ACA Executive

Executive Committee Members

ACA Executive Committee Poster, click here

Patricia McDermott - Chair

Clinical Nurse Specialist Urology/Continence.  Guernsey Health and Social Services

History with the ACA: I have been a member of the ACA since taking up my post in 2002.  In 2011 I was invited to become a co-opted member of the ACA executive.  This opportunity is enabling me to gain a valuable understanding of how the Executive works and valuable work it does.

Work Role: I am one of two Clinical Nurse Specialists for Urology/ Continence working for the Guernsey Health and Social Services.   The Islands population is 68,000.  We cover both primary and secondary care as well as managing the urological/continence care needs of the neighbouring Islands of Alderney and Herm.  My main interest is women's health and I also help and support staff care for patients with complex bowel needs.

Co-opted: 2011
Elected: May 2012
Term ends: Aug 2019 (2nd term)

Wendy Ness - Honorary Secretary and Web Editor

wendy-ness.jpgColorectal Nurse Specialist, Croydon University Hospital

History with the ACA:  I was invited to become a co-opted member of the ACA executive in June 2010 and also became lead of the bowel special interest group taking over from Marlene Powell. These roles will enable me to become more involved with other professionals within the field of continence and raise the profile of bowel care within all healthcare settings.

Work Role: I have been a Colorectal Nurse Specialist at Croydon University Hospital since 1999 and my clinical role  involves care of patients with complex pelvic floor disorders and bowel dysfunction. Care pathways for these patients include neuromodulation, electrical stimulation, biofeedback and behavioural interventions. My role also includes running courses on constipation, faecal incontinence and diarrhoea locally and nationally.

Co-opted: 2010
Elected: May 2011
Term ends: May 2019 (3rd term)

Jo Booth - Chair of Education Committee 

Jo BoothSenior research fellow, Glasgow Caledonian University

History with the ACA: I have been a member of the ACA since 2008 and was co opted to the education committee in 2011, where I have gained insight into how the charity is organised and the processes of the education committee functioning. I have been involved in assessing the ACA Continence modules since becoming a member of the education committee and have taken on the role of Chair since May 2012

Work Role: I have a clinical academic role between Glasgow Caledonian University and NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde continence service. I spend the majority of my time undertaking continence related research and supporting its implementation in practice. I am a rehabilitation nurse by background and I am interested in bladder rehabilitation and the role of conservative interventions in treating incontinence and other bladder and bowel symptoms. I also have a keen interest in supporting people to self-manage their bladder and bowel symptoms.

Co-opted: 2012
Elected: May 2013
Term ends: Aug 2019 (2nd term)

Debra Ollerhead - Treasurer  

Debra Ollerhead
Adult Continence Lead, Wirral Community Foundation NHS Trust

History with the ACA:I am very happy and excited to be voted onto the executive committee and would like to thank everyone who voted for me. I am looking forward to working with experts in the continence field and supporting peers. Continence is such a fundamental part of nursing care and by raising awareness to patients and clinicians I will strive to improve the care delivered whilst remaining to be patient focused and centred.

Elected: May 2012
Term ends: Aug 2018 (2nd term)

Suzanne Willacy – Deputy Treasurer 


Physiotherapy Team Manager/Clinical Lead Women’s Health Physiotherapist,

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust  
History with ACA: I have been a member of ACA since 2010. In 2016 I was invited to become a co-opted member of the ACA Executive, which helped me gain a greater understanding of the role of the Executive and the extensive and invaluable work it does.I was subsequently elected onto the Executive in May 2017 and became Deputy Treasurer.I look forward to working with the Executive and the wider ACA and building on the strong links between our professions, strengthening multi-professional cooperation and sharing of skills, knowledge and experience.

