Midlands Leadership Academy

Our team

Non-urgent advice: Clare Price-Dowd

Picture of Clare Price-Dowd

Head of Leadership and Lifelong Learning

[email protected]
07810 182 159

As the Head of Leadership and Lifelong Learning for the Midlands, my role is to lead the strategy and work of the Midlands team to ensure we have development support and interventions that meet the leadership needs of the region.  

Working closely with the National team, I am responsible for shaping how the national priorities are delivered in a way that is right for the Midlands and listening to the needs of our stakeholders so we remain responsive and current.

I am passionate about supporting people to achieve their potential and feel very privileged to be part of a team who are all passionate and committed to supporting leaders and their development.  This is my third year in the team and I am looking forward to more great work across the Midlands region.

Non-urgent advice: Fiona McNamee

Email:  [email protected]

Mobile:  will supply the number when I get a phone


As System Leadership Development senior manager I am here to support the Midlands Integrated Care Systems and the organisations within them, to be the very best they can be, for their people and patients, from a leadership perspective. 

I have worked in the private sector, higher education and have also run my own creative industry business.  I joined the NHS in 2009 at the East Midlands Strategic Health Authority, and prior to joining the team I worked at an NHS Trust as Head of Organisational Development.

I feel passionate and privileged to support people to flourish and have a fulfilling career in health and social care.  My coaching, MBTI,  Mental Health First Aider,  Transactional Analysis and organisational development skills help me to do this in a compassionate and inclusive way.


Non-urgent advice: Phillip Masuwa

Picture of Phillip Masuwa

Primary Care Programme Senior Manager

[email protected]
07900 715 341

I am a part qualified accountant with an undergraduate degree in Economics and a postgraduate degree in Accounting from the University of Kingston. My career history is accredited to analytical skills in tackling complex problems, finding innovative solutions and generating high-performing services.  I have work experience spanning over 10 years across the private and public sector where I have led in various strategic programmes across finance and policy.

Since 2016, I have influenced many local, regional and national decisions across the NHS. Today, I serve as the Primary Care Lead for the Midlands Leadership and Lifelong Learning team in NHS England and NHS Improvement. My objective at work is to ensure that NHS staff feel empowered to provide patients with the best possible care. 

I strive to ensure that patients are being looked after by a diverse and inclusive NHS workforce. As BME Executive Committee Member, I am passionate about increasing BME representation at board level. I have therefore dedicated my time to help nurture the careers of next generation NHS leaders whilst providing professional development training for them at work. Outside of work hours, I mentor and coach young people in the local community. I also support recent graduates by offering career guidance and helping them to achieve their work-related goals.

Non-urgent advice: Gary Godden

GMTS Leadership Development Senior Manager

[email protected]

In my role as GMTS Leadership Development Senior Manager, I work as part of a dynamic team in delivering an effective service supporting managers and staff across the regional team and in liaison with the national team and other regions.

I lead the local GMTS team to ensure that the programme and workstreams are planned and carried out effectively and I am responsible for identifying, securing and quality assuring placements for NHS Graduate Trainees in the health and social care sectors.

I am committed to leadership and the development of people to be the best they can be and it’s great to be part of a team that is committed to improving patient care and staff experience through the development of exceptional and inclusive leadership.

I am value’s driven and I have a wealth of experience and knowledge with a set of unique skills from my time on GMTS, NHS HR investigations, GMB Regional Projects and serving Police Officer and I am a strong advocate of the dynamics of modern value led leadership.

My passion is diversity and equalities and most of my working life I have put myself front and centre in the leadership of these issues.

Non-urgent advice: Karen Carter

Leadership Development Senior Manager

[email protected]
07754 859 158

As Leadership Development Senior Manager my role provides the exciting challenge of overseeing the design, development, and delivery of our portfolio of work in supporting leaders and managers at all levels across the Midlands. I have come to the role from a life-long career in adult learning, leadership and organisational development spanning the public, private and voluntary sectors.

