Meet the team

Chris Caldwell - NWSDU

Chris Caldwell

Director of Nursing and Director of the National Workforce Skills Development Unit

Chris joined the Trust in November 2016. 

As well as her role as Director of Nursing, Chris is also the Director of the National Workforce Skills Development Unit and oversees the Trust's work on perinatal mental health. 

Previously she had been the Dean of Healthcare Professions at Health Education England's north central and east London local office. 

Chris has over twenty years experience in the NHS, higher education and health policy. Her previous roles include Deputy Director of Education and Assistant Chief Nurse at Great Ormond Street, Programme Manager at the Department of Health, and Programme Director at the Royal College of Nursing.

She is a registered children’s nurse, general nurse and nurse teacher.

Ian Tegderdine - NWSDU

Ian Tegerdine

Deputy Director of the National Workforce Skills Development Unit

Ian is a Podiatrist by professional background but has spent most of his career in training, education, human resources, organisational and workforce development.

Ian’s first degree is in Podiatry but he also holds a Master’s degree in management and is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

He spends way too much time and money indulging his favourite pastime of theatre in all its forms.

Rob Hardy - NWSDU 2

Rob Hardy

Senior Programme Lead

Rob supports the Associate Director with running the unit, engaging with stakeholders across the country and has leadership across the core project work.

Rob spent most of his career working on the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme at both a regional (London) and a national level – latterly being the Health Education England (HEE) IAPT National workforce programme lead and deputy national mental health lead. Rob also spent some time working at University College London (UCL) running the Psychological Interventions Research Centre managing a number of evaluation projects of mental health and addiction services. 

All of his spare time is taken up with music. He plays the guitar for his band and regularly tours Europe writing and releasing new records.

Amber O’BrienAmber O'Brien

Clinical Adviser

Amber is a Registered Mental Health Nurse with over 15 years’ experience in the mental health sector. She has worked in inpatient settings for a large proportion of her career and at a senior level across a range of settings in both the NHS and private sector. Her experience spans psychiatric intensive care, forensic settings, practice education, policy and strategy design and one-to-one patient consultation. In addition to her nursing qualification, she has a PGCert in Clinical Neuroscience and an MSc in Psychiatric Research. She also holds a specialist training and assessment qualification. 

 In her spare time, Amber enjoys music, comedy and quizzing.

As a Senior Project Manager Joanna has responsibility for operational effectiveness of the Unit. 

Joanna has over 16 years’ experience within an education and training sector in the NHS. She started her career in general management working to increase responsibility in project management before she moved into programme operations management. 

Joanna has a BA(Hons) in Business Management and an MSc in Strategic Quality Management. She has also gained the Chartered Manager status of the Chartered Management Institute. 

She enjoys spending time with her two little children and her favourite past-times include painting, travelling, exploring nature and playing basketball.

Juliane has in-depth knowledge of the different mental health workforce challenges from her work mapping out mental health roles and professions in the NHS. She has collaborated with stakeholders from across the workforce.

Previously she has managed the Workforce Stress and the Supportive Organisation framework project which takes a systemic approach to supporting staff. She is now overseeing the piloting process of the framework to test its impact.  

Prior to joining the unit, she managed large scale consulting projects and conducted economic market analysis in the private sector.  

Juliane has a master’s in International Conflict Studies and her keen interest in mental health has led her to complete a master’s in Psychology in 2017.

In her spare time, she can be found bouldering, climbing mountains or discussing and cooking food.

Jenny DurlingJenny Durling

Team Administrator/PA to Senior Team 


Jenny is an experienced executive assistant who comes to the Unit after 12 years at the disability charity Scope, where she was Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive and Chair of Trustees. Prior to this she worked in a variety of different temporary administrative roles and spent two years as a Verifier and Services Research Assistant at Which? magazine.

Born in London, Jenny spent her childhood in Dunedin on the South Island of New Zealand and completed an Honours degree in English Literature at Otago University.

