Professor Andrew Shennan OBE MBBS MD FRCOG Chair of the Board of Trustees
Andrew Shennan is Professor of Obstetrics at King’s College London, based at St. Thomas’ Hospital. He is clinical lead of the Maternal and Fetal Research Unit, and specialises in clinical trials in antenatal and intrapartum care. His research interests include interventions to prevent preterm birth, pre-eclampsia, encouragement of normal birth and the use of blood pressure monitoring.
He chaired the Department of Health Committee on Blood Pressure Monitoring in clinical practice, and sits on the relevant committees for the International Standardisation Organization (ISO) and the British Hypertension Society (BHS). He also advises the World Health Organisation (WHO) on perinatal research.
Dr Carol Cooper; MA MB BChir (Cantab) MRCP (UK) Deputy Chair of the Board of Trustees
Carol Cooper is a doctor, medical journalist, and author. She teaches at Imperial College, London, where she won the 2022 award for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching, and is also a Fellow and Tutor at Newnham College, Cambridge.
Her non-fiction books include several pregnancy and parenting books, and she has also co-authored an award-winning textbook, General Practice at a Glance, which draws on her long career as a general practitioner. She also writes novels, all them featuring multicultural characters and a medical strand.
As a journalist, she is best known for being The Sun newspaper’s doctor for over 20 years. In 2014 she elected president of the Guild of Health Writers.
Carol is honorary consultant in family medicine to Twins Trust. She has three sons (including twins) who are now adults.
Mr Darren Reece Treasurer
Darren is married to Julia and they have two wonderful sons, Joseph and Daniel. Tragically, Darren and Julia lost their first born, Emma to Pre-Eclampsia in 1994, aged just 5 days. Darren and Julia have been supporters of Action on Pre-eclampsia for several years and following a reduction in his work commitments, he hopes to be able to offer a Fathers’ perspective for APEC.
Darren has spent his career within banking and asset management, so, as well as offering a fathers’ perspective, he is able to offer his expertise on all matters finance related.
Professor Jenny Myers PHD MRCOG Honorary Research Director
Jenny is a Professor of Obstetrics & Maternal Medicine within the Maternal & Fetal Health Research Centre, University of Manchester and Consultant Obstetrician, St Mary’s Hospital. As an obstetrician, Jenny works on the labour ward of this busy tertiary unit (>9000 deliveries), leads the diabetic, renal and hypertension service and runs two translational research clinics for women with hypertension and diabetes.
She currently leads a portfolio of clinical and laboratory science studies which spans vascular and placental biology research, preclinical models, observational cohort studies and intervention trials before, during and after pregnancy.
Jenny is also the lead site investigator for several multicenter studies related to hypertension and diabetes in pregnancy. Jenny chairs the North West Pre-eclampsia Guideline Group, is the Maternal Medicine representative for the British Maternal & Fetal Medicine Society, is a Consulting Editor for Plos Medicine, Secretary of the RCOG Blair Bell Research Society and has served on several NICE committees.
Dr Kim Turner
Dr Kim Turner has been an APEC trustee since 2003. Her main interests are maternal medicine and global health. She played a key role in developing the APEC online learning program and the Patient Public research group on Facebook. She has lived in the USA since 2015 where she is an assistant professor at Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California.
Ms Dianne Garland; SRN RM ADM PGCEA MSc
Dianne has been a midwife since 1983 and worked in clinical, educational and managerial roles. During this time she became aware of APEC through learning about study days and the reading the first published book by Prof Chris Redman.
In 2005 she launched her own company MidwifeExper.com, providing education to parents and professionals, with a specialist interest in waterbirths. She has honorary roles in Birth Centres in Wenzhou China and Hyderbad India and is clinical governance lead for Waterbirth International based in Florida, USA.
In 2010 Dianne became a trustee for APEC and continues to work as a midwife in her local hospital ensuring professional standards are maintained in line with NHS and NMC guidelines. She has been published widely in professional and consumer journals and has written 4 published books on waterbirth. Dianne acts as a specialist advisor to the CQC, undertaking legal work for NHSLA and private solicitors.
In 2019 Dianne was awarded an RCM fellowship for work worldwide in waterbirth.
Mrs Vijya Varshani
Vijya is an experienced Property Manager for a Lettings and Property Management
Company and currently lives with her husband and two young boys in London.
Vijya has been involved with APEC since 2012 and went on to become a trustee in 2015.
