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Board Members

  • Dr Julie Abayomi (Chair)
  • Jane Brophy
  • Linda Hindle
  • Rasleen Kahai
  • Diana Markham
  • Fiona McCullough
  • Belinda Mortell
  • Gill Shinkwin
  • David Simms
  • Tabitha Ward
  • Tanya Rumney


Board Members Biography

Dr Julie Abayomi
Julie is the current chair of the BDA England Board & has been in post since April 2020;  she was a member of the Board for 2 years before this.
Julie’s usual job is in academia, where she helps to lead and manage a multidisciplinary team of staff in the school of applied health & social care. As a Reader, she is also very research active, and her area of interest is maternal nutrition and health. Julie is also involved with some teaching on MSc Public Health Nutrition, BSc Midwifery & Medical education programmes and she supervises PhD students. She is the research officer for the BDA Maternal & Fertility Nutrition Specialist interest group too.

David Simms
As an experienced Dietitian, David has built a diverse career in clinical research, community and mental health dietetics. Extensive clinical work in forensic mental health, eating disorders, diabetes and obesity highlights his passion for multiple specialist areas of dietetics. David is now the Team Lead Dietitian at Barnet, Enfield and Haringey NHS Mental Health Trust, and is keen to actively work in collaboration with the British Dietetic Association to promote and advance the dietetic profession at all levels.  

Belinda Mortell
Belinda works for Danone Nutricia in the medical nutrition industry.  She has been at Danone for 4 years and has enjoyed every minute.  Her role is Healthcare Development, so she ‘deep dives’ into the NHS world, looking at the new structures, funding streams and clinical pathways where clinicians could be using Danone products to support patients. Belinda works closely with medical affairs; the field sales team and marketing so has a really good feel for both commercial and clinical considerations across medical nutrition and the pathways we serve.  Previously she has had roles in the NHS and Higher Education.  Although her first career was in finance!
Belinda has been on the BDA England board for a couple of years, prior to that she was part of the BDA Communications and Marketing Board.  She has also had several positions on the North West England & North Wales Branch, deciding to step down to let younger dietitians take over, with bigger and better ideas and buckets of enthusiasm.  Belinda believes our professional body is key to the future of our profession so she is able to get involved, find out what’s happening and think about how she can influence! She is keen to keep pushing the boundaries of ‘dietetics’ and making sure she understands every corner of food, health, politics, sport, education and media where we find dietitians doing wonderful things. 

Tabitha Ward
Tabitha is a HCPC registered dietitian, currently working as a Senior Dietitian for a tier 2 weight management service for a local authority. She is also a freelance health writer, and writes for several magazines, websites and blogs and has a monthly news column in NHD magazine.
Tabitha is the newest member on the BDA England board, and is really looking forward to getting involved with the social media side of things. She hopes to reach out to BDA members and find out more about what’s going on in local areas, especially in the North East. Tabitha is also on the BDA Obesity Specialist Group committee and involved in various PR activities and developing new learning resources.

Diana Markham
Diana has been a member of the England Board for several years now and has enjoyed helping with various projects and campaigns that the group has worked on to advance and highlight the role of Dietetics in so many areas of health. She was originally asked to join the England Board in her capacity as a BDA TU Board member.
Diana’s clinical work for the last 17 years has been in the area of Diabetes – Type 1 in particular – as well as being the Dietetic Service lead for the hospital in which she worked. Diana has recently retired from the NHS but is continuing to do clinical work part time in the area of Diabetes.

Gill Shinkwin
Following a range of clinical posts Gill spent 10 years as a community/public health Dietitian in Northants before moving to Bedford Hospital as Nutrition and Dietetic Manager in 1996. This was a combined acute and community service. She has retired recently.
Gill is currently supporting her local Trust working bank shifts as an operational senior manager. She recently trained as a volunteer patient advocate for the vaccination programme and will be supporting the nationwide rollout of Covid vaccinations.
Gill has been involved with the board for over 4 years and continue to input on a range of issues including dietitians in Primary Care Networks.

Fiona McCullough
Fiona is based in the Midlands and has worked as an acute and primary care dietitian, prior to moving into academia. She has been involved in curriculum development at both pre-registration and post-registration levels and have served on the Education Board and Quality Standards Committee.
Fiona has been a member of the England board for the past 4 years. She joined, when her term of office as BDA Chairman ended, since she is passionate about improving the channels of communication between local Branches and the Board.

Jane Brophy
As a BDA England Board member, Jane contributes with her knowledge of local government and politics having been asked to join from being active on Twitter. She worked with the Board to implement the “Elevator Pitch” about influencing others and promoting our profession.
Jane has combined dietetics with political roles and is the most longstanding being a locally elected councillor for 21 years. In 2019, she was elected as a Member of the European Parliament for the North West giving a rare opportunity to use both her health knowledge to make an impact for example on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee.
Since June 2020, Jane has been back in the NHS working as a Diabetes Dietitian. Her passions are training and development, diabetes, public health and mental well-being. She particularly enjoys  working on behaviour change and life-style issues that relate well to fields such as weight management and improving health outcomes.

Linda Hindle
Linda Hindle is the Deputy Chief Allied Health Professional Officer; she works for Public Health England as Lead AHP and Public Health Engagement Lead for the Emergency Services.  She is responsible for championing and supporting the contribution of the 14 Allied Health Professions, Fire, Ambulance and Police services to improving the public’s health across England, as well as supporting the national health and wellbeing programmes co-ordinated by Public Health England. 
Linda is a co-founder of AHPs4PH, a social media community of practice for AHPs with an interest in public health, and a trustee for the charity Sport Inspired.  Linda has previously worked as a consultant dietitian as well as in commissioning and service management.  She has experience of working in and with Local Authority, NHS, private sector, research and education organisations.
Follow Linda on twitter @hindlelinda

Kate Hall
Kate is a member of the BDA Board of Directors and in her role on this board has the responsibility to be the England Board link. Kate is an HCPC registered dietitian, having originally worked in the NHS before moving to work as a dietitian in industry, also having experience working with some charities.
As well as being a member of the BDA Board of Directors Kate is also a member of the committee of one of the BDA specialist groups. Kate’s passion lies in working collaboratively to improve nutritional care and raise awareness of the role of the dietitian in driving this.

Rasleen Kahai

Rasleen (Ras) Kahai is a Respiratory Dietitian & the Disability & Wellness Network (DAWN) Co-Chair at the Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals (part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation trust). 
Ras supports with first Respiratory Dietetic group in the UK to champion for specialist nutritional intervention for respiratory disease. She is also passionate about equalities, supporting to create accessible change & improving cultural competence. Her favourite hobbies are eating and sleeping!


Minutes of Meetings

Read the Country Board Constitution