March 28th 2017 | Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh


Keynote speakers

Professor Jason Leitch

Clinical Director, Healthcare Quality and Strategy, Scottish Government

Jason has worked for the Scottish Government since 2007 and in January 2015 was appointed as The National Clinical Director in the Health and Social Care Directorate. He is a Scottish Government Director and a member of the Health and Social Care Management Board. He is one of the senior team responsible for the NHS in Scotland.

He is an Honorary Professor at the University of Dundee. 

Jason was the 2011 UK Clinician of the Year. 

He is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). He was a 2005-06 Quality Improvement Fellow at IHI, in Boston, sponsored by the Health Foundation. 

Jason is also a trustee of the UK wing of the Indian Rural Evangelical Fellowship which runs orphanages in southeast India.

He has a doctorate from the University of Glasgow, an MPH from Harvard and is a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.  He is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

Jason was appointed to NHS England review group led by Don Berwick looking into the patient safety elements of the Francis Inquiry.

Ann Holmes

Chief Midwifery Advisor and Associate Chief Nursing Officer, Scottish Government

Since qualifying as a nurse and midwife, Ann practised in Glasgow and worked at a senior level in midwifery in a variety of units.  She worked for three years in research, conducting one of the first UK Randomised Controlled Trials into midwife led care.  

In 2000, Ann was appointed Scotland’s first Consultant Midwife, working across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde in that role for over 10 years.  During that time, she worked clinically two days a week, whilst leading on key maternity strategies including public health, normality and various service redesigns.  She also worked part time with the Scottish Government Health Directorates, leading the Keeping Pregnancy Natural and Dynamic programme and supporting midwifery and maternity policy within the Chief Nursing Officer’s (CNO) team.  Ann has significant experience in professional regulation, having been Local Supervising Authority Midwifery Officer for Greater Glasgow and Clyde for six years and also serving two terms as member of the Nursing and Midwifery Council Midwifery Committee.  

Ann was appointed permanently to the CNO’s team in September 2012 as Chief Midwifery Advisor and is currently also Associate CNO.  She has a varied portfolio in this role, having professional lead for midwifery, early years, children’s and public health agendas; alongside professional regulation, community nursing and transforming roles.


Pennie Taylor

Health Journalist and Broadcaster 


Pennie Taylor is a freelance journalist and broadcaster who specialises in health matters. A former BBC Scotland Health Correspondent, she has also worked for a number of newspapers including The Sunday Herald and Scotland on Sunday.

Pennie has a particular interest in public involvement in NHS development, and has led national and local consultations on a range of issues. Having worked as Head of Communications for the-then Lothian University Hospitals NHS Trust between 2000 and 2002, she knows how things operate inside the health service as well as on newsdesks. This gives her a uniquely informed perspective from which to approach, and stimulate, debate.  


Peter Askew

VP Sales, UK and EMEA

Currently running RL Solutions business across UK, Europe and the Middle East, Peter has been involved in Healthcare IT for the last 15 years. Previously as part of both Microsoft and GE subsidiaries, involved in delivering solutions to the NHS as well as other European health systems. Having also lived and worked in Australia, the US, and France Peter has experience in people related businesses (Travel, Tourism, Retail and healthcare) as well as high risk industries (Petroleum, Oil and Gas, Healthcare). Qualified with degree in both Biology and Computer Science. As Lead Governor at a large Acute and Community NHS Foundation Trust in England, he has been involved in Patient advocacy for the last 10 years.

Elaine Boyd

Practice Education Coordinator – HAI, NHS Education for Scotland

Practice Education Co-ordinator (Healthcare Associated Infections) NHS Education for Scotland

Elaine qualified as a Registered General Nurse in Glasgow and worked in operating theatre departments in acute hospitals across Glasgow as a senior Anaesthetic and Recovery Nurse for several years. Elaine has had a particular interest throughout her career in staff education and in 2009 Elaine took up a Practice Education Facilitators role. This was followed shortly afterwards with a post as Clinical Nurse Educator for Infection Control within NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

Elaine joined NHS Education for Scotland within the Healthcare Associated Infection team in 2011. Since joining NES Elaine has developed and supported the implementation and continuing sustainability of a number of educational initiatives and resources to assist in the prevention of healthcare associated infections both within health boards and undergraduate curriculums. 


Lorraine McKee

Senior Health Protection Nurse, Highland NHS Board

Lorraine is a Health Protection Nurse, wife, mother and granny to the two most beautiful grandsons, not that she is biased. She wanted to be Jacques Cousteau (a man who studied the sea and all its forms of life) when she grew up. That didn’t happen. Instead she qualified as a Nurse in 1984, working in Care of the Elderly for almost 20 years, 19 of these as a ward manager. Her interest in Infection control was intensified in 1999 through working closely with the hospital infection control nurse in eradicating MRSA from a ward that required some love and attention. In 2003 Lorraine became an Infection Control Nurse and in 2008 moved to the Highlands joining the Health Protection team and endured the process of attaining an MSc in Infection Prevention and control.

Although not studying sea life, Lorraine is fascinated by the world of microbiology and shares the concerns of many that microbes are a challenge to the future of Public health, not least the potential advent of a post antibiotic era and no doubt the emergence of new pathogens that could be a threat to humans. 

Professor Alistair Leanord

Consultant Microbiologist, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital

Professor Leanord is an HAI Medical Adviser to the Scottish Government, Consultant Medical Microbiologist working at the Southern General Hospital and Honorary Professor of Microbiology at Glasgow University.  He has also been the Director of the Scottish Infection Research Network since 2007. SIRN works collaboratively with existing national and academic groups to identify priority areas for HAI research and to develop research streams within these areas, to build capacity and capability within the HAI research community and to develop a sustainable, high quality research infrastructure.

Professor Leanord has extensive clinical and infection control experience in the treatment and control of infections. Research interests include health care associated infections, the use of information to identify interventions that can lead to improved patient care and new diagnostic methods to identify infections. Is, or has been, a member of various Professional bodies, advisory boards and short term working groups.

Professor Hugh Pennington

 Emeritus Professor of Bacteriology, The University of Aberdeen

Hugh Pennington lives in Aberdeen, where he was Professor of Bacteriology. A 2009 Desert Island Discs castaway, he blogs for the London Review of Books and is regularly interviewed by the media on microbiological topics.  

He chaired an Expert Group for the Secretary of State for Scotland into the 1996 Central Scotland E.coli O157 outbreak and chaired the Public Inquiry into the 2005 South Wales E.coli O157 outbreak. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and of the Academy of Medical Sciences.