Specialist Paediatric Respiratory Medicine

We are one of four London centres for childhood cystic fibrosis, and are the specialist referral centre for children and young people in Northeast London and Essex with complex asthma and other respiratory problems.

Conditions we investigate or treat include:

  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Wheezing disorders including difficult to treat asthma
  • Persistent cough 
  • Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) and other bronchiectasis
  • Recurrent lung infection
  • Lung disease from other conditions (e.g. sickle cell, cerebral palsy)
  • Immunodeficiency
  • Congenital lung abnormality
  • Airway problems
  • Obstructive sleep apnoea and other sleep-disordered breathing problems (including sleep studies)
  • Obesity hypoventilation syndrome
  • Non-invasive ventilation and tracheostomy
  • Aspiration lung disease

Services we offer include:

  • Sleep study
  • Home oximetry
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Induced sputum
  • Spirometry
  • Exercise testing
  • Fitness to fly testing
  • Allergy testing (for respiratory allergens only)
  • Oesophageal pH-Impedance study
  • Obesity investigation
  • Swallow assessment
  • Exhaled nitric oxide testing
  • Nasal nitric oxide testing (for PCD)
  • Sweat testing (for CF)
  • Inhaler technique training
  • Asthma education
  • Respiratory physiotherapy
  • Complex lung function

Information for professionals

Most respiratory conditions can be managed in the community and we aim to provide initial management advice via links on this website.  Where referral is required (note we see children with all the above problems) specific criteria apply to some services:

  • Most CF patients are picked up via the newborn screening pathway, other strongly suspected CF patients will be seen urgently in the general respiratory clinic following telephone discussion (bleep 1042 via switchboard). 
  • The Metabolic obesity clinic can only accept children with BMI >3.5 z-score above the mean, this can be assessed by this UK-WHO growth chart app.  These are seen by Dr Gin Peh in general paediatrics unless there are respiratory concerns.
  • External sweat test requests must come from secondary care.
  • Sleep study requests must come from secondary care.
  • The asthma clinic accepts children uncontrolled at BTS step 3 or who have evidence of poor control with salbutamol overuse, x1 hospital admission, or x2 ED attendance or oral steroid course in two years.
  • The difficult asthma service accepts referrals from secondary care; suitable patients will have been admitted to ICU or required IV bronchodilator recently, or are uncontrolled at BTS step 3-4.  In either case the referral form attached should be completed.

Our research 

Professor Grigg is based at the Blizard Institute of Queen Mary University of London, conducting basic and clinical research on children’s lung health.  He supervises research fellows and specialises in preschool wheeze and pollution research. Many of our junior medical staff and even consultants have done research degrees at the Blizard Institute and Professor Grigg encourages approaches from interested candidates.

Through our involvement with the organisations such as the MCRN, the PCRN, the CLAHRC, the The CF Trust and AUKCAR we offer our families opportunities to benefit from involvement in clinical research such as the WAIT, TORPEDO-CF, CHILD-EU, and UK-ESPE studies, as well as trials of novel CF therapies.

The ongoing ACACIA study examines asthma control in children in Africa.

Meet the team

Consultants:

  • Caroline Pao – Head of Department, Cystic Fibrosis Centre Director
  • Sarah Brown – Clinical Lead for non-CF Bronchiectasis and Complex Needs
  • Surendran Thavagnanam - Clinical Lead for Sleep Medicine and Longterm Ventilation (LTV)
  • Chinedu Nwokoro – Clinical Lead for Asthma and Chronic Lung Disease
  • Jonathan Grigg – Professor of Paediatric Respiratory Medicine, Academic Lead and Joint Asthma Lead

Clinical Nurse Specialists:

  • Cystic Fibrosis: Jacqui Cowlard, Sarah Williams, Cath Lambert, Samina Sirajudeen (email the CF nursing team)
  • Sleep and Non-Invasive Ventilation: Selina Wong, Tincy Abraham, Liz Varghese (email the paediatric sleep team)
  • Immunology: Liz Mapazire
  • Neonatal Chronic Lung Disease and Home Oxygen, Complex needs: Rebecca Smith (email the respiratory nursing team) 
  • Non-CF Bronchiectasis, PCD and Complex needs: Helen Parker (email the respiratory nursing team) 
  • Specialist Asthma: Charlotte Carrick (email the respiratory nursing team) 
  • Tower Hamlets Community Asthma Nurse: Tori Hadaway (email the community nurse)

Junior Doctors (SpR – bleep 1042, SHO – bleep 1053): 

  • Sleep and LTV Clinical Fellow - Dr Muna Dahabreh
  • Cystic Fibrosis Clinical Fellow – TBA
  • Research Fellow – Dr Abigail Whitehouse, Victoria Oyenuga

Physiotherapists: 

  • Rachel O’Connor (lead, CF)
  • Caitlin Muldoon (Resp)
  • Natasha Roberts (PCCU)
  • Sam Grace (non-CF)
  • Gemma Murray (CF)
  • Canan Ozcan (CF)
  • Claudia Posso (Community Lead)
  • Samantha Reed (Community)
  • Penny Wilcox (neonatal)

Dietitians: 

  • Charlotte Walker (lead)
  • Heidi Speckmeier
  • Orla Cahill

Speech and Language Therapists:

  • Melanie Peck (lead)
  • Brenda Carty

Physiologists: 

  • Rasheda Choudhury (lead)
  • John Rae
  • Hina Mir
  • Mark Tuazon
  • George Bingham
  • Rosy Joseph (Sleep Healthcare Assistant)
  • Virginia Wong (Sleep Healthcare Assistant)
  • Katie Caria-Preen (Scientific Training Programme MSc Student)

Psychologists: 

  • Dr Kate Blakeley (lead)
  • Dr Marta Benko

Pharmacist: 

  • Chloe Benn

Administrators: 

  • Faiza Khan (Sleep medicine) - phone 020 3594 6441
  • Richard Lah (CF Registry)
  • Naa Arne and Christine Kotb (patient care coordinators) – 020 3594 2474
  • Gulshana Begum (CNS administrator)

Respiratory Ward Manager: 

  • Vivienne Casley