Our Team

Here are the people who make up our team

William Pope

Chair

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Integer sit amet nunc et ex consequat ultricies ultricies sed diam. Nunc faucibus dui vel leo vehicula consequat. Aliquam erat volutpat. Pellentesque aliquet consectetur urna nec suscipit.

Nunc eu nisi rhoncus, fringilla massa tempus, hendrerit. enim.

Richard Stubbs

Chief Executive Officer

Aliquam erat volutpat. Pellentesque aliquet consectetur urna nec suscipit. Nunc eu nisi rhoncus, fringilla massa tempus, hendrerit. enim.

Kathy Scott

Director of Operations and Deputy CEO

Kathy is responsible for ensuring our programmes meet the requirements of our commissioners. She’s also the AHSN Network Lead for Environmental Sustainability and Staff Development.

Before joining the AHSN, Kathy was Head of Innovation and Research at NHS England, responsible for the first two rounds of the Innovation and Technology Payment and the Clinical Entrepreneur Programme. During this time she secured the relicensing of the AHSNs for a further five years.

Kathy has had a really varied public services career. Starting out working in the Department for Social Security’s Benefits Office, she moved to become a Fraud Investigator and then into measuring the cost of benefit fraud and error. She later moved over to the Department of Health where she worked in a variety of roles, including the delivery of large-scale strategic projects, policy development, corporate support, commercial projects and assessing the value for money of other public bodies, including the Food Standards Agency and NICE.

Kathy loves spending time with her family, reading, running and planning her next holiday.

Sally Hawksworth

Director of Corporate Services

As Director of Corporate Services, Sally is responsible for the strategic and operational management of several key functions including Finance, Human Resources, IT and Marketing.

She has been with the organisation for over five years and was previously Head of Corporate Services. As well as leading the department, she advises the senior leadership team and the Board of Directors on all aspects of finance, governance and legal compliance, ensuring these are executed effectively.

She has over 20 years’ experience in all major areas of finance having worked in a variety of senior positions managing company finances within both the private and charitable sector. She also has board-level experience and volunteered her services in the running of a small charity for over five years.

Sally loves spending time with her family, watching live music gigs, bike riding and horse riding. She enjoys completing challenges such as walking the Yorkshire three peaks and loves going on long-distance walks including the Coast to Coast, Dales Way and Cleveland Way.


Neville Young

Director of Enterprise & Innovation

Dr Neville Young joined the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN in 2016. He has a real interest and track record in supporting the delivery of high-quality research and innovation, in particular in helping create the evidence needed to drive the adoption at scale of well evidenced health technology.

Neville has a leadership role within the network, liaising on the NIHR on their i4i program, with the NHSX AI lab, SBRI funding, the National Innovator Accelerator program (NIA), with NICE and with the several trade associations such as BIVDA and the ABHI. He also has an interest in international activity, promoting export opportunities for UK-based innovators and creating a safe landing space for international companies.

Dr Young has worked as an academic researcher, a drug trial manager, a consultant, as a director for a health tech start up and is focused on helping to identify and support the “pull" from the healthcare systems for innovative health technologies.

He completed his doctorate in Molecular Embryology from Kings College London, before working at the Institute of Cancer Research in London and then the Institute of Molecular Bio-Sciences in Queensland, Australia before returning to the UK and working in research development, Healthtech innovation and the AHSN network.

He loves sport and all things sporty and in particular rugby union!

Tracey Walker

Interim Director of Delivery

Tracey is our Interim Director of Delivery and has a diverse portfolio including our Workforce strategy and programmes, Health Inequalities, Population Health Management, Mental Health, The Patient Safety Collaborative and Digital Joined up Care.

A successful transformational change leader with a proven track record in leading programmes and delivering change, Tracey’s career has spanned a diverse range of fast paced, complex, continually developing commercial and public businesses. She has also enjoyed successful roles in Leadership Development and Lean Transformation.

Since joining the AHSN in 2019, she has led on several programmes looking at the impact of new innovation, the implementation of different workforce strategies and new ways of working. She has successfully secured funding across a number of areas including colleague mental health and wellbeing and NHSX’s Digital Joined Up Care Programme.

An important part of her role is creating an inclusive environment where all have a voice and feel able to share innovative thoughts and ideas leading to a richer workplace for the AHSN and our partners. Supporting individuals and organisations to be the best they can be is one of her core values.

Tracey is a passionate cook with a love for soaking up different cultures. Socialising with friends and family, relaxing and laughing are incredibly important to her. She’s also a big swimmer, avid reader and has recently started re-teaching herself the guitar.

Aejaz Zahid

SYB Innovation Hub Director

Aejaz Zahid is the Innovation Hub Director for the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System. His role involves developing a new model for the AHSN to enable closer engagement with Integrated Care Systems and their evolving role in driving health and care transformation. The ICS-embedded Innovation Hub team are creating processes for gathering intelligence around unmet needs, while addressing systemic barriers to innovation, adoption and spread.

