The Judges

LaingBuisson prides itself on having a fully independent judging panel with industry knowledge and category-specific skill sets to assess every entry. 

Experts from across the industry

Angus Prentice

Head of Investor Relations

Spire Healthcare

Angus Prentice is Director of Investor Relations at Spire Healthcare Group plc, a FTSE 250 listed independent healthcare company. His career spans accountancy, corporate broking, agency communication and in-house investor relations. Angus trained as a chartered accountant at Arthur Andersen & Co before moving into corporate broking at Kleinwort Benson Securities.

Dr Clenton Farquharson MBE


Think Local Act Personal

Dr. Clenton Farquharson CBE is a transformative leader in healthcare and social care. As a disabled advocate, he champions equity and inclusion, shaping policy through roles on NHS boards and partnerships like Think Local Act Personal. His dynamic influence also extends to fighting ableism and supporting communities through social justice.

Daniel Casson

Digital Transformation and Partnership Building Consultant

Casson Consulting

Daniel is a digital transformation and partnership building consultant. He works with social care organisations, local authorities and health to enhance digital strategy. Daniel’s area of interest is value creation at the heart of innovations in care.
He is part of the Digital Social Care Team working on the NHS Digital-financed programme to support care providers on their digital journey, and digital transformation advisor at Care England.

David Dowling


Ropes & Gray

David Dowling is a Counsel at Ropes & Gray, who advises companies on M&A transactions and other corporate law issues, particularly within the life sciences and healthcare industry. He also acts for private equity and growth investors and their portfolio companies on a range of issues, including acquisitions, equity investments, disposals, management incentivization and corporate restructurings.

David Hare MBE

Chief Executive


David joined the organisation in 2014 as Chief Executive and has gone on to build the single representative body -the Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN) across the UK private healthcare industry, consolidating industry representation and growing membership from just over 20 members to 100 today. Before joining IHPN, David helped to establish a top 7 0 UK political communications company and he has also been the Director of Strategy for a major trade association in the healthcare infrastructure sector.
David was awarded an MBE in the 2023 New Year’s Honours for services to healthcare, particularly during Covid. David was also recognised for the ‘outstanding contribution’ award at the 2022 Laing Buisson Awards for his ‘overwhelmingly positive influence in the health and care sector’.

Donald Macaskill


Scottish Care

Dr Macaskill is the CEO of Scottish Care, the representative body for care providers in the independent sector, namely private, charitable, and employee-owned care organisations which includes care home and home care organisations. He serves on several Scottish, UK and international charities and boards related to health and social care.

Professor Greta Westwood CBE


Florence Nightingale Foundation

Greta has been the CEO of the Florence Nightingale Foundation (FNF) since September 2019 but joined the FNF as the Chief Operating Officer in 2017. She is a Registered Nurse and a Florence Nightingale Foundation Alumna (2012 Leadership Scholar).
Greta qualified as a nurse in 1983 and a midwife in 1987. She completed a PhD in Nursing in 2010. Greta’ career has spanned general nursing, midwifery, clinical genetics, and clinical academic roles.
In 2021, Greta was awarded a CBE in the New Year Honours List 2021 for services to Nursing and Midwifery.

Graham Kendall


Rare Vision

Graham advises organisations in healthcare on strategy, policy, communications and analytics. A long-time adviser to the Independent Healthcare Providers’ Network, he is also CIO of Santovia and has worked with many private and NHS healthcare providers, not-for-profit organisations and major corporations. Previously he was director of the Digital Healthcare Council, has worked in Parliament and as an adviser to Government Ministers.

Dr Ian Gargan



Under his leadership, PHIN has undergone significant transformation and progress. Driven by his mantra “Serve the patient, support the stakeholder, deliver the Order,” Dr Ian Gargan leads PHIN with laser-like focus. The main mission of PHIN remains simple yet crucial: to serve the patient by providing them with valuable insights and data, empowering them to make informed decisions and choose the best healthcare options for their needs.
Under Dr Gargan’s guidance, PHIN has embraced its role as a pivotal player in the healthcare industry. With data informing best practice, PHIN aims to create a positive impact, ensuring transparency and efficiency within the private healthcare sector.

