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Open Doors

Our Team


Helen Simpson, Education and Development Manager, RN, RM, RSCPHN

Helen joined the NHS in 1993 and has gained experience within primary care, secondary care, and Higher Education, working in clinical, teaching, and strategic roles. She has a mentorship qualification as well as NMC recorded teacher and nurse prescriber qualifications and is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy. More recently she has also undertaken the Examination of the Newborn course which enables her to undertake the extended role of carrying out newborn and infant physical examinations. 

Work has been varied and has included a vast amount of clinical experience as well as teaching, assessing, and supporting students, evaluating the effectiveness of services by undertaking audits, quality monitoring of clinical placements, setting up a peer support programme of volunteers, policy development, writing newsletters, organising conferences and health promotion events, participating in values-based recruitment, Fitness to Practice and DBS panels and working in partnership with commissioning and public health departments. 

Helen received the Merit Award for work achievements and was responsible for leading the team to become the first University to receive the prestigious UNICEF Gold award accreditation for sustainability. She was also awarded second prize for innovation and creativity in the Dragons Den exercise during the National Leadership programme.  Helen has several publications as well as conference presentations.

Helen is passionate about high quality care and professional behaviour and feels strongly about supporting the education of nurses and other health care professionals. Helen is enjoying her new role and is looking forward to all the experiences it will bring. 


Michele Leworthy, Clinical Tutor

Michele joined the Open Doors Programme as a Clinical Tutor in May 2012, having long been an advocate of substantive training for practice nurses, previously supporting a vocational nurse training scheme in City and Hackney that was shortlisted for an award. In her time with the project she has mentored five nurses who have qualified with a degree in Primary Care (Practice Nursing) from City University and many on shorted courses such as cytology training, family planning, diabetes and coronary heart disease courses.

Alongside her mentoring role, Michele continues to lead her nursing and health care assistant team in a large teaching practice in Haringey where she also leads on diabetes and contraceptive and women's health care. Before that she was lead nurse in a large practice in City and Hackney for 25 years.

Qualifications and Specialist Interests

Having qualified as a RGN in 1987, Michele consolidated her nursing practice at The Royal London Hospital, before moving into General Practice Nursing in 1990. Since then she has undertaken mentoring and practice nursing courses, moving on to gain her Family Planning Certificate and a Masters in Advanced Nursing Practice in 2000. Michele was the first practice nurse in her area to qualify as a Non Medical Prescriber and has put this to effective use in her daily consultations with clients.

She is also the lead nurse for Diabetes, helping patients make the difficult transition onto starting insulin therapies. Michele is passionate about practice nursing and improving the health of her local population, along with improving the knowledge of and supporting local Practice Nurses. She has been the chair of her local Practice Nurse forum and has also held the role of treasurer for the forum. Michele is currently mentoring two Practice Nurses on the Open Doors programme and is successfully delivering on the Care Homes education project.


Sally White, Clinical Tutor

I have been a nurse for more than 20 years including experience working in infectious diseases and many years in Accident and Emergency at St Thomas' hospital. After having children, I decided it was time for something new and completed the Open Doors practice nurse programme myself. I have worked as a practice nurse in Tower Hamlets since 2016. Alongside my clinical role, I started as an Open Doors tutor in May 2020. 

I love working in Tower Hamlets and I am passionate about the immense value of nurses and HCA's in providing high quality patient care to make a difference in the community. Support, education and development play a vital role in allowing staff to flourish and feel valued. It is such a pleasure to play my part in helping to provide this. 

When not at work I love to go camping by the beach, potter in the garden and have afternoon tea with my family and two girls. 


Kelly Fletcher

Clinical Tutor, RN BN (Hons), PGDip, Independent Prescriber.

As of February 2021, Kelly has been working as a general practice nurse (GPN) in Tower Hamlets for five years and has recently completed the advanced clinical practice course. 

Kelly’s current clinical roles are lead nurse and joint clinical lead for her local network. She began working in general practice as part of the borough’s general practice nurse development programme, Open Doors. Kelly is delighted to now be a part of the team delivering clinical tutorship and support to new GPNs.  Kelly is a competent and experienced general practice nurse with postgraduate qualifications in diabetes, asthma/COPD and advanced clinical practice.  Her goal as a clinical tutor is contribute to a system that develops a confident and competent workforce that feels valued and ready to inspire future generations of general practice nurses.

