Sharon Shenfine

Associate Dean / Director of Learner Support and Faculty Development / Emergency Medicine Consultant / CertMedEd

Sharon had worked as an Emergency Medicine consultant in the Northern Region for over ten years.

She has been actively involved in postgraduate education during this time both within her own Trust and on a regional basis, having been a Training Programme Director for the Acute Care Common Stem Programme.

Sharon is Director of Learner Support and Faculty Development in addition to developing and delivering training packages to both Postgraduate Doctors and trainers across HEE-NE in a Clinical Trainer role. She is an ILM level 5 qualified coach and provides coaching to our regions Postgraduate Doctors as part of the Educational Support Service.

Alyson Williamson

Senior Business Manager / CertMedEd (ESME) PGCert Clin Leadership

Alyson manages the regional Professional Support and Wellbeing Unit and takes the lead in designing and delivering the faculty development programme to supervisors and Postgraduate Doctors. She has previously held roles at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School and the Royal College of Physicians of London (JCHMT). This has given her wide ranging experience of providing targeted support to Postgraduate Doctors both in Trusts and regionally, coaching all grades of medical staff and supporting trainers to tackle training concerns including undermining behaviours. She is a qualified Healthcare Leadership Model 360 feedback facilitator and MBTI Step 1 Facilitator.  She has presented at national and international medical education events and published commissioned educational modules for BMJ e-learning.

Jenny O'Neil

Educational Training Manager

Jenny is a qualified Higher Education careers professional with six years’ experience in Higher Education designing and delivering programmes to undergraduate and postgraduate students. She leads on the operational management side of Supported Return to Training, is part of our faculty training team and a coach in our Educational Support Service. Jenny has vast experience empowering individuals to identify their future goals and enable them to use necessary tools to achieve their objective through 1:1 guidance and in large group teaching sessions.  She has also achieved Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. 

Jonathan Baxter

Educational Training Manager

Jonathan has a passion for education, training, and support. He holds a postgraduate certificate in education and one of his previous roles was as a secondary school Science teacher. He has great experience of working with a variety of individuals to achieve their potential. For the last four years Jonathan has worked in Health Education England supporting undergraduate medical students and other healthcare professionals with their career transitions. He has worked locally and nationally with medical faculty to better understand the shifting career demands of medical trainees. In addition to this, he has run projects to support widening access into the medical profession. Jonathan holds a coaching qualification and has recently gained foundation chartered manager status.

When not working, Jonathan enjoys walking around the fantastic scenery that the North East has to offer, and catching up with the latest blockbusters and TV shows.

Fiona Cowan

Programme Support Coordinator

Fiona has a degree in Psychology, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education and a masters in Nutrition and Psychological Sciences. She has a devotion to facilitating learning and helping others to bridge the gaps as well as have the confidence to achieve their full potential. She has over ten years’ experience as a teacher, developing curriculums alongside coordinating and enhancing the sport and PE provision within the schools in which she worked.

Fiona currently supports the coordination of targeted learning, meeting the needs of postgraduate doctors and dentists in training as part of the Learner Support Faculty Development team.

Linda Maxwell

Programme Support Administrator

Linda is responsible for the administration to the Team and the organisatation of events across the north east & north Cumbria.  She also assists with the administration to The Supported Return to Training Programme (SuppoRTT) for HEE NE.

She has worked within HR and Medical Staffing  for the NHS for 15 years both for Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust and the Lead Employer Trust and has a wealth of knowledge about Modernising Medical Careers.

Charlotte Bates

Clinical Trainer / Emergency Medicine Consultant

After completing her first year as a consultant in Perth West Australia in 2011 Charlotte is now an Emergency Medicine Consultant at Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital. She has been a clinical and educational supervisor throughout her consultant career, supervised numerous SST students and over the last few years has been a Foundation Tutor. She has also been involved initially as a core trainer and more latterly as a joint lead for the Better Doctors Better Patients HEENE professionalism course delivered to Foundation year 1 doctors across the region. Her passion is training doctors to deliver holistic, patient centred care.

Having completed the years training course Charlotte is a qualified Sheffield Flow Coach and has an on-going interest in quality improvement. Other interests include geriatric emergency medicine, in particular silver and stealth trauma and realistic medicine.

Charlotte joins the faculty as a clinical trainer, contributing initially to our Core Skills Programme and our New to the NHS course.

Nikhil Premchand

Consultant Physician / Associate Dean / Chair - Faculty of Digital Health

Nikhil graduated from medical school at Newcastle University in 2000 and trained in infectious diseases in the Northern Deanery.  He became a consultant in 2010 and worked at the RVI before moving to Northumbria Healthcare in 2012 to develop the Clinical Infection service.  Nikhil works across the acute medical team and the clinical infection service in addition to being the trust clinical lead for IT (CCIO).  His clinical interests include bone and joint infection, antimicrobial stewardship and the application of technology to healthcare with the aim of improving patient care and staff experience.  Nikhil is the clinical lead for the North Cumbria viral hepatitis service and delivers intermittent clinics in Carlisle.  Additionally, Nikhil is an Associate Dean for Health Education England North East and chairs the Faculty of Digital Health.  He has been involved in medical education and training for over a decade and has previously been the training programme director for acute medicine and infectious diseases in addition to being the first Guardian of Safe Working at Northumbria.

