Biographies

Clinicians

Dr Wheeler ¦ Dr Nitsch ¦ Prof Smeeth ¦ Dr Connolly ¦ Dr Hull ¦ Dr Caplin ¦ Dr Stevens ¦ Dr Low ¦        

Dr Caskey ¦ Dr Cullen


Informatica Team

Philip Brown¦ Richard Gunn ¦ Andy Syme


Dr. David Wheeler

Dr. David Wheeler is a Reader in Nephrology at University College London and an Honorary Consultant Nephrologist at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. His research is focused on cardiovascular complications of chronic kidney disease.  His professional roles include President of the Renal Association, Global Co-Chair of Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) and Associate Editor of Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation.  He is Chief Investigator of the Chronic Impairment in Birmingham (CRIB) and London Arterial Calcification, Kidney and bone Outcomes (LACKABO) studies, both of which involved recruitment of cohorts of CKD patients. He was the UK National Coordinator for the Study of Heart And Renal Protection (SHARP) and a member of the steering committee of the Evaluation Of Cinacalcet HCl Therapy to Lower CardioVascular Events (EVOLVE) trial. 

Dr Wheeler serves on the Audit Board and also Contributes to the Methodology Group.


Dr. Dorothea Nitsch 

Dr. Dorothea Nitsch trained in medicine and continues her clinical work as a Hon Consultant at the UCL centre for Nephrology. She currently helps in low clearance clinics at Edgware Community Hospital in north London. After finishing her MSc in Medical Statistics, she joined the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2003 and is currently the MSc Course Co-director of Epidemiology, and Clinical Senior Lecturer at LSHTM. She has multiple national and international collaborations that mostly revolve around the epidemiology of kidney disease. 

Dorothea is the Principal Investigator of a Kidney Research UK funded project looking at the life-course epidemiology of chronic kidney disease using data from the 1946 birth cohort study. In collaboration with the Chronic Kidney Disease Prognosis Consortium, she has lead the analysis comparing outcomes of women and men by level of their kidney function.  Dorothea has long-standing links with the UK Renal Association Renal Registry, and is member of the UK Renal Association Research committee, and member of the UK Renal Registry Dialysis Demography group. Dorothea supervises a Kidney Research UK funded PhD project that looks at infection risks of people with chronic kidney disease and diabetes using electronic health records in primary care, and collaborates with members of CHAPTER on projects relating to acute kidney injury, and cardiovascular outcomes of CKD patients in primary care.

Dr Nitsch heads the Methodology Group and also serve on The Audit Board.

Methodology Group Role(s) - Audit Designer, Lead Statistician, Renal Epidemiology, Clinical Expert In Renal Disease.
Audit Board Role(s) - Member


Professor Liam Smeeth

Professor Liam Smeeth is Head of the Department of Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).  After training in medicine, he continues his clinical work as a General Practitioner in north London.  Liam joined the LSHTM in 1999 and holds a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship in clinical science. As well as his academic and clinical commitments, he is involved in a range of activities for the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the UK National Health Service (NHS) more widely. He is Vice-Chair of the national primary care Quality and Outcomes Framework Advisory Committee and was appointed as a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Senior Investigator in 2011.

Liam is Deputy Director of CHAPTER (The Centre for Health service and Academic Partnership in Translational E-Health Research). CHAPTER is one of four E-Health Informatics Research Centres funded by the Medical Research Council. It's vision is to bring together the world-class clinical science, informatics expertise and educational strengths to drive the next generation of population-wide translational research. CHAPTER drives data integration across clinical conditions, in primary and secondary care, to improve clinical practice and transform the relationship between clinician, patient and citizen and their health data.

