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Next Perspectives Lecture focuses on Healthcare

Tuesday 14 December, 7.00pm 

The next Perspectives Lectures will focus on careers in Healthcare. Join our panel of speakers on Zoom to hear them discuss the opportunities and challenges of a career in this field. Drawing upon a range of experience, four Bolton School alumni will also reflect upon the diverse range of career choices within the sector and the skills requires to succeed.

Our panellists are Chartered Physiotherapist Julie Littlehales (née Barwise, Class of 1990), Chief Pharmacist Helena Bird (née Read, Class of 1995), Consultant Anaesthetist Dr Catherine Collinson (Class of 1999), Clinical Commissioner Dr Helen Wall (Class of 2001), and Student Midwife Eleanor Gibbons (Class of 2019).

‘Perspectives’ is a series of free, public lectures hosted by Bolton School Girls’ Division, currently taking place on Zoom. They are free to attend and open to pupils in Year 10 and above, parents, alumni, and all other members of the School and local community. Please register via the link below to receive your Zoom code on the day:

Sign up directly on Zoom

About our panellists:

Julie Littlehales nee Barwise (Class 1990) – Chartered Physiotherapist

Julie has spent 28 years working as a Chartered Physiotherapist. After leaving Bolton School in 1990 she gained a BSc(hons) degree at Manchester University and qualified as a Chartered Physiotherapist. For 5 years she worked in the NHS and privately for Wilmslow Rugby Union Football Club. She then travelled to Australia and New Zealand working as a physiotherapist whilst out there. Upon her return to the UK she gained a second degree whilst getting married and having two children. As an Emergency Care Practitioner, she works in the Accident and Emergency Department and also continues her role as an Advanced Practice Physiotherapist within the Fracture Clinics. She is currently studying for a Masters in Musculoskeletal Trauma Management.

Helena Bird (née Read) (Class of 1995) - Chief Pharmacist and Controlled Drugs Accountable Officer at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Having been undecided about whether to choose a career in Architecture or Pharmacy, on completion of A Levels in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry, Helena chose to study the latter at the University of Bath. After graduating, she spent the next year travelling around the world and registered as a Pharmacist in Australia where she worked in numerous pharmacies down the east coast. On her return, Helena began her career as a Pharmacist in the NHS, further completing a Masters in Science (Portsmouth University), a Masters in Psychopharmacology (Brighton and Sussex Medical School) and becoming an Independent Prescriber (Brighton University). It was during this time that she specialised in a number of clinical areas including intensive care medicine, mental health and cancer where her work was published in the British Journal of Cancer.

During her career, Helena has been responsible for the implementation of many advances in pharmaceutical services; including expansion of clinical services, interface working between healthcare settings and many novel automation developments involving robotics and electronic prescribing systems. Her current position as a Chief Pharmacist allows her the ability to plan and shape services around patients needs and create an environment where the team can grow in clinical responsibilities including becoming advanced clinical practitioners and consultant pharmacists.

Helena is hugely passionate about the NHS, a service she has been proudly connected to for the last 22 years. For her, it not only continues to be a rich learning environment but is also a place where through research, is a privilege to see new medicines and treatment advancements put in to practice that make a difference to patients lives.

Catherine Collinson (Class of 1999) – Consultant Anaesthetist at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh

After leaving Bolton School in 1999, Catherine studied Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. She decided to pursue a career in Anaesthesia so after completing Foundation Programme Training, she secured a Specialty Training Programme place in South East Scotland School of Anaesthesia. She was awarded a Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training in October 2016, and was appointed as a Consultant Anaesthetist at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. Her day to day practice includes obstetric anaesthesia, acute pain management and anaesthetising patients undergoing major gynaecological cancer surgery.

Helen Wall (Class of 2001) – Clinical Commissioner GP at Bolton CCG

Helen joined Bolton school in 1994 wanting to become a Doctor. After leaving medical school in 2006 she moved back to Bolton from Newcastle University and completed house jobs in East Lancashire hospitals. Choosing a career in General Practice has allowed Helen to have a varied career to date including that of GP partner and trainer, medical school tutor and examiner, out of hours GP, Bolton clinical lead for women’s and children’s services and several years working at Bolton Hospice. As Clinical Director of commissioning for Bolton CCG Helen is responsible for all commissioned health care services within Bolton including identifying gaps in services and working to fund and quality assure them. Over the past 18 months Helen has led the Bolton system response with the Director of Public Health to the COVID pandemic whilst also being on the frontline as a GP in COVID clinics twice a week and her own practice. In Dec 2020 as the Senior responsible officer for the Bolton COVID Vaccination programme Helen set up the first Bolton COVID clinic and gave the first COVID vaccine in Bolton. She has gone on to oversee a further 9 Bolton vaccine sites plus many additional surge vaccination sites delivering to date over 300000 jabs as a town. Helen is passionate about enabling access to healthcare for all of our communities and raising awareness about the challenges some of our population face with inaccessible healthcare.

Eleanor Gibbons (Class of 2019) – Current student of Midwifery at the University of Salford

Eleanor Gibbons (class of 2019) is currently a final year Student Midwife (BSc (Hons)) at The University of Salford, Manchester. Eleanor studied Biology, Religious Studies and Textiles at A-level and was a keen member of the school Lacrosse and Netball teams. Whilst at university she has been carrying out her placements at The Princess Anne Maternity Unit in The Royal Bolton Hospital. Eleanor’s midwifery degree has brought about many challenges such as working during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this experience has cemented her passion for the career and for working within the NHS. Her placements at the hospital have also given Eleanor many opportunities, igniting a passion for the social care aspect of midwifery with a focus on safeguarding women and their babies. This is something she may explore later on in her career. Eleanor has also continued her love of sport and currently plays for Stockport Ladies Lacrosse team. She will graduate from university in September 2022 and hopes to commence her Master’s Degree in Midwifery in January 2023, which she can complete over three years alongside working as a newly qualified midwife.

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