Who we are

Who we are

We are a trusted and credible investigatory firm at the time when you need this the most. As the leading supplier of independent investigations to NHS England, our breadth and depth of experience has helped us to become a recognised leader in this field.

Our history

Niche were formed back in 1992 by three individuals (one of them being our current Managing Partner Tom McCarthy) who had a vision to create a brilliant management consultancy. This would be based on a team of NHS dedicated subject matter experts providing value for money and practical solutions to the problems clients faced. This vision, and the way of working it fosters, still runs through Niche today.

The firm has seen many changes in personnel over the years, and fair few tweaks to its name. We still retain a base in Manchester though our team are spread wide from Scotland through to the south coast of England.

Tom McCarthy

Partner

tom.mccarthy@nicheconsult.co.uk

Summary

After qualifying from the University of York with an MSc in Health Economics Tom began his career as a Health Economist, working at both NHS regional and district levels in the mid-1980s. He was heavily involved in developing quality of life indicators at both an academic and practical level which are still referenced today. Tom has led Niche since its creation in the early 1990’s and has guided the development of the management consultancy ever since. This included playing a significant role in developing NHS mental health policy during the development of National Service Frameworks and Tom was instrumental in designing performance frameworks for their monitoring.

He has used his strategic and analytical training within Niche ever since. Tom continues to specialise in developing analytic solutions to complex healthcare quality, finance and capacity challenges. He leads on major assignments and retains his passion for the delivery of cost effective and efficient services. Tom heads up Niche’s Improvement Analytics team both delivering numerous projects as well as spearheading our product development considerations. Tom also leads for the board on the financial aspects of Niche’s development and our marketing strategy.

Skills and Experience

  • Numerous capacity, demand and flow modelling assignments ensuring, either at a trust or whole system level, that patient flow and performance attainment is optimised within the constraints of finances and available workforce.
  • Leading on complex multi-agency strategic reviews into the development of services, often within constrained financial envelopes.
  • Development of options appraisals and business cases requiring the engagement of disparate stakeholders & subsequent negotiation to ensure they meet national requirements.
  • Delivery of a major baseline assessments of NHS provider and system performance to assist clients with financial recovery & transformation.
  • The development of service specific strategies especially in the field of mental health, combining his knowledge of best practice, the policy imperatives services face, and local needs to help organisations achieve their goals. 
  • Modelling patient harm data turning it into speciality and board level intelligence.
  • Providing analytical tools to help clients both with operational imperatives such as A&E waiting time attainment and also strategic performance management. 
  • Supporting the development of strategic plans for independent sector providers looking to move further into mental health service provision.

James Fitton

Partner

james.fitton@nicheconsult.co.uk

Summary

James has been with Niche for over two decades. With a MSc in Evidence-based Healthcare, an MA and MBA, his emphasis is on service evaluation and modelling-based service strategy, grounded in evidence-based practice and sound business approaches.  James leads our evaluation and assurance based areas and has a major role in modelling assignments. Prior to joining Niche, James spent 14 years within the NHS, managing mental health and learning disability services in both rural and urban areas of the North West of England.

He has also served as a Director of the National Institute for Mental Health in England and has served as a Trustee of several local charities, and of a charitable company. James has also been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, in recognition of his work in the development of mental health services. Within Niche James plays a significant role in our assurance and Improvement Analytics areas and leads on HR and quality aspects for the board. 

Skills and Experience

  • Complex evaluations of mental health and community services, including:
  • National programmes in secure mental health care, including specialist community forensic teams, women’s secure blended services, and peer-based approaches
  • The national New Care Models initiative in mental health, including inpatients services for young people, and for people with an eating disorder
  • The national Suicide and self-harm prevention programme
  • The introduction of specialist 18-25 mental health services, including appraisal of economic risks
  • The “Connecting Care” approach to integrated health and social care in community hubs in Wakefield (three-year programme)
  • An eleven-site collaborative approach to care planning in the Republic of Ireland
  • The design, management & delivery of capacity planning, demand and patient flow modelling of both inpatient and community mental health services, in a wide variety of services, from Cumbria to Dorset, and from large cities (Birmingham, Leeds, Bradford, Nottingham, South West London) to large rural areas, such as Norfolk, Suffolk, Derbyshire, Lancashire, Warwickshire and Leicestershire.
  • Expert facilitation skills working with both service managers and board directors managing workshops and planning days for local teams, including the development of performance frameworks, and clinical strategies.
  • Coordinating the delivery of Niche’s Investigatory assurance fram

