Who’s Who

Meet the BLMK Primary Care Training Hub Team.

The Operational Team

The Operational Team oversee the day-to-day management of the Primary Care Training Hub, it’s projects and initiatives.

  Nina Pearson – Training Hub Clinical Chair & Director of Clinical Transformation BLMK CCG 

Contact Nina at: nina.pearson2@nhs.net 

Nina has been a Luton GP for 17 years, Chair of Luton CCG for 7 years and since April 2020, Deputy Chair of Luton Health and Wellbeing Board and one of two Directors of Clinical Transformation with BLMKCCG.  As part of this role Nina has a focus on Luton and Bedfordshire.  Nina is the Chair of the BLMK Primary Care Training Hub which is at the forefront of recruitment, retention, training and development of all Primary Care workforce.   

On relocating to Luton from Bradford in 2003, Nina joined Lea Vale Surgery as the town underwent significant growth mainly due to migration.  Now covering 3 sites and having doubled in size Lea Vale is a teaching practice with a diverse workforce and partnership model, working collaboratively with providers of community and public health services to meet the needs of the 29,000 practice population.   Nina is passionate about Clinical Leadership and developing primary care as the bedrock of Population Health and Wellbeing, utilising the full range of personal and community assets available. It’s about “what matters to you” rather than “what’s the matter with you?” 

Susi Clarke – Primary Care Workforce Programme Lead 

Contact Susi at: susi.clarke@nhs.net 

Susi has worked in the NHS for 21 years, with extensive experience of strategy & transformation, healthcare leadership, quality improvement, primary care education, development and commissioning, she has been leading the Primary Care Workforce Programme for BLMK ICS for the past four years.  Her focus is on transforming the way we attract, recruit, retain, and develop our Primary Care workforce through new and innovative initiatives.  She is passionate about building an open and supportive culture and ensuring that every individual, regardless of profession, is empowered and has the opportunity and support to develop and grow.  Susi is delighted and proud to be part of such a strong, passionate and diverse multi-professional team. 

Helen Worthington-Smith – Workforce Transformation Project Manager 

Contact Helen at: h.worthington-smith@nhs.net 

Helen started her career working as a physiotherapist, first in the acute setting and then in the community in Bedford and Milton Keynes. She then completed the PRINCE 2 project management course and took up a non-clinical role in an ICS Training Hub. Here she gained experience in workforce and primary care education through her involvement in the Training Hub projects where she was able to bring her own experience of working as a healthcare professional within the NHS. 

Helen has now joined the BLMK Training Hub and is particularly passionate about strengthening MDT working and supporting the primary care workforce through her involvement in the New to Practice, GP Mentorship Development and Student Nursing Associate Programme.   

Hannah Baker – Workforce Project Manager 

Contact Hannah at: hannah.baker11@nhs.net 

Hannah is one of our Workforce Project Managers and has 12 years’ experience in the NHS including HR, Strategy, Training and Primary Care Development. Hannah is currently the Project Lead for the Quality Programme focusing on Educator and Learning Environment approval and quality monitoring processes, Placement Capacity Expansion in Primary Care and Supervision as well as leading on the International GP Recruitment Programme including support to International Medical Graduates. Hannah also works closely with the Clinical Leads on Advanced Clinical Practice and AHP development including the Roadmaps to Practice and Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS). 

Lydia Jacks – Health and Wellbeing Project Manager  

Contact Lydia at: Lydia.jacks1@nhs.net  

Originally from Manchester, Lydia began her NHS career on the NHS Graduate Scheme – Human Resource stream. She has previously worked in a mental health and community trust covering roles in recruitment, as a HR advisor and employee engagement and wellbeing.  

Lydia is one of our project advisors focused primarily on health and wellbeing. She is passionate about championing the health and wellbeing of Primary Care staff throughout BLMK and is proud to support the Training Hub’s clinical leads to achieve this goal. Lydia also supports Rajiv Nandha, our clinical pharmacy lead, in delivering the student pharmacy summer placement scheme. 

Nora Donohoe – Workforce Development Academy (Quality) 

Contact Nora at: nora.donohoe@nhs.net 

Nora has been with the NHS for over 6 years in roles covering project management, staff health & wellbeing, events management and fund raising.  She is part of a multi-disciplinary team that forms part of the BLMK ICS Primary Care Training Hub, supporting the delivery of a wide range of projects and workforce development initiatives included in its portfolio. 

