'The Journey'

'The Journey'

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Find out more about the panellists and facilitators at the morning plenary sessions below.

Session 1: Inspiring school-aged children into healthcare careers

Inspiration brand banner image.jpg Time: 9am
Can children’s hospitals co-ordinate inspiring programmes across multiple healthcare disciplines with the help of external partners?


Emma Palmer – Apprenticeship Vocational Training Lead


My name is Emma Palmer. I am the Apprenticeship Vocational Training Lead for the apprenticeship service at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust. I joined the Trust 18 months ago, bringing with me 17 years of experience working in further education. My role is to lead on the delivery and quality assurance of apprenticeship training which is available to all staff within the Trust, as part of workforce planning. I coach and support the team to ensure our delivery of apprenticeship training and quality assurance is of a high standard, resulting in positive outcomes for staff.

I also support on strategy and compliance on all aspects of apprenticeship training being embedded within all government legislation. Part of my role as the Deputy Nominee to Ofsted as part of government inspections, to ensure the Alder Hey apprenticeship service provides education and training to a high standard for all students. Apprenticeships are a fantastic route for creating pathways and a more diverse and inclusive workforce. As part of the apprenticeship service we hope to make a real difference to the staff at Alder Hey.

Anne Doyle – Volunteer Manager


My name is Anne Doyle and I am the Volunteer Manager at Alder Hey where I have been part of the Patient Experience Team for four years. My role is to recruit, train, and support our volunteers. I identify and develop roles within the Trust to enable a positive patient experience, and provide a fulfilling and rewarding volunteer programme. Our volunteers have delivered in excess of 600 hours per week, and they are instantly recognisable in their pink uniforms.

Volunteers come to Alder Hey for many reasons. One is to gain experience before going on to education or a career in healthcare. One outcome could be that they discover that it is or isn’t for them. I am passionate about the benefits of volunteering for supporting physical and mental wellbeing, and supporting the local community.

Sarah Hanson - Higher Education Progressions Advisor, Shaping Futures

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My name is Sarah Hanson and I work as part of the Shaping Futures team to provide impartial advice, guidance and activities for young people in the Liverpool City Region. This includes supporting them  with their education and career options. Shaping Futures is part of the national Uni Connect Programme, funded by the Office for Students, with 12 partner HE and FE institutions in the Liverpool City Region.

During the academic year 2018-2019, we worked with 25,978 unique learners across 3,684 activities. While a large amount of these engagements came from our core menu of activities, we are also focused on partnering with local employers, providers, and organisations to help students see the link between their current studies and future opportunities. This also allows them to explore the fantastic broad range of options open to them. Having previously worked with local NHS Trusts on Patient Journey Day events, I was thrilled to begin a new working relationship with Alder Hey this year, providing innovative, experiential events for Y10 and Y12 students in the local area.

Joanne Downes - Volunteer Placement Adviser

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My name is Joanne Downes. I have worked for Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust for 20 years in various roles. For the past two years, I have been responsible for the following vocational activities:

Managing vocational placements to support our Corporate Social Responsibilities.

Co-ordinating work experience requests submitted to the Trust and engaging with local schools and colleges. 

Working in partnership with Job Centre Plus and external careers agencies to offer pre-employment opportunities and developing the “Alder Hey Grow Our Own” strategy.

Working within the local community to promote careers and development opportunities within the NHS and Alder Hey specifically.

Arranging careers events for students interested in developing careers within the NHS.

Developing a strategically-planned approach to scheduling placements throughout the organisation.

Vocational placement opportunities are a great for young people who are interested in developing careers and also want to find out more, before committing to a particular profession or educational pathway. The opportunity to gain exposure to a particular profession is priceless to any person before starting a career journey.

Pre-employment programmes are also invaluable opportunities for un-employed people who want to gain new skills and on-the-job training. This provides them with an chance to apply for internal roles in the NHS that may not have been possible beforehand.

