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

Bhavna Keane Rao


BKR Care Consultancy Ltd

Bhavna has over 30 years’ experience working in Health and Social Care. Initially as a Care Service Manager before working as an Inspector with the Local Authorities following this she joined CQC. With over 23 years of regulatory inspection background, first as a regulatory inspector and then a senior practitioner Bhavna developed strong working relationships with large corporate providers and smaller independent homes alike.
Bhavna is one of the founders and directors of BKR Care Consultancy Ltd, providing support to care providers within the health and social care sector. Bhavna has worked with Local Authorities and the Welsh Assembly to drive improvement not only in the quality of care people receive but also the standard of facility offered.
Bhavna is currently a member of the advisory board to the International Care Ethics (ICE) Observatory at Surrey University and a trustee for the Ethoxs foundation.

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. His 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. He has worked closely with NHS Digital in guiding providers through the DSPT process and is currently working on systems to help care providers accredit their own domain names as secure in communication tool. Daniel is working with providers on their digital transformation strategy and recently completed the Imperial Business School Digital Transformation programme.

David Hare

Chief Executive

NHS Partners Network

David leads the NHS Partners Network, the representative body for independent sector healthcare providers of services ranging through acute, primary, community, clinical home healthcare, diagnostics and dental.
Previously David was a Director at The Whitehouse Consultancy, a political communications firm. David has also acted as Director of Strategy for the Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) Council, been Parliamentary Adviser to a large national charity, and worked in Parliament.

Isaac Samuels

Engage Britain

Community Campaigner & Co-production Advisor.

Isaac is an established community campaigner and co-production advisor. He has worked for 25 years within the health, social care and housing sectors supporting those at risk of disadvantage due to social, political and environmental barriers such as poverty, health and or disability, to live their best lives. He does this by supporting people to share their lived experience to shape policy and their desired life outcomes irrespective of the systematic barriers they may face.
Isaac has lived experience of his own inequalities associated with his own health and social care support needs. He is passionate about supporting others to overcome these particular barriers. His lived experience of the effects of life-changing health conditions has shaped his knowledge and approach.
Previously, Isaac has held a wide variety of roles which have including being a professional leader and facilitator of integrated policy for people living with additional support needs (disabilities), research and practice within the multiple contexts of nursing, mental health, HIV/AIDS stigma, co-production, mental health research, choice and control and the Care Act.
Co-production is at the heart of all of Isaac’s work which is based on a rights-based approach for all people to determine their outcome and be the authors of their own narratives. Isaac’s values are compassion, equity, fairness and breaking down stigma through living by example.

Jayne Scott



Jayne is the Chair of the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) and an experienced non-executive director and audit committee chairman with a range of public bodies including Scottish Government. Jayne specialises in change and risk management as well as consumer and stakeholder engagement. Jayne runs a management consultancy business, Scott Ross Partnership, which undertakes various assignments, mostly within the public sector.

Julia Senah

Clinical Director

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 leading provider of nurse-led 24-hour complex care within the home, enabling clients to live as autonomous a life as possible, irrespective of the condition they live with.

Karolina Gerlich

Chair Executive

The Care Workers’ Charity

Karolina Gerlich is the Chief Executive Officer of The Care Workers’ Charity and has been a care worker for over twelve years. Leading the CWC since March 2020, Karolina has already had a huge impact; through increasing the CWC’s efficiency, platform and support giving capacity. She is proud to represent the social care workforce and embodies the mission that no care worker should face hardship alone.

Keith Pollard


Intuition Communication Lt Intuition Communication Ltd

Keith Pollard is CEO of Intuition Communication. Intuition operates market-leading web portals such as Private Healthcare UK, the Harley Street Guide and Intuition is a market leader in the medical travel sector through Treatment Abroad, DoctorInternet and the International Medical Travel Journal and provides research and consultancy to healthcare businesses in the UK and abroad. Keith is one of Europe’s leading experts on medical tourism and is a regular speaker, writer, and commentator on this developing business sector.
The Intuition network of web sites help consumers and patients to “make the right choice” of private specialists, clinics, hospitals, and health insurance products, and provide a platform for healthcare and health insurance providers to connect with existing and new customers. Intuition is encouraging healthcare providers to become more open and transparent by exposing prices, outcome and patient satisfaction data and thus enabling private patients to make a more informed choice of provider.
Keith’s early career in marketing within the UK pharmaceutical industry was followed by ten years in marketing and hospital operations in the UK private hospital industry. In the late 1990s, he became an internet entrepreneur, believing in the potential of the internet to disseminate healthcare information and inform patient choice.
Speaker interview
Keith will be speaking at the Private Healthcare UK Summit 2015 with Don Grocott, Director of the Private Patient’s Forum about encouraging patient feedback. Keith also comments what the highlights of the Summit will be and the outcome the Summit will achieve.

