Network Manager

Julie Bloomfield

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My name is Julie and I am the network Manager . I have worked in the NHS for 34 years and began my career as a podiatrist in Merseyside. I moved the North East in 1989 and joined Gateshead Community Services ,after several different roles I joined the QEH as the Children’s Services Manager , this was followed by a role as the Children’s Commissioning Manager and then an Assistant Director at the PCT . Gateshead PCT joined with South Tyneside and Sunderland to form SOTW and I operated as the business Manger for AHPs , Specialist Nursing, Community Mental Health ,Sexual Health and Learning Disabilities .

Later, I joined South Tyneside as the Emergency Planning and Business Continuity Lead and I used to plan the medical response for the Great North Run. Recently, I have been working with the Specialised Commissioning Team at NHS England and Improvement as the Women and Children’s Service Specialist. I am interested in service change, improvement and integration . I am very excited about joining the network which I believe is the biggest opportunity to advance the hospital care of children in the last decade. I have 3 children and a lock down pup called Rollo

Lead Nurse

Joanne Mulholland

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I qualified as a paediatric nurse in 1993 and have spent the majority of my career working within the two specialities of Paediatric Intensive Care and Children’s surgery in both London and Newcastle. I have also spent 15 years working as a transport nurse within the Newcastle paediatric retrieval service.

During the last three years of my career I have spent caring for children with tracheostomies and long term ventilation needs and multi complex children requiring routine and complex surgery.

I have a special interest in quality improvement and have been involved in a number of projects, including the development of an innovative paediatric early warning system and the regional wide ‘Resilience’ project. I am also a member of the Paediatric Intensive Care Society.

I’m looking forward to working with the many organisations within our region and offering my professional advice and guidance to ensure equity and accessibility for all children. tracheostomies and long term ventilation needs and multi complex children requiring routine and complex surgery.

Project Support Officer

Anne Watson

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I am the Project support officer for the Network. For the last 29years Ive worked in the private sector as Practice Administrator for the Optical chain Specsavers in Stockton on Tees. This involved all aspects of back-office support including financial and staff management.

As with a lot of things Covid made me evaluate what I wanted to do with my career and after my job role was changed after furlough, I decided to take the leap and move on. I was particularly drawn to working within the NHS in a similar role to my previous one but one that is more worthwhile and where I feel I can play my part in making a difference.


Louise Cullen

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My name is Louise. I am the Educator for both PCC & SiC within the ODN team.

My background is paediatric emergency care and general paeds and I have been a paediatric nurse for over 20 years. The majority of my career has been spent at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead with many happy years working across all areas of their paediatric inpatient, outpatient and day unit areas. Undergoing significant service change, the team then adapted to a focus on paediatric emergency care and following many years as a Sister at QEH, I made the move to Sunderland Royal, Paediatric Emergency Department in 2019 to join their dynamic and expanding senior nursing team. I joined the ODN team in July 2022.

My area of clinical interest is the care and stabilisation of the seriously ill or injured child within the context of DGH secondary care and following this interest has allowed me not only to lead on training and educational aspects within the departments I have worked, but also instruct within multidisciplinary faculties on APLS and PILS courses across the region. I also have an interest in Human Factors and promoting staff well-being.

I am thrilled to be part of the network and look forward to working with many colleagues across the region and nationally to support staff training and development and improve outcomes for the children and families we care for.

PCC Clinical Lead (Intensivist)

Rachel Agbeko

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My name is Rachel Agbeko. I am the Clinical Lead for the North East North Cumbria Paediatric Critical Care Operational Delivery Network. I share this post with Fiona Smith.

I have a background in Paediatric Intensive Care (currently PICU at the Great North Children’s Hospital, Newcastle) and General Paediatrics (in one of the smallest DGH in The Netherlands). My clinical interests in better understanding sepsis and brain jury initially led me to academia and immunology.

From there I have moved towards a more system and organisational framework. It is key to have a shared understanding of values and quality if we wish to realise a shared responsibility for achieving equitable excellent care for the children and young people in our region. I look forward to contributing to this co-creation.

SIC Clinical Lead (Anaesthetist)

Maria Clement (pronouns She/Her)

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Dr Clement has been a Consultant Paediatric Anaesthetist in Newcastle since 2010; and Clinical Director for Health Inequalities, for Newcastle Hospitals since December 2021. Dr Clement undertook her undergraduate medical training and career start in Anaesthesia in Trinidad, West Indies. She then continued her training in the Isle of Man; Glasgow; the North East of England; and finally, at Toronto ‘Sick Kids’. Dr Clement has more than 14 years' clinical expertise in all aspects of paediatric anaesthesia and surgery and is clinical lead - and service originator - for the hospital's Paediatric Preassessment service. Dr Clement is passionate about safeguarding the physical and mental well-being of all healthcare staff; improving patient experience; and is a vocal champion of eradicating inequalities for patients, staff, and every person in the local and wider global community.

SIC Clinical Lead (Surgeon)

Milan Gopal

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My name is Milan Gopal

I'm a consultant paediatric surgeon and urologist and have been working as at the Great North Children's Hospital for 9 years. During this time I have built up great working relationships both within the Newcastle Hospitals as well as in James Cook and Darlington Memorial Hospitals where I currently go to do outreach clinics. I assumed the role of Clinical Lead for Surgery in Children for the NENC ODN from April 2024.
I have trained in India, South Africa and UK. Within the UK I have worked in the paediatric surgical units at Glasgow, Bristol, Leicester, Leeds and Newcastle. This has given me a broad experience of different practices to learn from.

Working together with the core ODN team, I hope to work efficiently and effectively with the healthcare professionals, commissioners and patient groups within our ODN to improve the surgical care of children across our region.

PCC Clinical Lead (Intensivist)

Aravind Kashyap

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'Dr Aravind Kashyap is a Consultant Paediatric Intensivist at Newcastle’s Great North Children’s Hospital, and has worked in the region for 8 years, specialising in paediatric critical care transport and health information technology.’

Aravind see this an opportunity to make a difference to the health and well-being of the children of North East and North Cumbria (NENC). He is looking forward to developing a robust regional governance mechanism.

PCC Clinical Lead (General Paediatrician)

Anna Brough

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Dr Anna Brough is a general paediatric consultant at the Great North Children’s Hospital where her special interests are in high dependency care and emergency management. She is one of the lead consultants for the paediatric emergency assessment unit and has previously had a clinical role for the North East Children’s Transport and Retrieval (NECTAR) team. She is also the link paediatrician for the children's major trauma team in GNCH. Dr Brough joined the team in 2016 after training at Newcastle University and completed paediatric training in the North East. As well as having an interest in paediatric acute care and transport, she is quality improvement and simulation in health care.