Find an expert
At Birmingham Women’s and Children's NHS Foundation Trust we are lucky to have some of the top experts in their fields as part of our team.
If you are a media organisation and would like to get in touch with one of them please contact our Communications team:
Paul Whittaker, Assistant Director of Communications
0121 333 8511
Katie Steyn, Communications Officer
0121 333 8425
Chaplaincy: Rev. Paul Nash
Expertise: Paediatric chaplaincy, multi-faith chaplaincy, religious and spiritual care
Rev. Nash has worked at the Children’s Hospital since 2002 and has been our Senior Chaplain for more than 15 years, managing a unique multi-faith team with specialisms in spiritual care with children, bereavement care and staff support.
Paul is the co-founder of the Paediatric Chaplaincy Network for Great Britain and Ireland and Director of Red Balloon Resources, which publishes in the fields of paediatric religious and spiritual care in relation to daily, palliative, end-of-life and bereavement care. He’s launched the world’s first Centre of Paediatric Spiritual Care; a hub for research and study and is also a member of the UK Board for Healthcare Chaplaincy, overseeing professional registration, Spiritual care advisor for NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) and advisory committee member for Healthcare chaplaincy Network (USA)
Rev. Nash, a lecturer for the Midlands Centre for Youth Ministry, is a prolific writer himself on these subjects, writing Supporting Dying Children and their Families: A Handbook for Christian Ministry, published in 2011, and co-writing Multifaith Care for Sick and Dying Children and their Families and Spiritual Care with Sick children and Young People, which were both published this year. In addition he edited the 2013 publication, Working with children and young people; Good practice guidelines for Healthcare chaplains. He is lead and co-editor for the first book on paediatric chaplaincy due out in 2018.
Emergency care and trauma: Dr Tina Newton
Emergency Department Consultant and Major Trauma Service Lead
Expertise: Major trauma
Dr Tina Newton has been a consultant in the NHS for 11 years. She worked for the first seven of these this in a large University teaching hospital as a Children’s Emergency and Children’s Intensive Care Consultant.
Originally from the South East of England, she came to study medicine at Birmingham University in 1986 and has remained in the region ever since. She has a medical degree, a diploma in Heath Care Ethics and law and is a fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Heath.
Tina is passionate about Children’s Emergency Medicine and has worked at a national level to ensure that trainee doctors get the opportunity to make Paediatric Emergency Medicine their career.
During her time as a Consultant, Tina has seen the specialty grow in size, skill and credibility. In the Emergency Department she is equally at home managing minor illness and injury or in leading the resuscitation of critically ill or injured children. As lead for Major Trauma she has worked with colleagues at a national level to ensure that seriously injured children are assured of the best possible care in our hospitals. She possesses excellent communication skills, both in the clinical setting and in teaching and presenting to large audiences; an essential requirement to be successful in this role.
Endocrinology: Professor Timothy Barrett
Honorary Consultant Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes
Areas of expertise: Endocrinology and diabetes
Professor Barrett is an Honorary Consultant Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes at the Children's Hospital and a Professor of Paediatrics at University of Birmingham. He is also the Programme Director for the NIHR Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility at the Children's Hospital.
Professor Barrett is an expert on the diagnosis and treatment of children with hormone disorders, including rare and common diabetes and set up the national rare diabetes services at the Children's Hospital between 2005 and 2012.
Under his direction, the Children's Hospital has become the UK's leading centre for management of children with rare diabetes, based on multidisciplinary consultations in a 'one stop shop' model. This links diagnostic services with personalised care pathways, and early phase clinical trials of new treatments.
Professor Barrett and the multidisciplinary team of medical and surgical specialists, physiotherapists, psychologists and dieticians, have improved the health and quality of life for children with rare diabetes syndromes so that they reach adulthood with better health than their peers 20 years ago.
His research interests include the molecular genetics of inherited disorders, early phase clinical trials and experimental medicine. His research group has developed new genetic diagnostic tests for rare diseases, and is leading the first efficacy trial in Wolfram syndrome - a rare form of diabetes.
He leads the NIHR Wellcome Clinical Research Facility at the hospital, the paediatric theme of the NIHR Rare Disease Translational Research Collaboration, the Genomics England Clinical Interpretation Partnership children's theme, and the European Registry for rare diabetes syndromes.
