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SSNAP Governance > SSNAP Steering Group

SSNAP Governance - SSNAP Steering Group

The Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme (SSNAP) is overseen by the Intercollegiate Stroke Working Party (ICSWP). The Intercollegiate Stroke Working Party (ICSWP) is a group of senior representatives from the professional bodies involved in stroke care, as well as the voluntary sector and patient voice representatives. Click here for more information about the groups are represented on the ICSWP.

The ICSWP meet 3-4 times per year and act as a national expert resource for all aspects of the healthcare and clinical management of people who have had or are at risk of having a stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA).

ICSWP roles:
  • Producing a national clinical guideline for all aspects of stroke care.
  • Setting up, running, and providing governance and oversight for the Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme (SSNAP). 
  • Supporting the Stroke Peer Review scheme. More information about the Stroke Peer review scheme can be found here.
  • Advising on current and future projects and plans for improving stroke care across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
The ICSWP follows the NICE declarations of interest policy available at this link.

Intercollegiate Stroke Working Party membership

Group representing Member

Chair, King's College London Stroke Programme


Professor Martin James
Consultant Stroke Physician at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, Exeter, Honorary Clinical Professor at the University of Exeter Medical School, and Clinical Director, King's College London Stroke Programme.

Professor Martin James is Consultant Stroke Physician at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, Exeter, and Honorary Clinical Professor at the University of Exeter Medical School. After training in Southampton, he completed his research in hypertension in the elderly with Professor John Potter and the late Professor John Swales in Leicester. He was appointed as physician in medicine for the elderly in Exeter in 1997, assuming responsibility for the stroke service shortly afterwards. The East Devon Stroke Service was awarded NHS Beacon status in 2000. He is specialty Clinical Lead for Stroke for the South West Clinical Research Network, and his continuing research interests include the physiology and management of blood pressure in the elderly and following acute stroke, and methods for improving the prevention of recurrent stroke. He is Clinical Director of the Stroke Programme at King’s College London.

Association of British Neurologists


Professor David Werring
Professor of Clinical Neurology, Stroke Research Centre, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology.

Professor David Werring is Professor of Clinical Neurology and Honorary Consultant Neurologist at the Stroke Research Centre, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. Professor Werring delivers hyperacute and acute stroke care and runs a specialist clinical service and research program in intracerebral haemorrhage and cerebral small vessel disease. He is Chair of the Association of British Neurologists Stroke Advisory Group, Stroke Specialty Lead for the NIHR North Thames Clinical Research Network, Secretary of the British Association of Stroke Physicians, Expert Advisor to the NICE guideline centre, and Chair of the UK Stroke Forum.

Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Neurology (ACPIN)


Professor Sarah Tyson
Professor of Rehabilitation, Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, University of Manchester.

Professor Sarah Tyson is a physiotherapist and Professor of Rehabilitation at the University of Manchester. Her research focuses on stroke rehabilitation particularly balance and mobility problems, rehabilitation/ assistive technologies, the organisation of rehabilitation services and the challenges of implementing evidence based practice. She has over 150 publications and £5million of research funding from the Dept of Health, NIHR, research councils, medical charities, professional bodies and the Knowledge Transfer Partnership/Technology Strategy Board.  Her research has impacted on stroke and physiotherapy services nationally and internationally with inclusion in national clinical guidelines and production of assessment tools that are used throughout the UK and globally.

British and Irish Orthoptic Society (BIOS)


Professor Fiona Rowe
Professor in Orthoptics, Institute of Population Health, University of Liverpool.

Professor Fiona Rowe is a Professor in orthoptics and health services research at the University of Liverpool. She is associate-editor-in-chief for the journal Strabismus, Cochrane Eyes and Vision group editor and a mentor for the National Institute of Health Research clinical academic research pathway. Her particular research interests include visual impairment due to acquired brain injury (particularly stroke), visual field evaluation and control of ocular alignment. Prof. Rowe is the author of two textbooks: ‘Clinical Orthoptics’ and ‘Visual fields via the visual pathway’, co-author on seven book chapters, and has presented and published her research extensively.

British Association of Stroke Physicians (BASP)


Professor Rustam Al-Shahi Salman
President of BASP, Professor of Clinical Neurology, Honorary Consultant Neurologist, Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh.

