HLS graduate

6 admirable HLS graduates

Part three of the Graduate spotlight series presents six of our fantastic Health and Life Science (HLS) post-grads.

What helps them become so successful in their careers? Their warm heart, their incredible inner strength, their deep empathy and willingness to help others, their passion for social work and their special care for the sake of the community. Discover their stories here…

1. Lisa Bayliss

Double degree – BSc. in Adult Nursing and Master in Health Studies | Director of Nursing for Health Education England

Lisa Bayliss  is responsible for leading national policy, workforce planning, and multi-professional education and training commissioning, for the non-medical healthcare workforce. Lisa’s high-profile achievements in this role include the establishment of The Shape of Caring Review – a review of the education and training of nurses and care assistants, the development of the Care Certificate, the piloting of pre-degree care experience and the creation of a three tiered dementia education and training framework.

‘I’m a nurse with a passion for leadership in education. I have never turned my back on frontline nursing care and I continue to keep a close watch on nursing practice. I enjoy shadowing colleagues in their workplace. I’m just fortunate now that I am able to influence education and the way our health care is delivered.’

Lisa refers to Coventry University as “holding a special place in my heart” and recalls her memories of studying there:

‘Even back then, there was an excitement about Coventry. It definitely felt like I was in the right place at the right time. The teaching staff at Coventry were forward thinkers, and as an eager 19 year old I wanted to sample that life.’

‘The lecturers were inspiring and I was, and still am, hugely ambitious. The Masters was ideal for me. The course was the perfect way to provide me with a solid grounding for my career.’

2. Christine Magnus Moore

Master in Caring for Teenagers and Young Adults | Co-founder of cancer network YANA | Award-winning author 

Christine started her career as an adult oncology nurse, she specialised in bone marrow transplants for almost eight years before her own cancer diagnosis.

“When I was taking care of patients, I had no idea I would soon become a cancer patient myself” – said Christine

After completing her treatment, Christine came back to work and has since work hard to mentor and support cancer patients dealing the disease.

“The deepest grief and tears can produce the greatest strength and passion”

She has worked as a charge nurse and lecturer and currently serves on the board of the California Southland chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. She also co-founded a cancer comfort blog called YANA, which stands for ‘You Are Not Alone’.They send our care packages to cancer patients and provide online support for friends and families.

Her multiple experiences with cancer and cancer patients led to her writing a book called Both Sides of the Bedside: From Oncology Nurse to Patient, an RN’s Journey with Cancer. The book won an award for ‘Outstanding Memoir’ at the prestigious Southern California Writer’s Conference.

3. Linda Hindle

MSc Advancing Dietetics Practice | Lead Allied Health Professionals Public Health England


Linda Hindle  is the Lead Allied Health Professional for Public Health England. She is responsible for increasing the contribution of the 12 allied health professions, to improve the health and well-being of the population.

Linda has shown exceptional leadership qualities in various roles such as Consultant Dietitian – responsible for the strategic planning and commissioning of interventions to prevent and treat obesity across Birmingham. She has been the Head of the Birmingham Community Nutrition and Dietetic Service, Professional Lead for Allied Health Professions for the Birmingham Specialist Community Health Trust and a Professional Executive Committee member and Clinical Director for the Eastern Birmingham Primary Care Trust. She is also a member of the British Dietetic Association, currently serving on the BDA England Board and Chair of DOM UK, a specialist interest group for professionals working in obesity.

“My Master’s degree at Coventry University allowed me to develop a more academic aspect to the implementation of some of these roles.  I often wish I knew what I know now when I first graduated because I would have been much more confident in my ability to change the system at an earlier stage in my career.”

Linda provided this career advice to our readers who might also want to pursue a career in the health care industry:

My advice to students and new graduates would be believe in yourself and believe that you can change the things that aren’t working.  Don’t be afraid to make suggestions and don’t assume what is obvious to you is obvious to everyone else. You have a unique perspective and skill set, work hard to develop and maintain relationships and partnerships, remembering that you often meet the same people at different points in your career.