Aejaz began his career as a graduate clinical engineering trainee developing new healthcare technologies in the NHS and has worked for 20 years across the UK and internationally in both ground-breaking start-ups and large public sector healthcare systems. Developing innovative healthcare products and services in diverse contexts, while maintaining and nurturing an enterprising mindset.

Aejaz enjoys making and sharing food with family and friends, is passionate about music and storytelling and loves travelling, experiencing new places, spaces and cultures.

Andrew Woodcock

SYB Innovation Hub Programme Coordinator

Andrew joined Yorkshire & Humber AHSN in October 2020 to work as part of the South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw Innovation Hub. Working closely across the AHSN and Integrated Care System, he supports the Hub’s role to identify and collate unmet needs, connect partners from across the system and introduce innovative solutions to clinical and non-clinical challenges.

Andrew is leading on a project to aid patients experiencing respiratory disease through training front line health workers in CBT techniques. He is also supporting innovative system transformation projects in tele-dermatology and cancer pathways and is developing a web portal to collate and share resources throughout the region.

Prior to this role, Andrew worked in a primary health authority in Melbourne, where he was responsible for guiding the research and commissioning of a range of programmes to support chronic pain, diabetes, homelessness and Aboriginal health. He also gained experience working for the UK national authority of third-sector organisations delivering public leisure and culture services. Here, he led projects to demonstrate the social value of members and to protect the public commissioning environment for charities and social enterprises.

Andrew is a keen distance runner, a regular cyclist (more laid-back than lycra-clad), a budding photographer and an enthusiastically average artist.

Angela Foster

CEO's Executive Assistant

Description text

Barbara Conneely

Programme Lead

Barbara is Programme Lead for the portfolio of Workforce Programmes which includes a cross section of local and national projects which impact on the NHS workforce.

Barbara has 11 years’ experience within the healthcare sector with a background in private hospitals and community healthcare. She has been at the AHSN for two years and has worked on a variety of programmes including Workforce, CVD, Mental Health, Medicines Optimisation and Digital Innovation.

Barbara is most proud of the Atrial Fibrillation project which helped detect patients with the condition which once identified and treated can help to prevent life changing strokes. This project was shortlisted for a HSJ Partnership Award and a blog showcasing the impacts can be found here.

Barbara has a keen interest in innovation and enjoys working on programmes that can improve both patient and staff experience.

In her spare time, Barbara enjoys studying, travel and socialising with friends and family.

Christine Johns

PA to Directors

Christine has worked with the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN since September 2015 and is part of the Commercial team. Working as a PA to Neville Young and Tracey Walker, within her role she uses her strong organisational skills, including the juggling of complex diary systems.

Previously, Christine spent 14 years living in the Highlands of Scotland working as a finance manager and PA for a holiday rental company before leaving for France to become a manager of a Chateau near Toulouse. After five years in France, she returned to live in Devon before moving to Yorkshire after meeting her husband playing scrabble online.

Outside office hours Christine spends as many hours as she can get in her ‘Glass Shed’ making suncatchers and commissioned items from stained glass. She also loves travelling, skiing and walking and is a one of the AHSN’s talented cake makers.

Claire Horton

Programme Manager

Claire has worked at the AHSN since June 2019 and was the Programme Coordinator for the new South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Innovation Hub. She was involved in getting the Hub established and was responsible for the first three Exemplar Innovation Projects (workforce, cardiovascular disease and urgent and emergency care).

In October 2020, Claire was promoted to Programme Manager and is currently responsible for implementing the AHSN Networks' Innovation Pipeline at the AHSN. She is also responsible for a pilot project aiming to increase the uptake of the myCOPD app in Wakefield and Bradford.

Prior to joining the AHSN, Claire worked across the public and private sector in UK universities, high-tech SMEs and the pharmaceutical industry, including in vaccine development. She also worked for several years in multi-partner consortia funded by the European Commission and Innovate UK and was responsible for advising UK organisations applying for funding from the EC's Framework Programme.

Additional skills include: the preparation of proposals for funding from UK and European sources, organising events, quality control, product development (vaccines) and the communication of research project results through articles, newsletters, website development and social media.

Clare Marsh

PMO Manager

Since joining the AHSN in December 2018, Clare has managed the PMO (Project Management Office) for Yorkshire and Humber which includes not only managing the variety of projects we run but also the information about them we hold and share with our colleagues.

Clare has introduced a project governance approach that has allowed us to understand progress on all our projects, who we are supporting and what we are delivering as part of our work. We can now see what fields of medicine are supported and what geographies we support, and we have a comprehensive data set that we can use to ‘draw’ a project story across our region.

Before joining the AHSN, Clare had over 20 Years’ experience with a high street bank in a variety of roles including: Audit, Quality Assurance, Project Management and Project Management Office. Most recently, she worked as a Workforce Manager as part of the Planning and Governance function. In this role, she led the Organisational Design for a team of 1000+ alongside the overall recruitment process; she was responsible for ensuring recruitment was within budgetary and local parameters to support the Organisational Design and managed the overall governance and reporting within the function.

