Basingstoke Team Parish

Who are we?

sue founderSusan Whitfield


Sue trained as a paramedic and started PoTS UK to enable people with PoTS, their family's and health professionals to have social and practical support. The aim was to link people in the UK with PoTS as nothing was available at the time in the UK.   Sue lives in Hope (both the village and personally) and has recently gained her private pilots licence!

lorna chair

Lorna Nicholson


Lorna is a Nurse Practitioner working in primary care who also has PoTS, but is determined to live life to the full.  Lorna is a founding member of PoTS UK, and chair for many years.  Now taking a bit more of a back seat but continues to ensure the website is up to date along with meeting the requirements of the information standard....and running patient support groups. 

Prof Lesley Kavi

Trustee and chairperson

Lesley has been a GP for almost 30 years.  She obtained her medical degree at Glasgow University and undertook her GP training in the Lake District. Having previously worked as a partner in inner city Dundee, she is currently practising near Birmingham. She has undertaken specialist postgraguate education in Syncope, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Contraception.

Lesley is Visiting Professor at Birmingham City University, where she helped to develop and teaches on their Advanced Practice MSc. She introduced PoTS and Syncope to the curriculum. She has written a number of journal paper on PoTS and syncope in primary care and is often found teaching these subjects to GPs and other healthcare professionals. She plays an international advisory role about syncope and PoTS best practice in primary care. 

Lesley became a managing trustee of PoTS UK in 2011 and chairperson in 2017. Her goals include ensuring that all healthcare professionals have heard of and understand PoTS. 

morwennaDr Morwenna Opie-Moran


Morwenna is a Clinical Psychologist affiliated with the London Cardiovascular Clinic as well as roles within the NHS at King’s and St Thomas’.  She has a special interest in maximising psychological well-being in the context of compromised physical health.  She has spoken and written widely on aspects of cardiological health, with expertise in the treatment of PoTS and syncope. Morwenna is committed to the idea that mind and body are inseperable and that psychological therapies should be an integral part of our physical healthcare system.  

She hopes to help ensure that patient pathway for PoTs is improved for the next generation, and that the condition is better known and understood.

michaelaMichaela Nuttall


Michaela is a cardiovascular nurse based in London and is passionate about improving the care that patients receive through changing of pathways, education of health care professionals and at the heart of it all - empowerment of patients.

Corinne Birchenall


Corinne is an experienced administrator/PA, having worked for over 20years as an office/administration manager and PA to the Director of Public Health.  This has given her experience of the wider health economy and has built her knowledge of professionals working within the health sector. During this time, she also administered expenses for the London Deanery of the Specialist PH Registers across the South East.

Since leaving Public Health, she has joined Smart Health Solutions, an organisation that trains health professionals in various health initiatives. Corinne co-ordinates their training sessions, and now also uses her wide administrative skills to assist PoTS UK in organising events.

Arnold Deering

Dr Arnold Deering

Medical advisor

Dr Deering was appointed Consultant Physician in 1991. He established the Cheltenham Syncope Service, a part of Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, in 1992. This highly valued service specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of dysautonomia including Autonomic Mediated Syncope and PoTS.

