Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance

The Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance is seeking to expand our trustee board to bring in people from different professional backgrounds.

We seek to diversify the experience of our trustee board by co-opting two trustees.
Click here to read more. [September 2017]

Prof Anthony WoolfADWoolf-x200


I am a Consultant Rheumatologist and Honorary Professor of Rheumatology, University of Exeter Medical School, and Plymouth Peninsula Medical and Dental College. I have been involved throughout my career in various initiatives to promote priority for the various musculoskeletal conditions and to improve their management by raising awareness of their impact, promoting education and research, and setting standards for prevention and treatment. This has been by working together with all professions, disciplines and patient organisations at a national, European and international level.

I have held executive roles in National Osteoporosis Society 1987-2002 (including treasurer and chair); BLAR/ARMA 1994-2005 (including leading regional groups); EULAR 1994-2007 (including chair of education committee and international liaison officer); president UEMS 2001-06; Bone and Joint Decade 1998 – now (including treasurer and chair). I have also led two EU projects to raise standards of care – European Bone and Joint Strategies Project and European Musculoskeletal Surveillance and Information network. In these roles I have worked with Department of Health, the EU, WHO Europe and WHO International.

I edit the serial Best Practice and Research Clinical Rheumatology which provides an evidence-based update on the management of musculoskeletal conditions. In addition I am Clinical Director of the NHS National Institute of Health Research Clinical Research Network Southwest Peninsula. Through this I ensure people wherever they live in the region can participate in clinical research so they have the option of the latest and innovative treatments. A culture of research and innovation also improves of the overall quality of care.

Phillip Grayphil gray

Phil Gray is an expert in the UK Health Service, particularly on staff issues, promoting innovation and health promotion at work. He has particular interest and experience in rehabilitation, occupational health, workforce planning and older people’s services in the last 30 years.

Phil is a Trustee of ARMA and former Chair. He is also a Trustee of Arthritis Research UK. He retired in January 2014 after fifteen and a half years as Chief Executive of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, which has 52,000 members in the UK. He is a member of the NHS National Stakeholders Forum, a board member of the Fit for Work Coalition. He previously worked for nine and a half years as the Director of Labour Relations for the Royal College of Nursing, responsible for national negotiations for 300,000 nurses.

Dr Louise Warburton

Louise is a GP with a special interest in Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Medicine, she is also the President of the Primary Care Rheumatology Society. Louise represents the views of Primary Care to ARMA. Louise has 16 years of experience in Rheumatology and has been a GP for twenty years.

For four years she was the Medical Editor of Hands On, for arthritisresearchuk; this is an educational publication sent to every GP in the UK and a member of their publications committee. Louise was part of the Group who developed the NICE Guidelines for Rheumatoid Arthritis which was released in 2009. Louise has experience of Service Development and Change, being one of the lead players in developing a Community Rheumatology Service in Telford, she brings enthusiasm, vision and commitment to the Alliance.

Louise also writes for medical magazines and has the ability to explain concepts in simple terms. “I have empathy and understanding of people with chronic health problems, partly because of my role as a general practitioner, but also as a patient with a chronic musculoskeletal illness for the last five years.”

Louise has been a school governor for eight years (vice-chair for four years) and has experience in working on committees and managing change.

Shantel Irwin

Shantel was born in Canada and has been living and working in the UK since 2004. She is the CEO of Arthritis Action, where she has worked since the Autumn 2014. Through a self-management approach, Arthritis Action is a membership organisation that empowers people with arthritis to manage their condition and reduce the need for medical intervention.

Shantel moved from the corporate sector to the charity sector nine years ago and hasn’t looked back. She enjoys working directly with members of a community. She has a keen interest in health and membership organisations, and also brings experience in leadership, strategic, change and volunteer management to the Board.

Arthritis Action became a member of ARMA in 2014. Shantel believes strongly in collaboration and is looking forward to working with other member organisations to have one voice through ARMA. She feels that ARMA is ideally positioned to increase awareness of MSK disorders in the UK.

Jean Wongphoto of doctor jean wong

Dr Wong is a GP with a special interest in Sports and Musculoskeletal Medicine. She completed her medical training in Leicester and an MSc in Sports and Exercise Medicine at Nottingham University, obtaining a merit. She is a Partner in a practice in Loughborough and works as a Specialty Doctor in Sports and Exercise Medicine at Loughborough University.

Dr Wong has a keen interest in education and is actively involved in teaching trainee doctors and medical students. In addition, she was involved in osteoarthritis research at the Rheumatology department in Nottingham City Hospital. She currently sits on the steering committee of the Primary Care Rheumatology Society, and is the Sports and Exercise Medicine Representative for the Royal College of General Practitioners. She is also a GP Champion in Physical Activity in the Midlands for Public Health England.

Rob Yeldham

Rob Yeldham joined the board in July 2016.

He works as Director of Strategy, Policy & Engagement at the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

Rob is a chartered PR practitioner and has over 20 years’ experience of communications and stakeholder engagement. He has been a senior civil servant and worked in local government, politics and for not-for-profit organisations.

Matthew Bennett

Matthew Bennett is the President of British Chiropractic Association as well as a practising chiropractor with 30 years’ experience treating musculoskeletal conditions. He works in a multidisciplinary practice alongside physiotherapists in Brighton and has a special interest in the conservative management of back pain.

Matthew is committed to raising the awareness of MSK conditions amongst policy makers and was previously a delegate to the WHO’s World Health Assembly representing the World Federation of Chiropractors. He is the current UK representative to the European Chiropractors Union.

He has worked on the panel of Brighton Integrated Care Service’s manual therapy service redesign team bringing best practice and evidence based care to MSK conditions, particularly back pain.

Matthew was the previous director of new graduate training for the Royal College of Chiropractors and still acts as a tutor and trainer.

Emma Cowleytrustee photo

Emma qualified from Southampton University in 1995 and after a career in the NHS as a musculoskeletal podiatrist, is now a lecturer in podiatry at Plymouth University. Emma’s research interests include the effects of high heels on gait and posture and the effects of prolonged running on the biomechanics of the foot and ankle. She still maintains a private practice in a multi-disciplinary team and her clinical interests are similarly focused on musculoskeletal lower limb conditions.

Emma co-leads MSK:UK, the largest College of Podiatry special advisory group, and in 2017 was lead author of a body of evidence presented to Parliament during the high heels debate, iterating the impact of footwear on occupational health. Emma is delighted to be elected to the ARMA board of trustees and hopes to add a meaningful contribution.

Philip Mitchell

Philip Mitchell was born in Lincoln and educated at the Robert Pattinson Comprehensive School, Epsom College and St Mary’s Hospital, London. After a year on Fellowship in Vancouver, Philip took up consultancy at St George’s Hospital, London, where he has remained for 14 years. His surgical interests are in replacement surgery of the hip and knee; revision hip and knee replacement; and with a special interest in infection.

Philip has served as a Trustee on the Council of the British Orthopaedic Association for the last 3 years, he is a member of the ODEP and Beyond Compliance panels, and is delighted to be joining the ARMA board as an elected trustee.

Married to Angie. Philip has 2 children and lives in Epsom, Surrey.

Christopher DicksChrisDicks-x200

TREASURER (Co-opted)

Chris is a Director in the Risk Advisory practice at Deloitte with a focus on the provision of Internal Audit, Risk Management and other control and assurance related services to the Corporate Sector – with a sector focus on Infrastructure, Services & Real Estate (ISRE).

He started his career as an external auditor and is a qualified accountant (FCA – Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales).