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Conference Speakers

Find out more about our confirmed speakers for the conference in 2018
 
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Speakers at this year’s conference

Please see below for a list of confirmed speakers (in alphabetical order), to date, for the 2018 conference programme. We’ll be adding to this list over the coming weeks.

Check out the speakers for the plenarymorning and afternoon breakout sessions

Eleanor Bradford

Eleanor Bradford

Associate Partner, Spey Communications

Eleanor Bradford is Associate Partner with Spey communications agency. She was BBC Scotland’s health correspondent for 15 years, between 2001 and 2016.  She pursued government inaction over contaminated blood supplies leading to the Penrose Inquiry and an apology to victims from the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron.  Eleanor Bradford was one of the first reporters in the UK to report the danger to children of laundry capsules which led to warnings and child-resistant fastenings on packets.  Her investigations into waiting time loopholes led to the Scottish Government tightening the way data was gathered and reported.  Her reports often featured cases of injustice against ordinary people, and her investigations into changes to ‘continuing care’ support led to an expert-led inquiry.

In 2016 she left the BBC to become Head of Communications at the University of Aberdeen.  In 2018 she joined former Scottish Government spokesperson Jennifer Robertson at Spey.  She is a Trustee with Adoption UK, having adopted two brothers in 2013.

Jan Beattie

Jan Beattie

Deputy Director of Workforce Development, Alzheimer Scotland

Jan joined Alzheimer Scotland in 2014 as Deputy Director of Workforce Development, having previously ran a consultancy business. The Quality and Workforce Development team are responsible for developing a culture that encourages and rewards staff to share practice, build peer support encourages learning and stretches thinking. Jan is also Chair of Fair Deal, an innovative learning disabilities organisation in Glasgow that is recognised as being at the forefront of personalisation.
Kate Fearnley

Kate Fearnley

Executive Director, Engagement and Participation at the Mental Welfare Commission

Kate was previously Deputy Chief Executive of Alzheimer Scotland, where she was responsible for the organisation’s service provision, and where she also held other roles over two decades, including Information Manager, Policy Director and Director of Personalisation. She was closely involved in the design of Alzheimer Scotland’s 5 Pillars Model of post-diagnostic support, and 8 Pillars Model of community support. She is also the author of publications including Coping with Dementia and Facing Dementia.

Kate has previously worked for other voluntary sector organisations including Sustrans and Citizen’s Advice Scotland and in the HIV/AIDS field. She has also served on the Boards of the Equality Network and the Health & Social Care Alliance.

Clive Flashman

Clive Flashman

Digital Health Consultant and the Director of Strategy at ORCHA

Clive is President of the TeleMedicine and eHealth Council of the RSM, and a mentor for the NHS Clinical Entrepreneurship Programme. He has a strong background and interest in digital transformation in health and care. He was one of the leading innovators of Knowledge Management in the UK at the start of the dotcom boom, and published in a range of journals at the time. He then re-entered the NHS where he set up a national Knowledge System for patient safety, facilitated a WHO committee, chaired a global HL7 Special Interest Group and sat on the NHS Information Standards Board and NHS National Knowledge Service. Clive has lectured and mentored at a number of universities. and is currently a visiting lecturer in Digital Health at the University of Cumbria.
Carol Hargreaves

Carol Hargreaves

Vice Chair, Scottish Dementia Working Group

Carol joined the Scottish Dementia Working Group in 2013, a few years after receiving her dementia diagnosis, and became Vice Chair in 2017. Since joining the group, Carol feels like she is doing something positive with her life and loves working with other people, having fun and learning new things. Carol also joined the European Working Group for People with Dementia in October 2016, where she represents Scotland.
Karen Hedge

Karen Hedge

National Director, Scottish Care

Karen’s career began as a paid carer, and as much as it felt like having an extended family, she quickly became aware of the pressures on the sector. Her frontline experience led to the Board via social care, social work, commissioning and corporate governance. Her experience spans the statutory, independent, and third sector. As National Director of Scottish Care, she is still addressing pressures, but also seeking out opportunities to celebrate the many successes of the sector.

When she is not working, the ‘Ayrshire lass’ can be found on the beach with her family, letting the good sea breeze blow away the cobwebs. She is also on the committee of the Unfunded List, a not-for-profit which supports unsuccessful fundraisers to meet their next bid.

Geoff Huggins

Geoff Huggins

Director of Health and Social Care Integration at the Scottish Government

Geoff  is responsible for taking forward the largest reform of health and care services in Scotland since the creation of the NHS in 1948.  In addition he is responsible for policy and strategy on social care, learning disability, autism and dementia. In June 2017 Geoff assumed responsibility for digital health and care (including ehealth and technology enabled care and digital healthcare innovation). From 2004 to 2014 he was head of mental health at the Scottish Government and before that worked on housing policy and strategy.  Between 1991 and 1998 he worked on political change and counter terrorism at the Northern Ireland Office.  He is the lead for the second EU Joint Action on Dementia and is currently an adviser on dementia to the European Union, South Korea and the Republic of Ireland.  He runs, watches films, reads and takes photographs
Joyce Gray

Joyce Gray

Deputy Director Development, Alzheimer Scotland

Joyce joined Alzheimer Scotland in January 2010 as Deputy Director of Development and leads on major projects that have attracted international interest e.g. Dementia Dog. Joyce has a BA in Business and Enterprise and IPD Diploma in Training Management, in addition to over 30 years’ experience in the health and social care sector. 

