The Team

The Team

Dr Chris Myers
Senior Training Programme Director

Dr Chris Myers entered practice in Rotherham in 1990 after completing vocational training in the Royal Air Force. He became a Trainer in 1992 and had trainees continuously until stepping down from the role in 2019. Was appointed as TPD for Rotherham VTS as it was then in 1994 a position that continues up to now. Took on responsibility for Scheme Development and Management from the start and has increased the capacity in the Scheme from 5 Trainers and 11 trainees to the current 34 Trainers with a further 4 Intending Trainers and 76 trainees. Helped to establish a significant increase in the number of approved hospital posts and latterly has developed 9 ITP and is supporting the development of the Hub & Spoke model in 3 practices. Has mentored many Trainers and supported them throughout. Held the post of Associate Post Graduate Dean with HEE Y&H for 7 years, retiring from this post in 2016. Has represented the Scheme at HEE level in all aspects of training.

It is pleasing to see that a good number of past trainees have remained in the town and have progressed their careers to hold many different and varied roles in the community, testament to the support they all had during their time on Rotherham GPSTP.

Dr Gail Crowley
Training Programme Director

Dr Crowley has been a GP Trainer for 19 years and a Training Programme Director for 16. Her main roles within the Scheme are Secondary Care Liaison, the ePortfolio, ARCP panels, and RCA preparation. She is also an Examiner and Core Group Member for the RCA/CSA. She trained at St Mary’s Hospital in London but headed back up North with her husband and children to be near family and to enjoy the countryside. Rotherham is a great place to be and we are lucky that the majority of GP Trainees stay in the area once qualified. Many of them are now GP Trainers and TPDS which is a huge testament to the scheme and for future proofing the next generation of GPs.

Dr David Polkinghorn
Training Programme Director

David Polkinghorn started as a GP trainee in Rotherham in 1979 and became a partner in Wath upon Dearne in 1982, just before the Miner’s Strike. Having developed a new practice was one of the first to become computerised in 1989. Currently on Systm1, the sixth! Was a GP trainer from 1990 to 2017 and been a TPD since 1995. Have had roles as clinical executive on various incarnations of government reforms such as FPC, FHSA, PCT, CCG etc. I finally finished this 2012. My area of interest is consultations skills and group work. Particularly favour ALOBA and variations from the Cambridge-Calgary method. My particular theme is that current training is the minimum required to start a challenging career. I wish all registrars to be ambitious and maintain their development following MRCGP and, where possible be active in the College. Obtained Fellowship by Assessment of RCGP 1992

Avanthi Gunasekera
Training Programme Director

I qualified from the Rotherham VTS in 2008 and became the first Rotherham qualified partner at The Village Surgery. I have been a TPD for 13yrs and a GP Trainer for 12yrs. Originally from Sri Lanka I came to Sheffield medical school 26yrs ago and captivated by the Yorkshire hospitality I remained in the region.

I have been Clinical Lead for medicines management, primary care, and palliative care lead of the local CCG for 10yrs and have recently retired from that role to take on more TPD work. Now Senior Partner at the Village Surgery, I am proud to be part of a 7 GP team, all of whom are Rotherham qualified doctors.

Rotherham is an excellent training scheme and we are proud to retain a high proportion of our trainees in the local area who now hold positions of high responsibility and recognition.

Rejia Ullah
Training Programme Director

Dr Ullah completed her medical degree at the University of Sheffield and is a home grown Rotherham GP, finishing the GP Scheme in August 2007. She is a GP Partner at Kiveton Medical Practice and also has a special interest in Palliative Care, working at Ashgate Hospice (Chesterfield) two days a week. She is our latest addition to the TPD team, having been appointed as the Lead in Differential Attainment. She has a passion for medical education and assessment, and is heavily involved with the University of Sheffield Medical School (medical and physician associate students). She is an examiner for the Royal College of Physicians and is involved in the clinical supervision and education of ANP/ACP health professionals, as part of the South Yorkshire Training Hub. She loves traveling abroad, eating nice food and keeping fit, with regular running and personal training

Joanne Hickey
Scheme Administrator

My name is Joanne Hickey and I have worked for Health Education England since 2005. My roles have varied from being a Personal Assistant to the Postgraduate Dean, Deputy Postgraduate Dean and Associate Deans / General Manager. I then worked for 7 years within the Revalidation Team. From April 2022, I moved over to work within the Primary Care Team and Scheme Administrator for the Rotherham area.

I have two children both in Primary School currently. My Hobbies include walking, exercising, dancing, reading, camping and spending time with my kids, family and friends, I love to socialise.