The NHS 70 Symposium - Speaker Profiles

The NHS 70 Symposium takes place on July 5th 2018 from 13:30 - 16:00 at Liverpool Central Library.

Several key speakers have offered to address the audience at the event. With this in mind, here are introductions to the lineup for the afternoon. Our NHS 70 Symposium event page provides more event detail and the chance to book your place.


Catherine McClennan

Director of the Cheshire and Merseyside Women’s and Children’s Services Partnership

Catherine has worked in public sector development and improvement roles for nearly twenty five years. She has held national policy positions, advising governments on improving education and skills, reducing inequalities, and business and community development. The Cheshire and Merseyside Women’s and Children’s Services Partnership brings together 27 organisations to deliver improvements and transformation for maternity, gynaecology, neonatal and paediatric services.


Dave Sweeney

Implementation Director Cheshire and Merseyside Sustainable Transformation Partnership: The Cheshire and Merseyside Healthcare Partnership

Dave believes in investing in community assets to drive wellbeing. Dave has eighteen years’ experience working in both the NHS and engaged with local authority transformation, supporting change management. He is passionate about mental wellbeing, social movement and harnessing the power of communities. In December 2016, Dave picked up an NHS Leadership Award for ‘Service Development and Innovation’. He also led Halton to a Guinness World Record for the most people exercising to a fitness video. He is a dad to two perfect girls, a sports fanatic, guitarist and lead singer in a punk rock band.


Dr Michelle Howarth

Senior Lecturer/MSc Nursing Programme Lead/Research Lead (Health Directorate)/School of Health & Society, University of Salford

Michelle is a Senior Lecturer in nursing and a research lead for the Salford University Health Directorate. Michelle has a specialist interest in social prescribing and the use of nature based, person centred approaches to promote health and wellbeing. She leads the National Social Prescribing Network Special Interest Group for Nursing through which she is actively campaigning to raise awareness of social prescribing amongst nurses through research, curriculum development and placement opportunities.

The University of Salford is also currently mapping social prescribing provisions across Greater Manchester and they hosted the first international social prescribing conference on June 12th.

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Professor Susan J White

Professor of Social Work Department of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield

Sue White is Professor of Social Work at the University of Sheffield. Before becoming an academic Sue was a practitioner and manager in child and family social work. She is also a sociologist. For the last two decades, her research has focused on the detailed analysis of professional practice and decision making in child health and welfare in the context of organizational and technological systems.

Sue is currently conducting international research on social workers’ understandings of family complexity and on epigenetics and neuroscience, and their impacts upon public health and social policy. Sue will talk about developments in contemporary UK social and family policy in which particular versions of biological and neurological science have been translated into an everyday vocabulary of ‘adverse childhood experiences’ (ACEs).


Dr Rosie Perkins

Centre for Performance Science, Royal College of Music and Imperial College London

Dr Rosie Perkins is a Research Fellow in the Centre for Performance Science, a partnership of the Royal College of Music and Imperial College London. Her award-winning research in music and wellbeing has been supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Arts Council England, and features in a wide range of international journals and press. Rosie is a Fellow of the Institute of Mental Health University of Nottingham and of the UK’s Higher Education Academy.

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Sue Ball

Chair of the national Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians (ASCEL)

Sue is Chair of the national Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians (ASCEL). ASCEL is made up of the mangers of library services for schools and public libraries for children. Through her work with ASCEL Sue represents children’s and young people’s library services on the national Public Libraries Health Group. She is a member of the Reading Hack National Strategy Group and she is currently engaged in a review of the national Summer Reading Challenge.

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Sharon Palmer-Johnston

BookTrust Regional Manager (North West and West Midlands)

Sharon (pictured centre) is a Regional Manager at BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity. She has been providing advocacy and support for BookTrust programmes to partners across the North West and West Midlands for over 5 years. Sharon has had a varied career with a strong emphasis in Public Health. She has been a Service Lead Manager for a drug and alcohol charity, a Commissioning Manager in the NHS and youth worker and counsellor. 


Kathryn Boothroyd

BookTrust Regional Manager (North West and West Midlands)

Kathryn Boothroyd Library Service Manager, St Helens Libraries

Kathryn is the St Helens Library Service Manager. She has strategic responsibility for the management and delivery of libraries, archives and the schools’ library service. She has many years’ experience of managing and delivering large projects, partnership working and performance management and is skilled in leading, managing and motivating large groups of staff.

Her specialism is developing services for children and young people, ensuring they are included and involved in library service delivery. Kathryn is very proud to have developed the ground breaking BLUSH project alongside Speech and Language specialist Julie Hoodless

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Julie Hoodless

St Helens Paediatric Speech and Language Therapy Team Leader, Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Julie has been a Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) for over twenty years, working in Wigan and for the last three years in St Helens, where she has led the Paediatric Speech and Language Therapy Service for Bridgewater Community Healthcare Foundation Trust. More recently, she has also worked for St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group as a project manager and as designated clinical officer for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

She believes passionately that speech, language and communication skills are crucial for the development of literacy skills and that they underpin the potential to progress both academically and socially.

Twitter: @JulieHoodless

More information on the NHS 70 Symposium and book your free ticket

More details on the North West Social Prescribing Network Meeting and book your free ticket - this runs directly after the NHS 70 Symposium at the same venue, Liverpool Central Library.