nick gall

Dr Nick Gall

Medical Advisor and Patron


Professor Michael Gammage

Patron and medical advisor

Cardiologist, Birmingham

Dr GrubbDr Blair Grubb

Medical Advisor

Blair P. Grubb, is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and earned an undergraduate degree in Biologic Sciences from the University of Maryland (Baltimore County). He received an M.D from the Universidad Central del Este in the Dominican Republic. He completed residency training at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center where he was also Chief Resident: While doing a rotation in cardiology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital he became interested in Cardiac Electrophysiology after watching some of the first human defibrillator implants. He then completed a fellowship in Cardiology and Cardiac Electrophysiology at the Pennsylvania State University. He is presently a professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Toledo, Health Science Campus where he is also director of the Electrophysiology Program and the Syncope and Autonomic Disorders Clinic at the University Medical Center. He has authored over 240 scientific papers as well as 5 books, and 35 book chapters. He has been awarded the University of Maryland’s Distinguished Alumnus Award (1994), as well as the North West Ohio American Heart Associations’ Legacy of Achievement Award (2001), the Medical University of Ohio’s Deans Award for teaching excellence (1996) and the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award (2006). He has been recognized as one of “Americas Top Doctors” for eleven years in a row and is also been recognized as one of "Americas Best Doctors" for 10 years in a row. In 2009 he received the University of Toledo's Distinguished University Professor award (the first physician ever to receive the honor) and received it again in 2015 (one of the few in UT’s history to receive it twice). In 2015 he received the Physician of the year Award from Dysautonomia International. He is widely considered one of the world’s leading authorities on syncope and disorders of the autonomic nervous system. His research has helped develop a whole new field of medicine: Autonomics, and he has pioneered many of the diagnostic and treatment modalities that are in common use today. He is an associate editor of the journal PACE and sits on the editorial boards of numerous other journals. His hobbies include writing, and he has published over 50 essays and poems, (as well as drawings and photography). A collection of his essays has been published as a book entitled “The Calling”. He is a survivor of renal cancer, an event which fostered his interest in Physicians Wellness and prevention of Physician suicide and substance abuse. He is a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists and Physicians for Social Responsibility. He was the husband of the late Barbara Straus, M.D. for 38 years, and has 2 children: Helen and Alex.

Julia newton

Professor Julia Newton

Medical advisor 

Julia Newton is Clinical Professor of Ageing and Medicine and Dean for Clinical Medicine at Newcastle University, Faculty of Medical Sciences.

Her research and clinical interests include regulation of the autonomic nervous system and its involvement in symptoms such as the fatigue that is seen frequently seen in patients with chronic disease.

She sees a large number of patients with POTS at the Falls and Syncope Service, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust at the Royal Victoria Infirmary.

Dr Raj

Dr Satish Raj

Medical advisor

Satish R Raj MD MSCI grew up in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  He graduated from Queen’s University Faculty of Medicine (Kingston, Ontario, Canada) in 1993.  He then completed residency training in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at Queen’s University before moving on to a clinical and research fellowship in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology at the University of Calgary.

In 2002, Dr. Raj moved to Nashville, Tennessee as a Research Fellow in Clinical Pharmacology at Vanderbilt University.  While at Vanderbilt, he also successfully completed a Masters of Science degree in Clinical Investigation, graduating in 2004. He stayed on as a clinical researcher at Vanderbilt University, rising to the rank of Associate Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology at Vanderbilt University (with tenure) and an Attending Physician at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, working primarily with the Vanderbilt Autonomic Dysfunction Center.

In July 2014, he moved back to the University of Calgary (Alberta, Canada) to set up an Autonomic Center of Excellence.  He is currently Associate Professor of Cardiac Science at the Libin Cardiovascular Institute and the University of Calgary.

He is currently Board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, and Autonomic Disorders.

His primary research interests relate to understanding the cause and finding more effective treatments for the postural tachycardia syndrome and neurally mediated syncope, as well as disorders of autonomic nervous system failure.

Dr Robert Sheldon

Medical Advisor

Dr. Robert Sheldon is a Professor of Cardiac Sciences and a cardiac arrhythmia specialist at the Libin Cardiovascular Institute in Alberta in Calgary. Following a bachelor's degree from Bishop's University in Quebec, he completed a PhD at the University of Colorado in 1973, and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology with Sidney Brenner in Cambridge, England, in 1976. He received his MD in 1981 in Toronto and happily completed his training at the University of Calgary. He is very active in clinical research in arrhythmia care. He has been a Division Head of Cardiology, Associate Dean, Senior Vice President Research of Alberta Health Services, and for 9 years was a member of the Governing Council of the CIHR. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.