Beth Thompson – Knowledge Specialist 

Contact Beth at: beth.thompson16@nhs.net

Beth joined the training hub in 2022, having previously worked as librarian in higher education. Her role is part of an HEE pilot scheme to embed librarians and knowledge specialists within primary care to support an evidence-based approach to patient care and service development. She supports all primary care staff across BLMK with evidence searches, knowledge skills training and support, and can advise on organising and disseminating best practice information.  

The Clinical Workforce Leads

The Clinical Workforce Leads provide their expertise and insights to develop innovative new projects and propose new ways of working.


Profile photo of Janet Thorneley
Janet Thornley – RN MSc. GPN Strategic Lead 

Contact Janet at: janet.thornley@nhs.net 

Janet has worked in general practice since 1995, firstly as a GPN and now ACP.  She is the GPN Strategic Lead for BLMK ICS where her focus is on recruitment and retention of nurses, raising the profile of practice nurses and encouraging leadership roles. Janet works closely with GPNs and supports professional development opportunities through education and leadership.  Janet leads the development and introduction of New to Practice Programme for GPNs and retention and development programmes for more experienced GPNs.Together with Training Hub colleagues and in collaboration with NHS E/I and NAPC Janet was co-designer of the national GPN CARE programme which delivers a population health management approach to primary care projects, combining QI and self-awareness tools to build a resilient workforce for the future.As part of her MSC, Janet gained a PGCMDE and was a former associate lecturer at Buckinghamshire New University, teaching practice nurse skills and remains involved in education being responsible for Pre- registration nurses and hospital Drs on rotation in her practice.  An active member of her PCN steering committee, Janet is passionate about collaborative working and thinking creatively about patient led care. 



Dr Shankari Maha – GP Early Careers Strategic Lead & Deputy Chair 


Contact Shankari at: shankari.mahathmakanthi@nhs.net 


Since qualifying as a GP in 2019 Shankari has become the GP Early Careers Strategic Lead and the Deputy Chair of our Primary Care Training Hub. She’s also a Board Member of the BLMK CCG Governing Body and a professional coach currently doing a Diploma in Coaching and Mentoring. She has completed the Primary Care Innovation Academy Programme at Cambridge University and has held several significant roles within BLMK over the last three years. 

She brings an understanding of the pressures and uncertainties that come with embarking on the journey of working as an independent GP and the system as a whole to her role where she supports any doctor across BLMK in the First 5 years of their career as a GP. By engaging with various offers available to all First5 GPs across BLMK, such as coaching, mentoring and teaching sessions she feels empowered. She hopes to inform others of what they have access to and that with local peer support we will all embrace our career with more enthusiasm. 

Shankari has a portfolio career, loves all her jobs and truly believes variety is key in keeping people motivated in their line of work. If you are a GPST3 or have qualified as a GP in the last five years please get in touch by e-mailing ccs.gpfirst5.blmk@nhs.net as we would love to just touch base with you and see if there are any opportunities we can support you with. 



Dr Raj Yuvaraj – GP Mid – Late Career Strategic Lead 


Contact Raj at: v.yuvaraj@nhs.net 


Raj has been a qualified GP for the last 15 years.  A GP Partner in Milton Keynes he has a varied experience of working all over the UK in various roles including the with the CCG.  As a local LMC representative Raj has an intricate understanding of workforce pressures and stresses in primary care. 

Raj trains medical students and GP registrars in the practice and has a special interest in medical technology and innovation.  He has a strong belief that technology and innovation will help create a healthy and positive work force to be more resilient and deal with pressures and improve patient experience. 

Raj works collaboratively with all members of the BLMK Training Hub, PCNs, HEE and NHS E/I demonstrating a ‘one team’ approach and ensuring that the values of transformation, inclusivity, transparency, and equity are central. 


Dr Sadaf Javed- Quality & Differential Attainment Clinical Lead & Educator Expansion Lead 


Contact Sadaf at: sadafjaved@nhs.net 


Sadaf is GP in Bedford and has been working in partnership for ten years. As a GP Trainer she is involved in the training of different clinical and non-clinical members of the practice team.  With an interest in mental health until recently Sadaf worked in the local Memory Assessment Service as a GPwER in Dementia. 

