Meet the Welsh Clinical Leadership Fellows

As the new cohort of Welsh Clinical Leadership Training Fellows (WCLTF) get stuck into their year-long quality improvement projects, find out more about each of these aspiring clinical leaders.

In the seventh year of the WCLTF programme run by Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW), ten new Fellows are developing their clinical leadership skills by taking on innovative healthcare projects. The fellowship is a one year out of training programme for doctors, dentists and, for the first time this year, pharmacists. This unique opportunity provides Fellows with training and hands-on experience in clinical leadership and management, ideally placing graduates to lead improvements in the delivery of healthcare in the future modern NHS.

This year’s cohort will be working with senior colleagues at healthcare organisations across Wales including HEIW, NHS Wales Informatics Service, South West Wales Cancer Centre, Welsh Government, Hywel Dda University Health Board and the General Medical Council. Their projects will focus on improving important healthcare issues including trainee wellbeing, digital innovations, workforce strategies, clinical service pathways and more.

Fiona Astill

Dr Fiona Astill was born and bought up in Nottingham. She completed an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the University of York in 2008, followed by Graduate Entry Medicine at the University of Nottingham in 2013. She moved to Cardiff subsequently to undertake her foundation years in South Wales. Following a long-harboured interest and after being awarded the Foundation Prize for Paediatrics in 2014, she commenced Speciality Paediatric training in South Wales in 2015.

Her interests within paediatrics include community paediatrics, neurodisability and child mental health. She holds positions on the Welsh Paediatric Trainee committee and within the Welsh Child Mental Health Working Group with an aim to develop and improve child mental health training for paediatric trainees.

She has an interest in quality improvement having completed, and is in the process of work concerning staff wellbeing and burnout and improving clinic consultations for children and young people with neurodisability. Her previous work on ‘Audiological Follow-up for Children Post-Meningitis” was awarded the Prize Presentation at the British Association of Paediatricians in Audiology National Meeting.

Outside of work, Fiona enjoys baking and knitting additional to hiking and kayaking if the weather is nice!

This year she will be working with the Rapid Response to Acute Learning Set (RRAILS) team with Public Health Wales and 1000 Lives Improvement concerning acute deterioration of paediatric patients.


Huw Davies

Dr Huw Davies is a specialty trainee in Paediatrics. Following Welsh-medium education in Cardiff, Huw attended St. Anne’s College, Oxford followed by Foundation training in the Oxford Deanery. After a year at Christchurch Hospital in New Zealand, Huw has returned home for Paediatric training and has worked in almost all the South Wales hospitals at one time or another.

Clinical interests: Paediatricians as “expert generalists”, health promotion, childhood obesity.

Previous QI projects: reducing interruptions to handover; name badge initiative at Royal Gwent Hospital, improving trainee induction. General interest in minimising pointless activity, questioning policies, and releasing time to care.

Global health and education interest through medical elective placements in Malawi and Tanzania, and president of Oxford branch of micro-NGO Education Partnerships Africa.

Conforming to stereotype, non-medical interests include rugby and singing – currently with Cardiff Polyphonic Choir. Musicals / opera enthusiast, especially for bass roles in Gilbert and Sullivan. Promoting accessible cycling for any ability, any journey. The Lion King is the best Disney film.

Huw is working with HEIW this year to promote trainee wellbeing across Wales, with a particular focus on access to rest facilities during and after on-calls.

Lloyd Hambridge

Lloyd Hambridge is a pharmacist who was born and brought up in South Wales. He graduated from Cardiff University in 2011, completing pre-registration pharmacist training and a post-graduate diploma in Clinical Pharmacy from Cardiff University at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend.

Working as a Primary Care Cluster Pharmacist within the Caerphilly East Cluster of Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, directly as an Advanced Practice Pharmacist for the Blackwood Medical Group of surgeries and within NHS 111 Wales as the Regional Pharmacy Lead for South East Wales; Lloyd has developed a varied portfolio career. He is an Independent Pharmacist Prescriber who has a passion for training and education providing both lecturing and tutorship for the Cardiff University non-medical prescribing course. 

