Meet the programme team

The office team are responsible for the daily running of the programme. If you wish to contact any member of the team, please email us at

Dr Claire Bethune, MRCP MRCPath
QPIDS clinical lead

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.

An enthusiastic teacher, she has developed courses for GPs and medical students in the South West and has been invited to lecture at national and international meetings. As a member of the UKPIN committee, Dr Bethune took on responsibility for the programme organising accreditation of immunodeficiency centres in 2011 and has worked with the Royal College of Physicians to develop the QPIDS accreditation scheme.


Christine Symons
Nurse advisor

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,  she completed her MSc in Allergy and is a non-medical prescriber, routinely prescribing for immune deficiency and allergy patients.

She sits on the Medical Advisory Boards of HAEUK and UKPIPS and has acted as Chair for HAE-INO, and for SWWING. 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.

Dragana Smith
Senior project manager

Dragana is the programme manager for the QPIDS programme. She is responsible for the delivery and development of three accreditation programmes - Improving Quality in Liver Services (IQILS), Quality in Primary Immunodeficiency Services (QPIDS) and Improving Quality in Allergy Services (IQAS). Each programme offers a robust accreditation pathway for the relevant sectors with the aim of improving the quality of clinical services throughout the UK.

Previously, Dragana has worked in the fields of legal practice and medical education. She has a background in accreditation and standards development in charitable and membership organisations where the focus is on making a difference to the quality of learning and improving healthcare.


Laura Bewley
Programme coordinator 

Laura is the programme coordinator for the IQAS and QPIDS programmes and is responsible for managing assessments and supporting services on their accreditation journey.

Before starting work at the Royal College of Physicians Laura worked in education as a teacher, prior to this Laura worked within the events industry after graduating from Falmouth University.


Joel McKevitt
Programme administrator

Joel is the Programme Administrator for the IQAS and QPIDS programmes. He is responsible for supporting services gain accreditation on their pathway and he will be leading on service invoicing. In addition to this role, he will also be the programme administrator for the IQILS programme.

Before Joel joined the Royal College of Physicians, he worked within an administrative role in a legal firm and graduated from the University of Liverpool studying Communications and Media.


Jodie Owen
Operations manager

Jodie leads the Accreditation Unit team, overseeing the operations of all 7 accreditation streams, team and unit development. She has spent the last 10 years working in Quality Improvement with 2 large improvement organisations and hopes to bring those skills to the Accreditation Unit to enable it to flourish and develop further.

Jodie started her professional career as a physiotherapist, developing and leading services, specialising in Trauma & Orthopaedics and Accident & Emergency. She also has experience in the commercial and voluntary sectors, as alongside her professional career she was the director of a construction company and the chair of a large amateur rugby league football club, both for 5 years.

Out of work Jodie is a mum to 2 boys, pack leader to 3 dogs and a bee keeper, busy, but happily so.


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