I was recently nominated by the Deputy Director of Human Resources for Delivering Game Changing Innovation at our local staff awards. This was in recognition for the contribution and hard work I have shown when supporting vocational learners. After 20 years of continued service, I feel very passionate about promoting Alder Hey as an employer of choice. It is extremely rewarding to see people progress from vocational placements with the Trust to employment.

I look forward to many more years of celebrating success and experiencing satisfaction from innovative programme opportunities at Alder Hey!


Victoria Hughes

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I began my nursing career when I completed two weeks' work experience in Alder Hey when I was 16 yrs old, which helped me confirm I wanted to be a children’s nurse. I then commenced my child nurse training at Liverpool John Moores University in Sept 1998. When I qualified in Sept 2001, I was very clear I wanted to start my nursing career in Alder Hey. I knew the specialist services and variety of opportunities would allow me to consolidate my skills and build a strong foundation.

Throughout my early nursing career, I always held a strong interest in supporting others to develop, and this interest fuelled my decision to move more into the education side of nursing. I commenced my role as a Practice Education Facilitator (PEF) in 2009. I enjoyed my time as a PEF working in partnership with our local universities, to ensure the students completing clinical placements within the organisation as part of their programmes of study, achieved the required standard to allow them to register.

In September 2018, I was appointed to the Head of Nurse Education and Support Worker Development role. This has enabled me to support our organisation nursing workforce to engage with further development opportunities, and ensure an organisational approach to nursing development and support, by working with the clinical practice educators, and practice education facilitators within the organisation.

Session 2: Understanding the transition from school leaver to adult learner

Dedication brand banner image.jpg  Time: 10am
Educationalists and psychologists from schools, universities, and hospital placements give their views on this important phase


Dr Jo Potier De La Morandiere - Associate Director of Organisational Development/Consultant Clinical Psychologist


Jo is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Associate Director of Organisational Development at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust. She has developed and lead a number of services including a large and nationally recognised Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) and more recently a staff support service. She has expertise in complex mental health, organisational culture, leadership and staff wellbeing. In addition to her NHS roles, she has also worked as subject matter expert to the national College of Policing, expert witness to the Family Courts and consultant to Serious Case Review panels. She is also currently training to be an Executive Coach. She is passionate about enabling organisations to create compassionate, just and learning cultures where people feel safe and well and can deliver the work and care that they aspire to.

Dr Mary Stevenson


In my early career I taught mathematics in secondary schools and a sixth form college, including two Head of Mathematics positions. This was followed by 21 years as a senior lecturer at Liverpool Hope University, where I worked in initial teacher training, devised and taught professional development programmes for serving teachers, led a mathematics undergraduate degree pathway, and taught on mathematics Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) and MA modules.  

In 2018 I moved to the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM), and my work is now focused on in-service programmes for teachers, providing specialist secondary mathematics professional development expertise to enhance the work of the NCETM and to provide expert support for the national Maths Hubs Programme.

Jean Maguire


My name is Jean Maguire. I retired last September from Alder Hey after working for over 41 years in the NHS. My first post was as a medical secretary for 6 ½ years at the Royal Liverpool Children’s Hospital (Myrtle Street), moving on to Alder Hey for promotion in August 1984.  

Over the years, my role there changed: from being a PA to the Professor who was Head of the Department of Child Health, along with managing staff in that Department and administering the medical student programme; to becoming a full time Undergraduate Administrator as the student numbers increased. I am married to a retired nurse, who worked with people with learning disabilities and we have two grown up children.  

I very much enjoyed supporting the students in their training programme over the many years that I worked at Alder Hey, and have seen many changes to the curriculum that the students have followed as part of their training. 

Dr Emma Beddoes


Emma is the Academic Director of Year 2 of the MBChB Programme at the University of Liverpool. She originally trained as doctor and then switched to teaching, first at undergraduate level and then at secondary and further educational  level, teaching mainly A Level sciences, before returning to medicine.  She has a keen interest in understanding the transition from school/college to university and has been supporting learners on that journey for the last 10 years.


