About us > Staff biographies


Andrew Hassell

Professor Andrew Hassell


Director of Undergraduate Programmes, head of School at Keele School of Medicine, Keele University. He trained in Rheumatology in hospitals in Manchester, Birmingham and Stoke. He spent 2 years as a consultant rheumatologist in Cannock before coming to the Haywood in April 1997 as a consultant rheumatologist and a senior lecturer at Keele University, initially supported by a pump priming grant provided by the Haywood Foundation. Andrew's clinical research interests focused on the course and treatment of patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis and he has been involved in a number of clinical studies based at the Haywood, often in collaboration with rheumatologists elsewhere in the UK.


Andrew's major academic interest has been in education. While at Cannock, he developed the first course on joint injections for nurses and therapists. On moving to Keele he developed, with Sarah Ryan, a Nursing Masters in Rheumatology which continues to run successfully, attracting nurses from all over the UK and beyond. For over 5 years, Andrew has also had a lead role in the curriculum for training rheumatologists in the UK.


With the development of a medical school at Keele, Andrew became more involved in undergraduate medical education and was appointed Director of Undergraduate Programmes at Keele School of Medicine in 2007. He was awarded a Professorship in 2013.


Andrew has been a member of the Foundation since 1997, and was appointed chairman of the Foundation following the retirement of Dr Hothersall in 2011. Andrew is married with 4 children.


June Brammar

June Brammar


June started her career in the ceramic industry before moving in to health improvement with positive ageing charity, The Beth Johnson Foundation, in 1997. Amongst her achievements there were; developing the Active in Age programme which trained people to deliver gentle physical exercise to older people and developing an accredited Falls Prevention Programme for the NHS.


June has written several reports for local authorities and delivered a range of presentations to medical practitioners and community members. In 2012 June was seconded to the Haywood Hospital to set up the Patient Information Education Resource (PIER), an information and educational resource centre for those living with arthritis and associated conditions.


June is a member of the Haywood Foundation where she is actively involved in promotional and fundraising activities. She supports the work of the North Staffordshire branch of the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA).


June has a Diploma in Welfare Studies and gained an MA in Community Practice and Promoting Public Health from Staffordshire University in 2010.


In her spare time she enjoys knitting, gardening and spending time with her family.


Katrina Rule

Katrina Rule


Having met as students at Keele during the 1970s, my husband and I have lived our whole married life in North Staffordshire. I enjoyed a long and fulfilling career as a secondary school teacher of English and French until 2015 when I took early retirement. Adjusting to life beyond the classroom proved difficult for a short time but I have now embraced the opportunity to channel my energy into different roles.

A diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis 30 years ago brought with it many challenges, but it has given me the motivation to use my experience to benefit others. To this end, I became a telephone support worker for the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) and, with the support of this organisation, I helped to set up the local group which holds its meetings at The Haywood.  I have also become a member of the Research User Group at Keele (RUG) and I am a volunteer at the PIER. Having received such wonderful care and support at The Haywood, I am delighted to be a member of the Foundation Committee.

In my spare time I love to sing and I am a member of three choirs. I also enjoy yoga and, more recently, have taken up Tai Chi. I run a monthly book club and visit the theatre regularly. Most of all, I love to spend time with my family.



Kay Stevenson

Kay Stevenson


I qualified from the Queen Elizabeth School of Physiotherapy in 1988 and worked in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy in Stoke on Trent for several years. I hold a joint appointment between an NHS Clinical Interface Service - which I co-lead as a Consultant Physiotherapist - and the Institute of Primary Care Sciences, Keele University, where I am a Senior Knowledge Mobilisation Fellow. . I am Module Leader for M Level Modules on 'Principles and Practice of Joint and Soft Tissue Injection', and 'Musculoskeletal Management at the Interface'.My outputs have been recognised nationally: Distinguished Service Award (Chartered Society of Physiotherapy); British Society of Rheumatology Outstanding Best Practice Award 2016; Health Service Journal Finalist 2015.


