Patrons of Pregnancy Sickness Support
Baroness Julia Cumberlege CBE was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health from 1992 to 1997. She founded Cumberlege Connections Ltd in 2003 and Cumberlege Eden and Partners in 2013. Both Companies specialise in training and consultancy to the health sector. Julia started her career in Local Government, as Leader of the Lewes District Council and Chair of Social Services for East Sussex. She has served on many public bodies and has produced two reports for the Government. She is an Honorary Fellow of five Royal Colleges and has Honorary Degrees from five universities.
Baroness Cumberlege is currently Chair of the National Maternity Review and has a wealth of experience in healthcare leadership. She has chaired working parties for the Royal College of Physicians – which led to the ‘Doctors in Society’ (2005) and ‘Future Physicians: Changing Doctors in a Changing World’ (2010) reports. She is a Patron of the National Childbirth Trust and Vice President of the Royal College of Midwives. In the 1990s she also led a major review on maternity care, producing the ‘Changing Childbirth’ report for the Department of Health.
Trustees Of Pregnancy Sickness Support
Mrs Caitlin Dean (Chair) is a Registered General Nurse and a farmer. She has suffered three times with Hyperemesis Gravidarum and has recently dedicated her time to setting up the National Support Network for sufferers as well as conducting research, raising awareness and education amongst Medical Professionals and via the media. She has two boys aged 5 and 3 and a daughter who is 1. Her third pregnancy was significantly easier than the first two thanks to the prophylactic treatment regime advocated by the charity and the support from other sufferers. Caitlin also writes the popular Spewing Mummy blog and writes articles for healthcare journals, magazines and blogs. In 2014 she co-authored the book Hyperemesis Gravidarum - The Definitive Guide and her work with PSS led to being shortlised for the Tesco Mum of the Year Award 2015. Caitlin also works as a Specialist Advisor to the CQC on Hyperemesis Gravidarum.
Dr Roger Gadsby (Vice Chair and Founding Trustee) who has just retired as a GP in Nuneaton and now works for five sessions a week as an Associate Clinical Professor at Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick. He has had an interest in pregnancy sickness symptoms since he joined the same practice as Dr Tony Barnie-Adshead in 1979. Together they have carried out research and published papers and articles on pregnancy sickness symptoms. Roger was awarded an MBE in 2009.
Ms Caroline Pratt (Founding Trustee) is the daughter of Dr Tony Barnie-Adshead. She suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum (severe pregnancy sickness) and was lucky to benefit from the knowledge of her father. She says "It is difficult for people who don't suffer to understand how unpleasant it can be. I think that the work of this charity is important as it is providing support and information for sufferers and carers".
Mrs Susie Nicholas is a solicitor working as a Professional Support Lawyer at a commercial law firm in Birmingham. She has two young children and suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum during both pregnancies. She only became aware of Pregnancy Sickness Support after the birth of her second child, which is why she is keen to increase awareness of hyperemesis and the charity so that other sufferers can get the support and treatment they need. Susie wrote the information on employment rights on the PSS website, has lectured student midwives on HG and PSS and was instrumental in the launch of the charity's fundraising initiative, the Big Brew. She has also had articles published, and writes a blog about her involvement with PSS called Diary of a Charity Chick.
Mrs Emma Edwards is a trained Primary School Teacher who suffered from Hyperemesis with her son. She started volunteering for PSS when Adam was 7 weeks old. Emma found the isolation of hyperemesis extremely difficult and as a result helped to develop the PSS Forum in order for sufferers to share their experiences. She has helped raise awareness of the condition by producing the HG Awareness Day 2013 video and Survivors Annual. Emma’s blog, Adventures of Adam, provides a variety of play activities suitable for women suffering from hyperemesis to entertain their young children.
Dr Margaret O'Hara is a medical physicist currently working as a research fellow at the University of Birmingham. Having observed several relatives suffer with Hyperemesis Gravidarum, she conducted her own research on treatment protocols before becoming pregnant and found a clinician who prescribed antiemetics as soon as her HG started. After her pregnancy with her daughter, now four years old, she set up the website www.pregnancysicknesssos.co.uk to disseminate the information that she had gathered and assist other women to obtain treatment. Using the website, she has conducted surveys of women's experiences of HG in the UK. She has been a volunteer for PSS since 2011 and is currently on a working group of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to develop clinical practice guidelines for Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy.
Mrs Abigail Briggs is a Midwife in the South West. Having suffered HG with both of her children she has been involved with PSS for a number of years peer supporting and providing teaching sessions for midwives. She is now considered a HG Specialist midwife and is passionate about developing IV day Units for HG around the UK.
Dr Shazia Zafar is a research scientist working at the University of Birmingham. Her current research investigates a novel method which could be used to assess and manage hyperemesis more effectively by breath, in place of or complementary to the current urine dipsticks. She came across PSS only after having suffered severely from hyperemesis herself twice. After finding out the wonderful work the charity does to support women she became a volunteer for PSS in order to help and pass on her knowledge and experience.
Dr Manjeet Shehmar
Dr Gillian Ostrowski is a GP Principle in a large central London practice. She has served as Associate Medical Director for Wandsworth since 2011 and became one of the Associate Medical Directors for NHS England, London area in 2013. Gillian also previously held positions on the Executive Committee of the Battersea GP Federation and an elected post on Wandsworth London Medical Committee for five years.
Gillian became aware of PSS whilst pregnant, suffering Hyperemesis gravidarum during all of 3 of her pregnancies. She is committed and passionate about empowering patients and medical professionals alike with knowledge of this physically and psychologically debilitating illness.
Staff on the PSS team
Mrs Karen Lodge has been working in the third sector for the past 11 years and has detailed knowledge of administration, marketing, event coordination and volunteer management. Karen has a passion for women’s issues and conditions relating to childbirth, Karen is a trained breastfeeding peer supporter. This experience led her to pursue this role with PSS.
Social Media Manager
Mrs Helen Hendy worked in the advertising industry for many years before surviving severe Hyperemesis Gravidarum to become a mum to daughter, Anna. She has worked with a variety of clients in many different industries including the charitable sector where she planned and implemented advertising and social media campaigns for large, well known charities in the UK and abroad. Helen has been a passionate and dedicated volunteer for PSS since 2012 and has participated in and organised fundraising, events and social media campaigns which lead her to become a Senior Volunteer and Social Media Team Leader in 2014.