Professor Rustam Al-Shahi Salman is a professor of clinical neurology at the University of Edinburgh and an honorary consultant neurologist in NHS Lothian. He is the president of the British Association of Stroke Physicians 2020-2021 inclusive. He became interested in neurology during medical training in Cambridge and was inspired to work on common neurological problems by Charles Warlow and the stroke research group in Edinburgh, which he joined in 1998 as an MRC clinical training fellow, progressing to MRC patient-oriented clinician scientist and senior clinical fellowships until 2016. Rustam's clinical and research interests focus on the frequency, prognosis, treatment, and pathophysiology of intracranial haemorrhage, using research methods such as randomised controlled trials, community- or population-based cohort and case-control studies, brain banking, and metaanalysis. His clinical work includes acute TIA/stroke/neurology services and specialist outpatient clinics. Rustam was one of the lead authors of The Lancet's 2014 Series on Increasing Value and Reducing Waste in Research ( and and a founding member of the REWARD Alliance ( He has received funding from the MRC, British Heart Foundation, Stroke Association, Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland, the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government, and GE Healthcare (see You can follow Rustam on Twitter at @BleedingStroke.

British Dietetic Association


Ms Cara Lewis
Stroke Dietitcian, Nutrition and Dietetics, St Thomas' Hospital.

Ms  Cara Lewis is the Stroke Dietitian for the acute stroke unit at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. She is also a member of the UK Stroke Forum’s scientific committee, co-founder of the London Stroke Dietitians Community of Practice and Chair of the Stroke Working Party within the British Dietetic Association’s Neurosciences Specialist Interest Group.

British Geriatrics Society


Dr Khalid Ali 
Senior lecturer in Geriatrics and Stroke Medicine, Brighton and Sussex Medical School.

Dr Khalid Ali is a Senior lecturer in Geriatrics and Stroke Medicine (Brighton and Sussex Medical School), Ageing Research Lead in Kent, Surrey and Sussex Clinical Research Network (KSS-CRN), Scientific Abstracts Editor ‘Age and Ageing’ journal, and ‘Personalised Medicine Champion’ representing the UK Ageing Research Specialty group. His research interests are ‘medication-related harm in older people post-hospital discharge’, and ‘creative models of rehabilitation in stroke survivors’. He was a Guideline Development Group member for ‘Rehabilitation after Stroke Guidelines’ published by NICE in 2013.

British Psychological Society


Dr Shirley Thomas 
Associate Professor in Rehabilitation Psychology, Division of Rehabilitation and Ageing, University of Nottingham.

Dr Shirley Thomas is an associate Professor in Rehabilitation Psychology at the University of Nottingham. Shirley is a Health Psychologist and one of the British Psychological Society Representatives. Her current research focuses on the assessment and treatment of mood problems following stroke. She has a particular interest in making mood assessments and psychological interventions accessible for people with aphasia. She has recently completed an NIHRHTA funded feasibility trial of behavioural activation for depression after stroke. She collaborates on a range of research projects related to psychological impacts of stroke.

British Society of Neuroradiologists


Dr Andrew Clifton
Interventional Neuroradiologist, Department of Neuroradiology, St George's Hospital.

Dr Andrew Clifton is a Consultant Interventional and Diagnostic Neuroradiologist at St George’s Hospital, London. His main interests are vascular intervention and stroke and he is involved in research into endovascular treatment of stroke.

British Society of Rehabilitation Medicine / Society for Research in Rehabilitation


Professor Diane Playford
Professor of Neurological Rehabilitation/Honorary Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine, Division of Health Sciences, Warwick Medical School.

Professor Diane Playford trained in Neurology and then specialised in Neurological Rehabilitation. Having worked for many years at the Institute for Neurology, UCL, and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, UCLH Foundation Trust where she led the inpatient rehabilitation service she now works at Warwick University and the Central England Rehabilitation Unit, South Warwickshire Foundation Trust. Her research interest focus on rehabilitation processes, interventions and outcomes, including goal setting, care pathways, and the use of measures.

College of Paramedics


Mr Joseph Dent
Advanced Practitioner, Salford Royal Hospital and Lead for stroke at College of Paramedics (British Paramedic Association).

Mr Joe Dent, MCPara, MSc, Post grad Cert, BSc, is an Advanced Clinical Practitioner for Stroke, working at the Salford Royal Hospital. He is also Lead for Stroke at the College of Paramedics and the education lead for stroke for the stroke Pre-hospital group.

Joe has worked in healthcare for 30 years, 26 of those spent working for the ambulance service.
In his current role at Salford Royal, Joe is developing a training package for Universities and Ambulance trusts to improve education around pre-hospital identification and treatment of strokes, with more content being added each year.

Joe has an interest in data sharing and Leadership and is a working party member and scientific member for the UK Stroke Forum. Joe has also been involved with the new design of the NHS website.

Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT)


Dr David Hargroves
National Clinical Lead for Stroke, Getting it Right First Time & Urgent and Emergency Stroke Care Work Stream Lead, Clinical Policy Unit, both for NHS England & NHS Improvement. Consultant Stroke Physician and Clinical Lead for Stroke, East Kent Hospital University Foundation Trust & NHS England and NHS Improvement – South East (Kent Surrey Sussex).

Dr David Hargroves graduated from University College London MBBS BSc (Hons) and gained his Masters from Kings College London with a research thesis titled 'Effects of position upon cerebral oxygenation in the acute phase post stroke using Near Infrared Spectroscopy' during his general medicine, geriatric and stroke fellowship training. David has been a stroke consultant at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust (EKHUFT) Stroke Service for the past 14yrs. Dr Foster and Care Quality Commission (CQC) have ranked it the top performing stroke service in the England.

David was elected to the British Association of Stroke Physicians (BASP) Education & Training Board in October 2011 and Chaired this group until 2017. David was the winner of the prestigious 2017 Life after Stroke Award for Professional Excellence from the Stroke Association. He is clinical lead for the Getting it Right First Time (GIRFT) stroke programme for NHSE/I and leads the urgent and emergency care stroke work stream and co-chairs the Thrombectomy Implementation Group (TIG), both for the clinical policy unit for NHSE. David has co-written the GIRFT national stroke report (due 2021) and co-produced the National Stroke Service Model (NSSM) and the National Optimal Stroke Imaging Pathway (NOSIP), which incorporates the use of Artificial Intelligence software as a decision support aid.

David has been local Principal Investigator for over 18 international clinical trials and has a particular research interest in: Use of advanced imaging in hyper acute stroke care; Obstructive Sleep apnea and neurovascular disease; Telemedicine use in Stroke care; medication compliance and adherence in patients with neurovascular disease; stroke telemedicine.

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Dr Anita Patel
Director of Health Economics & Evaluation at Ipsos MORI and Honorary Professor at Queen Mary University of London.

Dr Anita Patel is a health economist. She previously worked as a university researcher for over two decades, examining whether various new treatments and care arrangements provided good value for money given the limited resources that are available in health services. Many of those evaluations provided underpinning economic evidence for national clinical guidelines. She has worked on many evaluations of innovations in stroke care, as well as other complex conditions that are similarly challenging to manage such as severe mental illness. She recently led work to estimate the economic burden of stroke to UK, highlighting the enormous societal challenges that stroke will continue to present in the future. In her current role at Ipsos MORI, she oversees evaluations of national-level health policies and programmes. 

Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP)


Mr Mirek Skrypak
Associate Director for Quality and Development, Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP).

Mr Mirek Skrypak is currently an Associate Director for Quality and Development at HQIP where he leads a portfolio of national projects from the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme. Previously he has led patient safety, cardiovascular disease prevention and stroke improvement programmes at Academic Health Science Network and Stroke Network organisations. His professional background is as an occupational therapist with clinical rehabilitation and management experience, having worked across hospital and community stroke, neurology and elderly settings in Australia and England. He still works as an occupational therapist during weekends at the Royal Free London medical admissions unit and A&E. His interests are in quality improvement, involving patients in service redesign, and leadership of teams in healthcare particularly the application of learning from elite sporting teams and athletes.

King's College London


Professor Charles Wolfe
Head of School, Population Health and Environmental Sciences, King’s College London.

Professor Charles Wolfe is Head of the School of Population Health and Environmental Sciences for King’s College London and Director of R&D at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust. He was appointed as an NIHR Senior Investigator in 2008. Charles’s research interests have predominantly been in the public health and health services research aspects of stroke. He established a community based South London Stroke Register (SLSR) in 1988 that has been maintained ever since for various programmes of work. The focus of the epidemiology has been on estimating acute and longer term needs of stroke, the risk of stroke in a multi ethnic community and developing chronic disease register methodology. The SLSR has been used as a sampling frame for trials of early supported discharge after stroke, secondary prevention, carer support and qualitative studies.

King's College London Stroke Programme


Dr Ajay Bhalla 
Consultant Stroke Physician and Lead Clinician at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, London and Associate Clinical Director, King's College London Stroke Programme.

Dr Ajay Bhalla is a Consultant Stroke Physician and Lead Clinician at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital. He is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at King’s College London and is a member of the South London Stroke Register where his contributions centre around health service stroke research. He is currently Specialty Lead for Stroke at the Clinical Research Network in South London. He has previously been chair of the Clinical Standards Committee (2014-2017) at the British Association of Stroke Physicians and contributed to a number of nationally led stroke standards. Ajay was appointed to the Associate Clinical Director Role, SSNAP in July 2019.

King's College London Stroke Programme


Dr Rebecca Fisher
Stroke Association Senior Lecturer at the University of Nottingham and Associate Director, King's College London Stroke Programme.

Dr Rebecca Fisher is Associate Director (Post-Acute) with the Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme (SSNAP) leading on the development and delivery of the post-acute elements of SSNAP. Rebecca also works nationally as the Rehabilitation and Life After Stroke Workstream lead with oversight of implementation of the NHS Long Term plan. Dr Fisher is a Stroke Association Senior Lecturer at the University of Nottingham. Her expertise is in the implementation and evaluation of complex interventions in real world settings. Rebecca’s current research includes investigation of Early Supported Discharge and Community Stroke services across the UK and organisation of hospital-based stroke rehabilitation services.

King's College London Stroke Programme


Dr Andrew Hill
Consultant Stroke Physician, CCIO for St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals; Project Director for the Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme Data Science Project.

Dr Andrew Hill has been clinical lead for stroke at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals since 2014. He has an interest in health informatics and in the use of data to drive quality improvement, in particular working with the SSNAP dataset to deliver clinical improvements in stroke care. Since 2019, he has also undertaken the role of Chief Clinical Informatics Officer, and has a particular interest in how we can deliver improvements to stroke care through improving digital maturity in the NHS, and provides clinical informatics insight to the group.

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Mr Robert Norbury
Intercollegiate Stroke Working Party Lay Representative.

Mr Bob Norbury had his stroke 11 years ago, when he was 58. He lost the use of his left arm and leg. He has now got most of the movement back and volunteers at Yeovil District Hospital on the wards speaking to stroke survivors to give encouragement to them. Bob gives talks at the ASPIRE stroke group,  a 12-week post-stroke clinic that the hospital runs, which offers physical, emotional and social support to stroke patients. Bob also gives talks at South Petherton and Shepton Mallet Community Hospitals, which run a life after stroke group. Bob is also a Stroke Association Stroke Ambassador. 

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Ms Marney Williams
Intercollegiate Stroke Working Party Lay Representative.

Ms Marney Williams had a stroke in 2009, a result of carotid dissection.  She received thrombolysis treatment and has since made a good recovery.  Because she initially suffered from aphasia, Marney volunteers as a conversation partner for stroke patients on her local stroke unit at Imperial NHS Heathcare Trust. As a teacher, Marney has a strong commitment to education and research. She has previously been a member of the UK Stroke Forum Committee and instigated and funds annually the UKSF prize for excellence in PPI/E in research. 
  • Co-delivers public involvement training at Imperial College, London.
  • Lay member NIHR CRN:stroke
  • NIHR and Stroke Association reviewer
  • Member NIHR Imperial BRC patient panel and Stroke Association Stroke Voices in Research panel
  • Co-applicant on several stroke research studies

National Clinical Director for Stroke England


Dr Deborah Lowe
National Clinical Director for Stroke, National Specialty Advisor for Stroke Medicine – GIRFT, NHSI. Consultant Stroke Physician, Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Deb Lowe was appointed as National Clinical Director for Stroke Medicine and NHSE&I in January 2020. She is responsible for clinical leadership and delivery of the Stroke Programme at NHSE and chairs the national Stroke Delivery Board. She has previously been joint National Clinical Lead for GIRFT Stroke Programmme and is now National Speciality Advisor within this team. She has also been Clinical Lead for Stroke within the Strategic Clinical Networks and Senate from 2014 – 2019. Dr Lowe is a Consultant Stroke Physician and Geriatrician on the Wirral. She graduated from Liverpool Medical School in 1997 and did her postgraduate medical training within Merseyside and Cheshire region. She has been a Consultant Stroke Physician and Geriatrician at Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust since January 2006. She has held multiple managerial roles within her Trust over the last 10 years.

National Clinical Lead for Stroke Wales


Dr Shakeel Ahmad
National Clinical Director for Stroke Wales, Consultant Stroke Physician, MBChB, FRCP.

