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Committees & Staff


Click on one of the headings below to explore that committee.

About the Executive Committee

The Executive Committee of BAHT is a group of members elected at the AGM to lead the organisation. The Executive's responsibility is to promote the objectives and manage the resources of the BAHT.

The individuals become Directors of the organisation according to the requirements of Charity Law.

The titles of the committee members reflect their specific responsibilities to lead in their area plus reporting to the whole committee at each alternate-monthly meeting. BAHT has been very fortunate to have had many forward thinking and hardworking committees over the years.

The Current Executive Committee

Hayley Smith (Chair)

Occupational Therapist – East Kent

Hayley is an occupational therapist, who has spent most of her time since graduating within hand therapy settings. She works both within the NHS and privately, currently full time at East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust.

Hayley joined the BAHT executive committee in September 2015 and is keen to work within the Executive Committee to promote hand therapy across the country.


Leanna Topcuoglu (Vice Chair)

Occupational Therapist 

BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapist.Leanne gained her degree from Canterbury Christ Church University College in 2001. She has worked within the NHS for 14 years, with over 12 years experience in treating hand conditions. Leanne currently works for Lancashire Teaching Hospitals alongside a team of orthopaedic and plastics hand surgeons as a clinical lead hand therapist. Leanne is skilled in complex hand assessment and condition management with a special interest in complex polytrauma and CRPS


Christy Fowler

Occupational Therapist – London

Christy started her career as a Hand Therapist in Australia before relocating to the United Kingdom in 2010. Christy is a clinical specialist hand therapist working within the private sector at the London Hand and Wrist Unit. She has worked at the London Hand and Wrist Unit for the past 4 years and has a strong interest in Congenital Paediatric Hand Conditions and the rehabilitation of sportsmen with hand injuries. Christy is currently completing her Masters in Advancing Clinical Practice at the University of Ulster.


Esther Ibrahim (Treasurer)



Lucy Nash (Vice Treasurer)

Physiotherapist- Manchester

Lucy joined the executive committee as a co-opted member in January 2019.  She qualified in 2014 and has been working at Manchester University Foundation Trust's Wythenshawe Hospital in the Burns, Plastics and Hand Therapy department since 2017.  Lucy was keen to join the executive committee because she is passionate about hand therapy and wishes to raise the profile and understanding of hand therapy both regionally and nationally.

As well as striving to become an Accredited Hand Therapist, Lucy enjoys eating and drinking with friends and family and exploring the outdoors.

Sam Fenning (Director of e-bulletins)

Sam joined the executive committee as a co-opted member in January 2019.  She qualified as a Physiotherapist in 2007 from the University of Birmingham and has been working at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust in the Plastic Surgery and Hand Unit since 2016 as a Specialist Physiotherapist. She has previously worked at other major trauma and specialist centres around the UK, including; The Royal London, Chelsea and Westminster and Newcastle-upon-Tyne NHS Trusts within the area of Hands, Burns and Plastic Surgery since 2011. Sam is keen to promote the work hand therapists do and is involved in sending out a monthly e-bulletin to all BAHT members.


Linda Cornish (Secretary)

My name is Linda Cornish, I have been a Clinical Specialist in Hands since 2002 working at the University Hospital of Southampton, my current post is at Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Dorset.  I have been a member of BAHT for over 15 years. I am keen to join the Baht Executive committee,becoming a Co-opted member inJanuary 2019. This has given me a good insight into what is required on this committee. I have enjoyed investigating venues for the BAHT 2020 Autumn conference in the South. I enjoy helping to run courses and conferences; indeed helped run the Southampton Hand Course for Therapists and Surgeons since 2005.  This received a Wessex Deanery Award for Education in 2012.
I am keen to further pursue the good links we have with the BSSH as our relationship with our Hand Surgery colleagues is so important. I am also keen to promote the career of a Hand Therapist and enjoy training junior members of staff and students. 


Miriam Parkinson (Director of Membership)

I have been a member of BAHT since 2001 and have benefitted tremendously from my membership over these years through our journal and the attendance of conferences, courses, northwest regional meetings, successful bursary application and via networking. I have always appreciated being part of a society that works hard to support and develop it's members to a high standard. It seems natural now to give something back by volunteering as director of membership on the BAHT EC committee. Indeed, I would consider it an honour.



