Acting on your feedback from the President’s member engagement tour, we are pleased to announce we are jointly hosting the 2023 RCPath/IBMS Northern Symposium: Pathology and People with the IBMS.

Please join us for an exciting opportunity to meet, share experiences and network with local colleagues working in pathology in the North of England.

This event will bring together professionals from all backgrounds and specialties to discuss local issues, offer peer support and share learning relevant across our fields.

The symposium will start at 9.30am for registration and end at 3.30pm.


09.30   Registration

10.15  Welcome

Dr Ali Robb, RCPath Regional Representative for the North
Joanna Andrew, President Elect, IBMS

Keynote: The Future of Pathology
Debra Padgett, President of IBMS
Professor Mike Osborn, President of RCPath

10.45   Transition to breakout 1

10.50   Breakout 1 – choice of four sessions:

  • Future Pathology Workforce: Unleashing the Power Through Networks (Herringbone Suite)
    Ms Michelle Payne, Strategic Pathology Workforce and Education Lead, North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System, Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS FT
    Trudy Walker, Network Training Manager, York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS FT
    Mr Gareth Richardson, Workforce Development Lead – Greater Manchester Imaging and Pathology Networks

  • Health and wellbeing: There will be no scented candles in this session (Denim Room)
    Dr Chris Tiplady
    , Consultant Haematologist, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust; Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies for University of Sunderland; author of RCPath’s Professional Development blog series

  • Embracing differences in Pathology (Cotton Room)
    Dr Hebah Ali, International Education Lead, Royal College of Pathologists; Consultant Haematopathologist, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
    Mrs Tahmina Hussain, Lecturer in Biomedical Science, IBMS, University of Salford

  • Reducing Carbon Footprint in Patient Pathways (Wool Room)
    Ms Jennifer Collins, Microbiology Laboratory Manager, Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS FT
    Ms Sheri Scott, Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Science, Nottingham Trent University

11.20   Coffee break and networking

Poster viewing and sponsor networking

11.45   Breakout 2 – choice of four sessions

See Breakout 1 for details.

12.15   Lunch and networking

Poster viewing and sponsor networking.

13.15   Breakout 3 – choice of four sessions:

  • Leading with compassion: a coaching perspective (Cotton Room)
    Dr Ali Robb, RCPath Regional Representative for England (North); Consultant Microbiologist, Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS FT; Head of School for Laboratory Medicine for Health Education England North East

  • Update on UKAS key projects including 15189:2022 Transition (Breakout 3, Denim Room)
    John Ringrow
    , Senior Assessment Manager, UKAS

  • UKAS ISO 15189 implications for Blood Culture Pathway (Breakout 4, Denim Room)
    Mark Prescott (Senior Assessment Manager)

  • The role of Clinical Scientists in infection services; how they contribute to patient care, and how to grow your own (Wool Room)
    Dr Robert Shorten, Consultant Clinical Scientist, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS FT

  • Future of Diagnostics: Point of Care Testing (Herringbone Suite)
    David Wells, IBMS Chief Executive

13:45   Transition to breakout 4

13.50   Breakout 4 – choice of four sessions

See Breakout 3 for details.

14.20   Tea break and networking

Poster viewing and sponsor networking.

14:45   Keynote

Sustainable Healthcare: Caring for Patients AND Planet
James Dixon, Head of Sustainability at Newcastle Hospitals

15:15   Summary

Dr Ali Robb, RCPath Regional Representative for the North
Joanna Andrew, President Elect, IBMS

15:30   Close

Registration fees, cancellation, location and photography information

Please note this event requires minimum numbers to go ahead. The RCPath does not reimburse travel expenses for attendees.

Registration fee
We are pleased to offer a discounted rate of £59.50 for all attendees. 

Cancellation policy
Please note that an administrative charge of £20.00 will be made on all cancellations. The total registration fee is forfeited if cancelled within 5 working days before the event.

Cloth Hall Court
Quebec St, Leeds LS1 2HA

Cloth Hall Court Leeds.jpeg


Photographs will be taken at this symposium. These images will be used for promotional purposes, in future publications and presentations, and on our digital and social media channels, normally within a 5-year period from the day of the event. Please let the Events team or a member of College staff know, via email [email protected], prior to the event or on arrival at the event, if you do not wish to appear in any photographs. You will be provided with a red sticker that should be visibly worn throughout the day so our photographer can refrain from intentionally taking your photograph. 

