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Trustee Board


Professor Sir Denis Pereira Gray OBE, FRCP, FRCGP, FMedSci, (DSc)

Sir Denis Pereira Gray worked for 38 years in the St Leonard’s Medical Practice Exeter, following his father and grandfather. He has been awarded the Gold Medal of the Hunterian Society, London, the Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of Public Health, and Honorary Doctorates by three British universities.

He established the first postgraduate university department of general practice in Europe at the University of Exeter and was later appointed Professor and Director of the Exeter University Postgraduate Medical School, serving for ten years. He was twice elected by the registered medical practitioners in England to the General Medical Council. He has written/edited four books and has had over 200 articles published in scientific medical journals.

He was elected Chairman of Council and later President of the Royal College of General Practitioners, Chairman of the JCPTPGP a medical regulatory body, and Chairman of the Trustees of the Nuffield Trust. He was knighted for services to quality assurance in medicine.

Sir Denis is the only General Practitioner ever elected Chairman of the Academy of the Medical Royal Colleges of Great Britain and Ireland. He is one of 23 British doctors who have been elected to the Institute of Medicine, of the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, USA.

He is currently an Assessor for the Queen’s Award for Higher and Further Education, Patron of the National Association for Patient Participation, and President of the children’s charity, What About the Children?

Hon President

Dr Patricia Wilkie OBE, PhD, FRCP (Hons), FRCGP (Hons)

On June 15th 2013, we were delighted to see the citation below in the Birthday Honours list of those awarded the OBE, adding this to her impressive list of honorary degrees.

Dr Patricia Anne Wilkie. President, National Association for Patient Participation - For services to healthcare and patient involvement in the NHS.

Many who know her history over more than 40 years as a pioneer and champion for patient involvement in both Scotland and England, suggest that this honour is long overdue. Starting her career in research in ethical and patient issues, mainly in the field of genetic counselling, Patricia has been a founder member of Patient Liaison Groups of several medical Royal Colleges. She has been awarded Honorary Fellowships by two, the RCGP and the Royal College of Radiologists (possibly the only person ever to achieve two such honorary awards).  She has also served on the Ethics Committees of a number of bodies including the Association of Medical Royal Colleges and Dr Foster Intelligence, which first sounded the alert about the Mid Staffordshire crisis.

Patricia has chaired the Patients Association and is now President and Chair of N.A.P.P. We are fortunate to have the benefit of her experience and wisdom.

Patricia Wilkie has been a major force in developing patient partnership in British medicine over more than thirty years. Currently President and Chair of the National Association of Patient Participation, she has chaired the lay committees of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the Royal College of Radiologists and the Royal College of GPs. as well as many other medical and pharmaceutical organisations. She has served as a fitness to practice member of the General Medical Council and a lay member of the Committee on Safety for Medicines where she chaired the working group on patient reporting of adverse drug reactions. She is currently a member of many government and professional organisations and publishes widely.


Sylvia Debreczeny

Sylvia has always been involved in health care. Having trained as a nurse, she worked as a sister until becoming a nurse teacher and university lecturer. Sylvia later joined the London Deanery, liaising with London GPs and PCT‘s, and working to improve the availability of patient information about health care.

Sylvia continues this interest through N.A.P.P., and has started a group in her own GP practice. She also hopes to become a lay member of her local CCG.

In her personal life, she likes to spend time with family and friends, to swim, travel, and visit the theatre.

Treasurer/Membership Secretary/Admin

Edith Todd MA, PGCE

Edith Todd, N.A.P.P.’s Treasurer since joining the Board in 1998. apart from a short break in 2003, also chaired in 2005-06. Her interest in PPGs began in 1992, as founder member of a PPG. Now retired, her career path after graduation in her native Scotland includes statistical quality control in manufacturing, moving south to market research survey analysis, computer programming and for over 20 years teaching mathematics and IT.

She believes good quality primary medical care depends on development of strong relationships between practices and patients and encouraging patients to take greater responsibility for their own and their family’s health.

