Our Medical Advisors

Meet the team of medical advisors who help inform all our work

NASS has a team of medical advisors who help inform all our work

Colin Beevor RN (Rheumatology Nurse Advisor)

Colin Beevor is Senior Clinical Nurse Specialist for Rheumatology Services and Matron/ Service Manager for Musculoskeletal Services (Rheumatology, Spinal Services and Chronic Pain Clinic) at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust. He has 17 years experience in rheumatology nursing and a wide range of nursing management at ward, outpatient, and clinical nurse specialist levels. In 2009 Colin joined the RCN Rheumatology Forum as committee member and also sits on the medical and health care professional advisory boards for Arthritis Care and Fibromyalgia

Professor Alexander Bennett (Rheumatology Advisor)

Professor Alexander Bennett is the Defence Professor of Rheumatology and Rehabilitation. He has been a Consultant in Rheumatology and Rehabilitation at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Stanford Hall since October 2008, the Head of the Academic Department of Military Rehabilitation since June 2011 and is the RAF Consultant Advisor in Rheumatology and Rehabilitation. He is an honorary Clinical Professor at Loughborough University and a Principal Research Fellow at Imperial College, London.

Professor Bennett has a keen interest in research particularly in axial Spondyloarthritis. He has published widely in Rheumatology, the journal of the British Society for Rheumatology, in particular in the fields of early diagnosis and prognosis in axial spondyloarthritis. He has lectured on many occasions at national, European and American Rheumatology conferences.

Professor Bennett is a Fellow of Royal College of Physicians and a member of the British Society for Rheumatology, the Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine and the International Society of Assessment in Ankylosing Spondylitis (ASAS), is a member of the ASAS MRI working group and is the secretary to the British Society for Spondyloarthritis (BRITSpA).

Dr Antoni Chan

Dr Antoni Chan is a Consultant Rheumatologist at the Royal Berkshire NHS Trust and a long-term supporter of NASS. He is the lead clinician for the Aspiring to Excellence team in Reading, which aims to encourage and recognise service improvement in axial SpA (AS) care. In 2018 he won the NASS Patient Choice Award for best care by a rheumatologist and in January 2020 he spoke at the All-Party Parliamentary Group on axial SpA. Dr Chan is a current NASS Trustee.

He is chair of the BSR Spondyloarthritis Special Interest Group, co-founder of the South Coast Axial Spondyloarthritis Network (SCAN) and member of International Society of Assessment in Ankylosing Spondylitis (ASAS).

Claire Harris (Physiotherapy Advisor)

Claire Harris qualified as a Chartered Physiotherapist in 1984 at St Mary’s Hospital, London. Claire works at Northwick Park Hospital where she is a Senior Physiotherapist in the axial SpA clinic. Her current responsibilities include the assessment of axial SpA patients being treated with anti-TNF and education groups. Claire is a former Chair of AStretch, a group of UK physiotherapists that steer the management and improve the understanding of AS. Claire also advised NASS on our 2019 inquiry via the APPG into the current services in the UK and worked on some of our most useful resources such as Back to Action and our Stretch at Home exercise videos.

Claire Jeffries (Physiotherapy Advisor)

Claire Jeffries is Physiotherapy Manager and Clinical Specialist in Hydrotherapy and Rheumatology working for Solent NHS Trust. She has worked in the field of rheumatology since 2003. Working both in primary and secondary care clinics for Axial Spondyloarthritis Claire has a unique position of facilitating holistic care across the whole patient journey, from exercise management through to biologic care and self-management techniques.

Claire is Chair of AStretch (the national group of specialists physiotherapists working in axial SpA) and has an extensive catalogue of teaching for all members of the multidisciplinary team on the physiotherapy management of axial SpA. Claire is a current NASS Trustee.

Dr Lesley Kay (Rheumatology Advisor)

Dr Lesley Kay is a consultant rheumatologist in Newcastle upon Tyne and set up their specialist spondyloarthritis clinic in 1995. Her team were delighted to be part of the first cohort of our Aspiring to Excellence programme.