Professor Calum Semple

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Calum Semple is Professor of Child Health and Outbreak Medicine at Univesity of Liverpool.  He has research experience studying severe virus disease outbreaks since 1989 in the field of diagnostics, clinical characterization and clinical trials. He was an early member of ISARIC. He has led studies of MERS, Monkeypox, Ebola (EVD and Survivors), Influenza and Bronchiolitis often field deployed in austere circumstances. He is a Senior Government Clinical Advisor siting on the New Emerging Respiratory Viral Treats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) , the COVID-19 Clinical Cell (NEPRR), and former member of the WHO Scientifics Technical Advisory Committee for Ebola Emergencies (STAC-EE). He leads on the Clinical Characterisation of COVID-19 in the UK.

Calum with Gain has supported development of postgraduate medical education in paediatrics at Alder Hey through development of an Academic Clinical Fellowship Programme.

Graham Wilson

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Graham Wilson is the Training Programme Director for Undergraduate and Apprenticeships at the National School of Healthcare Science. Working with healthcare scientists Graham developed the end point assessment for the assistant and associate apprenticeship standards that is currently used by the Schools end point assessment team.

Graham has over thirty years’ experience as a Biomedical Scientist with a special interest in the training and development of staff. He joined the National School of Healthcare Science in 2012 helping in the implementation of the Practitioner Training Programme Clinical Scientist Training Programme, Higher Specialist Training.  Graham was a member of the panel that developed the T qual for Healthcare Science. He was a Council Member of the Institute of Biomedical Science and is the Chair of the Clinical Chemistry Advisory Panel.

Grahams motivation is to help people believe in themselves and to support them in achieving their goals.

Session 3: How was the children’s hospital placement for you?

Quality Brand banner image.jpg  Time: 11.15am
Hearing the views and experiences of current and recent healthcare undergraduate students and course representatives


Shane D’Souza- medical student


Shane is a final year medical student at the University of Liverpool and an alumnus of the University of Oxford. From very early in his career Shane has been passionate about promoting excellence within medical education and academia, he will be embarking on the Academic Foundation Programme as a junior doctor in August. His academic experiences of paediatrics began in the early years of medical school whilst a research scholar at the Institute of Infection and Global Health.

He undertook one of the largest prospective studies on predictive serum biomarkers of post-operative bacterial infection in the paediatric intensive care unit. He has presented at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Annual Meeting, International Sepsis Symposium and has a first-author publication in Paediatric Critical Care Medicine. Currently, he is working on projects in ophthalmology and in paediatrics, his long-term goal is to become an academic paediatric ophthalmologist. In his spare time, Shane enjoys running and teaching students; he is the founder of MediTutor©, a medical start up that helps aspiring medical, dental and veterinary medicine applicants.

Charlie (Charlotte) Jarvis- Paediatric Nurse


I am a paediatric nurse and I work on Ward 3C in Alder Hey, which is the medical specialties ward. I graduated with a 2:1 in Children’s Nursing from the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery in King’s College London in 2016. After qualifying I started work on the General Medical, Haematology and Respiratory ward in the Variety Children’s Hospital at King’s College Hospital.

One year later, I moved back up north and started work at Alder Hey. I have just returned to work after a year of maternity leave, and feel very much like I’m a brand new nurse starting all over again! I strongly feel that a nurse’s learning and development of skills is never finished, and this is something I am always encouraging in students. I think it is important to always be seeking extra learning opportunities and preach that no question is a silly question!

Nick Searle- Newly qualified radiographer at Alder Hey


As a newly qualified Diagnostic Radiographer, I have been fortunate to start my career at Alder Hey, working with some of the most enthusiastic and inspirational health care professionals and patients I have ever met. As a parent of two, and self proclaimed "big kid", I enjoy the prospect of working with young people, putting smiles on faces, and assisting with the diagnosis and treatment pathways of our future generation.