Clare’s a keen genealogist, so any spare time is spent looking for ancestors and more about them.

David Shapland

Head of Marketing & Communications

Dave leads the marketing and communications team at the AHSN and is responsible for making sure that our stakeholders hear about the impact of our work and the achievements of our partners in the region. Since joining the organisation Dave has helped to define and shape our culture through the redevelopment of our mission, vision, purpose, values and visual identity.

Before joining the AHSN, Dave worked at NHS Digital and then at NHS England in the Digital Transformation team where he developed stakeholder engagement strategy for the NHS’s Chief Clinical Information Officer, Chief Information Officer and Chief Digital Officer. He also led on the development of the ‘Digital Health Zone’ at the Health and Care Innovation Expo in 2018 in collaboration with its sponsors, Teva Pharmaceuticals.

Prior to joining the NHS Dave began his career working in marketing agencies where he managed a diverse range of clients before joining BT to help them grow their new wireless broadband network back in the days when wi-fi still seemed like magic!

Dave is the AHSN’s resident chess expert and is ranked inside the top 1,000 players in England. He is also an enthusiastic home cook and cocktail-maker and enjoys hill walking and mountain biking to work off the food and the booze.

Ellen Barnes

Programme Manager

Ellen has over 12 years’ experience as a project manager in healthcare in a variety of settings, acute trusts (London & Yorkshire), NHS England, regional networks and community healthcare and enjoys delivering improvements that benefit both patients and providers. Having delivered projects across numerous healthcare services, Ellen is skilled at becoming a subject matter expert regardless of the project.

Since joining YH AHSN in Sept 2020, Ellen has been supporting the NHSX ‘Joined Up Care Programme: Care Homes & Virtual Wards’, with a focus on the Virtual Ward project elements to support the COVID response to remote monitoring.

Before working in healthcare, Ellen worked for 9 years in the City of London for a leading investment fund organisation, gaining the Investment Management Certificate, a regulatory and pre-requisite qualification for posts in investment management companies.

Ellen prefers to be active than go to a gym and regularly plays tennis for fitness and fun. She would like to do more sailing to day skipper level and get a new motorbike. She enjoys photography, modern digital art and crocheting.

Emma Whiteman

NWCSP Administrator

Emma is a project administrator for the National Wound Care Strategy Programme (NWCSP). She provides administration support to our programme director, programme manager and various clinical leads and utilises her strong organisational skills to arrange meetings with various internal and external stakeholders.

She’s also responsible for updating the NWCSP social media platforms; the website with fresh content and other online resources including the Future NHS platform.

Prior to joining the AHSN and NWCSP, Emma managed a funeral-directors in Leeds where she felt very privileged to help families through a really difficult time.

Emma has had a varied career with over 20 years’ experience working within travel, education, veterinary, IT, Police and banking environments. She also has experience of working in account management, sales and office management.

Emma has recently moved to a little village in North Yorkshire and with her two dogs and teenage son. She is passionate about animals and all things Spanish and enjoys cooking, eating out and socialising with her friends and family.

Frances Shaw

NWCSP Administrator

Frances is an Admin Officer for the National Wound Care Strategy Programme (NWCSP), a programme commissioned by NHS England and Improvement to improve the prevention and care of pressure ulcers, lower limb ulcers and surgical wounds.

In this varied role, her duties have ranged from proofreading and compiling an intranet for the programme to developing new website sections for COVID-19 resources, creating social media plans and content, organising and minuting meetings and building and managing stakeholder databases.

Before starting work at the AHSN, Frances carried out administration and marketing roles for more than 8 years, working in the healthcare and civil engineering sectors. These roles included a range of administration tasks, from updating databases to formatting documents and covering a busy switchboard. Other tasks included creating marketing materials, writing content for civil engineering bids and the web and assisting with the organisation of supplier networking events.

Gemma Wright

Programme Lead

Leading on our patient safety collaborative and mental health, Gemma ensures the programmes are delivered in conjunction with partners and stakeholders across the region. Building on the great work by the AHSN, Gemma is developing our mental health strategy and raising the profile of our patient safety programmes nationally.

Prior to the AHSN, Gemma was with the NHS Confederation for 12 years, leading national programmes on inclusive recruitment, retention, community engagement and staff experience. Working on commissions from the Ministry of Defence, Health Education England, NHS England and NHS Improvement plus the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Gemma rolled out an Armed Forces recruitment programme, ‘Step into Health’, to over 100 NHS organisations across England and Wales.
The programme helped over 1000 members of the Armed Forces community find sustainable employment within the NHS leading to Gemma representing ‘Step into Health’ at the royal wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The academic world did not suit Gemma’s goals therefore her career began in childcare and developed through roles within the Department of Work and Pensions plus third sector organisations.