Dr Kay brings a wide knowledge of the NHS. She is co-lead for rheumatology in the NHS’s biggest quality improvement programme (Getting it Right First Time in Rheumatology, GIRFT), as well as the rheumatology stream for NHS England’s Best MSK Health work. She is deputy medical director for the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch and a former Trustee at the British Society for Rheumatology. Dr Kay is a current NASS Trustee.

Professor Helena Marzo-Ortega (Rheumatology Advisor)

Dr Helena Marzo-Ortega is a Consultant Rheumatologist for the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and an Honorary Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Leeds. She is the Clinical Lead of the Spondyloarthropathy service at the Section of Musculoskeletal Disease and the Clinical Lead for the MSK Specialty Group of the West Yorkshire UKCRN CLRN. Her main areas of interest are within the field of early arthritis, undifferentiated arthritis and spondyloarthritis including Psoriatic arthritis, with a special focus on the role of imaging biomarkers and biologic therapies. She is also an honorary member of the executive committee of British Society for Spondyloarthritis (BRITSpA) and  a member of the Aspiring to Excellence programme.

Dr Daniel Murphy (GP Advisor)

Dr Daniel Murphy works both as a rheumatologist at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, and a GP in Honiton, a rural town in Devon.  His clinical interests are in spondyloarthritis and sports medicine, and in improving communication between hospital rheumatology specialists and general practitioners. He has an active interest in the field of spondyloarthritis research, and was a co-author of the recent BSR guideline in the use of biologic drugs in axial spondyloarthritis.

Professor Raj Sengupta (Rheumatology Advisor)

Dr Raj Sengupta is a Consultant Rheumatologist and Lead for the Rheumatology service and Axial Spondyloarthritis at The Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, Bath (RNRHD). He is also a Visiting Senior Lecturer and IMI Fellow at the University of Bath. He is a member of the British Society for Rheumatology (BSR) Spondyloarthritis Special Interest Group, the BSR axial spondyloarthritis (axial SpA) Biologics Guidelines Committee and a member of ASAS (Assessment of Spondyloarthritis International Society). Dr Sengupta has represented the BSR at the NICE TA383 appraisal for anti-TNF in axial SpA and is one of the founding members of British Society for Spondyloarthritis (BRITSpA). He was the recipient of the 2016 NASS Patients Choice award for the best care provided by a Rheumatologist. Dr Sengupta has a number of peer reviewed publications on axial SpA and has also been an invited speaker on axial SpA at several national and international meetings. Dr Sengupta is also a key member of the Act on Axial SpA campaign.

Dr Louise Warburton (GP Advisor)

Dr Louise Warburton is a GP with a special interest in Rheumatology , heading up an integrated rheumatology and musculoskeletal service in Telford. She is also an associate medical director of Shropshire community NHS Trust and an Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Keele. She has been involved in the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Guideline for Spondyloarthritis and is a current NICE Fellow.

Dr Steven Zhao (Rheumatology Advisor)

Dr Steven Zhao is a NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer in Rheumatology at the Centre for Epidemiology Versus Arthritis, University of Manchester. He graduated from the University of Liverpool in 2012 and began combined clinical and research training at Liverpool University Hospitals. His research focuses on improving holistic management of axial SpA. Dr Zhao is an associate editor of the journals Rheumatology (Oxford) and Clinical Therapeutics, executive board member of the British Society for Spondyloarthritis (BRITSpA), and associate member of the Assessment of SpondyloArthritis international Society (ASAS).

Associate member

Dr Athimalaipet Ramanan (Paediatric Rheumatologist)

Dr Athimalaipet Ramanan is a consultant paediatric rheumatologist at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Disease’s in Bath. His Unit currently provides a service for the entire South West of England and parts of South Wales. They do outreach clinics in Exeter, Taunton, Torbay, Salisbury and Swansea. He has published more than 25 papers in peer reviewed international journals. His current research focus is on immunogenetics of systemic onset juvenile arthritis, macrophage activation syndrome and juvenile dermatomyositis. he is the Associate Editor for the musculoskeletal section of the National Library of Health.


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