The UKONS Board is made up of executive officers, members, co-opted members and prospective members.
The Board meet at face-to-face meetings four times a year and have regular telephone meetings throughout the year.
Each year the Board has at least one major work plan to deliver, as well as the UKONS annual conference to plan and organise with our Secretariat, Media1 Productions Ltd.
Mark Foulkes has been in post as Nurse Consultant and Macmillan Lead Cancer Nurse at the Royal Berkshire Foundation Trust since 2007.
He has continued to work clinically on the Acute Oncology Team throughout the COVID-19 pandemic In 2016 received a ‘Pride of Reading’ Award for his work with cancer patients.
Mark has presented widely on a range of subjects, has edited two text books on oncology nursing and has a particular interest in nurse-led services, innovative approaches to cancer care delivery and the political backdrop to cancer services. In 2018 he was voted onto the board of the UK Oncology Nursing Society (UKONS) where he leads for nurse education. He is currently the President Elect of UKONS becoming President in November 2021.
Karen Campbell holds a post within the Professional Development and Knowledge team within Macmillan Cancer Support. Since 2018, Karen is responsible for the delivery management of education to Macmillan professional, people affected by cancer and the wider workforce across the UK. Karen held an Associate Professor post from 2015-2018 at Edinburgh Napier University where she led the Cancer Collaborate Theme. Karen has led programmes of research including the National Evaluation for the Transforming Care After Treatment (TCAT) (2014-2018) which included a Realist Evaluation of Holistic needs assessment, delivered across health care settings. In addition, Karen held the Master programme leadership in Advanced Nursing Practice, where she led on the development of cancer education in malignant haematology and caring for people affected by cancer. Karen is currently undertaking her Clinical Doctorate at Stirling University exploring the experience of care in haematology cancer patients in the last year of their life.
Dr Verna Lavender is a cancer nurse academic and scientist. She works at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust as Head of Guy’s Cancer Academy and has an honorary senior clinical lectureship at King’s College London. Since qualifying as a nurse in 1987, Verna has worked in a variety of health service settings, including acute and primary care, cancer care education and training, and service improvement and research. Her main academic interest is person-centred care of patients receiving anti-cancer therapy. She is passionate about improving the outcomes of people with cancer and educating staff who provide cancer care. Verna is a member of several cancer nursing societies and has worked with cancer charities throughout her career.
My name is Debbie Wightman, I have over 30 years nursing experience. 20 years have been working as an intensive care nurse caring for neonates, children and adults.
In 2012, I had the privilege to transfer to a management role and work with staff and patients within Oncology and Haematology. In this position, I was able to develop the service and lead the implementation of the Regional Information System for Oncology and Haematology, an electronic patient record and electronic prescribing system ensuring safe standardisation of care and treatment which is protocol driven and based upon regionally agreed clinical management guidelines.
In 2017, I became the Divisional Nurse for Cancer and Specialist Medicine and Lead Cancer Nurse for the Belfast H&SC Trust. This was a pivotal leadership position within the organisation. This strategic role enabled me to influence the nursing workforce within Northern Ireland, working in partnership with other nurse leaders throughout the region to develop a clear and valued career pathway for cancer nurses, investing in education which is evidence based, person centred, co- produced and designed for and with our patients.
I have recently been appointed as Co-Director for Cancer and Specialist Medicine, this role includes Oncology, Haematology and Specialist Palliative Medicine, I remain passionate about raising the profile of cancer nursing within Northern Ireland, enabling us to work collaboratively to ensure we share best practice and knowledge and in doing so develop a skilled confident, competent workforce of nurses with the ability and passion to deliver high quality care, which is cutting edge, innovative, focusing on the needs of our patients whilst creating a close network of support.
Libby Potter is currently on a secondment as Head of Portfolio for Health Education England (HEE). The portfolio that Libby leads on, includes Cancer and diagnostics, Long terms conditions and Prevention, and Maternity and children & young people. Prior to joining HEE in February 2021, Libby worked as a Professional Development and Knowledge manager at Macmillan Cancer support. She has led on many areas of development for the Macmillan and Cancer workforce including the development of a national work based learning module at degree and masters level.
Libby has worked with many stakeholders and partners across the UK, and has a keen interest in supporting innovation and change within health care systems. Prior to her national role in Macmillan, Libby has managed education and development within the geographical teams at Macmillan, leading teams across the South West and Midlands, working to develop learning opportunities with many audiences, including volunteers and with people living with cancer, driving forward new initiatives to support person centred care.