Gemma loves cooking, baking bread and other tasty treats for her family. She is an honorary colonel with the British Army and loves engaging with our NHS reservists and taking on new journeys and challenges.

Graham Prestwich

Public and Patient Engagement Lead

Following a career in the medicines industry, in 2012 Graham joined the Board of NHS Leeds North Clinical Commissioning Group as Non-Executive Lay Member for Patient and Public Involvement, until March 2018.

During that time, Graham established and then chaired the Patient Assurance Group, also chaired Primary Care Commissioning Committee and Remuneration and Nominations Committee. He is the Lay Member of the Leeds Area Prescribing Committee and through that was inspired to develop Me and My Medicines with help and contributions from local patients and citizens.

Graham is now a member of the Board of Healthwatch Leeds and, as the Lead for Patient and Public Involvement at the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN, Graham’s work includes the National Pathology Imaging Cooperative, evaluating tests for Covid 19, working with Leeds University on public health communications, supporting self-care and clinical coaching, and Digital health credentialing tools for the COVID recovery agenda.

In his spare time, Graham enjoys cycling, dancing, gardening, and engineering.

Graham Finney

Programme Coordinator

Graham works as a programme Coordinator for the AHSN, helping to deliver remote monitoring solutions to care homes and other medical organisations across the region. His role involves working closely with CCGs, Care Homes, Trusts and other health organisations.

Prior to joining the AHSN, Graham has worked in several roles, primarily in the Public Sector. He was part of a team delivering secure network connectivity into the Health and Social Care Network for NHS Digital where he ensured connectivity ran smoothly and provided resellers with training to manage their connections.

Alongside this, he delivered public and private WIFI and VOIP telephony to surgeries, pharmacies and other medical organisations working closely with multiple CCGs across the Midlands and Shropshire.

Graham also has marketing experience implementing campaigns across both the public and private sectors.

Graham is a passionate and published photographer who can be seen, armed with a camera, everywhere from music festivals to sports events to Royal Family visits. He is a huge fan of live music, stand-up comedy, walking and pizza.

Harriet Smith

Programme Manager

As a Programme Manager, Harriet has responsibility for the Innovation Technology Payment (ITP), Medtech Funding Mandate products and the Project Transformation Funds (PTF) within the Yorkshire and Humber region, working with stakeholders to help them overcome barriers to the implementation of new healthcare innovations and technologies.

Previous roles have included being a specialist advisor to the Care Quality Commission and spending over 20 years as a risk management consultant with a large international certification company.

Harriet has worked at a national level developing quality management standards for the NHS, and with health and social care organisations on their quality improvement programmes and risk management initiatives. Projects have included working within healthcare organisations in America, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Croatia, Poland and Iceland. More recently, she worked with smaller companies supporting their development of technology-enabled care services.

In her spare time, Harriet loves to travel and enjoys photography, architecture, and design.

Helen Hoyland

Programme Lead

Helen leads Yorkshire & Humber AHSN Office of Life Sciences portfolio and digital operational delivery.

Helen is responsible for developing and sustaining strategic partnerships with NHS leaders, academia, large industry, national and regional scientific and academic bodies and collaborative programmes, such as digital transformation and service redesign. These relationships translate into collaborative large scale innovation programmes, collaborative multi-agency funding awards for research and innovation and inform place based and regional digital and innovation strategies across three Integrated Care Systems.

In her role, Helen is also operational lead for a new innovation and portfolio pipeline being introduced nationally across the AHSN network

Helen has worked for several national NHS improvement bodies and started her NHS career in Public Health. She has a special interest in patient insight and experience as a driver for change.

At NHS England Helen drafted the NHS mandate section around Research and Innovation on behalf of NHS England, working very closely with Department of Health officials, with regular briefings to ministers.


Helen also co-authored and published the first NHS England Research Plan which was approved by the Department of Health and led on regular upwards reporting to the Department of Health and the Director of Policy, Partnerships and Innovation.

In her spare time, Helen enjoys reading. She has a Chinese Crested dog (hairless) who goes everywhere with her. Helen is also addicted to Formula 1 and usually attends two Grand Prix every year.


Jade Hill

Finance Manager

Description text

Jenny Hamer

Programme Lead

Description text

Joanne Healey

HR Coordinator

Joanne supports both the finance and HR departments at the AHSN. In her role as a HR Coordinator, she provides support to the HR Manager, dealing with recruitment and keeping our HR system (Breathe) up to date with sickness, holidays, personal data and all general admin tasks.

Supporting the finance manager includes preparing monthly payroll, payment runs, invoicing, sales, purchase orders and keeping xero up to date for quart reporting.

Joanne has over 20 years’ experience of working within an HR/Payroll/finance environment and has learnt most of what she can do along the way.

She previously worked for a National Museum and a Private Sector Company handling all aspects of HR admin and Payroll.

Joanne likes to Keep fit in any form but particularly loves going to the gym to work out with others. She also enjoys socialising with friends, over food and drinks.

