Public Engagement and Patient Support (PEPS) Committee

Our Public Engagement and Patient Support (PEPS) Committee helps to spread the work About Antibiotic Resistance and the importance of managing our current antibiotics to professionals and the public.

  • James Amos
    James Amos
    PGCert infection, prevention and control, PGDip general hospital practise, MPharm Master of Pharmacy, BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical science
    PEPS Committee Member

    James is a clinical pharmacist working across the acute, intermediate and community settings in Kent. He represents two NHS Trusts at regional antimicrobial stewardship forums and has implemented his Trusts antimicrobial audit cycle with the aim of improving antimicrobial stewardship.

    James’ remit includes monitoring and advising on the use of antibiotics in the acute hospitals, Intermediate hospitals, primary care, paediatric and dental services across Kent and beyond.

    Before undertaking his pharmacy degree James worked in the pharmaceutical industry for a mid-sized research company in the field of pharmacognosy to develop medications for multiple sclerosis and oncology patients.

    James is active in research, collaborating with the Universities of Kent and Greenwich in the field of Pharmacy practise, with a focus on educating and empowering patients to take responsibility for their healthcare

    James’ aim for joining the PEPS Committee is to use the skills he has developed in his current and previous roles to improve the use and knowledge of antibiotics and the rise in antimicrobial resistance. He feels that ANTRUK is an important charity as it provides a focus and funding to develop the antibiotic pipeline whilst educating the public and healthcare professionals.

  • Professor Christine Bond
    Professor Christine Bond
    Professor of Primary Care and immediate past Head of Centre of Academic Primary Care, University of Aberdeen
    PEPS Committee Chair

    From 1996-2012 Christine was part time Consultant in Pharmaceutical Public Health (NHS Grampian) where she established and chaired the Grampian Primary Care Antibiotic Strategy Group’. She has been awarded well over 100 grants (approximate total grant income >£13million) and has over 250 peer reviewed publications relating to a large portfolio of research on the evidence based cost effective use of medicines (prescribed and ‘OTC’), drug misuse, professional collaborations in primary care and the wider health care agenda.

    Christine is Editor of the International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, was an elected member of the Scottish Board of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) for 10 years and has served on many national Research Panels eg the Health Service Research Committee of the Scottish Office, the MRC College of Experts, the Scottish Ethics Committee, the RPSGB Pharmacy Practice Research Trust Award panel, the Health Services and Pharmacy Practice Conference Panel.

    She is currently, a member of Pharmacy Research UK Steering Group, and Chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain Expert Advisory Panel for Science. In 2010 she was awarded the Pharma’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

  • Ryan Hamilton
    Dr Ryan Hamilton
    PEPS Committee Member

    Dr Ryan Hamilton is a specialist clinical pharmacist in the NHS and has lead on work promoting antimicrobial stewardship in primary care, through community pharmacies, and the general public, by launching an activity programme for Leicestershire Scouts, which is now being utilised nationally. His work has been nationally recognised through winning the UK Clinical Pharmacy Associations’ Antimicrobial Management Award in 2017 and 2018, winning the Antibiotic Guardian Award for Children and Families in 2018, and being highly commended at the same Antibiotic Guardian Awards for his achievements within antimicrobial stewardship.

    Ryan completed a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences at Liverpool John Moore’s University, investigating the interaction between antimicrobials, phyllosilicates, and polymers to determine whether these materials can be used for clinical applications. Since completing his PhD he continues to publish in scientific and professional journals on a range of antimicrobial related issues. Ryan is also a keen educator of health professionals within and outside of his NHS Trust, and sits on the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Faculty and Education Board.

  • Roger Harrison
    Dr Roger Harrison
    BA (Hons) PGCertHE PGDip(Counselling) MPhil MPH PhD
    PEPS Committee Member

    Roger has an established track-record in public health research, health services research and in the design and delivery of postgraduate education. He has considerable expertise in using on-line learning platforms to deliver a postgraduate master’s in public health, and alongside that, has carried out a number of pedagogical research projects. He has published and presented his research extensively in the UK and abroad.

    Roger’s expertise in antimicrobial and antibiotic drug resistance is from a public engagement perspective. As part of this he has worked with The University of Manchester to establish a programme of ‘Action on Antibiotic Drug Resistance: One Student. One Campus. One World’. This relatively new network has already successfully implemented a range of different public engagement events in Greater Manchester and with the health and social care infrastructure. Roger is now working to establish a far wider student-led network, having formed partnerships with other universities in the north-west and in Africa.