Prior to Macmillan Libby worked as a clinical nurse specialist working in Head and Neck cancer, and created the head and Neck cancer nursing service in Bristol. In addition Libby created the Masterclasses in Head and Neck Cancer Management at The University of the West of England (UWE). A passion of Libby’s is the emotional health and wellbeing of the workforce and has driven the development of the Emotional health and wellbeing hub for the workforce during the Covid pandemic, also creating the vicarious traumatisation workshops with partners to support the cancer workforce to prioritise their own wellbeing and resilience.
Board Member - Partnership Lead
Teenage Cancer Trust Nurse Consultant for Teenagers and Young Adults
University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Nellie is an experienced cancer nurse with a specialist interest in Teenagers and Young Adults with Cancer. Currently Nellie works as a Nurse Consultant for Teenagers and Young Adults with Cancer at UCLH. Her role covers the North Thames region, Essex and parts of Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire with an estimated population of 6.7 million. Nellie is passionate about ensuring young people with cancer have a voice in their care and how services are developed for them. Nellie is interested in research into end of life care for teenagers and young adults with cancer and the transition from hospital to hospice/ home.
Nellie is a member of TYAC, committee member for the RCN CYP Specialist forum and the NCRI ECR forum. Nellie is a committee member for The Global Power of Oncology Nursing which celebrates and highlights the work of cancer nurses in low/middle income countries.
Nellie has worked in a variety of nursing roles from sister to clinical nurse specialist to advanced nurse practitioner. Nellie is an advocate for nursing leadership, patient/ public involvement/ engagement and advanced practice.
Board Member - UKONS Champions Lead
I started at the Royal Marsden School in February 2019 as a lecturer practitioner. Before moving here I had spent the last three years as Head of SACT services in a large NHS Trust which had a tertiary cancer centre and two DGH sites.
Development and support of staff is always something I have been passionate about. I have also trained as a Schwartz facilitator. As part of UKONS board I am the deputy of the SACT MIG as this remains a key area of interest for me.
My oncology experience has been wide and varied in my 30+ years career and includes being a Sister of a general cancer ward and a chemotherapy day unit, Lead Nurse at a tertiary cancer centre, Cancer Network Nurse Director and 10 years as Head of Nursing Cancer and palliative care. I have also worked for a brief time as a clinical nurse specialist in the distance past.
Board Member - Communications Lead
Mary is a Senior Teaching Fellow at the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Palliative Care, King’s College London. She is also a member of the Communications Working Group of the European Oncology Nursing Society. Mary has been a registered nurse in the UK since 2000 including years at the Royal Marsden Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in various clinical cancer nursing and cancer research nursing roles. She completed Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Santo Tomas, Manila and a specialist Cancer Nursing Diploma from the Royal Marsden School, London. Mary has a Master of Science in Nursing Research and Postgraduate Certificate in Healthcare Education obtained from King’s College London. She is also a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy. Mary is committed to supporting student nurses and early career cancer nurses. An NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship awardee, Mary hopes to complete her PhD this year, also at King’s. Her research interests are supportive care in cancer, CIPN and co-design methodology. Mary has authored book chapters and published in peer-reviewed healthcare and nursing journals. She has been invited as expert speaker for topics relevant to cancer care and had presented in national, European, and international conferences. [Contact on Twitter: @MerryTea and Linked In: Mary Tanay]
Board Member - Lead Cancer Nurse MIG Lead
Macmillan Nurse & AHP lead for Cancer, Palliative & End of Life Care
University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust
Lisa Barrott has been in oncology for approximately 15 years and a UKONS member for 12 years. During this time she has worked in a variety of areas, including research, ambulatory care, Acute Oncology and Cancer of Unknown Primary; and has also undertaken different roles including clinical nurse specialist, nurse manager, Cancer Matron and Chemotherapy Nurse Consultant. Lisa recently moved to University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust as the Macmillan Nurse and AHP Lead for Cancer, Palliative and EOLC. She works closely with Cancer Alliances, Commissioning Groups and National charities to develop services locally and nationally.
Lisa is very interested in the development of extended practice roles and innovative, new models of care that allow patients to have their treatments closer to home, outside the hospital setting. She is a strong advocate of nurse education and supporting specialist cancer nurses to meet the challenges they face professionally. She is keen to ensure oncology nurses have a strong voice in shaping policies and services across the four nations through involvement with key organisations and industry. Lisa is currently undertaking a part-time PhD through King’s College London looking at multi-professional SACT clinics.