She has been a regular speaker at the APEC study days for midwives where she shares her
own personal experiences of pre-eclampsia during her first pregnancy. Sadly, in 2012 she
lost her first son Krishan at 27 weeks to pre-eclampsia. Following this devastating loss,
Vijya and her husband raised nearly £3000 for APEC in their son’s memory.
Vijya is strongly committed to supporting current and future women and their families
who experience pre-eclampsia, as well as sharing her experiences to educate health
professionals to increase awareness.
Mr Rob Crussell
Rob is a parent advocate trustee and lives in Northampton with his wife Kate, four year old Elsie and baby Chloe.
In 2015 he sadly learned how deadly pre-eclampsia can be when baby son Theo died shortly after birth and Kate was very lucky to have survived. Since then the couple have raised over £67,000 in memory of Theo for the local Hospital and charities such as APEC and Tommys.
Rob ran the London marathon in 2016 and since then has spoken at APEC expert days, study days and a Round Table event at the House of Lords. He is passionate about helping APEC educate families and especially partners and dads on the signs and dangers of this terrible condition. “I feel very honoured to have been asked to become an APEC trustee and that this is a great way I can honour my son’s memory and make sure his mark on the world is a good and important one. “
Dr Louise Webster
Dr Louise Webster is a Consultant Obstetrician at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. She is also the Clinical Director for the London Maternity Strategic Network and led the recent update of the London Intrapartum Fetal Monitoring Training and Competency Assessment Best Practice Resource (https://www.england.nhs.uk/london/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2020/03/IFM-Resource-FINAL-04.03.20.pdf). Her PhD evaluated mechanism and treatment in women with chronic hypertension in pregnancy to assess factors contributing to adverse maternal and perinatal outcome. This included an award-winning paper Webster and colleagues ‘Labetalol versus nifedipine as antihypertensive treatment for chronic hypertension in pregnancy: a randomized controlled trial’ Hypertension 2017 Nov;70(5):915-22 and a cohort study including over 4000 women with chronic hypertension in pregnancy which demonstrated that Black women (compared to White women) were over 5 times more likely to have a stillbirth and at more than 2 times the risk of their baby being below the 3rd birthweight centile (Webster and colleagues ‘The impact of ethnicity on adverse perinatal outcome in women with chronic hypertension: a cohort study’ Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2018 Oct 14). She is passionate about implementing evidence-based practice to improve maternal and perinatal outcome through a holistic and individualised approach to maternity care.
Dr Lucy Mackillop
Dr Mackillop is a Consultant Obstetric Physician, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer, Nuffield Department of Women’s and Reproductive Health, University of Oxford and President of the UK’s MacDonald Obstetric Medicine Society. She is also Chief Medical Officer at Sensyne Health plc.
Dr Mackillop trained in General, Renal and Obstetric Medicine in Oxford, London and Sydney before taking up her consultant post in 2008.
Dr Mackillop has published over 80 peer-reviewed articles, national and international guidelines, book chapters and e-learning resources on a wide variety of medical conditions in pregnancy. She is Chair and lead for the Thames Valley Maternal Medicine Network and co-wrote the Royal College of Physicians curriculum for a credential in Obstetric Medicine, launched in November 2020. She is an educational supervisor and external assessor for this programme.
Her research interests include the role of remote monitoring solutions in women with medical problems in pregnancy and construction of evidence-based algorithms to predict acutely unwell women in pregnancy and the immediate puerperium.
She has led the development and evaluation of a patient app-to-clinician digital system for the management of women with diabetes in pregnancy through to commercialisation and scale; now used in over half of maternity units in England
Dr Sarah Winfield
Sarah works full-time as a Consultant Obstetrician with Maternal Medicine special interest, and is based at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. She oversees the Obstetric Cardiac, Renal and Respiratory clinics in this tertiary referral centre. She sees high risk obstetric patients for pre- and post-natal counselling and participates in the consultant on-call rota on delivery suite.
In August 2021, Sarah was appointed as the Regional Lead Obstetrician for the North East and Yorkshire. She was the Clinical Lead for the Yorkshire and Humber Clinical Network (2014 -2021) and is the North of England Representative for the NHS England Women’s Clinical Reference Group (from 2013). In July 2021 Sarah was invited to be the independent chair of the North West Networked Maternal Medicine Board. These outward-facing roles have enabled Sarah to contribute to development of maternity services locally, regionally and nationally, supporting implementation of the National Maternity Transformation Program.
