Chair of the panel

Rt Hon Professor Paul Burstow FRSA 

Paul Burstow served for two and a half years as a Minister of State for Care Services in the Department of Health during the Coalition Government, where he had an extensive brief including care for the elderly, adult social care, mental health, cancer, diabetes and learning disability programmes. He was also responsible for reforming social care law, drafting the government's mental health strategy, the return of public health to local government, and the creation of health and wellbeing boards.  Paul left Parliament at the General Election.

Outside of parliament Paul has chaired two year-long independent commissions, one on mental health with the think-tank CentreForum, another on the Future of Residential Care with the think-tank Demos and worked with the LGIU chairing a commission on home care which reported in December 2014.  He recently led theRight Place, Right Time Commission for NHS Providers examining transfers of care which reported in November 2015. He also recently joined the Health Sciences School at City University, London, as Professor of Health and Social Care, and was appointed as Chair of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trusts.

Twitter: @PaulBurstow

Panel members

Beth Britton

Freelance Campaigner and Consultant, Writer and Blogger specialising in issues affecting older people, health and social care and specifically dementia. Beth cared for her dad who had vascular dementia for the last 19 years of his life. She aims to provide support and advice to those faced with similar situations, inform and educate health and care professionals and the wider population, promote debate and create improvements in dementia care. Her work has been described as "Terrific," "Amazing. REAL story of dementia," "Insightful, heartfelt and truthful," "Moving and inspiring." On 1st January 2015 Beth was appointed as a member of the Standing Commission on Carers.

Twitter: @bethyb1886

Dr Mary Larkin

Dr Mary Larkin is a Senior Lecturer at the Open University. She is committed to ensuring that knowledge about carers informs effective policy and practice. To this end she has led on a national and international research projects, undertaken several consultancies, published widely and is a member of a number of other national bodies. These include the Standing Commission on Carers. She chairs the Commission on Carers’ Research and Evidence group and is part of National Carers Strategy Reference Group. Mary also manages an international carers research jiscmail which enables researchers, carers, service use information and evidence about carer services, research and policy.

Twitter: @carers_research

Gail Scott-Spicer

Gail Scott-Spicer joined Carers Trust in February 2015 as its chief executive. Gail brings with her a wealth of experience drawn from 20 years of working in both the public and voluntary sectors.
A former deputy chief of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations she has led teams delivering all aspects of finance, HR, IT and marketing and communications and was part of a senior team who worked on the merger of two organisations, something which Carers Trust underwent two years ago. Gail also has experience of the implications of caring. 
Twitter: @gailscottspicer

Grainne Siggins

Grainne is currently the Director for Adult Social Care for the London Borough of Newham following appointment in 2010 to lead the Transformation of Adult Social Care.  She is responsible for transforming adult services to ensure it offers independence, choice and control at a time of significant budget reductions within Local Authorities and associated efficiency savings.

Prior to working in Newham, Grainne worked in Senior Management roles in a number of local authorities, voluntary and health sectors with a professional background in Occupational Therapy.

Grainne has been heavily involved in leading transformational change activity within social care and the interface with health. She is the ADASS (Association of Directors of Adult Social Services) national carer’s policy lead and emergency care lead for the London region and joint London ADASS lead for Health & Integrated Care. Grainne represents ADASS on the National Tripartite alongside NHS England, Trust Development Agency and Monitor, supporting operational resilience and winter pressures. Grainne has also been recently elected as ADASS Policy lead.

Grainne is committed to partnership working and was previously a Non-Executive Director for a Primary Care Trust and the Birmingham & Black Country NHS Cluster Board in the Midlands.   

Professor Nigel Sparrow OBE

Nigel Sparrow is the Senior National GP Advisor and Responsible Officer at the Care Quality Commission. Until 2015 he was also the Medical Director for Revalidation at the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). Nigel has been a GP for 30 years and has also been a GP appraiser and trainer. He was a member of the Standing Commission on Carers for 7 years until November 2014.

Nigel chaired the RCGP Professional Development Board between 2007 and 2013 during which time he led the development of the Continuing Professional Development strategy for GPs to support revalidation. He was vice chair of RCGP council between 2004 and 2007 and he is currently a nationally elected member of the RCGP Council.

He is a Visiting Professor in general practice at Lincoln University and has been a deputy GP Dean in the East Midlands Deanery. He is a member of the Education and Training Advisory Board at the General Medical Council (GMC), and a fellow of both the Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of General Practitioners.

Nigel was presented with the Foundation Council Award at the RCGP in 2014 and awarded an OBE for services to primary care in the New Year’s Honours List for 2015.

Twitter: @nigel_sparrow


Professor Saul Becker 

Professor Saul Becker is Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of College of Social Sciences at the University of Birmingham. Previously, he has held Chairs at Loughborough, Birmingham and Nottingham Universities, UK, and he was Assistant Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Internationalisation at Nottingham University as well as a former Head of the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work.
Professor Becker has 330 publications, including many books and research reports, and he has 200 conference papers, most as invited keynote speaker. Many of his 50 externally funded research projects have focused on children who are caregivers ('young carers'), a research area in which Saul is recognised globally as the world leader, a prominence he has held for the last two decades. His research on young carers, young adult carers and other caring groups has informed the development of policy, law and practice in a number of countries and he has advised governments and service providers around the world.
Saul is a Fellow of the UK’s Academy of Social Sciences and of the Royal Society of Arts. He is the Founding Series Editor for the Understanding Welfare book series published by Policy Press and was a member of the 2014 REF sub panel for Social Policy and Social Work.
At the University of Birmingham, alongside his PVC/Head of College roles, he also has other University-wide leadership responsibilities which include: civic engagement, engagement for influence and impact, European Referendum and Brazilian engagement.

Twitter: @profsaulbecker

Andrew Cozens CBE 

Andrew is a leading national social care and health policy analyst and improvement specialist. He has been working independently since April 2012 and his recent commissions include work for the Local Government Association in England, the Welsh LGA, the King’s Fund and a range of councils, voluntary and private sector organisations. He is an Associate Fellow of the King’s Fund and Senior Associate of SCIE.

Before that, he was strategic adviser to local and central government on children’s services, adult social care and local government’s relationship with NHS for the Improvement & Development Agency for local government and the Local Government Association from 2006-12.

He sits on the board of MHA, In Control and the Board of the National Development Team for Inclusion. He was the first chair of Carers Trust (the new charity following the merger of the Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Crossroads Care) from 2012-15 and remains a trustee. Until recently he was a non-executive director of the National Skills Academy for Social Care and is now (following merger) a Board member of Skills for Care.

He has more than 15 years’ experience as top manager in local government, ten as director of social services for Gloucestershire and Leicester City (where he was also deputy chief executive). He was President of the Association of Directors of Social Services in 2003/4. 

He was made a CBE in 2004 for services to social work.

Twitter: @andrewcoz

Elaine Edgar OBE

Elaine Edgar retired in 2014 after working over 38 years in a number of policy areas for the Department of Health. For her last 6 years in the Department Elaine was the policy lead for carers.  She helped to develop Government strategies and policies to support carers, working closely with Government Departments, the NHS and local councils, the voluntary sector and carers themselves. Elaine was closely involved in developing the provisions relating to carers in the Care Act 2014. Elaine received an OBE for support to carers in 2014. She is now a Trustee of Mole Valley Carers Support.