IST Adviser Biographies

Ali Hassas is an Associate Dean in the Professional Support Unit (PSU), a GP partner, trainer, appraiser, coach and former Training Programme Director. He has supervised, mentored, trained and supported doctors and dentists at all stages of seniority and from many disciplines. He is an Institute of Leadership Management accredited Executive Coach as well as a trained Systemic and Narrative practitioner. Ali also works as a Coach in the PSU Coaching & Careers service and has a particular interest in helping trainees navigate complex dilemmas, conflict, ‘stuckness’ and any career or leadership challenges.

Caroline Elton is an occupational and counselling psychologist with a special interest in medical education. Between 1998-2008 she was a consultant education adviser with Kent Surrey and Sussex Deanery. In 2008 she set up the Careers Unit, part of the Professional Support Unit at London Deanery. Since leaving in 2014, she has worked with deaneries and medical royal colleges across the UK. In 2018 her book ‘Also Human: the inner lives of doctors’ was published by Penguin Random House in the UK.

David Mendel has been an Associate Dean working in professional support since 2009 and became Head of the Professional Development Team in 2019. He continues to work as a GP Principal, and Trainer of less than full time GP trainees. He was PEC Chair for Hounslow PCT from 2002-05 and Educational Lead for Harmoni GP OOH Service from 2005-09. He has an MA in Clinical Education and is interested in Medical Education & Communication Skills.

Diana Kelly is an educationalist with over twenty five years experience in the education of healthcare professionals. She works part-time as a freelance medical educator, evaluator and facilitator; this includes providing training and consultancy for NHS healthcare trusts. She is an accredited facilitator for Conversations Inviting Change, an approach used for healthcare consultations as well as supervision and team facilitation. Previously she was, for several years, employed as Education Advisor at Kings College London School of Medicine where her primary role was to support clinical teachers across the large network of teaching campuses aligned to KCL. She is a volunteer with King’s global health and health partnerships. Diana has an MSc in Medical Education and a PGCE teaching qualification; her background is in community development and adult education.

Helen Halpern is an Associate Dean with a background in General Practice and GP training. She has a Masters degree in Systemic Family Therapy and has the Institute of Leadership Management Certificate in Executive Coaching. She has worked for a number of years in faculty development and in supporting postgraduate doctors in training who find themselves in difficult situations. Helen has a particular interest in the concept of change and how this can be facilitated through conversations and questions.

Jacqueline MacDonald-Davis is a qualified teacher and a trained Careers Education and Guidance specialist and has worked in higher education as a lecturer, a consultant and as Head of Staff and Organisational Development at University College London, Institute of Education. Jacqueline is a trained mentor, coach and mediator as well as a Myers Briggs assessor.  She is the author of several articles and publications. A fervent advocate of internationalising resources, Jacqueline coordinated and oversaw the editing of the Differential Attainment Toolkit. As one of the few BAME Magistrates (JPs) in the UK, Jacqueline’s expertise across education, human resources, equality, diversity and inclusion, brings a unique and comprehensive contribution to her work with the Professional Support Unit. Her passion is in working alongside people as they begin to ‘see and engage’ with their potential and to galvanise this to support individual performance, individual success and to empower individuals to take the ‘next step’ in their personal and professional development; as well as to support trusts as they seek to develop trainee doctors. Jacqueline works on a voluntary basis for the Prince’s Trust. She is Deputy Bench Chair of the Central London Magistrates Court and a Trustee on the National Magistrate Association Board.

Penelope Toff qualified in Medicine and Psychology and worked in a number of medical specialties, as well as in higher education and Art Psychotherapy, before training, working and teaching as a Consultant in Public Health Medicine. She was Associate Dean and Director of HEE Thames Valley Professional Support Unit (PSU) and has since worked as a Coach and Careers Advisor and for the Individual Support Team (IST) in HEE London and South East PSU. Penelope is also a Rapid Transformational Therapist (a blend of hypnotherapy, psychotherapy and CBT) and specialises in freeing people from issues related to confidence, anxiety, depression and life purpose. Penelope has served in various roles at the BMA and is currently an elected member of the UK Council, Public Health Medicine, Occupational Medicine and Medical Ethics Committees and is a trustee and local member of the Faculty of Public Health Board. Her passion is for empowering individuals and enabling them to achieve their full potential and to support doctors and other health care professionals at all stages of their careers.

Rosalind Ramsay is a general adult Consultant Psychiatrist and Deputy Medical Director at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. She was a founder member and former Chair of the Women in Psychiatry Special Interest Group at the Royal College of Psychiatrists. She has also been part of the executive team at Medical Women’s Federation. Rosalind has the Institute of Leadership Management Certificate in Executive Coaching and is a member of the Faculty of Medical Coaches. She is the Specialist Advisor for the Psychiatrists Support Service, worked as a Lead Assessor for the National Clinical Assessment Service and has recently been appointed as a GMC health examiner and medical supervisor. She is interested in quality improvement, recovery in mental health and medical workforce development.

Ruth Ruggles is an Associate Dean and a Consultant in Public Health. She has worked for a number of years to support individual trainees in public health and other specialties, including epidemiologists, scientists and others in their training and professional development, and in the development of their supervisors and teachers. She is the lead for the Supported Return to Training Programme (SuppoRTT) in London and KSS. Ruth has a Masters in Clinical Education, is a former Public Health Training Programme Director, and was a GP in South London before training in public health.

Serena North is a retired GP Principal, Trainer and Appraiser who has worked in medical and dental adult education for many years. She is trained as an Institute of Leadership Management coach and has coached senior trainees and young consultants at critical points in their careers. She runs courses on supervision skills, consultation skills and communication skills and has taught colleagues to facilitate a particular approach to professional conversations called ‘Conversations inviting Change’. Serena is a freelance tutor on the Surgical Medical Education course for Imperial College and is currently helping to develop multi-professional learning groups in the South of England.

Therese Shaw is an NHS Consultant Old Age Psychiatrist, having changed career from anaesthetics early on in training. She is an Institute of Leadership Management Executive Coach and previously worked as part of the London Deanery coaching team. She has had various educational roles with psychiatric and GP trainees over her career and is the current Supported Return To Training champion at her trust. She has worked both full-time and part-time in her consultant role. She has an interest in the well-being and work-life balance of trainees, as the NHS is rewarding but can be stressful at times.