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Our servicesRheumatology

Expert team

An interdisciplinary team is responsible for service delivery, providing individualised care, advice and support in all aspects of a person’s treatment.

The rheumatology interdisciplinary team includes:

  • consultant rheumatologists
  • specialist practitioners
  • nurses
  • occupational therapists
  • physiotherapists
  • pharmacists
  • dieticians
  • podiatrist
  • orthotists
  • student placements.


Dr Tehseen Ahmed
Consultant rheumatologist

Dr Tehseen Ahmed is a consultant in rheumatology and has a special interest in osteoporosis and metabolic bone disease.  Dr Ahmed undertook his medical training in Birmingham and completed his Rheumatology training in the Severn region.  He is a member of the British Society for Rheumatology, the National Osteoporosis Society, and the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.  Dr Ahmed is the current co-convenor of the British Society for Rheumatology osteoporosis special interest group.  He also has an interest in medical education and has completed a postgraduate certificate in Teaching and Learning for Health Professionals at the University of Bristol.  He currently runs general rheumatology, osteoporosis, and joint/soft tissue injection clinics.



Dr Ashok Bhalla MD FRCP
Consultant rheumatologist

Dr Ashok Bhalla is medical director at the RNHRD and has been a consultant in rheumatology and metabolic bone disease here since 1988. He trained in Manchester and London, and completed a medical fellowship in the US at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr Bhalla’s specialist interests include inflammatory arthritis, osteoporosis and other metabolic bone diseases, chronic pain and fibromyalgia. He helped to establish the hospital’s pain management service.

Dr Bhalla is active in research and has presented original work at national and international meetings. He has helped improve clinical care by setting up a direct access service for bone density scanning, the fracture liaison service, and the use of bone markers in assessing outcomes. Dr Bhalla has served on committees for the British Society for Rheumatology developing guidelines for the use of parathyroid hormone in osteoporosis and anti-TNF medication in ankylosing spondylitis.



Debbie Bond RGN, MSc PGCEA BA (Hons)
Clinical nurse specialist in rheumatology anti-TNF

Debbie Bond is the nurse lead for biologic therapies. She joined the RNHRD in June 2010 from Norfolk, where she worked as a specialist rheumatology nurse. She has a special interest in ankylosing spondylitis.



Sandi Derham LLB  BSc Occupational Therapy
Clinical specialist occupational therapist

Sandi Derham qualified as an occupational therapist from the University of Southampton in 1998 and was appointed as a clinical specialist in rheumatology at the RNHRD in January 2006. She is joint service lead for fibromyalgia. She has held various committee roles on the national executive committee of the College of Occupational Therapists Specialist Section Rheumatology and was judge for the NRAS Patient in Focus Awards. She was finalist for the Advancing Healthcare Awards in 2010 and winner of the Arthritis Research Campaign (now Arthritis Research UK) Silver Medal in 2010.



Dr Tim Jenkinson FRCP
Consultant in rheumatology and sports and exercise medicine

Dr Tim Jenkinson has been a consultant in rheumatology and sports and exercise medicine since 1995. Dr Jenkinson completed his medical training in Leeds, and then joined the Royal Air Force as a medical officer. Initially he completed his GP vocational training and then specialised in rheumatology and rehabilitation. Higher professional training was completed at DSMRU RAF Headley Court, the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and the RNHRD. His special interests include inflammatory arthritis, soft tissue rheumatology and sports medicine. Dr Jenkinson is a member of the British Society of Rheumatology and the British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine. He is also senior lecturer (honorary) at the University of Bath and senior medical advisor (honorary) to the Football Association.



Dr Ellie Korendowych MA BM BCh PhD MRCP
Consultant rheumatologist, medical director

Dr Ellie Korendowych trained in rheumatology in Cambridge and Oxford and was appointed as a consultant here in March 2005. She has a number of clinical and research interests. Her major research thus far has been in psoriatic arthritis (PsA) about which she has published widely and led national workshops. Dr Korendowych also has a clinical and research interest in connective tissue diseases, particularly lupus, Sjogrens syndrome and systemic sclerosis.



Professor Neil McHugh MBChB MD (thesis) FRACP FRCP FRCPath.
Consultant rheumatologist, head of connective tissue diseases (CTD) team

Professor Neil McHugh graduated from Otago University, New Zealand in 1978. He has been a consultant rheumatologist at the RNHRD since 1992. Professor McHugh heads a CTD research team that has published widely, mainly in aspects of autoimmune mechanisms and genetics of scleroderma, lupus and myositis. He set up and coordinates a six-monthly Bath/Bristol CTD meeting that over eight years has become a major educational meeting for all specialists who treat patients with CTD. He is director of a specialist serology service for measuring autoantibodies which is the central laboratory for a number of research studies in the UK and Europe.



Amanda Pacey RGN Diploma Midwifery BSc Hons BSc Specialist Practice
General manager, rheumatology and head of nursing

Amanda Pacey joined the hospital in 2001 and has undertaken a number of different roles here including night sister, education manager, clinical practice co-ordinator, acting director of clinical practice and director of nursing. Previously she worked as a midwife and as an infection control nurse. Amanda has a BSc in English and biology and a BSc in specialist practice.

