Strategic Steering Group

Professor Sir Anthony Newman Taylor

Sir Anthony is President’s Envoy for Health and Professor of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London.

As consultant physician at the Brompton Hospital, London Sir Anthony was instrumental in establishing the largest joint clinical, research and teaching department in Europe to investigate the occupational and environmental causes of lung disease, particularly asthma. He has advised many overseas government bodies in the field of occupational and environmental causes of lung disease, as well as the UK Department of Work and Pension and the Royal Air Force.

Sir Anthony is the current Chairman of Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Workplace Health Expert Committee (WHEC), the Independent Medical Expert Group of Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) for Ministry of Defence and of the Colt Foundation. He was knighted in 2008 for his contribution to public service and received the Institute of Occupational Health and Safety Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. His research interests include the occupational and environmental causes of respiratory disease, the determinants of childhood allergy and asthma and immune-genetic-environmental interactions in occupational asthma. In addition to his many published research papers Sir Anthony has authored chapters in numerous medical textbooks, including the Oxford Textbook of Medicine and Hunter’s Textbook of Occupational Diseases and was senior editor of the 4th edition of Parkes Occupational Lung Disorders.

Professor Sir Simon Wessely

Professor Sir Simon Wessely is Professor of Psychological Medicine and Regius Professor of Psychiatry at King’s College London and a Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist at King’s College and the Maudsley Hospitals.

Simon studied medicine and history of art at Cambridge, and finished his medical training at Oxford. He obtained his medical membership in Newcastle, before moving to London to train in psychiatry at the Maudsley. He has a Masters and Doctorate in epidemiology, and is a Foundation Senior Investigator of the National Institute for Health Research, past President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, current President of the Royal Society of Medicine and also chairs the Independent Review into the Mental Health Act.

Simon has over 750 original publications, with an emphasis on the boundaries of medicine and psychiatry, unexplained symptoms and syndromes, population reactions to adversity, military health, epidemiology and others. He founded the King’s Centre for Military Health Research, which is now the main source of information on the health and wellbeing of the UK Armed Forces past and present and has been Civilian Consultant Advisor in Psychiatry to the British Army since 2001. He has co-authored books on chronic fatigue syndrome, randomised controlled trials and a history of military psychiatry, although sadly none of them are best sellers.

Simon speaks regularly on radio, TV and at literary and science festivals. He is a trustee of Combat Stress and his contributions to veterans’ charities include cycling (slowly) eight times to Paris to raise funds for the Royal British Legion.

Air Commodore Rich Withnall

Air Commodore Rich Withnall is Medical Director of the UK Defence Medical Services. He joined the RAF as a Medical Cadet in 1990. After GP vocational training, he undertook Senior Medical Officer appointments on fast jet, multi-engine and rotary flying stations, and the RAF’s recruit training unit. He has completed Command and Staff appointments at HQ Personnel and Training Command, HQ AIR Command, HQ Surgeon General and the Ministry of Defence (MOD). He won the Brooke-Popham Prize (Best Defence Research Paper) and the Sir Michael Howard Prize (Best MA student) on the Advanced Command and Staff Course in 2007/8.

After a policy role in MOD, Rich returned to HQ AIR Command as Deputy Director Health Services (RAF) in 2010. He became the first RAF Defence Professor of General Practice and Primary Care in 2013. He was promoted to Air Commodore in 2017, becoming the first primary care clinician to be appointed as Medical Director of the UK Defence Medical Services.