Bringing varied experience as a people development professional, I have undertaken a variety of roles including facilitation, coaching, research, publishing, and consultancy, working with individuals, teams, and organisations to achieve their improvement goals.

Having most recently worked in a leadership development capacity on a national scale at Skills for Care and previously at Skills for Justice, I am passionate about leadership as the ‘X’ factor in achieving high quality person-centred care and social justice across the care systems and communities we serve.

Non-urgent advice: Yvonne Walker

Picture of Yvonne Brown

Senior Business and Performance Manager 

Senior Workforce Intelligence Manager 

[email protected] 

07823 665 087 


I joined the NHS in 2014 on a six week contract – and never left!  I come from a 20 year background in the private sector and have a background in finance and analytics, business management and operation, people, project, office and event management.   


I enjoy the challenging and ever changing environment of the NHS and look forward to continuing working with the Midlands Leadership Academy team to build on my existing skills, work within a fast paced environment and give something back to the NHS. From May 2022 this will be 50% of my time and my other 50% of time will be working as Senior Workforce Intelligence Manager for NHS England and NHS Improvement.  I am very much looking forward to a new challenge, working with a new team and developing my knowledge and interaction with our stakeholders and systems within the Midlands.   


Away from work I enjoy spending time with family and friends and travelling; I also enjoy playing darts and scuba diving – but not both at the same time! 

Non-urgent advice: Karen Johnson

System Leadership Manager

[email protected]


On secondment with the Midlands leadership and lifelong learning academy, I am looking forward to supporting the senior leadership team in system leadership development and evaluation. I bring to the role a varied background in the NHS; I have a clinical background as an occupational therapist and a master’s in public health leadership and Management. I have previously worked for the Leadership Academy as a Senior Learning Needs Analyst, a National Evaluation Support Manager and Leadership Development Manager. My current substantive post is North East and Yorkshire Health and Wellbeing Manager where I support the strategic direction, development and delivery of health and wellbeing offers into systems supporting NHS, Social Care and Voluntary staff.

Outside of work I enjoy being out in the countryside walking, open water swimming and cycling.

Non-urgent advice: Naomi Porter

Picture of Naomi Roots

Leadership Development Manager

07712 544 708

I started the role of Leadership Development Manager in 2020, having had a variety of stops in my career including Art Student, Homelessness officer, Estates Project officer and even a stint in hairdressing. My cumulative experiences have all been driven by a passion to help people and improve their lives in some way, which has been very useful for my work in the Leadership and Lifelong Learning team where we are all about making the NHS somewhere people really enjoy working, that works around their lives and results in better care for patients. I am proud to have contributed to the success of our team during some of the most challenging times both for the NHS and personally throughout the pandemic and look forward to much more exciting opportunities to keep pioneering. Outside of work I love weightlifting and performing aerial hoop and silks as well as illustration and baking.

Non-urgent advice: Bobbie Petford

GMTS Trainee Support Manager

[email protected]
07747 008 304

As a Trainee Support Manager for the Graduate Management Training Scheme, I am based with the national GMTS team and support trainees in the Midlands. I started work in the NHS in 1983. My clinical background is in primary care mental health and psychological therapies services where I worked as a therapist, manager and senior lecturer/programme lead before moving into organisational and leadership development. I am an advocate of lifelong learning and inclusive practice. In my spare time I enjoy being an audience to visual and performing arts.

Non-urgent advice: Dawn Simmonds

Picture of Dawn Simmonds

GMTS Leadership Development Coordinator

[email protected]
07519 615 280

I am currently in a secondment as the GMTS Leadership Development Coordinator. I joined the NHS in 2002 firstly working in a Trust then moving to the then Strategic Heath Authority. Over the years I’ve worked in several teams then joined the Leadership Team in 2012 as a Programme Support Co-ordinator before obtaining the position of Business Manager in 2013.  My new venture is as the Leadership Development Co-ordinator, where I hope to help NHS staff to develop and reach their highest potential by offering current and beneficial learning and programmes. On a personal level I am an avid Aston Villa supporter, and I volunteer for a local Animal Sanctuary rescuing and rehoming mainly cats and kittens.