Lloyd has embedded audit and quality improvement into his practice. He has completed a Master’s degree project with Cardiff University evaluating the emerging roles of pharmacists working within Primary Care Clusters across Wales and his work to improve adverse drug reaction reporting within Primary Care Clusters won the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Patient Safety Award in 2017. 

During this fellowship, Lloyd will be working at Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) on workforce strategies. Specifically contributing toward the workforce elements detailed in the “Pharmacy: Delivering a Healthier Wales” report, of which he acted as the professional lead for the Local Health and Social Care subgroup. In his spare time Lloyd enjoys triathlon training and this year completed the Paris Roubaix cycling challenge.

Rachel Lee

Dr Rachel Lee is a specialty trainee in Obstetrics & Gynaecology and a member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG). Born in Oxford, she completed a BSc in Psychology at Bangor University, North Wales, before coming to South Wales to undertake her medical degree at Swansea University. Rachel commenced specialty training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 2011, and has settled in Cardiff with her husband and two young children.

Winner of the 2016 Wales Deanery BEST award for ‘outstanding contribution to a training programme’ Rachel has a long-held interest in education and training management. She is an Honorary Lecturer at Cardiff University’s Centre for Medical Education, a Case Lead for undergraduate education, and an examiner, assessor and facilitator for medical students. Within her speciality she is a PROMPT trainer, has helped to set up a trainee led teaching programme for postgraduate examinations in Wales, facilitates a monthly research ‘supper club’, acts as a trainee representative for obstetric ultrasound training, and is an RCOG E-portfolio Champion. She is the current Treasurer and LTFT/OOP representative on her speciality’s trainee committee, and was Chair from 2013-2016. She is Vice Chair and an active member of the HEIW Trainee Think Tank, where she involved in on-going research into Professional Support and less-than-full-time training.Outside of work, Rachel is a volunteer leader with the Girl Guides, enjoys creative arts with her daughters, and loves hanging out at her allotment with her family.

Rachel will be working at HEIW on strategies to close the differential attainment gap between doctors in Wales. Passionate about the concept of human kindness, she is excited to have the opportunity to work towards improving the well-being of doctors across the country. 


Neda Mehrpooya

Dr Neda Mehrpooya graduated as a family physician in Iran, she moved to UK in 2005. She started specialty training in general psychiatry in 2007 and lived in south Wales since. Over the years she has grown her passion towards psychotherapy. She is one of the main organisers of the first Balint leadership training day in Wales and is the first psychiatry trainee in Wales to become credited as a Balint Leader. She is also keen to promote psychotherapy training in Wales and currently in negotiation with HEIW in order to create Psychotherapy higher training post in South Wales. She is engaged with a working group in order to introduce Balint to medical students as well as liaising with undergraduate to promote and sustain the programme. She has a working knowledge of a number of Psychotherapy modules including RO DBT, MBT, CBT and mindfulness.

During her training in Psychiatry she was the higher trainee psychiatry representative, clinical tutor for MSc in Cardiff University, also patient safety clinical tutor for medical students. She is also engaging in a national research looking into perception of medical students into Psychiatry. She is representing as an IMG trainee in TrainWorkLive Campaign. She is passionate about work life balance and an advocate for LTFT and IMG trainees.

Outside work she enjoys spending time with family and her two young daughters. She is an active part of her community and her children’s school by engaging in fundraising events as well as teacher-parent consultation. She enjoys yoga and cooking in her spare time.

This year she will be working in NWIS looking at the development of WCP mobile as well as e-prescribing and electronic test requesting. 

Anita Parbhoo

Dr Anita Parbhoo graduated from Cardiff University in 2011, and continued training in London and Surrey, specialising in Geriatric Medicine. She returned to her home of South Wales last year and continues her training here, having just finished ST5. 

During FY2, after spotting unsafe transfers from a busy admissions unit, Anita undertook a quality improvement project which aimed to improve the safety of inpatient transfers between the Acute Admissions Unit and the medical wards with 5 different interventions. She presented the project at the FMLM conference in 2014 and won first prize for the best poster, as well as awards for Outstanding Contribution and Quality Improvement from her foundation programme. The project was published in the BMJ Quality Improvement Reports journal. She was also awarded the Gurney Bequest Fund from her NHS Trust for her work in improving patient safety with involvement of clinical leaders and senior managers. Anita has continued to involve herself in quality improvement within acute and geriatric medicine since. She has a keen interest in liaising with other specialties to improve outcomes for older patients. 