Dr Jane Townson OBE


Homecare Association

Jane is CEO of the Homecare Association (formerly known as UKHCA). She has extensive experience in the social care, health, housing and technology sectors. Chairman of Kraydel; formerly CEO Somerset Care Group; and Chairman YourLife (JV with McCarthy & Stone). Jane’s first career was in international leadership roles in research and development in ICI, AstraZeneca and Syngenta, where she was Global Head of Bioscience Research. She then established her own business providing consultancy and training on the link between lifestyle factors and public health, working with private individuals and public sector organisations.

Julia Senah

Managing Director & Founder

Almond Care

Experienced critical care nurse, Julia Senah established Almond Care in 2009 and is now the firm’s Clinical Director.
Almond Care is a UK-based specialist provider of complex care, spinal injury care, and brain injury care. They offer in-home services for adults and children, supporting them in leading independent lifestyles.

Julian Best

Executive Property Director

Howard de Walden Estates

Julian has over 30 years’ experience in real estate, after graduating from Nottingham Trent University. He joined The Howard de Walden Estate in October 2015 after 10 years at AXA Investment Managers.
As Executive Property Director, Julian is responsible for the Estate’s 92 acres in Marylebone, operating in five core sectors of healthcare, residential, offices, retail and education. Marylebone is one of the most sought-after London ‘villages’.

Karolina Gerlich


The Care Workers’ Charity

Kathryn Smyth

Chief Executive

Social Care Institute for Excellence

Kathryn has worked in social care since 1989. She joined SCIE in 2020. Kathryn was Chief Operating Officer at Alzheimer’s Society and before that, Director of Services at Scope. Kathryn is passionate about co-production and strengths-based approaches. She lives in Yorkshire with her three sons and enjoys horse riding.

Katya Zubareva

Partner, Healthcare Services

L.E.K. Consulting

Katya Zubareva is a Partner in L.E.K. Consulting’s London office. She has been with the firm since 2007 and is a member of the Healthcare Services practice. Katya’s experience extends across the healthcare sector, including projects in acute care, primary care, diagnostic imaging, dentistry, fertility clinics, mental health and care home markets across the globe. She is an expert in both strategy development and transaction support and is passionate about using data & analytics tools to support decision-making.

Liz Heath


Liz Heath is a skilled marketing and communications professional with extensive experience in the independent and public healthcare sectors. She is a recognised researcher, author and commentator on key private healthcare markets including self-pay, cosmetic surgery, cosmetic dentistry and NHS private patient units.
Liz also has board experience as a non-executive director of an acute hospital Trust including roles as Deputy Chair and Senior Independent Director. Liz spent 13 years with BMI Healthcare rising to the position of corporate marketing director. She has spent 25 years in consultancy working with clients in the health and care sectors including some with national and international profiles. She has extensive strategic experience including new hospital development and new service development and implementation.

Mary Wimbury

Chief Executive

Care Forum Wales

Mary Wimbury is Chief Executive of Care Forum Wales, the voice of independent social care and health providers in Wales. Mary sits on a number of national social care bodies in Wales. She also has experience of helping close family members negotiate both care at home and care home services.

Mehdi Erfan

Legal Counsel

Ramsay Health Care

Michael Voges



Michael is a leading national expert on older people’s housing and social care, and a frequent media commentator on both the economic and political framework for housing-with-care in the UK.
He has overseen ARCO’s work to represent and champion the housing-with-care sector since its inception in 2013, taking the organisation from a team of one to a diverse outfit that sets rigorous standards for the sector, runs high-quality events, and influences and shapes key government policy.

