Patient Liasion Group

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Membership of the Patient Liaison Group (PLG)

The PLG consists of people from diverse backgrounds and draws on the expertise of lay members, including some with direct patient-based links. The group has seats for eleven lay members and five doctor members who work on a voluntary basis.



PLG chair: Lesley Bentley

Lesley has had academic, commercial I.T. and teaching experience, in the UK and overseas.  

Having experienced as a patient the impact of effective communications and a caring environment on the outcome of her treatment, Lesley was keen to become involved in improving the quality of the patient’s pathway.

This led to involvement with the Royal College of Surgeons’ Patient Liaison Group, where as lay chair she brought patient concerns to the attention of the College, spoke at conferences, was a lay representative on department of health steering groups and gave evidence to House of Lords committees. 

Lesley is a lay examiner for the RCOG, a lay assessor for the National Clinical Assessment Service and a lay assessor for endoscopy accreditation.


PLG deputy chair: Jenny Wigram

Jenny is a chartered physiotherapist, working part-time in her home village in Devon. She gained an MSc in Rehabilitation Studies at Southampton University (1984), and has researched and been a clinician in both the NHS and private sector. She set up and ran a drop-in clinic at her local school for 15 years. 

Last year, she became a trustee for the Moorland Community Care Group, a charity which employs well-being co-ordinators and finds volunteers for elderly and vulnerable people in three local towns. 

Her interests lie in community care and public health.


PLG member: Jacquelyn Adams

Jacquelyn has worked in local government for over 30 years as a housing, complaints and customer services lead professional. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing and obtained her Masters in Business Administration from the Greenwich School of Management.

Her background is in embedding and learning from complaints with a passion for improving the customer experience by removing barriers to access to services.

She is a member of the Patient Participation Group at her surgery.


PLG member: Andy Burgen

Andy has worked with disadvantaged groups for most of his career. As a college principal, he led innovative education programmes for carers and for disabled adults. Subsequent roles with the Disability Rights Commission and Leonard Cheshire Disability promoted the health and social care of disabled people.

He has worked with marginalised groups in India, Thailand and Canada and has acted as an adviser to Oxfam and the British Red Cross.

Andy has been involved in healthcare policy and practice as a lay member of Healthcare Inspectorate Wales, as a corporate health standard assessor for the Welsh Government, as a member of the North Wales Community Health Council and as a governor of an NHS Foundation Trust in Liverpool. He is chair of the Patient and Lay Group of the Royal College of Surgeons and a member of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges’ Patient and Lay Committee.


PLG member: Maria Clark

Maria is a solicitor (currently non practising) and mother to 3 young children.

She sits on a number of patient groups, both locally and nationally and is passionate about raising the patient voice. Maria’s interests lie in women’s health, children and adolescents, mental health and well being and managing and living well with long term conditions.

She also sits on the University Research Ethics committee at the University of Sheffield and is Vice Chair of Governors at her local primary school.


PLG member: Christine Douglass

Christine is Senior Social Accountability Teaching Fellow at the Department of Primary Care and Public Health, Imperial College. She is committed to addressing health and social inequities by working with communities to understand their priority needs and feed them into medical education, healthcare research and clinical care.

Her career spans healthcare, science communication, and the arts, in the UK and Asia. Christine has personal experience of caring for elderly family members with multiple co-morbidities and is aware of the enormous difficulties faced when caring for relatives at home. 


PLG member: Mr Allan Hall

Allan is a specialty trainee in neurosurgery. After graduating from medical school, he undertook foundation placements in several specialties including general surgery, neurosurgery and accident and emergency.

He then undertook a master's degree in neuroscience with his work receiving international publication. He subsequently undertook a clinical fellow post in trauma and orthopaedics. Following this he was appointed as a surgical trainee based in Cardiothoracic Surgery.

Allan then applied for neurosurgery national selection and successfully secured his top ranked job. He has undertaken placements throughout the UK including St. George's hospital in London, John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford and Addenbrookes hospital in Cambridge.

He was a member of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies Young Neurosurgeons Committee from 2013-2017 and is currently a GMC associate and examiner. He has organised several international conferences, as part of a UK-leading society he founded, to help educate medical students and trainees in order to make them the best possible clinicians for patients and their families. This involved securing several world leading clinicians as conference speakers including the chief of neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins and the then chief of neurosurgery at Harvard.

