Who-we-are





Dr Julian Abel is director of CC-UK and has run projects at local, regional and national levels.

Dr JULIAN ABEL

Dr Abel became a consultant in palliative care 2001, working initially at a district general hospital and a hospice. Over the last 10 years he has become increasingly involved in finding ways of building compassionate communities around people as they reach the end of life

He has run projects at local, regional and national levels. He was the chair of the organising committee for the 4th International Conference Public Health and Palliative Care, held in Bristol in 2015 and, until recently, was Vice President of Public Health Palliative Care International. He is an international keynote speaker and publishes regularly on models on public health palliative care. Dr Abel and Professor Allan Kellehear are the editors for the forthcoming publication of the Oxford Textbook of Public Health Palliative Care.

For the last five years he has worked with Frome Medical Practice in Somerset, developing a new model of primary care combined with compassionate communities. The health outcomes of this model have been dramatic, with this being the first intervention that has been effective in reducing population emergency admissions. Compassionate communities is one of the most effective therapeutic tools we have in improving length of life and well-being.

Along with Professor Kellehear and Catherine Millington-Sanders, he has formed Compassionate Communities UK, of which he is Director. The charity has been formed to develop the broader roll out of ‘Compassionate Communities’ in both primary care and end-of-life care. Projects are underway in multiple areas in the UK, and several international projects are under development.

Professor Kellehear, Dr Abel and Dr Millington-Sanders have a track record in initiating, sourcing funding and running projects. They are also international leads in the field and have worked with the major end-of-life organisations in the UK, including the National Council for Palliative Care, Hospice UK, Marie Curie Cancer Care and the different iterations of the National End of Life Programme for NHS England, as well as NHS IQ and NHS Improvement.

Professor Kellehear is the academic founder and international lead for the public health approach to palliative and end of life care.

PROFESSOR ALLAN KELLEHEAR

Professor Kellehear is the academic founder and international lead for the public health approach to palliative and end of life care. He established and led the Palliative Care Unit at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia – the first non-clinical, public health practice-based, palliative care unit in the world. His foundational books on the topic – Health Promoting Palliative Care (1999) and Compassionate Cities (2005) – are widely cited in the international academic and policy literature. He has published some 25 books and over 120 articles on death, dying, and end of life care and has held numerous professorships in Australia, Japan, England, and the USA. Allan was the inaugural President (2015-19) of Public Health Palliative Care International (PHPCI). He is currently a Clinical Professor jointly appointed to the College of Nursing and Health Sciences and The Robert Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, USA. He is an elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

Dr Millington-Sanders is the Lead GP for End of Life for the Royal College of General Practice and GP representative for Marie Curie.

DR CATHERINE MILLINGTON-SANDERS

Dr Millington-Sanders is the Lead GP for End of Life for the Royal College of General Practice and GP representative for Marie Curie. As well as being a practising GP, she is a commissioner for end of life for Kingston Clinical Commissioning Group. She is End of Life Care Clinical Lead for the South West London Sustainability and Transformation Plan with longstanding experience of developing and embedding strategy for end of life care regional plans.

Dr Manjula Patel is CEO of Murray Hall Community Trust and a Trustee of CC-UK.

Dr Manjula Patel

Chief Executive Officer of Murray Hall Community Trust, which is a community development organisation supporting children, families, young people and older adults with a range of different services from early years to end of life. Manjula has over 30 years background in community development. Manjula has recently completed her PhD in Compassionate Communities with Warwick University and has been at the forefront of taking this approach forward in the UK. 

Dr Emma Hodges is group CEO of St Giles Hospice and director of CC-UK.

Dr Emma Hodges

With nearly twenty years of experience in healthcare,  Emma has been involved in many areas of service and workforce redesign.  She developed a keen interest in issues contributing to deprivation and inequality after working with North Staffordshire Regeneration Zone several years ago.  Emma’s doctoral thesis completed in 2019 was “A mixed methods study exploring organisational factors influencing the development of services for people with dementia in English Hospices”.  She has a particular interest in social movement and organisational institutionalism theories and how these can contribute to changing the relationships between people and institutions.

Ed Straw is a visiting fellow for Open University and a writer on systems of government and their radical overhaul.

ED STRAW

Mr Straw is a writer on systems of government and their radical overhaul. He is a visiting fellow at the Open University in the Applied Systems Thinking in Practice group. He was a consulting partner at PwC for 20 years, chair of Relate, and chair of Demos, and government adviser.

Liz Rees has over 20 years experience working with various organisations delivering education and training projects and strategy.

LIZ REES

Ms Rees has over 20 years experience working with various organisations delivering education and training projects and strategy.  She has also worked within the voluntary sector as a Volunteer and Training Manager within a Hospice, becoming seconded as an education lead in the South West.  

Amber Jeffrey is the Founder and community leader of The Grief Gang podcast.

Amber Jeffrey

Amber Jeffrey is the Founder and community leader of The Grief Gang podcast. Since 2019, Amber has dedicated these years to create a compassionate community with grief support at it’s centre. She does this by sharing her ongoing experiences of her own bereavements candidly & honestly both through her podcast and social media platforms.

Amber also interviews a variety of guests on her show from all different walks of life and experiences of loss. From parent to partner, sibling to baby loss. Storytelling is at the crux of the show and the power of that is what has made the show so relatable and loved.

The show and Amber’s work, in it’s short life span, has been celebrated greatly amongst the likes of The BBC, Channel 5, Vogue & Women’s Health. 

As of 2021, Amber is enhancing her learnings & knowledge and has embarked on the journey to become a qualified Death Doula with accredited End of Life Doula UK.

Steve Crabb is an independent chair, consultant and writer.

Steve Crabb

Steve Crabb is an independent chair, consultant and writer who specialises in improving services for people in vulnerable circumstances.

He has worked for a number of national health charities, including the Alzheimer’s Society and the British Lung Foundation, and is a former trustee of the Royal College of General Practitioners. He was responsible for producing national guidance on being dementia-friendly for energy, water and telecoms companies and has played a leading role in improving support for bereaved people.