Please read our privacy policy for more information about how we are committed to protecting your data. 


2023 RCPath/IBMS Northern Symposium: Pathology and People

  • Professor Mike Osborn, RCPath President

    Professor Michael Osborn studied medicine at Guys & St Thomas Hospitals, London qualifying in 1995. He became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons in 2000 and a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists in 2004. Currently he works as a consultant histopathologist for North West London Pathology at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London where he is clinical lead. His working time is divided between post mortems, diagnostic gastrointestinal histopathology, bowel cancer screening and teaching. He runs an intercalated BSc “Humanities, Philosophy & Law” at Imperial College, London. During the COVID-19 pandemic he and colleagues at Imperial College published work relating to findings in fatal COVID-19 infection. He was elected President of the Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath) in November 2020 having previously been on the RCPath Council and having had a variety of college roles including chair of their Cellular Pathology Speciality Advisory Committee and Death Investigation Committee. He became a Professor of Practice at Imperial College in 2021.

  • Debra Padgett, President of IBMS

    President, Institute of Biomedical Science
    Clinical Pathology Service Manager, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
    North East & North Cumbria Pathology Network Operational Lead

    Debra is President of the Institute of Biomedical Science, Clinical Pathology Service Manager at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and a chartered scientist.

    In her role as IBMS President, Debra is dedicated to the promotion, development and delivery of excellence in all aspects of biomedical science and is committed to providing the highest levels of service to patients and the public. In her ten years as an IBMS Council member, she has advocated, listened, represented and addressed the issues that are most important to IBMS membership at national, regional and local levels.

    Debra became IBMS President in 2022 after a career covering 24 years working in clinical NHS laboratories. She is an advocate for workforce development, innovation in healthcare and continuous quality improvement. 

    Her current roles encompass the provision of leadership and management with accountability for the delivery of cost effective, high quality, safe and sustainable services across the Northumbria and the wider health economy. These responsibilities give her a strategic insight to deliver operational priorities both for her own Trust and those of National programmes.

    Her professional activities include Lead Healthcare Scientist for NHCT, Pathology Network Operational Lead for North East and North Cumbria ICS, committee member for BSI ISO 15189 mirror committee and STEM ambassador.

  • Dr Ali Robb MBBS, MRCP (UK), FRCPath, DipClinEd

    Ali trained in Newcastle and has been a Consultant Medical Microbiologist at the RVI in Newcastle since 2010. She is Infection Control Site Lead for Estates at the RVI, lead for Cystic Fibrosis microbiology and former Antimicrobial Stewardship lead.

    She is currently Head of School for Laboratory Medicine and Associate Dean for Quality and Revalidation for NHS England in the North East. She received an RCPath ‘Excellence Award’ for Contribution to Education in 2019.

    Ali is a trained Coach and Mentor, gaining ILM5 in Coaching and Mentoring in 2019 and providing coaching and mentoring for the NHS and the Social Mobility Foundation.

    Ali has been the elected England Regional Representative to RCPath Council for the North since 2020.

  • Joanna Andrew

    Lead Biomedical Scientist, Blood Sciences, Scarborough, Hull and York Pathology Service

    I am the network lead for Blood Sciences at Scarborough, Hull, York Pathology Service (SHYPS), responsible for managing blood sciences across 4 hospitals. I am currently President Elect of the IBMS, having served as Yorkshire region Council member for 5 years.

  • James Dixon, CEnv FIEMA FRSA

    James Dixon CEnv FIEMA FRSA
    Associate Director - Sustainability at Newcastle Hospitals

    James is a Chartered Environmentalist with twenty years’ experience. At Newcastle City Council he contributed to Newcastle being awarded UK’s Greenest City two years running. At Newcastle Hospitals he established the Sustainable Healthcare in Newcastle (Shine) programme and led them to become the first healthcare organisation in the world to publicly declare the climate emergency as a health emergency.

