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 specialising in hyperemesis gravidarum. She has suffered three times with Hyperemesis Gravidarum and is now undertaking a PhD at the Academic Medical Centre in the Netherlands to further the research efforts for HG. In addition to her research Caitlin spends her time providing education for healthcare professionals and writing extensively for both the medical and lay press and writes the popular Spewing Mummy blog. Her work for PSS led to the 2015 Third Sector Award for Charity Chair Person of the Year and a Nursing Times Award for Inspirational Nurse Leader. Her savvy media strategy has ensured that hyperemesis gravidarum has has a consistent and powerful presence in the UK media over the last five years. She has two boys aged 10 and 8 and a girl aged 6. They live on a sheep farm in Cornwall.
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 has a background in physics teaching and medical physics research. She is currently the Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement in Research Lead for University Hospital Birmingham based at the Institute of Translational Medicine. 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, in 2010 she set up the website www.pregnancysicknesssos.co.uk to disseminate the information that she had gathered and to 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 a co-author on the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists clinical practice guidelines for Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy and Hyperemesis Gravidarum.
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.
Dr Yusra Khan (MRCGP, MBChB Hons University of Bristol, Postgraduate certificate in Primary Care awarded with Distinction) is a GP at a large practice in South Gloucestershire. Yusra became aware of PSS when she was pregnant with her baby boy now 2 years of age. Using her first-hand experience and professional knowledge of this relentless condition, she hopes to help sufferers access optimal care and treatment as well as educate primary care clinicians regarding the diagnosis and management of Hyperemesis Gravidarum.
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.
Fundraising and Engagement Administrator
Miss Fern Blackwell is very passionate about helping others and this is what has led her to Pregnancy Sickness Support, although I have never personally experienced HG I can relate to women that are facing difficult times. To know that I am helping to make a difference will be a massive achievement for me. In this role I am going to; focus on helping our volunteers any which way I can, grow the already successful team of volunteers, engage with companies big and small and further develop our funding streams.