NHS logo

01392 405051

Meet the team

Doctors

Lisa Joels, Consultant and Person Responsible

Lisa Joels

Consultant and Person Responsible

Iryna Roshko, Consultant

Iryna Roshko

Consultant

Sonal Paradkar, Senior Clinical Fellow in Reproductive Medicine and Assisted Conception

Sonal Paradkar

Senior Clinical Fellow in Reproductive Medicine and Assisted Conception

Georgios Koussidis, Clinical Fellow in reproductive gynaecology

Georgios Koussidis

Clinical Fellow in reproductive gynaecology

Lisa Joels

Consultant and Person Responsible

Lisa is currently the clinical lead for subfertility services in Exeter and Taunton and Person Responsible for the Fertility Exeter IVF clinic. Having spent 10 years working as a consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Swansea, Dr Joels moved to Devon to take up an active role here at the clinic.

She qualified from the University of Liverpool Medical School and completed further training in General Obstetrics and Gynaecology at St George’s Hospital, London. She then went onto train in Assisted Conception, Reproductive Medicine and Surgery at the University of Bristol, initially as a research fellow and subsequently as a lecturer. Research into Computer Assisted Sperm Analysis formed the basis of her doctoral thesis from which she was awarded an MD from the University of Bristol.

Iryna Roshko

Consultant

Iryna joined our team in 2016. She is a Clinical Governance Lead here at Fertility Exeter and is actively involved in postgraduate education in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Iryna gained her Medical Degree with honours in 1997. Having completed RCOG training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in South West of England, she then pursued further training as a Clinical Fellow in Reproductive Medicine. Iryna’s clinical interests include recurrent implantation failure, minimal access surgery and outpatient hysteroscopy. Dr Roshko is a member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecology, British Fertility Society and European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

Sonal Paradkar

Senior Clinical Fellow in Reproductive Medicine and Assisted Conception

Sonal started her career at Glasgow Royal Infirmary and has since worked in several different units both in the UK and abroad, before bringing her wide range of experience in Obstetrics and Gynaecology to Fertility Exeter in 2017.

Sonal completed her graduate studies in Mumbai with distinction and then went on to London to attain her MRCOG and DFSRH. She has also taught as a Tier 2 Medical Educator approved by the RCOG. She has presented at several national and international meetings and has won Poster Prize in the European Congress of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in May 2014.

Sonal is a member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health as well as a member of the British Fertility Society.

Outside of her work at the clinic, Sonal enjoys swimming, trekking and music.

Georgios Koussidis

Clinical Fellow in reproductive gynaecology

Georgios is a graduate from the University of Thessaly school of medicine (Larisa, Greece) and he is our clinical fellow in reproductive medicine and IVF. As a fertility clinician, Georgios spends his duties providing care to our fertility couples and also performing the procedure lists.

Georgios is a member of the British Ferility Society and has a strong clinical and research background, with publications in peer reviewed medical journals. In the past, Georgios has worked as a Specialist Registrar in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in North Yorkshire (South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust) and has also worked as a clinician in Greece, being enroled in a specialty training program in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Also, Georgios is on the reserve naval officer list of the Hellenic Navy, having spent 2 years as a naval officer in the Greek and Southeast Mediterranean waters. When not on-call, Georgios spends his weekends in London attending the research meetings of his Gyneeworks Gynaecology Startup Institute, working with other colleagues in the R&D for gynaecological and fertility treatments.

Throughout his career, Georgios has managed to obtain several research grants from institutions and fron the EU. Georgios has a research interest for surgical oocyte retrieval procedures and for embryo implantation dynamics.