  • Rebecca Harmston
    Rebecca Harmston
    BSc (Hons), M.Res, Ph.D
    PEPS Committee Member

    Rebecca is a parent of a child with Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux (GORD) who was frequently prescribed antibiotics for chest and ear infections. She is very interested in the use of antibiotics to treat childhood illnesses and will provide the committee with a patient perspective.

    Her professional background is scientific research including periods in a tumour imaging laboratory at Cancer Research UK and in metabolomics at Cambridge University. During this time Rebecca was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and became interested in the antibiotic treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), side effects and effects on gut bacteria in this patients group.

    After a period of illness Rebecca decided to take a career break and concentrate on caring for her two children. A few weeks later she met a patient involvement group manager and became involved in local research projects within Norfolk. After gaining patient involvement experience Rebecca joined NICE as a Lay Member on the GORD Guidance Development Group and the GORD Quality Standards Advisory Group. For the past six years Rebecca has been actively involved in health research at a national level.

    Rebecca is currently a lay member on the Research for Patient Benefit East of England Committee, the NICE Technology Appraisal Committee D and the Health Technology Assessment Women and Children’s Health panel. Rebecca also has experience of advisory groups, grant funding application panels, reviewing and ethics and is a member of the Great Ormond Street Clinical Research Adoptions Committee (CRAC) and the local Norfolk patient involvement in research group PPIRes.

  • Dr Neil Todd
    Dr Neil Todd
    BA(OXON), MBChB, FRCPath
    PEPS Committee Member

    Antibiotic resistance poses one of the gravest threats to human health and continued progress in provision of modern medicine. The return of untreatable infections is already a reality in many parts of the world and new treatment options are slow to emerge.

    I am a Medically trained Clinical Microbiologist and have worked in the NHS since 1984 in Bristol, Leeds and York. I have long experience in managing a clinical diagnostic laboratory and providing advice for the management of the full range of human infections.

    My interest in Antimicrobial Stewardship dates back to the early 1990s long before the term was coined as it has always been clear to me that controls on the use of antibiotics are crucial in limiting their adverse impacts including emergence of resistance.

    I have also researched antibiotic resistance in enteric coliform bacteria with publications describing the molecular evolution of extended spectrum beta-lactamases in the UK.

    During my 34 years working in the NHS the emergence of resistance amongst nearly every type of microorganism we see in our laboratory has been startling and now poses challenges on an almost daily basis in deciding how to treat infections. New options for therapy are desperately needed and ANTRUK is a vital opportunity to progress this effort.

    Neil says:

    “Antibiotic resistance poses one of the gravest threats to human health and continued progress in provision of modern medicine. The return of untreatable infections is already a reality in many parts of the world and new treatment options are slow to emerge.”

  • Alison Staples
    PEPS Committee Member

    Alison has worked in the voluntary sector for over 20 years. In that time she has been involved in developing education programmes and public engagement activities on both a local and national scale. In her role as a fundraiser she has worked with service managers at organisations such as Keep Britain Tidy and The National Library for the Blind to develop successful funding bids.

    Alison sees ANTRUK as an extremely important charity following the death of a close family member from a hospital acquired superbug and her own intensive cancer treatment which left her very vulnerable to infection and reliant on effective antibiotics.

  • Charles Mitchell
    Dr Charles Mitchell
    B.Sc.,M.B.Ch.B.,FRCP Edin.
    Liaison between PEPS Committee and Volunteer Fundraising Group

    Charles is a Consultant Physician and Gastroenterologist recently retired from clinical practice in Scarborough after 35 years in post. He was joint director of the Combined Gastroenterology Service, which achieved an International reputation for its research, particularly in the fields of nutritional support, pancreatic disease and bacterial translocation.

    Charles was also Regional Adviser in Yorkshire for the Royal College of Physicians of London and a member and Secretary of the Joint Royal Medical Colleges Specialty Training Committee for General Internal Medicine, as well as serving as a council member of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh for 6 years.

    Formerly a medical assessor for the STA, and subsequently the General Medical Council, Charles went on to become an external assessor for the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. He served on the committee of the Pancreatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland and served as President for 1985. He has published over 50 peer-reviewed research papers, articles and book chapters.