Liam is still actively involved in teaching and was previously the MSc Course Director of Epidemiology and then Chair of the exam board.  His major interests are in disease aetiology and drug treatments. Two key elements of this work are the use of clinical data derived from primary care for epidemiological research and utilising genetic research to contribute to the knowledge of the underlying causes of disease. He also has research interests in non-communicable disease epidemiology in low-income countries, with particular focus on cardiovascular disease.  Examples of recently completed projects include studies establishing that acute infection could trigger both arterial and venous vascular events and work on environmental triggers of myocardial infarction. He has an on-going interest in pharmacoepidemiology, particularly around cardiovascular drugs. He has recently demonstrated an increased risk of stroke associated with exposure to anti-psychotic drugs. Other interests include intervention trials, systematic reviews and health inequalities. 

Professor Smeeth is a contributor and expert reviewer to both the Audit Board and The Methodology Group


Dr John Connolly

Dr John Connolly is a Consultant Nephrologist and Clinical Director of UCL Centre for Nephrology Royal Free. His clinical and research interests include kidney disease in HIV, adult care for people born with congenital abnormalities of the kidney and urinary tract and renal glomerular disease. He is interested in innovation in health care delivery. John has led development of a new Camden Integrated Care Service for long-term conditions and is clinical governance lead for the service. The Camden Integrated model aims to deliver improvements in whole population health for conditions such as diabetes and chronic kidney disease. The aim of the service is to improve clinical outcomes and reduce health care cost. 

Dr Connolly contribute to governance and clinical leadership to The Audit Board


Dr Sally Hull

Dr Sally Hull is a GP in Tower Hamlets and one of the three clinical leads for the Clinical Effectiveness Group (CEG) based at QMUL. She is one of the Respiratory (COPD) leads for Tower Hamlets PCT, and is an active member of the Local Medical Committee (LMC).  Sally Hull has been a GP in Tower Hamlets, Jubilee Street Practice, for 30 years following training at Cambridge and St Thomas’ Hospital London.  She was a founder member of the original London Hospital Department of General Practice teaching team in 1984.  Since 1996 she has been one of the three GP clinical leads in the Clinical Effectiveness Group. This team promotes primary care development, through the use of locally tailored guidelines, audit and practice based education. The group is also involved in postgraduate education and research related to the delivery of high quality care for chronic disease. 

Dr Hull is an expert contributor and reviewer to The Methodology Group focusing on the Audit design and quality improvement tools with a view to making both workable and relevant to the Primary Care environment


Dr. Ben Caplin

Dr. Ben Caplin  has been a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Lecturer at the University College London Centre for Nephrology since September 2010.  He is approaching the end of his training and currently spends approximately half his time working as a clinician at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and as a researcher for the remaining time.  His research priorities concern clinical problems that impact on patients’ lives, and his main area of interest surrounds chronic kidney disease (CKD), both progression of renal dysfunction and the associated cardiovascular complications.

Ben completed his PhD in 2010 examining the role of nitric oxide metabolism in the progression of CKD and continues to undertake research from the laboratory bench to the bedside and on into the population.  Ben adopts a broad range of approaches to his laboratory bench work, experimental medicine and epidemiological studies in attempting to answer research questions, and uses his skills in epidemiology to collaborate with clinicians on a number of patient-based projects. These include attempts to understand the relationships between dialysis, dialysis-associated symptoms and patient experience as well as factors associated with the development of cardiovascular complications in patients with CKD and several ongoing projects in the transplant population. He holds formal postgraduate qualifications in both epidemiology and teaching in higher education.

Dr Caplin is a Nephrologist/Researcher with an interest in CKD. Ben contributes to the Methodology Group as part of the Audit Project Group and leads patient liaison and input.


Dr Paul Stevens

Dr Paul Stevens trained in medicine at The London Hospital Medical College, completed higher medical training in the Royal Air Force and at the Charing Cross Hospital in London and was appointed as Consultant Physician and Nephrologist to the Royal Air Force in 1990. Following the closure of the RAF Renal Unit he returned to the NHS in April 1995 as Clinical Director of the Kent Kidney Care Centre, implementing a programme of modernisation and development and establishing a predominantly clinical research programme in kidney disease. He has served on a number of national and college committees, is a former President of the British Renal Society and remains a member of the Department of Health Renal Advisory Group.