Nadra Ahmed CBE


National Care Association

Nadra has been involved in the field of Social Care for over 40 years. Her background is in training and education, which has been the passion that drives her towards quality services, underpinned and provided by a skilled and valued workforce. She has been the Chairman of NCA since 2001 and is a trustee of Royal British Legion Industries and Governor at Canterbury Christchurch University. She is also the Co-Convenor of the Cavendish Coalition, formed to work with the NHS and Unison to support workforce issues in Health and Social Care pre-Brexit. She is currently the Chair of the Care Provider Alliance which brings together 11national representative bodies in the sector.
In 2023 Nadra was awarded the CBE for her continued services to Social Care.

Nancy Hollendoner

Senior Advisor

Smith Square Partners

Nancy Hollendoner is senior adviser to Smith Square Partners. She has a broad knowledge base within the health and social care markets, national healthcare systems and numerous for-profit, not-for-profit and public organisations that operate within them. She has nearly 30 years’ experience in the market, initially as an equities’ analyst at UBS and for the last 20 years in an M&A and strategic advisory capacity with Hawpoint Partners and Smith Square Partners. Nancy is an experienced non-executive director, champion of healthcare start-ups and supports small healthcare businesses in their growth.

Paul Willoughby

Project Director

Buckland Director

Paul is a Chartered Accountant who qualified with Ernst & Young. He has director level experience in both the financial and property sectors in privately and publicly owned businesses. This included a senior role with McCarthy & Stone plc, involved with land valuation, acquisition and business direction. He also has previous experience as a quantity surveyor on a range of building projects including private and social new build housing, redevelopment, and refurbishment. Paul is currently a Project Director on the 6,000 dwelling Welborne Garden Village scheme focusing on project financials, strategic issues, and delivery.

Peter Sandiford


The Independent Children’s Homes Association

For 69yrs, children’s social care has been significant in Peter’s life, starting in residential care as a baby before being adopted. For 50yrs he has worked in residential care and adoption support.
Peter is CEO of the Children’s Homes Association whose members from the public, voluntary and private sectors all share the vision of ‘Exemplary Residential Childcare’.

Riko Scandelius


Riko Scandelius worked as operations director for Bupa UK Insurance until end of 2021. He specialises in driving improvements in healthcare and operations management and managed functions including healthcare policy, claims,
complaints, planning, business improvements and customer services.
Riko has an MSc in Engineering and an MBA with specialisation in Business Informatics. He worked as management consultant at Kearney prior to joining Bupa, and now offers consultancy services though his company Avancez Ltd.

Sally Taber



Sally has worked in the independent sector for a number of years and was the Director of Nursing at the London Bridge Hospital. She advised the Royal College of Nursing on the independent sector and wrote the strategy for the College in relation to the independent sector.
She was the Director of Independent Healthcare Advisory Services (IHAS) which transferred into the Association of Independent Healthcare Organisations (AIHO).
Sally qualified as a Registered General Nurse at the Royal Free Hospital in London and also qualified as a midwife from Queen Charlotte’s Hospital. She specialised in renal nursing, holding senior posts at St Mary’s Hospital Paddington, Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge and St Mary’s Hospital in Portsmouth. She pioneered the role of the Transplant Co-ordinator and was the Secretary of the European Dialysis and Transplant Nurses Association.
At the request of the government, she set up the cosmetic industry self-regulation regime for use of Botulinum toxins and dermal fillers entitled Treatments you can Trust together with Dr Andrew Vallance-Owen MBE. This has now transferred to the Joint Council of Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP). She co-chaired the national nursing partnership group with the Chief Nurse of England for six years.
She has been the Chair of the British Kidney Patient Association (now Kidney Care UK) and also the President of the Open Society at the Royal Society of Medicine.

Sally Taylor

Freelance Investor Relations & Strategy Consultant

Sally has recently launched as a freelance Investor Relations & Strategy Consultant. Sally was previously Head of Corporate Development & Strategy at Ramsay Healthcare UK for three years. Prior to this, Sally spent 16 years as a healthcare research analyst in the City. Sally worked at JP Morgan Cazenove for 7 years, before joining Barclays in 2011 to lead European Medical Technology and Services research.
After joining Numis in 2014, Sally worked on the IPO’s of Spire Healthcare, Cambian, Diurnal and Georgia Healthcare and also helped create the annual Future of Healthcare Investor Forum, working with the London Stock Exchange and others to host an insightful event to attract investors into the LifeSciences sector. The Numis healthcare research team was voted number one (Extel Small & Mid-Caps) by investors from 2015-2019 and in 2019, Sally was ranked Refinitiv Top UK Healthcare Stock Picker.