Dr Shakeel Ahmad was appointed as a Stroke Consultant in 2009. He has been the clinical lead for stroke in Cardiff & Vale University Health Board until he was recently appointed as National Clinical Lead for Wales. He has completed 1 year IHI Improvement Advisory fellowship at Boston, USA and has led on a number of successful QI projects. He led and collaborated on the ‘Stop A Stroke Project’ with Primary Care Quality & Public Health Wales to develop a tool to identify high risk stroke patients in AF that require intervention in line with up to date NICE guidance. This project was supported by Welsh Government and now we are implementing across Wales. His other current roles are, the Regional Specialty Advisor for Stroke, member of the Stroke Specialist Advisory Committee – RCP London, Training Programme Director for Stroke in Wales and Chair of All Wales.

Northern Ireland Multidisciplinary Association for Stroke Teams (NIMAST)

Dr Patricia Gordon
Stroke Consultant, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast.

Northern Ireland Multidisciplinary Association for Stroke Teams (NIMAST)


Ms Nicola Moran
Clinical Physiotherapy Specialist in Stroke, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast.

Ms Nicola Moran is a clinical physiotherapy specialist in stroke rehabilitation, based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. For the majority of her 27 years as a physiotherapist, Nicola has worked in stroke care as a clinician and manager delivering rehabilitation across the whole pathway in a number of Trusts in England and Northern Ireland. Some of her proudest career achievements have been the development of an early supported discharge team in Portsmouth, being the first Allied Health Professional chair of the Northern Ireland Multidisciplinary Association of Stroke Teams (NIMAST) and winning the Northern Ireland Stroke Association Professional of the Year on two occasions. Nicola represents NIMAST on the NI stroke network , and has contributed to SSEF, the NI stroke nurse pathway and is currently a physiotherapy representative on NICE Stroke Rehabilitation Guideline committee. 

Royal College of General Practitioners


Dr Iain Marshall
GP partner, Greyswood Practice, London; Clinical Academic Fellow, King’s College London; RCGP Clinical Representative for Stroke.

Dr Iain Marshall is a GP and researcher working in south London, with particular interests in evidence-based medicine and stroke. Iain completed his PhD in Public Health focusing on communicating risks around cardiovascular disease prevention in 2016, and is a clinical academic fellow in the stroke research group at King’s College London.

Royal College of Nursing


Ms Marie Austin
RCN Neuroscience Forum Representative and Lead Nurse at the Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Unit (Neurology, Spinal Injuries and Rehabilitation Medicine, Institute of Neurosciences), Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow.

Ms Marie Austin joined the NHS as a Neurosciences Nurse in 2000. Marie has had several roles within the Institute of Neurosciences during her career including Staff Nurse, Charge Nurse, Night Nurse Practitioner and Senior Charge Nurse within the Neurology services, which previously included Hyper Acute Stroke. In January 2020 Marie became Lead Nurse for the Neurology services at the Institute, the National Spinal Injuries and Rehabilitation Medicine at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow.

Royal College of Nursing


Dr Gill Cluckie
Stroke Nurse Consultant, Neurology Department, St George's Hospital​.

Dr Gill Cluckie  completed her nurse training at Glasgow University followed by an MSc at King’s College London. She completed her PhD in 2014 which investigated patient, carers and clinicians views on communication about thrombolysis treatment. She has worked in stroke care since 2000. Her current role encompasses the whole patient pathway including thrombectomy, hyper-acute care, inpatient care, research, outpatient stroke clinics, and community stroke prevention group. She is the principle investigator for a number of clinical research trials. Gill is the stroke care group lead for St. George's Hospital and joint London Clinical Director for Stroke. She is a nurse advisor to the London Stroke Clinical Leadership group and leads the London-wide stroke nursing competencies project. She is an honorary lecturer at University College London and a co-convener of a Stroke MSc module.

Royal College of Occupational Therapists / Specialist Section Neurological Practice

Ms Louise Clark
Head of Occupational Therapy and AHP Lead for Stroke, Dorset County Hospital Foundation Trust​ and Associate Director of the Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme.


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Professor Avril Drummond
Professor of Healthcare Research and Occupational Therapist, School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham​.

Professor Avril Drummond is Professor of Healthcare Research at the University of Nottingham. She is an occupational therapist by background and has a longstanding interest in rehabilitation after stroke. She has published research on stroke units, specific rehabilitation interventions and service evaluations. Avril is a past Chair of the UK Stroke Forum and currently Chair of the Scientific Committee for the European conference on Life after Stroke. She is a trustee of the UK Stroke Association.