He was clinical advisor to NICE Clinical Guidelines 39, 73 & 114, is co-chair of the international Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes CKD guideline, chair of the NICE CKD topic expert reference group and was recently appointed chair for the upcoming NICE CKD guideline update. His research interests include the evaluation of kidney function, the variability of biochemical indicators of complications of kidney disease, the epidemiology of AKI and CKD (in particular the unmet need), and development of information technology based solutions for identification of kidney disease, both acute and chronic.

Dr Stevens contributes to the Methodology Group as an expert reviewer and in aligning the audit and quality improvement with the new NICE CKD guideline development.


Dr Joe Low

Dr Joe Low is a qualitative researcher with experience in using different qualitative approaches within health care. Within renal research, he has been Principal Investigator of two studies exploring the experiences of both conservatively managed CKD5 patients and their close family members. He will be responsible for running the qualitative arm of the audit. The patient experience questionnaire will be developed and tested in collaboration with NatCen Social Research.  NatCen has a team of survey methodologists who specialise in questionnaire development. NatCen has experience designing and testing questions for use in a range of patient surveys, including the Diabetes Patient Survey, the Prostate Cancer Experience survey, the Marie Curie Patients and Carers Survey and the Community Mental Health Service Users Survey. NatCen will provide consultancy on questionnaire design and will be responsible the cognitive interviews to test the new patient questionnaire.

Dr Low provides qualitative research expertise in the development of PREMS/PROMS to the Methodology Group


Dr Fergus Caskey

Dr Fergus Caskey graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1993 and proceeded to obtain a Masters in Public Health and Health Services Research and then an MD in the Cost-effectiveness of Dialysis in Europe from the University of Aberdeen. Fergus has been a Consultant Nephrologist in Bristol since 2005, and became the Medical Director of the UK Renal Registry in 2013.

Dr Caskey is the Medical Director of the UK Renal Registry


Dr Ron Cullen

Dr Ron Cullen biography to be added shortly.


BMJ Team

Technical Team ¦ Project Team

Technical Team

Philip Brown ¦ Richard Gunn


Philip Brown

Philip Brown founded Informatica in 1992 to provide applications to support primary care. In 2003 it was the first company to market with a software solution that supported GPs to accurately and efficiently manage their QOF obligations.  The Company has grown a reputation for providing market leading products with an emphasis on rich functionality, ease of use and excellent customer support. Phil’s  most relevant qualification is a 1st class Masters degree in Software Engineering (MEng) from Imperial College and an Associateship of the City and Guilds Institute. 


Richard Gunn

Richard Gunn has a wide range of experience gained from four years spent at Medical School, an Open University Degree with a number of modules in computer programming and twenty years working in a management capacity in General Practice. Prior to joining Informatica he was the Practice Manager in a large practice in Worcestershire and an enthusiastic user of Informatica software products.

Richard is responsible for building the data extraction and quality improvement tool in collaboration with the clinical members of the Audit Group.


Project Team

Andy Syme

Andy Syme is the HQIP Project Manager at Informatica and responsible for managing the delivery of a combined audit and Quality Improvement tool in support of the National Chronic Kidney Disease Audit. This involves the matrix management of commercial, development and placement resources in order to effectively deploy the solution to around 8500 GP Practices in England and Wales.

Andy began his career in the HM Forces as a Mechanical Engineer taking up various appointments in REME Aviation before perusing a MSC in Design of Information Systems. Andy then moved to NATO to become a SHAPE Information and Knowledge Manager. After this Andy established himself in various different roles in NHS Connecting for Health taking responsibility for ICT strategy, GP system delivery of electronic prescriptions and connectivity between the Independent sector and the NHS. Before joining BMJ, Andy worked at the Health and Social Care Information Centre managing the transition from Spine to Spine 2 which is part of the critical national infrastructure which supports increased patient safety, quality of healthcare, clinical effectiveness and administrative efficiency.

Andy is the HQIP Project Manager responsible for the management of commercial, development and placement of resources to effectively deploy the CKD audit to around 8500 GP Practices in England and Wales.