The Clinical Team
Dr Paul Worthley
Dr Paul Worthley has over 25 years’ experience of helping people with ME/CFS. Dr Paul trained at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, where he qualified in 1976. He spent three years at the Worcester Royal Infirmary, went on to general practice training in Hackney and then to two years’ general practice in East London, before returning home to Australia where he worked at the Adelaide Children’s Hospital from 1983 to 1987. He returned to Worcester to a variety of general practice and paediatric work before moving to Burrswood Hospital in Kent in 1992.
In 1996 he obtained his Diploma in Palliative Medicine. Working at Burrswood Hospital for 24 years, Dr Paul was resident Senior Physician, until 2014, and until 2016 also ran an outpatient clinic for people with ME/CFS and related illnesses. He pioneered a whole person and individually tailored approach to caring for people with this spectrum of disease which has benefited hundreds of patients.
The value of his approach was confirmed by a Kent University study. Dr Paul has over many years learnt a lot both from patients and by meeting the few medics who work in this field. He has gained an expertise in the area of ME/CFS and has helped hundreds of ME/CFS patients.
Sue Pople, Physiotherapist
Sue Pople trained at Kings College Hospital and qualified as a physiotherapist in 1981. Throughout her career, working alongside people with long term conditions has been an area of special interest, where the building of professional and trusting relationships is important.
While leading a team of Physiotherapists at Burrswood Hospital, Sue was instrumental in setting up an out-patient Physiotherapy service for people with Multiple Sclerosis and developed the hydrotherapy service within the hospital.
She also worked closely with Dr Paul Worthley and a wider clinical team, gaining insight into the complexity of ME. As a physiotherapist, Sue was privileged to see lives transformed and hope restored in people with this challenging illness and is now looking forward to being part of this new service for people with ME.
Anne Topping, Occupational Therapist
Anne Topping trained at Dorset House, Oxford where she qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1979.
She began her career at Charing Cross Hospital, London in acute ward settings and went on to work and specialise in long term conditions for the next 35 years.
She expanded the Occupational Therapy service in a care setting at Nightingale House, south London, subsequently heading up a wider Therapies team there.
Anne believes in a person-centred care approach and recognises the importance of psychological and physical wellbeing through encouragement, meaningful engagement and activity pacing.
She has trained and supported care staff on sensory and cognitive impairments.
Anne has been involved in developing ‘enabling environments’, working with architects in the design of new builds and refurbishments. This included advising on aids and adaptations to encourage independence in activities of daily living.
Ingrid Holmes, Counsellor
Ingrid Holmes has a BA in Psychology and Communications, and completed a 1-year Programme for Trainers. In 2004 she completed a 2-year WPF* Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling. Her core training is psychodynamic and she also has training in couples and telephone counselling. She is accredited with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and committed to continued professional development to enhance her skills and keep abreast with latest research in counselling theory and practice. She is a registered “Understanding Your Eating” Licenced Practitioner and as a Supervisor for CRUSE bereavement counselling.
Ingrid began counselling at The Counselling Centre in Tunbridge Wells (TCC) in 2003 and continued to see clients at TCC until 2009. In addition to her private practice she also worked as a Counsellor at Burrswood Hospital in Kent for ten years. Over the past 13 years she has helped many men and women from all walks of life. Although her core training is in psychodynamic counselling she uses use a more integrative approach to suit individual needs. A description of this approach can be found on the BACP website.
Mary Watson, Counsellor
Mary trained at The Tunbridge Wells Counselling Centre and holds a Wpf Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling. She works in private practice and also as a tutor supporting trainees.
She is an accredited member of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP). Mary is committed to her own continued professional development.
Mary is also a trained Spiritual Director and has led retreat programmes/weekends.
Ron Bushyager, Counsellor
Ron Bushyager holds a MSc in Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy. He is an Accredited counsellor/psychotherapist with the BACP and Registered as a Psychodynamic Counsellor with the BPC.
Alongside his work with The ME Trust, Ron has a private practice in the City of London, supporting those who experience issues of stress, anxiety, trauma, or depression, that negatively impact their life, work and relationships.
Rev David Flagg, Chaplain
The Rev David Flagg is an Anglican priest with many years’ experience of both parish and healthcare settings, including 11 years at Burrswood sharing in whole-person care, and 11 years in a large acute hospital. He understands the frustrations of not finding consistent help for ME in the NHS.
Having managed a multi-faith prayer room in hospital he welcomes meeting those of all faiths and none. He holds a Diploma in Pastoral Counselling and is also an accredited Pastoral Supervisor.He offers Spiritual Accompaniment as part of his current work in semi-retirement. David is accustomed to walking with those with chronic illness and all the losses and fears that this brings with it.
Elizabeth White, Lay Chaplain
Elizabeth White is a spiritual director and pastoral supervisor. She knows ME ‘from the inside’, having become unwell in her teens. In the 30 years since then she has benefited from various approaches to whole-person care. This has highlighted how individual each person’s experience of illness is, the importance of feeling someone is on your side, and finding a way forward together.
Elizabeth completed training in Spiritual Direction in 2009, holds a Certificate in Groupwork and a Diploma in Cross-professional Creative Supervision and Reflective Practice. She has worked as a volunteer, in administration, and as coordinator of an adult learning programme. She has experience of offering spiritual accompaniment by group session and individually. Elizabeth continues to seek to hold together her own experiences of brokenness, grace and gratitude and, out of this, to accompany others in their very individual stories.
“Dr Paul has been an amazing support. Sue is brilliant too, so helpful… I love the M.E trust!!!”
“He [Dr Paul Worthley] works out plans on a completely individual basis and has suggested both helpful medications for our children and also helpful ways for my body to gain deep relaxation when possible, as I do not generally tolerate drug treatments. I cannot recommend Dr Paul more highly and do always recommend him to friends. He is one in a million ……”