Board biographies

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Paul Gates OStJ MBA BSc(Hons) DipIMC,RCSEd MCPara

Chair of the Board

Paul took up the chair of the British Association for Immediate Care in November 2019, prior to this he had served as the Honorary Secretary. He has been involved in the leadership of the strategic change work of the Association since it started in 2015. He subsequently led the review of the Association’s educational courses.

Paul is a Consultant Paramedic with an NHS Ambulance Service Trust. He has extensive senior leadership experience in both the NHS Ambulance Service and third sector. He has an Honorary Contract with the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust as a Specialist Paramedic (Critical Care). Paul is a graduate of the NHS Leadership Academy Nye Bevan (Director Development) Programme.

Paul has an interest in major incident and event medicine having held a number of leadership roles at  Major Incidents including those in London in 2017 and 2019. He has also led the ambulance service response to all of the major London events that occur including HM Queen Diamond Jubilee celebrations and was also the Tactical Commander for the Olympic Park during the Olympic Games in 2012.

A Lead Examiner for the Diploma In Immediate Medical Care of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Paul is also the founding  Chairman and a trustee of BASICS Essex (BEARS).

Paul is an elected trustee to the board.

Andy Pountney

Dr Andy Pountney MStJ MBChB (Hons) MRCP FRCEM FIMC,RCSEd

Vice Chair

Andy is a Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Pinderfields Hospital (Wakefield), with a special interest in Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine. He is seconded part time to Yorkshire Ambulance Service in the role of the Medical Governance Lead and Medical Incident Commander. He is also the chairman, clinical and governance lead of the West Yorkshire Medic Response Team, as well as being the governance lead for YAS-BASICS. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Yorkshire Critical Care HEMS team, and remains clinical and governance lead. He responds frequently with all three of these teams, providing pre-hospital critical care when required.

Andy has significant experience of Immediate Care in Sport, providing pitch side immediate care in Rugby Union for 19 years as team doctor at domestic and international levels. He also has experience of providing crowd cover at mass gathering events, some of these as a member of St John Ambulance.

Andy is an elected trustee to the board.

Rowley Cottingham

Dr Rowley Cottingham MB BS BSc FRCS(Ed) FRCEM

Honorary Treasurer

Rowley was a full-time Consultant in Emergency Medicine in the South East from 1995 to 2015. In a voluntary capacity as part of the SouthEast Coast Immediate Care Scheme he has responded a number of major incidents including the Clapham rail crash and the Bishopsgate bomb. He established the first doctors on the then Kent Air Ambulance helicopter, now KSSAT.

In addition to his clinical roles Rowley has a strong research portfolio,as well as a large medicolegal practice that also encompasses complex medical negligence cases.

Since 2015 Rowley has continued as an independent emergency medicine consultant and provides consultancy for the medical industry.

Rowley is the chairman of the Southeast Coast Immediate Care Scheme (SIMCAS).

Rowley is an elected trustee to the board.

Prof Alison Leary MBE MStJ RN PhD MSc FRCN FQNI

Alison undertakes research and teaches holding two chairs, on at the London South Bank University and the other at the University of South-Eastern Norway. Her interests are in the complexity of healthcare, safety, maths models and data science.

Alsion is the medical coordinator for the matchday crowd medical services at Millwall football club (an affiliated scheme of the Association). She has extensive consultancy experience in research and analysis for a number of national & international organisations and charities. This has ranged from mathematical modelling/pattern recognition work to national policy initiatives.

Alison writes regularly for the general, trade and academic press. In 2015 she was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing and in 2016 a Fellow of the Queen Nursing Institute and a Winston Churchill Fellow for which she examined high reliability organisations looking at safety. She was awarded an MBE for her services to safety and emergency workforce modelling in English League Football in 2019.

Alison is an elected trustee to the board.


Richard is a consultant thoracic surgeon at Heartlands Hospital, Birmingham who serves as the associate medical director for surgery in his trust. He is an honorary associate professor at the University of Warwick Medical School. He is vice-chairman of the NHS England National Clinical Reference Group for Thoracic Surgery and a member of the Thoracic Surgery sub-committee of the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery of Great Britain and Ireland. Richard has an interest in tactical medicine and use of force and this was the focus of his dissertation for the examination of the Fellowship in Immediate Medical Care. Richard served as the Faculty of Prehospital Care (RCSEd) Convenor on the joint Faculty / ACPO Firearms and Tactical Medicine Clinical Advisory Group

A past chair of the Association Richard has extensive pre-hospital experience with the West Midlands Care Team and the Mercia Accident Rescue Service which are both affiliated schemes of the Association. Richard is a Medical Incident Officer for the West Midlands Ambulance Service.

Richard is an appointed trustee to the board.


Chief Officer and Company Secretary

Tony is a nurse and joined us from academia. He had most recently worked as a senior lecturer teaching medical education and advanced practice in a UK university following a varied career in international marketing and the third sector. Throughout he has continued in pre-hospital clinical practice and remains a member of the crowd medical team at Millwall FC (an affiliated scheme of the Association). He has previously served as a trustee of the Association (2001-2019) including being chairman between 2015 and 2019. He has extensive experience as an immediate Care practitioner in the South East Coast Immediate Care Scheme (SIMCAS).

Tony is an examiner for the Diploma in Immediate Medical Care at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and a member of Training and Standards Committee for the Faculty of Pre-Hospital Care at the College.