Sadaf also has an interest in Prescriptions Management and holds the position of the Prescribing Lead for Bedford Locality.  Additionally, she is the Vice-Chair of Bedford on Call (BEDOC); a non- profit social enterprise, providing several primary care services across Bedfordshire. 

Sadaf has always been fascinated with the Business, Management and Leadership aspect of General Practice and holds a Diploma in Advanced Primary Care Management; a one-year postgraduate programme which is run by the National Association of Primary Care. 

Sadaf is passionate about GP wellbeing, as well as their professional development, BLMK has a lot to offer to the Healthcare professionals and I look forward to working with the Workforce team to help local clinicians work, learn and live their full potential. 


Kirsty Shanley – Quality & Differential Attainment Lead (Non-medical) 


Contact Kirsty at: kshanley@nhs.net 


Kirsty has worked in General Practice since 2002. Starting as a Phlebotomist she gained qualifications whilst working to become a HCA, Phlebotomy Trainer, HCA NVQ Assessor, Assistant Practitioner then GPN. She is now the Lead GPN for Bedford Borough and the Quality and Differential Attainment Lead (non-medical) for BLMK ICS. Her focus is supporting GPNS, SNAs, HCAs and other roles coming into General Practice under the ARRSs funding. Her passion is for helping students achieve their goals, embedding them well into primary care, increasing student placements within Primary Care and retention of the workforce. 

As an active GPN Kirsty is also an Education Lead for her PCN and as such has an up-to-date awareness of the operational experiences of General Practice. 


Mehreen Shafiq – Physician Associate Lead 


Contact Mehreen at: mehreen.shafiq@nhs.net 


Mehreen is a Physician Associate currently working in primary care within Luton and Physician Associate lead for the Training Hub.  Mehreen is focused on increasing awareness of the Physician Associate role, supporting practices and PCNs with their recruitment, induction and retention and expanding the PA workforce in Primary Care through preceptorships, student placements and mentoring. 


Rajiv Nandha – Pharmacist Lead 


Contact Rajiv at: rajiv.nandha@nhs.net 


Rajiv works as a senior clinical pharmacist in general practice, with one day a week in the Pharmacist lead role. I have been working as a pharmacist for over 5 years and moved into being a primary care pharmacist almost 3 years ago. My role is to use the successful experience and understanding I have of the role and support practices with recruitment, integration and development of clinical practice pharmacist. We have been working on various projects to achieve a strong work force of pharmacists in BLMK using innovative and practical ways to support the workforce in primary care. 


Tom McNally – Paramedic Lead 


Contact Tom at: tom.mcnally1@nhs.net 


Tom is our Paramedic lead and has been a paramedic for over 20 years, working in General Practice for the past 7.  Tom has a keen interest in supporting paramedics either new to General Practice and Primary Care, as well as those already in position. 

Tom also has a special interest in education having been a senior lecturer at The University of Northampton for several years, focusing on patient examination and assessment. 

Tom focusses his role as Paramedic Lead on formulating and leading projects that support and offer advice to paramedics working in Primary Care. 


Matt Cooper – Primary Care Physiotherapist Lead 


Contact Matt at: matthew.cooper8@nhs.net 


Matt is our Physiotherapist lead and an Advanced MSK Practitioner working in a GP Practice within BLMK.  Matt’s role with the training hub is to contribute to clinical workforce development, specifically around physiotherapy in primary care and act as a point of contact whilst being a ‘champion’ for physiotherapy offering support and guidance to the BLMK primary care physiotherapy workforce. 


Bethany Buddery – GPN Early Careers Strategic Lead 


Contact Bethany at: b.buddery@nhs.net 


Beth qualified as a practice nurse in 2017 and since then has worked in South London and now Milton Keynes. She has recently taken up a role as the GPN Early Careers Lead for the Training Hub and her focus is on the New to Practice Programme and improving recruitment and retention across BLMK. Having previously been involved as a pilot preceptee in the Capital Nurse programme she is passionate about translating this experience into a Preceptorship Programme for BLMK. She is also a Shiny Mind App Ambassador. 



Wider Workforce Group (PCNs and CCG)

BLMK Primary Care Training Hub utilises the system partnership approach. The wider workforce group includes the PCN team and BLMK CCG team.

The Operational Team, Clinical Workforce Leads and the Wider Workforce Group work together as one team.