Sandie Foxall-Smith


Milewood Healthcare

Sandie Foxall-Smith, consultant, and award-winning industry leader has over 40 years business experience, the most recent years’ operating as a leader in the health, charity, and social care sectors. For the past few years Sandie has held several Chair roles and sector non­ executive board positions while providing social care consultancy in the UK, Europe, and USA, most recently working with Macquarie Capital Partners and Apax. Previously, Sandie grew The Regard Partnership social care business from fifth to third largest in the market before retiring as CEO. Other roles include; CEO for St Peter’s Hospice, 10+ years in senior management of private healthcare with start-up Circle Healthcare and BUPA, pharmaceutical and retail sector positions. With quality and team building as a core focus Sandie has won multiple awards personally as a leader and for the organisations she has led. Active in her local area, Sandie has held a number of Trustee posts in local charities and was recognised for her work when awarded the title of HRH Prince of Wales Ambassador for the West 2006.

Stephen Collier


HCRG Care Group

Stephen has spent his career in public-sector and private-sector health and care. He is executive Chair of HCRG Care Group, the national primary and community health provider; Chair of Healthcare Purchasing Alliance, which purchases private healthcare on behalf of Vitality and Aviva; and Senior Independent Director and Chair of Workforce at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
He is also a senior advisor to investors and operators and was a sector specialist within the Paterson Inquiry team.
Stephen practiced as a barrister before moving into healthcare.

Steve Secker


Steve owns and operates the specialist retirement housing and development consultancy Secker Taylor Associates, advising growing organisations across property and construction sector through Non-Executive Director roles, trusted advisors and executive mentoring. They also advise on retirement development whether at tactical level to improve designs and viability or sales rates through to how to structure and deliver development process and strategic business reviews.
Steve is also a Non-Executive Director at York Housing Association (Chair), Karbon Homes, Johnnie Johnson Housing, Ashfield Homes, Rail Diary Limited, Construction Link Limited and Tang Hall Smart CIC.

Tim Davies


iVolve Group

Tim Davies is CEO of ivolve Group and has a modern approach to leadership and high EQ. He has over 25 years’ experience leading large organisations across the Healthcare sector.
A qualified pharmacist, he is the former MD of Co-op Health and Assura and was the COO at Well Pharmacy.

Tom Hardie

Senior Improvement Fellow

The Health Foundation

Tom is a Senior Improvement Fellow at the Health Foundation, where he leads research on healthcare innovation, and on the organisation’s environmental sustainability strategy.
Prior to joining the Foundation, he worked at NHS England, the Department of Health and Social Care, Minority Rights Group International and Hackney Community Law Centre.

Vincent Buscemi

Partner and Head of Independent Health & Social Care

Bevan Brittan

Vincent is a highly experienced health, social care and senior living lawyer, specialising in commercial, corporate and regulatory law. He is recommended by Legal 500 and ranked in Chambers and Partners. Vincent has extensive experience of advising operators, investors, funders, developers and providers in healthcare, social care, and the senior living sectors on a diverse range of commercial, corporate and regulatory transactional matters.

Zoe Fry


The Outstanding Society CIC

Zoe, a Director at the Outstanding Society Community Interest Company, passionately shares and celebrates best practices in Social Care. With a nursing background, she started her career in Care Homes at just 13, fostering a love for the elderly. In 2008, she acquired a nursing home, achieving Outstanding CQC ratings in 2014 and 2017. Zoe’s dedication earned her an OBE in the 2023 Kings Birthday Honours List, recognising her contributions to Social Care and Nursing. She considers it a privilege to serve in Social Care.