Kate Jury

Partner

kate.jury@nicheconsult.co.uk

Summary

Kate joined Niche having very successfully worked for several years as a Quality Governance Practice Director for Deloitte LLP.  Prior to this she worked in a large acute NHS Foundation Trust managing all aspects of patient experience (including complaints, litigation and public involvement). Kate is a strongly values driven partner who enjoys building teams, relationships and supporting the development of others.

Kate specialises in undertaking major multi agency independent investigations, quality assurance reviews and governance and due diligence reviews in line with core regulatory frameworks. She has undertaken many investigations and complaint reviews into serious quality failures including G.P conduct, Never Events, catastrophic incidents and culture reviews

She has significant experience in analysing the effectiveness of the escalation systems, processes and information from which the Board derives assurance on quality and particularly on the culture and structures required to deliver excellent healthcare. Within Niche Kate plays a lead role in both our investigations and Assurance areas, as well as with major investigations, and leads on quality and compliance for.

Skills and Experience

  • Large scale system-wide multi population Independent Investigations following complaints and serious incidents. 
  • Being a nationally renowned healthcare governance specialist having worked with well over 300 healthcare organisations across all healthcare sectors.
  • Vast experience on working on multi-agency governance and investigation cases.
  • Co-developing national guidance on board assurance on quality governance (BGAF) and developing guidance on quality for various leadership organisations.
  • Assisting organisations to establish effective systems for governance including complaints processes, risk management systems and escalation processes.
  • Specialist expertise in complaints investigations and helping organisations to learn from errors.
  • Undertaking due diligence projects on some of the largest healthcare sector reconfigurations and transactions in the country and devising a process for identifying red flags for quality for a number of organisations involved in the due diligence process.
  • Working with challenged trusts and undertaking forensic reviews and investigations on failures in governance such as Homicide, Clinical Malpractice, RTT reporting issues, Whistleblowing reviews, Never Event analysis and Sepsis episodes reporting and developing new (resultant) clinical engagement programmes.
  • Co-developing an Executive Team effectiveness tool and undertaking research and a development needs analysis in relation to NEDs, Chairs, Governors and CCG Lay Members on how to work outside of organisational form.
  • Kate is an expert at tackling dysfunction and supporting collaborative team development programmes and she has extensive training in transactional analysis and communication methods.

Nick Moor

Partner

nick.moor@nicheconsult.co.uk

Summary

Nick has been with Niche for over two decades. A former nurse (RGN and RMN) he has a thorough understanding of clinical practice and the ethical and legal issues of managing healthcare services. He has an MBA from Sheffield University, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Law from Cardiff Law School.

Nick has an unparalleled level of knowledge of how mental health services operate within the context of patient safety, best-practice and operational delivery. As such Nick leads and develops our mental health investigations area delivering high quality robust investigations helping organisations learn from incidents and embed changes in clinical and board assurance processes.

Nick is a highly credible lead investigator delivering well over two hundred high profile investigations and reviews in all areas, from mental health homicides to never-event surgery, and from quality of care reviews to clinical laboratory incidents. He has been instrumental in setting the tone of our investigations, which are accepted as being fair, proportionate and robust. Nick has also presented at national conferences and continues to develop investigation assurance processes for both our team and our clients. 

Nick has an ongoing passion for helping Trusts and systems learn lessons when things go wrong, and his excellent facilitation skills and engaging manner are renowned in the NHS in this regard. Nick also leads on IT issues for the Niche board

Skills and Experience

  • Chair and lead investigator of many high profile NHSE published independent mental health homicides often involving multi agency analysis, thematic interpretation and skilled report writing. 
  • Special expertise in the mental health care, and after care, of people going through the criminal justice system, including leading investigations into the failure to secure inpatient care for released prisoners.
  • Investigations into serious incidents in acute care settings including wrong site surgery never event, clinical laboratory errors and failed extubation.
  • Expertise in reviewing the quality of Tier 4 CAMHS and Adult PICU service provision at both an operational and strategic level.
  • Facilitating. chairing and leading investigations involving safeguarding and care of vulnerable adults.
  • Governance and assurance reviews of clinical governance processes, including ‘ward to Board’ quality governance for community health care provider.

