Specialist Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT)

At UCLH you will be looked after by a specialist multidisciplinary team (MDT). This team consists of experts such as doctors, nurses, speech and language therapists, dieticians and physiotherapists who all have specialist training and experience in diagnosing, treating and supporting patients with head and neck cancers.

As part of your cancer treatment you may require surgery. The surgeon treating you will be a specialist consultant in oral and maxillofacial surgery, or a consultant ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeon.

Oncologists are specialists in the chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment used to treat your type of cancer.

Consultant radiologists are specialists in examining and interpreting x-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, bone scans and other diagnostic tests to diagnose disease.

Clinical Nurse Specialists are qualified nurses with specialist training and extensive experience in treating patients with your type of cancer. They offer advice and support throughout your diagnosis, treatment and follow-up.#

Your CNS may also act as your ‘key-worker’ during your treatment, which means they are a consistent point of contact for you, your family and any professionals involved in your care.

Speech and language therapists provide treatment which aims to maximise abilities relating to speech, voice, swallowing and communication.

Dietitians are nutrition professionals who use their extensive knowledge of the science of food and nutrition to ensure best possible nutritional care.

Physiotherapists and occupational therapists will work closely together to assist you in returning to independence following your treatment.

Macmillan Support Workers provide one-to-one patient support, advice and guidance, and links patients to the Macmillan Support and Information Service at UCLH.

The MDT Coordinator makes sure that cancer patients are prioritised and treated within the 62 day timeframe set by national guidelines.

The MDT Coordinator organises Multidisciplinary Team Meetings (MTM) and discussions of cancer patient care between clinical teams, allied health professionals and administration staff. Each cancer patient is discussed at the MTM where the experience of all staff is used to put the best plan for the patient forward.


JahangirAhmed.jpgMr Jahangir Ahmed joins the UCLH head and neck team having been appointed as a consultant in ENT at Bart’s health NHS Trust in 2017.

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AliSafina.jpgMiss Ali is a graduate of the University of Glasgow. Her specialist Ear, Nose & Throat training was in Edinburgh and Aberdeen. She then embarked on two Royal College of Surgeons of England post- CCT Fellowships in Advanced Head & Neck Cancer Surgery at Guys and St Thomas’ and then Charing Cross Hospital. Miss Ali completed a Research Fellowship from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre, New York during her training.

After fellowship training she was appointed a consultant ENT/ Head & Neck Surgeon at the Royal London and University College Hospitals in February 2016. Miss Ali is a core member of the head and neck and thyroid cancer MDTs, based between the Royal London and UCL Hospitals. She maintains a busy practice in adult ENT with her sub-specialist interest in head and neck cancer surgery.

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”

AlusiGhassan.jpgMr Ghassan Alusi joins UCLH as part of the head and neck consultant team from The Royal London Hospital. He is deeply involved in research into image guided surgery, for which he was awarded a PhD by Leicester University.

Mr Alusi manages complex head and neck surgery and thyroid disorders. He is a senior surgeon within the Head and Neck Unit at Barts and The Royal London NHS Trust.

Mr Alusi's general training was at The Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear, St Bartholomew's, The Royal Marsden and The Royal Free Hospital. He became a Consultant at St Bartholomew's and The Royal London Hospitals in 2000.

RaghavDwivedi.jpgMr Dwivedi is a full-time consultant ear, nose, throat (ENT) / head & neck surgeon at the University College London Hospitals (UCLH), London. He is also an honorary clinical associate professor at the University College London. Prior to joining UCLH in 2019 he was a consultant head & neck surgeon at QEUH Glasgow.

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GhufoorKhalid.jpgMr Khalid Ghufoor was appointed as a consultant in ENT head and neck surgery 2002 at St Bartholomew’s and The Royal London Hospitals. He has a specialist interest in minimal access surgical techniques for dealing with cancers of the head and neck particularly transoral microscopic laser surgery. He has developed a sub-specialist interest in thyroid and salivary gland surgery, laryngeal and pharyngeal tumours, airway restorative surgery and rehabilitative surgery for laryngopharyngeal dysfunction following treatment of cancer of the head and neck. He has also worked at the Royal national Throat Nose and Ear Hospital since 2005 running a tertiary laryngotracheal service. He is the head of the ENT department at Barts Health since 2014. Mr Ghufoor has been a programme and training director for North Thames ENT since 2011.

hughesjonathan.jpgMr Hughes graduated from the University of Bristol Medical School in 2000. His higher surgical training included placements at recognised centres of excellence, including The Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear, Imperial College and University College.

During his ENT training, Jonathan was awarded the Royal College of Surgeons of England Research Fellowship to undertake research into oncolytic viral gene therapy, which culminated in the award of PhD in 2013.

Following ENT training and research, he completed two Royal College of Surgeons of England accredited fellowships in head and neck surgery, and laryngology (voice / airway / swallowing); forming the basis of his super-specialist interests.

