NHS Connecting for Health ceased to exist on 31st March 2013. This website is therefore not being updated. For up to date information about systems and services visit the Health and Social Care Information Centre website at www.hscic.gov.uk/systems

You are here: Home Engagement Clinical Engagement National Clinical Leads

National clinical leads (NCLs)

National Clinical Leads have been appointed to strengthen clinical authority within the national services and applications.

They will ensure that all parts of the NHS national IT infrastructure have the appropriate clinical input, are fit for purpose, and deliver real benefits for both the NHS and patients.

GPs | Hospital doctors | Nurses | Allied health professionals | Pathology | Paediatrics and child health


Dr Manpreet Pujara - NCL for GPs

Dr Manpreet Pujara practises at the Thorndike surgery in Rochester, Kent. He trained at Southampton University and became a GP in Carshalton, Surrey.

He became an EMIS user in 1990 and was elected to the National User Group (NUG) committee in 1994 and was NUG chair between 2001 and 2007.

During this time he represented EMIS Users at the Joint GP IT Committee (JGPITC), as well as the NHS Connecting for Health's GP Pan User (GPPUG) and GP System of Choice (GPSoC) groups.

In recent years, he has been involved in a number of issues including EPS, Choose & Book and GP2GP. He became an NCL in January 2008.

"Having worked on a number of NHS Connecting for Health issues relevant to GPs, as well as on GP Choice, I am pleased to have been appointed as one of the GP National Clinical Leads. There is a great potential to bring many benefits to both patients and primary care." - Dr Manpreet Pujara.

Dr Peter Short - NCL for GPs

Dr Peter Short practises at the Stewart Medical Centre, Buxton, Derbyshire. He trained at Doncaster and around the West Midlands, after he qualified from Birmingham Medical School in 1983.

Peter describes himself as enjoying the challenge of being a  "GP generalist" two days a week, with additional work in community hospitals covering GP beds and a minor injury unit, in addition to Clinical Commissioning Group involvement.

Until his appointment as GPs' NCL for NHS CFH in January 2008, Peter was Deputy Chair of Derbyshire Local Medical Committee and NPfIT Clinical Lead for Derby City and County.

"The many challenges for General Practice require effective and reliable IT support, and increasingly the linking of information from multiple sources. The lifelong record held in GP systems is likely to remain the key for patient centred care, but to be increasingly made available to other authorised clinical users, with patient consent."

Visit 'Connecting with GPs'.

Back to the top

Hospital doctors

Dr Charles Gutteridge – National Clinical Director for Informatics

Dr Charles GutteridgeCharles has been the medical director at Barts and the London Trust since 2002 and a consultant haematologist there and at Newham General Hospital. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Pathologists.

As a member of the London review acute group, Charles was involved in providing clinical advice to Lord Darzi's review of health provision in London. He also chaired the Association of UK University Hospitals Medical Directors.

Charles has been strongly involved in patient safety, confidentiality and informatics issues at Barts. He was the Caldicott Guardian for Barts, led the Safer Patients Initiative 2006-8 and chaired the Clinical Informatics Design Authority which gave clinical advice about improving the use of Cerner Millenium at the Trust.

Charles took up this appointment in January 2010. He said: "This is an exciting time to be at the cutting edge of delivering informatics to improve patient care.

"As recent events have shown, there is a sea change in clinical attitudes to informatics and the NHS IT Infrastructure. My colleagues know that good, accessible information enormously raises the quality of treatment and diagnosis we can provide to the public.

"My work with medical under-graduates confirms that these expectations are strong amongst the next generation of doctors. I hope to contribute to encouraging those attitudes and enabling dialogue between clinical staff, patients and informatics providers."

Dr Simon Eccles - Medical Director

Dr Simon Eccles is a Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Homerton Hospital, London.

Simon's current and previous roles include:

  • clinical advisor to the NHS National Workforce Project, tackling the impact of the European Working Time Directive;
  • clinical advisor to the Health Insight Unit of the Department of Health;
  • past chairman of the BMA Junior Doctors Committee and secondment to the Modernisation Agency, as the medical advisor to the Hospital at Night project which is now being implemented nationally.

Simon has interests in plain-speaking communication; making sure clinicians, managers and planners are all using the same routine information to improve care for patients and in helping clinicians have ownership of improvements brought about by better health informatics.

