Meet the case managers

Alice Leahy


Dr Alice Leahy has been a Wessex PSW case manager since 2019.

Alice is a Consultant Paediatric Rheumatologist at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, although she was originally appointed as a General Paediatrician in 2003.

Before studying medicine Alice did a degree in modern languages.

Alice has completed training to become an accredited mediator and is interested in helping to resolve conflict in the workplace. She is an educational supervisor and a student mentor. Alice completed her coaching training in September 2019, and is also a training advisor on the paediatric rheumatology College Specialty Advisory Committees (CSAC).

With five children, four pets and an Eritrean refugee living at home, Alice is used to quite a busy and chaotic life!

Hala Alsafadi


Dr Hala Alsafadi has been a Wessex PSW case manager since March 2021.

Hala has two clinical roles, she is a Diabetes consultant working with West Hampshire Community Diabetes team, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and is also an acute medicine consultant and clinical lead for acute medicine in Royal Hampshire County Hospitals Winchester.

Hala has graduated from Damascus University medical school in Syria and did all her post graduate training in the UK in the West Midlands after taking the IELTS and PLAB exam. She had CCT in Diabetes and Endocrinology and General Medicine and moved to Hampshire for her consultant posts in 2012. Hala is a fellow of the London Royal College of Physicians and she is educational and clinical supervisor to junior doctors of all grades and to advance nurse practitioners.

Hala is married and has 3 kids and likes spending time with her family. She likes travelling and meeting new people from different cultures.

Jo Hartley


Dr Jo Hartley has been a Wessex PSW case manager since 2019 and became a Wessex PSW Specialist Support Group (SSG) Exam expert in 2021.

Jo has been an Emergency Medicine Consultant at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust since 2007. She trained in Southampton, but delayed specialising for a number of years working in the UK and abroad before settling in Wessex.

Throughout Jo’s career she has been interested in medical education and training. She was Wessex Head of School for Emergency Medicine from 2015 to 2021, is a College Examiner and Leads on Quality for the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) Training Standards Committee working to improve standards for trainees.

These roles have enabled Jo to gain a wealth of experience working with doctors, formally and informally, to ensure that they get the best out of their training and are supported in their career choices. She is hugely aware that circumstances change, and often support at the right time makes all the difference.

Jo juggles her career with three school-age boys, so she is used to a challenge! She has an interest in wellbeing and understands the importance of a good work/life balance, whilst practicing medicine in the current climate. She is a coach/mentor and works as both a case manager and exam specialist.

Julie Chinn


Dr Julie Chinn has been a Wessex PSW case manager since 2012.

Julie’s background is in General Practice. She is a GP Programme Director and helps facilitate the Southampton Vocational Training Scheme (VTS), as well as running peer support groups.

Julie completed an Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) level 5 coaching qualification in 2017, and uses these skills with Thames Valley and Wessex Leadership Academy (TVWLA) as well as Wessex Local Medical Committee (LMC). She has been a GP appraiser since the start of 2003 and has conducted several hundred appraisals.

Julie really enjoys the role of case manager. She has seen a variety of trainees, and hopes to be able to support more in their times of need. Julie champions the Specialist Support Group (SSG) as she believes they provide a wonderful resource for onward referral.

Julie enjoys being a mentor and medical volunteer. She was a Gamesmaker at the London Olympics, has been a volunteer doctor on a tall ship with the Jubilee Sailing Trust, and has volunteered at festivals such as Glastonbury.

Julie’s interest is in supporting fellow members of her profession, to enable them to flourish in their careers.

Kelly Thresher


Dr Kelly Thresher has been a Wessex PSW case manager since 2021.

Kelly’s background is in General Practice. She is a GP locum in Southampton and works in local practices and in urgent care. She has been a GP appraiser since 2014. She was a GP Programme Director in Southampton and an ARCP panel member for many years. 

As a trained yoga and meditation teacher she understands the advantage of having practices and perspectives that can be used methodically to promote and maintain self-care and wellbeing.  

Kelly’s interest is to help individuals unlock their own potential, creativity and wellness and thrive in their careers and life.

Luke Birmingham


Dr Luke Birmingham has been a Wessex PSW case manager since 2020. 

Luke graduated from Newcastle medical school in 1988 and worked in the North-East of England and then the West Midlands before moving to Southampton in 2000 to become a consultant and senior lecturer in forensic psychiatry.   