She is predominantly motivated by supporting leaders to be the very best they can be, bringing order to chaos and improving backroom processes. She also volunteers at the National Stalking Helpline (which is part of the Suzy Lamplugh Trust) one day a week.

Jenny loves dogs, the seaside and true crime. 

Amina is particularly interested in the shaping of education and training to adapt to changing patient needs as well as developments in evidence-based research, to empower the workforce and provide high quality care.

Amina is currently working on a project developing national post-registration mental health nursing educational standards and previously managed a project focused on enhancing the skills of nurses in Children and Young People’s Mental Health. 

Prior to joining the unit Amina managed the delivery of education and training to healthcare professionals at a university.

In her spare time, she is engaged in environmental justice advocacy and enjoys dancing, reading and communing with nature.


Emily Lee

Emily M. Lee

Project Manager

2020-21 Project: Learning disability nursing post-qualification awards


Emily is a registered Behavioural Therapist and Parent Educator for young children and families. She has also worked for many years as a Clinical Coordinator for an out-patient multidisciplinary clinic and family education centre - this consisted of mental/behavioural health services, positive parenting strategies, SLP, OT, birth education, etc.

Emily has her BSc in Health Care Administration from California State University, Long Beach and an MA in Psychoanalysis from Birkbeck, University of London with an emphasis in behavioural health, early childhood development and intergenerational trauma. This has expanded her psychosocial awareness, knowledge of contemporary generational shifts in behaviour, and cultural mindfulness.

 For fun, Emily enjoys cooking, travelling, and spending time with family and friends.

Hannah PoupartHannah Poupart

Project Manager

2020-21 Project: Building on the mental health support workforce to meet service requirements


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Hannah has 13 years experience working in NHS arm's length bodies. The golden thread has been project management but she has worked in executive education, staff learning and development, events management and membership and stakeholder engagement. 

Hannah is motivated by bringing order to complex and fast paced situations, alongside developing efficient processes with continuous learning. She is an advocate for supporting people but is ultimately passionate about getting to the heart of an issue to empower people and the systems themselves.

Hannah is a certified Agile Practitioner and has an post-graduate Advanced Award in Designing, Delivering and Evaluating Learning and Development Provision from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. 

Outside of work Hannah’s interests are current affairs,  human rights, horror films and exploring places, peoples and cultures. 

Neil parmer cropped

Neil Parmar

Project Manager

2020-21 Project: New roles


Neil also works as a Research Consultant for a Biotech company based in the US, consulting on research practices adopted within the UK. 

Neil studied Fashion Illustration at the London College of Fashion (UAL) and is currently working towards an MSc in Project Management from the University of Northumbria.

Outside of work, Neil enjoys drawing, sport and cooking.

Richard Wayoe

Richard Wayoe

Project Manager

2020-21 Project: The representation of protected characteristics within the current core projects


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Richard has a BA Biological and Biomedical Sciences and has worked his way through the NHS to bring a hands-on perspective and personal experience of workforce issues. 

Richard is motivated by having his work rooted in reducing inequalities for staff and outcomes for patients. He is particularly proud of the work that came out of his 2019/20 core project 'Attitudes Towards Careers in Mental Health' which examined prevailing opinions on Mental Health Nursing as a focus but Mental Health careers in general. 

Richard enjoys working in the Unit because of the diversity of backgrounds and opinions that make it such a constant learning experience. 

Work aside Richard has keen interests in sport, tech, anime, Marvel movies & baking.

Ryan is an experienced NHS manager and commissioner - and combines this experience - with project skills picked up in the energy and transport sectors. 

Ryan is passionate about NHS staff welfare, equity and wellbeing and in his time at the Unit so far, has managed a Mental Health elearning project and the 2020 NWSDU/HEE Mental Health Workforce Learning Conference, which took place in Birmingham.

Ryan joined the team in December 2019 having recently returned from a year in Australia.

Outside of work, he loves football, live comedy, music and the theatre and is a keen (vegan) cook.

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