Meet the team

ANP committee

(Above- the ANP forum at Congress 2013. Left to right- Wendy Fairhurst (chair), Vicky Williams, Mary Hutchinson, Julie Hall and Noeleen Fearon)


Steering committee members


Wendy Fairhurst

I work as a Nurse Partner in a general practice in Wigan, and also as a director and clinical lead for a social enterprise called Health First ALW Community Interest Company. This organisation delivers, amongst other things, a breathlessness service  and cardiovascular disease health checks on behalf of the NHS in Ashton, Leigh and Wigan.

In general practice (GP) I bridge the gap between nursing and medical colleagues, as I am on the GPs rota and seeing people presenting with acute conditions as well as patients with complex long-term conditions.

My work with the social enterprise company has been very exciting and we are proud to have built up an effective and happy nursing team which is making a real difference to the local population.

Prior to this I worked at University of Manchester as a lecturer, practitioner and  programme director for the MSc Clinical Nursing and practice nurse lead, and at the University of Wolverhampton as a external examiner for non-medical prescribing.

I am passionate about the importance of advanced nursing practice, both for the benefits to patients and our profession. I maintain the belief that regulation of advanced practice is crucial.

Julie Hall

I work in general practice in Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire as Advanced Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Prescriber.  My practice involves: triage, management of undifferentiated acute presentations and the clinical lead for diabetes mellitus.  In addition, I manage a caseload of housebound patients, enabling them to access primary care and to develop a continuing relationship with a single practitioner. 

As a newly appointed member of the forum committee I am keen to promote regulation, recognition and respect in the sector.  All flow from the regulation of advanced nurse practitioners, within an agreed and disseminated competency framework. My route to this role has been through a course of academic study at postgraduate level and a rather more piecemeal acquisition of clinical and diagnostic skills.  I am keen to have this route recognised through a rigorous process of accreditation of prior and experiential learning (APEL).

Mary Hutchinson

Over the past 20 years, my nursing career has encompassed work in minor injury units, emergency departments and GP primary care.

Whilst completing Msc studies in first contact care, I worked as an advanced nurse practitioner (ANP) in primary care.  During this time I undertook a qualitative research study to assertain the impact of GP telephone triage on patients and the health care team.  Since 2009 I have worked as an ANP in the nurse-led Urgent Care Centre, Kingstanding, Birmingham.  This unit provides equitable access to primary care for local people who 'walk in' with unsceduled health care needs.  This role involves clinical service delivery, as well as clinical governance responsibilities.

My professional interests include the development and registration of advanced nurse practice, and assessment of its underpinning competence and quality of nursing care.  I am a Founding Fellow of the faculty of Emergency Nursing (FEN), and a steering committee member for both the Midlands Urgent Care Group and the RCN West Midlands Quality Improvement Network.  Since participating in Discovery Interviews with The Older Person (2006) to learn about their experience of emergency care, I am determined to strive to improve nursing care of this stoic and often silent cohort of patients.

I am interested in all art forms.  I have written a book that tells the 'human history' of the local hospitals that have served my home City of Lichfield, Staffordshire over the 19th and 20th centuries.  

Sue Shortland 

As a newly appointed committee member I am delighted to be able to contribute to the work of the ANP Forum. I work at Birmingham City University delivering the MSc Advanced Practice programme and the Non-Medical Prescribing course.

Supporting talented and experienced nurses to grow in confidence and overcome hurdles to develop as advanced practitioners is a privilege. I see firsthand the excellent work they do by improving services and patient outcomes. We now need to ensure the work of ANPs across the country is acknowledged and valued. Measuring patient outcomes and raising the profile is important but also ensuring standards, competence and patient safety in the current debate around regulation is vital.

My clinical background as an ANP is in general practice and I worked in primary care for more than 15 years before moving to Birmingham City University. I still work in a local GP surgery as an ANP to maintain clinical practice. General practice is facing enormous changes over the next few years but these should be seized as opportunities for advanced practice. We need to work with our GP colleagues through these challenging times.

Geoff Brennan

I am a qualified Mental Health Nurse and also hold an old qualification as a “registered nurse for the mentally handicapped (RNMH)”. I am very pleased to have both.  I presently work as a Nurse Tutor in Psychosis at the Institute of Psychiatry.

To be brief, over the years I have worked in a variety of clinical, managerial and academic posts, mainly in London and the south east of England. I have worked primarily in the NHS, but also spent four years working with GP practices as a primary care mental health worker. I have practiced and taught psychosocial interventions for psychosis since the early 1990's, and have a real interest in collaborative working with people in florid states of psychosis. This is an under-researched area and I have been lucky to work on several projects attempting to rectify this.

I have undertaken some very interesting work in all this, including a benchmark of all London Inpatient Services for the old London Development Centre, assisted research on conflict and containment, ran and researched family work and support groups for carers, assisted independent investigations after homicides and become a trustee for the Star Wards charity for mental health.

I have also published articles and research papers on acute mental health and co-edited a major text book for psychiatric nurses with Catherine Gamble.  I was chair of the standing nursing conference mental health group for London for five years and for two years I was the national chair of the Consultant Nurse Association for Mental Health and Learning Disabilities.

I have always felt proud of the advances made by mental health and learning disability nurses and want to take this into the Advanced Nurse Practitioner forum. I am very much hoping that mental health and learning disabilities members see me as a welcome representative on the forum and use me as a conduit to add our experience and expertise to the forums excellent work