During his consultant career Luke developed a keen interest in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and training, appraising and mentoring consultant colleagues and, more recently, coaching.   

In order to continue working with trainees Luke became a PSW case manager shortly before he retired from clinical practice in 2021.  Luke has always worked hard to maintain a healthy work – life balance.  Although he has retired from the NHS, he continues to work as a psychiatrist for the Parole Board, but Luke is now able to enjoy spending more time with his family and friends and pursuing other interests  

Luke is married to Jo, a GP.  They have four adult children and an energetic Border Collie. Luke is a Christian, he is a keen cyclist and an even keener fly-fisherman; he loves spending time with his wife and family and he enjoys cooking, travelling, exploring new places and meeting people. 

Majid Jalil


Dr. Majid Jalil is a GP. He graduated from Aga Khan University, Pakistan and completed postgraduate training in family medicine at the same university. He obtained an MSc in Medical Education from the University of Wales Cardiff and completed further postgraduate training in general practice in the Wessex Deanery.

Dr. Jalil has extensive experience working in diverse clinical and educational settings. His work alongside international colleagues has provided him with valuable insights into differing clinical and educational cultures. His academic interest is to explore how culture influences doctors’ understanding and management of consultations, as well as their learning and professional development. As a teacher and assessor of performance of undergraduate and postgraduate doctors, Dr. Jalil has observed first-hand how cultural differences can impact individuals’ interpretation of issues and their problem-solving strategies, which can in turn affect their performance. He has developed a framework that makes culture an “approachable concept” and helps educational supervisors, appraisers, and trainees to explore cultural values and beliefs in professional context and provides practical strategies for improving performance.

In his work as a Case Manager and Specialist Support Expert with PSW, Dr. Jalil takes an individualised approach to mentoring, focusing on the mentee’s perception of challenges and the influence of cultural attitudes and behaviours on their professional life. Through a partnership with the trainees, he develops strategies to improve performance and help them adapt to the NHS’s unique context. Dr. Jalil combines his expertise in medical education, cross-cultural teaching, and clinical knowledge to address both the clinical and educational dimensions of performance and facilitate active learning for trainees.

Meryl Deane


Dr Meryl Deane has been a Wessex PSW case manager since 2010.

Meryl has had an eclectic career. She qualified in 1982, and after Senior House Officer (SHO) jobs, she trained in public health medicine. Meryl was a consultant for five years, working in both NHS and academic posts. Much of her work in her academic role was on service improvement. After 11 years in public health medicine Meryl re-trained as a GP, and qualified in 2001.

Since 2001, Meryl has had a portfolio career. She has worked in general practice in various roles, and recently retired from clinical work.

Meryl has had a number of education related roles, including being a university lecturer, GP tutor, appraiser and mentor. She has also had a variety of other roles including working for the NHS Modernisation Agency and Macmillan Cancer Support.

Meryl has been lucky enough to be able to design her own career pathway, and is committed to supporting others to pursue their careers in their own way.

Poppy Mackie


Dr Poppy Mackie has been a Wessex PSW case manager since 2014 and became a Wessex PSW Specialist Support Group (SSG) Exam expert in 2017.

Poppy has been a Consultant Anaesthetist at University Hospitals Southampton Foundation Trust (UHS) since 2009, following completion of her anaesthetic training in Wessex. Throughout her training Poppy has pursued her keen interest in all matters educational and was a Wessex Medical Education Fellow (MEF) as a trainee and in her early years as a consultant.  

Since becoming a consultant, Poppy has been an Acute Care Common Stem (ACCS) tutor for anaesthetics, and is currently in her sixth year as college tutor for anaesthetics in her department.

Anaesthetics is the largest hospital-based specialty, with up to 50 trainees of all grades working in the department at any time. As college tutor, Poppy has supported many trainees through the hurdles and challenges of training, and has always found this aspect of her role deeply rewarding.

Poppy completed her Masters in Medical Education in 2013 and has a keen interest in educational supervision. She is an educational supervisor in her department, and has also been an educational supervisor to foundation programme trainees. In addition, Poppy is a personal tutor to a number of medical students. 

Poppy believes that professional support can be very effective in these situations and that the Wessex PSW is an invaluable resource for trainees. 