She started her career as a Psychiatric Nurse, but had the opportunity to join the voluntary sector in the early nineties and has since worked with young people excluded from main stream education, managed Carers Centres where she developed one of the first young carers services in the Scotland. Also before joining Alzheimer Scotland she worked on developing new and innovative services for people with learning disabilities. 

Jim Pearson

Jim Pearson

Director of Policy & Research, Alzheimer Scotland

As Director of Policy & Research, Jim leads on all of Alzheimer Scotland’s public policy engagement. Jim is responsible for working with other partners to drive forward the commitments of Scotland’s National Dementia Strategy, including work around the post diagnostic support guarantee, testing our 8 pillar model of integrated community support and extending the improvement work in health care to other settings such as specialist dementia care services and continuing care environments. Jim is also responsible for Alzheimer Scotland’s engagement with international partners including Alzheimer Europe and Alzheimer Disease International.

Tom Russ

Tom Russ

Co Director, Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Centre

Tom is a consultant psychiatrist in NHS Lothian, an honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Dementia Prevention, University of Edinburgh, and Co-Director of the Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Centre, University of Edinburgh. His research began by examining geographical variation in dementia risk in Scotland and Sweden (and later Italy, Chile, New Zealand, and – hopefully – Japan) and now focuses on environmental risk factors for dementia, such as sunlight (and consequently vitamin D levels) and air pollution. The aim is to identify and understand how the most important factors affect dementia risk with a view to delaying the onset of symptoms and, ultimately, preventing dementia.

Barbara Sharp

Barbara Sharp

PhD, BA Lit (Hons), PG Cert. Research Methods, RN (Adult), RN (Children), Lecturer/Practice Educator

Barbara is Policy and Research Advisor with Alzheimer Scotland. Prior to joining Alzheimer Scotland in 1990, she worked in the NHS for 18 years, specialising in the nursing care of older people, latterly as a joint nurse manager/clinical teacher with the NHS and University of Glasgow.

Within Alzheimer Scotland, Barbara has held a wide variety of posts traversing practice, research and policy development. She currently works within Alzheimer Scotland’s public policy team and as a collaborative partner with the Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice at University of West of Scotland.

Henry Simmons

Henry Simmons

Chief Executive, Alzheimer Scotland

Henry Simmons joined Alzheimer Scotland as Chief Executive in August 2008, prior to this he worked as an Executive Director with ENABLE Scotland. He is a registered Social Worker, Registered Mental Nurse and has an MBA. Henry has over twenty years’ experience in the health and social care sector and has spent the majority of his career in the voluntary sector, primarily involved in developing new community-based person-centred services.

Henry has worked in both the learning disability and mental health fields. He was a Board Member of Alzheimer Europe for several years and is a General Member of the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland. He is also chair of the NHS NES/SSSC Dementia Programme Board and currently a member of the Fair Work Convention.

Maureen Watt

Maureen Watt

MSP, Minister for Mental Health

Maureen was born in Aberdeen and is from a farming background. She studied both at the University of Strathclyde and at the University of Birmingham. Maureen was a secondary school teacher in Social Studies in England before moving back to Scotland to work in the oil sector.

Maureen entered the Scottish Parliament in April 2006 as a regional MSP for North East Scotland and was the first MSP to take the oath in Doric as well as English. She served as Minister for Schools and Skills in the first ever SNP Government between 2007 and 2009 and as convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Affairs and Environment Committee between 2009 and the elections in 2011. She was appointed as Minister for Public Health in November 2014.

John Wood

John Wood

Chief Officer for Health and Social Care, COSLA

John Wood is Chief Officer for Health and Social Care at COSLA, having previously been Chief Officer for COSLA’s Migration Team.  He has been at COSLA for five years, originally joining as a Policy Officer and then a Policy Manager covering a range of portfolios including housing, criminal justice and police and fire reform. Before joining COSLA, John worked in the third sector and in Westminster.  In his spare time, he is a Trustee of the Cyrenians.

His current role at COSLA involves leading on the National Care Home Contract and overseeing COSLA’s work to deliver on the integration of health and social care.  He is also a joint Senior Responsible Officer with the Scottish Government for the establishment of Scotland’s new public health body.

Kirsty Yanik

Kirsty Yanik

Communications Manager, Alzheimer Scotland

Kirsty has worked with Alzheimer Scotland for almost 12 years and has been involved in every aspect of its communications, PR, media, social media, awareness-raising and campaigning in that time. Her current focus is engagement; both externally, through her work to ensure that people with dementia and carers in Scotland’s communities are heard and respected by local decisionmakers, and internally, driving forward Alzheimer Scotland’s commitment to all its staff having an effective voice within the organisation.
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