Fiona Powell (Director of Bursaries) 

Fiona qualified as an occupational therapist in 1994. She started her hand therapy career at Selly Oak hospital, Birmingham in a busy burns and plastics unit, before joining the Hand Rehabilitation team at Bristol Royal Infirmary in 1999, where she still works with a predominantly orthopaedic caseload.

In 2004, Fiona completed an MSc in Hand therapy at the University of Derby. She has since developed her skills in medicolegal practice and is a self-employed care expert for somek and associates, providing expert opinion in personal injury cases. In 2019, Fiona achieved accreditation from the British association of Hand Therapists.

Fiona is passionate about hand therapy and is pleased to be able to help contribute to the development of new hand therapists and the profession as a whole in the UK.



About the Education Sub-Committee

The BAHT Education Sub Committee is run by qualified occupational therapists and physiotherapists who all have a special interest in hand therapy education and in promoting the BAHT education system and Accredited Hand Therapist award. They give their time voluntarily and each member takes responsibility for a different aspect of the committees' role.

Any information you may wish to submit to the committee should be received by the administrative secretary no less than 2 weeks prior to the meeting date.

The Current Education Sub-Committee

Nikki Burr (Chair/APL Coordinator)

Nikki has 22 years’ experience in Hand Therapy clinical practice at Royal Free London and Mount Vernon Hospital London. She gained her Accredited Hand Therapist (BAHT) award in 2002 and MSc in Advancing Practice in 2005. She has undertaken research projects over the years with different colleagues and is still very interested in research. In 2015 she has become an independent prescriber to enhance her clinical practice. She is now a Consultant Hand Therapist helping run a large hand trauma service in North London

Contact: Email not available without JavaScript

Debbie Miles (BAHT exam co-ordinator)

Debbie is a Physiotherapist and Accredited Hand Therapist who has been on the education committee since 2012.  She started her hand therapy career at St George’s Hospital in London in 2008, before moving to a role setting up a new hand therapy service at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust in 2015.  Debbie was involved in organising and running a BAHT level I course whilst at St George’s and has since developed level II courses in acupuncture, paediatric hand therapy and splinting independently.  Having always had a keen interest in education, Debbie moved into a full-time academic role at the University of Essex in 2018 whilst continuing some clinical hand therapy work alongside this for Ramsay Healthcare.


Chloë Kirk (Pilbeam)  Level I Co-ordinator

Chloë has over 10 years’ clinical experience in Hand Therapy and presently works at the Pulvertaft Hand Centre and Rheumatology Department at Derby. She gained her Accredited Hand Therapist (BAHT) award in 2018 and joined education committee. Chloë also has a role as a clinical educator teaching undergraduate medical students in rheumatology and musculoskeletal assessment/ treatment. She achieved her MSc in Advanced Physiotherapy in 2017. Her clinical interests include hypermobility, wrist and extensor tendon rehabilitation. Chloë is passionate about teaching, learning and education and how it improves the quality of patient care.


Karen Belward (Level 2 Co-ordinator)

 Karen qualified with a BSc (Hons) in Physiotherapy from Cardiff University in 1994. Since 2000, she has worked     in the plastics and reconstructive surgery fields in Swansea and Exeter prior to moving to her current role in   University Hospital Southampton where she leads the hand therapy team within orthopaedics and major trauma.   She has been an Accredited Hand Therapist since 2018, joining the ESC in 2019. Karen has run BAHT validated   level I courses, taught on BAHT level II courses and spoken at regional hand therapy study days.



Ella Donnison (Level III Co-ordinator)

Ella has been on the committee since 2006 and took on the Level III co-ordinator role in 2007. She is an Occupational Therapist, based at the Pulvertaft Hand Unit in Derby. Areas of interest include hand and upper limb therapy education and training and therapy within amateur and high performance sport.

