- Dr Ranna El Khairi
- Professor Hindmarsh
- Dr Catherine Peters
- Professor Russell Viner
- Dr Sandra Walton-Betancourth
- Dr Billy White
- Rebecca Martin
- Louise Potts
- Sophie Gray
- Channing Lewis
- Emilia Jewitt
- Withya Jeyakanthan
- Sallie Woodrow
- Francesca Annan
- Laura Bull
- Rebecca Margetts
- Adriana Sparano
Meet the team
My name is Farhiya I am a parent representative and mother to Ayesha who was diagnosed with T1 when she was 3. I have created a WhatsApp group for Somali parents with type 1 diabetic children to help support the Somali paediatric diabetic community and I am happy to support parents. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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."
Melanie is the parent representative and mother to Gaby who was diagnosed with T1 when she was 11. Melanie is currently assisting with the updating of several UCLH guidelines and is happy to listen to parent views. She is an active member of several diabetic related Facebook groups which help to support the vibrant paediatric diabetic community. She is very happy to support parents and can be contacted on melanieparentrep
Laura is one of the team’s Dietitians and has been working at UCLH since 2013. She has been employed by the NHS for 10 years, Laura had training in Paediatric Dietetics, working in the hospital and community clinics before specialising in Diabetes. Laura meets children, young people and their families to offer dietary advice and education at the time of their new diagnosis and regularly throughout their journey at UCLH, alongside the other team members.
"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 stay healthy, while eating food they enjoy!"
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"
Lizzie works in the psychology team at UCLH, which provides psychological support to the diabetes service. Alongside working individually with children and young people with diabetes, Lizzie supports with groups including the Tree of Life project, the Rainbow Project, and the GREAT group (transitioning to secondary school workshop). These groups allow young people to share their experiences with others, whilst enhancing a positive view of themselves, their skills and qualities.
“The most rewarding part of my role is witnessing young people develop confidence and pride in themselves and their abilities”
Dr Ranna El Khairi is a consultant in Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes at UCLH. She is part of the multi-disciplinary paediatric diabetes team providing care to children and young people. Her research interests include rare genetic forms of diabetes, beta cell development and function and the future role of cell-based therapies for Type 1 Diabetes.
“The most rewarding part of my role is working with children, young people and their families to help fit diabetes into their lives, while achieving excellent diabetes control.”
Sophie worked at both St Mary’s Hospital and the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital before moving to London, and UCLH, in 2010. Sophie initially worked on T11 south, the children’s inpatient ward, taking a keen interest in diabetes, before joining the diabetes team in 2017.
“The most rewarding part of my role is getting to know the children and young people and working closely with them to help fit diabetes into their lives.”
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."
Withya has worked on a general children's ward at St George's hospital, for the past 4 years. Through working closely with children with diabetes, and their families, she developed an interest in diabetes management and joined our diabetes team in 2023.
"I'm excited to be part of the UCLH diabetes team and to be working with children and families of diverse backgrounds to help manage their diabetes."
Emilia qualified as a paediatric nurse in 2019 and has worked across acute medical, surgical and gastroenterology wards at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. She has also worked as a school nurse in an independent girls secondary school.
Since beginning her training as a nurse, she has always had a huge interest and enthusiasm for diabetes management in children and is thrilled to be working as part of the diabetes team at UCLH.
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."
I have been qualified as a paediatric nurse since September 2012. I have always had an interest in diabetes since I was a student nurse. Since being qualified I worked on a general paediatric ward for nearly 3 years before specialising in diabetes at UCLH in July 2015.
Since joining the team I have had the opportunity to further enhance and develop my diabetes knowledge and skills on the different types of diabetes. My role includes initiating insulin pump therapy in a safe supported environment, working in partnership with members of the MDT to plan and deliver diabetes care as well as looking at ways to further improve the diabetes service.
"The most rewarding part of my role is helping children and young people to overcome the fear and mental barriers of a chronic condition and providing the necessary life skills to prepare them for adulthood."
Rebecca has been working with children and young people with diabetes for 12 years. She has worked in both the hospital and community setting and spent eight years working at Great Ormond Street Hospital where she specialised in other forms of diabetes. She moved to the Children and Young People’s Diabetes Service at UCLH in 2018. Her role includes providing dietetic advice and support to children, young people and their families at the time of diagnosis and as part of their ongoing care.
“The most rewarding part of my role is helping young people understand how food affects blood glucose levels and supporting them to manage their diabetes while continuing to eat the foods they like, and enjoy the social side of eating, without diabetes getting in the way.”
Rebecca Martin is the team’s consultant nurse. A registered children’s nurse, she has over 20 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."
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."
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."
Adriana has been working with the team since December 2022. Prior to joining the paediatric diabetes team, Adriana worked as a dietitian within the adult diabetes team, specialising mainly in gestational diabetes. Her caseload covered both inpatients and outpatients. She trained at UCH as a student and has been with our trust since her first role in dietetics. As a dietitian, Adriana works alongside the other members of the team to support patients with their diabetes care, particularly looking at food freedom, and healthy dietary habits.
“The most rewarding part of my job is discussing foods that are labelled as unhealthy. Young people might avoid eating certain snacks in fear that these will raise their blood sugar levels too much. I enjoy working together to find strategies so that young people can still enjoy eating what they like without sacrificing their diabetes control”.
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."
Sandra is a consultant in Paediatric Diabetes at UCLH and Cambridge University Hospitals. One of her key areas of interest is the implementation of new diabetes technology, particularly hybrid closed loop systems, in clinical settings. She is passionate about the potential impact that these advancements can have on the diabetes burden experienced by young people and their families.
"As someone who deeply values the individuality of each young person, taking the time to truly understand and appreciate who they are as a person is the most rewarding part of my role. It is a privilege to work closely with them, exchanging knowledge and experience to achieve common goals while also promoting a fulfilling life with diabetes."
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”
Sallie has been a children's nurse for over ten years, working on a general paediatric inpatient ward and a paediatric assessment unit. She has always had a very keen interest in diabetes and has recently joined the team at UCLH.
Sallie recognises that having diabetes is not always a smooth ride, it comes with many ups and downs and can be extremely challenging – not only physically but mentally too. A rounded and holistic approach to diabetes management is of key importance. Sallie is passionate about equal access to services for all, individualised care and improving transition services within Diabetes.
"Diabetes is such a different experience for every person that has it. Care must be individualised and treatment should always be tailored to every child or young person's needs and preference"