Conference SpeakersFind out more about our confirmed speakers for the conference in 2018 View full programme
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Deputy Director of Workforce Development, Alzheimer ScotlandJan 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.
Associate Partner, SpeyEleanor 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.
Chief Officer, Western Isles Health and Social Care Partnership: Cùram is SlàinteRon is currently the Chief Officer of the Health and Social Care Partnership in the Western Isles. After completing a PhD in 2004, Ron joined a voluntary sector organisation to work with asylum seekers and refugees, before moving into consultancy work in economic development. In 2006, he joined COSLA, leading its work on the health and well-being agenda, and over the course of the next decade was heavily involved in shaping the agenda around health and social care integration. Ron and his family moved to the Western Isles in 2015, since when he has been focused on delivering integrated services in partnership with communities across the Outer Hebrides.
Vice Chair, Scottish Dementia Working GroupCarol 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.
National Director, Scottish CareKaren’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.
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
Chief Executive, Alzheimer ScotlandHenry 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.
Recently, Henry has been fortunate to be awarded Honorary Doctorates from both Queen Margaret University and Glasgow Caledonian University.
Member of<br /> National Dementia Carers Action Network, Alzheimer<br /> ScotlandAnnette lives in Aberdeen and has been involved with Alzheimer Scotland’s National Dementia Carers Action Network (NDCAN) for 3 years. She was a committee member until 2018. Her late father had Vascular Dementia and spent 3 years in a nursing home. Prior to this, Annette struggled to make sense of the health and social care systems and felt frustrated at the apparent lack of co-ordination. She joined NDCAN as she wanted to try to improve things for other family carers in a similar situation. She is actively involved in local carer support groups and attends Aberdeen Health and Social Care Partnership meetings to highlight the local issues which carers face. She has recently worked with Life Changes Trust on conferences planned by carers for carers and is involved Grampian NHS Dementia conference. Annette raises collective issues for dementia carers both nationally and locally.
MSP, Minister for Mental HealthMaureen 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.
Chief Officer for Health and Social Care, COSLAJohn 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.