In 2014, Jonathan visited Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre and Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania to learn minimally-invasive and robotic head and neck surgery from world leaders in the field.

“Making decisions about the best individualised treatment for a patient with head and neck cancer can be challenging. I take pride in guiding patients through this process and making the best choice based on their personal needs.”

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KalavrezosNicholas.jpgNicholas Kalavrezos is a head and neck reconstructive surgeon and the lead clinician in the Head and Neck Centre at UCLH with a background in oral and maxillo-facial surgery. Mr Kalavrezos is also the lead head and neck sarcoma surgeon for the London Sarcoma Service. His clinical practice includes ablative and reconstructive surgery for the head and neck with a special interest in bone sarcomas and functional outcomes following reconstructive surgery. His clinical practice also includes surgical treatment of salivary gland tumours as well as thyroid surgery.

Mr Kalavrezos’ research interests include applications of “tissue engineering” in head and neck reconstruction. He is a founding member of the “Centre for Reconstructive Surgery” at University College London (UCL) where he also holds a senior lecturer post. He is also a member of the “Face Transplant Group” based at the Royal Free Hospital aiming to perform the first face transplant in the UK. He has joint research projects in the Nanotechnology Lab of UCL on “tissue engineered bio-scaffolding” aiming to replace defects of the head and neck (i.e. nose and ears) with tissue-engineered based micro-vascular flap reconstruction.

Nicholas lectures regularly at national and international meetings and holds the position of the secretary general on the Executive Board of the European Association for Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery.

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LiewColin.jpgMr Liew was appointed consultant oral and maxillofacial head and neck surgeon in 2009. He has a specialist interest in ablative and reconstructive head and neck surgery, salivary gland and skin surgery.

Mr Liew completed training at the London Deanery. He was a fellow of head and neck surgical oncology at West of Scotland Regional Services from 2007-2008.

He is currently chair of the MDT, MDT lead of the head and neck oncology service and tracheostomy services MDT lead. Previously he has been education lead and assigned educational supervisor (2009-2015) and head and neck audit lead (2009-2014).

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ClareSchilling.jpgMs Schilling is a Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon specialising in Head and Neck cancer and reconstructive surgery. She is Honorary Associate Professor of the Head and Neck Academic Centre (HNAC) in the division of surgical and interventional science at University College London.

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StimpsonPaul.jpgMr Stimpson has a special interest in benign and malignant conditions of the head and neck region including thyroid and salivary gland disorders.

He completed his higher surgical training in the North Thames region. During this training period he completed placements at major London teaching hospitals including Great Ormond Street, Barts Health, The Royal Marsden Hospital, Charing Cross Hospital and The Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital. In addition to his specialist experience in London, he undertook a 12 month advanced surgical oncology fellowship in Melbourne, Australia prior to taking up his substantive consultant post at Barts Health in 2014.

He was lead clinician and chairman of the Barts Health Head and Neck Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) for 3 years before moving to UCLH as a substantive consultant in 2019. He is lead clinician for the MDT unification project to improve patient outcomes for H&N cancer in North East and North Central London.

He is is actively involved with research, audit, training and teaching and sits on the education board of the UCL H&N Academy. He is a core member of the UCLH H&N and Thyroid MDT. He is an Honorary Consultant Surgeon at Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow.

“Across our region we have a great team of specialists who are dedicated to improving the lives of head and neck cancer patients. At UCLH we are in a unique position to provide state of the art surgical care and we strive for excellence in everything we do.”

VazFrancis.jpgMr Vaz qualified from the University of London through The United Medical and Dental Schools of Guys and St Thomas’ Hospitals in 1994 and has visited institutions around the world to broaden his experience and to bring an international flavour to his practice.

Mr Vaz has published widely on all aspects of ENT surgery and has contributed chapters to major ENT and general medical textbooks. He has received prestigious awards from The Royal College of Surgeons (Lionel College Fellowship) and also The British Association of Head and Neck Surgeons (BAHNO Travelling Fellowship).

“The treatment for head and neck cancer is increasingly individualised for every patient. It is wonderful to work within a team that offers the patient a high level of expertise, to tailor the treatments to the patient, as not all treatments are suitable for every patient.”

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Dr Carnell's particular interests include general ENT and maxillofacial and in particular sinus cancer. Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy, which is one of her current research areas, is in routine use now for head and neck cancer at UCLH, as well as concurrent chemoradiation protocols and the use of molecular targeted treatments. She has a particular interest in sinus tumours e.g. olfactory neuroblastoma, holding a regular joint clinic with Professor Valerie Lund (Professor of Rhinology). She is the principal investigator for the PET-NECK trial looking at the role of early PET scanning to direct post radiation surgery.