Joanne Jennings

Programme Coordinator

As Programme Coordinator Joanne is responsible for providing a range of programme and project support, involving working closely with project teams comprising of staff from the AHNS, (clinical and non-clinical) and commercial sectors, associates/contractors and other stakeholders. Joanne contributes to ensuring projects are adequately planned, resourced and supported to enable the teams to deliver to high standards, on time and within a set budget.

Before joining the AHSN, Joanne was a Web Content Manager for a mail order company, Freemans Grattan Holdings (FGH), she worked for this company for over 32 years managing content production for a variety of websites.

Joanne loves keeping busy with her daughters, four grandchildren and their French bulldog called Minnie. Joanne’s passion is her garden, she also enjoys walking and socialising with her family and friends.

Juvaria Hassan

Programme Coordinator

As a Programme Coordinator, Juvaria has worked on various projects including: Evaluation and Reset, Transfer of Care Around Medicines, Early Intervention Eating Disorder: FREED and Focus ADHD programmes. As part of these projects, she has conducted many case study interviews, inputted into regional project reports and managed relationships with stakeholders.

Juvaria is also part of the Equality and Diversity team and has sat on an NHS Innovation Accelerator panel reviewing and assessing how health inequalities have been addressed in innovations. She also delivered a presentation to the organisation and is part of the NHS Muslim Women’s Network.


Prior to working at the AHSN, Juvaria has spent time working in the International NGO sector, managing humanitarian projects within the Middle East and North Africa. She also has experience in the healthcare and finance sectors.

Juvaria enjoys exercising, cooking, baking, reading, sewing, learning new languages and is very interested in psychology. She is currently re-learning Arabic, French and Spanish and newly learning Turkish and Hebrew.

Kate Lodge

Programme Lead

Kate is Head of Strategic Partnerships at the AHSN and previously was a Programme Lead. She helps to connect healthcare organisations, industry and academia to build a pipeline of solutions from research and development through to successful implementation and commercialisation.

Kate has a particular interest in innovations that have real game-changing potential for the NHS and uses her commercial expertise to help these companies make the biggest and most sustainable impact to the NHS.
Recently, Kate has led our ‘joined up care’ virtual ward and care homes programme delivered in partnership with our integrated care systems and NHSx. This has been an exciting opportunity to harness new technologies to support more people safely at home and transform frontline delivery.
Kate has (almost!) 20 years of healthcare transformation experience; before joining the AHSN in 2019, she spent a decade in consulting, latterly with GE one of the world’s biggest digital industrial companies, running complex programmes across systems.

One of her career highlights is supporting the set-up of the pioneering Manchester Local Care Organisation. Kate worked across new teams and partners to bring together community health and social care in a new, award-winning model of care – working as one team across traditional organisational boundaries - to improve the health of local people in the city.

Outside of work the great outdoors is normally calling; she tries to keep up with her increasingly fast son or is exploring with Milly the dog or Cairo the horse.

Katharine Morley

HR Manager

Katharine has been working at Yorkshire & Humber AHSN for three years initially joining as a consultant to develop the HR function and Corporate Support Services and also managing the office relocation project.

As the organisation has grown rapidly, her focus has been on recruitment, engagement, performance and equality and diversity and she has developed and rolled-out a wide-ranging wellbeing programme as a core element of the HR strategy to help prevent stress and create a positive working environment.

In 2020, in response to the changes caused by the pandemic, all HR activities moved online and the recruitment, onboarding and induction of 18 new staff was carried out virtually. Despite the obvious challenges, the feedback from new team members has been overwhelmingly positive.

Prior to joining the AHSN, Katharine has worked in HR in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors in both operational, strategic and HR management roles and ran her own consultancy offering the full range of HR services to SME’s and school trusts. An interest in alternative methods of dispute resolution, led Katharine to become an accredited mediator by undertaking training in workplace, civil and commercial disputes.

Katharine loves spending time with her grandson and is a season ticket holder at Barnsley FC. She also likes to read, travel, cook and see live music.



Labeeb Azim

Programme Manager

Labeeb has worked on various projects at the AHSN covering Population Health, Cardiovascular Disease, Quality Improvement and Transformation.

Working on West Yorkshire and Harrogate Outpatients Transformation programme, Labeeb has delivered a series of virtual workshops during the pandemic, supporting Programme Leads from the West Yorkshire Association of Acute Trusts with outpatient priorities. Focusing on optimising virtual consultations, patient portals, tools to optimise patient activation, self-care and remote management.

Labeeb has also worked with several companies looking at solutions and innovations to support the region and patients digitally. He developed and manages the WYH Outpatients Transformation Future NHS page for which he has produced various supporting documents.

Prior to joining the AHSN, Labeeb worked in the education sector with a 7-year long career as a Technology teacher. He has also worked in IT Infrastructure supporting system processes, information governance, testing, incident management and software solutions and implementation.

