NHS North East and Yorkshire Leadership Academy

Supporting your leadership journey...

Meet Our Team

Clive Spencer

Head of Leadership and Lifelong Learning

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Clive Spencer - Close Up

Clive has over 20 years of management experience. He initially trained and qualified as an Industrial Engineer in the private sector and utilised these skills in the NHS in the north east and London holding posts in finance, HR/OD, training & development and senior operational management. These roles were punctuated with posts in regeneration for a local authority and as a self-employed management consultant.

Clive has extensive experience as a service improvement and organisational development practitioner and while working in a regional OD team (Learning Alliance) he trained over 1,000 NHS employees and assisted teams in over 80 organisations.

As a qualified executive coach and trained in psychometric techniques, he continues to practice in his current role as Director of the North East Leadership Academy.

Clive enjoys coaching a local youth football team and playing golf. Any spare time is spent being a financial advisor and chauffeur for his three children.


Amanda Woolley

System Leadership Development Senior Manager

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Amanda has recently joined the team as System Leadership Development Senior Manager. Most recently Amanda has been pathway redesign lead for the National Outpatient Transformation Programme, but has been working in national programmes for system-wide planned care transformation since 2017. Alongside developing national guidance and policy, Amanda has enjoyed providing facilitation and coaching for teams across the country tackling and resolving system wide issues. Before joining NHS England she was a researcher in decision science and completed her PhD in psychology in 2015. In 2019 she began a two year policy fellowship with the Centre for Science and Policy at Cambridge University looking at how knowledge of behavioural change, risk perception, problem-solving and creativity can support delivery of healthcare policy.

Amanda is passionate about creating environments that allow individuals to thrive and firmly believes that as our people flourish so will our services. Working across organisational and professional boundaries can be challenging but presents the greatest opportunities for our NHS. 


Debby Whalen

Leadership Development Senior Manager

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Debby Whalen

Debby joined the team in August 2018. Her background lies in nursing and she has worked in diverse areas including acute care, primary care and public health over the years. 

Most recently she worked for Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust in Organisational Development and Service Improvement roles, where she shifted to support teams to work together and deliver excellent services. She is accredited to work with the Healthcare Leadership Models, Insights Discovery and other 360° feedback tools.

Debby is excited about the opportunities to support staff and services across the NHS North East and National Leadership Academies.


Mandi Sherlock-Storey

Head of Leadership

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Mandi Sherlock-Storey - Close Up

Mandi is a BPS Chartered and HCPC Registered Occupational Psychologist with over 20 years’ experience in the field of leadership and organisational development (OD) and coaching. She has worked with a diverse range of clients both public and private sector including, The House of Commons, various Housing Organisations and Local Authorities and Imperial College London.

Before joining NELA Mandi combined an academic career with business psychology consultancy. She has published work in the area of resilience in the context of organisational change and is a sought after speaker on the subject. Mandi is enthused by working collaboratively with clients to develop pragmatic and engaging interventions that make a real difference.

In her spare time she enjoys the countryside, wildlife and can often be spotted with a glass of red wine by a bird feeder!


Lenny St Jean

Primary Care Programme Manager

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Lenny has recently joined the team as Primary Care Programme Manager and has worked within the NHS for the past 5 years, but Lenny's career has spanned a number of different sectors including Education, Prison, VCSFE and Health. Lenny's work has focused on supporting organisations to engage their workforce and the people they serve to improve services and outcomes for those who use them. Most recently Lenny been working for Lancashire and South Cumbria ICS developing workforce capabilities to implement and improve Personalised Care and Population Health Management approaches.

Improving inclusion and reducing health inequalities have been important to Lenny in both his personal and professional life. Lenny grew up in house where both parents were active in local community groups, making sure that people and communities had a voice in designing and improving local services. Outside of work he is a Trustee at Citizens Advice Manchester and is also a volunteer Scout Leader.

Lenny is looking forward to working with colleagues across the North East and Yorkshire Supporting the leadership, change and Organisational Development required for Primary Care and Primary Care Networks to deliver on the ambitions of the Long Term Plan whilst also responding to the current challenges the pandemic brings.


Uzma Fazal

Senior Manager - Leadership Development: NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme (GMTS)


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Uzma Fazal

Uzma joined the NEYLA in 2020, as the Leadership Development Senior manager for NHS GMTS focusing on the strategic focus and operational delivery and the scheme across the region. Uzma is passionate about supporting individuals to excel through their own leadership journey.






Sarah Knowles

Business Manager

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Sarah Knowles

Since joining the NHS in 2009 Sarah has worked in various project management and Organisational Development roles across the service including at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the NHS North East Strategic Health Authority and NHS North Durham Clinical Commissioning Group.

Sarah leads on business management across the North East and Yorkshire including planning and performance, communications, procurement and finance as well as developing and delivering inclusive leadership interventions. She is a Healthcare Leadership Model 360 trainer and facilitator, accredited coach, and MBTI Step 1 practitioner.

In her spare time Sarah enjoys gigs (pre-pandemic), painting, gaming and costal walks with her husband Jon and Border Collie Brody.


