Our Trustees include people with axial SpA and health professionals
Dr. Antoni Chan
Antoni 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. He is also a member of the NASS Medical Advisory Board.
Paul has been an active member of NASS since his diagnosis in 2008. From representing NASS at conferences to speaking in the media and at the Houses of Parliament, Paul has been a strong spokesperson for NASS since he joined the organisation. He has also organised fundraising events and helped many times at Members Day ‘Friends & Family’ sessions. Paul lives in Durham with his wife and three children and is a Director of a Garden Centre & Landscape Company.
Rachel was elected as a trustee in September 2023. She has over 20 years experience working in the charity sector as a professional fundraiser, Senior Development Manager and Company Secretary. She has also raised significant funds for various causes and is responsible for governance as Company Secretary for a charity.
Gillian has lived with axial SpA (AS) for over 30 years. With the support of NASS and the RNHRD in Bath she has stayed in control of her AS. She was medically retired from Local Government in 1999 which had a huge impact on her life. Gillian spends a lot of time helping others with axial SpA (AS) find the right help and support. She also holds regular fundraising events for NASS and volunteers in the office when needed.
Poppy has been a member of NASS for a number of years and along with her family has been actively involved in fundraising on a regular basis for the charity. Poppy has been symptomatic with her axial SpA (AS) since her late teens. Poppy did contribute to the axial SpA (AS) world as a clinical research nurse in Bath, involved with many drug trials, relating to current biologics. Poppy is passionate about the Aspiring to Excellence programme – every axial SpA patient deserves gold standard care.
Claire is a Specialist Physiotherapist at Solent NHS Trust and the Chair of AStretch. She has worked with NASS on numerous projects, including 11 exercise videos that were launched by the charity in 2019 and in 2018 she won the NASS Patient Choice Award for You Changed My Life. Claire is also a member of the NASS Medical Advisory Board.
Dr. Lesley Kay
Lesley 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 and gave the most patients the opportunity to participate in the British Society of Rheumatology (BSR) AS register.
Lesley bring a wide knowledge of the NHS. She is co-lead for rheumatology in the NHS’s biggest quality improvement programme (GIRFT) and in the NHS recovery programme and is deputy medical director for the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch. Lesley is a former trustee of the BSR.
Raj Mahapatra (Chair)
Raj has served as a trustee and Chair of NASS since 2014. Raj was diagnosed with axial SpA (AS) in 1994. As someone who now lives well with axial SpA (AS), he continues to champion those living with chronic pain and supporting NASS in its mission to raise awareness of the condition and in doing so reduce the significant delay to diagnosis. Raj plays an active part in numerous national and international programmes connected with the condition.
Hannah was diagnosed with axial SpA (AS) in November 2018 after a decade of missed diagnoses. She brings a wealth of both personal experience and professional skills that will help us mission to campaign for better services for people with axial SpA.
Having previously worked as a policy adviser in Whitehall and a political adviser in the Senedd, her role as Head of Public Policy at the England and Wales Cricket Board gives her regular opportunities to engage and influence decision making with Members of the Cabinet, Ministers and Parliamentarians in Westminster and in Cardiff Bay. In September 2019, she joined the Board of Sport Wales, advising them on their young engagement and facilities strategy.
Alexia is a trained teacher, a former care home manager and an experienced charity trustee. She is currently an inspector with the Care Quality Commission, with extensive knowledge of the health and social care sectors.
As a trustee and governor for a major special school, she works to celebrate success, while ensuring Ofsted and Charity Commission standards are met.
Nicholas Reid (Treasurer)
Nicholas is a law graduate and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PWC in 1990.
He is now retired, after a 30 year career, initially in practice and then in business as a Finance Director, CEO and Chair, giving him extensive experience in finance management, financial reporting and corporate governance. He has also led large, complex organisations through periods of rapid change and challenge, achieving financial, operational and strategic objectives.
Prof. Hasan Tahir
Prof. Tahir is a consultant rheumatologist and a member of ASAS and Brit SpA. He has conducted research on new axial SpA therapies and has published extensively in this area. He established one of the first early inflammatory back pain services in the UK, which was recognised by the British Society of Rhuematology as an emerging Best UK Practice, reducing the time from symptoms to diagnosis to an average of 3.1 years.