Prior to studying diagnostic radiography at the university of Liverpool, I graduated from Liverpool John Moores university in 2006, where I studied in the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences and fell in love with Liverpool as a city. Since then, I have been fortunate enough to travel the world, work in healthcare and education, and gain some invaluable life experience along the way. However, a burning desire to return to education and further my learning of anatomy and physiology, with a view to put this knowledge to greater use, led me apply for the degree in diagnostic radiography as a mature student where I carried out the majority of my training in the radiology department at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital in the centre of the city.

Holly Thompson- Student Physiotherapist


My name is Holly Thompson and I am a third year Physiotherapy student at the University of Liverpool. I completed my first clinical placement at Alder Hey which was 8 weeks in Critical Care. I have had experience in other placements including: General Medicine and Cardiac Rehabilitation at Aintree; Complex Rehab Unit at The Walton Centre; Elective Orthopaedics at Clatterbridge Hospital; and I am due to complete a placement in MSK Outpatients at Arrow Park Hospital. I am currently in the job application process and I hope to achieve a Band 5 role in Paediatrics.

Alex Strang- Dental student


Alex is a final year dental student at the University of Liverpool with an interest in Paediatric Dentistry. Alex finds changing anxious patients’ perceptions of dentistry highly rewarding and is currently in the process of completing a project investigating undergraduate dental students’ experiences at Alder Hey. As a former education secretary for Liverpool University Dental Students’ Society, he hopes to be involved in educating the next generation of dentists during his career.

Caroline Lea, Student Paramedic

I am currently a second year student at Liverpool John Moore’s University Studying Paramedic Science. My future goal is to gain the qualification to become a HCPC registered paramedic. My job role is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) at North West Ambulance Service, and I have been in this role for over three years. Gaining my clinical registration is progression within the service.

This job means I have used a variety of clinical skills to support and treat patients of all ages, including paediatrics. I recently completed a placement at Alder Hey, working in the departments across the sites.

The experience I gained from being here helped with my understanding of the importance of working as a multidisciplinary team, how we as professionals need to be working together to promote the best quality of care to our patients. Having the underpinning knowledge of basic triage, consultation methods, and treatment of individuals has supported my skills in the pre-hospital setting. 

My time at Alder Hey was well-organised, informative and I was supported throughout my attendance. The staff were welcoming and eager to share their knowledge of their roles within the departments they worked, enhancing my understanding of how the hospital is run. 

As a result, I can educate colleagues and students out on the road, and share my experiences to further develop team work within the healthcare services. 


Professor Kevin Southern- Plenary facilitator


Professor Southern joined the University of Liverpool and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital on the 1st January 2000.  He is Director of the Cheshire, Merseyside and North Wales Network of Paediatric Cystic Fibrosis Care with responsibility for the care of over 300 children with CF in the North West of England.  He is the Chief Investigator for the national UK CF START study, a trial funded by the UK government to evaluate the safest and most effective antibiotic treatment strategy for infants with CF.  In 2007, he helped establish the national UK Newborn Screening Programme for CF and he now chairs the national Board overseeing this programme. He was Leader of the European CF Society Neonatal Screening Working Group for more than ten years, handing over to Professor Jürg Barben in 2019.  He is an Editor for the international Cochrane Review Group evaluating evidence for therapies for people with CF.  In addition to his editorial role, he has written and contributed to 12 systematic reviews and his research is focused on translating evidence into practice.  He has published over 100 peer reviewed articles on cystic fibrosis and is internationally respected for his work on newborn screening.  He is the joint editor of a textbook sponsored by the European CF Society, the “Early CF Years”.  He is an elected member and Treasurer of the ECFS Board and, as such, has a global perspective on the issues facing people with CF.

He has recently become involved in developing the paediatric curriculum at the University of Liverpool Medical School.