Liz Heath

Consultant & Author


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.

Dr Malte Gerhold

Chief Executive

Care England

Martin Green has had an extensive career in NGO development, both in the UK and internationally, and is Chief Executive of Care England, the largest representative body for independent social care services in the UK. He is also Chair of the International Longevity Centre, a Trustee of Independent Age, Vice President of The Care Workers Charity, and a Champion of The National Aids Trust.
In 2013 he was appointed Visiting Professor of Social Care to Buckinghamshire New University.
In 2012, in his role as Department of Health Independent Sector Dementia Champion, he led the development of the Dementia Care and Support Compact for The Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia.
In 2008 he was named care personality of the year and was awarded an OBE for Services to Social Care in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Martin Green writes and broadcasts extensively on social care issues and is on the Editorial Board of Community Care Market News and Care Talk magazine.

Prof Martin Green

Chief Executive

Care England

“Martin Green has had an extensive career in NGO development, both in the UK and internationally, and is Chief Executive of Care England, the largest representative body for independent social care services in the UK.
Martin is also Chair of the International Longevity Centre, a Trustee of Independent Age, Vice President of The Care Workers Charity, and a Champion of The National Aids Trust. ”

Mehdi Erfan

General Counsel & Group Company Secretary

Ramsay Health Care

Mehdi has led legal departments at listed companies and start-ups with successful exits and has experience of fast paced expansion, acquisitions in various jurisdictions and finding solutions during challenging economic periods.
Mehdi has had the pleasure of working in two industries, telecoms in the early days and healthcare for many years. He has been fortunate to have worked and to continue to work with so many talented people, both in the public and private sectors.

Nadra Ahmed


National Care Association

Nadra Ahmed has been involved in the field of social care for over 36 years, initially as the Registered manager of her services. She has been Chairman of National Care Association since 2001 and recently stepped down as a Trustee of Parkinson’s UK in October 2018. Nadra is the Co-Convenor of the Cavendish Coalition which was set up to represent the Health and Social Care issues during the Brexit negotiations. She is a member of a number of advisory committees in the DoH and Home Office, including a number at Ministerial level, and served on government Taskforces. Nadra has recently been working on parts of the Green paper and the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill. She holds various positions within voluntary organisations, delivering services to vulnerable people in the community and in 2006 was awarded the OBE for her services to Social Care. Nadra is also a Kent Ambassador and Deputy Lieutenant of Kent.

Oonagh Smyth


Skills for Care

Oonagh Smyth is CEO of Skills for Care. For seven years she was Executive Director of Strategy and Influence at Mencap leading a directorate of around 500 people across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Oonagh has held senior roles at the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action and the Northern Ireland Equality Commission, senior roles in Westminster Equalities Partnership and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations. She is a former Co-Chair of the Care and Support Alliance, which is a cross-sector alliance of 80 social care organisations influencing at the highest government levels.

Paul Willoughby

Project Director

Buckland Development Ltd

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.

Rachel Power

Chief Executive

Patients Association

Rachel joined the Patients Association as Chief Executive in June 2017, bringing with her over 20 years’ experience of health and social care in the not-for-profit sector.
Since joining, Rachel has overseen a significant period of change, which has included a significantly increased and engaged membership. Rachel was appointed to the NHS Assembly in 2019.
Rachel is now focused on taking the Patients Association to a new level of patient representation, with the launch of a five-year strategy focused building true partnerships with patients throughout health and care services. The strategy answers the challenge of rebuilding health and care following the pandemic and overcoming many long-running problems for patients about not being listened to and services that meet their needs.

