Meet the assessors

Assessors are the face of the accreditation programme, acting as ambassadors and upholding its reputation. Assessors support QPIDS by promoting and championing good practice and continuous improvement. They have a critical role in assessing services for accreditation, providing a fair, comprehensive and transparent assessment and providing clear instruction for service improvement. Our assessors are consultants and nurses in the service, and we also have lay assessors, who represent the patient voice. If you are interested in applying for the role of assessor, please email the team to express an interest:

Medical assessors:

Dr Claire Bethune 
Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

Dr Bethune is clinical lead for the Immunology and Allergy services in Plymouth and has developed regional home therapy programmes for both immunoglobulin replacement in antibody deficiency and for acute treatment of attacks of hereditary angioedema.  Dr Bethune is also lead clinician for the diagnostic immunology laboratory service in Plymouth. 

Dr Aarnoud Huissoon
University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Aarn Huissoon is a Consultant Immunologist at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital. He is clinical and laboratory lead for Allergy and Immunology West Midlands, the first centre to be accredited for both Immunology and Allergy services. He was previously an immunology centre accreditation inspector for UKPIN, forerunner of the current QPIDS scheme. Aarn trained in Immunology in Nottingham before returning to Birmingham, where he had previously undertaken his PhD studies.

Dr Ravishankar Sargur
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Ravi is a clinical lead for the laboratory Immunology services and Protein Reference unit in Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Ravi is currently the chair of the JRCPTB Speciality Advisory committee ( Immunology). He also represents Immunology on the UKAS Professional Advisory committee.  He has a keen interest in quality control and quality assurance. He developed the  Sheffield Laboratory Atlas of Variation with Sheffield CCG to help optimise laboratory test utilisation in primary care. 

Professor Sophie Hambleton
Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Sophie is professor of paediatrics and immunology at Newcastle University and a practising consultant paediatric immunologist at the Great North Children's Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne.  Her research and clinical activities are geared towards improving outcomes for children with inborn errors of immunity, from diagnosis (including genomics) to therapy (taking in precision medicine and stem cell transplantation).

Dr Scott Hackett
University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Scott Hackett is a Consultant in Paediatric Immunology, Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He leads the nationally accredited paediatric immunology service, based at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, covering the West Midlands. With 2 paediatric allergy/immunology nurse specialists he aims to see review all children with HAE within the West Midlands. They also run regular Immune deficiencies clinics, provide weekly ward reviews if needed and train patients on how to administer home therapies including C1 esterase. He runs monthly clinics with his adult immunology colleagues where they transition adolescents starting slowly from age 12-13 years.

Scott also leads the largest paediatric allergy service in the West Midlands receiving regional referral for complex cases of chronic urticarial, angioedema and complex gastrointestinal allergies including FPIES. He has recently become the chair for the RCPCH Immunology, Allergy and Infectious Diseases training CSAC and aims to improve paediatric immunology/allergy training and services within the UK.

Dr Sarah Goddard
University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust

Nurse assessors:

Christine Symons
Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust
Christine is a consultant nurse for immunology and allergy at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth where she was among the wave of new Immunology and Allergy Specialist nurses in the UK 20 or so years ago. She set up the home therapy service for Devon and Cornwall and now oversees the expanded nurses’ team. In 2009, after previously achieving a PGCE in adult education,  she completed her MSc in Allergy and is a non-medical prescriber, routinely prescribing for an increasing cohort of immune deficiency and allergy patients. She sits on the Medical Advisory Boards of HAEUK and UKPIPS and has acted as Chair for HAE-INO, (the international nurses’ organisation for HAE), and for SWWING, (the regional Immunology nurses’ group). Christine is an honorary university fellow with University of Plymouth Peninsula school of medicine and dentistry and has been involved in a number of published research projects, clinical trials and audits.

Dorothea Grosse-Kreul
King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Dorothea has been a senior specialist nurse for allergy and clinical immunology at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London since 2002. She completed her general nurse training at St. Marien Hospital, Botrrop, Germany in 1989. She studied for her post-graduate qualifications in London, where she completed a Good Clinical Practice Course, BSc and a Post Graduate Diploma. She is currently the Treasurer of the International Nursing Group for Immunodeficiencies. She has co-authored a number of peer-reviewed articles on the role of immunoglobulins in allergies, including replacement therapy.

Hayley Clifford
University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

Hayley is the lead immunology nurse specialist for University Hospitals Birmingham. She worked in infectious diseases before moving to the allergy and immunology services in 2006. She was treasurer of the immunology and allergy nurses board from 2016-2020. 

Benite Tshilenga 
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Benite is a dedicated and compassionate Allergy and Immunology Nurse with a diverse educational background and a passion for providing quality care to patients. With a foundation in Social Anthropology, she brings a unique perspective to the healthcare field. Building upon her foundational knowledge, she has pursued a Master's degree in Adult Nursing, further honing her clinical expertise and expanding her understanding of healthcare delivery. With a focus on allergy and immunology, she is committed to staying abreast of the latest developments and best practices in the field, ensuring that patients receive the best and effective treatments and care.

Florence Manyika
University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust

Debbie Hughes 
University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust

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