Meet the children and young people's diabetes team 

Following feedback from young people and families under our care, and based on the fact that our patient numbers have increased rapidly over the last few years, we have decided to make some changes to the nursing team structure in the UCLH diabetes service.

There will now be two nursing teams to help us manage your care more efficiently, allowing you to know which nurses to contact when you need advice and support. We hope that this will facilitate continuity of care, where patients and families build stronger more effective relationships with the nurses and doctors they will work with. These teams are known as: Orange Team & Lime Team. The Dietitian’s and Psychologists will continue to work across all teams.


Orange Team

Lime Team


Professor Hindmarsh

Dr Billy White

Dr Rakesh Amin

Dr Catherine Peters

Professor Russell Viner



Samantha Abbott

Nicola Birchmore

Louise Potts

Sophie Gray

Channing Lewis

Jennifer Pichierri

Julie Thomson

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Children and young people's diabetes

Ashley Freeman - Specialist Nurse

Ashley has been a general paediatric nurse for over six years and has developed a keen interest in diabetes whilst working on the children’s ward at UCLH.  In her current role, Ashley works alongside the clinical nurse specialists in providing care, advice and support to children and young people with diabetes and their families and carers.

"The most rewarding part of my role is when I have made a positive difference to the child, young person or families journey with diabetes. This could be by explaining something in diabetes management differently or helping to liaise with a nursery or school so that the child or young person can have their diabetes cared for well in this setting.''

Emily Storr - Paediatric Nurse

I have been qualified as a Paediatric nurse since 2007 and worked at UCLH since, initially on the adolescent unit, which is an age group I am passionate about. I have always had a keen interest in diabetes; during this time I had the opportunity to work alongside many young people with complex diabetes, and although often a challenge, I found it very rewarding. 
Since joining the paediatric diabetes team a year ago, I have had the opportunity to further develop my knowledge on the condition and have enjoyed working alongside patients and families throughout their diabetes journey. I have continued to consolidate my knowledge by providing teaching to both established and newly diagnosed patients and their families, as well as nursing and school staff, about good safe diabetic management that can be incorporated into their daily home routine.
Working with young people has remained a special interest and I have particularly enjoyed the challenges of working with those more complex patients and helping them find the ways and motivation of gaining good control of diabetes.   
"The most rewarding part of my role is supporting young people who sometimes find diabetes difficult, by helping them to find ways to achieve their ambitions and goals without diabetes getting in the way."

Rakesh Amin - Consultant Endocrinologist

Rakesh Amin

Dr Rakesh Amin is a Consultant and Honorary Senior Lecturer in Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes at Great Ormond Street Hospital and  UCLH. At UCLH Rakesh is part of the Type 1 diabetes team  providing intensive insulin therapies for all age groups from 0-19years. Rakesh aims to start research projects investigating why people develop diabetes related complications, developing methods to detect the onset of diabetes earlier and investigating inequalities in diabetes care and outcomes. He is also developing clinical and research educational programmes for doctors and nurses.

"The most rewarding part of my role is seeing young people leave our service healthy, happy and confident in self-managing their diabetes." 

Francesca Annan - Specialist Paediatric/Adolescent Diabetes Dietitian

Francesca has been working with children and young people with diabetes for over 20years and joined the team from Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in August 2016 in this new role which will focus on nutrition research and leadership in addition to clinical care. Francesca has an MSc in Sport & Exercise Nutrition and has in depth knowledge of the management of Type 1 Diabetes and exercise and will be running specialist exercise management clinics.

The most rewarding part of my role is sharing knowledge about food, activity and diabetes to help young people achieve their goals.

Renara Begum - Diabetes Service Co-ordinator

Renara Begum

Renara is now our Diabetes Service Co-Ordinator. She provides an overall administrative service to the team.  Her role involves coordinating the service and supporting the clinical team to ensure a smooth running service. Renara has worked as our medical secretary within our team and in a GP setting for the past four years, dealing with patients professionally at all times and always striving to meet patient needs with a helpful, kind and professional attitude. Renara is committed to UCLH’s values (safety, teamwork, kindness, improving) in ensuring the diabetes service users are helped throughout their care at UCLH.

"The most rewarding part of my role is to provide an excellent customer service to the service users of UCLH and support to the diabetes team and ensuring my role is carried out efficiently and effectively by meeting patients’ and service needs. It is an absolute pleasure to be part of the team and being the first point of contact to patients where I  hope to form a good relationship with the patients - just like the rest of the wonderful diabetes team"

Freya Brown - Clinical Nurse Specialist

Freya Brown

Freya trained as a paediatric nurse before specialising as a children and young people’s specialist diabetes nurse in 2009.  Freya is now a clinical nurse specialist for children and young people with diabetes which involves teaching, advising and supporting children and young people living with diabetes, and their families/carers.  Day-to-day, Freya is part of the multi-disciplinary team that co-ordinates and plans patient care.  She is also involved in teaching other health professionals who work closely with children and young people.