Jared Murphy- Plenary organiser and facilitator


I’m Jared, I organised this plenary session and am helping Professor Southern with the running of it too.

I am a final year medical student who’s just graduated with an intercalated master’s degree in child health. I will be starting work in August as an academic foundation doctor, focusing on medical education and ultimately, I plan on becoming a paediatrician. So to be involved in CHESS-2 has been an amazing opportunity to combine both child health and education!

I am so pleased and excited that so many job roles (students or recently starting out on their career) are coming together on this panel to share their experiences about their time as an undergraduate in a children & young person’s hospital. Please do get involved by asking questions and sharing ideas. I hope you enjoy and learn loads from the plenary and the whole day!

Session 4: Why did you choose a child-health postgraduate degree/career?

Choice Brand banner image.jpg  Time: 12.15pm
Hearing from graduates on different career paths (higher degree/employment etc) on what influenced their choice.


Emma Morgan

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Emma graduated from the University of Liverpool in 2018. At present, she works as a Dental Core Trainee at Liverpool Dental Hospital and prepares to enter an academic clinical training pathway in the near future. Emma has had the opportunity to engage with a number of undergraduates and young dentists through her role as undergraduate ambassador for the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry. 

Mark McNulty


I initially studied Building Surveying at university. I qualified, but thankfully recession hit and allowed me to focus on something I was much better suited to. I went back to university to do a joint degree in Child Nursing and Social Work at Edge Hill University.

I felt initially more drawn towards social work having read A Child Called It. As a teenager, I always had this tug toward helping other people, inspired by books and films my mother introduced me to. However a job in Alder Hey as a nurse became available, and I have worked here since qualifying in October 2015.

I felt more supported in nursing, and was given good exposure in a number of different wards including Neonatal, Neurosurgical and Community nursing during my training. I completed a top-up to the social work degree whilst at Alder Hey and moved quickly into safeguarding. The job evolved from early help provision to complex discharge. I worked part-time in this while completing clinical shifts on the general medical ward.

I am now working as the Lead Nurse within the complex discharge team. This is a new title, and I am still often referred to as the Nurse Social Worker. I am proud of this as I am the only Social worker within the Trust aside from the oncology ones. My role is less clinical now and more focused on resolving the blocks to discharge, helping set up care packages as well as a whole host of other tasks. These may include early help provision and general liaison with school nurses, community nurses and social care teams. Ultimately I am now working to provide a better provision of care for our very complex children, and seeking to provide a more timely and cost effective discharge.

Eleanor Taylor

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Eleanor Taylor is a trainee genomic counsellor based at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital. She is completing her genomic counselling training as part of the NHS Scientist Training Programme. Eleanor completed an undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences and a PhD in cancer development at the University of Oxford. Following the completion of her PhD, she spent nine years working as an embryologist at fertility clinics in Liverpool and Glasgow. Eleanor also works as a science writer for the Progress Educational Trust, which aims to encourage public debate around 'sensitive, controversial and important points of science, ethics and law'.

Robyn Nevin

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My name is Robyn. I am an Advanced Anaesthetic Practitioner and graduated from Edge Hill University with a degree in Operating Department Practice. I have been qualified for four and a half years. I work in multiple specialities within the Theatre Department, my favourite being Neuro and Cranio-facial.

'As an Advanced Practitioner, I am part of the Emergency Response team. We carry a bleep to attend cardiac arrests, trauma calls, anaesthetic emergencies and major haemorrhages. This gives us the opportunity to work closely with various departments such as Resus and Radiology. No day is the same as an ODP.

