MEET OUR TEAM

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DR KATH MCCULLOUGH

Founder,
Consultant Physician in Diabetes & Endocrinology and General Medicine

Kath McCullough is a consultant in Diabetes and Endocrinology and General Medicine at the Royal Surrey Hospital in Guildford. She also has an active interest in Research and Development and is the Divisional Research Lead for Medicine. Kath has been extensively involved with the hospital management of patients with Covid-19 and is currently one of two consultants running the Covid-19 High Dependency Unit at the Royal Surrey County Hospital. She is also the Principal Investigator for the Trust on numerous Covid-19 clinical trials and has a wealth of experience in managing symptoms of acute and chronic Covid-19.

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DR FIONA MEURISSE

Co-founder and General Practitioner

Fiona Meurisse has worked as a local GP for many years, having set up the Guildford Private General Practice 8 years ago at Mount Alvernia, so that she could spend more time with patients.
In addition to her general practice role she is part of the Andrology team at the Royal Surrey County Hospital where she works as a urologist seeing patients with often complex problems.
Increasingly frustrated by the lack of help for long covid patients presenting in general practice she has helped set up the Long Covid Clinic at Mount Alvernia.

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DR NICKI BROBBEL

Patient Representative

I am Dr Nicki Brobbel , MBCHB Sheffield 1997. My clinical experience of 8 years and then pharmaceutical experience of 6 years hadn’t prepared me for this! I caught COVID from an unknown source at the beginning of March 2020. The initial illness was relatively mild and I continued to care for 3 young children and two large dogs ... however ... when I felt constantly short of breath and developed lumps on my hands, I knew there was something more to understand  to treat myself and help to understand and manage others like me .... there is so much to learn about this and share ....but solutions may take time and patience. I am here as part of the team to provide a patient perspective on how multifaceted this illness , long covid, is.

  

 

CONSULTANTS

Get to Know Us

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DR GHANEM ALDIK
RESPIRATORY PHYSICIAN

Many patients with COVID-19 disease present to our Respiratory service several weeks later with persistent shortness of breath and cough. This can last for many weeks after the initial diagnosis (12 weeks +) and can be accompanied by fatigue and many other systemic manifestations of long COVID.
Possible causes are interstitial lung disease (lung scarring) following severe COVID illness and pulmonary embolism (blood clot on the lung) and its effect on the lung’s ability to get oxygen to the blood. Hyperventilation syndrome can contribute significantly to this presentation although the diagnosis can be challenging to establish sometimes.
Treatment can significantly improve symptoms, such as steroids (in selected cases), anticoagulation for pulmonary embolism and breathing re-training exercises.

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MISS MELISSA BENTLEY
EAR, NOSE AND THROAT SURGEON

Miss Melissa Bentley qualified from Imperial College Medical School, London in 1998. She currently holds a Consultant position at the Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital part of University College Hospital NHS Trust, London. Her practice covers a broad spectrum of general ENT conditions however she has a specific interest in rhinology (reconstructive surgery and endoscopic sinus surgery). 
Melissa has had significant experience managing patients with Covid-19 especially with people reporting a loss of sense of smell.  Almost a year later increasing number of patients are being seen, in ENT clinics, who have not recovered this sense and patients report unpleasant smells and unbearable odours such as fish and burning in place of normal smells, “parosmia”.
She is also seeing increasing numbers of patients with accompanying nasal symptoms such as blockage and anterior nasal discharge. These symptoms may fluctuate in severity and are persisting long after the acute infection has presented. A combination of Olfactory training and topical nasal treatments can help these patients in their recovery pathway.

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DR SUMEET CHANDER
CONSULTANT RHEUMATOLOGIST

Dr Chander has extensive experience in Rheumatology and General Medicine having trained in London / KSS Deanery is renowned teaching hospitals including Kings College Hospital London. He has experience in General Rheumatology and sub-specialities of Rheumatology (including Osteoporosis) both inpatient and outpatient management. Dr Chander has expertise in dealing with more complex rheumatologic conditions and complications. Dr Chander works closely with physiotherapists, occupational therapists and podiatrists to provide a multidisciplinary team approach toward the management of individual patients. 