"The most rewarding part of my role is when I feel that I have been helpful to children and young people living with diabetes, and their carers"

Laura Bull - Senior Specialist Dietitian

Laura Bull
Laura is the team’s senior specialist dietitian.  After graduating as a dietitian, she trained as a paediatric dietitian specialising in paediatric diabetes.  All patients receive dietary advice and education – Laura provides dietary advice to all newly-diagnosed patients before they leave hospital, and offers a dietetic review to other patients who are admitted to the adolescents'/children's wards. She is present at all consultant led clinics and also offers outpatient clinics for those who require more in-depth dietetic consultations. All patients are offered an annual dietetic review.
"The most rewarding part of my role is getting to know families and children as they grow up. Food is such an important part of everybody's lives and understanding food is such a large part of managing Diabetes. I enjoy dispelling some of the myths surrounding food and helping children and young people to manage their diabetes and keep healthy, while eating food they enjoy!"

Adrienne Burton - parent representative

Adrienne Burton
Adrienne Burton, mother to Jessica aged 13, parent rep who has been helping the service by being involved in feedback for the web page, she is also a parent rep for the South East Coast/London Diabetes Paediatric Network, a face book face and active member of UK Children with Diabetes.  Adrienne is a legal secretary working from home and is very happy to be contacted on 07912 376406, or via facebook to support parents.

Lucy Casdagli - Clinical Psychologist

Lucy Casdagli
Lucy works in the clinical psychology service at UCLH with Deborah Christie, which provides psychology support to the diabetes service.
She also runs the Tree of Life project, which is a day event for young people with diabetes aged 10-19.  This day is facilitated by members of the psychology service alongside young people who have attended a previous tree of life days and a ‘peer training’ training session.
The project allows young people to first give accounts of their strengths and then share their experiences of living with diabetes together. The intention is to enable young people to build a positive view of themselves, separating their identity from diabetes.  Feedback from young people has identified the day as having helped them to develop positive views of themselves and feel less isolated by connecting, learning from and sharing knowledge with others living with diabetes.
"The most rewarding part of my role is working with young people and their families towards their hopes and dreams and recognising these are possible"

Deborah Christie - Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Deborah Christie

Deborah is head of the clinical psychology service at UCLH which provides child psychology support to the diabetes service. She often attends the weekly paediatric diabetes team meeting and offers supervision, support and training in the most current approaches in psychological assessment and communication skills. The service provides behavioural management, cognitive behavioural therapy, motivational enhancement therapy, solution-focussed and narrative therapy to individuals and/or families as well as parental counselling. A structured education programme has been developed with the diabetes team and is offered to young people who are struggling to put diabetes knowledge into practice.

"The most rewarding part of my role is being able to work with children, young people and their families and share their journeys towards a future with them centre stage rather than diabetes."

Ashley Dartnell - parent representative

Ashley Dartnell
Ashley Dartnell, mother of Cara, is our parent rep and she tries to help us give you better service by letting us know, from a patient's perspective, how things are working. Ashley is a writer and lives in London with her family.

Kirsty Dring (nee Agostini) - Clinical Nurse Specialist

Kirsty Dring

I am a clinical nurse specialist in paediatric and adolescent diabetes and have worked in the team here for six years.

"The most rewarding part of my job is getting to know young people and their families and helping to support them through their diabetes journey. The support and education needed from diagnosis through to families managing their diabetes expertly ,means that we get to know families well and help support them to manage their diabetes in a way that fits around their lives. Supporting children and young people to receive the best possible diabetes care in schools is also an important and rewarding part of my job."

Peter Hindmarsh - Consultant Endocrinologist

Peter Hindmarsh

Peter is a professor of paediatric endocrinology at University College London and honorary consultant paediatric endocrinologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital and UCLH.  Peter is part of the multi-disciplinary paediatric diabetes team providing care to children and young people.  His areas of particular clinical research are adrenal disorders and diabetes and intensive insulin therapies and he has published several papers in these and other areas.

"The most rewarding part of my role is getting people to fit diabetes into the lives they want to lead."

Simon Lewis - Consultant in child and adolescent psychiatry

Simon is a consultant in child and adolescent psychiatry at UCLH and at Simmons House Adolescent Unit in North London. At UCLH Simon works closely with other members of the children and young people’s diabetes team and with young people to try to provide holistic and integrated medical and psychological care. As part of the team, Simon is able to meet with young people to think with them about whether liaison psychiatric input could be a useful part of their treatment plan.

"The most rewarding part of my role is supporting young people to understand and manage the complex emotions that can be linked to living with diabetes and seeing them achieving their aims and wishes in life."