During this fellowship, Anita is designing and implementing a new onco-geriatric service in the South West Wales Cancer Centre. She will be visiting other onco-geriatric services in the UK to gain an understanding of how they were designed and how they measure their improvement in patient care. She also has an interest in teaching with a certificate in Medical Education and Reflective practice, and is applying to be a clinical tutor in Cardiff University. To relax, she plays the violin in an orchestra, and enjoys baking and sewing on rainy days. As a medical student, she set up OUCH (Orchestra for Undergraduate Colleagues in Healthcare) in 2008, which continues today, renamed as the Healthcare Music Society. 

Natalie Proctor

Natalie is a Secondary Care pharmacist based at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board specialising in Acute Medicine/Unscheduled Care. After graduating Cardiff University in 2010 she completed her Pre-Registration training and Post Graduate Clinical Diploma whilst based at Cardiff and Vale. She then moved to work within Worcester Acute Hospitals Trust and completed her Independent Prescribing qualification in a novel Health Education West Midlands accelerated 16 week course before taking up a post as A&E Pharmacist Practitioner at Worcester Royal Hospital. Natalie returned to Wales in 2015 and has been working as Service Development and Quality Improvement Pharmacist Lead at Cardiff and Vale delivering high value efficiencies across the UHB as part of a Medicines Management Programme in collaboration with the Chief Pharmacist and Medical Director. Natalie is a Pharmacist Pre-Registration Tutor and Bevan Lead within Cardiff and Vale, supporting Bevan Exemplars and contributing to the Prudent Pharmacy Innovation Network across Wales.

Natalie will be completing her 12 month secondment as a Welsh Clinical Leadership Fellow based at Welsh Government. She will be working with Chief Pharmaceutical officer Andrew Evans and his team co-ordinating the progress of the aims laid out in ‘Pharmacy: Delivering a Healthier Wales’.

Natalie is an avid runner and is training for the Marathon Des Sables 2020, a 250km self-sufficient race across the Sahara Desert. Her dog, 5 year old Sprocker Ieuan, is almost enjoying the training as much as she is.

Hannah Skipp


Ceri Smith

Ceri is a GP trainee in Pembrokeshire, West Wales.  She studied in Cardiff University and then moved to Hastings and South London to complete her Foundation Years training.  Following this, she spent six months working in a sexual health clinic before deciding to return home to Pembrokeshire, where she started her GP training.

Whilst in medical school she helped organise and lead teaching to children in secondary schools about sexual health, and continued this when she started her Foundation Training.  Throughout her medical career, she has contributed to a number of quality improvement projects which she's thoroughly enjoyed, and has been fortunate enough to present work in the USA, Amsterdam and nationally. 

This year she will be working with Hywel Dda University Health Board on projects around their Transforming Clinical Services pathways.

Whilst not in work, she enjoys spending time exploring Pembrokeshire's coast with her family, friends and dog.

Catherine Walton

Dr Catherine Walton was born in Jersey and won a scholarship aged 16 to study the International Baccalaureate at the United World College of the Atlantic. Since then she has come to call Wales her home, graduating from Cardiff University in 2005.

Catherine’s career path has been varied. She completed the Acute Care Common Stem in Anaesthetics, before deciding to switch specialities to Psychiatry. She is currently an ST6 in Intellectual Disability Psychiatry. Her background in multiple specialties has given her the opportunity to develop a broad base of transferable skills. It has given her insight in some of the challenges a doctor may face during their career.

Catherine has represented trainees for both the Psychiatric Trainee Committee and the Royal College of Psychiatrists Intellectual Disability Executive. She was part of the team that introduced trainee feedback forums to Welsh psychiatry trainees and continues to have a keen interest in trainee issues, such as recruitment, retention and wellbeing.

This year Catherine will be working with the General Medical Council, with the opportunity to contribute toward the ‘Supporting a Profession under Pressure’ programme.


For further information on The Welsh Clinical Leadership Training Fellowship Programme please contact Lisa Bassett.


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