jane simmonds

Dr Jane Simmonds

Physiotherapist adviser

Originally from Western Australia, Jane came to the UK in 1992 and has worked in the NHS, private practice, occupational health and higher education.  Jane combines education and research at Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, University College London with her role as physiotherapy lead at the Hypermobility Unit, Wellington Hospital, London. Jane specialises in helping children and families to manage hypermobility related problems such as recurrent subluxations, chronic pain, chronic fatigue and dysautonomia.  Research interests include; Hypermobility, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Bone Health and PoTS management. Jane is passionate about patient and health professional education. In her down time Jane enjoys time with family, painting and photography and trying to keep fit through walking, cycling and swimming.

Dr Ian Wilkinson

Medical advisor

Reader in Clinical Pharmacology, Hon Consultant Physician, Cambridge 

Adam Jacobs

Adam Jacobs


Adam Jacobs is an exciting photographer whose eclectic portfolio has attracted considerable commercial attention from an array of blue chip clients ranging from Adidas to Ocado and RBS to Wagamama. Additionally, Adam has photographed college and professional sporting events globally including the London 2012 Olympics and World Cup Finals, capturing iconic images that have been used both commercially and editorially by clients including ESPN, US Soccer and Sports Illustrated. He is also adept at candid portraiture having photographed well-known figures including Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, President Barack Obama, Andy Murray and Sir Mick Jagger on commissioned assignments. Furthermore, his fine-art work has been displayed in museums, hangs in state senates and some pieces from his new and ongoing series, “Abandoned Spaces”, form parts of exclusive private collections including the "Sir Elton John Photography Collection". To view Adam’s work, visit where you can also find details on his photography workshops and classes

Originally from London, Adam’s enthusiasm for photography was sparked when studying in Australia and further invigorated by his extensive travels around Europe, Asia and the Americas. However, it was only after being diagnosed with Chronic Daily Migraine and POTS, which effectively forced him into spending almost two years lying in a dark room, that Adam’s passion for taking pictures was galvanized from a hobby into a concrete career. Indeed, he credits much of his ability to see the artistic even in the most mundane subject matter as stemming from the absence of light, color and form during this debilitating period. Whether standing on the roof of Buckingham Palace to capture a panorama to commemorate the Queen’s Jubilee, photographing luxurious hotel suites in Vegas for MGM, or being fortunate enough to be in the privacy of Nelson Mandela’s residence to freeze candid moments between some of the world’s greatest leaders, Adam has the most extensive portfolio of varied and colourful photos; an incredible achievement for someone who has endured a long journey back from ill health. He continues to be a POTS sufferer and is a keen advocate for all those with invisible illnesses.

Dr Phil Hammond


Phil Hammond is a doctor, journalist, broadcaster, campaigner and comedian. He qualified as a GP in 1991 and is currently works in a specialist NHS centre for children and adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome/ME. Phil is also a presenter on BBC Radio Bristol and has been Private Eye’s medical correspondent since 1992, campaigning for patient empowerment, open data in healthcare and for the NHS to be honest and transparent about the harm it causes as well as all the good it does. Phil has won awards for broadcasting,  journalism, comedy and teaching. He is an NHS Top 100 Clinical Leader, a Vice President of the Patients’ Association and a patron of Meningitis UK, the Doctors’ Support Network, the Herpes Viruses Association, Patients First , PoTS and Kissing It Better. He is also a fundraiser and adviser to the Association of Young People with ME

peter capaldi

Peter Capaldi

Supporter of PoTS UK

This is what Peter has to say:

“Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (PoTS) is an illness that especially affects young people.  They often find the symptoms, including dizziness, anxiety, stomach problems and passing out, mis-diagnosed as being simply consequences of their age. The more that people know about this syndrome the better, so I wholeheartedly support the work of the charity POTS UK, which aims to increase awareness of the syndrome amongst both the public and health professionals.  I hope anyone who recognises these symptoms will check out the website and realise that help is at hand and that they are not on their own.” Peter Capaldi

updated July 2018