Board Member - Haem-onc MIG Lead
I have worked within the field of Cancer Nursing for over 30 years, training as an RGN at Kings College in London. I have worked at the Royal Marsden Hospital for most of my career, in Haematology, in both clinical and managerial roles. I completed both a BSc in Cancer Care at the Royal Marsden School, and an MSc at LSBU qualifying as an advanced nurse practitioner. I always look for challenges and try to change and innovate practice. I ran a regular national study day to teach nurses to do bone marrow aspirates as a part of my ANP role, and developed authorisation of blood products at the Trust, as well as many clinical skills. I then became the matron for haematology and developed an interest in service development. My current role is the Lead Nurse for Haematology at the Royal Marsden and I am responsible for developing innovative service change across Haematology as well as being a clinical lead for the development of a new outpatient and day care, the Oak Cancer Centre which is due to open in 2022. I operate at a strategic level to compliment and support the Divisional team for haematology and the transformation team in the development and delivery of safe and effective patient care by promoting clinical excellence and best practice. I joined the UKONS board in November 2019 as the Haematology MIG Lead and I am responsible for Breaking News as a part of this role. Being a part of UKONS has been brilliant and allowed me to network with other lead cancer nurses across the country, I have learnt a lot over the last 2 years!
Board Member - Research MIG Lead
Jo Bird is a YCR Connects Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield and Clinical Nurse Specialist in Immunotherapy Late Effects at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. She maintains a clinical academic career having completed an NIHR Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship. Prior to this Jo was a Clinical Research Nurse working in a variety of cancer sites and early phase trials so is keen to support nurses working in clinical research as well as those undertaking their own projects. Jo has chaired the Research MIG since 2019 and is also Consultant Editor for the British Journal of the Nursing Oncology supplement. Her research interests include the long-term effects of immunotherapy, survivorship and palliative care. As a member of the NCRI Early Career Forum Executive Group, Jo is also working to increase research opportunities for nurses. In her clinical role Jo conducts a nurse-led late effects service for patients who have received immunotherapy and is keen to support nurses to integrate research into cancer care.
Board Member - LWBC MIG Lead
I managed a project around Living With and Beyond Cancer/Personalised Care for three years, developing support systems and building relationships across Primary and Secondary Care, community and the charitable/voluntary sector to ensure those affected by a cancer diagnosis have access to supportive care closer to home. I am currently Clinical/Operational Manager in Northumbria Palliative Care and continue to embed the principles of Personalised Care for all our patients.
Board Member - Young and Early Career Cancer Nurse Lead
Constance Rowell is Deputy Matron for Haematology at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, in London. She undertook her undergraduate degree at King’s College London in 2013, and completed a Masters in Advanced Practice: Cancer Care at the Royal Marsden School in 2021. Her dissertation focused on weekend referrals to a nurse-led acute oncology service and she continues to be passionate about service development and innovation to improve patient care. She is a non-medical prescriber and previously worked as an Acute Oncology Advanced Nurse Practitioner. In the past she worked as a both an Acute Oncology and Breast Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust. She currently represents Young and Early Career Cancer Nurses as a Board member of UKONS, having been appointed in December 2021 and is also an EONS Young Cancer Nurse Representative for the UK. She hopes that exposure to the work that other young cancer nurses are undertaking and facilitating a network will lead to shared ideas to develop better care for oncology patients and inspire the next generation of cancer nurses.
Rosie has over 20 years’ experience working in oncology and currently works as a SACT specialist nurse at Velindre Cancer Centre, Cardiff, where her responsibilities include staff and patient education, policy development, and working as an independent nurse prescriber. She also has a role as Clinical Lead nurse for SACT and Acute Oncology with the Wales Cancer Network where her role includes working with teams across Wales to reduce duplication of effort and ensure high quality of patient care in both SACT and Acute oncology services. She has led the implementation of several Wales wide initiatives including the development of all Wales chemotherapy and immunotherapy alert cards and all Wales chemotherapy patient information. Rosie is chair of the All-Wales SACT nurse forum and deputy chair for the UKONS SACT members interest group. She also has an active role on a number of national workstreams including the CRUK National consent forms steering group, the National SACT protocols group and National Extravasation guidelines group. She completed her PhD studies in 2020 and is actively involved in promoting and undertaking nurse led research with a particular interest in improving the patient experience of SACT induced toxicities.