Fertility: Dr Sue Avery
Director of Birmingham Women's Hospital Fertility Centre
Dr Avery is the Director of the Fertility Centre at the Women’s Hospital. She has been working in the field of infertility for 30 years as a clinical embryologist. Sue has a degree in Zoology from the University of Wales and wrote her PhD thesis under the supervision of Professor Robert Edwards, who pioneered the IVF technique. She subsequently followed in his footsteps as Scientific Director of Bourn Hall Clinic in Cambridgeshire, where she also ran international training courses.
Sue has a postgraduate diploma in Law and was involved in advising Health Canada on the risks of assisted conception, as part of the work up of Canadian legislation. She was the Chair of the Association of Clinical Embryologists from 2003 to 2005 and the treasurer of the British Fertility Society from 2011 to 2015. Sue was the first Clinical Embryologist to be appointed as a member of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, and has been a member of the MRC Stem Cell steering committee, as well as being one of the first embryologists to be granted fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists.
Fertility: Dr Jackson Kirkman-Brown
Fertility Centre Science Lead
Expertise: Andrology, infertility particularly in the male, fertility preservation and protection.
Dr Kirkman-Brown undertook his PhD within the former Assisted Conception Unit at Women’s Hospital from 1996-2000, during that time honing his skills in semen analysis. After some time working in the USA, he returned to us and has been our Science Lead at the Fertility Centre for more than ten years, leading a unique research, treatment development and innovation portfolio. This now also involves active research within the Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research, examining the role that damaged sperm may have in miscarriage.
Jackson's role as Science Lead at the Fertility Centre has provided him with a number of amazing opportunities including coordinating one of the largest regional Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) services. Jackson has also been privileged to be able to have the opportunity to setup, develop and create the laboratory techniques and services for Fertility Preservation in the event of catastrophic genital injury. This work was undertaken with the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine and recognised with him being conferred an MBE and most recently being named as the Chief Scientific Officer's Healthcare Scientist of 2014 by Professor Sue Hill. Jackson is the Coordinator of ESHRE-SIG Andrology and qualified to teach and assess the official ESHRE Basic Semen Analysis Training Course. Notably he has also recently been responsible for leading development of the national syllabus for the Clinical Science of Andrology; the new UK Guidelines for Post Vasectomy Semen Analysis.
Jackson is interested in the potential impact of research into andrology on both diagnosis and treatment of infertility. He strongly believes that research in the area can have a rapid and direct impact not only on care, and therefore birth of the next generation, but also quality of life for the patients involved.
Gynaecology: Professor Arri Coomarasamy
Expertise: Reproductive Medicine and Surgery, Assisted Conception, Early Pregnancy, General Gynaecology, Global Women’s Health.
Professor Coomarasamy is the Director of Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research, with specialist teams in Birmingham, Coventry and London, putting patient priorities at the heart of efforts to tackle the widespread and devastating condition of early pregnancy loss.
Professor Coomarasamy received his undergraduate medical education from the University of Birmingham and completed his subspecialist training in reproductive medicine and surgery at Guy’s Hospital, London.
Today Professor Coomarasamy leads a research group at the forefront of early pregnancy care, reproductive medicine and global women’s health. His portfolio includes numerous national and international multicentre randomised controlled trials, and informs numerous clinical guidelines published by the World Health Organisation. He is the founding trustee of Ammalife, a UK-registered charity with a global mission of reducing maternal deaths in low-income countries.
Inherited Metabolic Disorders: Dr Anita MacDonald
Consultant Dietitian in Inherited Metabolic Disorders
Expertise: PKU, Inherited Metabolic Disorders, Dietetics
Dr Anita MacDonald OBE is Consultant Dietitian in Inherited Metabolic Disorders at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, and an Honorary Professor in Dietetics at Plymouth University, UK. Although she semi-retired 2 years ago, she is even more involved in PKU work, concentrating solely on this group as well as doing some voluntary work for the National Society for PKU (NSPKU).
Her involvement in inherited metabolic disorders (IMD) has spanned almost all her working life (around 40 years).
