Not Alone Speakers

We have assembled a great selection of speakers for this event and you can find out more about them below.

In alphabetical order…

Dr John Davies
Consultant Cardiologist

I was appointed as a Consultant Interventional Cardiologist at Southend Hospital and the Essex Cardiothoracic Centre at Basildon Hospital in 2008 and Honorary Senior Lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University in 2011. Currently, I am the lead cardiologist for audit and research at The Essex Cardiothoracic Centre and sit on the British Cardiovascular Interventional Society Research Committee and the British Cardiac Society Clinical Guidelines Committee.

Dr Andrew Grace
Consultant Cardiologist

Andrew Grace is an established Consultant Cardiologist based at Royal Papworth Hospital. He trained in Cardiology in both Cambridge and London and completed post-doctoral studies as a Fulbright Scholar in the Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego.  He has one of the largest arrhythmia practices in the UK that is demonstrably safe and attracts widespread referrals.  He has been described by the BBC as ‘one of the country’s leading cardiologists’ and by the Lancet as a ‘leading heart rhythm specialist’.

He also has a reputation for research in arrhythmia and is a recognized innovator having a particular interest in ‘disruptive’ technologies some of these have changed practice internationally and have included devices, diagnostics and drugs.  He is especially well known as main clinical contributor to the development of the subcutaneous defibrillator. He has published extensively and given many invited lectures. He is the Royal Airforce Civil Consultant in Cardiac Electrophysiology (since 2005) and a chair/member of many Specialist Advisory Groups than include the Commission on Human Medicines (since 2002), the European Medicines Agency (since 2010) and the American Heart Association Specialist Council (since 2014).  

Angela Hartley
Cardiac Nurse and Exercise Coach

I am a registered nurse with cardiac experience at Royal Brompton, Harefield and Harley Street. I’m a specialist cardiac personal trainer and I am enthusiastic and passionate about health and I believe that a person’s experience can be enhanced by excellent nursing care. I enjoy delivering education and learning new skills and techniques to enhance my knowledge in all areas. I am confident in assessing patients’ and adjusting their care according to their condition. I am passionate about health promotion to reduce people’s risk factors for future heart problems and to improve the quality of life for those living with an illness. Helping someone to feel confident to exercise again after a diagnosis of a heart condition brings me great joy. I run the Healthy Hearties facebook group for those with a heart condition to learn, share and improve their health and fitness.

Anne Jolly MBE

Anne set up SADS UK after the sudden death of her previously healthy 16-year-old son Ashley in 1998.  Her aims were to save lives in Ashley’s memory.  Her personal experience and qualifications in counselling help her to empathise and assist people who contact SADS UK who may have been bereaved, living with a cardiac condition, or whose lives have been impacted by suffering a sudden cardiac arrest. Anne has a background in providing support, previously working at the Samaritans, YMCA and Mind. She has an advanced diploma in counselling and is a British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy accredited counsellor. Anne is passionate about working with individuals, schools and the community and to date, SADS UK has installed over 3000 defibrillators; lives have been saved as a direct result of the work of the charity. The SADS UK Big Shock Campaign lobbies Government to make defibrillators compulsory in all schools. A very important part of Anne’s work with SADS UK is supporting research into sudden cardiac death and the charity is proud to be supporting and funding important studies at the Essex Cardiothoracic Centre in Basildon. Studies include an Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest database application to set up a seamless database to document and improve Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OOHCA) outcomes. The charity is also funding Dr Marco Mion at the Essex CTC to help improve access and neuro-psychological support for patients post OOHCA.  Anne was awarded an MBE in 2017 for her life-saving work and raising awareness of SADS.

Dr Tom Keeble
Consultant Cardiologist

I  am a consultant cardiologist at Essex Cardiothoracic Centre and Southend Hospital and also conduct academic research at the Anglia Ruskin University.  I have an interest in coronary intervention, cardiology clinical trials and novel technology research.  I also run the Care After REsuscitation (CARE) programme which provides additional care post-discharge for cardiac arrest survivors and their partners.

Neil Magee
Specialist Cardiac Nurse

Neil has been a key player in the Care After REsuscitaion programme implemented by Dr Tom Keeble and Neil at the Essex Cardiothoracic Centre and

Donna Malley
Occupational Therapy Clinical Specialist

Donna has over 25 years’ experience working in the NHS with people following an acquired brain injury. She is currently Chair of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists Specialist Section Neurological Practice. She joined the Oliver Zangwill Centre for Neuropsychological Rehabilitation in 1998 where she developed her interest in fatigue, completing an MSt and co-producing the Headway booklet Managing Fatigue after Brain Injury with her colleague Jacqui Wheatcroft. She has written book chapters on this topic including The Brain Injury Rehabilitation Workbook (2016) and Neuropsychological Rehabilitation; The International Handbook (2017) and co-written a paper Fatigue after Brain Injury: a model to guide clinical management (2014; ACNR) with Jacqui Wheatcroft & Fergus Gracey. Fatigue is clinically important and commonly misunderstood. This presentation will provide an overview of the current evidence base regarding factors contributing to persistent fatigue. A clinical model will be used to support understanding and management. The need for understanding an individual’s experience, the involvement of family and others, peer support and self-management techniques will be discussed.

