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Meet The Team


 Diane Ridgway BA MSc RGN - Chief Executive Officer

Diane has worked in the health service as a nurse and a manager for 40 years.  She has been ELMS Chief Executive since 2009, taking up an interim position in 2008. Since her appointment the organisation achieved many quality awards, including the Social Enterprise kite mark, and Investors in People Award. Her national roles mean that Diane has the opportunity to raise the profile and champion patients and social enterprise in national forums.

Diane has raised ELMS profile locally and nationally, is a member of the Patients Association, and more recently the Northwest Women’s Enterprise Forum. Diane is an avid sponsor of patient’s and believes in patients having their views heard and through her leadership, and patient focus ELMS are delighted to have established and now host the Patient Voice Group, an independent forum which also acts as the organisations critical friends.


Glenda Feeney - Director of Corporate Services

Glenda has worked in Healthcare since 1994 joining the original Blackburn and District Medical Co-operative which has transformed over the years to become East Lancashire Medical Services.

From a financial and commercial background in the banking and retail sectors, Glenda now has overall responsibility for the expanding Corporate team who provide administrative and support services to all the elements of ELMS business. Her work is fundamental to our financial division of the Company incorporating payroll, accounts, budget setting and control, along with ensuring ELMS legal and statutory compliance.

Born in Blackburn and having always lived in the local area with her now grown up family; as a working parent for many years Glenda has great interest in local issues including health and education making her involvement alongside the ELMS Patient Voices Group both interesting and rewarding with a wish to see the area continue to succeed and improve its services and facilities.


Morag White - Director of Clinical Services

Morag left the beautiful country of Scotland with her husband in 1976 and moved to the Midlands before moving to scenic East Lancashire in 1989. She has lived and worked here for the past 25years, and during that time she has brought up her 2 children.

 Morag has worked in  Out of Hours since 1991. Initially, she was the Out of Hours  Manager for a local Deputising  service before she took the enormous step of starting a Company known as Radio Doctor  with five local doctors. The company began by undertaking the home visits for doctors in Blackburn, Darwen and Hyndburn. They then expanded sufficiently and successfully to provide the home visiting service for patients in Burnley Pendle & Rossendale and other areas for a period of approximately 13 years. She was invited to join ELMS as Medical Resources Manager on the Executive Team in 2007 and since then Morag has progressed within the company to the role of Director of Clinical Services, a post she has held for 7 years.

 Morag is renowned locally amongst clinicians as being patient focused and passionate about looking after her medical and non clinical staff. Morag is well known and respected and has  a well deserved reputation of being reliable and caring.

 This reputation served her well during the 16 years she was PTFA Chairperson of St Augustines High School where she was made the first Honorary President of the school when she retired from her duties in 2011


Dr Bob Palmowski - Chairman of ELMS Council & Medical Director

Dr Palmowski is a practising local GP, who remains passionate about the role and importance of primary care. Dr Palmowski joined the out of hours service in the early days of the Co-operative, and has been part of its evolution into its present format of a social enterprise. He works on the "shop floor" providing direct out of hours services to the public, and with his executive team, ensures that the organisation maintains a high quality, safe, and efficient service with clear clinical goals.


Dr Paul Fourie - Medical Director

Dr Fourie has worked in Blackburn for 15years and in the Out of Hours for 14 years. Dr Fourie provide strategic Clinical Leadership for the organisation and provide leadership and personal support to the ELMS GP and Nurse workforce when required. He also provides clinical advice and support to the CEO in her role. Dr Fourie is married with 3 children and tries to live an active lifestyle. He works hard to ensure that the people of the locality have a robust and fit for purpose health system.


Mr Russ McLean - Patient Voice Group Chairman & Non-Executive Director

Russ is the Chair of the Patient Voices Group and the Patient Representative (Non-Executive Director) on ELMS board. He is also Vice-Chair of ELMS Council. Prior to being elected as Chair of the Patient Voices Group (PVG) - Russ worked as a College Lecturer (media) and has provided Voice Recordings to Commercial Radio Stations, The Cinema, Corporate and informational DVDs, Web-sites and Information Lines since 1990. Now semi-retired through ill health Russ likes to keep busy whenever he can.

He has done much for the Voluntary sector including the Local Involvement Network (LINk) The Friends of Roe Lee Park and The Brownhill Community Association. He has worked extensively in Television and his TV programmes have raised thousands of pounds for local charities, for quiet rooms and an MRI Scanner at his local hospital. He continues to be very vocal in his quest to educate those who provide HealthCare locally and to champion the views of the 540,000 patients he represents.

“I suffer from multiple long term health conditions and this means that I have a very active interest in those who provide my healthcare. ELMS has always put patients at the very heart of the services they deliver to the local community and those patients can be assured that I am very vocal, on their behalf, when I represent them at ELMS board meetings.”



Dr Karen Massey - Lead GP & Non-Executive

Karen was born in Northern Ireland and moved to England in 1996. She qualified as a GP in 2000 and has worked as a GP principal since then. She joined Slaidburn Country Practice in 2011 and is also the Named GP for Safeguarding for East Lancs CCG. She joined the board of ELMS in 2014. She is married to David, who also works for ELMS and occasionally they discuss things other than work. 



 James Bibby - Senior Operations Officer

James comes from Rishton and has worked locally for the majority of his professional career. James initially joined ELMS in 2009 as Business and Performance Manager and fulfilled this role until April 2014 when he took up the role of Senior Operations Officer for ELMS Unscheduled Care Services. Currently he is combining his role whilst undertaking further academic studies in management theory at the University Centre at Blackburn College.

