Changing the conversation about health

College leaders in specialist areas

Mr Michael Dooley – Women’s Clinical Lead, and College Treasurer. 

michael-dooley150x-150x150Michael Dooley is a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Dorset County Hospital. His special interest is reproductive endocrinology with particular expertise in infertility, menopause, premenstrual syndrome and sports gynaecology. He has attended three Olympic Games as British Team Doctor. Mr Dooley has established The Poundbury Clinics as centres of excellence providing an integrated approach to women’s health.

Carrie Grant – Patient Lead.
Carrie Grant is a television presenter, journalist and voice coach as well as being a powerful patient advocate drawing from much of her family’s own experience.




Professor Dame Donna Kinnair DBE RGN HV LLB MA – Nursing Lead


Donna is a Non-executive Director at East London Foundation Trust. She was the General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) until June 2021.She was responsible for delivering the RCN’s strategic and operational plans and promoting patient and nursing interests on a wide range of issues. Donna held various roles, prior to joining the RCN, including clinical director of emergency medicine at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust; Executive Director of Nursing, Southeast London Cluster Board; Director of Commissioning, London Borough of Southwark & Southwark PCT. She was the Strategic Commissioner for Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham Health Authority’s Children’s Services. Donna advised the PM’s Commission on the future of Nursing and Midwifery in 2010 and served as nurse/child health assessor to the Victoria Climbié Inquiry.

Dr Nigel Hewett OBE MB ChB DRCOG DCH FRCGP – National Lead for Inclusion Health.

Nigel-Hewitt150x-150x150Dr Nigel Hewett is a General Practitioner who has worked with homeless people since 1990. In 2000 he set up the full time Leicester Homeless Primary Healthcare Service; this is now Inclusion Healthcare, a community interest company judged “outstanding” by the Care Quality Commission. In 2006 he was awarded an OBE for services to homeless people. In 2009 he launched University College London Hospital’s Pathway homeless team. In 2010 he was a founder member of the Faculty for Homeless and Inclusion Health of the College of Medicine and in 2011 became Medical Director of Pathway – a new Charity formed to improve the health care of homeless people and other excluded groups and support the Faculty. In 2014 he edited the 2nd edition of the Faculty Standards for Inclusion Health, which has been endorsed by the Royal College of Physicians. There are now 10 Pathway hospital care coordination teams from Bradford to Brighton and teams being developed in Scotland, Ireland and Perth Australia.

Laura Marshall Andrews – GP Lead

laura_marshall-andrewsLaura founded the Brighton Health and Wellbeing Centre in 2013. The Centre is an NHS GP surgery which has an integrated team of Complementary Therapists and a Healing Arts Centre. The Healing Arts Centre run programmes in Dance, Drawing and Film making, Art psychotherapy, Narrative workshops, Singing Groups and a Wellbeing Gallery. The programmes are funded through the Robin Hood Health Foundation, a charitable trust set up alongside the practice. Laura is also pioneering a ‘Slow Medicine’ programme in collaboration with Prof Helen Smith and the University of Sussex.
The practice has recently begun Narrative Workshops for clinicians as part of a resilience program for doctors and nurses in Primary Care. In November 2014 they won Innovators of the Year in the GP Awards.


Dr Eleni Tsiompanou – Palliative Care Lead

Dr Eleni Tsiompanou is a Palliative Care Consultant whose experience has taken her from the clinic and laboratory to Penny Brohn UK, an integrative oncology centre, and to creating the Health Being Institute. She has influenced palliative care practice on a national UK level in her role as Chair of the ‘Food and Nutrition Group’ at Hospice UK.
Eleni combines her Palliative & End-of-Life-Care experience with her post-graduate scientific training in Nutritional Medicine and Ayurveda and her lifelong interest in “History and Philosophy of Medicine and Sciences”. She asks questions and aims to bring together the science of the present with the wisdom of the past. Eleni is a passionate speaker, writer and blogger, holding regular workshops in central London for healthcare professionals and the general public.