    James holds Fellowship positions at the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (FIEMA) and the Royal Society for Arts (FRSA) is Vice Chair of the Board at Health Care Without Harm Europe and Co-Chairs the Shelford Group of NHS Sustainability Leads.

  • Michelle Payne

    Michelle started her Biomedical Scientist career in the NHS before moving to Academia, during which time she was presented a national award for Collaborative Academic Teaching Excellence. She now works with regional and national stakeholders to support the pathology workforce in capacity, sustainability and development. She is chair of England’s National Pathology Network Workforce and Education Collaboration, a group formed from the NHSE Pathology Practice Educator network. In her own Integrated Care System she established and works to deliver the NENC Pathology Workforce Strategy, embodying the recommendations of the Recovery and Renewal Report in the context of regional needs.”

  • Mr Gareth Richardson

    Gareth started his career as Biomedical Scientist in Clinical Biochemistry, and has always had a passion for training and staff development, progressing in his career from a departmental training lead to a divisional training manager for a large Pathology service in Manchester. Gareth has over 10 years of NHS laboratory experience with extensive experience in staff training and development and workforce planning, and is using this experience to help drive forward the workforce strategies for the Pathology and Imaging workforce in Greater Manchester

  • Dr Chris Tiplady

    Chris Tiplady is a consultant haematologist in Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. He has a Masters in Clinical Education and is an Executive Coach and Mentor as well as workplace mediator there. He has been a Regional Advisor for Health Education England and a Director of Medical Education. He is now one of the Directors of Undergraduate Clinical Studies for the new Sunderland University Medical School where he also leads the Masters in Medical Education Programme. Find him on Twitter @christiplady.

  • Jennifer Collins FIBMS, CSCi

    Jennifer is a Laboratory Manager at Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust with 36 years’ experience in Biomedical Science. She manages a large team of approx. 100 staff who process >1.5 million patient samples per year. Jennifer is also the North East IBMS Council representative. She has previously sat on the IBMS Specialist Advisory Panel and has been an Examiner for Higher Specialist Diploma (HSD). Jennifer successfully completed the HSD in its inaugural year (2003).

    Jennifer is a keen environmentalist and a key member of the Integrated Laboratory Medicine Sustainability Committee at Newcastle. By inspiring, informing and empowering staff, Jennifer aims to work more sustainably, reduce the carbon footprint related to laboratory activities and generate less waste; mainly focusing on reducing single use plastics wherever possible. Jennifer has been pivotal in attaining the Bronze LEAF Award in Integrated Laboratory Medicine in her Trust.

  • Sheri Scott

    Sheri Scott is a Senior Lecturer at Nottingham Trent University.
    Sheri joined Nottingham Trent University in 2018 after a career covering 22 years working in Clinical Biochemistry in NHS laboratories. She advocates for greener laboratory practice, both for her university, the NHS and internationally. Sheri is a core member of the EFLM green and sustainable labs taskforce and the IBMS sustainability lead. Sheri is a EAUC Green Gowns finalist for her commitment and contribution to Clinical Laboratory Sustainability. 

  • Dr Hebah Ali, MBBS FRCPath

    Dr Hebah Ali is the International Education Lead of the Royal College of Pathologists. She is a Consultant Hematopathologist and Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer based at HMDS Leeds. Dr Ali is passionate about education and training. She supports, guides and counsels International Medical Graduates and UK trainees through courses and mentorship programmes for CESR, FRCPath and Haematopathology. In the Royal College, she oversees the International Trainee Support Scheme for Histopathology and Sponsorship scheme for GMC registration. In 2021 she held a role to mentor and support SAS doctors in Leeds Teaching Hospital. Outside of work, Hebah enjoys Arabic calligraphy and is an avid painter.