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ForsterMartin.jpgDr Forster is a UCL Clinical Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Medical Oncologist at UCLH. He specialises in the management of thoracic and head & neck cancers and is also UCH Chemotherapy Lead. He has a particular interest in drug development, running a broad portfolio of studies. This ranges from first-in-man to registration phase III trials and being Principal Investigator or Chief Investigator for over 30 early and late phase clinical trials since his appointment to UCL in 2009. He is joint Clinical Trials Lead for the Cancer Research UK Lung Cancer Centre of Excellence and collaborates broadly with national and international groups involved in translational research.

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BealeTimothy.jpgDr Beale is a consultant radiologist specialising in head and neck imaging. He is Fellow European Society head and neck radiologists (FESHNR) and was Chairman of the British Society of Head & Neck imaging until 2012. He is a faculty member of the European society of head and neck radiology and a past member of the head and neck scientific subcommittee for the European Congress of Radiology.

Dr Beale’s research interests include head and neck radiology with a particular interest in neck ultrasound, salivary, skull base and sinonasal imaging.

Dr Beale has published over 40 head and neck related papers in peer reviewed journals and provided chapters for several general radiology head and neck textbooks. He is a regular lecturer in the UK and abroad on diverse head and neck imaging topics.

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OteroSofia.jpgSofia Otero is a consultant radiologist specialising in head and neck imaging.

Sofia graduated from the University of Oxford in 2007 and undertook radiology specialist training in London, including at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, The Royal Marsden and The Royal Brompton (obtaining FRCR in 2013) before completing a fellowship in head and neck radiology at UCLH.

Her interests include imaging of head and neck cancer, thyroid and salivary ultrasound, sinonasal imaging, imaging of the middle and inner ear, and core biopsy of soft tissue lumps and lymph nodes.


Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS)

JonEarley.jpgJon qualified in 2016 and started work on T6 Head and Neck ward at UCLH . He has specialist surgical experience looking after patients have major complex head and neck cancer surgery. He understands the unique challenges for managing patient with head and neck cancer and is passionate about safe discharge planning following major surgery linking with GP's and district nurses.

Jon joined the Macmillan Head and Neck Team as a CNS in September 2019. As an undergraduate studying politics and education, I took voluntary work in hospital school, which made me realise I got a lot of enjoyment from helping people, so then decided on a career change to nursing.

I went on to do my Adult Nursing post graduate degree in at City London University. Jon's believes main role as a Macmillan Clinical Nurse Specialist is empowering his patients to make informed decisions.

"I have a passion and drive for the Head and Neck Service at UCLH to become a world class centre for this unique service"

Dflynn.jpgDenise joined UCLH as the Lead Macmillan Head and Neck CNS in 2019. She has previously worked at Bart's Health as a H&N CNS since 2012.She has extensive experience since qualifying in 2001 working with patients and families diagnosed with head and neck cancer in various settings. Denise has studied at the Royal Marsden and achieved an MSc in Healthcare Practice ( Cancer Care). She is a registered non-medical prescriber (NMP).

Denise has been directly involved in the centralisation of head and neck cancer specialist surgery across the North London and North East London network since 2015 at UCLH.

The aim of centralisation was to improve patient outcomes and the H&N CNS team at UCLH and referring hospitals endeavour to collaborate for seamless continuity of care for patients.

Denise has a special interest in managing patients with altered airways in hospital and in the community to overcome the challenges that they meet. She is a strong advocate for patients and families to empower them to make informed decisions about their own care.

"Head and neck cancer is very unique in the challenges that treatment can impact on a patient and family.  With understanding and empathy I aim to make their cancer  journey more bearable "

maarjakikas.jpgMaarja joined UCLH as the Head and Neck Clinical Nurse Specialist in June 2019. She has previously worked at the Royal Marsden Hospital: on a surgical/oncology head and neck ward and with the Acute Oncology Service team at the Clinical Assessment Unit. Maarja has excellent experience working with patients and their families affected by cancer. 

Maarja has undertaken her masters in Health Policy at Imperial College London.  She is interested in quality improvement and health service delivery within the NHS.  Maarja is also interested in the development of effective health policy and guidelines through improving efficiency, managing economic resources, maximising quality and increasing innovation.

Maarja have been directly involved in the audits within the trust in order to improve the quality of care delivered. Maarja is very passionate ensuring that every patient gets the care that is responsive to their needs.  Moreover, Maarja actively teaches at the UCLH Altered Airway Study Days.

Maarja choose the role of a Head and Neck CNS due to her love supporting patients throughout their most difficult times. Head and Neck cancer treatments are one of the most challenging, toughest and most difficult treatments to get through. Everything from the speech, appearance, swallow and breathing can be affected during and after the treatment. It is important to Maarja that she supports her patients before, during and after their cancer treatment.

“A patient once told me that I never failed to make him laugh, this is something I carry with me every day, with my support, positivity and care I aim to make my patient’s cancer diagnosis and treatment little more bearable.”