Mary-Ann Bruce

Partner

mary-ann.bruce@nicheconsult.co.uk

Summary

Mary-Ann joined Niche from Mazars LLP where she lead the Health Advisory team. Mary-Ann trained as a registered general and sick children’s nurse in London, and a Health Visitor in the North East. She has over 30 years NHS experience predominantly in the community, mental health and primary care space and associated services. She also has an MBA.

Mary-Ann is best known for her work on Mortality Governance – since the high-profile publication of the Southern Health NHS Trust report she has been working/speaking with over 60 NHS Trusts. This includes speaking widely on governance, Learning from Deaths approaches, thematic reviews of patient safety learning and system wide reviews of deaths to inform joined up learning.  Her publicly available work includes a ground breaking system-wide Structured Judgement Review across Leicestershire. Mary-Ann was also a key member of the CQC Expert Advisory Group for the subsequent CQC report commissioned by the Secretary of State – Learning, Candour and Accountability following her work at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Mary-Ann is an integral part of our investigations and major reviews team.

Skills and Experience

  • Large scale system-wide multi population Independent Investigations following complaints and serious incidents.
  • Multi-agency investigation of patient deaths across mental health/learning disability, acute and primary care settings.
  • The delivery of highly sensitive investigations requiring skilled family engagement. 
  • Expert delivery and lead authorship of suicide and homicide investigations for NHS England
  • System wide clinical quality audit (Structured Judgement Reviews) resulting in system wide impact and change.
  • Expertise in costing NHS-Funded Nursing Care leading to published findings and subsequent work to examine the costs and trends in the use of agency nursing in the care home sector
  • Experience of Safeguarding reviews across the Charity, Education and Housing sectors.
  • Strategic Review of Supported Living Service for Housing Associations
  • Pre-CQC inspection support for care providers in Supported Living Service

Dr Carol Rooney

Associate Director

carol.rooney@nicheconsult.co.uk

Summary

Carol has had a career in forensic mental health nursing as a Director of Nursing in an independent secure mental health provider. With a Doctorate in professional practice and a Master’s in nursing, Carol specialises in complex independent investigations and reviews. Carol also provides supervision and project management for many of our mental health investigations. 

Carol is vastly skilled in clinical risk management, prevention and management of violence and aggression and serious incident management and investigations. She has a particular focus on complex investigations across boundaries, including domestic homicide and safeguarding reviews. Carol is a member of the Niche senior leadership team plating an active role in ensuring we continue to maintain the highest standards in our investigations. 

She is also a member of the Niche senior leadership team and helps ensure all our work meets the highest quality standards. 

Skills and Experience

  • Lead authorship and delivery of complex mental health investigations involving multi agency stakeholders.  
  • Delivering thematic reviews into Trust systems and processes in the light of multiple homicides.
  • Sensitive report presentation skills especially to affected families. 
  • Implementation of structured system for assurance of action plans following independent investigations.
  • Presenting reports at inquests following death in custody reviews.
  • Detailed knowledge of the impact of ‘county lines’ on mental health homicides.
  • Expert chairing Domestic Homicide Reviews.
  • Delivery of combined DHR/SGA and SCR reviews for NHS England.

Emma Foreman

Associate Director

emma.foreman@nicheconsult.co.uk

Summary

Before joining Niche Emma worked as the Clinical Nurse Lead for the Board Advisory practice at Deloitte LLP. There she participated in quality, board and specialist governance reviews in line with core regulatory frameworks at more than 100 organisations. She has also been a Patient Flow Manager in a large acute NHS Foundation Trust. Emma has a passion for delivering complex reviews and investigations into clinical practice, governance and culture.

As a former Registered General Nurse, Emma has extensive experience with care of the elderly in the acute setting. Emma now works within the assurance and investigations area within Niche and has worked with a wide range of NHS providers including community, acute, ambulance and mental health undertaking specialist and internal audit reviews and investigations on quality and governance. 

She is also a member of the Niche senior leadership team and helps ensure all our work meets the highest quality standards. 