Helen Duffy

Helen Duffy


Manager: Primary Care Musculoskeletal Research Consortium
Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre


Having come to Keele University as a student in 1987, I fell in love with Staffordshire (and my husband!) and stayed! I graduated from Keele University in 1990 and subsequently held a number of NHS management roles within secondary and primary care settings. Despite NHS changes in management structures, I have always been fortunate to be involved in managing musculoskeletal services over the last 20 years thoroughly enjoying working with the rheumatology, rehabilitation and orthopaedic teams in Stoke on Trent. Somehow all career decisions have been related to working with the teams at the Haywood as I've moved through directorate manager and hospital manager roles!. Working closely with clinicians, patients and the research unit at Keele I helped to develop the business cases for a range of musculoskeletal services in Stoke on Trent (including the STaBs back pain, fracture liaison, musculoskeletal interface, and IMPACT pain services). In 2011 I became Consortium Manager at Keele University's Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre. Working across the NHS/research interface, my role is to ensure clinical engagement in the research agenda and to support the dissemination and implementation of research outputs into practice. This role involves working with researchers and NHS partners across the region (including the Haywood services!) to ensure that the commissioning and delivery of musculoskeletal services are based upon the best available evidence. At the beginning of 2014 the Keele team were successful in securing funding to support implementation projects for osteoarthritis and back pain research (via NHS England, regional innovation funding, and the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network).


I am delighted to be a Trustee of the Haywood Foundation as well as a committee member. Having worked in the NHS for many years the benefit of a local charity that is dedicated to local people and services cannot be underestimated. Without the support of the foundation many 'fledgling' ideas would not have come to fruition and I am proud to be part of a committed team who continue to support the ideals established by Dr Hothersall many years ago. I am married with two rapidly growing children and a very silly large dog!


Cath Thwaites

Cath Thwaites


Lecturer in Rheumatology Nursing


I am a Lecturer in Rheumatology Nursing in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Keele University, teaching pre and post registered nursing students, allied health professionals and medical students. My clinical practice is based in the Outpatient Department at the Haywood Hospital and the Children's Clinic at UHNS. Previous Rheumatology experience includes working as a Ward Sister and Nurse Practitioner in Rheumatology, gaining expertise in both inpatient and outpatient settings. I have a special interest in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) particularly early RA, patient education and paediatric rheumatology. I am on the Editorial Board of 'Musculoskeletal Care' and am also a committee member for the Haywood Foundation. My MSc work has explored the experiences of Rheumatology Nurses running telephone advice lines.


My hobbies include walking my Golden Retriever and cycling. Over the last few years I have taken part in a 3 day cycle ride to raise funds and general awareness of the Haywood Foundation.


Mike Brooks

Mike Brooks


I was born in London in 1948 but now live in Alsager, having moved around the UK with my job roles. Educated at Plaistow County Grammar School and The University of the South Bank and have a BSc in Chemical Technology.


I am married to Margaret and we have 4 daughters and 8 grandchildren. Now retired but prior to retirement I was the owner and managing director of a training and development company specialising in leadership and management programmes.


I have a passion for rugby (union) and am a member of Sale Sharks and Sandbach rugby clubs. Another passion is the theatre and Margaret and I frequent the New Vic as often as possible. I also enjoy country walks and travel in general. All of my current leisure pursuits have been possible due to the tremendous care and huge success I have had as a patient of the Haywood Hospital.


Sarah Ryan

Sarah Ryan


I am a Nurse Consultant in Rheumatology and Honorary Senior Lecturer in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Keele University. I am involved in clinical, educational and research activities. My clinical interests include helping patients to manage the impact of chronic musculoskeletal pain. I am the course director of a MSc programme and two degree level modules for rheumatology nurses and allied health professionals. I have published widely within rheumatology nursing and I currently edit a rheumatology journal called 'Musculoskeletal Care'. In 2003 I was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing for my contributions to rheumatology nursing. In 2014 I was awarded the Arthritis Research UK silver medal for research into the knowledge and skills patients want nurses and allied health professionals to have.


My hobbies include being by the sea, I have a small coastal property in North Yorkshire and face a constant challenge of being able to grow anything in a garden that has to contend with the North Sea wind and the salt air. I also enjoy swimming, walking and going to the theatre.

Dr Zoe Paskins


Zoe has worked as a doctor at the Haywood Hospital since 2008 and was appointed to an Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist post at the Haywood Hospital in Stoke-on-Trent in 2013. She trained in Leicester and undertook postgraduate training in rheumatology in the West Midlands. During this time she completed a Masters in Medical Education (university of Warwick) and her PhD (Keele University). She is Clinical Lead for the Osteoporosis Service at the Haywood, which provides bone density, Fracture Liaison and medical metabolic bone services for North Staffordshire.


She is also a Clinical Lecturer at the Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre at Keele University and her research interests include management of osteoarthritis, consultation research and osteoporosis.