  • Tahmina Hussain

    Tahmina Hussain, Programme Lead for Biomedical Science Apprenticeship Degree, Lecturer in Biomedical Science and IBMS National Council Representative

    Tahmina is the Programme Lead for the Biomedical Science Apprenticeship Degree and a Lecturer in Biomedical Science at the University of Salford. Her career as a Biomedical Scientist began in 2009 and has since specialised in Haematology and Blood Transfusion and then progressed through a number of roles such as Biomedical Scientist Team Manager, Blood Sciences Training Officer and Pathology Training Coordinator. Tahmina is an IBMS national Council member, verifier and examiner for registration and specialist portfolios, module lead for the IBMS Certificate of Expert Practice in Training Qualification, IBMS EDI Lead and a panel member of the Transfusion Specialist Advisory Board

  • John Ringrow

    After gaining a degree in Biochemistry and Microbiology from Leeds University, John’s first post was as a company microbiologist in a small scientific consultancy specialising in foods, waters, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals and sterile manufacture processes. His main interests however were in medical microbiology, so he joined Poole PHLS and hospital microbiology laboratories, where he completed the then IBMS Special exam.

    John then moved to County Durham, developed an interest in management and quality, gained qualifications in such and held senior, management then quality management posts until the end of 2005.

    John joined CPA (UK) Ltd as a full time Regional Assessor in January 2006. CPA is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) and since June 2013 he was an Assessment Manager (AM) with UKAS and from November 2014, promoted to Senior Assessment Manager.  John manages other AMs and is active in various projects, including training in ISO 15189:2012 and ISO 22870:2016 and training for new AMs. He also leads on promoting, marketing and communications for the Healthcare Section.

    John has been involved in and tutored on courses for the IBMS, been a training/portfolio assessor for the CPSM and then IBMS, panel member for the HCPC and been a lay board member for the Northern Deanery involved with post graduate medical education. John has presented at numerous local and national meetings on both scientific and management themes, and since working for CPA and then UKAS, he now presents regularly on quality and accreditation themes. John has recently been awarded a life membership of the IBMS for his contribution to the Institute over many years and to support and development of Quality Management within medical laboratories.

  • Mark Prescott

    I have been with UKAS for over 10 years working as an Assessment Manager and Technical Assessor for Microbiology / Virology, also being the Technical Focus Person for these disciplines in the Medical Laboratories Section. I have significant experience of working in both NHS and private laboratory services before this. I predominantly assess against ISO 15189:2012 although also have assessment experience in standards for Proficiency Testing (ISO 17043) and Testing & Calibration Laboratories (ISO 17025).


  • Dr Robert Shorten

    Dr Shorten is a Consultant Clinical Scientist at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals. He has broad experience in clinical microbiology and is the departmental lead for research, and the pathology lead for clinical audit. He is an honorary research associate at University College London, and his research interests have included tuberculosis, including completing a PhD in this field, as well as other papers in the areas of laboratory diagnostics, and viral haemorrhagic fevers. His current interests include diagnostic stewardship and environmental sustainability. He is also the current Chair of the Microbiology Professional Committee of the ACB, and a member of ACDP.

  • David Wells, MSc FIBMS CSci Hon DSc FRCPath (Hon)

    David is recognised as being one of the 100 powerful advocates for pathology in the global community. Until June 2021 David was leading the NHS England and Improvement Pathology consolidation programme, seeking to deliver efficient, high quality pathology services across England.

    During the COVID 19 Pandemic David led NHS England’s laboratory response across the country by managing technology deployment, capacity, funding and workforce to ensure that all capacity requirements were met. The role included advising ministers and healthcare leaders whilst providing policy and strategic direction as a subject matter expert.

    In recognition of this work and the work in transforming England’s pathology services, the Royal College of Pathologists awarded David Honorary fellowship of the college in 2020. David was also awarded honorary Doctor of Science by Anglia Ruskin University in recognition of his contribution to the national response during the pandemic. In 2021 David was awarded the CSO’s Lifetime Achievement award again in recognition of his leadership of Pathology services during the Pandemic.

    David has a diverse and almost unique experience of providing and leading pathology services to primary, secondary and tertiary care across all pathology disciplines and out into other areas of Healthcare science and diagnostics.

    David has previously been an elected IBMS council member for the London Region. David has also represented the IBMS on NICE diagnostic advisory panels, and various national forums including an observer on the Royal College of Pathologist Council and in the Parliamentary and Science committee.

    David was appointed Chief Executive of the Institute of Biomedical Science in June 2021 to lead this global professional body representing 21,000 members across 74 countries. Additionally, David was appointed the Scientific Lead for Pathology, for NHS London, in September 2021.