The Council of Management comprises two thirds of members of NASS who are affected by AS and one third health professionals who are directly involved in cause, diagnosis, treatment or care of people with AS. The current Council of Management includes:
Vice President: Allan St J Dixon OBE MD FRCP (1976)
Dr Allan St John Dixon, who was Consultant Rheumatologist at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases in Bath. Dr Dixon was instrumental in instigating a three-week intensive physiotherapy course in the early 70's for people with AS which is currently running as a highly sought after two week course. Dr Dixon, together with colleagues and patients of the courses set up NASS in 1976. He became the first Chairman in 1976 until his retirement from the Health Service in 1986. Dr Dixon remains involved in NASS as Vice President.
Vice President: Dr Andrei Calin MRCP FRCP (1985)
Following a distinguished career in rheumatology, Dr Calin retired on medical grounds from the RNHRD in 2002 and now consults privately. During his career he won 12 prizes, scholarships and awards; held honorary and scholastic memberships of 9 national and international medical boards; has served on over 20 committees and editorial boards; has produced chapters in many books; has been editor of two important textbooks on AS; and has written over 300 original and review articles and abstracts on AS. Dr Calin has had a long association with NASS having held the post of Chairman from 1985 until 2003. Dr Calin was elected Vice President at the 34th Annual General Meeting held on 18 June 2011 in recognition of his services to NASS.
Chairman: Hedley Hamilton (2007)
Hedley Hamilton joined NASS in 1996 as a member and has been very involved with the Lewisham Branch where he currently holds the post of Treasurer. Hedley was elected to Council in 2004 and took the post of Chair in 2007. He was recently appointed Vice President on the Executive Committee of the Ankylosing Spondylitis International Federation (ASIF).
Treasurer: Simon Frost (2008)
Simon has wide experience in the corporate sector having trained as an accountant before pursuing a career in banking and finance holding a number of senior executive positions with several large corporate companies. He currently operates as an independent business consultant for a wide variety of corporate clients. Simon also has wide experience in the charity sector both as auditor and as Trustee: he is currently Chairman of St John Ambulance, Berkshire, and Chairman of the Yeomanry Benevolent Fund, a small military charity with national reach. He was appointed Treasurer of NASS in 2008.
John Boyle (2009)
John has been challenged with AS since his teenage years and has been hospitalised more times than he can remember having had 4 hip replacement operations. He first contacted NASS when he almost resigned from his job as his health was in a poor state and was put in touch with Andrei Calin and the RNHRD by the then NASS director. With a positive care programme, intensive physiotherapy treatment, attendance at the AS course in Bath and starting anti TNF treatment in 2007, John's everyday life is so much easier to manage.
Stephen Dean (2007)
Stephen is a professionally qualified electrical / electronics engineer. For a number of years he worked in the field of military electronics in UK, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Stephen's related experience includes an extensive knowledge of AS, having had AS for over 40 years, (including most of the associated conditions). He has been a member of NASS since the formation of the Brighton Branch of NASS in 1984 and chairman of the Brighton Branch since 1990. He has also undergone treatment for AS at the RNHRD on a regular basis since 1991 and wishes to see this wonderful facility continue to develop progressive treatment regimes for AS.
Eric N C Eustance (1985)
Eric is a Chartered Management Accountant and Corporate Treasurer now retired. He was diagnosed with AS in 1967 after many years of discomfort. A member of NASS since 1985 and a member of Council since 1992 serving as NASS Treasurer from then until Simon Frost took over in 2008. Eric is an ethusiastic proponent of hydrotherapy for the management of AS.
Ben Hoare (2009)
Ben's symptoms of AS started in 1993, when he was 20 years old and at university. He was diagnosed three years later. Over the following decade his AS has had a huge impact on him socially, professionally and financially, so he has extensive first-hand experience of the many difficulties that young people with the condition face every day of their lives. Ben's story has a happy ending, because he is fortunate to be receiving a treatment that works for him.
