Meet the Quality Improvement Team and Working Group

Quality Improvement Working Group

Comprised of clinicians, trainees and academics from across the RCoA directorates, the Quality Improvement Working Group leads and shapes the national conversation on quality improvement (QI). We aim to unite the anaesthetic and wider health care community around key priorities for QI, and enhance links with other Colleges and organisations through the development of QI methodologies and provision of resources to support clinicians in QI work.

We strive to improve access to QI training resources and to advance knowledge and skills by developing a repository of QI activity and resources to facilitate learning and sharing best practice. As part of this strategic aim, we will be developing a new QI network for doctors in anaesthetic postgraduate training to support the development of the QI leaders of the future with the guidance of regional experts. 

The QI Working Group facilitates a Regional Quality Network to help our members share successes and lessons learned from QI work, develop their QI knowledge and increase their confidence to undertake improvement projects.

We aim to raise the profile of QI in anaesthesia and support clinicians of all grades gain recognition for their quality improvement work. 

As a group, the QIWG always strives to improve and enhance the impact of QI work throughout our specialty. If you would like any further information, or provide feedback to our group, please do not hesitate to contact us on   

Name Role
Dr Samantha Warnakulasuriya RCoA QI Lead and Chair of the QI Working Group
Dr Lesley Jordan Deputy Chair of the QI Working Group
Dr Claire-Marie Agius

The Association of Anaesthetists in Training Committee

Dr Irfan Chaudry

FICM Professional Affairs and Safety Committee

Dr Adam Firth-Hunt

PQIP Representative

Dr Ronan Hanratty

RCoA QI Fellow

Dr Rebecca Hawes 

Research & Audit Federation of Trainees (RAFT)

Dr Carolyn Johnston

Dr Brian McCloskey Consultant in Anaesthetics and intensive care medicine, Director of Patient Safety and QI College of Anaesthesiologists of Ireland
Dr Samantha Moore Centre for Perioperative Care (CPOC) Fellow
Dr Shalini Patel Anaesthetists in Training Committee 
Dr Felicity Plaat RCoA Elected Council Member and Clinical Quality Advisor 
Dr Gethin Pugh Past Chair of the Anaesthetists Curriculum Assurance & Development Group (ACDAG)
Dr Sarah Thornton RCoA Events and Professional Development Committee


Quality Improvement Team

Dr Samantha Warnakulasuriya
QI Lead and Chair of the QI Working Group

Sam is a Consultant in Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine at University College London Hospital (UCLH) specialising in orthopaedic, bariatric and major cancer surgery.  

She has an interest in data driven QI and has been the QI lead for anaesthesia at UCLH since 2020, following an HSRC fellowship working on PQIP. Her research interests are in high-risk surgery, perioperative patient blood management and patient reported outcome measures.  She has ongoing collaborations with the Centre for Perioperative Medicine at University College London and the NIHR Blood and transplant research unit in data driven transfusion practice.

Dr Ronan Hanratty
QI Fellow for the Quality Improvement Working Group

Ronan is an anaesthetics registrar working in the South West with a keen interest in Quality Improvement. Having completed a Quality, Service Improvement and Redesign course, he sought an opportunity to further enhance his own QI skills as well as the skillset of others. He achieved this by becoming the QI Fellow for the RCoA Quality Improvement Working Group. As a group we aim to shape the national conversation on quality improvement in anaesthesia, share best practice through our quality network, and improve access to educational material for our members. Away from the office, he is usually parenting two young children, getting out on the bike and when time allows, teaching himself the piano.

Sharon Drake
Deputy CEO and Director of Clinical Quality and Research

Sharon is responsible for an ambitious programme of healthcare improvement and research, which includes the development and delivery of national clinical guidelines and accreditation, national clinical audits and QI programmes. Sharon has worked in the education and healthcare sector for the last 26 years, both as an educator and a senior manager.

Sharon is also the College Director for the Centre for Perioperative Care (CPOC), a cross-specialty centre dedicated to the development of perioperative care for the benefit of patients and the healthcare community. She provides strategic leadership of the CPOC and is responsible for the delivery of a cross-organisational programme of work to embed perioperative care in the NHS.

Carly Melbourne
Associate Director of Clinical Quality and Research

Carly has worked at the RCoA for 15 years, having started her Medical College career within Training gaining a knowledge of curriculums and awareness of the pressures of training programmes for members. She then moved into professional standards where she refined project management skills via the RCoA’s national standard setting and accreditation scheme, including the QI Compendium in 2020. During her time at the RCoA, Carly has acquired an in-depth understanding of the healthcare environment, both NHS and private as well as delivering high-value and complex objectives. As Associate Director, Carly’s current role requires leadership, strategic thinking and external engagement at the highest level. She has managerial responsibility for the RCoA’s QI functions that include the dedicated RCoA committee, publication of the QI Compendium and RCoA QI research projects.

Claire Flatt
Clinical Quality and Research Business Coordinator

Claire started at the RCoA in summer 2023 in the CPOC team and she has worked in health and social care for 15 years, including on surgical QI projects.

Since December 2023 Claire has been the Business Coordinator for the Clinical Quality and Research Directorate and the face behind the QI inbox. She coordinates the QI Working Group and its activities, manages the RCoA's Consultation and Endorsement process, is the Executive Assistant for Sharon Drake (Deputy CEO and Director of Clinical Quality and Research) and the secretary for the Clinical Quality and Research Board.  Claire is a bit of a plant geek and in her spare time is studying horticulture.