Labeeb is a foodie that loves cooking and sharing authentic flavours through his seasonal side business. He is also passionate about holistic nutrition, health, fitness and wellbeing.

Laura Hirstwood

Programme Coordinator

Laura joined the AHSN in November 2020 and after spending her initial five months working with the Humber, Coast and Vale Integrated Care System supporting their Digital Team she is now working with the AHSN’s Project Management Office.

In previous roles, Laura has worked in both the private and public sector in roles from sales support to medical personnel, but most recently for Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust as part of their Postgraduate Medical Education Department coordinating their Foundation Training Programme for Junior Doctors.

Outside work Laura loves to spend time walking in the local countryside with her family, spending time with her horse and trying to tackle her overgrown garden.

Natalie Warrington

Marketing & Communications Officer

Natalie is part of the Communications Team at the AHSN. Her work involves managing the AHSN’s social channels and website, in addition to developing communications campaigns to connect with external partners and colleagues through news stories, blogs and case studies (written and video).

Natalie’s highlights at the AHSN include: Producing the AHSN’s flagship annual conference brochure; being editor the internal newsletter; leading on communications for various projects including Me + My Medicines and the Propel@YH Net Zero Accelerator.

Natalie has communications experience across the public, private and charity sectors. Previously, she worked for Northern Gas Networks, sourcing and writing positive news stories and generating media coverage.

She’s also worked for Public Health England, helping to deliver big campaigns such as Stay Well This Winter, Change4Life and Health Harms. At the Sue Ryder charity, she worked on two major campaigns across West Yorkshire: The Women of Achievement Awards and The Starlight Hike. Both were extremely successful campaigns and achieved their fundraising targets.

In her spare time, Natalie regularly enjoys running and takes part in races. She also loves cooking and is always keen to try new foods and wines. Other passions include baking, travelling, ecology, theatre, reading and writing.

Neil Toner

Programme Manager

Since starting to work with the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN’s Enterprise and Innovation Team in September 2020, Neil has been leading on the International Programme.

In his role, Neil is responsible for establishing and developing relationships with partners who will support the programme with key expertise, funding, and business advice, locally, nationally, and internationally.

Prior to working at the YH AHSN, Neil spent over ten years in numerous roles up to Director level at an innovative healthcare software company, ran his own healthcare BI business, and more recently worked in transformation projects and programmes in both the financial services and transport sectors.

Outside work, Neil loves to cook, eat, and drink, which means he also goes running a lot – last year he managed to run over 1000 miles!

Noshina Kiani

Programme Manager

Noshina joined the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN as a Programme Manager less than a year ago and is currently working on a range of projects. From understanding some of the innovations which came about as a result of the pandemic through the ‘Evaluation and Reset’ work and more recently she has worked on the Digital Care Homes project funded by NHSX, which involved introducing digital monitoring in Care Homes in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw. She is currently working on various HEE workstreams around Global Health.

Previously Noshina has led the delivery of a high-profile government funded programme for CIPD, that offered employability support to parents returning to work after a period of childcare. In other roles Noshina managed the NHS Graduate Programme nationally for several years, which is where her passion for the NHS and health care developed further. Supporting future talent within the NHS and other sectors is something which inspires her and she has also been a mentor for mentees on the CharityWorks Graduate Scheme, who she continues to support.

Noshina enjoys outdoor pursuits like hiking, cycling and more recently skiing. However, her favourite pastime is spending time with her teenage son and young nephews/nieces.

Pete Waddingham

Programme Manager

Pete has over twenty years private and public sector experience with strong commissioning, project management and procurement expertise. He holds qualifications in business, procurement/supply chain management and has experience of leading on multimillion-pound procurements complying with UK/EU legislation.

With over 2 year’s experience working at the AHSN – Pete has worked on projects covering cardiovascular disease, Artificial Intelligence, environmental sustainability and digital systems.

In previous roles, Pete has led on commissioning various services across the NHS from MSK through to Urgent Care and led on a number of key national programme areas including the Better Care Fund and Right Care. In addition to this, he has also worked in the conservation sector with operational responsibility for Spurn National Nature Reserve and thousands of visitors a year, as well as extensive capital projects including lighthouse restoration and visitor centre planning.

Pete has been successful in a number of national awards including the Health Service Journal Cardiovascular Initiative of the Year award and first place in NHS England’s World Class Commissioning.

Outside of work Pete takes a strong interest in his local community; he runs his own marital arts club, coaches youth football and is Parish Councillor.



Ruth Pitman-Jones

Programme Manager

Ruth has come to the health and care sector from a background in education and the creative industries. She sees a common thread in her work environment which is that of working with people with energy and creativity who have a passion to positively enhance the experience of the ‘customer’.

She has excellent communication, negotiating and influencing skills with a range of stakeholders, and is passionate about quality improvement, recently becoming a member of the Q Network.