Rajen Gupta

Clinical Trainer / Head of School for ophthalmology / B Med Sci., BMBS. MRCP. F.R.C.Ophth

Rajen completed his undergraduate training at Nottingham University and following his qualification in 1994,  has had a broad exposure in general medicine, casualty, neurosurgery and worked in Durban South Africa. He  completed ophthalmic training in Nottingham and Birmingham and subsequently did a Fellowship at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London. In 2008, Rajen joined the Newcastle Eye Centre located at the Royal Victoria Hospital. Rajen has interests in diabetic retinopathy, vascular disorders as well as age-related macular degeneration but his main passion is an interest in andragogy and its application in teaching. He has lectured internationally and nationally on how to teach cataract surgery and has written and published a textbook on the subject as well as teaching PACES candidates and supporting doctors who have previously failed their post graduate exams.  He is currently the Head of School overseeing ophthalmic training in the Northern deanery as well as acting as a HEE appointed Clinical Trainer for the region.

Jeff Doran

Clinical Trainer / Consultant Anaesthetist / MBChB FRCA DipIMC

Jeff is a consultant anaesthetist working at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough. He currently is working in full time hospital practice after 10 years working in a combined hospital / prehospital role with South Tees Hospitals and The Great North Air Ambulance. It was during his time with the Great North Air Ambulance that his interest and experience in developing and delivering teaching and training really established itself and he has held the roles of educational / clinical supervisor, course director, faculty lead and is the exiting Training Programme Director for Pre Hospital Medicine.

His Current clinical interests include both paediatric and regional anaesthesia and more recently Jeff has been able to persue his research interests in Human Performance. Working alongside the department of Psychobiology at Northumbria University his current work tries to understand the psychological and physiological impact of frontline healthcare work. He has recently qualified as an ILM Level 5 Coach and joins the LSFD team as a Clinical Trainer.

Robyn Kewley

Clinical Trainer / Training Programme Director - Northumbria GP Training Programme / MBBS and BSc Hons in Anatomy and Cell Biology

Robyn studied her biology degree at the University of Liverpool and then medicine at the University of Newcastle. Now she is a GP. Her interests are patient education, diabetes and breastfeeding. She works in the learner support team as a Clinical Trainer. She also works within the hospital directorate of the Northumbria GP training programme as a Training Programme Director.

Matt Gray

Associate Leadership Fellow / Trauma & Orthopaedics / ST4 / MBBS MRCS BSc (Hons)

Matt is a Trauma & Orthopaedic Postgraduate Doctor in the Northern region and an Associate Fellow of the HEE NE Northern Leadership & Management Fellowship after previously completing two years in post as a full-time fellow between 2019 and 2021.

Matt has previously been involved in several regional and national projects addressing themes ranging from the utilisation of technology to support training through to contributing to National policy surrounding the delivery of training in the independent sector.

He is specifically interested in demystifying and widening access to practical leadership and management experiences for all doctors in training and ongoing development of the Northern L&M fellowship.

Gregory Stamp

Leadership and Management Fellow / Trauma & Orthopaedics / ST6 / MBBS PgC (Med Ed)  MRCSEd

Greg is an orthopaedic surgery trainee in the North East and is aiming for a career in Trauma Surgery.  He graduated from Brighton in 2012 and did his foundation years in Cornwall.   He is a Captain in the Army Reserves at 201 Field Hospital in Newcastle.  His academic interests include medical education, quality improvement and developing technology in healthcare, with robotics and simulation

Greg loves the outdoors and having access to the Lake District and North Pennines is a major attraction of the region for him.  He runs with Jesmond Joggers and has run most distances from 200m up to a 250km ultramarathon across Iceland.  On a weekend he can usually be found in Northumberland on a bike ride!

He is excited for the opportunity this year at HEE NE to understand how strategic leadership works and effective management is delivered.  Undertaking an MBA alongside this fellowship will enable Greg to take the best of the business world and use that experience to drive transformational leadership in NHS.

Laura Clifton

Leadership and Management Fellow / T&O ST5 / MBChB BmedSci PG Cert (Med Ed) MRCS

Laura is a Trauma and Orthopaedics Registrar in the North East.  She graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2014 and undertook her Foundation and Core Surgical Training in the Thames Valley region.  She is a proud Geordie and returned to the region to commence her speciality training in 2018.

She is passionate about improving the training experience for Postgraduate Doctors and Dentists and is looking forward to working alongside members of the Northern Learner Support and Faculty Development team to achieve this.  A particular focus of the Fellowship Year will be working alongside the Foundation School and developing training resources.  Widening participation and promoting careers in healthcare is another passion.  She will be studying for a Postgraduate Diploma in Senior Leadership and is looking forward to utilising these skills when she returns to training and in her future NHS practice. 