A sizeable number of patients following COVID-19 infection are being seen in the Rheumatology clinics with multiple symptoms which have been persisting for many weeks after the infection. These may include generalized joint pain affecting small and the large joints, muscle pain, colour changes of the fingers and toes,  dry eyes / mouth and chronic widespread pain. These presentations can sometimes indicate presence of a new condition which can sometimes be triggered by the recent infection which has disturbed our immune system.  Treating these symptoms and ruling out any new Rheumatological conditions will help in improving outcomes  and quality of life our patients.

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DR LAURENCE CHURCH
CONSULTANT PSYCHIATRIST

I am a Consultant Psychiatrist specialising in the assessment and treatment of common mental health problems which affect adults (ages 18 years and upwards).  I left my NHS consultant post in 2014, to devote more time to patient care within the private sector.  Since 2014 I have thoroughly enjoyed my work as a full time Visiting Consultant at Priory Hospital Woking.  I see people as out-patients in my clinic in Guildford.

W: www.drchurch.co.uk

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DR STEVE COOKSON
CONSULTANT CARDIOLOGIST

Dr Cookson attended King’s College London where he graduated with the MBBS degree and with first class honours in an intercalated BSc in radiological sciences. He undertook cardiology speciality training in the Wessex region and is recognised as a specialist in both cardiology and general internal medicine. His areas of expertise include cardiac MRI, cardiac CT and echocardiography (transthoracic, transoesophageal and stress).

He is currently a consultant cardiologist at the Royal Surrey County Hospital. 

His work in establishing the GP advice & guidance service was recognised by the Health Service Journal in 2018. He wrote the Surrey anticoagulation guidelines which received national recognition by the HSJ and from the AF Association, who awarded a Healthcare Pioneers award in 2019.

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DR WILLIAM MCALLISTER
RESPIRATORY PHYSICIAN

Dr McAllister qualified at Guy’s Hospital, University of London. He undertook his House jobs and SHO jobs and General Medical Registrar training at Guy’s Hospital. He then moved to the Royal Brompton Hospital where he did an MD in the Pharmacology Department on the pharmacokinetics of Prednisolone. Following two years research he then trained as a Senior Registrar in Respiratory Medicine for three and a half years at The Brompton Hospital.
Dr McAllister went on to become a Consultant in Respiratory Medicine at The Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford in 1983.
Dr McAllister has led an innovative, prize winning respiratory team at the Royal Surrey County Hospital.  The Respiratory Department runs an extensive pulmonary rehabilitation programme.  There is a comprehensive COPD at home team and a specialist oxygen clinic.  The team runs a sleep service as well as CPAP and BIPAP ventilatory services.

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DR KATH MCCULLOUGH
CONSULTANT IN DIABETES & ENDOCRINOLOGY AND GENERAL MEDICINE

Working at the Royal Surrey Hospital, Kath has been at the frontline managing patients with Covid-19 including setting up a dedicated High Dependency Unit for those requiring ventilation. She is also the Trust's Research Lead for Covid-19 clinical trials and is passionate about providing the latest available treatments proven to help patients. As a general physician she has been involved in all aspects of care in Covid-19 but has a particular interest in diabetes and hormonal disruption.

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DR ROY PALMER
CONSULTANT DERMATOLOGIST

Dr Roy Palmer is a Consultant Dermatologist. He studied pre-clinical medicine at Oxford University and clinical medicine at Guy’s & St. Thomas’ Hospitals, London. 

He qualified as a consultant dermatologist in 2002 and was a Senior Fellow at St. John’s Institute of Dermatology, an internationally renowned tertiary referral centre for skin disease. During this time he conducted research into the effects of sunlight on skin, which resulted in a PhD. He has written many research papers and textbook chapters. He now works at Princess Margaret Hospital in Windsor and Mount Alvernia Hospital in Guildford. 

Prolonged dermatological problems after Covid have been less researched than many other features of Long Covid. Hair loss caused by 'telogen effluvium' can occur after a variety of serious acute illnesses, and it has been seen after Covid. Many hair follicles go from the growing phase to the shedding phase, which results in hair fall from a large proportion of the scalp hair follicles simultaneously, approximately 90 days after Covid. It can be frightening to experience. Fortunately resolution without treatment is usual. After Covid, people can experience a prolonged tendency to chilblain-like lesions on the hands and feet. The nails can be shed, or develop grooves within them. 

