The Team

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Meet The Team

The Health Education England West Midlands office is based in Birmingham. The Team is led by the Postgraduate Dean and the Local Directors


Professor Russell Smith – Postgraduate Dean

Professor Russell Smith – Postgraduate Dean

Professor Russell Smith – Postgraduate Dean

Russell Smith is Health Education England’s Postgraduate Dean for the West Midlands. Previous roles include Deputy Dean and Associate Dean for Quality. His duties are multi-professional, responsible for the quality of education and training of postgraduate medical trainees and all undergraduate healthcare students. He works closely with the four Medical Schools in the West Midlands as well as with key regulators including the GMC and CQC and other Arms Length Bodies. He Co-Chairs the UK Foundation Programme and has lead dean roles including the National School of Healthcare Science.

He trained as a cardiologist and physician and continues in clinical practice at University Hospitals Birmingham. He has been a member of the Cardiology SAC for more than 10 years completing as its chair while elected Vice President (Training) of the British Cardiovascular Society. He is also a PACES examiner and Chair, and an ALS Instructor and Director.

His research interests have been varied within the cardiovascular field and included an MD on nitric oxide biology. More recently he has concentrated on heart failure and the role of device therapy and imaging in its investigation and management.

His motivation is to deliver safe, high quality and evidence-based patient care and to ensure systems are in place to train and educate future generations of healthcare workers to continue that objective. He still enjoys teaching and mentoring individuals and small groups while concentrating on regional and national objectives to commission, monitor and improve clinical education and training.

For his education achievements and responsibilities, the University of Birmingham awarded an honorary professorship in 2016.

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Tom Kirkbride – Local Director West Midlands

Tom Kirkbride – Local Director West Midlands

Initially working for companies such as Enterprise Rent A Car, Mars UK and Standard Chartered Bank Tom moved into professional regulation in 2001 – holding various senior operational roles including Head of Operations at The Law Society; The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Chief Operating Officer at The Pharmacists Defence Association; and the Nursing & Midwifery Council.

As Assistant Director and then Director of Registration at the NMC, Tom was responsible for the operational design and delivery of Revalidation; the introduction of the revised overseas nursing registration process, and English language testing for all EU nurses. He still thinks like a regulator.

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Jenny Hannington – Head of Quality and Commissioning

Jenny Hannington – Head of Quality and Commissioning

Jenny has worked in health education for over 20 years in both University and heath sectors. She began her career at the Central and East London Education Consortium before holding Business Manager roles at City University London and Anglia Ruskin University. She joined the East of England Strategic Health Authority in 2008 where she was part of the team that introduced the CLiP model into the UK. Jenny is currently Head of Quality & Commissioning at HEE working across Midlands and east where she leads a diverse team across three local offices supporting the delivery of high quality education for all healthcare learners. She is also the lead commissioner for the National School of Healthcare science.

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Christine Sykes – Deputy Head of Quality and Commissioning

Christine Sykes – Deputy Head of Quality and Commissioning

Christine has been in the NHS since 1982 and has many years of clinical experience as a Registered General Nurse, District Nurse and Community Practice Teacher. She also held a post as Associate Lecturer at one of our local HEIs. She joined Health Education England (formerly the Strategic Health Authority) in 2008 as a Practice Education Facilitator and has published a number of articles relating to healthcare education and quality. She has since worked in workforce planning, workforce development and workforce transformation, although quality has been an embedded theme throughout her time with HEE. Christine was project lead for the very popular CLiP project and was key to the implementation of the Supply Improvement Programme in East of England. She is currently Deputy Head of Quality and Commissioning across Midlands and East.

The Local Team

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Leanne Clews – Senior Quality Lead

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Raj Sunner – Quality Manager

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Andrew Tranter – Quality Lead

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Manjit Mann –​ Quality Manager

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Maxine Kwofie – Quality Lead

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Jason Mistry – Quality Manager


Team details
  • Jenny Hannington – Head of Quality and Commissioning
  • Christine Sykes – Deputy Head of Quality and Commissioning
  • Leanne Clews – Senior Quality Lead
  • Andrew Tranter – Quality Lead
  • Maxine Kwofie – Quality Lead
  • Raj Sunner – Quality Manager
  • Jason Mistry – Quality Manager
  • Manjit Mann – Quality Manager
  • Lee Wright – Quality Administrator
  • Nair Martin – Quality Support Assistant
  • To contact the team please use QAMedical.WM@hee.nhs.uk