Zoe joined the foundation committee in 2015. Her interests include gardening, music and baking and she is married with two children.

Pam Smith


I started my working life as a cashier and senior liaison manager for Barclays Bank PLC and after 10 years, was offered a 3 year career break. It had been a childhood dream, so I took the opportunity to train as a Physiotherapist. Since graduation I have practiced musculoskeletal and neurological physiotherapy with both adults and children locally in Staffordshire & Cheshire, both within the NHS and privately.

The senior physiotherapist role that I held at the Haywood Hospital provided me with the opportunity to work in Rheumatology and gain expertise in both inpatient and outpatient settings, where my love for Hydrotherapy as a treatment modality continued to grow. Until recently I was employed at Keele University teaching undergraduate and postgraduate physiotherapy students and leading the clinical placement aspect of the course. I am currently completing an MPhil into evidence based practice for Hydrotherapy, which has been supported by the Haywood Foundation.

My hobbies include walking our family rescue Collie - Cassie - and cycling. Over the last few years I have taken part in a 3 day cycle ride and swimathon to raise funds and general awareness of the Haywood Foundation. I am very proud to be a committee member of the Haywood Foundation who have made me feel very welcome and valued.


Krysia Dziedzic

Professor Krysia Dziedzic


Krysia Dziedzic is the Arthritis Research UK Professor of Musculoskeletal Therapies and currently an NIHR Knowledge Mobilisation Research Fellow. Krysia is the Director of the Impact Accelerator Unit and Public Involvement at the Institute of Primary Care and Health Sciences, Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre, Keele University, UK.

As Director of the Impact Accelerator Unit, Krysia works alongside a team of health care professionals, heath care managers, researchers, patients and the public to take findings from health research into real life clinical practice, with the overall aim of improving patient care.

Krysia's work in Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement ensures that healthcare research from the Institute is of high quality; patient centred and meets the needs of all.

Laura Campbell

Laura Campbell

Knowledge Broker, Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre, Keele University

I graduated from the University of Bath in 2008 with a degree in French, German and European Studies, spending a short time afterwards as a translator. After university I moved back home to Staffordshire to take up a post as a newspaper journalist, eventually becoming the contents editor for two local lifestyle magazines in 2013.

When I was 13 years old I was diagnosed with a curvature of the spine (scoliosis) and from 18 onwards underwent five different operations to correct it. During that time I also broke my back twice. Being in and out of hospital inspired me to volunteer for the Scoliosis Association UK and I became their Lead Regional Representative for the West and East Midlands in 2011. I have since co-founded and organise Back2Back, a Scoliosis Support Group especially for scoliosis patients at nearby Royal Stoke Hospital.

Working with patients for patients inspired me to take the plunge and completely change my career, and two years ago I started working at the Research Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences, Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre, Keele University and I’ve not looked back! I am currently a Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement Knowledge Broker, working with patients in research and implementation. I particularly enjoy working alongside clinicians, academics, patients and project teams in the Impact Accelerator Unit to take findings from health research into real life practice.

As well as scoliosis I also have a genetic connective tissue disorder and I am under the care of The Haywood for this. Over the years several members of my close family have been severely affected by this condition, as well as both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, and I have seen first-hand the positive difference that the outstanding care from The Haywood has had on their lives. Because of this I am very proud to be part of the Haywood Foundation Committee.

My hobbies include writing, making cakes, watching Disney films, travelling and swimming, and I spend most of my spare time with my wonderful friends, family and our very bouncy golden retriever!


Patricia Callaghan

Patricia Callaghan


I am semi-retired from a secretarial/administration career within the NHS which began in 1998. At the moment I work one weekend shift per month as a receptionist for the GP Out of Hours service based at Congleton War Memorial Hospital. In 2010 I successfully completed a BA degree in Ethics, Philosophy and Society which taught me to seek a balanced view when making difficult decisions and allowed me to update my skills in everything from studying at degree level to interacting with people of all ages. As a result of my study I developed an interest in the ethical decision making process and became a lay member for Research Ethics Committees at Keele University and Staffordshire University, a position which I continue to find both stimulating and rewarding.

I began my volunteer work in the PIER in April 2016 and since then I have enjoyed the benefits of volunteering in the company of a friendly and supportive team.

I have a passion for arts and culture and take every opportunity to develop my interests. I enjoy spending as much time as possible with my adult children and grandchildren.