Work role: I have been a Specialist Women’s Health Physiotherapist since 1989 and am currently the Clinical Lead Women’s Health Physiotherapist/Physiotherapy Team Manager for University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT), having both clinical and managerial roles. My clinical role involves providing physiotherapy care for both in and outpatients with bladder and bowel, pelvic health and gynaecological conditions and for breast surgery and antenatal and postnatal patients. I am also a full member of Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecology Physiotherapy (POGP) both nationally and regionally.

Co-opted: 2016
Elected: May 2017
Term ends: May 2020

Davina Richardson - Newsletter Editor 

Davina Richardson.jpg

Children's Continence Advisor, Disabled Living

History with ACA:  I became a member of the ACA and joined the Education Committee in 2015.  I joined the Executive in 2016. 

Work Role:  I trained as a Registered Sick Children’s Nurse and have always worked in child health, in both acute and community settings.  I was a Children’s Continence Nurse in the North East of England from 2006 – 2017.  I have worked as a Children’s Continence Advisor for Bladder and Bowel UK (formerly PromoCon) since 2015.

Elected: May 2016
Term ends: May 2019

Kirsteen Ferguson - Membership Secretary 

Kirsteen Fergusion
Specialist physiotherapist in continence, NHS Highland
My name is Kirsteen Ferguson. I am a clinical specialist physiotherapist in continence and pelvic health. I am one of 4 clinical specialists working in NHS Highland. The population of NHS Highland is 320,000 people and is spread over 32,500 square kilometres, making it one of the largest and most sparsely populated Health Boards in the UK.I have been a physiotherapist since 1991 but have only specialised in pelvic health over the past 6-7 years .I have been co-opted as an ACA Executive member earlier this year(2016). I look forward to working with the ACA executive group.

Co-opted: 2016
Elected: May 2017
Term ends: May 2020

Bo Yeung - Deputy Secretary and Deputy Website Editor

Bladder & Bowel Bo.jpgCommunity Bladder & Bowel Clinical Nurse Specialist, The Hillingdon Hospital FT

I have been a nurse for more than 30 years within a wide variety of specialities; this experience has developed me to the nurse specialist that I am today, currently I work as a Bladder and Bowel Clinical Nurse Specialist in a community setting for a London Community Trust. My role allows me to pull together my previous knowledge, skills and experiences to provide services for patients who may require Continence, Urology, Uro-Gynaecology and Stoma Care for assessment, treatment, management, education and support. This is delivered in patient’s homes, care facilities or a hospital base in a clinic.

I work as part of a team that provides formal education to clinical colleagues in my organisation, social care, private care in Bowel Care, Stoma Care, Catheterisation, Portable Bladder Scanning, and Continence Assessments, we also write the trusts Clinical Guidelines and Protocols.

Personally I have a great track record in service delivery which is patient centred with both measurable clinical outcomes but  also with good / excellent levels of patient satisfaction ,collected through local PROM-Patient Recorded Outcome Measures, PREMs-Patient Recorded Experience Measures  and NHS Friends and Families Test data collections..

I remain passionate about the NHS and provision of care with dignity, sustainable services, which are efficient, cost effective.

Co-Opted: 2017

Elected: May 2018

Term ends: May 2021 (1st term)

Norma Hayes - Deputy Treasurer

Norma.jpgContinence Nurse Specialist, Wirral Community NHS Foundation Trust

I have been a member of ACA since 2005 and I have been an active member of my regional branch.  I was co-opted onto the executive team last year and I have been able to develop my understanding of the role of the executive team. I am looking forward to having the opportunity to contribute towards the work of the team in the future.

Having gained my diploma in nursing in 2002, I worked initially on urology and there began my career in continence. From there I worked as a community nurse practitioner and in 2005 was successful in securing a position as a band 6 senior continence nurse, having completed the Urology and promotion of continence module. In 2009, I gained promotion to band 7 Continence nurse specialist. My role has both clinical and managerial responsibilities and includes service transformation and quality improvement. I teach on the Urology and Promotion of Continence module at the University of Chester.  I am undoubtedly passionate about continence and strive to promote continence and engage clinicians within the wider community.  