In her spare time, Poppy loves all things outdoors and sporty, and spending time with her family.

Sam Powell


Dr Sam Powell has been a Wessex PSW case manager since 2018.

Sam trained as a GP straight after medical school, qualifying in 2003. After a period as a Locum GP, she became a partner and then went on to become a trainer and appraiser. Sam also gained her Fellowship of the Royal College of General Practitioners for training Drs in difficulty.

In 2017, Sam left partnership and went to New Zealand for a while, to work and play. Since returning, she has been a GP locum around Hampshire, and has just settled into a salaried post in Totton. Sam has also been a mentor for Wessex Local Medical Committees for a while now, drawing on her long-term passion for Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) to help her.

Sam’s main ambition for being a case manager is to enable colleagues to find their way to a career that supports them to be the best they can be; using all their skills in a role where they know they are doing a good job.

Sonia Barros D’Sa


Dr Sonia Barros D’Sa has been a Wessex PSW case manager since 2020.

Sonia became a GP in 2005 (after a brief flirtation with a career in surgery!) and worked for many years in Basingstoke and North Hampshire, including 6 years as a GP partner. During this time she became a GP Trainer, and spent seven years working as a locum GP. Sonia has been teaching undergraduate medical students at Southampton University since 2006, covering communication skills, history-taking and clinical examination, ethical dilemmas in patient care, clinical teaching, and examining in final and intermediate OSCEs. She has worked clinically as a Retained (salaried) GP in Southampton since 2018.

In 2014, Sonia developed a portfolio career, including working as a GP Appraiser for the Wessex Appraisal Service, Mentor and Coach for the Wessex Local Medical Committees (LMC) Insight scheme, and more recently training as a Coach with the Thames Valley and Wessex Leadership Academy (TVWLA).

Sonia has been actively involved with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Wessex Faculty since 2006, and was awarded Fellowship of the RCGP in 2018. She is an elected member of Hampshire and Isle of Wight LMC, and has worked with First Five groups of newly-qualified GPs to support them during the transition from training to working independently.

Sonia is passionate about supporting doctors to maintain and improve their wellbeing, which in turn can help them to not just survive, but thrive during the various challenges they face as doctors. She believes that sometimes the biggest challenge can be finding the right career pathway for each individual, and balancing that with life outside the job.

In her ‘spare’ time, Sonia enjoys singing, swimming, travelling and cooking.

Sue Warren


Dr Sue Warren has been a Wessex PSW case manager since 2020.

Sue’s background is General Practice, where she was a Partner in Dorset. She was a GP trainer and educational supervisor, and now has a portfolio career.

Working as a GP locum in local practices session keeps Sue aware of current pressures. She is a representative on the Local Medical Committees (LMC) and runs her own business suewarrenmedicals.

Sue has a strong drive to support fellow doctors and is a clinician for Practitioner Health Programme (PHP). She enjoys being an appraiser.

For a few weeks a year Sue works in New Zealand, which gives a great insight into other health care systems.

Sue really enjoys spending time with her family, as well as her dogs, horses, and keeping fit by running and going to the gym.

Tamsin Betts


Dr Tamsin Betts has been a Wessex PSW case manager since 2020.

Tamsin is a qualified doctor who has worked in the NHS as a GP for over ten years. When she left to look after her family in 2012, she trained as a yoga teacher and now runs her own business, coaching professionals and teaching yoga and mindfulness meditation to groups and individuals. In 2019, she consolidated her knowledge and gained the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) level 7 coaching qualification. Since then Tamsin has been working with the Primary Care Workforce Centre in Dorset, coaching GPs.

Tamsin is particularly interested in career dilemmas, communication and work/life balance. She believes that by challenging and supporting people in the right way, they can flourish in their careers, whilst creating a greater sense of wellbeing and therefore improved performance. Tamsin has a breadth of experience and has coached clients across a range of issues and challenges.

Tamsin has a keen interest in health, wellbeing and nutrition, and recognises the importance of looking after physical and mental health to improve working and personal life.

Throughout Tamsin’s career, she has enjoyed teaching and mentoring. Her role as a coach has taught her to encourage a greater level of self-awareness in clients, to effect positive change by setting goals which are in line with their personal values.

Tamsin has retained strong links with the NHS and recognises the stresses that working within the NHS can bring. She can also see how rewarding and fulfilling it can be in the right circumstances.