Dr John Pauling, BMedSci BMBS FRCP (Rheum) PhD 
Consultatnt Rheumatogist

John qualified from Nottingham University Medical School in 2002. After completing General Medical training, he commenced Specialty Training in Rheumatology in 2005. He developed a clinical interest in the Connective Tissue Diseases early in his specialty training, particularly in relation to Raynaud’s phenomenon and systemic sclerosis; a rare multisystem disease of unknown aetiology characterised by vasculopathy, fibrosis and autoimmunity.

In 2009 he was awarded the Dando fellowship, jointly funded by the RSA and Royal College of Physicians. His PhD research was undertaken under the supervision of Professor Neil McHugh at the University of Bath, evaluated the potential contribution of platelets to microvascular dysfunction in primary Raynaud’s phenomenon (RP) and systemic sclerosis (SSc). This work has helped John to develop an interest in outcome measures in SSc research, particularly in relation to peripheral microvascular dysfunction in scleroderma. John has interests in non-invasive methods of measuring tissue perfusion such as infra-red thermography and laser-derived imaging modalities. He has undertaken early validation studies of laser speckle contrast imaging (LSCI) in RP and SSc. He is interested in the relationship between peripheral microcirculatory function and circulating vascular biomarkers.

John also leads the RNHRD Rheumatoid Arthritis service and has developed an interest in predictors of treatment response to biologics in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Dr Pauling is working with the British Society of Rheumatology Biologics Register (BSR-BR) to identify factors influencing treatment responses to biologic therapy in RA. John leads the microvascular imaging service at RNHRD and is a member of the EULAR Microcirculation study group. He is contributing to current initiatives of the UK Scleroderma Study Group and the Scleroderma Clinical Trials Consortium. John is also Senior Lecturer in the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology in the University of Bath.



Professor Athimalaipet Ramanan FRCPCH FRCP
Consultant paediatric rheumatologist, clinical reader

Professor Athimalaipet Ramanan trained in London and Manchester before completing a two-year Fellowship in Paediatric Rheumatology at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada. He has been a consultant at RNHRD since 2004 and is the clinical lead for the paediatric and adolescent rheumatology service here.

Professor Ramanan’s major research interests include genetic aspects of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM) and uveitis in children with JIA and macrophage activation syndrome (MAS). He is an associate editor for Archives of Diseases in Childhood and of the musculoskeletal section of the National Library of Health. He is also a scientific committee member of the MCRN/arc Clinical Studies Group for Paediatric Rheumatology. He was awarded the BSR Innovation in Clinical Practice Award in 2010. He is a medical advisor for the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society and one of the trustees of the National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society.


Julie Russell BSc (Hons)
Clinical specialist physiotherapist and joint service lead for fibromyalgia

Julie qualified as a physiotherapist from the University of the West of England in 2000 and has worked at RNHRD since February 2002, developing a specialist role in rheumatology. She developed and co-leads the multi-disciplinary fibromyalgia programme and contributes to the lupus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis educational programmes.

Julie was a finalist in the Advancing Healthcare Awards in 2010. She has put forward a proposal for the Health Foundation Inspiring Improvement 'Shine' project 2010, the aim of which is to set up a pilot study delivering the Bath Outpatient Fibromyalgia Coping Skills Programme to the wider local community.



Consultant rheumatologist

Dr Raj Sengupta is a consultant in rheumatology and lead consultant for ankylosing spondylitis. Dr Sengupta trained in rheumatology in Bath and Bristol and started at the RNHRD in January 2010. His specialist research interests include ankylosing spondylitis and inflammatory arthritis. He has publications in international peer-reviewed journals. Dr Sengupta has established specialist AS biologics clinics and is continuing to help develop the well-established AS rehabilitation course. Dr Sengupta is the current co-chairman of the BSR spondyloarthritis special interest group.



Amanda Thomas MA (Cantab) BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy MCSP SRP
Clinical specialist physiotherapist

After a degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University in 1996, Amanda Thomas spent a year working at Imperial College London before retraining as a physiotherapist at the University of Nottingham, qualifying in 2001. She joined the RNHRD in 2003 as a senior physiotherapist, moving to the Bristol Royal Infirmary in 2007 to act as the lead physiotherapist in rheumatology. In 2009 Amanda returned to the RNHRD as the physiotherapy lead for the ankylosing spondylitis service.



Nicola Waldron MSc RGN
Clinical nurse specialist rheumatology

Nicola Waldron has been working at the RNHRD for the last ten years and has spent much of that time involved in research with a particular interest in psoriatic arthritis (PsA). With Dr. Ellie Korendowych, she has set up the PsA anti-TNF service. She currently works as a nurse specialist seeing patients in the general rheumatology clinics and psoriatic arthritis anti-TNF service. She is part of the working party involved in updating the British Society of Rheumatology guidelines for anti-TNF therapy in psoriatic arthritis and is also a member of the GRAPPA group, an international body set up to promote research and develop assessment strategies in PsA.


Jackie Webb BSc (Hons) RGN
Clinical nurse specialist in osteoporosis

Jackie Webb joined the RNHRD in 1991 and is the nurse lead for osteoporosis at the hospital. She works with the osteoporosis team in the assessment, management and education of patients with osteoporosis. She is the nurse coordinator along with the trauma nurse specialist at the RUH, of the falls and fracture liaison service.