Speaker Details

Plenary Session #1

Roger O'Sullivan

Dr Roger O’Sullivan is the Director of  the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI).  He has worked in Queen’s University Belfast, The Open University  and the regional rural organisation Rural Community Network.  Dr O’Sullivan was previously joint convener of the UK Funders Forum on Ageing, guest editor of the journal Quality in Ageing and Older Adults and rapporteur for the Ditchley Foundation’s international conference on the Impact of Ageing on Developed Economies. He has undertaken a range of research on policy focused issues relating to older people including research for the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.  He is currently a member of the advisory group on the forthcoming ageing strategy for Northern Ireland.

Dr Kathleen Mac Lellan

Dr Kathleen Mac Lellan is Director of Clinical Effectiveness, Department of Health. She leads the clinical effectiveness policy function and heads the Clinical Effectiveness Unit in the Department of Health. This unit supports the National Clinical Effectiveness Committee (NCEC) to promote evidence-based healthcare through quality assured clinical effectiveness processes.

Plenary Session #2

Marie Ennis-O’Connor

Stanford Medicine X e-Patient scholar, Marie Ennis-O’Connor is an internationally recognized speaker on participatory medicine - a model of medical care based on a collaborative relationship that includes the patient, the healthcare team, and clinical researchers.

Marie is a board member of Europa Donna Ireland - The Irish Breast Cancer Campaign, a patient advocacy group that is one of 46 member countries across Europe. She authors the award-winning blog, Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer, one of the most widely-read cancer survivorship blogs, reaching a global audience of patients, researchers, and healthcare professionals.  Other publications include a patient-information resource on breast cancer and fertility, and journal articles on social media and cancer care. Marie is currently working on a project to produce ethical guidelines for researchers who wish to use social media in their research.

Athula Sumathipala

Athula Sumathipala is currently the Professor of Psychiatry at the Research Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences, Faculty of Health, Keele University Staffordshire ST5 5BG, UK, and a honorary consultant at the South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare Foundation Trust, UK.  He is also the honorary Director of the Institute for Research and Development (IRD) in Sri Lanka, which he proposed and co-founded in 2000. 

His research interests are centred on inter-connected disciplines. These are the epidemiology of chronic disease and multi-morbidity, especially physical and mental illness combinations; evaluation and implementation of complex interventions.  His interests include twin methods in the study of illness aetiology because it is a powerful tool in research using twin methods in the study of illness aetiology.  His interests in ethics related to research is as a cross cutting theme. It has evolved also into disaster mental health and ethics. Most of his research up to now has been based in Sri Lanka. [Read more...]

Plenary Session #3

 Phil Hammond

Dr. Phil Hammond

Phil Hammond is a doctor, journalist, broadcaster, campaigner and comedian. He qualified as a GP in 1991 and is currently works in a specialist NHS centre for children and adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome/ME. Phil is also a presenter on BBC Radio Bristol and has been Private Eye’s medical correspondent since 1992, campaigning for patient empowerment, open data in healthcare and for the NHS to be honest and transparent about the harm it causes as well as the good it does. In 2012, he was shortlisted with Andrew Bousfield for the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Investigative Journalism for a Private Eye Special Report about the shocking treatment of NHS Whistleblowers. Phil has also won awards for broadcasting, popular health journalism, comedy and teaching. He is Vice President of the Patients’ Association and a patron of Meningitis UK, the Doctors’ Support Network, the Herpes Viruses Association, Patients First and Kissing It Better.

Phil presented five series of Trust Me, I’m a Doctor on BBC2 and has appeared regularly on Have I Got News for You, The News Quiz, The Now Show, The One Show and Countdown. He has been a Lecturer in Medical Communication at the Universities of Bristol and Birmingham,. Phil’s Radio 4 sitcom about GPs struggling with the NHS reforms – Polyoaks – was written with David Spicer and the third series airs in June 2014. Phil has written three books – Medicine Balls, Trust Me, I’m (Still) a Doctor and Sex, Sleep or Scrabble? – and released two DVDs of his tours (Dr Phil’s Rude Health Show and Confessions of a Doctor).

He has currently on his third UK comedy tour with Games to Play With Your Doctor and writing his fourth book, ‘Staying Alive – How to Survive the NHS’ which will be published by Quercus in January 2015.

Margaret McCartney

Margaret McCartney is a GP in Glasgow. She is an award winning writer who has a weekly column for the BMJ and broadcasts regularly for BBC Radio 4's Inside Health. She is the author of two books, The Patient Paradox - why sexed up medicine is bad for your health, and Living with Dying - finding care and compassion at the end of life. Her major interests are evidence, screening, risk, public health, and the role of modern general practice.

Closing Plenary

Rob McNeil

Rob McNeil is the head of media and communications at the Migration Observatory at Oxford University, a project which provides independent and authoritative analysis of migration issues.

The Migration Observatory, which was launched in 2011 by Oxford University's Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS,) has rapidly become an important voice in the UK's poliarised and often highly contested migration debate. The Observatory provides non-partisan analysis, which is regularly used by all major British media organisations and political parties. Its work is regarded as a benchmark for accuracy and independence in a debate often characterised by assertion and opinion, rather than evidence.

Rob specialises in working with academia and non-governmental organisations to help them understand how they can use media to increase impact and achieve strategic goals. He has helped develop the Migration Observatory's 'big data' media analysis approach, which has provided quantitative evidence on the state of the UK newspaper debate on immigration. He works closely with journalists, policy makers and civil society groups across the political spectrum.

Rob McNeil was a journalist for 10 years, working for major magazines and newspapers including the London Evening Standard, the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror, Red and BBC Wildlife. He left journalism in 2004 to work for environmental and development organisations, including WWF-UK, Oxfam and Conservation International, and has been based at the Migration Observatory at Oxford University since 2010.