Take opportunities that arise even if they mean extra work, these always compliment your CV and you never know when they will come in useful in the future. Volunteer for roles or committee posts with your professional body. I assumed that this was only an opportunity for people with experience, or the elite members of the profession. However most professional bodies are keen to get volunteers to support their work, you will be able to obtain a national perspective and experience different opportunities.

4. David Widdas

PhD student in Children and Family Nursing  | Winner of ‘Impact in Child Health Award’ at the WellChild Awards.

Prince Harry
David Widdas and other local health professionals meet Prince Harry

David is the Consultant Nurse for Children with Complex Care Needs in Warwickshire. His PhD at Coventry University explored children with ventilation needs and the impact on their families. His supervisor, Professor Jane Coad, who leads Children and Family Research in Coventry University’s Centre for Technology Enabled Health Research nominated him for the aforementioned  WellChild award.

David contributes to developing clinical documents and strategies for various children’s health charities. David was part of the team who worked with Professor Jane Coad to develop an online Masters programme for Children’s Complex and Palliative Care. This was the first programme of its kind in the UK.

David’s contribution has been recognised and praised by the WellChild’s Director of Programmes, Linda Partridge:

‘It is a tremendous challenge selecting winners from the many, many truly amazing nominations we receive from across the UK. All the panel members are moved by the bravery of the children, the stories of selfless care and support and the dedication of the doctors, nurses, teachers, brothers and sisters who make a great difference to the lives of children and young people with seriously illnesses or complex care needs.’

5. Laurence Dwyer

Paramedic Science Graduate | NHS Paramedic

HLS Graduate

Lawrence Dwyer qualified as a paramedic from Coventry University in 2012. He’s now an NHS paramedic and works for West Midlands Ambulance Service. Laurence says he wanted to make a difference and that’s why he chose Coventry:

​”I’ve wanted to be a paramedic for as long I can remember. I wanted to save lives. I wanted to make a difference. I chose Coventry University because it had a strong reputation. The course was also run in partnership with West Midlands Ambulance Service. I knew I would learn from the best.”

​”Working alongside trained professionals is the perfect way to learn. It builds confidence and helps with communication skills. Becoming a paramedic was a huge achievement for me. I make a difference to people’s lives. I help them when they are scared and vulnerable. Coventry University helped me find the confidence and determination to achieve my lifelong goal.”

Coventry University’s sports scholarship scheme offers support to elite athletes pursuing academic qualifications. It is designed to help them integrate high level training and competition around their studies. The sports scholarship scheme provides dedicated assistance in the form of a cash bursary and a tailored range of support services including strength and conditioning, physiotherapy, sports psychology, sports nutrition, sports therapy, mentoring and flexible study options.

6. Vikki Jones

MSc Advancing Practice | Macmillan Gynae Oncology Advanced Nurse Practitioner

Vikki Jones qualified as a registered general nurse in September 1999 from Coventry University School of Health and Social Sciences. Vikki has worked in gynaecology since qualifying and was recruited into the post of Clinical Nurse Specialist in 2003. In 2006, Macmillan took over funding for the gynae-oncology Clinical Nurse Specialists, and Vikki became the lead of a team of three Clinical Nurse Specialists.

She shares with unCOVered her passion for the job:

“I simply love being a Macmillan nurse and making a difference on a daily basis.  I’ve worked as a nurse for 15 years – and spent 9 years as a Macmillan Clinical Nurse Specialist and 18 months as a Macmillan Advanced Nurse Practitioner.

“I’ll often say that wherever my patients go I’ll walk at their side and be there for them when they need me. I know this means a lot to them and it makes a big difference to their emotional wellbeing, as some people might not want to share how they’re feeling with their family or friends. They can feel isolated and alone.

Talking about her Masters course, Vikki said:

‘The course was very well organised and well supported. It is credible and recognised in the NHS. The course has changed me as a person and a practitioner – I look at things differently now. There is no doubt that this course has allowed me to improve the care that I give to my patients. As a direct result of the course, I gained a promotion – it has opened many doors for me.”

Vikki was also the national face of Macmillan, contributing to the huge success of their ‘Not Alone’ campaign last year: