About us

We have extensive experience of delivering a wide range of management consultancy services, focused on the Public Sector. The Symmetric brand is associated with a unique offer - the use of simulation modelling. It's a kind of flight simulator for strategic decision makers.

The partners are Steve Arnold, Douglas McKelvie and David Monk. Sarah Nield is our Business Manager and Professor Eric Wolstenholme provides an academic lead and runs our internal quality control system.


Steve Arnold - Partner


Steve joined Symmetric in 2007. His work has included the development of a new approach to clinical inter-dependencies in specialised children’s services. He has managed a range of modelling projects aimed at improving service commissioning, particularly on Alcohol Harm reduction and Dementia. He has also led strategic reviews for a range of organisations facing major change. Prior to joining Symmetric, Steve had an extensive management career in the NHS, most recently with one of the former London SHAs. He led several strategic development programmes, including Long Term Conditions services, Children’s services and Integrated Care. Resulting from this work he was involved in national policy formation in each of these areas and the development of support networks. Steve has a particular interest in whole system working as a route to delivering effective and sustainable service improvement.

Douglas McKelvie - Partner


Douglas has been part of Symmetric since the start. He specialises in computer simulation, using mainly System Dynamics. He has developed models in heath and social care services and for the criminal justice system. He works with policy analysts, public health experts, service commissioners and workforce planners, covering adult and children services, including mental health. Recent modelling work has included dementia, alcohol consumption, redesign of community drug services, workforce planning in social work, and forensic psychiatry capacity planning. Douglas is a member of the Policy Council of the UK Chapter of the System Dynamics Society. Prior to joining Symmetric, he worked for over 20 years in social work and social work education, including 10 years as a professional adviser for a national regulatory body.

David Monk - Partner


David is a partner and co-founder of Symmetric. He is a major contributor to mental health networks in England and has co-authored a number of papers on Care Pathways and Mental Health commissioning. He facilitates 3 MH CEO networks in England; has worked extensively with the DH in developing its approach to regional self-determination; and has led a range of System Dynamics projects including building models to reflect new policy e.g. Supervised Community Treatment. David continues to work on the development of the Lambeth Living Well Collaborative a programme of work dedicated to co-production in mental health services. With over 15 years experience in the NHS, David has a track record of partnership working including experience of involving patients and the public in major planning decisions, particularly where this has led to a reorientation of capacity and demand.

Sarah Nield - Business Manager


Sarah has worked for Symmetric for over 6 years and supports the partners in every aspect of the business. Prior to that Sarah has undertaken a variety of roles in Higher Education, Local Government and the Civil Service where she was a Quality Assurance Manager for the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. She has extensive experience of both project and business management within the public sector with a focus on improvement.

Professor Eric Wolstenholme - Associate Partner


Eric is a founding partner of Symmetric and has worked on/supervised/quality controlled numerous Symmetric modelling projects. He has held Professorial posts at Bradford, Stirling, Leeds Metropolitan and London South Bank Universities. Eric has an international reputation for his work in the application of systems thinking and System Dynamics and he has worked at board level in health, utilities, oil, financial services, defence, mining, pharmaceuticals and supply chains. He has published two books and over 100 papers. He has been President of both the International Systems Dynamics Society and its UK Chapter and in 2004 received the prestigious Jay Wright Forrester award for his contribution to System Dynamics.