Dr MacDonald obtained her PhD in phenylketonuria (PKU) in 1999. She has directly cared for over 300 patients with PKU. She has always been involved in PKU research, supervises 3 PhD students, lectures worldwide on PKU and is regarded as an international expert. Some of the research has changed international dietetic practice. She has around 400 publications – many are research publications and on PKU.
She played a prominent role on the publication of the recent European PKU Guidelines (which is standardising PKU care across Europe), is a member of The European Society PKU Medical Advisory Panel, The UK PKU Medical Advisory Panel as well as Chair of the European Expert Nutrition Panel in Phenylketonuria (ENEP).
In 2 weeks’ time, she will be speaking in European Parliament about unmet needs in PKU.
Liver: Professor Deirdre Kelly
Consultant Paediatric Hepatologist
Expertise: Liver disease and transplantation
Professor Deirdre Kelly is an expert in the treatment of children with all forms of liver disease. An innovator, leader and revolutionary clinician, she set up Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s Liver Unit in 1989.
Under her guidance and direction it has become the county’s leading paediatric liver unit, based on the philosophy of family-centred care. Since opening, more than 930 liver transplants have been carried out by the unit, which has a worldwide reputation for quality and innovation.
Professor Kelly and her multi-disciplinary team of over 50 physicians, surgeons, nurses and health professionals have transformed survival rates from 40 percent of children surviving liver transplants for one year in 1989 to 90 percent within two years.
Her research interests include molecular genetics of inherited liver disease, the development of stem cell therapy, treatment of viral hepatitis, immunosuppression and quality of life post-transplantation. The Unit has led the way in identifying new mechanisms of disease, streamlining diagnosis and establishing new ways of treating children with liver disease.
She has been Chair or President of numerous national and international professional bodies and has developed a worldwide network, providing training for doctors and nurses to exchange knowledge, both in research and advance is practice, helping to improve treatment and survival rates for a whole generation of children.
Maternity: Dr Sara Webb
Specialist Perineal Midwife, PhD, FRCM
Expertise: Childbirth related perineal trauma, obstetric anal sphincter injuries
Since becoming a registered midwife in 2000, Dr Webb has been both dedicated and passionate about practising as a midwife who aims to identify women's needs and put them first in patient care.
Appointed Specialist Perineal Midwife in 2004, Dr Webb continues to develop both the service and midwife specialism in this area, specialising in childbirth related perinea trauma with a special interest in obstetric anal sphincter injuries (OASIS). She runs the only midwife-led OASIS ‘One-Stop’ service in the UK, enabling women with OASIS to attend and have the gold standard endoanal scans and counselling service either following the injury or in a subsequent pregnancy to decide on the most appropriate mode of subsequent birth.
Sara champions midwife-led translational research and is proud to have been made a Fellow of the Royal College of Midwives in 2016 in recognition of her continued contribution to research and evidence based care into childbirth related perineal trauma. She is dedicated to retaining her clinical role in order to encourage midwives to take an active interest and involvement with research, explore opportunities and facilitate the application of new knowledge into clinical practice.
Dr Webb has been awarded with an NIHR Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship to pursue her women centred, midwifery-led research into childbirth related perineal trauma and has subsequently been awarded a PhD for her work into birth after OASIS. She is also a midwifery advisory member of the RCOG Pelvic Floor Clinical Skills Group, a founding Trustee of the MASIC Foundation charity, formed the first Specialist Perineal Midwife network in the UK and established a collaboration with the Hospital Granollers, Barcelona to improve care for postnatal women worldwide. She is also an associate member of the European PEERS group established to provide evidence based best practice teaching for management of the pelvic floor during childbirth and postnatally.
Oncology: Dr Martin English
Consultant Paediatric Oncologist
Expertise: Treatment of brain and spinal tumours, chemotherapy treatment for children and young people, late effects of childhood cancer treatments.
Dr English is a widely respected consultant with particular expertise in the treatment and care of children with brain and spinal tumours, along with the monitoring for late effects of childhood cancer treatments in teenagers and young adults.
Martin, who joined the hospital as a Consultant Paediatric Oncologist in 2001, is our chemotherapy lead and Lead Clinician for the Neurooncology Multi-disciplinary Team.
