I obtained a BSc (Hons) in sociology from the London School of Economics and an MSc in the sociology of health and illness from Royal Holloway and Bedford College, University of London. Subsequently I trained as a nurse at the Royal London Hospital and worked in general medicine at Mile End Hospital, intensive care at Guy's hospital and palliative care with the Marie Curie Foundation before training as a district nurse and working as a district nursing sister in North London. I have been working in nurse education since the 1980s and for many years worked as a joint appointee combining lecturing with clinical development roles firstly at North Manchester General Hospital and secondly at Manchester Royal Infirmary. I have been a full time lecturer since the mid 1990s.
I was involved with Community Health Councils (acting as both a member and chair) from the mid 1980s until their demise and have had wide experience of working with patient groups. I have had considerable experience in service development, quality assurance and audit, for example leading projects on bereavement support, discharge planning and preceptorship as well as patient satisfaction surveys. My project on terminal care and bereavement led to the publication of a clinical handbook in 2000.