Dr Marco Mion PhD
Clinical Psychologist

I received my MSc in General and Experimental Psychology at the University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy) in 2005 – I then completed a PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Modena (Italy) in 2010, spending a year in the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at Addenbrooke’s Hospital (Cambridge, UK) as a Visiting PhD student. I have been working for the NHS since 2011 in different settings: memory services, hyperacute and acute stroke units and inpatient/community neuro-rehabilitation teams. I am currently working as a stroke and community neuropsychologist in central London, in addition to running a small pilot clinic for out of hospital cardiac arrest survivors and their family at the Essex Cardio-Thoracic Centre in Basildon. I have been involved with CARE (Care After Resuscitation) since 2016.

Charlotte Pickwick
Nurse and SCA survivor
In December 2017, I had a cardiac arrest where by my engineer husband performed 7 minutes of CPR. In May 2018, along with my husband Stuart, we set up a charity called “Do it for Defib” where we teach the public CPR and place public access defibrillators in the local area. So far we have taught over 600 people and placed more than 10 defibrillators! I have also been asked to speak at conferences about my arrest and involved in Restart a Heart Day committee 2019. I continue to work 4 days a week as a nurse and trying to continue to educate people on this life saving skill.

Karen Smith
Director of Research and Evaluation at Ambulance Victoria
She is an epidemiologist with  extensive experience in pre-hospital research and clinical trials. Karen  completed a PhD in 2003 at the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine,  Monash University. She was the recipient a NHMRC PhD scholarship and a NHMRC  Post-Doctoral Fellowship. Karen has retained an Honorary Senior Lecturer  position at the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine.  She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor – Emergency  Medicine Discipline at the University of Western Australia. In addition, she is  a member of the Falck Foundation Medical Advisory Committee, which supports and  promotes pre-hospital research.

Karen co-founded and chairs the Victorian Cardiac Arrest Registry  (VACAR) which contains information for all patients in Victoria, who suffer  cardiac arrest and receive ambulance attendance. This registry is regarded  internationally as a key OHCA quality assurance activity and fosters a large  research program and international collaboration. Karen also co-founded the  Victorian State Trauma Registry (VSTR) at Monash University and remains on the  Steering Committee.  In 2012 she won the  Ambulance Victoria Inaugural CEO Award for Leadership Excellence.

Paul Swindell
Sudden Cardiac Arrest UK

Before my cardiac arrest in 2014, I worked in IT as a freelance software developer.  In May 2015, I set up Sudden Cardiac Arrest UK Facebook group after meeting a number of others affected by an SCA.  I spend time supporting the group and amongst other things have helped produce this website, the group’s leaflet and book “Life After Cardiac Arrest”.  I have also assisted in the presentations of  Dr Keeble’s CARE study by giving a patients perspective on life after cardiac arrest.

Professor William Toff
Professor in Cardiology

I am a Lecturer in Cardiology at the University of Leicester with an honorary clinical appointment at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.  My main clinical and research interests are in the field of cardiac arrhythmia and implanted cardiac rhythm management devices. I have extensive experience in health technology assessment and cardiovascular clinical trials, and I served as the founding Director of the Leicester Clinical Trials Unit (2009-2012).  I am the Chief Investigator for the NIHR HTA-funded United Kingdom Trans-catheter Aortic Valve Implantation (UK TAVI) trial and a member of the National TAVI Steering Group. My other interests include resuscitation science and the cardiovascular aspects of aviation medicine and fitness to fly.

James Whitfield

I am a highly specialised psychotherapist originally qualifying as a Nurse from the West Pennine College of health studies in 1994.  I have spent 20 years working with people with long term physical health needs. In 2014 I attained a Post Graduate Diploma in Cognitive and Behavioural Therapy from Anglia Ruskin University and in 2017 a Post Graduate certificate in Peer Supported Open Dialogue from London Southbank University. I work in Thurrock, Essex where my main interest is in improving the quality of life and psychological wellbeing in people with a chronic and life-limiting illness.

Professor Barbara Wilson
Clinical Neuropsychologist

Barbara has worked in brain injury rehabilitation for over 40 years. She has published 27 books, over 300 articles and chapters and 8 neuropsychological tests. She has won many awards for her work including an OBE from the Queen in 1998, for services to rehabilitation; five-lifetime achievement awards, honorary degrees from The Universities of East Anglia and Cordoba, Argentina. She is the editor of the journal “Neuropsychological Rehabilitation” which she founded in 1991. In 1996 she established the Oliver Zangwill Centre for Neuropsychological Rehabilitation. The UK Division of Neuropsychology has named a prize after her, the ‘Barbara Wilson prize for distinguished contributions to neuropsychology’. She is a Fellow of The British Psychological Society, The Academy of Medical Sciences and The Academy of Social Sciences. She is an honorary professor at the University of Hong Kong, Sydney and East Anglia.