Since joining the team at the AHSN Ruth has been involved in a range of projects across primary and secondary care, and managed the national Atrial Fibrillation and ESCAPE-pain projects. Ruth has worked in the areas of education, the public sector, the subsidized and commercial sector and the voluntary and community sector.

Ruth sings and performs and loves opera. She does strength training and enjoys gardening and being outdoors, especially by the sea.

Sally Creese

PA to Directors

Sally joined the organisation in 2017 to provide administrative support to the AHSN with a special focus in assisting the Executive Office. In 2019, Sally became a PA and now supports the Deputy CEO / Director of Operations and the Director of Corporate Services; supporting them to work effectively with colleagues and stakeholders.

Prior to joining the AHSN, Sally was self-employed for 10 years working with a range of marketing consultancies and before that, worked in advertising sales management for 10 years.

Sally is a keen health and fitness enthusiast. She loves cooking and fine dining. Most of all she loves spending time with her family and really enjoys travelling, reading and jigsaws.

Sara Cole

Programme Coordinator

Sara is a Programme Coordinator in our Enterprise and Innovation Team and joined the AHSN in January 2019. She is the first point of call for innovators getting in touch and manages our triage process so that they can be connected with the right member of the team. She keeps track of the hundreds of SMEs we meet each year, ensuring that we can best connect them with relevant parts of our system.

She manages the metrics reporting and KPI process for the team. This involves reporting company engagement and outputs, including investment leveraged for companies, to our commissioners.

Sara also produces our monthly funding bulletin for NHS teams and innovators, arranges various meetings and organises events.

She has extensive experience in administration, organisation, analytical, finance and high-level project support roles.

Prior to joining the AHSN, Sara worked for KPMG for 17 years. During this time, she held a number of different support roles in a range of sectors including commercial and industrial firms as well as the NHS Leadership Academy.

Sara’s hobbies include: swimming, reading (especially crime novels) and travelling. She is also a self-confessed Martin Lewis geek - especially if it involves saving money.

Sarah Duce

Communications Manager

As Communications Manager, Sarah is responsible for ensuring our work and its impact is seen, understood and appreciated by our commissioners, clients and stakeholders.

Sarah leads the communications team on its day-to-day operations, working closely with colleagues and external partners to find and create communications content and resources that can be used to tell our stories, stimulate interest and engagement in our work and put the impact of that work in the spotlight, regionally and nationally.

Sarah is also responsible for ensuring colleagues are fully informed of our activities as well as those of the national AHSN Network and key partner organisations in our region.

Before joining the AHSN, Sarah was part of the communications team at Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) where most of her time there was spent promoting health research, innovation and training at its College of Health, Wellbeing and Life Sciences. As well as leading SHU’s News and PR Team, Sarah also managed part of its Internal Communications Team where she led on the communications for a large organisational change programme.

Having started out as a journalist working for local papers and radio, Sarah has undertaken other communications roles within the Police, the NHS and the charity sector.

A former semi-professional dancer, Sarah loves performing in musicals with her amateur theatre group. She also enjoys watching football and rugby league supporting Leeds United FC and Castleford Tigers RLFC.

A mum to two children, Sarah loves keeping fit and being in the great outdoors with her family.

Sara Novara

Communications & Engagement Manager

Sara is a member of the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN’s communication team and leads on the communication strategy for a variety of programmes and projects. She is also responsible for developing media relations and insight-led multi-platform communication campaigns. Sara also loves create compelling and engaging content for social media and websites.

With more than 16 year-experience in communication and marketing in a variety of sectors including charities, public and private sector organisations, Sara has a particular interest in healthcare. In her previous roles, she led on developing communication campaigns for fundraising, retail and healthcare projects always meeting agreed targets. Sara also acts as a ghost writer. She has extensive experience of working with journalists and in the past secured coverage both in national and regional media outlets as well as trade magazines.

Sara loves to be outdoors, walking across the gorgeous Yorkshire Moors, cycling, skiing or swimming (lake, sea, river provided there is enough water and is not too cold!).

Sean Clarkson

Programme Manager

As Head of Strategic Operations, Sean works closely with our CEO and is responsible for our above-brand strategic projects and partnerships, driving long-term organisational growth, and working with partners to develop the region’s innovation ecosystem. He also leads our ‘YHealth for Growth’ campaign, aiming to tackle stubborn inequalities across the North of England.

Prior to this, Sean was jointly responsible for delivering our Office for Life Sciences Commission, working with SMEs to support product development, evidence generation and market access.

Before joining the AHSN, Sean managed a multi-partner regional medical technologies innovation programme, Translate.

He has a varied background in academia, science communication and public engagement and has worked in the field of technology and innovation within the elite sports and healthcare sectors. He also has experience planning and delivering complex commercially-driven projects and programmes at the interface between industry, academia and the public sector.

He is a Visiting Fellow at Sheffield Hallam University and continues to publish joint papers and contribute to ongoing research.

