Our Ambassadors

Bertie Aspinall

Dr Sam Anthony

Dr Sam Anthony qualified from St. Mary’s Hospital Paddington in 1999. As a junior doctor she volunteered in a small hospital in Cape Town, before embarking on surgical training in London. After completing her surgery exams in 2003 she re-trained as a GP in St Albans, seeking a life not attached to a bleep. Whilst working as a salaried GP she was suddenly diagnosed with cancer in 2005 and forced to embark on her own journey of survival. Blessed to have come through it, she returned to work in 2007, re-invented as a surgeon in Dermatology at West Herts NHS Trust, where she continues to this day, specialising in skin lesion & skin cancer diagnosis and treatment. She knows first hand the overwhelm, stress, and burnout, that studying, training, and working in medicine brings, and the twists and turns of life, and in 2017 she took a 9 month career break in Montreal Canada, accompanying her husband’s job. Finally having the space and time to reflect on life and work, she created the concept of Permitted To Pause, aimed at helping medics, and everyone, to recognise the importance of self-permission for self-care, well-being, finding the joy and ways to thrive, not just survive. When she approached DiD in its infancy during the pandemic, and understanding their mission, it was a no-brainer to support all that they are about. She has permanently given up taking exams, and these days enjoys being outdoors, yoga, piano, swimming, friends, family, her husband, and their home in the New Forest!
Bertie Aspinall

Dr Claire Ashley

Dr Ashley qualified as a doctor in 2008 with ambitious plans to become a high flying anaesthetist. She got onto one of the most competitive training programmes in the country before realising that it wasn’t making her fulfilled, so she then switched training programmes to become a GP. However, once having qualified as a GP she very quickly developed anxiety and burned out in her first year of being qualified.

Her mission is to improve working conditions and mental wellbeing of medical professionals, as well as helping and supporting those that are struggling with stress, burnout, work fatigue and career indecision. She is a NHS Clinical Entrepreneur and is now the co-founder and COO of BobbyChat, an app that uses AI to deliver coaching via WhatsApp to help users successfully navigate their workplace challenges and stressors.

Dr Ashley lives in North Somerset with her stunt man husband. Together, the couple have 2 children and a never-ending house renovation project.

Bertie Aspinall

Dinah Ashley-Cooper, Countess of Shaftesbury

Dr Dinah Ashley-Cooper qualified as a veterinary surgeon and completed her doctorate in Zurich. In 2007 she became a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCVS) specialising in small animal orthopaedic surgery and has worked as a veterinary surgeon for the past 10 years. Dinah manages an equine stud and horse breeding facility specialising in artificial insemination and embryo transfer. She has 3 children and has overseen the restoration of St. Giles House with her husband. The project has won several national awards and is currently used as an events venue with a particular focus on wellbeing.
She has an interest in suicide prevention given the high rates in the veterinary profession. She is a trustee of ‘Drug Science’, an ambassador for Doctors in Distress and a patron of ‘WVS’ (Worldwide Veterinary Service).

Ann Paul doctors in distress

Bertie Aspinall

Bertie previously worked at a consultancy, the European Commission and Virgin Atlantic before joining Doctors in Distress in 2020 as strategy and partnerships lead. For the next year, Bertie helped to develop the group system and partnerships we have in operation today.

Now Bertie builds social impact startups- with an education focus – at CanDo, alongside the founder of Tide Business Bank.

Eilean Crombie

Keith Baddams

In 2009 Keith saw first-hand the day-to-day happenings on a High Dependency unit in Musgrove Park NHS Hospital. He did this from the bed next to the Nursing station after suffering a ruptured aortic aneurysm aged 52.
As a living example of what the NHS does best, he feels grateful to be given the chance to support NHS staff in any way he can.
During the first lockdown he made and donated a few stained glass panels which reflected that particular moment in time, one of which is hung in Dorchester Hospital and another is to be auctioned in support of Doctors in Distress.

He has over 40 years experience in the restoration of historic lead glazed windows and is interested in bringing arts into Hospitals to create a more pleasant environment for staff, patients and visitors alike.

Eilean Crombie

Virginia Barrasa

Virginia is a trilingual modern marketer with over ten years’ experience spanning consumer and B2B. Currently working as a senior director of global marketing for World Courier, a global speciality healthcare logistics organisation.
Eilean Crombie

Jo Betterton

 Jo trained as a nurse and a social worker and has worked in a range of settings. Starting out working with street drinkers around Kings Cross in the 1980s, setting up shared care services for substance misusers with general practice in the 1990s, running a national training unit for RCGP, and in general practice supporting the workforce to grow and evolve with the many changes that have been implemented in the 2000s.