Catherine Peters - Consultant Endocrinologist

Catherine Peters

Dr Catherine Peters is a Consultant in Paediatric Endocrinology at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and UCLH.  Catherine is the lead for diabetes services at Great Ormond Street where the team provides a service for children and young people with cystic fibrosis related diabetes, diabetes after organ transplant and other rare forms of diabetes.  At UCLH she is part of the Type 1 diabetes team delivering intensive insulin therapies.  Her research interests include beta cell function and the future role of cell based therapies and transplantation for Type 1 Diabetes.

"The most rewarding part of my role is hearing how each child and young person manages to fit their diabetes into their busy lives and working with them to do so whilst achieving excellent control."

Jennifer Pichierri - Clinical Nurse Specialist

Jennifer Pichierri

Jennifer is one of the team’s four nurses.  She is registered sick children’s nurse with a wide range of experience including working in accident and emergency and doing relief work in low income countries.  Jennifer’s role is to provide advice and information for children and their families/carers.  The role of a diabetes nurse is broad and far-reaching and includes school visits, teaching patients and their families and carers, teaching ward nurses and doctors, running clinics and starting new patients on insulin pumps.

“The most rewarding part of my role is seeing the children and young people living healthy happy, fulfilled lives”

Louise Potts - Clinical Nurse Specialist

Louise Potts

Louise qualified as a registered nurse in 1986 and has been working in paediatrics since 1987.  She is a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) in the paediatric diabetes team providing information and support to children and young people and their families on both an inpatient and outpatient basis.  Louise was instrumental in setting up the nurse-led clinics in 2009 which aim to provide extra support and motivation for young people who are struggling with managing their diabetes.  Like her CNS colleagues, Louise is actively involved in educating others to support children and young people with diabetes, for example providing training days for school staff.

“The most rewarding part of my role is when young people who are struggling with diabetes are supported so that they realise they can manage their condition better than they thought, following a 4-stage admission to hospital. It is almost like flipping a switch and knowing that I helped that happen."

Janet Taylor - Secretary

Janet Taylor

Janet is the team’s secretary and administrator and works from Monday to Wednesday.  As well as providing secretarial services to the team, Janet is often the first point of contact for families and carers.  For newly referred families and carers she is a font of knowledge about how the service works and what to expect when you get here.  She also spends a lot of time talking to patients and families to ensure that their appointments, where possible, fit around their other commitments like school exams.

"The most rewarding part of my role is that I am a hub between the excellent, hard working diabetes team and all the families who come to us at UCLH because of diabetes."

Rebecca Thompson - Consultant Nurse

Rebecca Thompson

Rebecca Thompson is the team’s consultant nurse.  A registered children’s nurse, she has 15 years’ experience of managing children and adolescents with diabetes.  As the designated lead nurse for children and young people with diabetes at UCLH, she provides professional advice and leadership to the clinical nurse specialist team, ensures nursing practice meets national standards and guidelines and provides advice and care for children and young people with diabetes throughout the Trust.  All new patients are booked into Rebecca’s clinic to discuss the service, how the team might be helpful to the child or young person being referred and identify  possible treatment plans.

"The most rewarding part of my role is working with children, young people and their families – particularly when I as part of a team can make a positive difference. This might be suggesting a solution to a problem, listening and empathising as how challenging it can be living with a chronic illness every day or just having young people smile after a consultation with me."

Russell Viner - Professor for Adolescent Health

Russell Viner

Professor Russell Viner is an adolescent doctor who works jointly for UCLH and the UCL Institute of Child Health. Russell set up the first Adolescent Medicine Service in the UK at UCLH. Russell specialises in adolescent diabetes, endocrinology and obesity and also works as a consultant on adolescent health for the Departments of Health. Russell's research interests focus on adolescent development including physical and mental health, particularly around diabetes, obesity, health risk behaviours (alcohol, smoking and drug use) and health services for young people. He has over 100 published papers in international journals.

"The most rewarding part of my role is helping young people improve their quality of life while achieving good diabetes control."

Billy White - Consultant

Billy White

Billy is a Consultant in Adolescent Diabetes at UCLH and is responsible for adolescents with diabetes who are admitted to UCLH. He leads the transition programme which aims to get young people ready for adult life with diabetes. He is also a general adolescent physician and supports young people with other health issues that may interfere with diabetes control, including sexual health and emotional health.  His area of research is adolescent weight management.

“The most rewarding part of my job is working with young people who find it tough controlling diabetes, and helping them succeed step by step”

Elizabeth Wilkinson - Play Therapist

Elizabeth Wilkinson
Elizabeth is a qualified play therapist, hospital play specialist, nursery nurse, and further education teacher with over 35 years’ experience of working with children and young people.  She works in the UCLH outpatients department and through play therapy, supports all patients up to the age of 19 helping them to understand their condition and ongoing treatments, preparing them for medical/surgical interventions such as insulin pump therapy, and many other aspects of their treatment.  Her role also involves promoting a sense of normality for patients to live with their conditions.