Nationally, Dr English is a member of the Clinical Reference Group for Children’s Cancer to NHS England and is an advisor on children’s chemotherapy for the Systemic Anti-Cancer Data Set collected by the National Cancer Information Service. He’s also a member of the UK Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group.
Martin has supported several national research trials as a reviewer of chemotherapy schedules involving children and member of monitoring committees. In addition, he is an investigator in international trials for the treatment of ependymoma, the second most common malignant brain tumour found in children.
Oncology: Dr Helen Jenkinson
Consultant Paediatric Oncologist
Expertise: Retinoblastoma and treatment of the rare form of eye cancer and long-term health effects to childhood cancer survivors.
Dr Jenkinson is a national lead in treating retinoblastoma - a rare form of cancer that affects the eyes of children, usually under the age of five. Birmingham Children’s Hospital is one of only two centres in the UK that cares for young people with the disease that develops in only 40 to 50 children around the country each year.
Helen is also our clinical lead for the Late Effects Multidisciplinary team and has a major role in the care of long-term survivors of cancer in our outpatient Oncology Clinic and the Adult Late Effects Clinic at University Hospital Birmingham.
Dr Jenkinson has a number of national roles and currently chairs the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG) Late Effects Core Discipline group and Retinoblastoma Special Interest group. She is the clinical advisor to the British Childhood Cancer Survivorship Study at the University of Birmingham and also chairs the West Midlands Regional Children’s tumour Registry a specialist children’s cancer registry covering the population of the West Midlands.
Helen, a consultant at the Children’s Hospital since 2002, also holds an active research interest and has been part of studies looking into risks of adverse health effects in those that have survived childhood cancer.
Oncology: Dr Francis Mussai
Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Oncology
Areas of expertise: Treatment of solid cancers and leukaemias
Dr Mussai is an Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Oncology and a Clinical Senior Lecturer in Paediatric Oncology at the University of Birmingham. At the Children’s Hospital, he looks after children and young people diagnosed with solid cancers and can be seen on the ward and in the outpatient clinic. He is also an investigator on clinical trials of new therapeutic drugs for leukaemias and solid cancers. The teaching and mentoring of medical students and junior doctors is also an active part of his career.
At the University of Birmingham, Dr Mussai investigates how solid cancers and leukaemias interact with the immune system and escape from eradication. By understanding how cancers escape from immune attack, he believes new therapies can be developed to reactivate the immune response to target cancer.
His research projects include immunobiology of cancer cells, as well as understanding the role of metabolism in paediatric tumours. The work has contributed to the rationale of a number of early phase clinical trials in adult and paediatric malignancies. At the Children’s Hospital, Francis continues to work on the development clinical trials for paediatric cancers, and is a member of the Innovative Therapies for Children with Cancer (ITCC) European Clinical Trials Committee. He is involved in teaching within the hospital and University and has established an International Clinical Fellowship program within the clinical department.
Paediatric Intensive Care: Dr Fiona Reynolds
Consultant Paediatric Intensivist and Chief Medical Officer
Expertise: Paediatric Intensive Care, Major Trauma and Long Term Ventilation.
Dr Reynolds joined the Children’s Hospital as a Consultant in 2002. She works in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit looking after critically ill children and has particular expertise in children who have long-term ventilation needs. She is part of the team who provide Extracorporeal Life Support for some of the hospital’s most poorly patients needing heart and lung support.
Fiona was the clinical lead in PICU until 2010 when she became the Deputy Chief Medical Officer. In 2015 she became Chief Medical Officer, which is the professional lead for the doctors at our Children’s Hospital.
She has led a number of projects including the development of palliative care advance care plans and Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s successful bid to become a Major Trauma Centre in 2012. She currently is working with University Hospital Birmingham to develop a new paediatric electronic prescribing system. Dr Reynolds was, until recently, the Chair of the Committee who oversee Paediatric Intensive Care training in the UK.
Paediatric Intensive Care: Dr Heather Duncan
Paediatric Intensive Care Consultant and RAPID Study Lead (Real-Time Adaptive and Predictive Indicator of Deterioration)
Dr Heather Duncan completed undergraduate education in South Africa and qualified in Paediatrics and Paediatric Intensive Care in the UK, following a Fellowship in Critical Care at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children in 2003.