Sean has a particular interest in developing innovation ecosystems which support joint-working and contribute to economic growth. He enjoys bringing people together with common interests, facilitating discussions and forming partnerships. Sean also has a strong interest in business development and pursuing funding, having led and supported many successful bids.

Away from his desk, Sean is a competitive yacht sailor, regularly competing in championships across the world. He is also a qualified sailing race official and instructor and enjoys contributing to the sport and inspiring others.

Shirley-Anne Paul

Programme Manager

Shirley joined Yorkshire & Humber AHSN as a Programme Manager in June 2021. She is based within the Workforce team and is currently managing the Globalisation of Star project funded by Health Education England.

Prior to joining the AHSN, Shirley worked as a Senior Project Manager for a national education charity where she was the project lead for the North-West region, managing multiple adult education contracts awarded by Greater Manchester and Liverpool Combined Authorities, as well as the European Social Fund.

Prior to moving into the not-for-profit sector, Shirley spent 9 years working as a Research Psychologist across three universities (Edinburgh, Leeds, and York), having gained her Undergraduate, Masters, and PhD degrees in Psychology from the University of Dundee.

Shirley started her academic career at the University of Edinburgh, working first as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow and then as Undergraduate Teaching Coordinator in Psychology. Shirley then moved to Yorkshire in 2013 and spent six years in the School of Education at the University of Leeds. Whilst at Leeds she specialised in the design, delivery, and evaluation of educational interventions, particularly those aimed at improving children’s reading skills, and those employing randomised controlled trial (RCT) methodologies. More latterly, she worked in the University of York’s Trials Unit where she managed several high-profile health and education RCTs.

Shirley is a PRINCE 2 Project Manager, a trustee of an Academy in Hartlepool, and a Reiki Practitioner. She enjoys travelling, walking in the countryside, going to music festivals, and spending time with her cat.

Sophie Bates

Programme Manager

Sophie is a Programme Manager in the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN’s Enterprise and Innovation Team delivering aspects of the AHSN’s commission from the Office of Life Sciences.

Since joining the organisation in 2015, Sophie has worked with hundreds of companies to support their business development and understanding of NHS needs. She has supported numerous successful funding applications, developed the AHSN’s Health Innovation Exchange Portal, managed the Innovation Champions programme and supported the delivery of NHS England’s ITT / ITP programmes across the region.

Prior to joining the AHSN, Sophie had roles in recruitment, inward investment and business development in Sheffield City Council and in the contract management of a major infrastructure project.

Outside of work, Sophie is a keen baker, enjoys hiking in the Peaks, travelling and reading.

Steph Potts

Programme Lead

Steph has a varied professional background ranging from banking to charities to healthcare, all within project and programme management. She has experience in both the public and private sector and has over 15 years of experience working in or alongside healthcare.

Before joining the AHSN in September 2018, Steph worked for 7 years in the NHS in the primary care digital space with specific expertise in clinical data, clinical systems and project management.

During her time at the AHSN Steph has worked on many different projects including the Innovation Technology Payment and the Accelerated Access Collaborative programmes. She currently leads on the long-term conditions portfolio of work.

Steph’s projects have been shortlisted for numerous HSJ awards.

Steph is a pantomime writer and has written eight to date. She can normally be found taxiing her children to dance or cricket.

Tim East

Programme Manager

Tim’s current role involves supporting SMEs in the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN Enterprise and Innovation team delivering aspects of the commission from the Office of Life Sciences as well as leading on the national recognised Propel@YH accelerator programme, which delivers a structured support programme for a cohort of SMEs.

In the Enterprise and Innovation team and Propel@YH programme, he mentors organisations through his wide range of product experience and knowledge in the NHS.

Tim has over twenty years’ experience working in the healthcare technology sector with ten years in product management and growth.

Prior to joining the AHSN, Tim managed a portfolio of market leading patient facing service products in the UK; responsible for the product strategies, development and growth. This Included developing the first online services for patients and increasing usage to over five million users.

Outside of work, Tim enjoys outdoor pursuits including mountain biking, walking and sailing and has a passion for local and national travel.

Victoria Vaines

Programme Manager

Vicky started working at the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN in 2015 as a Project Coordinator and now works as a Programme Manager. One of the things she likes about working at the AHSN is the range of work that she can get involved in; she’s worked on projects in various themes and settings including Mental Health, Genomics, Gastroenterology and Enterprise and Innovation.

The programme Vicky is most proud of is the delivery of a Faecal Calprotectin primary care pathway to support GPs with gastroenterology referrals. She led this work locally but also supported an AHSN Network collaborative to spread to over 70 CCGs across England, saving money for the NHS as well as providing a better experience and care for patients. This programme has also been shortlisted for two HSJ awards and a NICE Shared Learning award, which she is extremely proud of.

In a previous role, Vicky worked in R&D Consumer Insights at a global FMCG company, coordinating testing and understand the views of people during development of new products.

Vicky is a Scout Leader and loves scouting activities such as camping and fire making. She is also a qualified archery instructor.