Co-Opted: 2017

Elected: May 2018

Term ends: May 2021 (1st term)

Julie Vickerman - Role TBC

Julie_Vickerman.jpgClinical Specialist Occupational Therapist

I qualified as an OT in 1983 and have worked clinically in a variety of settings including learning disability, acute medicine, cardiac rehabilitation and community equipment and adaptations in health, social services and the voluntary sector.

I became the first OT in the UK to specialise in the field of continence care in 2000 when I became a member of the multi professional continence team in Chorley, Lancashire.

This team were winners of several national awards recognising the innovative and integrated approach they developed towards promoting effective continence care.

Alongside my continence clinical post, I also had a seconded post with PromoCon (now Bladder & Bowel UK). This research post focused on raising the national and international profile of the OT role in continence promotion. The role also involved publishing articles and book chapters to raise awareness of the functional aspect of continence care and developing and delivering training packages to pre and post graduate nurses and OT’s as a means of integrating continence issues into their clinical work.

More recently I have held a senior management role within Social Services which has given me a very useful insight into the challenges faced by social care organisations and highlighted the potential for more integrated working to support people living in their own home.

In December 2017, I returned to working directly in the field of continence care when I commenced a newly commissioned post with the Bladder & Bowel Service for Blackpool NHS Foundation Trust.

Whilst this new role is very similar in lots of ways to that of my original specialist post, there are also new challenges ahead as we become part of an Accountable Care Organisation later this year.

My clinical work focuses on promoting continence by improving or maintaining the independence and function of clients or finding alternative solutions to difficult toileting situations. The role will also involve formally teaching and training health, social care and academia colleagues as well as developing a greater awareness of the multi professional responsibility for helping people with bladder and bowel problems regain or maintain independence and dignity in this aspect of their personal care.

I have been an active member of the North West ACA Branch since I commenced working in this field in 2000. The branch has always prided itself in being very proactive and offers a supportive network for its members. I have been privileged to have been the elected Chair since 2010.

Co-Opted: 2018

Elected: May 2018

Term ends: May 2021 (1st term)

Patricia Dever Co-Opted Member

patricia-dever-aca-executive.jpgAssistant Director of Public Health Nursing, HSE West

Awarded “Community Nurse of the year 2015” by the Institute of Community Nursing for the development of the Continence Advisory Service in Mayo; I trained as a Registered General Nurse and Registered Midwife in the UK during the 1980’s. I spent more than 15 years practicing as a midwife in the UK where she was involved in many new progressive methods of offering midwifery care in the community, such as “Midwife led care” and “Team based midwifery” with a special interest in Antenatal care and parenthood education. In 1996 I was seconded to a research team looking into the way antenatal shared care was managed between GP services and Hospital Consultant Care.

In 1998 I moved to Ireland as the Lead Nurse in a newly developed high dependency 28 bedded nursing unit for older people in the community; once established I returned to community nursing as a locum Public Health Nurse in Mayo for the next 2 year’s moving then into the private sector working as a Nurse Advisor for a Containment product company. 

In 2004 I transferred to the Nursing, Midwifery and Practice Development Unit, HSE West as a Continence Facilitator in Mayo.  In 2007 I was awarded the Higher Diploma in Public Health Nursing and in 2008 was appointed as Continence Advisor in Mayo. Since appointment I have developed continence education programmes for nurses, guidelines and protocols for adult and children with bladder and bowel dysfunction in the community, a Nurse-Led Continence Advisory Service in the community and a Home Delivery service for clients in receipt of incontinence wear.

I have presented at several conferences on developing continence services in the community and the use of Clinical Care Pathways in Continence Care Clinics. In 2015 she was shortlisted for the Irish Health Care Award in 2 categories.

I have been a member of the ACA since 2010 and has served on the committee of the “All Ireland Branch” since its formation in September 2014.

Co-Opted: 2017