Currently working the NHS Leadership Academy, she is passionate about supporting compassionate leadership and ensuring that health care providers actively support and promote the health and being of the whole workforce.

Ann Paul doctors in distress

Brian Daniels

Brian Daniels founded Pluto Play Productions in 1997 to run the New End Theatre, Hampstead and to produce an ongoing repertoire of plays around health and social issues.
Brian is the author of 22 plays including the award winning ‘Homeward Bound’ and ‘Fighting for Life’. His plays have been performed nationally and internationally including off-Broadway in New York. The plays have all been adapted to be performed live, or by podcast or streamed on-line. Subjects include early and late onset dementia, end of life and palliative care, historic child abuse and grooming, the holocaust, lymphoedema, discrimination, suicide prevention and corporate manslaughter.

Eilean Crombie

Leo Datnow

Leo Datnow is a fourth year Medical Student at Barts in London and leads a focus group alongside other medical students aiming to improve the mental wellbeing standards and practice across medical schools all over the UK.
Leo is passionate about expanding the invaluable services and framework Doctors in Distress pioneers to medical students at all stages of their educational journey. Medical students are our future healthcare providers, but they are suffering, and their mental wellbeing needs to be of paramount importance before transitioning into the UK’s taxing workforce. His ethos is highlighting and normalising stigma and imposter syndrome in medical school, and reframing what it means to be ‘good enough’ as a medical student.
Leo is thrilled to be a DiD ambassador and is enthusiastic about working in any way he can to build a community of resilient, mindful and resourceful medical students on their path to becoming our next generation of healthcare providers.
Eilean Crombie

Joanna Dilks

Joanna graduated from Nottingham Medical School and started the local GP VTS training before falling in love with psychiatry. She completed her post-graduate General Adult Psychiatry training in Nottingham with a Masters degree in clinical psychiatry. Between 2010 – 2022 she worked part time (2.5 days a week) as a CMHT consultant psychiatrist. From 2005 she taught undergraduate psychiatry weekly and became a clinical teaching fellow in 2016. During the pandemic she took an additional role as medical education fellow in Assessment and completed a PGCert in medical education. In 2022 she become clinical associate professor of medical education – (general adult psychiatry) at Lincoln Medical School, consultant psychiatrist with a reablement ward (Lincolnshire Partnership NHSFT) and works 4 days a week.

Her interest in Doctors in Distress comes from personal experience of difficulty postnatally, and the loss of her brother to substance use in 2017. She is keen to help anyone in distress and believes health care professionals are a particular group given their working roles and lives.

Outside of work she is a keen super-slow runner (has been accused of walking!), foodie, Francophile, Audible app user, mindfulness tryer and advocate for animal rights.

Eilean Crombie

Emma Dillon

Passionate to promote and enable excellent and accessible wellbeing support for all, especially within healthcare. Emma qualified as a Registered Mental Health Nurse in 1993 working primarily in Community and Crisis Pathways. In 2011 Emma moved to Nurse Education University of Northampton as Professional Lead for Mental Health Nursing and then as Lead of the Professional Nurse Advocate. Emma has also worked with NHSE on a range of nursing and wellbeing initiatives.
Emma has focused her research on supervision and resilience in nursing and was a guest at HRH Queen Elizabeth’s garden party in 2019 for her work with mental health awareness and wellbeing.
Eilean Crombie

Dr Olivia Donnelly

Dr Olivia Donnelly is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and leads the Staff Wellbeing Psychology Team at North Bristol NHS Trust, which includes a dedicated NHS wellbeing service for doctors. She has a particular interest in practical and values-based approaches that promote psychological safety and compassion within teams and across healthcare organisations, based on the foundation that ‘resilience is between us, not just within us’. 

Marie Searle doctors in distress

Dr Paul Efthymiou

Dr Paul Efthymiou qualified in 2010 and is currently working as an anaesthetist. For many years he has been an advocate for raising awareness about burnout in medicine and the impact it has on the lives of healthcare workers and their families.

Paul started a podcast in 2019 called ‘A Doctor’s View’ as a way of discussing key issues within medicine including the unseen challenges and stresses that doctors face. He regularly talks about the ups and downs of hospital life to help prepare medical students and to remind doctors and other healthcare workers that they are not alone.

