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East Genomics

Patient and Public Voice (PPV) Panel

Our Patient and Public Voice (PPV) Panel is made up of representatives from across the East of England and East Midlands region. They bring a range of experiences of genetic testing and their own established networks.

The response to our PPV Panel recruitment has been very encouraging, with lots of great applications received. On this page we are pleased to introduce our 8 PPV Panel members, including our Chair Chris Hind.

What is the purpose of the PPV Panel?

The PPV Panel will develop projects and collaborate to:

  • Ensure patient, family and carer voices are heard at a senior levels within, and inform decision making across, East GMSA.
  • Hold open discussions about the challenges and opportunities for genomics in the region.
  • Reflect patient, family and carer experiences and priorities through review and input into East GMSA business planning and development of genomic services pathways in the NHS.
  • Consider and address barriers to equity of access and experience of services across the region.
  • Raise awareness of genomics and its potential impact amongst patients and the public, and share the experiences of people whose care involves genomics.

Meet our PPV Panel

Picture of East GMSA PPV Panel Chair, Chris Hind Eddie Blair, PPV Panel Vice-Chair
Picture of East GMSA PPV Panel Chair, Chris Hind
Chris Hind, PPV Panel Chair
Eddie Blair, PPV Panel Vice-Chair
Eddie Blair, PPV Vice-Chair
Chris Hind and Eddie Blair

Chris Hind is our PPV Panel Interim Chair. He was on the Norfolk and Waveney patient panel for two years, is a Governor of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, and sits on the Audit committee, Digital Transformation and Clinical Informatics boards. Chris is also on the Electronic Patient Records (EPR) project board for Norfolk.

Having been diagnosed with Genetic Haemochromatosis in 2018 Chris has a strong interest in genetic testing and research for all rare conditions and believes in a strong patient voice. He has experience in marketing, patient engagement, and PR and media.

East GMSA Working Group Membership: Lynch Syndrome Network, Informatics and Data, Pharmacy.

Eddie Blair is our PPV Panel Vice-Chair. A molecular virologist by training, Eddie has worked in infectious disease, oncology, liver disease and neurodegenerative disease. He has a strong interest in precision/personalised/stratified medicines through diagnostic testing, and a good understanding of pharmacogenetics (PGx) and pharmacogenomics (PGen), having run clinical trials incorporating PGx and PGen.

Eddie's has a specific interest in cancer (e.g. Lynch Syndrome, Prostate Cancer). He is a Board Trustee of the Quadram Institute in Norfolk, is a Steering Committee member for the UK Pharmacogenetics Network, and is an Assessor/Panellist for UK Research & Innovation.

East GMSA Working Group Membership: Cancer, Haematology, Oncology and Pathology, Informatics and Data.

Picture of Rebecca Middleton, PPV Panel Member Picture of Michele Banton, PPV Panel Member
Picture of Rebecca Middleton, PPV Panel Member
Rebecca Middelton, Panel Member
Picture of Michele Banton, PPV Panel Member
Michele Banton, Panel Member
Rebecca and Michele

Rebecca Middleton is a former broadcast journalist with 20 years of experience and expertise in international PR, corporate and crisis communications. An experienced patient advocate, she is Vice-Chair of the Genomics England Participant Panel as well as a 100,000 Genomes participant.

Rebecca has sat on the oversight committees for two major public dialogue programmes examining public attitudes to genetics in newborn screening. Today she sits on the steering group of the Newborn Genomes Programme, a co-designed and NHS-embedded research study. Here Rebecca chairs a working group for the study which is looking at recruitment, branding, communication and dialogue with expectant parents and their families.

She is the Founder and CEO of Hereditary Brain Aneurysm Support, a patient-focused, not-for-profit rare disease organisation. HBA Support is a proud member of the Genetic Alliance, Gene People, Eurodis and Neurological Alliance.

East GMSA Working Group Membership: Communication and PPI, Medical and Rare Disease.