Royal College of Physicians


Professor Thompson Robinson
Pro Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Life Sciences, and Dean of Medicine, College of Life Sciences, University of Leicester.

Professor Tom Robinson undertook his medical training in Nottingham, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and Leicester, and was appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Life Sciences and Dean of Medicine at the University of Leicester in April 2021. His research interests include clinical trials in acute stroke, particularly blood pressure and thrombolysis management, and studies of cerebrovascular regulatory mechanisms. He was appointed an NIHR Senior Investigator in 2016, and is currently the National Specialty Lead for Stroke for the NIHR Clinical Research Network.

Royal College of Radiologists


Professor Philip White
Professor of Interventional and Diagnostic Neuroradiology, Translational & Clinical Research Institute, Newcastle University.

Professor Phil White holds the Chair of Interventional and Diagnostic Neuroradiologyat Newcastle University. He is the Co-Principal Investigator of three randomised controlled trials in ischaemic and haemorrhagic stroke— amongst a wide portfolio of on-going trial and neuroimaging research. In 2009, he was appointed Chair of the Acute Clinical Studies Group of the UK Stroke Research Network, renewed until 2015. He represents the Royal College of Radiologists on the Intercollegiate Working Party in Stroke. He also represents British Soc. of Neuroradiologists (BSNR) on the stroke service peer review programme. He chaired the BSNR Standards subcommittee 2008-2014. He was recently elected Secretary of the UK Neurointerventional Group. He chairs the European Society of Minimally Invasive Neurological Therapy Education Committee and is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Neurointerventional Surgery. He is a specialist advisor to a number of bodies – e.g. NICE, Wellcome and HTA – including on translational industrial projects.

Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists

Professor Sue Pownall 
Head of Speech & Language Therapy and Clinical Lead in Dysphagia, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Professor Sue Pownall has been qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist since 1985 and has been working in Sheffield since 1989. Her clinical specialism is in the area of dysphagia and she has extensive experience of working with patients with dysphagia resulting from a range of medical conditions, across clinical pathways and from both acute and community settings. Sue is an active researcher with interest in assessment and treatment interventions for dysphagia and also educational approaches to skill sharing in dysphagia across professional boundaries.

Stroke Association


Dr Rubina Ahmed
Associate Director of Systems Engagement, and Interim Executive Director of Locality Impact, the Stroke Association.

Dr Rubina Ahmed is the Associate Director for Systems Engagement at the Stroke Association, where she oversees the portfolio of activity related to research funding, policy and influencing, and wider systems partnerships and engagement activity. She is also the interim Executive Director for Locality Impact as a job share with the Northern Ireland Director, to cover maternity leave. Rubina has a PhD in Immunology and MSc in Management and has worked in research funding, strategy and policy across the third sector and public sector.

Stroke Association


Mrs Juliet Bouverie
Chief Executive of the Stroke Association.

Mrs Juliet Bouverie has been Chief Executive of the Stroke Association since June 2016. The Stroke Association is the UK’s leading stroke charity promoting life after stroke. With a turnover of £35m per year and a staff team of 800, the organisation’s activities extend from funding stroke research, to providing services to stroke survivors and their families, influencing and campaigning for change, and educating and working to prevent strokes. There are 1.2 million stroke survivors in the UK, yet stroke still remains the fourth single largest cause of death in the UK and second in the world. Juliet co-chairs the Stroke Delivery Programme Board with NHS England and is a member of the NHS Assembly. She is a World Stroke Organisation Board member and Fellow. She was recently awarded the Order of the British Empire Medal (OBE) in the Queen’s 2020 New Year’s Honours list. Prior to joining the Stroke Association, Juliet was at Macmillan Cancer Support for 16 years in a range of roles covering strategy, policy, research and HR. From 2011 – 2015 she was Executive Director of Services and Influencing with a staff team of 800 and a budget of £150m. She oversaw a programme of award-winning innovations and service design across the UK, and secured important government commitments to improve patient experience and post-treatment support through the 2015 Cancer Strategy for England. Prior to Macmillan, Juliet worked at the British Red Cross in strategy and service evaluation, the Community Development Foundation in fundraising, and a political consultancy. She was a trustee of the Long-Term Conditions Alliance and chaired the Cancer Patient Experience Board for University College London Hospital (UCLH) from 2011 – 2014. Juliet has a degree in Modern Languages in Oxford and a postgraduate diploma in management. She ran the London Marathon for the Stroke Association in April 2019.
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