Tamsin runs a busy family home, with two children. Sea swimming, walking and cooking are her favourite ways to relax.

Thwe Oo


Dr Thwe Oo has been a Wessex PSW case manager since 2021.

Thwe’s background is Oncology before she joined GP training. She has been a partner in the practice for 13 years.

Thwe is a GP trainer and also a trainer for sexual health. She has done a head massage course and uses this skill on others to relax herself. 

Will Bowditch


Dr Will Bowditch has been a Wessex PSW case manager since 2020.

Will’s background is in General Practice, where he was a Partner in Weymouth in Dorset. He was a GP Trainer, is a programme director with the Dorset GP training team, as well as being a Wessex appraiser.

Will enjoys the role of Case Manager. He has great experience gained during his career as an educator and GP in helping Junior Doctors reach their potential. Will’s interest is in supporting fellow members of his profession, to enable them to flourish in their careers. His experience as mentor and appraiser with a variety of trainees means that he is there to help trainees in their time of need.

Will comes from a farming family in West Dorset and is still very involved in the countryside and in encouraging youngsters to consider a career in agriculture. His interests are walking the Dorset hills, fishing the Dorset rivers and travelling the world to meet more people.

Jo Birmingham


Jo joined the PSW as a case manager in 2023. Prior to this she was a GP partner and trainer and had worked in a GP practice for 21 years. She and her husband have both left NHS clinical practice in the last couple of years to pursue other interests.

Jo is married and has 4 adult children- all of whom have left home. She loves travelling with her husband and her border collie, particularly spending time in France and is looking forward to taking up some other hobbies again. She has an active Christian faith and is a member of Christchurch, Winchester.

Having really enjoyed being a GP trainer Jo was keen to maintain contact with doctors in training positions, helping to support and encourage them in the profession. She really enjoys working for the PSW as this is an ideal way to do this.

Hillary Swales


Dr Hilary Swales was a Wessex PSW case manager 2014 to 2021 and has returned to the role following her retirement. She was co-lead for exam support 2017 to 2021 and set up and ran the exam preparation course during this time. She was a Consultant to the PSW working with case managers and the Specialist Support Group 2018 to 2021. She is a coach and mentor.

Hilary was a Consultant Anaesthetist at University Hospitals Southampton Foundation Trust (UHS) from 1997 until her retirement in July 2022. During this time, she developed a keen interest in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and training. She was College Tutor for 6 years, ran regional simulation courses and was a tutor to many medical students based both in Southampton and in Germany. She was Lead appraiser for the directorate.

Hilary is passionate about identifying and supporting doctors with specific learning difficulties or communication difficulties to develop strategies to thrive in the clinical workplace and to optimise their progress through postgraduate exams. She has personal experience of balancing career with physical health concerns.

Hilary has a keen interest in health and wellbeing. She promotes time for exercise and self-care to boost physical and mental health. She is hugely aware of all the demands on the time of trainee doctors and the juggling required in their working and personal lives. She works to help trainees consider their priorities, especially at times of change, whilst being mindful of their own wellbeing and that of their family. 

Hilary has two student daughters. She enjoys wildlife and landscape photography, cooking and sailing further afield since her retirement.

Sally Wilson


Sally has been a Wessex PSW case manager since 2023.  

Sally’s background is in General Practice. After a few years as a locum GP, Sally became a GP Partner and GP Trainer at Forestside Medical Practice in 2004. In addition, she was a GP Programme Director in Southampton for several years.  

Following the birth of her second child in 2014, Sally decided to become a Portfolio GP and expanded her roles in medical education and appraisal.  

Sally’s varied portfolio career currently includes working as a locum GP and she is a GP ARCP Panel member, which gives her good understanding of ARCP processes. Additionally, she is an appraiser for NHSEI and Wessex Appraisal Service Ltd and regularly teaches medical students at Southampton University. 

Sally’s varied portfolio GP career has equipped her with a wealth of experience and strong understanding of challenges faced by doctors. Sally is passionate about providing support to doctors, ensuring they are working on a sustainable footing and maintaining a good work: leisure balance.  

Sally juggles her career with 2 young children so is use to a busy life. As a keen dinghy sailor, Sally appreciates the importance of maintaining outside interests which promote wellbeing and self-care.