Back to the top


Dr Susan Hamer – National Director of Nursing, Midwifery and the Allied Health Professions


Susan graduated in nursing in 1980 working as a district nurse in London before moving to the University of Hull as a lecturer. Since then she has held a variety of academic and practice based posts and in 2004, became Director of Enterprise and Knowledge Transfer for the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Leeds.  Currently, Susan is seconded from the University of Leeds where she is now Director of Organisational and Workforce Development at the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network.

Susan has published widely, and is the co author of two books: Achieving Evidence Based Practice and Leadership and Management: A 3 dimensional Approach. She is also co editor of Practice Development in Health Care, a journal which aims to promote scholarly debate in the field of Practice Development. She has been involved in the establishment of over 150 practice development units and continues to be an active coach and mentor. Her doctoral studies were in the field of post compulsory education. She is a fellow of the Queens Nursing Institute.

Susan is passionate about the possibilities for technology to enhanced practice and to support innovation in the development of patient led services. As a member of the Clinical team Susan is keen to ensure that new and effective models of professional practice are shared rapidly across the health system.

Anne Cooper - NCL for Nursing

Anne Cooper

Anne started her career in nursing, working in cardiology and chest medicine where she was a ward sister before moving into general management, focusing on complaints management and developing approaches to deal with feedback from patients.

Later, at NHS Direct, Anne worked as part of a team setting up the service in West Yorkshire before specialising in IT system development in a national role at NHS Direct. During her time, Anne developed an IT skills competency framework for nursing.

This was followed by a role as regional programme manager to support local healthcare providers to develop diabetes services in line with the National Service Framework requirements for care.

Anne has been involved in informatics since her time at NHS Direct.  As a result, she accepted a post working with the Summary Care Record programme team, providing clinical advice, design input and clinical leadership.

Other areas of interest include, information governance and in particular, ensuring that patient confidentiality is protected throughout the introduction and long term use of technology to improve clinical care. 

Anne currently holds the post of national clinical lead for nursing, providing clinical leadership in the development of informatics policy and works across the health and education sectors to build relationships with strategic partners.

Victoria Hughes, NCL for Nursing

Vicky Hughes

Victoria joined the nursing team in April 2012 she is currently seconded on a part time basis and works within the Clinical Division Department of Health Informatics Division – NHS Connecting for Health.

Victoria started her career in nursing in 1987 and has worked in NHS secondary, primary and community care settings. She has also worked with private sector. Victoria's main areas of interest are in the fields of respiratory and female health nursing.

Having trained at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital, Victoria moved to Oxford working at the Oxford Radcliffe hospital for 5 years prior to moving into primary care as a practice nurse. After 2 years she left the NHS to join a contract pharmaceutical organisation as senior nurse advisor, performing clinical audits in the fields of Osteoporosis, CHD and COPD.

Victoria joined NHS Direct as Nurse Manager where her interested in informatics and passion for how technology could assist with patient care grew. After 2 years she was approached and moved back into private sector as a nurse manager covering half of the UK and supporting a team of nurse advisors.

Victoria moved back into the NHS in 2003 working in Northampton within the clinical informatics field. In 2006 she opened an indoor play area for children, maintaining clinical practice and registration with bank work. In 2007 she was asked to work part-time on temporary basis for East Midlands Strategic Authority looking at clinical engagement in the field of informatics and development of clinical systems. The post was made permanent and she was successful in securing the role. She gave up the play area and continues to work it that role for 3 days per week.

Other areas of interest include clinical governance, nursing leadership and clinical safety (broadly and in relation to information technology). She is keen to ensure information is shared and improve understanding of how technology can help improve clinical and patient care.

Visit 'Connecting with nurses'.

Back to the top

Allied health professionals

Yvonne Pettigrew - NCL for allied health professionals

Yvonne Pettigrew is Associate Director for Allied Health Professionals and Head of Therapy Services at the University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHBFT).

Yvonne Pettigrew is Associate Director for Allied Health Professionals and Head of Therapy Services at the University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB). Yvonne's previous roles include clinical work as an Occupational Therapist in the acute and community sectors as well as with social services. She has also spent a period of time in an American hospital in the Middle East. Most recently Yvonne has had senior management and professional leadership responsibility in multi-centre and teaching hospital environments.