Skills and Experience

  • Vast experience in the fields of quality, governance, assurance and investigations gained over several decades in the NHS and consulting sector. 
  • Expertise in all aspects of governance related projects particularly focussing on well-led leadership.
  • Conducting and expertly managing investigation into a catastrophic incidents involving close family liaison and engagement with extremely traumatised staff.
  • Investigating Never Events.
  • Redesigning pathways in order to meet local and mandated access targets while also improving patient and service user experience. Projects have included admission avoidance, identification of bottle necks, early supported discharge, team capacity and capability reviews.
  • Facilitation of Executive Director, health and social care leadership programmes including those that are ‘place based’ in order to drive efficiencies while also improving organisational culture and patient safety.

Kathryn Hyde-Bales

Associate Director

kathryn.hyde-bales@nichconsult.co.uk

Summary

Prior to joining Niche Kathryn worked for Mazars LLP and Verita, where she gained extensive consultancy experience. Kathryn also has hands on operational experience, having worked as the Head of Governance at the HCA Princess Grace Hospital. She worked at the Healthcare Commission, and later Care Quality Commission, in a range of investigations, analytical and management roles. She was also a member of the independent oversight team examining the NHS and Department of Heath investigations into matters relating to the Saville inquiry.

Kathryn brings to Niche and our clients a wealth of experience in investigations, regulation and governance, gained in the public and private health sector. She is a core member of our team both leading and delivering complex Niche investigations across all NHS sectors. She is also a member of the Niche senior leadership team. 

Skills and Experience

  • Numerous independent mental health homicide care and treatment investigations both focused in individual trusts but also system wide.
  • Expertise in combined adult safeguarding and mental health homicide reviews.
  • Complaint handling reviews. An independent reviews.
  • Forensic assessment and review of Trust Serious Incident investigation process and reports.
  • LD care and treatment reviews especially involving multiple providers across a number of years.
  • Assurance reviews of Trust internal investigations and the implementation of resultant action plans.
  • ‘Mock’ CQC inspections and support for NHS and social care provide

Sue Salas

Senior Consultant

sue.salas@nicheconsult.co.uk

Summary

Sue is Registered mental health nurse and a registered general nurse with Master’s in occupational psychology & culture & mental health. She is an experienced NHS manager and has practiced as a mental health clinician.

Sue has been with Niche for a decade and a half & has undertaken a wide range of consultancy projects of varying size and complexity. Sue has an interest in acute mental health, forensic mental health and in cross cultural mental health care. Sue is also interested in innovative and evidence-based practice. Sue is an experienced project manager. She has strong analytical, reporting, communication, and interpersonal skills. She can develop positive relationships with a wide range of stakeholders including managers, clinicians, service users, family members, carers and voluntary sector organisations.

Skills and Experience

  • Project managing and delivering large scale evaluations, both as part of the qualitative assessment team and in writing evidenced based reports. She has been an integral member of most large scale national evaluations Niche has delivered in the last decade. These have been in her core specialist area of mental health as well as community services.
  • Assessing the delivery of new service developments using Niche evaluation approaches and techniques. 
  • Expert at engaging stakeholders with a facilitative and enquiring approach to understanding their needs as well as collective evidenced based feedback.
  • Undertaking homicide inquiries and serious incident reviews across all aspects of mental health and LD services. 
  • Delivering major service reviews especially into clinical practice and service developments in mental health and psychological services.

Jenny Treanor

Senior Consultant

jenny.treanor@nicheconsult.co.uk

Summary

Jenny is a former qualified nurse with a wealth of experience across the health sector in clinical, developmental and management roles. She joined Niche almost a decade ago from the Patients Association where she led a national project to improve complaints management. Before this she worked for over ten years at the Audit Commission as a Senior Performance Specialist, supporting a wide range of health organisations, to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their services.

Throughout her career Jenny has been interested and involved in service improvement; with a focus on how evaluation and analysis can be used to drive this. She is deeply involved in our evaluation work, with a particular interest and experience in ensuring that patient and carer perspectives are included within it.