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Penny Stuart (ESC Finance)

Penny is the lead for the Brighton and Sussex University Hospital Hand Service. Penny has worked extensively within the specialist area of Hand Therapy since qualifying in 1997. She has worked throughout the UK, Scotland and abroad. Clinical experience has focused on plastic surgery and orthopaedic hand surgery patients with hand and upper limb injuries, rheumatological conditions, within the specialist areas of performing arts medicine, and the neurological impaired upper limb. More recently one of Penny’s main achievements has been the setting up of one of the first Virtual Hand Fracture Clinics in the UK and is currently working with NHSi in the development of educational exercise videos which will be rolled out nationally.

Penny thoroughly enjoys the field of hand therapy, the complexity and intricate anatomy of the upper limb and the impact that this specialist area of work can have upon people’s lives. Her aim is to maximise the resources we have available, to provide first class hand therapy of all patients with hand and upper limb conditions.

Penny enjoys spending time with her partner and two young children. She likes baking cakes with her children, whilst listening to music, and loves to go for a run, especially when her daughter tags along too! 



Pascalle Smith - Hand Therapist (AHT Co-ordinator)

Pascalle is an accredited hand therapist and has worked as a specialist hand therapist for 19 years, following graduation as an Occupational Therapist from Southampton University. After graduation she worked at the Wessex Rehabilitation Unit at Salisbury Hospital and enjoyed focusing on long term rehabilitation in hand therapy. Where she gained specialist knowledge in assessment of chronic hand conditions and rehabilitation of the upper limb. She has also worked in the NHS at Queen Victoria Hospital East Grinstead gaining specialised experience and skills in hand trauma and plastic reconstruction. Since having family in 2009 Pascalle has worked in independent practise in private clinics in Sussex and Kent and as an Extended Scope Practitioner in a MSK service. She has taken part in clinical research to promote and develop patient care and reviewing treatment effectiveness. Pascalle is enthusiastic about education and has been fortunate to teach overseas.

Pascalle was previously Treasure for the British Association of Hand Therapists and is looking forward to returning to join the BAHT committee. She is keen to promote the specialist profession, encouraging new developments, research and ensuring best clinical treatments are available for patients.


2022 ESC Meeting Dates:

To be confirmed

How to Join the BAHT Education Sub-Committee

If you are interested in becoming involved with the BAHT Education Sub Committee, please contact us as we are often looking for:

  • New members
  • Supervisors for level III and APL applicants
  • Assessors for level III and APL applicants
  • Course external representatives

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Cynthia Srikesavan (Chair)

Physiotherapist - London

Cynthia currently works as a Senior Researcher in Physiotherapy at the University of Oxford. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in physiotherapy in 1998 in India. She then worked in different teaching capacities alongside clinical responsibilities in the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Gujarat in India for around nine years. She also completed her MSc and MPhil in Psychology and a Masters degree in Physiotherapy before moving to Canada for higher studies. Cynthia was awarded a PhD in Applied Health Sciences from the University of Manitoba, Canada in 2015 for a mixed-method study on a computer game-based hand exercise programme for people with rheumatoid arthritis or hand osteoarthritis.

Cynthia began working at the University of Oxford in June 2015 in a postdoctoral capacity. Her main research areas are hand rehabilitation in arthritis conditions, implementation, digital health interventions, and musculoskeletal patient-reported outcome measures. She is trained in conducting quantitative, qualitative, and mixed research studies, systematic reviews, and clinical trials.

Cynthia has published her research work in peer-reviewed journals and has also presented at various national and international physiotherapy conferences including the World Physiotherapy Congress. She is passionate about high-quality healthcare evidence and Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) in research. She is a keen supporter and contributor of the Cochrane collaboration and PEDro (Physiotherapy Evidence Database).  Cynthia joined the CEC in 2020, becoming chair in 2021.


Work profile


Victoria Jansen

Physiotherapist – Derby

Victoria graduated as a physiotherapist in 1996, and initially specialised in burns, plastics and trauma working in the Burns units at Roehampton, and East Grinstead as well as abroad in Auckland, New Zealand and Singapore. Victoria has worked in the Pulvertaft Hand Centre, in Derby since 2000, and her caseload includes both acute hand trauma and chronic conditions. Victoria has a dual role as both a senior hand therapist and a researcher.

