Our Lay Leaders are independent representatives of patients and members of the public. They are not employed by the PSTRC or by any of its partner organisations and their role is to ensure our research is relevant to the needs of patients and takes into account patient perspectives. Our Lay Leaders are both linked to research themes and work across PSTRC themes so that our research can benefit from their differing areas of expertise.

Naveed Riaz

Naveed has over 10 years of experience and expertise in the day-to-day organisational operation and financial management of a private health and care provider, as the Director of a residential care home for the elderly, which specialises in dementia. Naveed has an MSc in Accounting from Leeds Beckett University and a Post Graduate Certificate in Political Violence and Terrorism from Bradford University. Naveed serves as a NHS Trust governor for Bolton NHS Foundation. Naveed was born and raised in Bradford, and serves as a Councillor on Bradford Council. Naveed deeply believes that making an active contribution to public life is one of the highest virtues. He has always sought opportunities to work within the community in a voluntary capacity. He strongly believes that a good life requires active public engagement, and being able to place societal and community needs above personal interest. Naveed is highly committed to excellence in terms of quality of care, and motivated by a passion to improve NHS services and performance.

Naeem Sheikh

Naeem has achieved work experience across private, public and the Voluntary and community sectors for over 36 years. He has served in leadership management roles as, Chief Executive of Council for Voluntary and community sector in Borough for 10 years in London, and regional level in East Midlands, Nottingham.  Naeem enjoys working with community groups and public-sector organisations.  He has worked for Leeds City Council and contributed to a local community enterprise.  Since 2015, he has volunteered for Bradford Hospitals Charity and Bradford Royal Infirmary on various strategic projects.  Naeem studied at the University of Leeds and received an MBA.

Naeem has been a resident of Bradford for 35 years, married with three children all born and brought up in Bradford.  He is passionate to serve and make a difference to the local communities’ health and well-being.

Naeem believes his experiences and skills will greatly contribute to the research project themes making healthcare safer across Yorkshire and Humber.

Kate Smyth

Kate has lived in Todmorden, Calderdale for thirty six years and is currently a Non-Executive Director at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. In this role, Kate is the NED lead for patient experience and social value. Recently, Kate has been working with NHS Improvement to increase the number of Non-Executive Directors with disabilities on NHS Boards. This has led to the development of a support network – the Disabled NHS Directors Network, which Kate co-chairs.  Kate is also a member of the Cabinet Office – Disability Unit’s North West Regional Stakeholder Network.

Kate is a volunteer disability adviser at Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust and trains Healthcare Assistants in supporting people with significant impairments to improve the way that disabled people are nursed in hospital.

Kate is a chartered town planner and worked in planning and economic development for many years in local authorities across the North West. She is a retired member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Institution of Economic Development. She then ran her own consultancy business for twenty five years specialising in economic development and disability, and has extensive experience working in the public, private and community and voluntary sectors. From 2012 to 2019, she was the Lay Member (Patient and Public Involvement) at Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group. Kate was also the equality lead and the lead for deprivation, poverty and housing. From 2010 to 2019, she was an independent board member (latterly, the deputy chair) at Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing and the equality champion.

Kate is a full-time wheelchair user and is always accompanied by her extremely handsome golden retriever assistance dog. Kate is the head gardener at home and also keeps pedigree geese and chickens.

Pam Essler

As a science graduate, Pam has in the past taught groups of all ages and abilities. At the same time, Pam has held a variety of lay roles within the NHS covering most aspects of healthcare but always focusing on outcomes for patients. Since leaving full-time employment, Pam has become far more active in her local community working with local charities and becoming a school governor as health and wellbeing together with education are Pam’s true passions in life.

Pam believes that the views and experiences of patients and the public play a vital part in informing and shaping research into health and social care. By working within the PSTRC,  Pam hopes to support the development of stronger, meaningful links between researchers and the public helping to release the research potential in all of us.

Pam enjoys spending time with her family and friends and planning for the next season in her beautiful garden.

Hilary Thompson

Hilary was born in Kent and moved to Yorkshire in 1983 during her twenty six year career with WH Smith plc. After three years as Towns Manager for Batley and Dewsbury, Hilary joined the voluntary sector as CEO for Batley Resource Centre and then CEO for Age UK Calderdale and Kirklees. Hilary is now involved part-time with Age UK at a regional level and holds several voluntary roles within Kirklees; championing the third sector.  As a Lay Leader for the PSTRC Yorkshire and Humber, Hilary represents the Workforce Engagement and Wellbeing theme, working closely with researchers, healthcare staff and patients to improve safety by encouraging better staff engagement.

Hilary has a passion for running at short and long distances, from 10k to half marathons.  Hilary enjoys visits to the theatre and eating out. A passion for travel, Hilary visits her brother in New Zealand when she can.

Nazreen Butt

Nazreen was born and raised in Bradford and has worked and studied in the City all her life. Nazreen has over twenty five years experience in serving the public as a senior youth worker, magistrate and health champion.

As Lay Leader for the Safe Use of Medicines theme with the PSTRC Yorkshire and Humber, Nazreen has gained invaluable experiences that have enabled her to share knowledge from a patient, carer and practitioner point of view.