At Circle MSK, the Executive Board are striving to ensure the services patient pathway and care with Circle is the best that it can be. There are eleven Executives that oversee Bedfordshire and Greenwich sites, each of whom offer a wealth of experience and knowledge.

Helen Tait

Director of MSK

Helen joined Circle in 2008 as Business Manager for The Midlands NHS Treatment Centre before joining the team at the Nottingham NHS Treatment Centre in 2010. She held senior roles working closely with all speciality and clinical unit teams before becoming Hospital Director in 2014, working closely with commissioners and the system transformation programmes.

Prior to this she held business development and operational management roles within Spire Healthcare, Bupa Hospitals and Unichem, following five years in marketing and account management in the news and book trade working for a subsidiary of WH Smith. Helen brings extensive healthcare and leadership expertise to the MSK team.

Helen Tait Director of MSK
Amanda Phillips - Director of Operations Circle MSK

Amanda Phillips

Director of MSK Operations

Amanda is the Director of MSK Operations for Circle MSK. She is a qualified Physiotherapist and was an Extended Scope Practitioner for over 11 years gaining a broad range of musculoskeletal experience in orthopaedics, neurosurgery, rheumatology and chronic pain. Amanda is also a qualified non-medical prescriber and trained to undertake intra-articular joint injections.
Amanda worked in the NHS for 16 years, undertaking a number of roles based at Lister Hospital (Stevenage); Addenbrookes Hospital and Cambridgeshire Community Services (based at Hinchingbrooke Hospital).

Throughout her career she has been determined to make a difference to patients suffering with MSK conditions, together with improving MSK services as a whole. Amanda is passionate about developing integrated, streamlined models of care to provide excellent treatment to patients and ensure NHS services are sustainable in the future. She has been managing integrated MSK services for Circle since 2014.

Dr. Simon Lowe

Clinical Chairman

Simon is Clinical Chairman of Circle Clinical services and has been a GP with Special Interest in Musculoskeletal Medicine for 10 yrs. He was a full time principle in general practice in Bedford for 29 years before retiring in 2016 and now works for Circle Bedfordshire MSK service. He has always had a passion for musculoskeletal medicine and has a Diploma in Sports Medicine from Bath University. He has extensive experience of dealing with MSK issues though his role as a GP, GPwSI and as doctor for various sports teams including working in Premiership rugby and at the London Paralympics. He also acts as a tutor on the RCGP soft tissue and joint injection course.

He has a wide range of additional experience having also worked in occupational health, a local school and being on the board of both PCG and local GP organisation. He is passionate about his role working and teaching in the MSK sector. It is an opportunity to improve MSK provision dependent on local need and bring evidence based treatments into the community with the aim of improving the experience and MSK health of the local population and the MSK skills of GPs.

He is very active outside work still pursuing a number of sporting activities. This fuels his other passion which is to embed an exercise culture into the local healthcare community

Julie Yanni

Julie Yanni, RN, PhD, BSc (Hons)

Head of MSK Clinical Services

Julie joined the Circle MSK Team as Head of Clinical Services in 2017. She trained as a nurse at Guys Hospital and specialised in the field of Intensive Care nursing. Following completion of a PhD in a field related to her clinical practice, she joined Circle Health in 2008.

Between 2012-2015 she managed the surgical division of the NHS’s Kent and Canterbury Hospital before being invited to join a start-up private health organisation in Harley Street as Clinic Director and Chief Nurse.

Julie is passionate about providing an outstanding service for all patients in whatever healthcare setting they are part of. She believes Circle’s vision and strategy is entirely aligned with this and has joined the Circle MSK team to support the delivery of high quality patient centred care and services that meets the needs of all patients.

Ben Millard ACMA CGMA

Head of Finance, Contracts and Service Transformation

Ben qualified as Chartered Management Accountant in 2005 and previously graduated from Lancaster University in 1999, having studied French, Italian and Economics.

Ben joined Circle MSK in 2014, originally overseeing the Finance Team. During this time, Ben has driven the implementation of changes that have delivered significant efficiencies and improved effectiveness and patient experience. Prior to Circle MSK, Ben has gained a wealth of experience gained in a range of finance positions in FMCG (The Co-operative,, Financial Services (Home Retail Group), manufacturing, wholesale and payroll.

Ben brings extensive leadership and experience in strategy, business development, combined with driving productivity and efficiency.

Ben Millard

Daniel Smith

Operations Lead

Dan is a qualified Physiotherapist by background, having qualified in 2009 with first-class honours from Brunel University. Dan spent a large proportion of my earlier clinical practice developing NHS community care pathways. The latter part of his career has seen a progression into operational management with a keen interest in data analytics.

Dan joined the Circle Greenwich MSK Service in October 2017 as Operations Lead. He has enjoyed working with the team here to make improvements to our processes and patient pathways, and develop excellent working relationships with our local providers. This has hopefully lead to better care for our patients, and improved referral experience for GPs.

Dan Smith - Executive Board
Clinical and Governance Lead Circle MSK Bedfordshire

Kay Hoare

Clinical and Governance Lead (Bedford)

Kay joined the Circle MSK team in January 2015 as Clinical and Governance Lead. She trained as a physiotherapist at The Middlesex Hospital School of Physiotherapy and specialised in musculoskeletal after her initial rotations.

Kay has been an Extended Scope Physiotherapist since 2000 and is also an independent prescriber. Prior to working with Circle, Kay worked in the NHS for 25 years, the majority of that time in musculoskeletal out-patient physiotherapy. Kay is also the Safeguarding Lead for Circle MSK and ensures vulnerable adults are protected.

Kay is passionate about ensuring patients get the right treatment at the right time and providing a high-quality, efficient, convenient service which best serves the needs of patients.

Ilkem Mehmet

Clinical and Governance Lead (Greenwich)

Ilkem graduated from Middlesex University with a degree in Sports Rehabilitation and Injury Prevention (BSc Hons) and was then accepted into the Physiotherapy Degree as an undergraduate at the University of East London. In 2006 she started working as a rotational, musculoskeletal physiotherapist. Over the years she have worked in various NHS Trusts, including Leicestershire Rutland Trust and North East London Foundation Trust. In addition, Ilkem has worked for private providers for the NHS in the borough of Bromley and Westminster.

Ilkem became a senior musculoskeletal clinician in 2007. She spent 5 years working as a Team Leader Physiotherapist, for a private provider for the NHS, in the South East London. This involved a musculoskeletal caseload, as well as managing a team of physiotherapists. She then became an Extended Scope Physiotherapist in 2015 and has a specialist interest in pain and rheumatology. Her career as a physiotherapist has always been in the musculoskeletal industry.

In July 2017, Ilkem joined Circle Greenwich MSK as Clinical and Governance Lead ESP and now manages a team of ESPs, and oversees the physiotherapy and MSK Practitioner teams. She has helped implement MSK Practitioners into the local Greenwich borough and continues to provide clinical supervision to a team of specialist Extended Scope Physiotherapists whilst leading on the Governance aspects of the local site.

Ilkem Mehmet - Executive Board
James Gregory

James Gregory

Quality and Contracts Manager (Bedford)

James studied Cellular Molecular Biology at University College London and has worked for Circle Health for over six years. He has a range of NHS provider experience and was heavily involved in the Hinchingbrooke contract, and has core project management and cost saving skills.

In his capacity and Quality and Contracts Manager, he oversees all contractual relationships, both community, secondary care and prime relationship with Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG). He also manages the 18 Week Team and is responsible for ensuring quality of care for sub-contracted providers.

As a result of his time at Circle, James is our Circle Operating System (COS) Lead and is responsible for ensuring all Circle partners are enthusiastic about our Credo. Our COS Partnership Afternoons are run by his team of COS Champions every quarter.

Morenike Akinola

Quality and Contracts Manager (Greenwich)

Morenike joined the Greenwich MSK team in May 2017. She has a masters in Human Resource Management which gave her great insight into the importance of effective management. Since 2015 she has been working in the NHS in a Commissioners capacity ensuring that Commissioning intentions were successfully shaped in order to meet the local demographic needs.

Morenike is the Quality and Contracts Manager for Greenwich MSK and she believes that the Circle ethos of ensuring that all care is patient centred and clinical pathways are driven by clinicians across the MSK sector is the key to making the big difference in healthcare. Morenike is also a COS Champion and supports staff in ensuring they represent Circle behaviours and the Credo in their work.

Morenike Akinola Executive Board