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.
Emma Leisinger, Nurse
Emma qualified as a registered nurse in 1998 and has worked in many specialities over the years, including haematology; coronary care; general medicine and practice nursing.
More recently she has worked in a Hospice and for the past 7 years, as a school nurse.
When her son was diagnosed with ME in 2016 after becoming unwell 2 years previously, Emma began reading and researching as much as she could on ME. By chance she came across the ME Trust and the rest, as they say, is history!
Emma has sat in on clinics with Dr Paul and continues to gain knowledge and experience on lifestyle and symptom management of ME.
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.
Natalie Hilliard, Physiotherapist
Natalie graduated from the University of Hertfordshire with a BSc Hons in Physiotherapy in 2005. Natalie has spent most of her career working in complex/long-term neurology, working in long-term care settings. This has enabled Natalie to have time to be with her patients and their families and to build trusting and compassionate relationships, which she believes is hugely important in her role.
Later in her career, Natalie set up her own business and saw patients within her clinic setting and in patients’ own homes. Her approach was specialising in a gentle, hands-on treatment called myofascial release. Natalie is now a freelance Physiotherapist and continues to see patients in their own homes, drawing upon her passion for person-centred treatment, whilst also supporting family/carers where appropriate.
Natalie’s personal experience of ME started when she met her now best friend 3 ½ years ago. Her best friend has had severe ME for 21 years. This experience opened Natalie’s eyes to the true complexity of ME and has revealed the inadequacies in care, services and understanding of ME. This is why Natalie felt compelled to contribute using her experience and skills.
Natalie has since co-founded a group of UK physiotherapists with personal experience of ME whose aim is to educate physiotherapy students and qualified physiotherapists from a biomedical approach and to also improve physiotherapy treatment for people with ME. Natalie is also honoured to be able to work with the ME Trust to help people with ME.
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.
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.
Jenny Gray, Counsellor
Jenny Gray is a Registered and Accredited member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), having trained at West Kent College and holds an Advanced Diploma in Humanistic Counselling.
She has worked in the NHS in both Primary and Secondary Mental Health Services for over 15 years. Jenny set up and managed the Family and Carers Counselling Service within Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust.
She has a successful private practice and is also a Supervisor for Cruse. Jenny is committed to providing effective and supportive counselling and psychotherapy adhering to professional standards and ethics, using an integrative model.
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.
Jane Davison, Chaplain
Jane Davison offers Spiritual Accompaniment to people of all faiths, those of uncertain faith and those of none.
Jane Davison began 1:1 meetings in the second half of the 1990s, undertaking training to become first a Listener and then a Spiritual Director. She established a private practice as a Spiritual Director in 2001. She has also tutored on courses exploring a variety of ways of praying/reflecting and been involved in different forms of retreat work. Rooted and trained in the Christian tradition, her spiritual journey has been very enriched by the insights of other faiths and by everyday wisdom found in different walks of life. She was inspired to take up this work following a period of debilitating illness, during which she was spiritually and very helpfully listened to by trained listeners.
She has since been alongside many people who face highly challenging health and life questions. She has been knocked sideways by further times of ill-health and by difficult family situations. It is this combination of professional and personal experience which she brings to her Spiritual Accompaniment role.
Ruth Lampard, Chaplain
Ruth Lampard is an Anglican Priest, was ordained in 2000, and has experience in parish and chaplaincy ministry, supporting people from all walks of life. She understands the value of ‘walking’ as a pilgrim with and alongside people who are struggling, including people with chronic illness, people at risk of homelessness and ‘on the margins’ of life.
Ruth grew up in inner city Leicester alongside friends of many faiths and none, and welcomes accompanying people exploring what faith and life means for each person.
She completed her training as a Spiritual Director in 2011, and has recently been a SPIDIR course tutor, training spiritual directors. She has personal experience of chronic illness and understands the life-giving nature of spiritual accompaniment.
“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 ……”