Non-urgent advice: Wendy Walker

Picture of Wendy Walker

Positive Actions Programmes Inclusion Coordinator

07786 702 732

I have been with the NHS since 2003 with an improvement background in a variety of business, administrative and training roles.  During this time, I have covered areas such as event management, finance, programme and project management and support, estates, HR, marketing, and supervision, along with training of administrative staff.  

Prior to this, along with other administrative roles, I have worked on a cruise ship as a programme co-ordinator visiting over 46 countries and have trained and worked as a volunteer counsellor for a national charity.   

As the Positive Action Inclusion Co-ordinator for the Midlands Leadership and Lifelong Learning team my goal is to promote inclusion in everything we do and raise awareness of issues and celebrate the successes that diversity can bring. 

Non-urgent advice: Andrew Spears – Currently on Secondment in another team

Picture of Andrew Spears

GMTS Leadership Development Coordinator

[email protected]
07519 615 272

I am the Graduate Management Training Scheme (GMTS) Leadership Development Coordinator for the Midlands region. I came into post in September 2020 and have worked in Leadership in the NHS since 2013. I am looking forward to embracing the new challenge of working on such a renowned and highly regarded graduate training scheme and building new relationships across our region.

Prior to my current role I was part of the West Midlands Leadership Academy where I provided PA support to the Director and supported several workstreams, giving me a wealth of experience in administration, project management and stakeholder engagement. I have worked for the NHS since December 2013 and have spent most of my working life in the public sector, which I continue to find rewarding and purposeful.

I have a two year old daughter and much of my time is spent chasing her around, and keeping her (and myself) out of trouble. I am a graduate of the Warwick University MA writing programme and I continue to pursue this in my spare time and am currently working on a novel. I also enjoy reading, music and travel.

Non-urgent advice: Sumiya Khanam

Picture of Sumiya Khanam

Leadership Development Coordinator

[email protected]

I am currently on secondment within the team as the Leadership Development Coordinator and recently returned from maternity leave.

Straight after college I started my apprenticeship in the West Midlands Leadership Academy as a Level 3 Business Admin apprentice in 2015, then secured a permanent position in the team whilst completing my apprenticeship and I have been with the team ever since through the changes over the years.

Colleagues who know me well will know that I really enjoy cleaning and organising as I find it very therapeutic. In my spare time I like to spend most of my time with my family and friends, online shopping, watching vlogs, documentaries and reality shows.

Non-urgent advice: Abbie Conran

Business and Performance Officer

[email protected].nhs.uk
07523 944 810

I have been in the team since Sept 2020 and have been the Leadership Development Administrator, the Business Support Administrator and now the Business and Performance Officer. I also have had previous NHS experience in Birmingham Children’s Hospital and I have also worked alongside the NHS in my last role in the charity the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation.  At the charity we worked hard to fill the gaps in support for young people and families with children suffering from liver disease and therefore I am passionate about helping people and improving services.

Outside of work you will find me typing away through my current novel, reading, spending time with family and friends or asleep.

Non-urgent advice: Nicola Ladkin

Business Support Administrator

[email protected]

I am new to my role as Business Support Administrator. I have an extensive experience in the Automotive industry, working with in Marketing and Analytics I have an abundance of knowledge and skills I look forward to being able to bring to my new position. I am enjoying being part of the team and love embracing the new challenges. It is a great experience working alongside people who share the same passions in development.

Outside of work, I am enjoy botany, philosophy and playing the guitar, drums and piano. I am very passionate about equality and enjoy raising awareness and making a difference whenever and wherever I can.

Non-urgent advice: Ene Obodumu

Business Support Assistant 

I joined the team quite recently as the Business Support Assistant. Prior to this time, I worked as an administrator in the education sector for 6 years and joined Guys and St. Thomas NHS Trust as a Business Support Officer with the neighbourhood nursing team. Last year, I gained valuable experience working part-time as a Customer service Representative in Covid vaccination team.

Outside of work, I spend time cooking varieties, talking with my family and catching up with my friends.