Ben has been working with NASS on a variety of projects including the website and in September 2009, he attended a NASS media event at the Royal College of Physicians in London, where he talked to journalists to help raise awareness of what it is like to live with AS. Ben works as a writer and editor and is currently employed by the BBC.
Dr Karl Gaffney (2010)
Karl Gaffney has been a Consultant Rheumatologist in Norwich for 15 years where he has established a large multidisciplinary spondyloarthropathy clinic and has worked closely with the local NASS Norwich group which was founded in 1988. He is also Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of East Anglia; founder member of the UK Spondyloarthropathy Research Group; medical advisor to NASS; co-author of the recently published NASS report "Looking Ahead: Best practice for the care of people with Ankylosing Spondylitis"; co-author of the BSR Guidelines on anti-TNF therapy for AS; and has represented the British Society of Rheumatology at the NICE appraisal of anti-TNF for AS. He has published widely in the field and been an invited speaker at many National and International meetings.
Claire Harris (2007)
Claire qualified as a Chartered Physiotherapist in 1984 at St Mary's Hospital, London. She worked as a junior physiotherapist before moving to Northwick Park Hospital, West London in 1987 initially as a Senior II in Orthopaedics, and then moving to a Senior I position in Rheumatology where she developed her interest in AS patients whilst running the local NASS group. Following a career break, Claire returned to Northwick Park Hospital in 1996 where she is a part-time Senior Physiotherapist in the AS clinic and runs the local NASS group. Her current responsibilities include the assessment of AS patients being treated with anti-TNF and AS education groups. Claire is also Chair of AStretch, a group of UK physiotherapists that steer the management and improve the understanding of AS. Claire has been a trustee of NASS since 2007.
Dr Richard Jacoby MD FRCP (1976)
Richard is a rheumatology consultant in Exeter and has treated people with ankylosing spondylitis for over 35 years. Having seen most aspects of the disease Richard still has an active interest in recent developments, particularly access to anti TNF drugs for patients. Richard has enjoyed a long association with NASS having been on the NASS committee since its inception in 1976 and involved in setting up the organisation with the first director and founder Dr Allan St John Dixon. He wrote the first Guide Book for NASS and set up the first meeting outside London in 1978.
Dr Andrew Keat (2009)
Dr Keat is Consultant Physician and Rheumatologist at Northwick Park and St Mark's Hospitals NHS Trust; Honorary Consultant Physician at Hammersmith Hospitals Trust and Honorary Consultant in Rheumatology at St Mary's Hospital NHS Trust. He has received many prestigious awards throughout his career; is a member of various learned societies and economic bodies; and has lectured extensively and written widely on AS. Dr Keat joined the NASS Council of Management as a Co-opted Member in 2009 and stands on the NASS Medical Advisory Board. He was co-author of the recently published NASS report "Looking Ahead: Best practice for the care of people with ankylosing spondylitis (AS)". Dr Keat was elected to stand as an Ordinary Member of the Council of Management in 2011.
Ruth Miller (2010)
Ruth was diagnosed with AS in the late 1980s, but, like many others, had undoubtedly had the disease for several years prior to this. Following her diagnosis Ruth joined NASS and attended the Bath branch - until the Salisbury branch was formed in 1997. Ruth is the branch contact and was for a number of years Treasurer. Ruth represented the NASS Director at the 2007 Primary Care Rheumatology Conference, participated in physiotherapy training weekends (giving a patient's perspective of AS) and has attended several AGMs. She has been an in patient at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases in Bath on a number of occasions which has had a huge impact on her understanding of AS, allowing Ruth to meet a wonderful variety of fellow patients and to appreciate the numerous ways that AS can affect people's lives.
Grant Poiner (2011)
Grant Poiner joined NASS in 2008 and is a member of the NASS Branch in Swansea. He was diagnosed with AS when he was 16 years old. He has tried various treatments and was in a great deal of discomfort until he was recently placed on an anti TNF treatment which has transformed his life.
Grant is also part of the AS Health research being undertaken by Swansea University and assists with the PACES examinations as a patient at Singleton Hospital every year. He recently became a member of the Welsh Arthritis Research Network (WARN) service users group which actively involves patients, carers and service users in its research.
