Team & Clinical Advisors


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Dementia Network

Penny Kirk

Quality Improvement Manager

Penny was appointed to her current role in October 2013 and is responsible for implementing the SCN Dementia work programme. Penny has had a varied NHS career including Community dietician, Public Health Information Analyst, Regional Trainer for PRIMIS (Primary Care Information Services) and Physical Health and Wellbeing and Health Outcomes Lead for a large Mental Health & Learning Disability Trust. Penny has over 7 years’ experience of working within clinical networks, including 3 years with the Cardiac Network in Hampshire.  In 2010 Penny joined the Yorkshire Cancer Network as End of Life Care Programme Manager. Penny is based at our Quarry House office in Leeds.



Colin Sloane

Quality Improvement Lead

Colin joined the dementia team full time in January 2017 and will be supporting the implementation of the CN work business plan for dementia.  Prior to this from April to Dec 2016 he worked across the mental health and dementia teams.  He began his career in service improvement with the Neurology Clinical Network from 2014 to 2016, during which time he studied on the Mary Seacole programme and gained a PGC in Healthcare Leadership.  Colin spent the first part of his working life (25 years) as a welder/fabricator until a diagnosis of bladder cancer made him have a complete change in direction. In 2003 he took on the role of community development worker at Bradford Cancer Support where he led the development of service user involvement in Bradford and Airedale and their Cancer User Partnership groups. He moved in 2008 to the Yorkshire Cancer Network as User Involvement Facilitator and went on to put in place strong foundations for user engagement at regional level and was instrumental in leading the user partnership in a variety of projects to help drive up standards and better care for cancer patients/carers and families. Colin is based at our Quarry House office in Leeds.


Carole Tarff

Administration and Support Officer


Dr Sara Humphrey

CN GP Advisor for Dementia

Sara is a GP Partner in a super partnership of seven practices covering 60,000 patients and after 22 years in a large suburban practice in North Bradford serving around 11,000 patients ,she has moved to head up a smaller predominantly south Asian patient practice in Keighley . The partnership has always been at the forefront of change initially in fundholding and then as part of a total fund and then in leadership roles of both PCTs and CCGs and is a training practice of both medical students, FY2s and GP Registrars and is involved in primary care research. Since 1996, Sara has worked as a GP with a Special Interest in Care of the Elderly, initially working for provider services of the PCT in intermediate care and now for Bradford Teaching Hospital Foundation Trust in several community rehabilitation units. She has recently moved to the ProActiveCareTeam ( PACT) in Bradford City to support frail people in their own homes.During COVID she has also been working on the Airedale Telemedicine Unit supporting Care Homes.This has allowed her to develop a close working relationship with several Care of the Elderly consultants and to develop a good working knowledge of Dementia Care pathways. Sara has also worked in commissioning roles in Elderly Medicine and Stroke since the inception of the Older People’s NSF in 2001 originally covering North Bradford PCT and now covering Bradford District & Craven CCGs as the Associate Clinical Director for Frailty,Dementia and LD-with a clinical leadership role in the commissioning of integrated care, Older People’s Mental Health and Stroke Services. Sara also sits on the Regional Primary Care Research Steering Group and holds an Honorary Visiting Research Senior Fellowship with the school of Dementia Studies at Bradford University.


Mental Health Network

Denise Friend

Quality Improvement Manager: Adult Mental Health

Denise joined the team in June 2019 and is supporting the delivery of the Mental Health Network priorities. Denise’s main focus is leading on the development of a network for Psychological Therapies (PT) in Serious Mental Illness (SMI) for Yorkshire and the Humber, which will develop and deliver a work programme to improve the quality and outcomes for patients with a serious mental illness. Denise joined the Strategic Clinical Network in April 2013 and has since been involved in a variety of different quality improvement projects within cancer and more recently, adult mental health. Denise’s work experience includes various programme and project management roles within the NHS, service improvement for North Trent Cancer Network, patient and public involvement in a Strategic Health Authority and Human Resources. Denise is based in the Oak House office in Rotherham.


Natalie Fox

Quality Improvement Lead: Adult Mental Health

Natalie Joined the team in January 2021 and is supporting the delivery of the Mental Health Network priorities. Natalie’s main focus is leading on the scoping of Eating Disorder services throughout Yorkshire and Humber with a view to developing a network for Adult services. Natalie previously worked for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals as a Project Manager, leading on service improvement in the Geriatric and Stroke department and more recently worked in Informatics leading the implementation of Windows 10 throughout the Trust. Natalie has worked in various roles in Sheffield NHS commissioning and provider services, with a strong focus on business change and supporting services to implement change. Natalie is based in the Oak House office in Rotherham.


Carole Tarff

Administration and Support Officer


Dr Stephen Wright

Clinical Network Co-Chair Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) Provider Network

Steve is a consultant psychiatrist with the Early Intervention in Psychosis team based in York & Selby, and deputy medical director with Tees, Esk & Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust. He has a long-standing interest in youth mental health and for many years worked with the student medical practice in Leeds, covering the universities of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University (formerly Leeds Metropolitan). He has worked in Early Intervention in Psychosis since 2005, when the innovative aspire service was established in Leeds, and he moved to York in 2012 to work with the EIP team in York & Selby. He is co-chair of the Y&H EIP/IRIS Network and has been closely involved with developments in Early Intervention regionally and nationally, particularly relating to physical health and promoting informed choice. He continues to participate in teaching and research, supporting numerous small projects locally. He is currently principle investigator for the multicentre NIHR STEPWISE trial (structured lifestyle intervention) and the SCENE study (social connectedness).


Andy Wright

Clinical Network Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) Advisor

Andy Wright is the Clinical Advisor for Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) for the Yorkshire and Humber Clinical Network. He joined the network in January 2016. The post is a one day per week secondment from Tees Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust, where he works as a Senior Manager in IAPT.

Andy has worked in the field of mental health for the majority of his career and for a variety of organisations including the Home Office, Local Authority, Ministry of Defence and for the NHS.

Since joining the Clinical Network Andy has been leading on an IAPT programme that has sought to enhance the relationships between providers and commissioners, with the aim of helping improve the overall performance of services within the region. Andy is the chair of the Yorkshire and the Humber IAPT Provider Network, which has representation from all services within the region. He also co-chairs the IAPT Senior Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners Network. Andy’s role within the Clinical Network has also been to further develop and strengthen ties with key stakeholders and other regional and national IAPT resources. He is looking forward to hosting and supporting a further series of IAPT training events in the coming year.


Heather Stonebank

Quality Improvement Manager



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