Dr Alex Higton – centre director
Dr Higton trained in the South West Thames region, and worked within the Brompton CF team as well as a lung transplantation post in Western Australia during her registrar training. She has been a consultant at Frimley since 2011 and took over as director of the CF unit in 2015. She spends about two thirds her time looking after CF patients, and the rest doing general respiratory and general medicine at Frimley.
“Dr Orchard, Dr Ho and I strive to provide excellent CF care close to home for our local CF population. We have a consultant led, and largely consultant delivered service, so you can expect to see one of us at nearly every clinic appointment for your annual review and at times when you are unwell and need admission to hospital.
"We keep up with cutting edge developments in CF care and ensure that new treatments are available to our patients at the earliest opportunity. We are also starting to develop a research program at Frimley.”
Dr Chris Orchard
Dr Orchard trained in the North West Thames region. As part of his training he undertook a research degree with the CF team at the Brompton and has also worked with the transplant team at Harefield. He joined Frimley as a consultant in 2014. He looks after CF patients and also spends time looking after the high dependency unit as well as general respiratory and general medical patients.
Dr Tim Ho
Dr Ho trained in respiratory medicine in London and completed a PhD as a Wellcome Trust Training fellow at Imperial College in 2003. He has been a consultant chest physician since 2004 and preceded Dr Higton as centre director for the CFU. He sits on the trust's Board of Directors as Medical Director.
CF specialist nurses
Judith Duguid – CF specialist nurse / outpatient senior sister – 01276 604597
Emy Cudiamat – CF specialist nurse / inpatient senior sister – 01276 522619
There are two full time CF specialist nurses, both working four days per week.
Judith has worked full time on the CF unit since 2007 and Emy since 2014. Both worked with CF patients before becoming CF specialist nurses.
“We act as an advocate for our patients, their families and a resource for colleagues. We provide support, information and guidance to allow our patients to make informed decisions about their care. We also have expertise in the management of ports, PICC lines and the care of CF related complications.
"We strive for excellence and constantly search out new methods and practices to improve patient care. Both CF specialist nurses are active in local and national CFSN groups.
CF specialist dietitian
Charissa Kettley – specialist adult CF dietitian – 01276 522635
Charissa is the specialist adult CF dietitian and she works full time on the CF Unit. She has worked at Frimley Park Hospital since 2011 and joined the CFU in 2013.
"Nutrition is an essential part of CF care as it has been shown to have a direct impact on lung function. I provide individualised dietary advice and support to all inpatients and outpatients who are under our centre.
"Dietary treatment plans are agreed with patients in order to help them to achieve a healthy weight and nutritional status to maximise their lung function. This may include changes to oral intake, initiation of supplements or tube feeding. I also focus on the management of pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy to support patients and prevent symptoms of malabsorption. Another important area of dietetic involvement is fat soluble vitamin assessment and supplementation, as well as optimising factors involved in bone health. I work closely with the diabetes team in order to effectively manage patients with CF-related diabetes. We hold monthly joint CFRD clinics to ensure that our patients can access expert diabetes advice.
"I am a member of the CF Dietitians Group UK and attend meetings for this group, as well as other local and national meetings, to ensure that I am keeping up to date with the latest research and evidence so that I can provide the best clinical practice."
CF specialist physiotherapists
Joanna Saunders (currently on maternity leave), Lisa Johnson (Mon/Thurs/Fri) and Ann Banks (Tues/Wed) – specialist adult CF physiotherapists – 01276 522636
Jo is currently on maternity leave until January 2017 so Lisa and Ann are working to cover her post.
Lisa has worked at Frimley Park since August 2011. Before covering Jo’s maternity leave, Lisa worked on the medical wards within the hospital, as well as assisting Jo on the CFU with clinics and inpatient care as required.
Ann has worked part time on the CF Unit since 2014 but has previous experience in CF care both at Frimley and the Royal Brompton Hospital.
The CF specialist physiotherapists cover outpatient as well as inpatient care and are supported by a rotational physiotherapist who undergoes training and regular supervision from the CF specialist physiotherapist.
“Physiotherapy is an integral part of CF care. We can provide advice and treatment programmes on airway clearance, exercise, posture, joint problems, continence, and nebulised and inhaled medications.
"We believe that the patient is central to their care and will ensure that we involve you in decisions on your treatment and take into account your lifestyle and preferences.
"We keep abreast of new research and are all members of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Cystic Fibrosis and attend their annual meetings as well other locally organised study events and self-study.”
Tim Freeman – respiratory pharmacist
Tim completed his training to become qualified as a pharmacist in 2012 before starting work at Frimley Park Hospital. He has worked in number specialities and recently started working in respiratory, sharing time between the CFU and other respiratory wards.
“Pharmaceutical care has a critical role in treating the many different aspects of cystic fibrosis. Pharmacists provide support to both medical professionals and patients on the safe and effective use of medicines. I visit the cystic fibrosis unit daily to ensure medications are safe and appropriate for each inpatient and process prescriptions for outpatient clinics. I also provide support on the supply, prescribing, storage and disposal of drugs.
"I take part in the annual reviews to answer questions about patients' medicines and provide advice on their use. I can be contacted for advice through the CFU and can access resources to help with more complicated queries.”