Ruth currently works as the National Cancer Lead for Circle Health Group, the largest independent sector provider of cancer care in the UK, focusing on cancer quality assurance inclusive of policy authoring and driving advancements in pathway design with personalised medicine and genetics.
She is a member of the UKONS Systemic Anti-Cancer Members (SACT) Interest Group and Independent Sector Cancer Network (ISCN)
Her professional achievements include completing her MSc in Advanced Cancer Practice in 2013, authoring chapters in the Marsden Manual, teaching SACT practice in Malta, developing numerous clinical competencies for NHS Trusts and Cancer Centres. More recent achievements were nomination to the 2019 Nursing Times awards having co-developed and implemented the UKONS SACT Passport, following collaboration with stakeholders and partners across the UK and contributing to the Independent Sector Cancer Standards.
Ruth has a particular interest in how collaboration can achieve sustainable outcomes in the health sector, she places value on clinical innovations that make both the lives of our patients safer/easier whilst liberating 'time to care for practitioners'. Ruth's true area of passion is the relationship between nurse education and the patient safety agenda. In 2021 Ruth was voted onto the UKONS board where she will continue to advocate for members by supporting cancer nurse education developments.
Board Member, Acute Oncology MIG Lead
Naomi currently works as an Acute Oncology Nurse Consultant at Northern Devon Healthcare Trust in Barnstaple. Naomi has worked within a variety of ward and outpatient cancer care settings. She moved to North Devon in 2015 to help establish the Acute Oncology Service. This nurse led service now runs over 7 days and has been nationally recognised for its innovative nurse led approach. Naomi is a NMP, Chair of the local peninsula CUP SSG, Vice- Chair of the the Acute Oncology MIG and is a Specialist Advisor for the CQC. Raising the profile of Acute Oncology is a real passion for Naomi, she is also particularly focused in the development of advanced practice within nursing roles recognising how they enhance the quality of the service provided.
Co-opted Board Member, SACT
Dr Catherine Oakley is a Chemotherapy Nurse Consultant at Guy’s Cancer Centre, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. Catherine is an advocate for holistic chemotherapy nursing. She co-developed an award-winning oral chemotherapy patient diary. Her NIHR funded PhD explored why patients’ delay presenting with neutropenic sepsis. Catherine is a Past president of the UK Oncology Nursing Society. She represents nursing on the National Chemotherapy Clinical Reference Group and the UK Chemotherapy Board. She worked with CRUK to develop a National cancer patient treatment record and patient film and is the lead author for the National UKONS SACT Nursing Competency Passport.
Co-opted Board Member, Young Cancer Nurse Representative
Bethany Maynard works as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Haematology/Oncology at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust. She qualified with a BSc in Adult Nursing from University of Surrey in 2013 and will gain her Masters in Advanced Clinical Practice in March 2022. She primarily works with Haematology inpatients, more specifically lymphoma patients, but is also regularly involved with the Acute Oncology Service. Beth has been the UK Young Cancer Nurse representative with UKONS since 2018 and is a co-opted member of the UKONS board. She was also appointed as Vice-Chair of the European Oncology Nursing Society Young Cancer Nurses Network in 2021. These are roles which aim to support and develop young and early career cancer nurses in the UK and across Europe.
Co-opted Board Member, Young Cancer Nurse Representative
Jane Ewang is a Radiotherapy Clinical Nurse Specialist at The Harley Street Clinic, London. She undertook her undergraduate degree in Adult Nursing at King's College London in 2007 and has worked in cancer care for over 10 years. Jane is passionate about radiotherapy and supporting patients throughout their cancer journey. She is an independent nurse prescriber and is working towards her MSc in Cancer Care. Jane currently represents Young Cancer Nurses as a co-opted Board member of UKONS and is also an EONS Young Cancer Nurse Representative. She is excited about developing the Young Cancer Nurse's Network and working with other specialists to learn by sharing knowledge and experiences.
Co-opted Board Member
Christian Rowley is a senior operations manager for Acute Inpatient Management at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. Employed within the NHS since 2005 Christian previously worked at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust in Occupational Health, Smoking Cessation and IT, before moving to the Royal Marsden as Business manager at the Royal Marsden School and then later taking on a transformation role within Outpatients and Digital Development.
Completing an MBA at Coventry University specialising in Leadership and furthering his development through the Nye Bevan Programme through the NHS Leadership Academy. Christian is passionate about developing the ability to deliver high quality patient care and education lies at the centre of that.