Outside of work Laura enjoys playing hockey, cycling, and climbing, with Northumberland providing a great springboard for adventures.

Alan Hilley

Leadership and Management Fellow / Trauma & Orthopaedics / ST6 / MBChB / MRCSEd

Alan is an Orthopaedic Surgery Postgraduate Doctor in the North East. He graduated from the University of Glasgow in 2013 and undertook foundation training in the beautiful city of Edinburgh. This was followed by a move south, to the North East, to pursue a career in surgery. Alan loves the beach and can often be found surfing or paddle boarding along the Northumberland coastline. When not in the water, Alan spends most weekends in the Lake District running up and down mountains, training for his next ultramarathon.

Alan is passionate about medical education and is looking forward to developing his skills this year by completing a PG Certificate in Medical Education with the University of Sunderland. Alan’s main focus this year will be to promote sustainable healthcare. He is looking forward to working with the Faculty of Sustainable Healthcare to create a network of green champions to support green initiatives across the region.

Alan will also be working with the Northumbria NHS Foundation Trust which offers a unique opportunity to work alongside a senior management team to gain experience of how positive change can be implemented within an NHS organisation.

Rory Houston


Rory is an ENT registrar in the North East. He studied at Bristol University and completed an intercalated degree in Sports and Exercise Science at University of Wales Institute Cardiff. He undertook his foundation training in Thames Valley, following this he worked in New Zealand as a surgical registrar before moving to the North East for core and speciality training. 

He enjoys outdoor activities and spending time on the coast and in the hills with his family. 

He has a passion for mentorship and the opportunities and experience it provides both to the mentor and the mentee. He is also keen to support and engage those new to the NHS and is working within the Learner Support and Faculty Development directorate to improve the learning experience of doctors and dentists in training across the North East and North Cumbria.

Iain McPherson

Leadership and Management Fellow / Cardiothoracic Surgery / BMedSci (Hons) MBChB (Hons) PGCert (Med Ed) MRCSEd

Iain is a cardiothoracic surgery specialty trainee in the North East and is a new northern leadership and management fellow starting in 2022. Having graduated from the University of Aberdeen in 2017 with an MBChB and BMedSci in medical research, Iain moved to complete foundation medical training in Glasgow whilst developing an interest in cardiac and cardiothoracic transplantation surgery. 

Iain moved to the North East to start his ST1 training in cardiothoracic surgery in 2019, further expanding his interest through clinical practice and research of transplantation and mechanical circulatory support whilst undertaking a postgraduate certificate in medical education at Newcastle University in 2021. 

Cardiothoracic transplantation continues to rapidly develop on a national level in the UK, with leadership and management of this resource a key aspect of practice. The northern clinical leadership and management fellowship will provide the ideal opportunity to not only understand how organisational structure and strategy can be used to effect change, but also to support the development of new skills in areas such as surgical mentorship and equality, diversity and inclusion. This will be reinforced with study on the Northumbria University Senior Leaders programme, providing the business knowledge required to work in this exciting area of medicine. 

Laura Keast

Leadership and Management Fellow / Public Health / ST3 / MBBCh MPH PgDip (Med Ed) MFPH

Laura is a Public Health Registrar in the North East. She graduated from Cardiff University in 2015 and completed foundation training between the West Midlands and North East regions. After foundation she worked as a clinical teaching fellow for two years; one year at James Cook and one year at Newcastle University where she completed the Diploma of Medical Education. She has completed a Master of Public Health degree as part of her Public Health training. 

Laura is passionate about the health impacts of climate change and will be spending some time this year working with the Faculty of Sustainable Healthcare. She is also very interested in postgraduate doctor and dentist wellbeing, particularly post pandemic, and will be getting involved in work in this area. 

She is really looking forward to her Fellowship year and hopes to gain leadership and management skills that will both benefit her Public Health practice and enable her to take on a senior health system leadership role in the future. She will be studying for a Postgraduate Diploma in Senior Leadership alongside the Fellowship. 

Outside of work Laura has recently taken up the hobby of competing in triathlons, enjoys escaping to the Lake District where her family lives, paddleboarding, wild swimming, and spending time with her rescue cat, Tiger. 

Gerard Carlin

Leadership and Management Fellow / General Practice / ST2 / MBBS

Gerard is GP trainee in the North East. Originally from Northern Ireland, he studied at Newcastle Medical School and completed his foundation training programme in Newcastle. Subsequently he worked as a trust grade doctor in paediatrics and completed 2 years of paediatric specialty training in the North East before switching to GP training. 

Gerard hopes to utilise the fellowship to make a positive impact on the training experience of postgraduate doctors and dentists in the North East and North Cumbria. Gerard is undertaking a Senior Leader Higher Apprenticeship with Northumbria University to further develop his knowledge and skills in leadership and management.

Outside of work, Gerard enjoys spending time with his family and taking his black lab, Jasper, for long walks in the North East’s beautiful coasts and countryside.