    Charles says:

    “The work of ANTRUK is now vital to the future health of humankind. If we cannot develop new treatments for resistant organisms, the death toll from bacterial infection will escalate alarmingly in a very short period. As a practising physician, I had the increasingly frequent experience of seeing a few of my patients die whilst I was helpless to control their resistant infection. This was the tip of the iceberg and, for me, a warning that to address this problem is now mandatory.”

  • Dr. Wendy Thompson
    Dr. Wendy Thompson
    PEPS Committee Member

    Wendy is a National Institute for Health Research Clinical Lecturer in Primary Dental Care at University of Manchester. She is a general dental practitioner and provides clinical dentistry in Cumbria with {my}dentist Kirkby Lonsdale. Her research is about improving the quality of urgent dental care. As antibiotics don’t cure toothache, and with 80% unnecessary antibiotic prescribing by dentists in the UK, her research includes optimising the use of antibiotics in dentistry.

    Wendy is an honorary consultant to the NHS Chief Dental Officer (England) and advisor to the FDI World Dental Federation on tackling antibiotic resistance. She is also a council member of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, a member of the British National Formulary’s dental advisory group and a member of the British Dental Association’s health & science committee. As a special advisor to National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE), Wendy has been involved with guideline and quality standard development on antimicrobial stewardship and shared decision making.

    Wendy is lead author of the FDI white paper on antibiotics and dentistry and lead educator on the BSAC/FDI joint MOOC on the role of the dental team at tackling antibiotic resistance. She has also contributed to the Public Health England dental antibiotic stewardship toolkit.

  • Carolyn Childs
    Carolyn Childs
    B.Ed, Cert.Ed, Dip.PE, Ofsted Inspector of Schools, SIP
    PEPS Committee Member

    Carolyn Childs has taught in mainstream secondary and primary schools, in special schools and for time as a specialist pre-school teacher. As education advisor in a London Borough she was engaged in the development of provision for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities across all school sectors. As an LEA senior advisor her focus was on implementing primary curriculum development, planning and management.

    As a primary school headteacher her particular commitment to early years education and to effective partnerships with parents led to the establishment of a nursery, and to curriculum access and child-care classes specifically for parents and carers.

    For many years Carolyn ran her own education consultancy company. Her consultancy work mainly focused on supporting local authorities, groups and schools. Advising all aspects of school and professional development, she worked with senior staff, governors, leaders and managers focusing on raising standards by establishing effective leadership, good communication,high quality curriculum provision and excellence in teaching. She was a visiting lecturer at Croydon College and at Christchurch University College, Canterbury teaching on under-graduate and post-graduate courses. She was an Ofsted inspector in both the primary and secondary school sectors. She is a nationally accredited School Improvement Partner.

    Carolyn has a life-long interest in health, well-being and physical education. She was engaged in the establishment of the National ‘Healthy Schools’ initiative. She is the author of a book on children’s food and nutrition. She is a contributory writer for a post-graduate text book on special educational needs and PE. She was an advisory reader for Hodder & Stoughton. She has designed, written and published primary curriculum planning and guidance materials for supporting teaching and learning about food, nutrition and healthy eating, Carolyn has recently retired but continues to mentor professional colleagues and remains a lecturer and international examiner in Sherborne Developmental Movement.

  • Dr. Oliver van Hecke
    Dr Oliver Van Hecke
    PEPS Committee Member

    Oliver is a clinical researcher at the University of Oxford and GP in East London. His research focuses on ways to optimise antibiotic prescribing and reducing the impact of antimicrobial resistance in primary care. This stems from his work as a generalist practising in the NHS with first-hand experience of the difficulties that clinicians encounter of whether to prescribe an antibiotic or not. His interest in infections and antibiotic resistance stem from his early clinical experience as a junior doctor in a subtropical region in South Africa where HIV, TB and malaria were highly prevalent.

    His PhD/DPhil assessed the consequences and behaviours associated with antibiotic prescribing and antibiotic resistance in the community (primary care). This research filled a major evidence gap by assessing the impact of antibiotic resistance for patients in the community and emphasised that antibiotic resistance is a community problem.

    Through his research, he has been an advocate for primary care clinicians doing their part to optimise antibiotic prescribing in the community. He has acted as panel witness on an All-Party Parliamentary Group at the House of Commons and as speaker/chairperson (e.g. The Economist, Antimicrobial Resistance Summit) and Longitude Prize Symposium on Urinary Tract infections.

    His aim is to continue to produce world-leading research that benefits patients, to make a meaningful contribution to inspire future generalists, and to provide leadership to support global antimicrobial stewardship initiatives.