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Meet the judges

Chair of the Challenge Dementia judging panel: Professor Alastair Burns CBE FRCP, FRCPsych, MD, MPhil, National Clinical Director for Dementia and Older Peoples’ Mental Health, NHS England

Alastair BurnsAlistair is Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at The University of Manchester and an Honorary Consultant Old Age Psychiatrist in the Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. He is the National Clinical Director for Dementia and Older People’s Mental Health at NHS England and NHS Improvement.

He graduated in medicine from Glasgow University in 1980, training in psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital and Institute of Psychiatry in London. He became the Foundation Chair of Old Age Psychiatry in The University of Manchester in 1992, where he has variously been Head of the Division of Psychiatry and a Vice Dean in the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, with responsibility for liaison within the NHS. He set up the Memory Clinic in Manchester and helped establish the old age liaison psychiatry service at Wythenshawe Hospital. He is a Past President of the International Psychogeriatric Association.

He was made an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 2016, received the lifetime achievement award from their old age Faculty in 2015 and was awarded the CBE in 2016 for contributions to health and social care, in particular dementia.

Alastair said “Dementia is a national challenge facing all of us and has touched the lives of an estimated 25 million people in the UK. I am delighted that Essex County Council have created Challenge Dementia and are encouraging everyone to come up with ideas that could have a lasting impact on the quality of life of people living with dementia. I am excited to see what the judging day brings.”

Ali Rogan, Founder & Director at Hornsey Consulting Ltd

Ali RoganAli Rogan is the Founder of Hornsey Consulting Ltd and has been living and breathing the changing health, care, housing and technology landscape for over a decade and keeps a close eye on what is happening across the market and politically - nationally, regionally but importantly how this is affecting the day to day challenges of older people and those with long term needs.

Hornsey Consulting Ltd draws on Ali’s 25 years of marketing and external affairs experience and 12 years of Director experience, working in a variety of industries including 14 years with partners in the care, charity, health, housing, local government and technology sectors and 7 years in telecommunications.

Colin Capper, Head of Research Development and Evaluation at the Alzheimer’s Society

Colin CapperColin leads a team responsible for innovation, implementation and impact measurement at the UKs largest Dementia care, research and campaigning charity – Alzheimer’s Society.

'The Challenge Dementia prize and its goal of encouraging more people to put their time and energy into making life better for people affected by dementia aligns strongly with our own. As a member of the judging panel I am intrigued to see where applications come from and who has been encouraged to think about the problem.

'My team here at Alzheimer’s Society As a team we are looking forward to working with the finalists to apply some rigor and critical challenge to their plans but also to engage the Alzheimer’s Society Service User Review Panels to help test the finalists concepts.' 

Robert Turnbull, Care Technology Expert at PA Consulting

Rober Turnball

Robert is a Care Technology leader at PA Consulting.
He has extensive experience of working alongside Directors of Adult Social Care and Commissioners of Healthcare to help them meet their challenges through better use of care technology to deliver better outcomes for service users and patients.

Robert leads care technology work across the UK and operates right across the sector. His primary focus is on the strategic development and transformation of integrated care technology services to maximise service user independence and safety and in doing so reduce the overall cost of care. He is also responsible for PA's unique sector leading approach to accurately measuring the economic impact of care technology services.

PA holds a unique place in the care technology sector. As well and delivering independent 'agnostic' advisory services they also lead their own award winning front-line care technology services through their Award winning Argenti Care Technology partnership.

Robert is the Programme Director for the successful Argenti service with the London Borough of Barnet and a key part of the leadership team of the Argenti with Hampshire County Council. The service with Hampshire has won an unprecedented two TSA Crystal Awards in 2015 and 2016 as well as winning the 2016 LGC award for driving efficiency through technology and MJ award for Delivering better Outcomes. The Argenti services are transforming the way health and social care is designed, integrated and delivered across the county, saving the Council millions of pounds each year in social care costs.


Georgina Parkin, Essex resident whose husband is living with dementia

Georgina ParkinDrawing on her personal experiences of living with a partner with dementia, Georgina brings real insight to the Challenge Dementia judging panel.

"I worked in social care for 30 years.  As a commissioner I thought I knew what was needed to help people and to improve their experiences and how the 'system' works.  However, none of my knowledge or experience prepared me for the devastating impact of my husband's fast onset early dementia.  In the words of the song - hit by something totally unexpected on a Tuesday afternoon - which made other things I had worried about seem insignificant.  I managed by fighting, eventually getting the correct diagnosis and some care.

It would have been brilliant, though, to have had some news ideas on how to manage better day to day.  I don't know what those ideas might be, which is why this challenge is so exciting! I can't wait to see the suggestions and to work on making them a reality so that living with dementia will be just a little more manageable.  Roll on judgement day!"

Peter Fairley, Director of Integration and Partnerships, Essex County Council

Peter FairleyPeter Fairley is the Director for Integration and Partnerships at Essex County Council and is the joint executive sponsor for the Greater Essex Dementia Strategy. Peter leads Essex County Council’s work to develop more integrated and more collaborative working between social care and NHS and other partners, working with the 5 clinical commissioning groups, 5 acute trusts and 3 NHS Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships across Essex.

'The Challenge Prizes creates an exciting combination: taking a real and growing problem that affects millions of people, with the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit of problem solving. I look forward to seeing what the challenge prizers come up with.'

Sam Hepplewhite, Chief Officer at North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group

Sam HepplewhiteSam Hepplewhite is the Accountable Officer for North East Essex CCG and joint executive sponsor for the Greater Essex Dementia Strategy. Sam leads the commissioning of health services for the population of North East Essex which covers Colchester Borough Council and Tendring District Council as well as having a role in the development of the Integrated Care System across Suffolk and North East Essex.

'The opportunity that the challenge prize brings to the area is very exciting and will make a very positive impact on a group of people and their carers who do not always get heard in society. The possibilities are endless and I am delighted to be asked to be part of the process and hear all about the ideas that have been developed.'

Katy Rutherford, Senior Programme Manager, Innovation Lab Health and Ageing Team at Nesta

Katy RutherfordKaty is a Senior Programme Manager in Health Lab. She currently manages Accelerating Ideas, a five year partnership between Nesta and Big Lottery Fund to support eight highly promising ageing innovation to scale their reach and impact to many more people across the UK.

Katy joined Nesta in October 2011 to work on Creative Councils, a practical programme working with pioneering local authorities to develop, implement and spread transformational new approaches to meeting some of the biggest medium and long-term challenges facing communities and local services. She subsequently worked on the Centre for Social Action Innovation Fund, finding ways to use the skills and enthusiasm of citizens to solve the problems generated by long term conditions and an ageing population.

Before joining Nesta, Katy worked in Parliament and spent eight years working in local government, most recently as Head of Policy for Westminster City Council.

'I'm excited to be part of the judging panel because of the importance of finding innovative solutions to help people living with dementia and their families, and because of the links to Nesta's work with Big Lottery Fund as part of Accelerating Ideas. I'm looking forward to hearing more about the ideas that emerge through this process.'

Health Watch Essex and Dementia Ambassador

Health WatchHealthwatch Essex is an independent voice for the people of Essex and they gather and represent people’s lived experiences of health and care services in Essex to help improve them.

In 2017 they published Dementia Voices, a report articulating the conversations had with people across Essex living with dementia. Dementia Voices was a key document in informing and shaping the Challenge Dementia prize.

Healthwatch Essex will be working with people living with dementia to gather their views on the ideas submitted and feed these into the judging panel. An Essex ambassador, someone living with dementia, is also being recruited and will sit on the judging panel.