Bogdan Chiva Giurca – Lead for Junior Doctors 

Bogdan is an award-winning undergraduate medical student with a strong passion for medical leadership and innovation. He was the National Student Champion for Social Prescribing, having recently graduated from his medical degree he is now the Lead for Junior Doctors, and the founder of the newly established National Social Prescribing Student Champion Scheme. The scheme has been created to enable medical students – the generation of today, and the future doctors of tomorrow – to get involved in learning about, teaching, and promoting Social Prescribing within their region.

In the past, the medical school curriculum has been established with little involvement from medical students. Bogdan is hoping that medical students can stand up and request to be taught concepts that will be key to their future practice. Bogdan is looking forward to collaborating with as many medical students nationally to put this puzzle together and to attempt introducing Social Prescribing into the undergraduate and postgraduate medical school curriculum.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall  – Lead for Sustainable Fishing

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a multi-award-winning writer and broadcaster known for his uncompromising commitment to seasonal, ethically produced food and his concern for the environment. He has earned a huge following through his River Cottage TV series and books, as well as campaigning documentary series such as Hugh’s Fish FightHugh’s War on WasteBritain’s Fat Fight and, his latest, War on Plastic with Hugh and Anita.

His broadcasting has earned him a BAFTA as well as accolades from Radio 4, The Observer and the Guild of Food Writers and his award-winning books, include the best-selling River Cottage Cook Book and River Cottage Veg Every Day. His latest, Eat Better Forever, is due out in December 2020.

He continues to work as a journalist, writing occasionally for the Guardian, Times and other national newspapers. He is a vice president of Fauna & Flora International and a patron of Switchback, a charity that helps young offenders find opportunities in the catering industry.

Dr William Bird MBE – Nature Lead

Dr William Bird is a GP with more than three decades’ experience in physical activity, nature and health. He has been instrumental in setting up nationally recognisable schemes such as Green Gyms and Healthy Walks.

William is co-editor of the recently published Oxford Textbook of Nature and Public Health and BBC Wildlife magazine voted him one of the top 30 influential conservationists in the UK.

As CEO and Founder of Intelligent Health, he has developed Beat the Street, a physical activity intervention programme delivered in towns and cities across the UK and Europe.

In 2010, he was awarded an MBE for his services towards physical activity and health

David Peters – Lead for Practitioner Resilience and Wellbeing

I am Clinical Director in the Faculty of Science and Technology at the University of Westminster where I direct the Centre for Resilience.  The Centre is researching ways of measuring resilience, and improving it through lifestyle change, biofeedback, mindfulness, positive emotion and self-care. I am particularly interested in doctors’ wellbeing.

My clinical work (as a musculoskeletal physician) is informed by my time in general practice as well as by osteopathy, acupuncture and body-oriented psychotherapy.  I have a specialty in health problems where resilience has broken down (including PTSD), or where pain and fatigue overlap, and in aspects of self-care for long-term conditions (for which we developed the online Self Care Library)

Since the early 1990s I have led on a series of projects bringing non-pharmaceutical treatments (including osteopathy and acupuncture) into the NHS.  In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework I was awarded a 4 star rating for my impact in this field of work.   I am Editor in Chief the Journal of Holistic Healthcare.

Dr Mike Cummings – Lead for Acupuncture within Medicine

Mike is Medical Director of the British Medical Acupuncture Society (BMAS). This is a full time post that involves running the BMAS London Teaching Clinic (LTC), co-ordinating and lecturing on BMAS courses in Western medical acupuncture, acting as an associate editor for the Medline-listed journal Acupuncture in Medicine, and representing the BMAS at various academic and political meetings. Mike is an Honorary Clinical Specialist at the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine, which is part of the University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, where he supports acupuncture services.  His principal academic and clinical interest is musculoskeletal pain, and in particular, needling therapies in the treatment of myofascial pain syndromes.

After completing his medical degree at Leeds, and several hospital jobs in the north of England, Mike joined the Royal Air Force for a six and a half year short service commission. A substantial portion of the workload for a general duties medical officer (GDMO) in the RAF is musculoskeletal medicine. Mike came across acupuncture by accident whilst working as a GDMO. He followed his interest in musculoskeletal medicine and acupuncture on retiring from military service, and finally found himself occupied full time in the field of acupuncture (see start of the piece).

