Katherine Murphy 4


Katherine Murphy

Chief Executive 



Katherine joined The Patients Association in 2003 as Head of Communications having come from a career in Nursing. She was appointed Chief Executive in 2008. As Chief Executive, Katherine has been at the forefront of most of the recent campaigns at The Patients Association, and has initiated a number of other high profile initiatives that have featured prominently in the media including:

  • The Care Campaign
  • Patient Stories
  • Malnutrition
  • Pain
  • Dignity and Compassion
  • Reform of the NHS Complaints System

Katherine is a dedicated and tireless campaigner with a very strong interest in the rights and responsibilities of the patient and a true patient advocate. She is passionate about making sure the patient’s voice is central to every decision and that the patient voice is heard and translated into genuine quality improvement for all. The co-creation of policy and partnership decision making must be present in all health and social care encounters.

Katherine continues to set the strategic direction of the Patients Association; during her time with the organisation Katherine has worked with the Department of Health, NHS England, Care Quality Commission, Cabinet office, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), Royal College of Nursing, Nursing and Midwifery Council and all the of Medical Royal Colleges and other health and social care regulators.

Katherine represents the patient voices on many committees and boards, making sure the rhetoric from politicians and senior health and social care professionals is translated into reality for patients and the public.

More recently Katherine has also dedicated her time and energy working in partnership with many NHS Directors of Patient Experience, cascading good practice through joint conferences on the patient journey in the hope that this will translate to good patient experience and outcomes.

Katherine was a member of the Prime Minister’s Nursing Care Quality Forum and is a member of the Equality and Diversity Forum.

In 2011 Katherine was nominated by the London Evening Standard as one of the capital’s 1000 most influential people.

Lucy Keenan

Helpline Manager

Lucinda has over 25 years’ experience of working in the voluntary sector. She has spent most of this time in criminal justice charities; starting with NACRO where she worked in Information and Support. She moved on to set up resettlement projects for prisoners and ex-offenders including a job club in Camden for men leaving prison and the EASI project (now Resettlement Finder).

Lucinda moved to Action for Prisoners’ Families to set up the National Helpline for Prisoners Families, co-ordinating five organisations to provide this unique service. She then used her project management experience to lead on various projects funded by the Department of Education, Department of Health and the Ministry of Justice. She has worked on a Grundtvig funded project with EUROCHIPS (Children of Prisoners in Europe) to develop a training pack for prison staff working in European custodial settings.

More recently Lucinda has managed Information and Advice Teams at Sense and the Disabled Living Foundation. While at Sense she undertook research into the Efficacy of Communicator Guides for Deafblind People and The experiences of people with rare syndromes and sensory impairments in hospitals and clinics in partnership with the University of Birmingham.

Lucinda is a passionate believer in social justice. Outside work she enjoys walking and yoga, art galleries and theatre.

Kevin Chambers

Helpline Adviser

Kevin is a Helpline Advisor for The Patients Association. He has a broad range of experience having worked in a number of charities engaged in the provision of information, advice and support. They include, The Citizens Advice Bureaux service, Disability, Pregnancy & Parenthood International, Harrow Association of Disabled People and Diabetes UK.  Kevin follows Arsenal football club.

Susitha Sivapalan

Helpline Adviser

Susitha came from a health and social care background. Despite graduating with a Financial Computing degree, she pursued her career in the charity sector. She has previous experience of providing an information service at Healthwatch Central West London for over 3 years, she joined the Patients Association in February 2017.

Her interest outside of work includes crocheting, photography, sewing, painting and baking cakes!

Angela Horan

Helpline Adviser


Heather Eardley

Senior Project Manager

Heather has over 30 yrs experience in health and social care having originally qualified as a social worker. She has worked for local authorities, NHS and voluntary organisations as a practitioner, trainer /facilitator and senior manager. She began as a care assistant in care homes for older people, then assistant manager in a bail hostel. Heather was a practice teacher for social care staff and has a wide experience of working in the community and residential sector. Heather also has a strong background in project and programme management designing and implementing new approaches such as the single assessment process, urgent care and helplines.

Heather has been working for the Patients Association since 2011, and was instrumental in setting up the organisational membership and has built relationships with NHS trusts and other health social care organisations setting up over 100 projects have been set over the past five years to ensure patients’ and carers views influence service improvements. She has experience herself as a patient with a long term condition and a carer of her mother in law with Parkinson’s disease and a care home resident. She has been leading on the Reaching for Gold standard Project for Older People and Developing Patient Participation Groups and has been working closely with Plymouth University in developing a student nurse pilot and ensuring patient engagement is embedded within the nursing curriculum. Heather has also been working with Plymouth University Medical School developing a patient involvement guide for the Health Foundation.

Heather sits on the National Audit for Intermediate Care Steering group and the Bradford University NIHR Community Hospitals (MoCHA Project Management Group and the NHS England Nutrition and Hydration Strategy Group. Heather strongly believes in the importance of ensuring people who use services are heard and involved at all levels.

Gemma Byrne

Policy and Campaigns Intern

Gemma is a recent graduate from the University of Oxford, where she studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics. During the Summer of her second year at university Gemma worked at the Mental Health Foundation as a policy intern. Gemma would like to pursue a career in policy work in the charity or public sector, and has a particular interest in health policy.

In her spare time, Gemma plays netball for a local team and volunteers at Citizens Advice Guildford.

Victoria Fowler

Communications and Public Affairs Officer

Victoria has previously worked for the European Parliament and as a Regional Campaign Organiser for a political party. Victoria stood as a Parliamentary Candidate in the 2015 key-seat of Nuneaton, alongside being a Personal Tutor at a sixth form college. She has also served as a Councillor for Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council during which time Victoria Chaired the Economic Overview and Scrutiny Committee. Victoria studied Politics at The University of Warwick.

Victoria enjoys playing hockey, volunteering in her community and taking an active role in party politics.


Abdullah Mahmood

Project Officer

Abdullah joined the Patients Association in October 2014 with a focus on growing our volunteer Ambassador network. Abdullah’s role has evolved during his time at the Patients Association and he now works on the many important projects we undertake across the country.