National Projects Team

The local projects that the Patients Association deliver across the country are managed by a team of Project Managers. 

Heather Ballard (Project Manager)
Heather Ballard (Project Manager)
Heather has 37 years of experience working in and with the NHS as a catalyst for change. She has previously worked with a regional SHA and the DH on patient leadership,  long-term conditions, recovery and personalisation. Having bee involved with experience based design and integrated care across the public and voluntary sectors, Heather's core beliefs are around the individual and local community. 

Louise Worswick (Project Manager)

Louise Worswick (Project Manager)
Louise Worswick is an experienced researcher with expertise in quality improvement, evaluation, inter-professional education and service user and carer involvement and she has published in these areas.  She has a healthcare background in radiography and ultrasound imaging and has gained management experience from working in the area of clinical governance in UK primary care commissioning organisations.  Her interest in promoting the patient voice stems from her belief that patients and healthcare professionals should be working together to improve practice and to better understand each other.

Vanessa Bourne

Vanessa worked for the Patients Association from 2006 to 2011 as Head of Special Projects. She is also a former Chairman of Dyfed Family Health Services Authority, Dyfed Health Authority and Dyfed-Powys Health Authority, Vice-President, Leonard Cheshire Disability and former Trustee and Chairman of Wales and West region, Vice-Chairman, International Committee, former Trustee, Brecknock Carers Centre. Before that she ran her own business in West Wales.

Dr sue Fergy
Since qualifying as a Registered Nurse in 1980, Sue has extended her career into clinical practice and healthcare education. She worked originally as a surgical nurse and then moved to intensive care before deciding to move into nursing education and the University sector. She has extensive experience of health education at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, most recently as Course Director for the Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing/ RN programme at Kingston University and St. George’s, University of London. She has undertaken various research projects concerning health care education and have a strong publication record. She has strong links with a number of Universities and still continue to undertake research and teaching. Sue has worked with the Patients Association since June 2013. Her key interests focus on healthcare organisation, professional staff development and patient satisfaction; and she is particularly interested in the development of interpersonal skills among frontline staff and the concept of compassion in healthcare. 

Jayne Nicholas
Jayne Nicholas 
Jayne is an Occupational Therapist by background, who most recently worked in the busy setting of an Accident and  Emergency department. Since then she has managed community teams for the NHS before moving into commissioning  services. Jayne spent three years with WyvernHealth.Com, Somerset's original, award winning clinical commissioning group,  where she supported the implementation of new services and worked with local people to ensure their representation and input  into service design. She led the Carers Champions Project in Somerset, encouraging all practices to identify and support  carers.

For the last few years she has worked in general practice both as a manager and on a self employed basis, supporting practices in their engagement with patients. Responding to complaints was a part of this role and she developed her knowledge of what best practice should look like through working with an excellent GP.

Helpline: 0845 608 4455   Email:

The Patients Association, PO Box 935, Harrow, Middlesex HA1 3YJ

T: 020 8423 9111   F: 020 8423 9119   E:

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