The team is led by Dr Paul Worthley, our ME Trust medical advisor, who has over 25 years’ experience of helping hundreds of people with ME/CFS at all levels of severity.
Dr Paul Worthley
Clinical Team Lead
Dr Paul Worthley has over 20 years’ experience of helping people with ME/CFS. Dr Paul trained at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, where he qualified in 1976. He spent three years at the Worcester Royal Infirmary, went on to general practice training in Hackney and then to two years’ general practice in East London, before returning home to Australia where he worked at the Adelaide Children’s Hospital from 1983 to 1987. He returned to Worcester to a variety of general practice and paediatric work before moving to Burrswood Hospital in Kent in 1992.
In 1996 he obtained his Diploma in Palliative Medicine. Working at Burrswood Hospital for 24 years, Dr Paul was resident Senior Physician, until 2014, and until 2016 also ran an outpatient clinic for people with ME/CFS and related illnesses. He pioneered a whole person and individually tailored approach to caring for people with this spectrum of disease which has benefited hundreds of patients.
The value of his approach was confirmed by a Kent University study. Dr Paul has over many years learnt a lot both from patients and by meeting the few medics who work in this field. He has gained an expertise in the area of ME/CFS and has helped hundreds of ME/CFS patients.
Sue Pople trained at Kings College Hospital and qualified as a physiotherapist in 1981. Throughout her career, working alongside people with long term conditions has been an area of special interest, where the building of professional and trusting relationships is important.
While leading a team of Physiotherapists at Burrswood Hospital, Sue was instrumental in setting up an out-patient Physiotherapy service for people with Multiple Sclerosis and developed the hydrotherapy service within the hospital.
She also worked closely with Dr Paul Worthley and a wider clinical team, gaining insight into the complexity of ME. As a physiotherapist, Sue was privileged to see lives transformed and hope restored in people with this challenging illness and is now looking forward to being part of this new service for people with ME.
Melanie De Luca
Melanie gained a BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy degree at University of Brighton in 2008. Since then she has had various roles within the profession, mainly with musculoskeletal and neurology clients. She has also managed a multidisciplinary team in a specialist clinical setting and been the manager of a Physiotherapy and Pilates clinic. She has been teaching Pilates since 2009.
Melanie worked alongside some of the current ME Trust clinical team at Burrswood Hospital from 2009-2011 as part of the multidisciplinary team providing care for people with ME.
Melanie loves her career in physiotherapy, which allows her to help people achieve their goals and improve their quality of life. She achieves this through developing a relationship of trust and providing a holistic and individualised approach.
Emma qualified as a registered nurse in 1998 and has worked in many specialities over the years, including haematology; coronary care; general medicine and practice nursing. More recently she has worked in a Hospice and for the past 7 years, as a school nurse.
When her son was diagnosed with ME in 2016 after becoming unwell 2 years previously, Emma began reading and researching as much as she could on ME. By chance she came across the ME Trust and the rest, as they say, is history! Emma has sat in on clinics with Dr Paul and continues to gain knowledge and experience on lifestyle and symptom management of ME.
Jenny Gray is a Registered and Accredited member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), having trained at West Kent College and holds an Advanced Diploma in Humanistic Counselling. She has worked in the NHS in both Primary and Secondary Mental Health Services for over 15 years. Jenny set up and managed the Family and Carers Counselling Service within Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust. She has a successful private practice and is also a Supervisor for Cruse. Jenny is committed to providing effective and supportive counselling and psychotherapy adhering to professional standards and ethics, using an integrative model.
Ron Bushyager holds a MSc in Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy. He is an Accredited counsellor/psychotherapist with the BACP and Registered as a Psychodynamic Counsellor with the BPC. Alongside his work with The ME Trust, Ron has a private practice in the City of London, supporting those who experience issues of stress, anxiety, trauma, or depression, that negatively impact their life, work and relationships.
Ingrid Holmes has a BA in Psychology and Communications, and completed a 1-year Programme for Trainers. In 2004 she completed a 2-year WPF* Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling. Her core training is psychodynamic and she also has training in couples and telephone counselling. She is accredited with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and committed to continued professional development to enhance her skills and keep abreast with latest research in counselling theory and practice. She is a registered “Understanding Your Eating” Licenced Practitioner and as a Supervisor for CRUSE bereavement counselling.
Ingrid began counselling at The Counselling Centre in Tunbridge Wells (TCC) in 2003 and continued to see clients at TCC until 2009. In addition to her private practice she also worked as a Counsellor at Burrswood Hospital in Kent for ten years. Over the past 13 years she has helped many men and women from all walks of life. Although her core training is in psychodynamic counselling she uses use a more integrative approach to suit individual needs. A description of this approach can be found on the BACP website.
Family and Systemic Psychotherapist
Louise holds a MSc Family Therapy. She is an accredited psychotherapist with the BACP and a registered Family and Systemic Psychotherapist with the UKCP. Louise has worked in the NHS as a Family Therapist within Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services and in a private London hospital as a Macmillan Cancer Counsellor. Louise is a former nurse who believes passionately in supporting the emotional needs of those with a physical illness.
Rev David Flagg
The Rev David Flagg is an Anglican priest with many years’ experience of both parish and healthcare settings, including 11 years at Burrswood sharing in whole-person care, and 11 years in a large acute hospital. He understands the frustrations of not finding consistent help for ME in the NHS.
Having managed a multi-faith prayer room in hospital he welcomes meeting those of all faiths and none. He holds a Diploma in Pastoral Counselling and is also an accredited Pastoral Supervisor.He offers Spiritual Accompaniment as part of his current work in semi-retirement. David is accustomed to walking with those with chronic illness and all the losses and fears that this brings with it.
Ruth Lampard is an Anglican Priest, was ordained in 2000, and has experience in parish and chaplaincy ministry, supporting people from all walks of life. She understands the value of ‘walking’ as a pilgrim with and alongside people who are struggling, including people with chronic illness, people at risk of homelessness and ‘on the margins’ of life.
Ruth grew up in inner city Leicester alongside friends of many faiths and none, and welcomes accompanying people exploring what faith and life means for each person.
She completed her training as a Spiritual Director in 2011, and has recently been a SPIDIR course tutor, training spiritual directors. She has personal experience of chronic illness and understands the life-giving nature of spiritual accompaniment.
Jane Davison offers Spiritual Accompaniment to people of all faiths, those of uncertain faith and those of none. Jane Davison began 1:1 meetings in the second half of the 1990s, undertaking training to become first a Listener and then a Spiritual Director. She established a private practice as a Spiritual Director in 2001. She has also tutored on courses exploring a variety of ways of praying/reflecting and been involved in different forms of retreat work. Rooted and trained in the Christian tradition, her spiritual journey has been very enriched by the insights of other faiths and by everyday wisdom found in different walks of life. She was inspired to take up this work following a period of debilitating illness, during which she was spiritually and very helpfully listened to by trained listeners.
She has since been alongside many people who face highly challenging health and life questions. She has been knocked sideways by further times of ill-health and by difficult family situations. It is this combination of professional and personal experience which she brings to her Spiritual Accompaniment role.