Dr John Dracass MBE, BSc, MB BS, MHM, FRCGP

John Dracass was a general practitioner in Totton, near Southampton for 32 years until his retirement in 2007. During the course of a long career he has been involved with general practitioner training, professional representation, audit and clinical governance, health service management and local community work. He has a particular interest in patient participation, encouraging an active patient participation group in his own surgery. He was senior partner of Testvale Surgery Totton, and has been a Chairman of the Local Medical Committee (LMC) an examiner for the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), Primary Care Adviser to the previous Wessex Regional Health Authority (RHA), a Performance Assessor and Specialist Adviser for the General Medical Council (GMC) and a Vice Chairman of the RCGP Patient Liaison Group. He was also a Hospital Practitioner in learning disability. He was a member of Council of RCGP for over 10 years and was a previous Provost of the Wessex Faculty RCGP. After leaving general practice he spent 3 years as a lead GP for Safeguarding Children with Hampshire Primary Care Trust (PCT) He was appointed MBE for services to health care in 2007.

Sandra EA Gower FRCGP (Hon) AMIHM

Sandy Gower is managing partner at Bennetts End Surgery where she is responsible, with 11 GP Partners, for the management and leadership of this Training Practice serving 18,000 patients.

Sandy has 25 years experience of primary care management and patient participation. Her relentless passion for ‘making a difference’ throughout her career has resulted in her becoming the first Practice Manager to receive Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). She is immediate past chairman of the national Practice Management Network and co-leads of the RCGP General Practice Foundation for practice management.

Margaret Harrison

Margaret has over 30 years’ experience in business, largely with BT plc. She joined BT as a statistician and progressed to senior positions in systems, operations and capital investment management. For the latter 7 years she held key leadership roles in customer service where she worked to deliver better end to end processes and ensure improved customer experience. On leaving BT, she was appointed a Trustee at Heart of England Mencap which has challenged her to understand structure, drivers and risks in a new environment, as well as extending her knowledge of governance and change management in a commercial environment to the requirements of a not for profit organisation. 

Margaret hopes to bring some of the learning from her business career and more recent experience with Heart of England Mencap to the Board

Olivia King MBA, MSc, MBPsS

Olivia King is an enthusiastic active member of her local surgery PPG. The surgery is the largest in the city and has a long-standing, established PPG. Her background is Psychology, Politics and Economics. She is an experienced website developer, academic editor and database manager. She works for the NHS as an Equality Advisor and is regularly involved in patient and staff engagement initiatives.

Margaret Matthews MBE

Maggie originally worked in industry as a PA. After undertaking teacher training, she then taught for 13 years before joining the Advisory Service in Worcestershire, giving curriculum advice and training teachers. Whilst an Adviser, Maggie was National President of the National Association of Advisers and Inspectors of Business and Economics Education (NAAIBEE), a professional body of advisers and inspectors for business, economics and education. After retirement, as a consultant, Maggie gave curriculum advice/training to schools in North Staffordshire. A member of Soroptimist International Maggie was President for two years in Staffordshire Moorlands working to promote the health and wellbeing of women and children globally. Maggie was Chair of a PPG for five years and currently is Chair of a locality Patient Forum.


Dr Folarin Majekodunmi, PhD

Folarin brings almost two decades  of experience working with the health system, covering: commissioning, primary care and out-of-hospital services.  He completed his doctorate in General Healthcare at King’s College University of London in 2004. He is passionate about the health system and ensuring, irrespective of the politico-economic environment, that it continues to deliver cost-effective services which improve people’s health and wellbeing. 

“I firmly believe that this can only be achieved consistently by asking patients what they want from health and care services and proactively supporting them to be partners in their own care. As a result, I am particularly honoured to have been appointed the Chair of N.A.P.P.; it is an excellent organisation, which works tirelessly to amplify and represent the voice of the patient in relation to policy, service design, service delivery and technology & innovation. 

As Chair, my vision is to explore further ways of using the patient voice to inform decision-making across government, health and care providers and the public and private sector organisations, who create the services and products patients use.  This means working with the president and my fellow trustees to continually improve the support we are able to offer to our member PPGs.  It also means exploring ways of celebrating excellence in patient participation and in encouraging providers of health/ care services and products to be more proactive in this respect.  Finally, it means working more closely with partners who share our values and our commitment to making sure that the patient voice is heard and that our health and care services remain amongst the best in the world.”