Simon Y. Mills MA FCPP FNIMH – Lead for Self-Care

Simon Mills is a University of Cambridge medical sciences graduate who has been a herbal practitioner in Exeter UK since 1977. Among many accomplishments he co-founded the world’s first University centre for studying complementary health at Exeter, was Special Adviser to the House of Lords report on Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and coordinated a national Department of Health project ‘Integrated Self Care in Family Practice’ which pioneered many of the elements of ‘social prescription’. He is an acknowledged and widely published authority on herbal medicine and since 2016 has been Herbal Strategist at Pukka Herbs. He is Self Care Lead at the College of Medicine.

James Wood MPharm (Hons) FRPharmS –  Lead for Pharmacy & Medicines

James is the College of Medicine lead for Pharmacy & Medicines. A Pharmacist with a wealth of experience, James is passionate about the role of Pharmacy teams working in partnership with others to engage patients in effective personalised use of medicines, along with supporting citizens in wider health and wellbeing issues.

He is currently Chief Executive of Community Pharmacy Surrey & Sussex, representing and supporting over 600 pharmacies across the South East of England to the NHS and local authorities.

Prior to this, James was Superintendent Pharmacist and a co-owner at Wicker Pharmacy in Sheffield, one of the UK’s leading independent pharmacies. He pioneered the use of NHS Summary Care Records in Community Pharmacies, in addition to developing a number of innovative patient centred initiative that are now widely commissioned across the NHS.

James has also worked in a number of large acute NHS Trusts, latterly transforming Outpatient Pharmacy Services as Managing Director of a social enterprise startup company. This project has been recognised by the Health Service Journal.

James qualified as a Pharmacist in 2004 after completing his undergraduate studies at Aston University in Birmingham. During his pre-registration year he was President of the British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association – the official students’ organisation of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

More recently, James was a board member of the National Pharmacy Association and a Trustee of the Health Education Foundation. In 2018 he was awarded a fellowship of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in recognition for his outstanding contribution to the advancement of pharmacy practice. He is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

James lives in central London with his partner. Follow James on Twitter @jameswwood


Professor Sir Al Aynsley-Green Kt – Lead for Children

Sir Al Aynsley-Green trained at Guy’s Hospital Medical School, University of London, then as a children’s physician in Oxford and as a paediatric endocrinologist in the Children’s Hospital, University of Zurich, Switzerland. He was appointed the first National Clinical Director for Children in the Department of Health in Government in 2000, before becoming the first independent statutory Children’s Commissioner for England from 2005-10.

He was President of the British Medical Association 2015-16. He is now Professor Emeritus of Child Health at University College London, and. Visiting Professor in Advocacy for Children and Childhood in Nottingham Trent University. He has received the Spence Medal of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, the Prader Prize of the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology, and the International Award of the International Juvenile Justice Observatory.

He was knighted by HM the Queen for his services to children and young people in 2006.

Heather Richards – Nutrition Lead

Heather is the College of Medicine lead for Nutrition. A Nutritional Therapist, Heather is passionate about bringing nutrition education to medics and all healthcare practitioners enabling surgeries to work in partnership to bring a lifestyle medicine approach and nutritional guidance to their patients.

She is a co-founder and the Director of Nutrition of Sano that brings healthy food to Londoners, educates through an online nutrition school and teaches how to cook healthy food.

Prior to co-founding Sano with her husband Doug, Heather was a Chartered Accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers. When she was bringing up their 3 daughters she became interested in nutrition and discovered its power in healing eczema and supporting a healthy lifestyle.

She trained as a Nutritional Therapist at the College of Naturopathic Medicine where in 2014 she was awarded ‘Overall Academic & Clinic Results in Nutrition.’