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DR STROMA MACFARLANE
CONSULTANT PSYCHIATRIST

Dr Stroma Macfarlane is a Consultant General Adult Psychiatrist who graduated from Glasgow University Medical School in 1995. She completed her Specialist postgraduate psychiatric training in Wessex across Hampshire and Dorset as well as a period of time living in Ghana undertaking research as part of a Masters degree in Medical Education. She worked as a consultant in the NHS in Portsmouth from 2010 and was the Clinical Director of the Solent NHS Adult Mental Health and Substance Misuse Service between 2013 and 2016. She has worked solely in private practice since 2016 and is currently a Visiting Consultant at the Priory Hospital in Woking where she is the Addiction Lead consultant and holds a private clinic at Parallel House in Guildford. 
She has an interest in addictions, mood disorders, anxiety disorders and women’s health and trauma and has been developing her interest and understanding of long Covid and the effect of Covid 19 on the mental health of the population through the pandemic.

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DR OMAR MALIK
CONSULTANT NEUROLOGIST

Dr Omar Malik has a wide range of interests in General Neurology as well as his specialist interest in Inflammatory Disorders of the Peripheral and Central Nervous System. He was appointed Consultant Neurologist at Hillingdon and Charing Cross Hospitals in 2001 where he shares Clinical Neurological practice with on going academic interests in Clinical Neurosciences.
He teaches regularly in his capacity as Honorary Senior Lecturer at Imperial College School of Medicine and is Clinical Director of The UK Multiple Sclerosis Brain Bank. He has taken on a Clinical Research Fellow thus allowing him to maintain his scientific and clinical interests in demyelinating diseases.

 

GENERAL PRACTITIONERS

Get to Know Us

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DR ROS BALLANCE

Dr Ros Ballance BM MRCGP
Dr Ballance has worked as a local GP for 20 years. She is experienced in treating both acute & chronic illnesses in general practice and has a particular interest in women’s health.
She is a member of the Royal College of General Practitioners and has a diploma from the Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare.

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DR PHILLIPA HENDLEY

I have worked as a GP in Surrey since becoming a member of the Royal College of General Practitioners in 2005.  I have a broad range of experience in all aspects of General Practice and appreciate the variety of my work and the opportunity to help patients of all ages to manage a wide range of problems. In recent years I have developed an interest in palliative and elderly care medicine. 
I am excited about being part of our new long covid clinic and becoming involved in assessing patients with this new condition. I have enjoyed extensive teaching sessions with our consultant colleagues and the opportunity to develop with them a service specifically tailored to our patients.

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DR FIONA MEURISSE

Fiona Meurisse has worked as a local GP for many years, having set up the Guildford Private General Practice 8 years ago at Mount Alvernia, so that she could spend more time with patients.
In addition to her general practice role she is part of the Andrology team at the Royal Surrey County Hospital where she works as a urologist seeing patients with often complex problems.
Increasingly frustrated by the lack of help for long covid patients presenting in general practice she has helped set up the Long Covid Clinic at Mount Alvernia.

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DR LOUISE SELBY

Dr Selby has worked as a GP for over 20 years and is a partner at The Guildford Private General Practice. She is a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of General Practitioners. She recognises the balance between mental and physical health and the importance of considering all elements of health for well-being. She works closely with specialist consultants to achieve the best outcome for patients with Long Covid.

 

PHYSIOTHERAPY

We are a team of very experienced, motivated Senior Physiotherapists based at Mount Alvernia with a special interest in long covid. We are aware the understanding about long covid and the research is constantly evolving but we aim to offer an individual treatment package that takes into account your specific symptoms and goals but also incorporates the most up to date evidence. We will continue to adapt our approach as the evidence develops.

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CRAIG ETHERTON

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ALICE HUGHES

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JULIA THORPE

 

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY

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ANDREA LYONS

Andrea Lyons is a senior Occupational Therapist with more than 20 years experience in assessing and treating individuals of all ages with a variety of conditions.  She specialises in functional holistic assessments, dementia care, palliative care and orthopaedics.
Currently, Andrea is building an Occupational Therapy service, alongside the multi-disciplinary team at Mount Alvernia Hospital, to treat long covid patients. 
Andrea can provide practical tools and strategies which enable people to reach their individual goals and gain independence, meaningful routines and enhanced quality of life.
Andrea is passionate about focusing on individual’s priorities and strengths and delivering an outstanding personalised approach that meets the unique needs of the patient.