Michele Banton has experience in engaging black and minority ethnic communities, with particular connections to the Nottingham voluntary sector. She has involvement in setting up and managing new and innovative services, e.g. the Beyond Diagnosis project in partnership with Macmillan.

She has also helped to develop new models and pathways, including working within local Integrated Care teams on reducing emergency hospital admissions. She also has experience in health promotion and communication, notably a two year project to increase uptake of bowel screening.

Michelle brings expertise in staff and project management, as well as training and development and delivery.

East GMSA Working Group Membership: Communication and PPI, Cancer, Haematology, Oncology and Pathology

Picture of Steve Tyler, PPV Panel Member Picture of Tim Row, PPV Panel Member
Picture of Steve Tyler, PPV Panel Member
Steve Tyler, Panel Member
Picture of Tim Row, PPV Panel Member
Tim Roe, Panel Member
Steve and Tim

Steve Tyler a leader in the field of accessibility, particularly delivering innovation and solutions that bring about accessibility to people with disabilities to mainstream products. He is Director of Assistive Technology at Leonard Cheshire where he has responsibility for policy, support and implementation of assistive technology solutions, services and innovations inside and outside of the organisation.

He has influenced web standards, app development standards, has been influential at global electronics regulatory mechanisms, works on policy and legal issues around disability and accessibility, and, as a person with a visual impairment, is an advocate in his own right.

Steve collaborates with key players in the technology market as part of the Google Accessibility Strategy Board, the Microsoft accessibility steering group, and as a programme lead for the annual M-Enabling Summit held in Washington DC.

East GMSA Working Group Membership: Medical and Rare Disease, Informatics and Data.

Tim Roe worked for 40 years as a veterinarian. He brings to the panel good comprehension of medical terms and strong interpersonal skills. He also brings the patient perspective on clinical pathways and care, having had a long-term connection to hospital protocols after serious health issues.

Tim has particular interest in prostate cancer.

East GMSA Working Group Membership: Cancer, Haematology, Oncology and Pathology.

Picture of Vaila Morrison, PPV Panel member Silhouette
Picture of Vaila Morrison, PPV Panel member
Vaila Morrison, PPV Panel member
Kelly Phizacklea, Panel Member
Vaila and Kelly

Vaila Morrison is an Architect/Inclusive Designer who also works in social media, graphic design and communications.

She is parent/carer of a child with an ultra rare condition (KAT6A Syndrome) who had a long diagnosis journey, finally getting a genetic diagnosis via the DDD Study. Through this Vaila has experienced the challenges of navigating services from a Learning Disability/neurodiverse perspective as well as physical access.

Vaila brings to the panel experience of community consultation in her various guises (architectural, community projects, rare disease). She is part of the Cambridge Rare Disease Network (and a member of their Unique Feet Community group, for which she does freelance social media and communications work).

Vaila and her family have been members of Syndromes Without A Name (SWAN) UKfor the past 10 years, and she is also a member of Cambridge Children’s Hospital's Children’s Network.

East GMSA Working Group Membership: Medical and Rare Disease, Nursing and Midwifery, Communication and PPI.

Kelly Phizacklea: Information coming soon...

About us

East Genomic Medicine Service Alliance (East GMSA) has been set up to ensure all eligible patients across the East Midlands and East of England can access and benefit from appropriate genomic tests when required, providing high-quality and personalised treatment. East GMSA will ensure there is equal access to the nationally commissioned genomic tests set out in the National Genomics Test Directory, no matter where people live or which hospital they use, supporting the establishment of testing pathways for cancer and rare diseases, assisting clinicians in requesting genomic tests and introducing new models of care that support early access to genomic testing.

East GMSA is led by a Partnership Board representative of the four NHS Trust partners that have direct responsibility for delivering the service.

  • Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust
  • Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Working closely with the East Genomic Laboratory Hub (GLH), together with healthcare professionals, networks, alliances, academia and patients and public representatives across the East Midlands and East of England, the East GMSA will bring together the vital multi-disciplinary clinical leadership and other operational and digital functions that are necessary to embed genomic medicine into mainstream clinical care.