6 March 2024, North of England Clinical Senates' Joint Development Session

North of England Clinical Senates' Development Session (6th March 2024) :: North West Clinical Senate (

The three North of England Clinical Senates were delighted to host their second joint virtual development session for the council and assembly members.  This follows the success of the inaugural session in 2023.  

Prof Martin Vernon opened the session and welcomed attendees from the councils and assemblies of the three constituent clinical senates. 

Prof John Browne (Professor of Health Sciences Research, Epidemiology and Public Health, University College Cor, Ireland) gave a presentation on:

How to frame a policy dialogue for acute reconfiguration

Dr Catherine Monaghan (North Tees & Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust) and Gordon Elder (Regional Chief Nursing Information Officer / Florence Nightingale Digital Scholar, NHS England North East & Yorkshire) gave a presentation on:

Understanding the benefits and risks of Digital Health Transformation

After a brief break, Dr Paul Stevens (Chair, South East Clinical Senate) and Emily Steward (Head of South East Clinical Senate) gave a presentation on:

Understanding emerging service interdependencies

The final presenters were Chris Kerr (National Director, We Can Talk) together with George Brewer and Jenny Harbottle, Young Advisors, We Can Talk) and they gave a presentation and overview of:

We Can Talk - Coproduced children and young people's mental health programme

We would like to extend our sincere thanks to our speakers for giving up their incredibly valuable time to share their fascinating and thought-provoking expertise and insights. We would also like to thank our members for their feedback which was overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic.  Consequently, we will look forward to hosting our third event in 2025.

23 March 2023, North of England Clinical Senates' Joint Development Session

The three North of England Clinical Senates held their first joint development session on 23rd March 2023. The focus was theoretical learning regarding the wider contextual factors within which clinical senates operate. The agenda can be seen here.

Prof Martin Vernon opened the session and welcomed attendees from the councils and assemblies of the three constituent clinical senates. Dr Yvette Oade (Regional Medical Director for Northern England and Yorkshire & Humber) then provided introductory session, which provided valuable context for clinical senates within the current NHS architecture and challenges.


Jonny Williams from NHS England (NHSE) followed and gave a useful overview of NHSE service assurance processes with a focus on recent and future changes, as well as signposting to some great materials, such as the interactive Major Service Change Handbook.

Richard Jeavons, Chief Executive of the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP), presented an overview of the role of the IRP when transformation processes are challenged. Richard presented really interesting insights regarding critical success factors that make service change processes more likely to succeed.


After a brief break, Gerard Hanratty (Head of Health and a partner at Browne Jacobson LLP) gave a overview of the legislative context within which service transformation sits, which included valuable advice regarding the aspects that must be considered and undertaken as part of any service transformation.


The final presenter was Rachel Jones from Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust. Rachel gave a fascinating account of her experience leading a service reconfiguration which went to judicial review twice. Her reflections and experience gave practical application regarding the importance of the wider context within which the clinical senates operate, as presented by our previous speakers.


We would like to extend our sincere thanks to our speakers for giving up their incredibly valuable time to share their really interesting and useful expertise and insights with our members. We would also like to thank our members who were able to attend, who took part in discussions and provided some really useful, positive feedback.


You can find our speakers’ biographies and their slides below: 

Dr Yvette Oade:

Yvette Oade is a paediatrician by background and has over 38 years NHS experience, Yvette has held a variety of senior roles across Yorkshire before taking up her current post with NHS England. Yvette graduated in Medicine from the University of Leeds and went onto to train in Manchester and the North West before holding roles in Calderdale, Hull and Leeds.

Yvette is also a Lay Member of Council for the University of Leeds, a Trustee for Yorkshire Cancer Research and Vice Chair and Trustee of Leeds Hospitals Charity. In May 2020, after seven years in post, Yvette retired as Chief Medical Officer & Deputy Chief Executive for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, one of the country’s largest providers. She promptly returned to the NHS to provide clinical leadership in the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine within NHS England’s North East and Yorkshire team and later took on the wider medical director role.

She was awarded has been awarded an CBE for services to women in the NHS in the New Year Honours List 2023.

Jonathan (Jonny) Williams:

Johnny is a Senior Programme Manager for Service Change and Reconfiguration within NHSE, providing support and advice to ICSs, national and regional colleagues to help them reconfigure services and he contributes to national policy on this subject.