Grant works full time as a Training Development Co-ordinator for a youth work organisation and is currently undertaking an MA in Youth Work. He is also a member of various Executive meetings particularly CWVYS (Council in Wales for Voluntary Youth Services). He has 3 young children and tries to live life as normally as possible.
Grant was elected to the Council of Management as an Ordinary Member in 2011. He brings to NASS a younger person's perspective about AS.
Peter Wheatley-Price (2007)
Peter's symptoms of AS started in his 20's. He was initially 'well' and active until his early 30's when his AS deteriorated rapidly on reaching 35. Following unsuccessful trials on medicines unlicensed for AS, Peter was recommended and approved for anti TNF medication which was life changing as he regained energy and drive to live life to the full again. Peter cares passionately about improving the diagnosis of AS and ensuring that patients are easily able to access disease modifying medicines should they be clinically appropriate.
Peter qualified as a Registered General Nurse in Oxford and following 7 years in the NHS he left to enter University as a mature student where he gained an International Business Studies degree with French. Since then he has run his own business in IT and has worked for a number of pharmaceutical companies. Peter is currently employed by Janssen, Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. His role based in Oncology and is about helping products be accessed in all markets across Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Peter is married with two daughters and a Springer spaniel. In an effort to stay fit and flexible he swims, mountain bikes and plays squash.
Professor Paul Wordsworth MA, FRCP (2006)
Paul Wordsworth qualified in medicine in 1975 and trained in general internal medicine in London prior to specialist training in rheumatology in 1981. He completed training in the Oxford Region where he was appointed to a Senior Research Fellowship and Honorary Consultant position in 1987. Subsequently, he was appointed Clinical Reader in Rheumatology in 1992 and elected to a Personal Chair in 1998. He has been a Fellow of Green Templeton College since 1992. His main research interests are in the genetic basis of disorders of the musculoskeletal system, ranging from rare monogenic developmental disorders through to common polygenic diseases such as ankylosing spondylitis and rheumatoid arthritis. He has authored or co-authored more than 250 original papers. He has run the clinical trials unit at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Oxford for the past 10 years, including several studies of biologic agents in AS. He is a founder member of two major research consortia for AS, the International Genetics of AS (IGAS) and the Australo-Anglo-American (Triple A) Spondylitis Consortium (TASC). Professor Wordsworth was associated with NASS for many years before being appointed to the Council of Management in 2006 as a Co-opted Member and, more recently, as an Ordinary Member.
Dr Raj Sengupta (2011)
Dr Raj Sengupta is a Consultant Rheumatologist at The Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, Bath (RNRHD) and The BMI Bath Clinic in Bath. Dr Sengupta completed his specialty training in Bath and Bristol. His specialist and research interests are in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and he has published on the subject in peer reviewed international journals.
Dr Sengupta is the Lead Consultant for AS, Biologic Therapies and the MDEMO Education program at the RNHRD. He is also a Member of the Electronic Patient Record User Group at RNHRD, Bath. He is Co Chair of the BSR Spondyloarthritis Special Interest Group and has memberships with the Royal College of Physicians, British Society for Rheumatology, Medical Protection Society, National Osteoporosis Society and the Royal Society of Medicine. Dr Sengupta joined NASS as a member in 2010 and was appointed to the Council of Management as a Co-Opted Member in 2011.
James O'Leary (2011)
James O'Leary has been a member of NASS since 1996 and joined the Council of Management in 2011 as a co-opted member representing NASS members in Scotland. In this role, he works with Maddy Randall, the Branch and Polict Development Manager to promote awareness of the work of NASS.
James was diagnosed with AS in his mid-thirties and when it became clear that the severe pain he had lived with since he was 17 was part of the condition. He has a particular interest in the relationship between individuals' physical and mental health. In January 2013, James was appointed as a trustee for the Mental Health Foundation. He hopes to find ways that the two charities can work together.
James is also interested in working on the future strategy and hopes to bring some new ideas and a fresh perspective whilst being able to take on board current best practice.
Last updated: March 2013