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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.

Umbareen Siddiqi


I am a consultant in anaesthesia at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester and sedation advisor to the Royal College of Anaesthetists, which gives me the opportunity to support colleagues, across all medical subspecialties, to develop services which enable safer sedation.

I also serve as the sedation lead to the anaesthetic department at Salford Royal Hospital, to maintain practice in line with the Royal College of Anaesthetist’s GPAS and ACSA standards. Beyond the anaesthetic department, I work with Trust leaders and multidisciplinary subdivisions to provide guidance on safer service delivery of sedation in non-theatre environments. In doing so, I have gained valuable experience in staff engagement and forged strong links with clinical teams in many specialties including radiology, paediatrics and dentistry.

Since 2016, I have collaborated with Dr Mary Newton as a committee member of the National Safe Sedation (NSS) course, to develop training specifically for non-anaesthetists on how to deliver safe sedation. This has included developing online learning modules. Since 2018, I have delivered the NSS course to delegates in Bristol, London and Manchester and received positive feedback.

A Masters degree in Patient Safety and Clinical Human Factors from the University of Edinburgh, has provided me with the skills and expertise to reduce clinical risk and effective leadership within my own and wider practice. I have a strong understanding of quality improvement methodology, qualitative research and a determination to problem solve from a systems-based, person-centred approach. This experience has led me to sit on my Trust’s Safety Committee to accommodate the current approach to root cause analysis with a human factor’s perspective, one which is equally applicable to maintaining standards in sedation.

Outside work I enjoy running and am a competent seamstress.

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.

Jon Walton

Committee member

I’m a consultant in Intensive Care Medicine and Anaesthesia and work at the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne.

I grew up in Kenya, New Zealand and North Yorkshire and attended Sheffield University Medical School from 1989, qualifying in 1994.

I trained in general medicine, anaesthetics and intensive care, primarily in Sheffield, London and Bristol.

I spent a year at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor working as faculty in the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation unit and thoracic critical care.

I commenced a consultant post at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle in 2006 where I have been the lead consultant for intensive care medicine since 2017.

I have specialist interests in critical care management of haemato-oncology and neutropenic sepsis patients, patients with liver failure and hyperammonaemia.

I have been the Trust lead for adult anaesthetic sedation for over 10 years and run a twice yearly ‘Safe sedation for non-anaesthetists’ course at the Freeman which forms part of the current nursing competencies for Trust sedationists.

I am also the lead for the weekly theatre propofol sedation endoscopy list which caters for patients unable to tolerate procedures with non - anaesthetic sedation.

Outside of work I play bass guitar in SPELK, a shambolic rock covers band which normally gigs around the Newcastle area. Since lockdown, as we’ve been unable to practise I have been teaching myself the banjo and cycling a lot with my teenage sons.

Tahsin Zatman

Committee 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 PhD student at the University of Loughborough, London in collaboration with the British Library researching inclusive access, discoverability and use of British Library digital learning resources for disadvantaged young people. Having previously studied Digital Humanities at UCL, 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 digital experience.