Skills and Experience

  • Evaluation for NHS England of new, cutting edge, inpatient and community forensic mental health services. She led the evaluation of the Women’s Secure Blended Services pilot and was a key member of the team who delivered the evaluations of the Specialist Community Forensic Teams pilot.
  • Working with adult and children’s learning disabilities services to identify the impact of key changes in practice and additional funding.
  • Serious incident and mental health homicide reviews.
  • Expert reviewer of complaints and facilitation of re-design of improved processes and practice. This includes the delivery of a large scale training programmes to staff and managers across Trusts.
  • Market assessments and reviews, to guide strategic decision making, in the community and mental health sectors for both NHS and independent sector clients.

Elizabeth Donovan

Senior Consultant

elizabeth.donovan@nicheconsult.co.uk

Summary

Elizabeth has an extensive background in the NHS, particularly in relation to incident management and investigations between health and social care. Elizabeth is experienced at supporting the NHS to implement improvement solutions locally in line with service-level protocols.

Elizabeth is a specialist in serious incident management and investigation, with experience in setting up serious incident reporting, investigation and governance systems. She has completed several dozen Serious Incident Reviews including mental health and domestic homicides.

Skills and Experience

  • Expertise in providing advice, guidance and support for all of the Level 1 and 2 Serious Incident investigations.
  • Delivering numerous serious incident investigations at Level 2, including inpatient and community suicides and mental health homicides.
  • Implementing structured system for assurance of Trust and CCG action plans following Serious Incident investigations.
  • Presenting investigations and reports she has completed at Coroner inquests following Serious Incident investigations.
  • Developing and delivering investigation and Root Cause Analysis training for providers and commissioners.
  • Acting as the main point of contact and liaison for managing joint Serious Incident investigations involving multiple stakeholders.  
  • Managing Serious Incident investigations that run in parallel to complaints, Safeguarding Adult Reviews, Safeguarding Children Reviews and police inquiries.

Mary Smith

Senior Consultant

mary.smith@nicheconsult.co.uk

Summary

Mary is an experienced social worker of 20 years, operating as an Approved Social Worker (ASW) and then Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) under the Mental Health Act.  Mary is a qualified Best Interest Assessor (BIA) under the Mental Capacity Act. Over her career Mary has held various senior roles including senior social worker, Caldicott guardian, adult safeguarding lead, service manager, lead AMHP and Head of Adult Social Care.  Mary is a Specialist Advisor (SpA) for the Care Quality Commission, taking part in regulation visits and projects to support performance and delivery of mental health services nationally. Mary completed her MSc in Advanced Interventions in Mental Health during 2011; trained in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) for people experiencing psychosis and family intervention (FI) and family education for families and people experiencing psychosis. 

Skills and Experience

  • In depth knowledge of legislation relevant to execute statutory duties (Care Act 2014, Mental Capacity Act 2005, NHS Health & Social Care Act 2006, Mental Health Act 2007)
  • In depth knowledge of best practice and guidance relating to delivery of Adult Social Care including adult safeguarding lead and Caldicott guardian role – considerable experience of working in an adult social care setting
  • Experienced lead for delivering effective quality assured adult safeguarding services and providing assurance at DASS level for delivery of statutory safeguarding adult functions 
  • Experienced lead for delivery of adult social care into acute hospital settings to support improved delivery for safe and effective transfers of care
  • Experienced signatory for Local Authority as Supervisory Body to ensure appropriate sign off for Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) within all Care / Residential settings (Under DoLS associated legislation within MCA 2005 and MHA 2007)
  • Experienced in leading serious incident reviews utilising root cause analysis, and adult safeguarding reviews under the Care Act 2014

Kim Forester

Senior Consultant

kim.forester@nicheconsult.co.uk

Summary

Prior to joining Niche Kim was the head of Mental Health Act Operations at the CQC. Kim has worked in governance, legal and quality improvement roles in health and social care for 18 years, with over 12 years in senior leadership and management positions. She has specialised in mental health law, policy and practice in local and national organisations, and is committed to protecting the rights of people affected by mental health or learning disabilities. 

Kim has experience of governance and regulation across different pathways and sectors including acute, adult social care, community and prison services and has a strong track record of using her skills and passion to develop solutions that improve safety, experience and outcomes for people. 