Jonny’s slides can be seen here.

Richard Jeavons:

Richard is Chief Executive of the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP), an expert non departmental body which advises the Secretary of State for Health about disputed NHS service. He is also Senior Partner at NHS Interim Management and Support (NHS IMAS), undertaking both consultancy and interim assignments for a variety of organisations across the NHS and the Department of Health.

Richard graduated from Edinburgh and York Universities before working as a health economist, initially in the NHS, but later at the Health Economics Consortium, University of York, where he became senior research fellow and deputy director.

He re-joined the NHS at the Northern General Hospital, Sheffield and became Director of Business Management. This was followed by being Chief Executive of Sheffield Children’s Hospital Trust, Lincolnshire Health Authority, Sheffield Health Authority and West Yorkshire Strategic Health Authority.

In 2005, Richard joined the Department of Health (DH) to work on the National Programme for IT and related information policy, including the roles of Senior Responsible Owner for the NHS Summary Care Record and Information Governance Assurance Programme.

Richard’s slides can be seen here.

Gerard Hanratty:

Gerard is the Head of Health and a partner in the Browne Jacobson LLP, specialising in advising organisations in the health sector on their public law obligations and issues. His work covers interpreting statute, supporting system re-organisations, advising on governance, supporting health regulators, providing advice on information law matters and, when necessary, defending challenges to decisions made. He is also recognised as a lead Inquiries lawyer for health public bodies.

Gerard is a public law partner and is recognised by the NHS, Chambers and Legal 500 as one of the leading experts on public law issues, especially relating to governance, service reconfiguration, inquiries, information law, devolution and ICS development, for health organisations in the country. Chambers states that - He is described by clients as the "perfect combination of really knowledgeable but also really personable." Sources note that "he is very approachable, understands the issues well, provides sound advice and listens to what you want. He gives you a considered, measured response."

Gerard provides clients with specialist public law input on all functions and powers, his expertise is unmatched. This is apparent as he is now sought to support countries outside Europe to develop the legal framework for their health systems.

Gerard’s slides can be seen here

Rachel Jones:

Rachel is Executive Director Strategy, Planning & Partnerships at Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust who led on the Kent & Medway stroke reconfiguration that led to judicial review, twice.

Rachel’s slides can be seen here.



18 April 2023, North of England Clinical Senates' Joint Development Session


On 18th April 2023, the three North of England Clinical Senates were delighted to hold their second joint development day. This face-to-face event for members of the Clinical Senate Councils followed the virtual event on 23rd March 2023. The event took place at the Novotel in Leeds and was jointly chaired by Prof Andrew Cant (Chair, Northern England Clinical Senate) and Prof Chris Welsh (Chair, Yorkshire & Humber Clinical Senate).

Dr Michael Gregory (NW Regional Medical Director and CCIO, NHS England) provided an entertaining introductory session reflecting on the role of Clinical Senates since their inception in 2013, and describing how they will continue to provide a valuable function in the future despite new health and care system architecture and changes taking place in NHS England. Michael’s slides can be seen here and the amusing yet pertinent video he showed can be viewed here.

Our facilitator for the day was Gareth Corser, Managing Director at NHS Elect. Gareth took attendees through three workshops which broadly examined:

  • Hints and tips for chairing meetings
  • Creating consensus
  • Having difficult conversations

The workshops provided an interesting and stimulating mixture of teaching regarding evidence-based approaches, discussions, and practical opportunities to try out some of the ideas and approaches. Gareth’s slides can be seen here. Gareth has also kindly provided us with a helpful tip sheet for different types of meetings, which was not explored on the day.

The following references are suggested as further reading for those wishing to explore the day’s content in greater depth:

  • Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss (former lead FBI negotiator)
  • The Fifth Discipline by Peter SengeThis book looks at creating learning organisations and understanding why systems behave the way that they do.
  • Turn Enemies into Allies: The Art of Peace in the Workplace by Judy Ringer
  • Death by Meetings by Patrick Lencioni

Early feedback suggests that attendees found the day enjoyable, interesting, and relevant to their roles both within the Clinical Senates and elsewhere. Colleagues valued the opportunity to meet in person and to gain new skills and knowledge that they can usefully apply in their leadership roles. Our sincere thanks go to all of those involved in designing and delivering a fantastic development day.