Staff profiles

Programme Board Members’



Ruwani Trabelsi is the Interim Head of Education and Training for the Estia Centre. Since she qualified as a learning Disability Nurse in 1993 she has worked in community learning disability settings in South London and Surrey in a variety of roles. She has also completed a degree in Health & Social Care and a Further Education Teacher Training. Ruwani has a passion for supporting and working with people with learning disabilities and she is particularly interested in Mental Health, Dementia, epilepsy and Safeguarding. She is also passionate about influencing care through training and mentoring of staff teams. Ruwani has a background in managing residential and supported living services as well as providing training for support staff. She has some experience and would like to implement co-training with people with learning disabilities as she believes that hearing from experts by experience is a powerful way of valuing people


Angie Degen, Executive Assistant has worked for the Estia Centre since 2005 and offers marketing and business support . Angie graduated in 2008 with a post graduate degree in management studies.


Clinical Trainers 

Anne Parris

Annie has held a number of roles working with adults with intellectual disabilities with behaviour described as challenging to services and is currently working as a Senior Behaviour Support Practitioner (BSS) with the mental health in learning disability team. She completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Psychology in Learning Disabilities (Challenging Behaviour) at the Tizard Centre, University of Kent in 2004.  

Kieron Beard

Dr Kieron Beard has worked as a clinical psychologist in the Mental Health in Learning Disabilities team in SLaM since qualifying from the University of Liverpool in 2013.  Prior to undertaking his doctoral programme in clinical psychology he worked as a senior support worker and home manager for a specialist learning disability challenging behaviour and intensive support service.  Kieron has a special interest in human rights and social justice approaches to psychological care, enabling compassionate support networks, sexuality and identity.

Amy Baddeley 

Dr Amy currently works as a clinical psychologist in the Mental Health Learning Disabilities Team. She completed her clinical psychology training at the University of East London, and has an interest in working systemically with people with learning disabilities and their support networks.  

John Cheetham 

Dr John Cheetham is a clinical psychologist in the Mental Health in Learning Disabilities. He has worked in the team since 2014, since qualifying from Salomons, Canterbury Christ Church University. Before working in the learning disabilities team, John worked on psychiatric inpatient units, Community Mental Health Teams and as a support worker in both learning disability supported living homes and in psychiatric rehabilitation hostels. John has a particular interest in working with people with learning disabilities who are experiencing psychosis, attachment, and bringing community psychology and social justice approaches to psychological interventions.

Honorary members'

Debbie Spain

Dr Debbie Spain is a Postdoctoral Clinical Researcher at King’s College London. She is a dual qualified learning disability and mental health nurse, an accredited cognitive behaviour therapist and a systemic practitioner. She has substantial clincial experience of working with adults with autism and ADHD, many of whom have had comorbid mental health conditions. She has been a PI and collaborator on a number of research studies, and these have principally focused on understanding and treating mental health symptoms in adults with autism, and the mental health of, and evidence-based interventions for, underserved populations.

Eddie Chaplin

Eddie Chaplin is the Associate Professor, South bank University. He has had extensive clinical experience in local and national mental health  services for people with neurodevelopmental Disabilities. He has also developed a number of academic courses at masters level relating to offending and the mental health of people with intellectual disability and/or autism. Eddie has an extensive publication portfolio and is Principal Editor for the Advances in Mental Health in Intellectual Disabilities Journal, including the first guided self-help manual specifically aimed at people with Intellectual Disabilities.

Associate Members'

Karina Marshall-Tate

Karina is an experienced learning disability nurse who has worked across specialist inpatient and community services in South London for people with a learning disability and additional mental illness. Karina’s areas of special interest are in the mental health needs of adults with learning disabilities and education and training to enhance clinical practice and workforce development. Karina led a two year project scoping the education and training needs of clinicians in relation to learning disabilities and developing and delivering training initiatives such as eLearning, Clinical Simulation and skills based conferences to enhance clinical practice and reduce health inequalities experienced by people with learning disabilities.

Jean O'Hara 

Dr Jean O'Hara is a Consultant Psychiatrist (SLaM) & National Clinical Director for Learning Disabilities, NHS England. She has been a consultant in the psychiatry of intellectual disabilities for over 20 years and has extensive experience working with ethnic minority communities in inner city areas. In addition to her clinical and management roles, she has developed and published research and training materials on ethnicity and diversity. This work has been reflected in Good Practice Guidance (RCPsych 2011) and several books including Textbook of Cultural Psychiatry (2007) and Clinical Topics in Cultural Psychiatry (2010). She oversees the training, consultancy and research programme at the Estia Centre, is an elected Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, an elected member of Council at the Royal Society of Medicine and past President of the Psychiatric Section.  From 2007-2014 she chaired the London-wide specialist training committee at the London Deanery; and from 2001-2009 was an examiner with the Royal College of Psychiatrists. 

Steve Hardy

Steve Hardy is a Consultant Nurse in Learning Disabilities at Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust. He has worked in mental health services for people with learning disabilities for the past two decades and has widely published in this area.

Nick Bouras

Nick Bouras is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the Health Service and Population Research Department at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London and Director of The Maudsley International.

He has been a member of several National and International organisations including Chairman, World Psychiatric Association, Section of Psychiatry of Mental Health and Intellectual Disability, Vice President of the European Association of Mental Health in Intellectual Disability and Vice President of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disability.

He has published widely and is member of the Editorial Boards of several journals.

Declan Murphy

Professor Declan Murphy trained in Psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital and Institute of Psychiatry (IOP). He undertook his research training at the IOP and at the National Institutes of Health (NIH,USA). His research interest is in the genetic and environmental determinants of brain development and behaviour.

Steve Moss

Steve Moss has worked for nearly 30 years in disability research,  and during the 1990’s, he directed a Department of Health funded programme of research on the detection and diagnosis of mental disorders in this population which saw the PAS-ADD assessment system (Psychiatric Assessment Schedules for Adults with Developmental Disabilities). The PAS-ADD tools have become increasingly widely used in UK services, and also in Australia, North America and Europe (where they have been translated into Spanish, Dutch, German and Greek).Most recently Steve has developed the ChA-PAS.

PAS-ADD Website click here  

Sam Riches

Dr Sam Riches has supported people with learning disabilities in a variety of roles, from volunteer youth worker, as a trustee of a small charity for people with a learning disability and now as a qualified clinical psychologist since 1995.  Since qualifying she has specialised in the mental health needs of people with learning disabilities and is based in the London borough of Lewisham. Dr Riches helps to review and deliver training at the Estia Centre and has a particular interest in the impact of bullying and discrimination on the emotional lives of people with learning disabilities.

Barbara Barter

Dr Barbara Barter currently works as a Clinical Psychologist with the mental health in learning disability team in SLaM since qualifying from North Wales in 2010. She has an interest in mindfulness, third wave behavioural approaches and clinical health psychology.




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