He is currently studying for a postgraduate certificate in clinical medicine at Cambridge University.

He plans to specialise in adult and paediatric neurosurgery.


PLG member: Dr Vinton Cheng

Vinton is a specialty registrar in Medical Oncology, training at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. He has previously held an NIHR academic clinical fellowship in Medical Oncology and undertook a DPhil at the University of Oxford. His research focuses on the diagnosis and management of secondary brain tumours.

Vinton is a trainee member of the NCRI Screening, Prevention and Early Diagnosis (SPED) Advisory Group (2018-2020) and is co-chair of the Breast Cancer Trainees Research Collaborative Group (BCTRCG). Outside academia, his interests lie in clinical communication training and healthcare innovation.


PLG member: Dr John Chisholm CBE

John is Chair of the BMA’s Medical Ethics Committee. He has a long-standing interest in working with patient representatives to improve the quality of patient care. He is a Trustee of the Self Care Forum. He was an adviser to the NHS Working in Partnership Programme, and a member of the Expert Patients Task Force which recommended the implementation of the Expert Patients Programme. For several years he has been a judge for the BMA Patient Information Awards and Book Awards.

John has been a member of many national professional and Governmental bodies over the last 42 years. He was a member of the General Medical Council (1999-2003) and its Standards Committee. He has represented the BMA at a number of international human rights conferences.  

John is a member of the Councils of the BMA (1981-82, 1988-2022) and the Royal College of General Practitioners (2005-2014, 2015-2021), has been a Vice-President of the BMA since 2007, and is Deputy Chair of the RCGP Trustee Board. He chaired the BMA’s General Practitioners Committee (1997-2004) and was a GP negotiator (1990-2004). He led the negotiation of the new GP contract from 2001 to 2004. He is Chair of the charity the Men’s Health Forum.


PLG member: Dr Hannah Barham-Brown

Dr Hannah Barham-Brown is a Leeds-based GP Registrar, speaker, disability advocate, and member of BMA Council, the Medical Ethics Committee, Junior Doctors Committee and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group.                                    

In 2018, Hannah joined the Shaw Trust’s ‘Powerlist’, making her one of the 100 Most Influential Disabled people in the UK. She has given 2 TEDx talks in the last year and speaks at many events across the NHS and beyond. She regularly appears on TV, Radio and in the papers discussing a range of topics. Hannah is an also an Ambassador for both MyAFK and The Eve Appeal.


PLG member: Jane Gregory

Jane self-manages her long-term health conditions and supports two older family members. She hopes her experiences as a patient and carer contributes to the work of the PLG. Jane worked across health and social care services for over 30 years, focusing on promoting and enforcing the rights of vulnerable adults to autonomy, protection and good quality services. S

She currently hears appeals by patients against their detention under the Mental Health Act and is a lay member of panels that consider the quality of training received by Junior Doctors. She has a Masters in Ageing Health and Social Care.


PLG member: Kieron Blake

Kieron is a CATO Coordinator for the Clinical Academic Training Office at Imperial College London. He finds it rewarding that he contributes to the pathways that doctors take to continue their medical training in a broad range of clinical academic specialities.

He has a degree in Politics and Social Policy at Brunel University (2005) He is also a member of the Patient Involvement Group at the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research.


PLG member: Rowena Skinner

Rowena is an Executive Search Researcher based in Leeds who is passionate about representation and giving people a voice. Originally from London, she settled in Leeds after graduating from Leeds University with a degree in Political Science. She has a keen interest in health issues and an appreciation for the NHS, being a frequent user herself. Rowena was raised by a grandmother with lupus and has herself been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition. Rowena has volunteered as a community health educator and been a diversity champion throughout her career.


Junior doctor committee rep: Dr Lucie Kennedy-Cocker

Dr Lucie Kennedy-Cocker is the junior doctors committee representative to the Patient Liaison Group (PLG). She is an Emergency Medicine trainee working in Yorkshire and is a passionate advocate for patient involvement in the work of the BMA to improve quality of care within the NHS.

Lucie is a member of the Council of the BMA (2018-2022) and junior doctors committee (2016-2019) as well as the Deputy Chair of the junior doctors committee education and training sub-committee (2017-2019).