Directors Board

Bernadette Porter MBE
CEO & Clinical Lead, NeuroResponse

Bernadette has worked in the world of neurology for over twenty-five years. She is a Honorary Consultant Nurse in Multiple Sclerosis at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, UCLH NHS Foundation Trust and The Royal Free Foundation Trust. She has published widely and has a track record of successfully and collaboratively challenging multidisciplinary teams to deliver patient focused care. She is actively involved in service design and patient focused research agendas.

Bernadette is the Founder and CEO of NeuroResponse – a digital care model that gives people living with neurological conditions more control over the care they receive. She is an alumnus of the NHS Innovation Accelerator Programme and a current NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Fellow.

Bernadette has received many awards including an MBE for services to nursing, the inaugural HSJ top 50 NHS Innovators List and E health Nurse for the UK in 2014.

Dr Carmel Curtis
Consultant in Clinical
Microbiology

Carmel originally graduated from University College Dublin with a First Class Honours degree in Biochemistry and then gained a Ph.D in Pharmacology from the University of Cambridge. Following a period of research in Yale University and the University of Southern California, she attended medical school at Guy’s, King’s and St Thomas’s School of Medicine.

After a medical rotation in Nottingham she gained her MRCP and then joined the North Thames rotation in Medical Microbiology and Virology where she completed her FRCPath.

Carmel is currently a Consultant in Clinical Microbiology at UCLH where she is primarily responsible for the Clinical Microbiology service at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery Hospital at Queen Square.

In addition to the Directors Board, Carmel is Chair of the NeuroResponse Specialist Advisory Board.

Conan O’Neill
Digital Advisor &
Operational Lead

Conan has 15 years’ experience in frontline operational delivery, including 3 years at Operations Director level. In the past he has managed a range of services including GP out-of-hours, NHS 111, Urgent Treatment Centres and is responsible for setting up the first Integrated Urgent Care (IUC) service in England which went live in North Central London in 2016 and is available to 1.3 million patients in this area today.

Conan’s involvement in care delivery spans Community, Mental Health, Primary and Secondary care services. He has significant expertise in co-designing, innovating and running patient-centred services across London.

In addition to his role supporting digital development and leading operational plans for NeuroResponse, Conan also holds the position of Head of Digital Delivery in Digital Development for NHS England, in which is he develops national strategy and digital innovation plans for the NHS.

Stephanie Donaldson
Board Member

Stephanie qualified as a solicitor in Banking & Finance Law in 2006 at Olswang LLP and has since worked in the legal teams at a number of financial institutions including Barclays Bank PLC. She has over 13 years experience and expertise in corporate law matters and joined a German private bank as sole legal counsel of its London Branch in 2005.

Over the last 4 years she has gained general legal experience dealing with all matters from employment law, intellectual property rights, regulatory law to real estate and construction matters.

In addition to supporting NeuroResponse, Stephanie is a trustee on the Board of the Revolving Doors Agency, a charity which aims to help those repeatedly stuck in the revolving door of the criminal justice system and she is a governor on the board of Thorley Hill Primary School in Bishops Stortford.

Specialist Advisory Board

Deputy Chair
Dr Robert Brenner

Consultant Neurologist

Dr Brenner is a highly experienced clinician having been a consultant neurologist for over 20 years. He combines the academic environment of the Royal Free hospital with the demands of a busy District General Hospital in West Herts. He is also an honorary Senior Lecturer at UCL and has a long involvement in MS research.

As the Lead Neurologist at RFH he has expertise in service design and is currently engaged in development of innovative reconfiguration of neurology provision with local CCGs.

Dr Brenner has been involved in the co-design of the NeuroResponse model contributing to the benchmark audit of Multiple Sclerosis service across the UCL partner region and the patient and family co-design events.

Prof Jeremy Chataway
Consultant Neurologist

Professor Jeremy Chataway MA, PhD, FRCP is a Consultant Neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN), Queen Square, University College Foundation NHS Trust and Professor of Neurology, University College London.

After qualifying in medicine at Cambridge and Oxford Universities, and general medical training in London, he specialised in Neurology with posts in Edinburgh, Cambridge and London. He was awarded a PhD from Cambridge University in genetic epidemiology of multiple sclerosis and took up his post as a consultant Neurologist in 2001 at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, University College Foundation NHS Trust, London.

He has a particular interest in advanced clinical trial design in Progressive MS and was the Chief Investigator (CI) of the MS-STAT1 trial in secondary progressive MS, using high dose simvastatin; and is the CI of the MS-SMART (recently published*) and MS-STAT2 (still recruiting) trials in secondary progressive MS. He was until recently the Clinical Director of the UCL Comprehensive Clinical Trials Unit and works closely with the MRC Clinical Trials Unit and the UK MS Society. Separately, he was a Founder member of the Queen Square Adult Onset Leukodystrophy Group, studying rare white matter disorders.

*MS-SMART trial: Lancet Neurology Jan 2020 https://doi.org/10.1016/S1474-4422(19)30485-5

Georgina Carr
Chief Executive,
The Neurological Alliance

Georgina has been Chief Executive of the Neurological Alliance since January 2020. Prior to her role at the Neurological Alliance, Georgina was with the MS Society for over six years, overseeing their work to improve MS treatment, care and support.

Georgina was also a member of the European MS Platform Executive Committee and MS International Federation Access to Medicines working group, working closely with neurological organisations across the world to improve care.

Georgina has a close connection to MS, and is passionate about raising the bar of neurological treatment, care and support across the country. Prior to working at the UK MS Society, Georgina worked on EU health policy for the consultancy Burson Marsteller.

Blu Reynolds
Board Member

Blu is an experienced and pragmatic consultant with expertise in delivering complex change and transformation programmes in the UK health sector. Throughout his career, Blu has built strong client relationships, delivering numerous successful technology, process and pathway improvements across a broad range of NHS bodies (including commissioner and provider-side).

Blu specialises in change management, the design of new business processes and the definition of new operating models to drive the delivery of business transformation via complex, multi-organisation change programmes.

In 2017, Blu was appointed Director of Operations for a London provider of Integrated Urgent Care services providing care to 2.3 million people across North Central and North West London. In this role, Blu oversees multi-disciplinary teams to deliver a service portfolio of £25mn annually; developing strategies to innovate and deliver improvements to patient services.