Uzma Hussain

Leadership Development Manager

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Uzma has recently joined the team as Leadership Development Manager. 

As a former HR and OD Professional at NHS England and NHS Improvement, Uzma has acquired great insight into the work that NHS Leadership Academy has developed over the years.

Uzma looks forward to getting to know our stakeholders and work along the professional lines that the Leadership and Life Long Learning, North East and Yorkshire Team is so popular for!







Michael Ziki

Positive Inclusion Co-ordinator

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Michael has recently joined the team as a Positive inclusion co-ordinator. Michael has worked within the NHS for just under 2 years and has worked within the primary care and commissioning team, having predominantly worked in Finance and as a Trainer.

Michael has a Masters Degree in Financial Risk Management and is a great believer in continuous life-long learning and empowering others. His passion for personal development of others and a desire for a having happy and inclusive workforce has attracted him to the Academy.



Narinder Kaur

Leadership Development Co-ordinator



Narinder has recently joined the team as a Leadership & Development Coordinator. She has been with NHS England/ Improvement for almost 5 years, predominantly working as a Personal Assistant to the Director of Workforce and OD within the NE&Y Regional team.

Narinder has a keen interest in Organisational Development and is looking forward to getting involved in the workstreams that the Leadership Lifelong Team offer.

Outside of work she loves spending time with her family and keeping active by going on walks with her Alaskan Malamute.

Narinder is currently on maternity leave.



Claire Carrick

GMTS Co-ordinator

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Claire joined the NELA team in March 2017 having previously worked in Health Improvement in the NHS for five years.

Claire is responsible for the Graduate Management Training Scheme (GMTS), supporting talented graduate trainees to become future leaders in the NHS. She is also responsible for the Academy’s Coaching and Mentoring Programme and supports the development of talent management across the region. Claire is a trained HLM Facilitator and is trained in using the MBTI Step I instrument.

Outside of work, Claire loves to be outdoors with her family, walking and cycling in the Lake District admiring the views.



Rafeed Rashid

Leadership Development Coordinator

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Rafeed has recently joined the team as a Leadership Development Coordinator coming from a teaching/ training and public health background. He has been with the NHS for over 12 years working in public health, leading on secondary care/ hospitals agenda, staff training, community development and focussing on hard to reach areas such as prisons, mental health, voluntary sector, BAME and young people. Rafeed has a master’s degree in Public Health, a degree in Business Management and holds a post graduate PGCE (Post Graduate Qualification Certificate in Education).

Rafeed has a keen interest in Organisational Development and Coaching/ Mentoring and will be supporting the Leadership Development workstream. Outside of work he loves to spend time with his family and children, playing cricket and going for regular walks to keep fit and active.



Stephanie Wilton

Business Support and Performance Officer

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After working as a Nursery Practitioner for seven years, Stephanie joined the Academy as an apprentice in 2011 studying business and administration. Steph has now completed her Masters in Startegic Leadership and Management and a Degree in Management with a first class honors. Steph also won the student of the Year award whilst studying her BA (Hons) in Management.

Steph supports office management, diary management and events planning for the Academy, as well as supporting the Academy's business manager with finance, business planning and performance. She is also a trained Healthcare Leadership Model 360 feedback facilitator.

In her spare time, Steph enjoys spending quality time with her husband and two children, going for long walks in the countryside.


Jackie Kerr

Business Support Officer

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Jackie joined the NELA team in 2010 having previously worked in the financial sector as a senior customer service advisor. She is a trained Healthcare Leadership Model 360 feedback facilitator and staff support officer and is passionate about developing those around her. She has an NVQ Level 4 diploma in Business and Administration.

Jackie supports office management, diary management and events planning for the Academy and is responsible for the coordination, recruitment and marketing of regional programmes, whilst continuing to be the North East contact for national leadership development programmes.

Jackie is currently on secondment in the academy as a Leadership Development Co-ordinator supporting the Primary Care and Systems Leadership workstream.

Outside of work Jackie is a social butterfly and is never short of attending a party or two!


Ashley Sands

Leadership Development Administrator

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Ashley joined the team in January 2019 after previously working for the County Durham Drug and Alcohol Service.

Ashley is responsible for administration and communications support to the team including the fortnightly NEYLA newsletter, as well as ensuring the smooth running of the academy’s Leadership, Coaching and Mentoring workstream.

In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, visiting the Lake District and local beaches with her Cockerspaniel Miles, and attending live music concerts.



Katie Waller

Leadership Development Administrator



Katie joined the team as an Apprentice at the North East and Yorkshire Leadership Academy in July 2019, completed her qualifications and went on to work at The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust within the Corporate Governance team. Katie has since returned to the Academy as a Leadership Development Administrator.

Katie is responsible for the smooth running of the Academy’s one day workshops and programmes within the System Leadership, Primary Care and Organisational Development workstreams. She also supports the wider team with diary management, communications and minuting.

Outside of work, Katie enjoys helping out on the family farm and flower arranging.