Big welcome to Cornelle Parker - our new deputy medical director. She's named after a Lithuanian film star, you know


Her appointment coincides with the appointment of two new associate medical directors, Paediatrician Sal Uka and Vascular Surgeon Neeraj Bhasin.                          


Neeraj told CHFT Weekly: "I feel honoured and privileged to be appointed as Associate Medical Director in the trust that serves Huddersfield, the town I grew up in, and Halifax, the town where I did a significant part of my surgical training. My aim is to provide clinical input to help shape a patient focused, sustainable, high quality, future healthcare service for the communities I grew up in".


And Sal added "As AMD I want to continue developing HOOP and the Deteriorating Patient programme so that as a Trust, we maintain improvements in patient outcomes and our mortality indicators. I am also looking forward to further collaboration with new and old colleagues across the Trust’. 

Medical Director, David Birkenhead said: "I am delighted to welcome Cornelle Parker, Sal Uka and Neeraj Bhasin to their new roles in the Medical Directors office. Cornelle is joining us to be our first formal Deputy Medical Director and joins us from Airedale NHSFT.

"She is a consultant endocrinologist and will, in addition to her Deputy Medical Director commitments, be working for approximately a day a week in her clinical capacity. I am sure she will bring new approaches and ideas which will benefit the Trust and know she will be trying to meet as many people as possible in her early days with us. 

"Sal and Neeraj will need little introduction and are taking the roles of Associate Medical Directors. They will continue with their current clinical roles in Paediatrics and Vascular surgery.

"This new team, working with colleagues across the Trust, will help us with our ambition to achieve an Outstanding CQC rating and to continue to deliver compassionate care to our patients. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Alex Hamilton and Martin DeBono for their support as Associate Medical Directors which they have given to me over the last three years and to the Trust for many years prior to that. Their experience and support has been invaluable.  Alex and Martin will continue to support the Trust whilst they hand over their responsibilities. Martin will be continuing in his role as Divisional Director of FSS."




Cornelle - named after a Lithuanian film star - joins us from Airedale Hospital and here you can read about her her love of sailing, her bronze medal in wheelbarrow racing and how she's wanted to be a doctor since she was aged just nine!


Read on to find out more about our new Deputy Medical Director.

Hello my name is… Cornelle Parker. 

I get asked a lot where my name comes from and my Dad was responsible. At the time of my birth he was a big fan of a Lithuanian film actress called Cornell Borchers. (see attachment) I added the ‘e’ on myself when I was five as I thought it looked better!

I grew up in Kent, but my parents were from Blackburn, Lancashire, so I spent a lot of time on the M6 as a child and developed a strong preference for the North of England. I gradually worked my way North as my career progressed and now live in Addingham, West Yorkshire with my two lovely dogs Lola and Finn.

What is your position?  

Deputy Medical Director

Tell us about your career background?

I went to Medical School in Liverpool which I loved despite never managing to master the Scouse accent.  I did manage to find time to go and see Liverpool FC play and find my way around the eclectic social scene the city had to offer.

After my house jobs at Broadgreen Hospital, I worked as an SHO in Southampton and as a registrar in Nottingham where I did my MD research degree in renal transplant bone disease under the supervision of Professor David Hosking.

The opportunity to head back to the North came when I took a Consultant post at Airedale Hospital. I have spent 16 years building my experience including 4 years as a Clinical Director for Medicine – always a wrench to leave a team you have worked with for that length of time not least because the hospital is renowned for having a hospital canteen with the best views in Yorkshire!

My clinical interests have been diabetes and pregnancy and metabolic bone disease and I’m on the international panel for the Edinburgh College as a PACES examiner most recently examining in Yangon, Myanmar.

What are the best bits about your job?

Looking after sick patients and the incredible privilege of being with patients and families at some of the most fraught times of their lives. Whilst my first love will always be clinical medicine, as a leader I now derive immense satisfaction from mentorship and encouraging the development of others into leadership roles.

What is the highlight of your career so far?

Several – becoming a doctor in the first place as I was the first member of my family to get to university, participating in the Nye Bevan Leadership programme,  the thanks I have received from patients and relatives and colleagues I have managed to help.

Plus a bronze medal in the first ever Airedale’s (now annual) sports day in the wheelbarrow race.

Sum up your role in three words?

Exciting, challenging, rewarding

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

A doctor from the age of 9 – or if that hadn’t worked out a marine biologist

Who is your hero/heroine and why?

My sister, Lisa – smart, kind and funny

When you are not at work how do you relax?

Walking my dogs, surfing and recently I’ve taken up sailing

What is your favourite place?

The North Devon coast

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I backpacked around the world for two years after doing my house jobs visiting fourteen countries which was an amazing experience (I didn’t really want to come back!)

And maybe that I love dancing.