 Prior to joining ELMS in 2009 James worked for NHS Cumbria as a Business Support Manager. In this role he was responsible for the effective management and support of service improvement initiatives in Primary Care; working towards reduced waiting times for patients and creating scope for extra capacity within existing service provision. This required a great creativity and the ability to think differently about service provision and how best to achieve quality and meet patient needs.

 James worked with Nursing Services as well as Allied Health Professionals, primarily Physiotherapy, Occupational Health and Dietetics. He also has experience of working to improve services for children and young people.

 Prior to entering a career in health, James enjoyed a successful career within the aerospace engineering sector. Initially James began his career as logistical engineer serving in HM Royal Air Force at RAF Cosford for five years before moving back to his roots in Rishton. Once home James embarked on a career at Brookhouse in Darwen as Head of Production Control, responsible scheduling and specific prioritisation of all production requirements in the companies tooling group. This twelve year period honed his analytical and business skills. James is a PRINCE 2 trained project manager and is very experience in project management. He has worked on projects from a provision and commissioning perspectives during his industrial and health service careers. He has a good understanding of what is required to implement successful services and a keen eye for quality. 



 Michael O'Connor - Business & Performance Manager

Michael has worked in a variety of management roles in the health service for 20 years, including 14 years in East Lancashire. He has worked for NHS Supplies, East Lancashire Health Authority, Hyndburn & Ribble Valley PCG, East Lancashire PCT and NHS Shared Business Services prior to joining ELMS. As Business and Performance Manager, Michael works to maintain contract compliance and achieve ELMS business objectives.



Craig Winters - IT & Systems Manager

Craig joined ELMS in 2007 as a Dental Call Handler. Through hard work and determination, Craig worked his way up, eventually finding his feet in the IT Department in an IT Support Role. Craig then took on the role of IT & Systems Manager on an interim basis due to sickness in 2012. In 2014 the role was made permanent.

This role is both challenging & varied, it includes development, consultation, provision & maintenance of all IT Systems used by ELMS. With the company expanding all the time this role is likely to keep on growing.


David Massey - Business Contracts Manager

David joined ELMS in April 2014 having worked in primary care management since 2002. His previous experience includes retail management and financial services as well as time served in the Royal Military Police and the Fire Service. David is responsible for all aspects of the day to day running of the ELMS Federated Practice and Slaidburn Country Practice.



 Andrew Clarke - Health, Safety & Estates Manager

Having spent most of his working life in the Blackburn textile industry, Andrew took on a fresh challenge in January 2010 when he joined ELMS to become Health and Safety Manager. His previous experience in information management is being utilised in his responsibility for Information Governance and he also looks after facilities and estates. In 2013  ELMS consolidated clinical governance activities in a small department which Andrew heads up.

Qualified with a degree from UMIST and an MBA from the OU; he trained as an FE lecturer and was later awarded a Diploma in Occupational Safety and Health. Married, he now lives in Bolton and has two adult children.


Levis Springer - HR Manager

Levis joined ELMS in 2009 his job role is Senior Human Resources manager, ensuring good HR practice is embedded in strategic planning within ELMS.

He is involved in coordinating & delivering training & development for staff, providing guidance to managers & employees on a range of employee relations policies & procedures such as grievance, disciplinary, performance and attendance.




 Sharon Shaw MSc MA BSC Hons RGN - Clinical Lead Nurse & Safeguarding Lead

Sharon is a  Registered General Nurse  who qualified in 1983 with thirty years experience in emergency, urgent and primary care nursing. She set up the first A&E Emergency Nurse Practitioner service in Lancashire and helped to set up similar services in Cumbria. Sharon has worked for ELMS for 5 years and has helped to set up community based urgent and primary care services in East Lancashire. She is currently working as the Lead Nurse for the Organisation and also the Safeguarding Lead for the organisation. This is a new and exciting role for her which will allow Sharon to develop nursing within ELMS and also to embed the importance safeguarding within all of our services. Sharon will be developing a strategy for nursing within the company which will help us to develop tomorrows nurses today.


Alison Pettinger - Corporate Services Manager

Alison first joined ELMS when it was the Blackburn & District Co-Op as a part time Call Handler for the Out-of-Hours Service in 2003.

Her background in office administration and accounts gave her the ideal oppurtunity to join the Corporate Services department on a full time basis in 2010 as Corporate Services Supervisor. Alison has undertaken numerous training courses to gain knowledge in the skills that are required in the diverse role and continues to benefit from the in house support.

In March 2014, Alison was offered the role of Corporate Services Manager, mentored and supported by Glenda, the Director of Corporate Services. The rapid growth and successful contract bids has seen the company expand significantly and the Corporate Services Team increase to five members of staff. Alison manages the team who are fundamental to the smooth running of all financial elements of the company including payroll and NHS Pension Administration.

Alison has completed a training programme to become a First Responder to enable her to help local patients in her community.



 Tom Marsden - Operational Manager

Tom joined ELMS in 2009 as the Out of Hours Manager,  having worked locally for most of his life working for Mercedes-Benz NW, firstly as an apprentice in the Parts Department at Westwood Mercedes-Benz, Rishton, to working his way up to a post of Parts Regional Manager for MB Northwest, having responsibilities in overseeing 5 Regional Dealerships.

 Tom then moved from Out of Hours to overseeing the newly formed Acute Visiting Service and fulfilled this Role until April 2014 where he embarked on another challenging role of Operational Manager for ELMS Unscheduled Care Services.

 Prior to entering the Motor Industry, Tom joined the Royal Corps of Signal as a Junior Signalman from school and carried out his basic training in Newcastle upon Tyne.







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