Sarah grew up in Newcastle upon Tyne and completed a degree in Physiology at Leeds University in 1993 before going to Medical School at Newcastle University, from where she qualified in 1998. She completed her Obstetric training in the Northern Deanery and was appointed as a Consultant Obstetrician in 2007.
When Sarah is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters.
Dr Anita Banerjee
Anita is an Obstetric Physician, General Medicine Physician and Diabetes and Endocrinology Consultant. She is an Honorary Reader in Obstetric Medicine, at King’s College London and Deputy Director of Medical Education at Guys and St Thomas’ Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
She is the Secretary of the MacDonald Obstetric Medicine Society. She is one of the central physician assessors for the UK confidential maternal deaths enquiry. She has published articles, guidelines and book chapters on a wide variety of medical conditions in pregnancy. She is one of the leading authors of the RCP Acute Care Toolkit on managing acute medical problems in pregnancy. She is on the steering committee for mMOET, as the lead advisor for medical problems in pregnancy. Her main interests are high risk pregnancies, complications of preeclampsia, the management of the deteriorating pregnant woman and education.
Dr Kate Harding
Kate is a Consultant Obstetrician at Guys’ and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust in London. She was appointed in 1997. As a high-risk obstetrician she takes a particular interest in critical care, women with HIV, women with renal disease and those with malignancy. Kate is a preceptor for ATSMs in labour ward leadership and advanced antenatal care. Her other interests include guidelines, audit and standards of maternity care. She has taken her unit to level three maternity CNST accreditation and has both written and lectured on audit and clinical governance. As president of the MacDonald UK Obstetric Medicine Society, Kate is able to keep abreast of new developments in the field of obstetric medicine and help educate the next generation of obstetricians in the art and science of obstetrics and obstetric medicine.
Honorary Medical Director
Emeritus Professor James Walker; MD FRCP FRCPS MBChB FRCOG
James was Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in the University of Leeds, working in St James University Hospital until September 2019. James is the Clinical Director of Maternity Investigations and Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB). He is former National Professional Advisor for Maternity care Quality Commission (CQC) and Former Senior Vice President of the RCOG with a remit for Global Women’s Health. His special interest is in High-Risk Obstetrics particularly Early Pregnancy Loss, Pre-eclampsia, Labour Ward Management and Obstetric Emergencies. He was instrumental in the orchestration of DAUs.
James retired as an APEC Trustee in September 2021 after joining in 1995. He is now our Honorary Medical Director.
Marcus Green BA (Hons), Chief Executive Officer
Marcus is his eighth year as CEO of Action on Pre-eclampsia where he initially focussed on modernising the charity. Latterly he has worked on the continued international development of the charity, the focus on research where we’ve been involved in the publication of around 40 academic papers and on the external affairs and influencing role of APEC.
His career has been varied, starting off working for a political party ending up running the office of a former Health Secretary. He regularly worked alongside senior Ministers and the then Prime Minister. He also developed an interest in the politics of Albania where he was an election observer.
After this he moved into the mainstream of health charities eventually becoming director of a charity for the visually impaired, then CEO of a hospice in the south west of England, which under his leadership grew significantly and built a new multimillion pound hospice.
He then set up a business focussing on supporting charity leaders which is where the personal and professional came together as his wife had pre-eclampsia, it therefore became one of the best decisions of his life to work with APEC.
Rowan Grigg; BA (Hons) PGCE | Education Officer
Rowan joined the charity in January 2013. As a qualified teacher, Rowan’s skills and experience in the education arena are a valuable asset to the APEC team.
Rowan works part time with APEC as Education Officer, responsible for organising our invaluable pre-eclampsia study days and educational events. She also monitors the online learning resources, keeps the website up to date, writes the monthly newsletter and writes fundraising bids for APEC.
Rowan juggles working at APEC with her other job: being mum to three sons – 21, 20 and 7. In her spare time she is interested in fitness and running, (recently completing four half marathons), gardening and baking. She also creates and sells handmade bar soap.
Abbie joined the charity in February 2022. She works part time as Finance Lead as well as being the primary point of contact for helpline calls. Abbie has had her own personal experience with pre-eclampsia which subsequently brought her to deliver her son Jude prematurely at 24+5 and he survived for 32 days. Since having this experience Abbie has been passionate about raising awareness around pre-eclampsia and trying to find a cure.
Abbie is also a mum to her daughter who is 4 years old. In her spare time Abbie makes and sells baby clothes, enjoys going to the gym and taking her daughter on fun days out!