Key people


Dr Naru Narayanan


Dr Narayanan is a Consultant obstetrician and gynaecologiest at Torbay Hospital and has served on HCSA's Executive for nine years. He has previously held positions as College Tutor, Training Programme Director and Clinical Director in the South West. Prior to becoming a Consultant, he was overseas trainees' representatives at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. He is passionate about delivering a better working environment for hospital doctors and tackling equalities issues.

Dr Paul Donaldson

General Secretary

Dr Paul Donaldson was a consultant microbiologist for over 20 years until he left the NHS in April 2020. He had been elected to Council in 2008 and joined the Executive as an Honorary Secretary in 2014. In addition to his medical qualifications, he also has a diploma in employment law. He was elected as General Secretary of the HCSA in March 2020.

Dr Claudia Paoloni

Immediate Past President

Dr Paoloni is a Consultant Anaesthetist based in Bristol. She was elected the first woman President of HCSA in 2019, having previously served for three years as chair of the Executive, and remains actively involved in work around the Gender Pay Gap in Medicine.

Stuart Lythgoe

Director of Operations

Stuart served in the British Army for 23 years before retiring in 2016. He undertook various project and programme management roles before joining NHS England and NHS Improvement as a change and programme delivery manager in 2018. Stuart started his employment with HCSA in January 2020.

Timothy Brooks

National Officer

Tim joined the HSCA in January 2020 and covers the south-west. He has a background in trade unions and education.

Farah Cheema

National Officer

Farah represents members in West London and South Central England as well as Cambridge. Her specialism is employment law, having worked in this area for many years, including for a City firm, an employment law consultancy, and as a volunteer at the Free Representation unit, where she represented claimants at tribunal. She was an employment adviser at the BMA for nearly three years.

Stuart Denness

National Officer

Stuart is our National Officer for South London and the South Coast. He has over 25 years’ experience within trade unions and dealing with members’ issues, both for GMB and as a senior advocate for Unite, and has wide experience assisting members with disciplinary matters, grievances and appeals at all levels. He has employment law qualifications gained at Oxford and the Institution of Legal Executives.

Gareth Howells

National Officer

Gareth is national officer for Wales.

Alex Wilson

National Officer

Alex is the National Officer for Yorkshire, the North East and Lincolnshire. He has been a trade union official for over a decade, having previously been an elected official with the POA. Alex has a diploma in Employment Law and a diploma in Occupation Health and Safety and carries out the role of National Health and Safety Lead for HCSA. He has vast experience of member representation in disciplinary, grievance and appeals proceedings at all levels and experience of trade union legal disputes that have escalated to the high court.

Isslia Roberts

National Officer

Isslia represents members in the North West region. She has worked in employment and discrimination law for almost a decade, including as a specialist for Citizens Advice, and led a government-funded project representing those challenging unfair dismissals and discrimination cases. She has particular knowledge on pregnancy and maternity, sexual harassment and race matters in the workplace.

Gabriel Everington

Engagement and Campaigns Officer

Gabriel joined HCSA in 2022. He has a background in political campaigns and communications.

Martin Bond

National Officer

Martin is National Officer for the North West. He has extensive experience of representing trade union members in Unite, the GMB and most recently as a caseworker for Citizens Advice.

Denise Hayward

National Officer

Denise represents members in the Midlands. She has worked for HCSA twice, starting as the membership secretary and returning in 2020 as Employment Service Advisor. Denise has 14 years' NHS experience working in HR and as a middle manager. Most recently she has completed the TUC Diploma in Employment Law.

Joanne Findlay

Policy and Campaigns Officer

Joanne joined HCSA in February 2021 as Policy and Campaigns Officer. She has extensive experience in campaign organising and industrial relations within a health and social care setting, from her time working for UNISON. Prior to this, Joanne worked for the Scottish Labour Party leading local election campaigns.