Skills and Experience

  • In depth mental health governance expertise (quality, corporate and clinical) and risk management.
  • Legal expertise in the Mental Health Act, Mental Capacity Act and Human Rights Act. 
  • Delivery of evidence-based policy development and analytical skills.
  • Delivery of complex project management with high level knowledge of its design, tools and methods.
  • Expertise in audit and evaluation methodology
  • Skilled at Stakeholder engagement and inclusive collaboration, including people with lived experience, government & senior leaders.

Michelle Carberry

Senior Consultant

michelle.carberry@nicheconsult.co.uk

Summary

Michelle is a highly experienced finance professional and a Chartered Accountant. Before joining Niche she had over 30 years’ experience in finance, governance and performance roles in the public, private and third sector including a successful career in audit/assurance and advisory services. 

She has held senior finance and performance roles in community providers, Commissioners and was also a Non-Executive Director at an acute Trust. She has a wealth of experience from working with clients across the health and social care sector.

At Niche Michelle provides financial insight across health and social care policy and a proven track record of working with Boards, senior teams and other stakeholders to improve performance and deliver value for money.

Skills and Experience

  • Reviewing the commissioning of acute services and independent sector healthcare provider delivery as part of NHSE commissioned independent investigations.
  • Investigating Continuing Healthcare complaints and associated governance arrangements in place.
  • Reviewing Executive Team performance and remuneration including benchmarking with national and local metrics.
  • Costing of residential and nursing care to inform fee setting, working with commissioners and providers to understand the drivers of costs, collect data and model projected costs.
  • Review of the governance and performance of a GP Federation.
  • Working with Trusts to assess corporate services, including working with NHSE on Model Hospital benchmarking data and savings opportunities.
  • Reviewing the financial, commercial and quality performance aspects of a major provider of supported living services.
  • Delivering feasibility studies for the options for the care of older people in North Yorkshire and a care co-ordination centre in Greater Manchester.

Danni Sweeney

Senior Consultant

danni.sweeney@nicheconsult.co.uk

Summary

Danni is an experienced governance and board advisory consultant, who for the past seven years has specialised in reviewing and improving her health care clients’ governance and leadership arrangements. Danni worked at Deloitte LLP for several years as part of their healthcare advisory practice and has undertaken dozens of Well-led governance reviews as well as strategic, service improvement and assurance reviews with a broad range of clients.

Danni brings a particular interest in staff experience and culture to our investigations and reviews. She is a trained coach, and regularly provides coaching at a Board and senior leadership level.

Skills and Experience

  • Expertise in conducting numerous well-led reviews of leadership and governance across the country, including with trusts rated Outstanding overall, to those where regulatory concerns have been levied.
  • Designing and delivering a Board development programme for Integrated Care Systems.
  • Leading and facilitating Board and Senior Leadership coaching in preparation for CQC preparations.
  • Undertaking national evaluations of the Well-led Framework on behalf of oversight and regulatory bodies.
  • Undertaking complex investigations and assurance reviews on investigations.
  • Supporting on clinical due diligence programmes for mergers and acquisitions.

Oliver Tee

Senior Consultant

oliver.tee@nicheconsult.co.uk

Summary

Oliver joined Niche in 2018 following 4 years’ practical knowledge gained from projects in central government (The Home Office), two large housing organisations and an international aid organisation. Oliver has gained extensive experience in conducting service evaluations and reviews and he is an excellent researcher including the use of both quantitative and qualitative research methods.

At Niche, he has extensive experience of managing complex evaluation and strategy projects conducting large mixed-methods research in a variety of health and social care areas. This has included interviews, focus groups and activity data analysis. He has also undertaken modelling of capacity and demand for large health economies and systems.

Skills and Experience

  • Experience of managing complex research and strategy projects with multiple stakeholders involved.
  • Producing evaluations, analysis and briefings on a wide variety of policy areas for government ministers, executive teams and board members.
  • Delivering longitudinal, national evaluations of health and social care programmes and initiatives, utilising mixed-methods approaches.
  • Conducting In-depth interviews and focus groups with key stakeholders including thematic analysis of qualitative data generated.
  • Highly detailed analysis of statistical analysis of patient activity and flow data.
  • Expertise in the use of surveying platforms including SurveyMonkey and Questback.
  • Delivery of complex capacity and demand modelling assignments ensuring that patient flow and performance attainment is optimised within the constraints of finances and available workforce.
  • Delivery of major baseline assessments of NHS system financial and service delivery performance.