Octavio Aragon

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Octavio (Tavi) completed his Pharmacy undergraduate degree at the Complutense University in Madrid and has been working at the Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust as a qualified pharmacist since 2003. He completed his PGDip in Clinical Pharmacy in 2006. Tavi is the current Lead Pharmacist for Paediatric Rheumatology and also oversees the pharmacy and medicines governance for the other Medical Specialties in the Trust. He joined the LJMU teaching team as Paediatric Teacher Practitioner in 2014 where he has developed a paediatric curriculum for the undergraduate Pharmacy degree and a ‘paediatric pathway’ for a selected number of students in 3rd and 4th year. He completed his independent prescribing qualification in 2017.

His main interests are medicines use in Paediatric Rheumatology, Gastroenterology and Nephrology, and generally medicines use and medication errors in the paediatric population. Tavi has developed within LJMU the distance learning post-graduate course “Medicines Use in Paediatrics and Neonates” aimed at pharmacists interested in developing their paediatric medicines use knowledge and skills.

Kim Williams

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Kim is the current Lead Nurse for the Cheshire and Mersey Children’s and Young People Network. She has a broad range of experience working across the NHS for the past 30 years. This includes roles as a Nurse Consultant, Clinical Transformation Lead, and reviewer and inspector of children’s services across Cheshire, Lancashire, and Merseyside.  She has a strong clinical background in Paediatric Emergency  care.

She qualified as an Advanced Paediatric Nurse Practitioner (APNP) in 1997 from the University of Liverpool. She became  the Lead Nurse and then the first Nurse Consultant at Alder Hey’s Emergency Department until 2015. During this time she introduced several new roles in Advanced Clinical Practice for nurses, including Emergency Nurse Practitioners (ENP), APNPs and Advanced Practitioners (AP). She is an Honorary lecturer with Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), and Edge Hill University, and has developed and led modular courses in paediatric emergency and paediatric minor injuries. She currently teaches on the Emergency module of the Paediatric Advanced Clinical Practitioners course delivered in collaboration between LJMU and Kids Health Matters ( KHM).


Kamran Mahmood - MBBS, MRCPCH,FRCPCH (UK) - Consultant Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatologist

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I am a consultant paediatric rheumatologist at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. Alder Hey is Europe’s largest paediatric unit and centre of excellence for juvenile lupus.

I completed my paediatric and sub-speciality training in the UK. I care for children and young people with a wide spectrum of inflammatory and non-inflammatory rheumatological conditions. I have a special interest in inflammatory bone disease and auto-inflammatory conditions. I am one of the international leads on clinical research in chronic non-bacterial osteomyelitis. In addition, I am currently principal investigator of multiple clinical trials.

My other interest is medical education. I am one of the RCPCH College Tutors at Alder Hey, responsible for the delivery of the postgraduate paediatric programme. I am also the lead for Alder Hey’s international rheumatology fellowship programme.

Julie Woods

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Julie qualified as a nurse from South Sefton School Of Nursing in 1983, she was the gold medal winner for the 1980-1983 period.

Julie has worked at Long Lane Medical Centre from 1989 to the present day.

She was one of the first practice nurses employed in Liverpool. She established the primary care nursing team at the practice and then went on to do a joint Practice Nurse/Practice Manager role training and developing the current Practice Manager during this time

In 2006 Julie undertook a Masters Degree (MSc Clinical Nursing) at the University of Liverpool and following the successful completion of this higher degree she has since worked as a Nurse Clinician.

In 2006 Julie was made an equity partner in the practice. Her Nurse Clinician role is that of a substitute GP, her duties and responsibilities are the same as any of her General Practitioner partners.

Julie takes the lead responsibility for staff appraisals, staff development including continuing professional development for the practice nurses in the team.

Julie mentors external practice nurses and advanced nurse practitioners during their prescribing training and provides clinical placements to support their ongoing education.

Long Lane Medical Centre is a training practice and Julie is fully involved in GP Registrar training and supervision.

From 2012 to 2019 Julie was CCG lead nurse for North Liverpool and worked with the other lead nurses to develop the educational strategy for primary care nursing during this time.

Julie has a passion for developing, educating and equipping nurses and doctors to achieve their full potential.

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