Paul is passionate about motorsport and often volunteers as a trackside doctor for racing events including Formula 1. He is also a keen photographer and enjoys clay pigeon shooting.

Marie Searle doctors in distress

Brian Fairchild

Brian Fairchild is a coach who specialises in helping people improve their working lives. He began his career in the voluntary sector with the charity Mencap, where he worked with NHS and local authority colleagues to develop innovative services in the community. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and has worked in HR and training roles for the regulator of social care services and two local authorities. He is an associate coach and trainer for a number of companies, regularly delivering training and coaching to staff at all levels within organisations.
During the summer Brian is a regular volunteer at Trent Bridge international and domestic competition cricket matches.
Brian is married to Sarah Hampton and they have two adult children.

Eilean Crombie

Emily Fulleylove

Emily Fulleylove is a health and wellbeing coach who wants to see more people in caregiving roles live their lives with freedom, peace and vitality. Her passion for protecting the mental health of doctors comes from her own experience of anxiety and depression during her medical training.

Emily left her medical career in 2009 because she could not find a healthy and safe way to practice as a doctor and protect her own wellbeing.

After quitting medicine, Emily regularly relocated as her husband’s career moved them around the UK, to Belgium and the USA. She has worked for Cancer Research UK, as a teacher of English as a foreign language and in the fitness industry. She is also a mother to two children.

Emily has been a certified coach since 2020, and works closely with the coaching organisation ‘The Joyful Doctor’. She also cohosts a podcast called The Fully Well Doc Pod – warm and genuine conversations about the universally challenging experience of working, training and living as medics.

Eilean Crombie

Dr Shan Hussain

Shan qualified as a doctor from Imperial College, London in 1999 and has been practising as a GP since 2007.He currently sits on the BMA Council and the BMA’s General Practitioners Committee where he serves as policy lead for workforce and organisational development.Having experienced stress-related health issues, he is a passionate supporter of frontline health care workers and he firmly believes that staff well-being should be placed at the heart of health care delivery.He presently resides in his hometown of Nottingham with his wife and son.

Eilean Crombie

Suzy Hutchins

Suzy her career as a teacher and then moved into the corporate world. She started a family and her son was diagnosed with Autism in 2013. Suzy then sought support for the family and professional help for her own mental health. Inspired by her support she trained in Mindfulness based cognitive and physical therapy and decided to put her teaching hat back on and create a mental health programme for young people called Sit with Will. She now advises schools on their wellbeing strategy and runs workshops and therapy sessions. At the beginning of the year Suzy joined Govox, a wellbeing solution based company to help them embed their platform in organisations and education settings. Suzy’s passion is based in finding proactive ways to prevent and support people on their mental health journey. She wants to help others break down stigma and provide access to support early.

Bertie Aspinall

Henriette Lang

Henriette has a passion for changing the stigma around mental ill-health and preventing suicides. She works for This Can Happen, which is a workplace mental health company supporting organisations with their employee mental health. She is a trained Samaritan listener, Mental Health First Aider and author of the Mindset Triangle Book which is all about how to balance your life when living with mental ill-health. She is studying BSc Psychology part time through the Open University. The NHS has helped Henriette many times through IVF treatment, to childbirth to supporting her after the death of her own child. As someone who cares for her own children living with dyslexia and autism, she strongly believes in caring for the carer. She also supports her partner who lives with bipolar. By showing compassion, empathy and care for each other Henriette believes we can prevent mental illness reaching crisis points is key and prevent suicides.
Eilean Crombie

Gavin McColl

Gavin joined the Hurley Group as a Partner in 2018 having worked as a lead GP with the Group for six months prior to this.

Gavin is a Clinical Director of South Southwark Primary Care Network. He was involved in planning the community response to the COVID-19 pandemic in South East London and became the Clinical Director of the COVID-19 community clinic in Southwark where he developed an innovative system for patients to be assessed safely.

He is the Clinical Lead for New Cross Health Centre and Sternhall Lane Surgery and is passionate about transforming the patient journey through health services in order to better address the complexity now seen in modern primary care.

Outside work Gavin enjoys outdoors pursuits and sports including cycling, hill climbing, kayaking, tennis and football. He plays acoustic guitar to help him relax.

Eilean Crombie

Dr Mike McIver

Mike McIver is a GP who works in the north of Scotland.  For the past 7 years, he has split his time between General Practice on the Isle of Tiree and Pre-Hospital Emergency Care in the Highlands.  He is currently in the process of moving on to new challenges in General practice.  He doesn’t know where yet, other than to say it will not be in a town practice.  He is particularly interested in the stress experienced by medical and other healthcare workers in the beautiful and faraway places that everyone else dreams of working in.  He is a terrible example to others of how to keep a work life balance but believes that from failure comes insight.  He is honoured to asked to be a DiD ambassador and hopes to spread the word in those faraway places.

Eilean Crombie

Dr Amrita Sen Mukherjee

Dr Amrita Sen Mukherjee works as a Positive Psychology Practitioner and Coach, Portfolio GP, and Disability Advocate.

During the pandemic, Amrita set up a ‘free to access’ scheme which supported the wellbeing of frontline healthcare workers through coaching and webinars. She is committed to fostering positive discussions on discrimination and actively advocates for the inclusion of doctors with chronic illness or disability within the medical profession.

Amrita has published research in the peer-reviewed British Journal of Health Psychology which investigates the lived experience of posttraumatic growth in doctors with invisible disability. As a TEDx Speaker on this very subject, she used this platform to challenge the frameworks and biases that society imposes inviting her audience to consider the potential for growth through dealing with adversity.

As a strong believer in promoting healthcare workers’ wellbeing, Amrita is delighted to be an Ambassador for Doctors in Distress and support their much needed and highly commended work.

Caroline roodhouse

Dr Nicholas Prior

Nick is a NHS Psychiatrist and Wellness Expert, who brings personal experience from living with bipolar disorder.
As a Doctor, he cares deeply about his clinical work but is acutely aware of the greater social impact of research, enterprise and innovation. He is also a mental health campaigner who is passionate about reducing the stigma attached to mental illness, especially within the healthcare industry.
Caroline roodhouse

Caroline Roodhouse MCIPR

As well as a single mother of two gorgeous girls, Caroline is an internal communications consultant, initiating creative conversations about communication with clients and the broader comms community. She joined Alive With Ideas ten years ago, buying into the idea that work can and should be a positive, rewarding and uplifting experience. Caroline has worked across multiple industries, from education and health services to pharma and FMCG, leading strategic projects and campaigns for organisations including Ocado, Roche, Sainsbury’s, Arm and the NHS.

Caroline is passionate about continuing professional development, constantly learning and growing through training and mentoring, workshops, conferences and courses and is studying for the Diploma in Internal Communications.

Having been personally impacted by suicide through the sudden loss of her husband in 2018, Caroline has a particular interest in wellbeing and mental health, speaking openly and candidly about her experience and the need for conversations that can make change happen throughout our communities.

Bertie Aspinall

Dr Garry Savin

Dr Garry Savin qualified as a GP in Enfield North London where he developed a passionate interest in preventative medicine. He helped to develop Nuffield Hospitals Health Screening and became their National Clinical Advisor to Health Screening for 44 Wellness Centres and 244 Health Screening doctors

He joined “Preventicum” as Medical Director in February 2006. After 15 years there, he moved to a practice in Harley Street where he has developed “Lumen Advanced Health Assessments”.

Marie Searle doctors in distress team

Marie Searle

Marie is a seasoned healthcare professional with 20-year career within the NHS, serving both as a commissioner and provider in various challenging and uncertain environments. Her extensive experience in navigating complex healthcare landscapes has given her a deep understanding of the unique pressures faced by healthcare workers on the frontlines.

Throughout her time Marie has witnessed the toll that burnout and mental health challenges can take on those who devote their lives to caring for others. She firmly believes Marie has been an integral part of the Doctor in Distress’ efforts to provide resources, guidance, and a safe space for healthcare workers. Marie is honoured to be an Ambassador and remains steadfast in her commitment to supporting Doctors in Distress foster a culture of well-being, and ensure that no one feels alone. Her belief is that by uplifting those who provide care, we create a ripple effect that positively impacts patient outcomes and the entire healthcare system.

Eilean Crombie

Carole Stone

Carole Stone CBE is former producer of BBC Radio 4’s flagship discussion programme Any Questions?
Former Managing Director of the online opinion polling company YouGovStone Limited and founder of The Carole Stone Foundation to support her belief that connecting people, exchange ideas and building friendships around the world is essential to help make a fairer society.