Paul Smith

Head of Analytics

paul.smith@nicheconsult.co.uk

Summary

Paul is a highly skilled and motivated healthcare analytics and finance specialist, with over 16 years’ experience in delivering complex quantitative and qualitative analysis. He also has several years’ commercial experience in healthcare consultancy delivering high-level projects for public and private sector healthcare organisations, regulators, and government bodies.

Prior to joining Niche he has held roles at the Care Quality Commission, Mckinsey and Company, The Nuffield Trust, and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust.

At Niche Paul leads a team of data scientists supplying a range of analytical services to harness the power of data to generate actionable client insights, enhance strategic decision-making, and drive improvements for organisations and patients. Recent services provided by the team include capacity and demand forecasting, discrete event simulation, evaluation of service initiatives, and patient safety analytics to inform a high-profile investigation.

Paul holds both a BSc and PhD in chemistry from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.

Skills and Experience

  • Capacity and demand and workforce modelling for a district nursing service in the North of England
  • Discrete event simulation modelling to establish the correct service configuration and bed base for a mental health provider in the South West
  • Activity and travel-time analysis for a major hospital reconfiguration in the North West
  • Development of a novel casemix classification system for acute medical activity in NHS hospitals
  • Development and validation of an electronic frailty index focussing on older people in acute settings, providing a low-cost, systematic way to screen for frailty and identify patients at greater risk of adverse outcomes
  • Lead analyst on a major report referenced in NHS England’s Five Year Forward View exploring past trends in the NHS and likely pressures facing hospitals in the future

Ben Himsworth

Data Scientist

ben.himsworth@nicheconsult.co.uk

Summary

Ben joined Niche as a Data Analysist after graduating from Lancaster University with a MSci in Mathematics.  He is equipped with an extensive understanding of mathematical and statistical theory, he is enthusiastic about applying learned knowledge, utilising statistical models to obtain solutions to analytical questions and presenting meaningful analyses to summarise complex data sets.

Skills and Experience

  • Leading on the quantitative aspects of numerous Capacity and demand modelling projects including for; 
    • IAPT services 
    • Tier 2 and 3 CAMH services
    • adult and older adult inpatient services 
    • learning disability and/or autism services
    • Tier 2 and 3 CAMH services with a particular focus upon the potential impact of COVID-19
    • the integration of community mental health & inpatient bed requirements
  • Analytical support for a Section 136 pathway evaluation, collating and interpreting data from eight NHS Trusts, police bodies and the ambulance service within London;
  • Delivering complex statistical analyses of quantitative data as part of service reviews
  • Analytical support to investigations across Niche.

Ben Fullard

Data Scientist

ben.fullard@nicheconsult.co.uk

Summary

Ben joined Niche in September 2021 with a strong analytical background, including an MSc in Applied Mathematics from the University of Manchester and experience in data analysis and demand modelling consultancy for both public and private sector clients outside the healthcare industry. He is well-practiced in applying a wide range of analytical techniques to draw robust conclusions from complex data and deliver actionable insight.

Skills and Experience

  • Experience working directly with clients to develop bespoke demand models and forecasting tools to suit their needs;
  • Statistical analysis of both patient and clinical staff data; and
  • Providing supporting analysis across Niche’s wider range of services.

George Price

Data Scientist

george.price@nicheconsult.co.uk

Summary

George joined Niche as a Consultant Analyst after completing a PhD in Applied Mathematics at The University of Manchester. During his PhD, George was modelling solute transport past disordered uptake fields, where he specialised in uncertainty quantification and applied statistics. George’s extensive mathematical knowledge allows him to analyse complex data efficiently and evaluate recorded data using both new and existing statistical models.

Skills and Experience

’s expertise and experience include:

  • Mathematical modelling of experimental data to optimise functionality and efficiency
  • Interpreting, cleansing, and modelling sensitive data for NHS foundation trusts relating to capacity and demand
  • Analysing and presenting meaningful results, allowing for a deeper understanding of the underlying data to be obtained

Gosia Davies

Project Manager

gosia.davies@nicheconsult.co.uk

Summary

Gosia is an experienced project manager. She joined Niche after 8 years of running and overseeing a range of schemes with complex partnership arrangements for a global insurer.