After qualifying she set up a clinic helping hundreds of patients. However Heather is passionate about spreading her knowledge to help as many people as possible with their health and careers in wellness and co-founded Sano to do just that!


bhargava-amitDr Amit Bhargava – Clinical Lead for Yoga

Amit is GP Senior Partner at Southgate Medical Group in Crawley and Member of the Council of College of Medicine. He has had many clinical leadership roles since 1999 which include at national, regional and local level, their purpose was to drive improvement through transformation of individual and population health and wellness, input into developing health policies and championing salutogensis and supported selfcare. His passion is creating collaborations and partnerships that will have a positive impact in improving the health and social capital and resilience of individuals in communities, especially for the most vulnerable and dispossessed. He feels strongly that the solutions for sustainable health and care systems lies in integrated community based delivery with a strong supported primary care, working towards creating self-healing communities where  individuals having a strong voice and input in their health and wellness.

Dr Edward Thompson MA MB ChB MRCGP MURHP MARH MBRCP – Lead for Complementary Medicine 

Dr Edward Thompson is a GP Partner, has an expertise in Integrated Medicine and is an educator. He has studied and practised Homeopathy, Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture, as well as Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic Medicine for 25 years. He completed his GP training in 2012. His vision is of a genuinely integrated system of medicine – a practical synthesis of modern medicine and CAM, which is accessible to the public, and teachable to health professionals.

Eleni Tsiompanou – Lead for Harmony

Eleni is a consultant physician with more than two decades’ experience of working in the NHS and the charity sector. From medical school onwards she has been interested in integrative healthcare and, parallel to traditional medical training, studied natural approaches to medicine including Nutritional Medicine (MSc) and Ayurveda. In addition she has continued to develop an interest in mind-body approaches that can support people’s health and well-being, such as the Alexander

Technique, yoga, dancing, gardening, natural exercises and meditation. Eleni has been researching diet and lifestyle in the Hippocratic writings for the last ten years. She has interpreted aspects of the Hippocratic approach in relation to her recent studies in Ayurveda, qualifying as an Ayurvedic practitioner in 2019. Through the Health Being Institute, Eleni promotes a healthy and harmonious way of being: In the last 4 years, blending modern science and ancient wisdom, she has spread the word, educating many healthcare professionals and lay people with her “Medical Kitchen Wisdom” and “Harmony in Living” workshops and events.

Since reading HRH The Prince of Wales’ book ‘Harmony: a new way of looking at our world’, Eleni has been inspired to expand the dialogue about health to include a wider view of harmony. She invites us to look at health through the prism of harmony to connect natural approaches and ancient wisdom traditions to modern science.

Eleni’s studies have led her to a profound understanding of the Pythagorean principle that “Health depends on the harmony of man’s elemental components and disease is caused by disturbance of this harmony”. She feels privileged to take on the role of Harmony Ambassador for the College of Medicine on The Harmony Project. To this end she has established a special interest group, Harmony in Health, within the college: For more information and to be involved please email


Dr.Vijayendra Murthy B.Nat, BAMS, MS,MPH, PhD, MAPA,MGCRN, FRSPH as Lead for Ayurveda

Dr.Vijay Murthy, Naturopath, is a London based Ayurvedic practitioner & a public health researcher.  Dr. Murthy’s Traditional Complementary & Integrative Health education and clinical background includes training from India, New Zealand, Australia, UK and the USA. After his undergrad and post grad degrees in Ayurveda alongside medical sciences from Bangalore University, Dr. Murthy worked in private practice, hospitals, communities and herbal manufacturing in India. He later became Head of Faculty and academic research leader at a leading natural therapies college in New Zealand, Well Park College of Natural Therapies. Dr. Murthy continued his education, which includes a Masters in public health from the University of Auckland and PhD in health services research at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia. He is a visiting professor of public health at the Trans Disciplinary University, Bangalore, Visiting Fellow, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Visiting Academic, Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine University of Technology Sydney, Australia.Executive committee member & Head of Ayurvedic Medicine Research Initiative, UK (AMRIT) research for the Ayurvedic Professional Association (APA), Chief Scientific Officer, Ayurveda in Health. Dr.Vijay Murthy can be contacted via email.