Dr Katie Hamilton – clinical psychologist – 01276 522635
Dr Hamilton joined the CFU as clinical psychologist in January 2015. She spends two afternoons a week on the CFU and for the remaining time works across adult and paediatric health settings within Frimley Park Hospital. She is a member of the UKPP-CF Psychosocial Professions in Cystic Fibrosis.
“Living with cystic fibrosis can be difficult and at times people may find it hard to cope with changes in their health or with the demands of the treatment. These stresses can impact on our psychological wellbeing, quality of life, and can also have an effect on our ability to engage in treatment as a whole.
"My role within the team is to offer evidence-based therapeutic support and advice to help people better understand and cope with the psychosocial demands associated with living with CF. This can include exploring ways to manage emotional distress, coping with symptoms and procedures or supporting someone to reach their treatment goals. Should it be needed I am also able to signpost individuals to external mental health resources in the community.
"The psychology service is available to all patients within the adult CF service and I aim to see both outpatients and inpatients. Sometimes I also offer joint sessions with other members the CF team to help you move towards shared treatment goals. Clinical psychology sessions are confidential, unless information is essential to your treatment or safety. Notes are kept separately from medical notes. If you are seen as an inpatient, brief information will be written in your medical notes to update your team. If you are seen as an outpatient, I may write to your CF consultant and/or your GP in order to help co-ordinate your care. Referral to Psychology can be accessed via the CF medical team.”
CFU ward nurses
Our ward sister is Sweety Diaz. She has worked at the CF Unit since it was opened in 2002 and she successfully completed the week-long Cystic Fibrosis Course in 2015. As ward sister, Sweety works both in the inpatient and outpatient settings and helps to support the CF specialist nurses.
Our staff nurse team includes Cathy Aguido, Hannah Brown, Beatrice Dada, Shelly Haddadin, Martina Lewis, Sue Miller and Brenda Taylor.
“As the nursing team, we are committed to working together with the multi-disciplinary team to provide high standards of care in every aspect of your hospital stay within a comfortable and friendly environment.”
CFU care assistants
Our care assistant team includes Jackie Barlow, Gautam Gurung, Radha Gurung, Yam Gurung and Judy Markson.
“As care assistants, we have a very varied role. We work closely with the nursing staff to assist our patients with their daily needs, take patients’ observations and provide the best care possible throughout their inpatient stays. We also provide patients with their supplements and assist to prepare snacks and hot and cold drinks to ensure that our patients stay well nourished and hydrated. In the outpatient setting, we make sure that clinics run smoothly to minimise the time that patients have to wait to be seen.”
CFU database co-ordinators
Sue Morgan (Tues/Wed/Thurs) and Carole Colin (Mon/Fri) – CFU Database Co-ordinators – 01276 526665
Sue has worked at Frimley Park since 2000 and was initially a care assistant on the respiratory ward. She joined the CF unit upon its opening in 2002 and continued as a care assistant until 2008 when she became the database co-ordinator.
Carole has worked within the NHS since 1999 and she joined the CF team in 2014.
“As database co-ordinators, our main role is to ensure that all data collected from annual reviews is accurately entered onto the CF Trust’s database. This data input is very important as the information provided to the CF Trust is used to monitor and audit CF care, as well as for research and development purposes to improve treatments and therapies.”
CFU ward clerk
Julie Newton-Reeve – CFU Ward Clerk
Julie has worked at the CF unit since 2008.
“My role as a ward clerk has varied duties from administration, to maintenance reporting to making beans on toast!”
Our housekeeping team includes Simone Byrne, Ellie Clements, Christine Jacobson, Sangita Thapa and Matthew Wallbanks.
“As part of the housekeeping team, we strive hard to reach 100% compliance in all aspects of our cleaning schedule.”
CF- related diabetes team
Dr Yohan Samarasinghe – Consultant in acute medicine, diabetes and clinical pharmacology
Dr Yohan Samarasinghe has worked at Frimley Park Hospital since 2009. His primary role is a consultant in acute medicine seeing medically unwell patients who are referred through the emergency department or via their GP. He is also a specialist in diabetes and clinical pharmacology with clinics at Frimley in those specialties. He received his CF diabetes training at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London, while he was a registrar at the Chelsea and Westminster, but got invaluable training as a junior doctor in the CF team at Frimley in the 1990s.
Claire Henke – Lead diabetes specialist nurse
Nina Bailey – Diabetes specialist nurse
Claire has been working at Frimley Park Hospital since 1999 and has always had an interest in diabetes. She became a diabetes specialist nurse in 2005. Nina has been a diabetes specialist nurse since 2008 and started working at Frimley Park Hospital in 2015.
“Diabetes is one of the medical conditions that is caused by CF. It is very much entwined with CF. It can worsen the outcome in CF if not controlled, because the high sugar environment can encourage the growth of bacteria, particularly in the warm moist tissues of the lungs. However, if the diabetes control is optimised with insulin, this drug in particular can be used in an anabolic fashion to increase muscle growth (with appropriate training) and encourage weight gain, which has obvious benefits in CF.
"In the diabetes team we look at the individual and attempt to give you the appropriate therapy to control your diabetes and suit your lifestyle. We aim to optimise your blood sugars with your help, monitor you for complications, while preventing future vascular complications (heart attacks and strokes) that may occur after many years if the control is not good. We will try to see you in three, six or 12 months depending on your control, and of course will come and see you on the ward if you are admitted.”