Meet our committee

Mary Newton

Director, National Safe Sedation course

I’m a retired consultant neuroanaesthetist and worked at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London until 2018. Prior to that I was a consultant at what is now Barts Health NHS Trust. I trained in anaesthesia in London hospitals following my graduation from St George’s Hospital Medical School (a long time ago!).

Ironically there are few situations where sedation is appropriate for patients with neurological conditions but I have been passionate about the provision of safe conscious sedation in other areas of medicine for over thirty years.
Following the publication of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges’ (AoMRC) document ‘Safe Sedation Practice for Healthcare Procedures. Standards and Guidance. 2013’ I was determined to establish a nationally recognised, formal, accredited competency-based course as recommended by the AoMRC and so the ‘National Safe Sedation’ (NSS) course was born!
I’m immensely grateful to the Royal College of Anaesthetists for their generous support with the development of the NSS course.

Vanessa Tucker

Co-director, National Safe Sedation course

I’m a consultant anaesthetist working at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust. I have a special interest in both renal anaesthesia & transplantation and anaesthesia for emergency surgery (lead anaesthetist for each).

My interest in sedation relates to my involvement with the investigation of a serious untoward incident relating to sedation in a sick patient many years ago. This made me realise that guidelines and training in sedation techniques were needed. To achieve this I established a local in-house/regional half-day sedation update course for medical and nursing staff. I am the Trust Sedation Lead and have established a Sedation Committee. I’m the Lead anaesthetist for sedation in radiology and renal services. I’m an accredited NSS teacher.

Outside of work I regularly compete in triathlons.

Ellie Carter

Committee member

I’m a consultant neuroanaesthetist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London.

I trained in the South West, Cambridge and London.

My special interests at work are anaesthesia for interventional neuroradiology, vascular neurosurgery and the perioperative management of patients with neurological conditions.

Two of my key interests are teaching and patient safety. Supporting high quality sedation training ensures patients consistently receive safe and effective sedation. I particularly enjoy teaching sedation skills to colleagues from other specialties as it is a great opportunity to share good practice from our different clinical areas. I’m an accredited teacher for the National Safe (NSS) sedation course.

Away from work I love to enjoy the great outdoors with my husband and two daughters, whether on foot, by bike or in a kayak.

NSS Director’s comment: Ellie is far too modest to acknowledge her pivotal role in the development of the NSS course but she proposed a model when we first met to discuss it. At that point the NSS course was in its early embryonic stage. The course has evolved since then but is still completely based on Ellie’s inspired suggestions.

Chris Cook

Committee member

I am a consultant interventional radiologist currently working at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust, with previous experience at Bristol Royal Infirmary and North Bristol Southmead Major Trauma Centre. I trained at the University of Cambridge, Addenbrooke’s Hospital and the Bristol Royal Infirmary.

I provide predominantly non-vascular, urological, hepatobiliary, and gastrointestinal interventional procedures in an elderly patient group.

I believe passionately that when patients receive procedural sedation it should be delivered to the highest standards, to ensure safe, pain free and compassionate patient care.

Manu Nayar

Committee member

I‘m a Consultant Gastroenterologist at the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne.

I trained in the Merseyside gastroenterology rotation followed by a dedicated fellowship in advanced therapeutic pancreatobiliary endoscopy at the Freeman Hospital.

I have a special interest in pancreatobiliary medicine including advanced endoscopy. I’m the course director of national ERCP & EUS courses and a core member of the regional sedation course for non-anaesthetists.

My interest in sedation stems from it being a key and critical component of patient care in my area of work. I have always been aware of the problems with sedation in endoscopy and how to ensure safety during and post procedure. I have been teaching sedation to nurses and junior doctors in endoscopy for the past 10 years. I teach on the regional safe sedation course for non-anaesthetists, and deliver ad hoc teaching in the endoscopy unit. I am a committee member of the National Safe Sedation (NSS) course and co-hosted the NSS teaching-the-teachers course in Newcastle in 2018.

In my leisure time I follow, and am passionate about, athletics football and Formula 1 racing. I have played table tennis at state level in India and won many prizes for athletics. I enjoy music and am learning to play the drums. I regularly practise yoga and find it very relaxing.

Umbareen Siddiqi

Committee member

I am a consultant anaesthetist working at Salford Royal Foundation Trust.

My career in anaesthesia involved training in the Manchester and London deaneries, including a post CCT-fellowship in neuroanaesthesia and neurocritical care at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London. I held locum consultant posts in neuroanaesthesia at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge and the North Bristol Trust and in complex spinal surgery at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore.

I teach simulation and have further developed this experience with a quality improvement focus; in 2016 I set up a national patient safety-initiative course in obstetric resuscitation for the Obstetric Anaesthetists’ Association. In 2018, I collaborated with the Royal College of Anaesthetists to teach non-anaesthetists how to deliver safe sedation in my capacity as a National Safe Sedation (NSS) committee member. I am an accredited NSS teacher. I am passionate about patient safety and in September, 2018 I started an MSc in Patient Safety and Clinical Human Factors (University of Edinburgh).

Outside of work I enjoy running and I am a competent seamstress who designs my own clothes.

NSS Director’s comment: Umbareen was instrumental in finding all the contributors to the e-learning. Without her incredible support the task of compiling the e-learning would have been significantly more onerous.

Tahsin Zatman

Committe member

I’m a consultant anaesthetist at University Hospital Wales, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (CVUHB), with a special interest in anaesthetist-led sedation for a variety of procedures using conscious and deep sedation.

As the consultant anaesthetic lead in sedation I’ve established protocols for safe sedation practice within the CVUHB. These include; pre-assessment of patients before sedation, teaching and training trainees and auditing sedation-related practice and process.

I am one of the original committee members of the NSS course and have been involved in its development. I’m an accredited NSS course teacher and have supervised NSS course candidates in their work environment at CVUHB.

I’ve attended the European Simulation Course and instruct on numerous simulation courses for anaesthetic trainees including, ALS (Advanced Life Support) and TEAMs (Training for Emergency Medical Teams and European Medical Corps).

Nell Nixon


I’m a postgraduate student at UCL studying Digital Humanities, a programme that draws together teaching from a wide range of disciplines, to investigate the application of computational technologies to the arts, humanities, and cultural heritage. Having previously studied Archaeology at Edinburgh University, I am aiming to be at the forefront of developing innovative and dynamic strategies for inclusion and accessibility within the cultural heritage sector.

I’m thrilled to be working with Mary and the other committee members on such an important and worthwhile cause whilst continuing to expand on my technological experience.