She is a full-time Paediatric Intensive Care Consultant and Paediatric Intensive Care Associate Clinical Director (clinical lead) at Birmingham Children’s Hospital - the largest single-site Paediatric Intensive Care unit in the country.
Dr Duncan has broad research interests in clinical service development, quality improvement, risk reduction and innovation in healthcare, although her main focus has been on developing a Paediatric Early Warning system to reduce cardiac arrest.
She is currently leading on the pioneering RAPID (Real-Time Adaptive and Predictive Indicator of Deterioration) study – the first of its type in the world.
RAPID is developing adaptive models for patient-specific early warning and has introduced interesting dialogue on how healthcare can learn from motorsport and applied mathematical analysis developed in finance and environmental monitoring to detect changing patterns in patient physiology.
Plastics: Ms Andrea Jester
Consultant Plastic and Hand Reconstruction Surgeon
Expertise: Hand and upper limb conditions, reconstructive hand and upper limb surgery
Ms Jester joined our plastic surgery team in 2008 after previously spending time in Germany, firstly at the Department of Plastic Surgery at the BG Trauma Clinic Ludwigshafen and then at the University Hospital of Mannheim in its Department of Paediatric Surgery.
She has been the clinical lead for the hand and upper limb service for more than five years.
Andrea’s main fields of interest are inherited and acquired conditions of the hand and upper limb in children, along with the forefoot. This includes a variety of conditions ranging from fusions or duplications of the fingers to the more complex upper limb conditions, as well as obstetric brachial plexus injuries.
She is a member of several professional bodies, including the Royal College of Surgeons, the British Association for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the British Society of Surgery of the Hand. She has also researched and published widely on improving outcomes for young people who need to undergo hand and upper limb surgery.
Rare diseases: Dr Larissa Kerecuk
Rare Disease Lead, Consultant Paediatric Nephrologist, Transition and Research Lead for the Renal department
Expertise: Kidney Disease (especially rare and genetic renal), Renal transplantation and dialysis, Holistic Care for Rare Diseases and Undiagnosed Genetic Disorders, Transition of Care between children and adult care, Human Factors and Patient Safety
Dr Larissa Kerecuk is the Rare Disease Lead at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and is developing the first Paediatric Rare Disease Centre in the UK for holistic patient care. Larissa also leads the 100,000 Genome Project at the Children’s Hospital.
As Consultant Paediatric Nephrologist, Larissa specialises in treating children with kidney diseases including those on dialysis, who require a holistic approach.
Larissa has been the Transition Lead for renal patients for six years and runs joint clinics with University Hospital Birmingham to help ease the transition for patients from child to adult services. Larissa is also the Research Lead for the Renal department and believes that every patient is entitled to research that could help improve their care or relieve their condition. We are the top paediatric hospital recruiting to the Renal Radar which is a collaboration of patients, scientists and doctors for rare renal diseases. Larissa is the founder and coordinator of the Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease Rare Disease Group in the UK and has established international collaborations with the US and Europe and published international consensus guidelines. Larissa also developed and teaches a course that aims to improve patient safety.
Larissa is a member of several professional bodies including the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health where she is also an Examiner. Larissa is proud to have recently joined the management committee of Rare Disease UK which is the national alliance for people with rare diseases and all who support them.
Renal: Dr David Milford
Consultant Paediatric Nephrologist
Expertise: Paediatric renal transplantation, paediatric hypertension and paediatric renal genetic disease.
Dr Milford has been a consultant at our Children’s Hospital for more than 20 years and is a specialist in the treatment of kidney diseases, including kidney transplantation.
David has maintained a continual research interest and has published more than 100 articles, as well as contributing to textbooks, covering the subject of paediatric nephrology.
He has held many leading positions, regionally and nationally, covering this part of medicine. In recent years, Dr Milford has developed an interest in supporting renal transplantation in the developing world and is a trustee of the charity Transplant Links Community, which supports the development of transplant services in the developing world.
David is a member of The Renal Association, British Transplant Society, as well as the European and International Societies for Pediatric Nephrology.