Sally Taber



Over the years Sally has represented the independent sector on many high-profile stakeholder groups. She has played a key national role in the implementation of medical revalidation for doctors outside the NHS, and the introduction of nursing revalidation in the independent sector across the UK.
Sally has been part of independent healthcare since the mid-1980s. She was Director of Nursing at London Bridge Hospital and then she developed a strategy for the RCN to engage with the independent healthcare sector.
Sally set up Treatments you can Trust together with Dr Andrew Vallance-Owen MBE at the request of Government which was then transferred into the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP). She has provided a governance role for the JCCP.

Sally Taylor

Healthcare Research Analyist


Sally joined Numis as a healthcare research analyst in 2014, having worked at JP Morgan Cazenove for 7 years before joining Barclays in 2011 to lead European Medtech and Services research. The Numis Healthcare research team was voted number one in the 2016 Extel Survey (UK Small & Mid-Caps) by investors and individually Sally ranked first, based on corporate votes. IPO experience includes Spire Healthcare, Georgia Healthcare Group and Diurnal. Sally qualified as a chartered accountant (FCA) with PriceWaterhouseCoopers and holds a first class honors degree in Medical Sciences

Stephen Collier


HCRG Care Group & HPA

Stephen is an active non-executive director across public-sector and private-sector health and care organisations. He is Chairman of NHS Professionals, the Department of Health owned flexible workforce provider (globally the largest provider of contingent healthcare workforce ); Chairman of Healthcare Purchasing Alliance (a joint venture between Aviva and Vitality that negotiates on their behalf with private hospital providers); and Senior Independent Director and Chair of Workforce and Education at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
With his background in private-equity owned healthcare, Stephen has also become a go-to advisor on UK healthcare to UK and international investors and operators and was also one of the Independent Advisors to the Paterson Inquiry which reported last year.
Stephen practised as a barrister before choosing healthcare management as his executive career. That career saw him working internationally before being appointed as Group Chief Executive of BMI Healthcare, the UK’s largest private hospital company, a post he held for four years.

Steve Secker

Non-Executive Chair

Secker Taylor Associates Limited

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 was first involved with the retirement housing sector in 1989 as an auditor with Ernst & Young and has seen first-hand the journey the sector has been on. He joined McCarthy & Stone in 1993 and for over nearly 25 years was involved in all aspects of successfully delivering retirement housing of all types. For 13 years Steve was Managing Director in the north / northeast of England has been involved in the delivery of c 3000 retirement apartments.
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.

Suhail Mirza

Non-Executive Chairman


Suhail Mirza is a former lawyer, businessman, author, and qualified life coach. He has been involved in the healthcare sector for over 20 years, including as a co-owner of a family adult social care business.
Suhail is a well-known and respected figure with senior leaders in the staffing and recruitment sector for his industry insight. He is author of the LaingBuisson UK Healthcare Staffing Market Report 2020 and advisor and Chairman to several businesses, including – Retinue Health, which partners with NHS Trusts and private healthcare business across the UK, nGAGE specialist recruitment, Camino Partners, and Empresaria Group PLC member IMS.

Tim Read

Health and Social Care Independent Advisor

Tim Read is a highly experienced health and social care advisor with a background covering local government, national regulators, and M&A due diligence. Tim provides independent consultancy and advice services to those with an interest in the health and social care system, and is currently authoring the next editions of LaingBuisson’s Children Services and Private Mental Health Hospitals market reports.
Tim was Managing Director at Marwood Group (2017 – 2022); a leading health, social care and life sciences consultancy specialising in policy, regulation and reimbursement. Prior to joining Marwood, Tim worked at the Care Quality Commission and was responsible for developing core priorities in CQC’s Strategy 2016-2021.

Zoe Fry


The Outstanding Society CIC

Zoe Fry is a Director of the Outstanding Society CIC who share and celebrate best practice across Social Care. Zoe is a registered nurse and started working in Care Homes at the age of 13 where her love for the older generation began. In 2008 Zoe purchased a nursing home and transformed it, celebrating Outstanding ratings from the CQC.

Jo Sams


Zone Central

Jo has worked across the Children’s Services sector for over 30 years; as the successful founder and leader of a Children’s Services Group offering education, residential and fostering, she led the Group to a successful exit in 2020. Being passionate & knowledgeable about this sector Jo currently provides Advisory/Consultancy services.