Yvonne has always had an interest in the appropriate use of technology to improve clinical services and is especially keen to see Allied Health Professional (AHP) clinical and commissioning recording integrated meaningfully at patient and organisational levels. She commented: "In my role for NHS Connecting for Health, I will be engaging regularly with AHPs, helping to communicate the benefits of informatics in the workplace as well as finding out more about AHPs professional needs to feed this back into shaping policy and system development.

"Choose and Book is a great example of a tool that can enable GPs and patients to access AHP services, and we need to ensure that we maximise the benefits for practitioners by using their feedback to help develop a system which both reflects their needs and enables better inter-professional working.

"I will do this via our national conferences, existing professional networks and by responding to individual enquiry. I'm very keen that we get better at sharing good practice as there are so many exciting and innovative examples that could benefit our patients."

David Davis - NCL for allied health professionals
David Davis

David is currently NHS Pathways Clinical Lead for South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) where he works as a senior clinical manager across the organisation's three emergency operations centres (EOCs) responsible for a team of senior nurses and paramedics who provide telephone clinical advice and supervision both within the EOCs and where required to ambulance crews.

David joined SECAmb in 2001, following an earlier career in sales, marketing and eCommerce.  As a paramedic, he worked on the frontline responding to 999 calls. 

David was appointed the UK's first Paramedic Stroke Lead after, in 2006, he raised concerns about provision for local stroke patients after discovering that no hospitals in the Trust's region of Kent, Surrey or Sussex offered thrombolysis for acute ischaemic stroke.

Over recent years, thanks to David's leadership of partnership and multi-disciplinary working, a unified pathway has been established so stroke patients can be FAST-tracked by SECAmb to specialist stroke services. This pathway has won regional and national recognition, with the FASTrack pathway work and David's contribution in Clinical Leadership highlighted in the Health Minister, Lord Darzi's report: Delivering High Quality Care for All: One Year On as well as the Stroke Association's Getting Better report; David's work and leadership in stroke care was also featured in the NHS 60th birthday publication.

In addition to teaching and providing talks on pre-hospital stroke care, David continues to work with the NHS Stroke Improvement programme as a clinical associate and with the Royal College of Physicians Peer Review teams.

David is also Director of Media Relations for the College of Paramedics and actively involved in the development of his profession, including close working with other Allied Health Professions.

Following involvement in the regional Clinical Leadership Network, David was successful in a place on the Clinical Leadership Fellowship programme, which sees him undertaking a Masters in Clinical Leadership (Management for Clinicians) in his spare time.

Visit 'Connecting with allied health professionals'.

Back to the top


Dr Gifford Batstone - NCL for pathology

Dr Batstone, became an NCL for pathology in March 2008. He studied medicine at St Thomas'Hospital, London before training in pathology in Bristol and Southampton.

He was a consultant chemical pathologist in Salisbury and then undertook a number of educational roles including that of postgraduate dean. Gifford has now returned to laboratory work at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals where he is also involved in teaching medical students.

Gifford has been involved in the implementation of Department of Health initiatives in clinical audit, medical education, and information technology. His wife is Chief Executive of Basingstoke and North Hampshire Foundation Trust.

Gifford commented: "Linking best evidence with laboratory requesting and reporting will increasingly enhance both the efficiency and effectiveness of pathology services."

Visit 'Pathology Messaging'.

Visit Gifford's pathology web page.

Back to the top

Paediatrics and child health

Dr David Low - NCL for Paediatrics and child health

Dr Low became the national clinical lead for paediatrics and child health in October 2008.

He has been a consultant paediatrician for 22 years at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, specialising as a Designated Doctor for Safeguarding for the last 15 years.

Dr Low is also a member of the NHS Connecting for Health Child Health Programme Board, which was set up to ensure child health systems within national services and applications were standardised and fit for purpose.

David has been involved in producing documentation that identifies the specific information needs of children in comparison to adults. He would like to use this for discussion with paediatricians and system providers as the basis for a unified child health record.

David is married to Carole, a clinical geneticist, and they have three grown up sons. When he is not safeguarding the health of children he keeps himself busy by gardening, supporting and listening to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and rowing – he has been a cox for almost 40 years - and appreciating Victorian architecture.

Back to the top