As part of the clinical tutor role, you will see Kelly around Tower Hamlets facilitating the HCA protected learning time and forum, care certificate and other training events. 


Natalie Brown

Clinical Tutor, BSc (Hons) Audiology, PGDip Adult Nursing, PGDip Primary Care 

Natalie knew she always wanted to work in healthcare and made the decision to transition to Adult Nursing after completing her Audiology degree.  In 2015 she started her first nursing job as a staff nurse in the Emergency Department at Kings College Hospital, after which she joined the Open Doors Programme.  

Natalie currently works as Practice Nurse/ Trainee Advanced Clinical Practitioner in Tower Hamlets and is due to complete her ACP training in the summer of 2021. Her special interests are in asthma and COPD and she is respiratory lead for her practice. 

Natalie started working in Primary Care in 2017 as a trainee on the Open Doors Programme. In this time, she connected with the ethos of healthcare in Tower Hamlets and has loved getting to know the community and their history. Being able to provide holistic care is something Natalie is passionate about and she has been involved in projects to help parents improve their confidence (DIY Health), as well as starting a crochet club and being involved in health promotion events. As part of her Practice Nurse training, Natalie mentored a student nurse which sparked an interest in healthcare education. She continues to work in Tower Hamlets and happily joined the Open Doors team as a Clinical Tutor at the end of 2020.  


Jacqui Hodgson

Clinical Tutor, RGN, BSc Human Science, PG Cert E (Teachers in Primary Care), Queens’ Nurse, Advanced Level Nurse Practitioner (RCN Credentialing)

Jacqui joined the Open Doors Team as a Clinical Tutor in February 2021. New to Tower Hamlets but not new to Practice Nursing or Education. She came to London from Yorkshire to train as a nurse at The Royal Free Hospital in the 1980’s After working for a few years after qualifying within Intensive Care she soon changed direction and found her passion was for primary care nursing; a dynamic and rewarding career, caring and supporting patients from cradle to grave. She is honoured to be a Queens Nurse and is committed to learning, leadership and excellence in patient care.

Jacqui has worked for over 25 years as a Nurse Practitioner/Practice Nurse and Educator in Barnet where she continues to work clinically and for Barnet Primary Care Training Hub. She is the continuing professional development lead for Barnet Primary Care Nurses and Health Care Support Workers. She is a non-medical prescriber and leads on respiratory care for her patients. Her educational strengths are working within multi-disciplinary teams and is proud to have organised successful local respiratory and cardiovascular conferences.

Jacqui completed the Post Graduate Certificate in Education (Teachers in Primary Care) 6 years ago and since then has been mentoring and teaching General Practice Nurse Trainees, pre-registered nurses, Health Care Support Workers and more recently Trainee Nursing Associates. Jacqui is now mentoring a GPN in Tower Hamlets and will also lead on the Care Certificate Training for Health Care Assistants. Jacqui feels it a privilege to be a nurse and is delighted to be part of the renowned Open Doors Team to grow and nurture the primary care nurses of the future.




Left to right: Helen Simpson, Education and Development Manager and the Open Doors Clinical Tutors: Michele Leworthy, Sally White, Kelly Fletcher, Natalie Brown, and Jacqui Hodgson.

Education and clinical mentoring

We provide education and clinical mentoring for nurses and health care assistants working for general practice teams in the borough and others in front line patient care. We work under the umbrella of our local Community Education Provider Network (CEPN) in Tower Hamlets, which is a new initiative funded and supported by Health Education England North Central East London (HE-NCEL).

The Open Doors team staff are employed by Tower Hamlets GP Care Group.

Our experience

All of the staff are experienced nurses with a background of working in primary care. The five part-time Clinical Tutors who are all Practice Nurses or Nurse Practitioners have clinical roles in General Practice settings as well as their teaching role for Open Doors. 

The Open Doors Programme has been running since 2008 and we have trained over 60 new practice nurses and mentored many others that are engaged in clinical training at degree level. We have also provided courses and mentoring for HCAs, care home staff, undergraduate nurse trainees and Practice Nurses in post.

Winning the HENCEL Quality Award for Excellence in Widening Participation and Wider Workforce Development in 2014