Victoria’s special interest is in the therapy management of hand OA and wrist pain, with thumb OA being the focus of her current research activity. She has presented her research at national (BAHT) and international conferences (IFSSH and EFSSH) and published her work in peer reviewed journals.

In 2014, she was awarded a HEE/NIHR ICA Programme Masters Studentship and completed a Master’s in Research Methods at the University of Nottingham.

Victoria joined the CEC in 2017 and chaired the committee from 2019-2021. Victoria is committed to continuing to support members to develop the knowledge base for the conditions we treat, and the evidence base for hand therapy practice.


Donna Kennedy

Occupational Therapist – London

Donna is a hand therapist and Senior Clinical Academic for Occupational Therapy at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. She completed an NIHR HEE funded PhD in Pain Research at Imperial College London in 2018. Currently, she is an NIHR Imperial BRC postdoctoral fellow at Imperial College, investigating reporting of scar outcomes. Donna completing a BSc at Tufts University in 1984 and an MSc at the University of East Anglia in 2009 and has been a certified hand therapist (CHT) since 1992. She has practiced hand therapy in various healthcare settings in the U.S. and has worked in the NHS since 2002. She has published her work in peer-reviewed journals and presented internationally. Her research focusses on evaluation, treatment, and outcome of painful conditions in the hand and upper limb. She is passionate about promoting excellence in hand therapy, both in clinical care and research.


Work profile


Suzanne Beale

Occupational Therapist – Birmingham

Suzanne qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1991 and has specialised in Hand Therapy since 1996. Suzanne currently works as a Clinical Specialist Hand Therapist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Hand (QEHB), starting this role in 2001.

Since 2015, Suzanne has also worked as an academic research therapist within the Hand and Peripheral Nerve Service at QEHB. Suzanne’s specialist interest is within the peripheral nerve injury service, specifically the assessment and treatment of nerve and tendon transfers. Other interests include patient education and post-graduate training of therapists within hand therapy.

Suzanne completed a Masters in Hand Therapy at Derby University in 2005. Suzanne joined the BAHT CEC in 2016 and is keen to support the further development of research in the clinical workplace.


Jenny Lane

Specialist Registrar in Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery – Oxford

Jenny sits as the BSSH Research Committee representative on the BAHT clinical evidence committee. She graduated from medicine at Exeter College Oxford before undertaking basic surgical training in London. She returned to Oxford in 2014 as an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow and specialist registrar in Trauma and Orthopaedic surgery.  Jenny was awarded a Versus Arthritis clinical research fellowship and MRC doctoral training fellowship in 2017, and is currently undertaking a PhD in Biomedical Data Science.  Her research interests are in surgical and device epidemiology, using routinely collected data and prospective cohort studies to improve surgical care. She works with UK and internationally based datasets, evaluating factors associated with developing hand conditions and is part of the OHDSI network of observational data scientists, undertaking studies that can be replicated worldwide through collaborative research.


Work profile


Catherine Rolls

Physiotherapist – Bristol

Cat completed an undergraduate degree in Biological Science at Oxford University in 2003 and subsequently graduated from Kings College London in 2006 with an MSc in Physiotherapy. She has been working as a Hand Therapist since 2012. Cat has worked predominantly in the NHS and has a strong background in orthopaedic trauma, with an interest in compression neuropathies of the upper limb. Cat continues to work in a clinical capacity at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust.

In 2018 Cat was awarded an HEE/NIHR internship to conduct a systematic literature review into the incidence of CRPS after wrist fracture. This work has been published in Hand Therapy. Cat followed this with an Above and Beyond charity research grant to look at local CRPS pathways. She is currently undertaking an NIHR Pre-Doctoral Clinical Academic Fellowship (PCAF) with a focus of persistent pain after wrist fracture.

Cat joined the BAHT CEC in 2020 and is keen to support hand therapists interested in starting a career in clinical academia.



Members of Staff

Eve Dunn (Secretary of BAHT)

Eve has been working for BAHT Executive Committee and Education Sub-committee since 1998 as clerical and administrative assistant. Her main role is to be the first point of contact for BAHT for members and general enquiries. She also maintains the membership database to ensure it is up to date. The role has grown over the years and Eve has enjoyed getting to know BAHT members and working alongside all committees.

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