues.
Carol Curran (Executive Member – Northern Ireland)
Dean of Life and Health Sciences, Ulster University
Professor Carol Curran is Dean of the Faculty of Life and Health Sciences at the Ulster University, which is comprised of the Schools of Biomedical Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Health Sciences, Nursing, Psychology, Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences and the School of Sports. Carol obtained an Honours degree in Nursing Studies in 1990, an MSc in Professional Development in 1997 and a PhD in 2005, all from the University of Ulster. Carol was previously Head of School of Nursing, Chief Executive of Ulster Educational Partnerships Ltd and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Life and Health Sciences. She was awarded an OBE for services to Nursing and Education in 2014. Carol is the current Chair of the Northern Ireland Practice and Education Council for Nurses and Midwives (NIPEC).
Fiona Coutts (Executive Member – Scotland)
Dean of School of Health Sciences, Queen Margaret University
Professor Coutts is Dean of the School of Health Sciences at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. Working as a clinical physiotherapist in NHS hospitals, Professor Coutts shaped her professional interest in management of long term Orthopaedic and Musculoskeletal conditions and her research interest in Human Movement Science. After entering academia in 1989 at the University of East London (UEL), Professor Coutts became programme leader for the first post graduate MSc in Orthopaedic and Neurological Physiotherapy in the UK. Progressing to Acting Head of Physiotherapy, Professor Coutts left UEL in 2004 to return to Edinburgh. In August 2004 she returned to Queen Margaret University became Head of Physiotherapy in 2007, Acting Dean in January 2010 and Dean in September 2010. Gaining her Professorship in 2016 in recognition of her Academic Leadership and Research has been the pinnacle of achievement in her career as a Physiotherapist, Lecturer and Academic Leader.