Born too many years ago in Ayr, Scotland, Derek was treated successfully for throat cancer in 1995. A former teacher, he became involved in numerous aspects of patient involvement and advocacy at a local, regional and national level being the founder Chair of the Consumer Liaison Group for the National Cancer Research Institute.
From 2001-2006 he was Chair of a successful Primary Care Trust in Nottinghamshire and between 2005-10 Chair of the Nottingham Crime & Drugs Partnership.
From 2005-2010 Derek became a Trustee and Vice Chair of onCoreUK , the National Cancer Tissue Resource a joint charity with Department of Health and Cancer Research UK. In 2008 he was asked to become the lay patient Chair of the UK Confederation of Cancer Biobanks, which helped establish good working principles, shared learning and agreeing standard operating procedures.
Since 2009 Derek has been the Associate Director for Patient & Public Involvement and Engagement at the National Institute for Health Research - Clinical Research Network (NIHR CRN) for England. From 2013-16 he was Chair of Citizens Advice Nottingham.
Derek has recently been asked to become an interim Director of the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre, which includes the local Bio-resource and a Clinical Research Facility.
In the charity sector he is a Member of Cancer Research UK.
Derek is also a director at Derek C Stewart Associates Ltd working with Bec Hanley and others.