Gosia has strong communication and inter-personal skills, including gathering and analysing management information data, providing written results backed up with graphs and tables and shared with the senior management.

Skills and Experience

Gosia has worked on a number of projects across the healthcare sector in England. Her most recent experience includes:

  • Providing high-level project control to our projects and interfacing with clients project managers.
  • Providing support to senior consultants on core management aspects of investigation and review projects.
  • Supporting the review of data on niche projects

Saagar Chohan

Project Support Assistant

Saagar.Chohan@nicheconsult.co.uk

Summary

Saagar comes to Niche with a strong academic background having completed a first degree and Masters in International Development. He supports senior consultants in undertaking independent quality assessments, evaluations, governance and due diligence reviews in line with core regulatory frameworks. Saagar also supports the efficient management control of capacity and demand modelling assignments.

Skills and Experience

  • Providing support to senior consultants on a number of Well-led Governance review projects.
  • Supporting the efficient day to day coordination of complex system wide reviews.
  • Coordinating the Niche team as they interface with clients.
  • Assisting in meeting management and subsequent project control.

Susan Bagshaw

Business Manager

sue.bagshaw@nicheconsult.co.uk

Summary

Sue has worked for Niche for almost 30 years and manages the day to day running of the office. Sue leads a team of project support assistants and has a wealth of knowledge and experience in consultancy business management.

Skills and Experience

She plays a central role in day to day financial and framework management, she coordinates our tender submissions and ensures the business continues to run smoothly.

Ros Gray

Assistant Business Manager

ros.gray@nicheconsult.co.uk

Summary

Ros provides support to senior consultants on report production and is responsible for the look of all reports with an emphasis on quality and clarity.

Skills and Experience

Ros is a document formatting specialist, she is skilled in layout and design and specialises in working on complex, detailed reports and presentations. She previously worked for Deloitte LLP’s Board Advisory practice, overseeing report production and building, managing and analysing surveys. For some years before that she was in the Corporate Finance practice and was responsible for proof reading, editing and quality control of due diligence reports and pitches.

Edlin Tate

Project Support Assistant

edlin.tate@nicheconsult.co.uk

Summary

Edlin supports senior consultants in undertaking independent quality assessments, evaluations, governance and due diligence reviews in line with core regulatory frameworks.

Skills and Experience

Edlin supports senior consultants in undertaking independent quality assessments, evaluations, governance and due diligence reviews in line with core regulatory frameworks.

How we work

We work with our clients, families and regulators with absolute integrity at all times. We price our jobs responsibly and we deliver within agreed budgets and timescales. Where this is not possible, we communicate at an early stage to address any problems or blocks which may exist on the project.

Our team are amongst the best subject matter expert (SME) specialists in the country and at Niche we work hard to ensure that our clients have the best advice and support available. By becoming a Niche client, you are joining one of the key healthcare quality insight networks in the UK. We keep our clients up to date with regular briefings, thought leadership and knowledge gained from our primary research bank.

We have worked in most parts of the UK, as well as engagements in other countries and we can regularly draw upon this huge base of benchmark data, knowledge and experience to support our clients with their daily challenges. We have also developed unique models to ensure that governance, patient safety and quality improvement are central to the productivity and efficiency agenda in support of the notion that ‘good care costs less’.

Niche has a deep understanding of provider and commissioner services combined with practitioners who have unparalleled subject matter expertise. Our practitioners and associates are amongst the best subject matter expert (SME) specialists in the country and at Niche we work hard to ensure that our clients have the best advice and support available.

The delivery of meaningful outcomes for our clients and families is our most important goal. Importantly, we are committed to working independently, yet alongside organisations building strong collaborative relationships that promote sustainable change and longer-term resilience in services.

Our Associates

We have an extensive team of associates who are subject matter experts in their own fields. We also have excellent links with the Royal Colleges to ensure that if an assignment needs a highly specialist expert we can cover this requirement. All our associates are inducted into the way Niche delivers projects & are fully integrated into the vision and values we hold dear as a firm.

You can therefore always be assured that the Niche Team on any project will fit your particular needs.

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