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Royal College of Nursing Representing nurses and nursing, promoting excellence in practice, shaping health policies

Meet the Team


Marie Therese Massey, QN

Forum Chair

Senior Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University and works in an inner city General Practice in Sheffield

Marie Therese trained as a general nurse and children’s nurse in London in 1977. In 1991, Marie Therese became a general practice nurse and developed clinically and professionally over the years to become a prescriber and specialist practitioner in family planning and sexual health. Marie Therese was an active member and then Chair of her local GPN Forum. She has been a RCN General Practice Nurse Forum committee member since 2012 and Forum Chair since 2014.

Marie Therese works in an inner city General Practice in Sheffield and as a Senior Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University. Her research interests include public health and nursing education and she have presented her work at national and international conferences. Marie Therese's other roles include being on the Education steering committee for my local CCG, and she is a CQC Specialist Advisor.  Marie Therese represents GPNs on a number of Committees including the Cancer Nursing Partnership and the Measuring General Practice productivity steering committee. She is passionate about raising the GPN profile and supporting our members in every aspect of their role.

Debbie Brown, QN

Nurse Consultant in Primary Care, NHS Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group

Debbie began her nursing career 34 years ago at a local general hospital in Lewisham, South London where she trained and worked for many years in a variety of departments and wards. After completing further training Debbie moved into Primary Care in 1998 where she continues to work to this present day. Throughout Debbie’s career she has continued to develop professionally and expand her management skills to become a Practice Nurse Advisor for Lewisham PCT/CCG in both a strategic and operational capacity.

Debbie is on the Editorial Board for the Practice Nursing journal and is the Chair for Southern Region Queen’s Nursing forum.  Debbie is also an active member of several lead nursing forums, including the DH and more recently the RCN GPN forum.

Vanessa Crossey

Practice Nurse Lead for NEW Devon CCG

After a successful 22 year career in the Queen Alexander’s Royal Army Nursing Corps, Vanessa re-joined the NHS in 2014 as the Practice Nurse Lead for NEW Devon CCG.  Vanessa is a qualified specialist practice nurse and midwife and has had a wide and varied career.  During her last 10 years in the Armed Forces she gained a wealth of experience as a Matron within primary care and as healthcare governance lead across the Wessex area HQ. Vanessa’s last role was the governance lead for all primary care across the UK area of operations in Afghanistan.   

Vanessa’s Practice Nurse Lead role within the CCG involved providing advice and support to the CCG and Local Area Team on contemporary practice nurse issues and also liaising with the relevant staff within the Nursing Directorate bringing the voice of practice nursing to commissioning and assurance. 

Recently, Vanessa has taken up a new post at the CCG as Head of Nursing and Quality, but will remain the strategic lead for Practice Nursing and Primary Care. She is also studying for an MSc part time, fulfil a specialist Practice Nurse role within the Army Reserves. 

Ellen Nicholson, QN

Ellen qualified as a registered nurse in the 1990's.  She has wide experience working across all sectors of healthcare from secondary care, primary care and the community in the United Kingdom and abroad.  She initially gained a BSc (Hons) in Political Science then a BSc. (Hons) Nurse Practitioner and Independent Non-Medical Prescribing qualification.  She was awarded the title 'Queens Nurse' in May 2016 for recognition of long standing contribution to nursing within the primary care setting. She is currently a Postgraduate Student for a Masters in Advanced Practice with the University of Bournemouth. 

Ellen currently works in Inner North East London for a GP Confederation developing Primary Care education for the nursing workforce and facilitates the training of a large cohort of nurses new to practice nursing through a structured 12 month programme in liaison with City, University of London. In her free time Ellen guest lectures at City, University of London and combines previous clinical experience as a respiratory clinical nurse specialist, on the NICE draft asthma management guidance committee as well as being a member of respiratory societies. She has published articles on nursing workforce in primary care and has exhibited at regional and national conferences.

Fiona Sanders

Fiona has worked in General Practice and Primary Care for over 15 years, initially as a Practice Nurse moving from secondary care, which fuels her passion to help develop the transition and support for others moving in to the role.  Fiona then moved to work as a PCT and CCG Practice Nurse Lead in various PCTs and CCG.  This led to her then taking the role of professional development lead for General Practice which fired her enthusiasm for education and development of all in the GPN team.  Fiona has now moved back in to general practice as she hugely missed patient contact, and also undertake work with the local area team - NHS England as a senior nurse leading on General Practice nursing across the region.   

Fiona was involved in a regional toolkit for General Practice Nurses which is now being rolled out by NHS England and led on a toolkit for HCSWs working in general practice.  Fiona feels she has a perfect balance and insight now working in general practice, combined with strategic work for NHS England and my past experienced at a CCG, and also a GPN specialist advisor for the CQC.  


Professional Lead: Kathryn Yates

Page last updated - 23/11/2018