Embryology Team

Rebecca Cowie, Principal Embryologist

Rebecca Cowie

Principal Embryologist

Nwora Melie, Senior Embryologist and Quality Manager

Nwora Melie

Senior Embryologist and Quality Manager

Joanne Wilson, Senior Embryologist

Joanne Wilson

Senior Embryologist

Kelly Dugan, Clinical Embryologist

Kelly Dugan

Clinical Embryologist

Sarah Armstrong, Clinical Embryologist

Sarah Armstrong

Clinical Embryologist

Jessica Adams, Reproductive STP

Jessica Adams

Reproductive STP

Frances Dennehy, Healthcare Science Support Worker

Frances Dennehy

Healthcare Science Support Worker

Gloria Milton, Scientific Administrator

Gloria Milton

Scientific Administrator

Rebecca Cowie

Principal Embryologist

Rebecca moved to Exeter in 1996, taking on the challenge of setting up the first IVF laboratory in Devon. This service allowed couples based in Devon and Cornwall the opportunity to seek assisted conception treatment without the need to travel outside the Peninsular. Rebecca continues to head up the scientific service here at Fertility Exeter in her role as Principal Embryologist.
Rebecca graduated from the University of Hull in 1995 with a BSc in Applied Biology, specialising in Molecular Biology. She then took the position of Trainee Embryologist at the Assisted Conception Unit in King’s College Hospital, London which also included managing the King’s sperm bank. Whilst working in London, Rebecca was amongst the first UK embryologists to again an HFEA ICSI practitioner’s license in 1996.
Rebecca achieved recognition as a state registered Clinical Scientist in 2000, when the register was opened. She also completed a Masters degree in Clinical Embryology through the University of Leeds in 2006 and became a Diplomate of the Royal College of Pathologists in 2009.
Rebecca says “I have continued to head up the scientific service in Exeter where I have delivered training to a number of embryologists starting out on their careers, including those that have remained and developed here in Fertility Exeter and some who have moved onto pastures new. During a number of years I have grown a friendly and dedicated team of experienced embryologists and support staff to deliver a patient-focused approach to IVF, assisted conception and preservation of fertility.”

Nwora Melie

Senior Embryologist and Quality Manager

Nwora joined the RD&E in 2007, with such experience that enabled him to be registered as, and use the protected title of ‘clinical scientist’ in the UK, as well as expertise in quality management.

He always “aims to be as good as I can be in my job” and has since gone on to be certified as a senior embryologist by the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology(ESHRE), awarded Level 5 in Management, by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) and is a diplomate of the Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath). He is a member of several professional bodies and continues to attend conferences and workshops.

Nwora contributes not just to the fertility clinic where he doubles as the quality manager, but trustwide as the coordinator of the Healthcare Sciences Strategy Forum (HSSF). The latter develops ideas for the training and workforce planning for all the scientific disciplines within the trust.

Nwora likes to travel, sing and watch television, including Dr Who which he liked from his first family holiday to England as a boy in 1975. He now does these with his wife and two young daughters.

Joanne Wilson

Senior Embryologist

Jo began her clinical career here in 2005 as a trainee embryologist, completing her ACE Certificate in Clinical Embryology in 2008 and successful registration with the HCPC as a clinical scientist in 2011. Jo is currently studying part-time for an MSc in Genomic Medicine through the University of Exeter. Jo is also responsible for our donor sperm programme, acquiring sperm from the UK and Denmark.

Before joining us, Jo completed a BSc honours degree in Zoology at the University of Glasgow and an MSc at the University of Wales. She specialised in equine reproductive physiology for her dissertation, carrying out research on a large stud farm in Australia. Jo then worked for 3 years at the Medical Research Council in Oxfordshire in research embryology.

Jo says “I adore my job and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I never get bored looking at embryos – they are beautiful wee things! I feel very privileged to have helped create and complete so many families; it is such a rewarding career. I especially love the high degree of patient contact we have here at Fertility Exeter, it’s great to be able to support our patients directly and get to know them throughout their journey with us. My particular interest is embryo cryopreservation and I think of all of our ‘frozen babies’ as being extra special!”

Kelly Dugan

Clinical Embryologist

Kelly joined us as a trainee embryologist in 2007 and was awarded the ACE Certificate in Clinical Embryology in 2011 and has completed her registration with the HCPC as a clinical scientist. Kelly is a key member of the scientific team and is also our Training Officer for our Trainee Embryologist.

After completing her BSc(hons) in Animal Science, Kelly successfully studied for her PhD in early follicular development in cattle at the University of Nottingham. Kelly then went on to lecture in animal physiology at the College of Animal Welfare and the Nottingham Trent University.

Kelly says “I had dreamed of being an embryologist for many years! I enjoyed my former life of cattle embryology but having the ability to help create and complete a family makes this job one of the most rewarding out there! Being able to support patients through their fertility journey, the ups and the downs is a real privilege and a special part of the job for me. The egg sharing programme gives a unique opportunity to help two families at the same time. The ultimate outcome is when both the donor and the recipient phone in with a positive result. I don’t think there can be many people who have such a lovely job that they genuinely look forward to.”

picture

Sarah Armstrong

Clinical Embryologist

Sarah has a BSc(hons) degree in Physiology from the University of Leeds and joined us as a trainee embryologist in 2010. She completed the ACE Certificate in Clinical Embryology in 2012 and has recently completed her registration with the HCPC.  Sarah is currently studying part-time for an MSc in Genomic Medicine through the University of Exeter.

Working as a full time clinical embryologist, Sarah is also responsible for the ordering of laboratory consumables and maintaining contact with our sperm, egg and embryo bankers.

Sarah says “As a proud northerner I never anticipated living so far south but when I was given the opportunity to train here as an embryologist I jumped at the chance! I genuinely love my job and I feel very privileged to be a part of our patients’ journey; seeing patients come back into the clinic as parents always gives me a warm glow! It’s not all about the success stories though, helping those who are about to undergo medical treatment which may harm their fertility is an ever increasing part of our role. By cryopreserving eggs and sperm we help keep hope and positivity alive for the future, which is very rewarding.”

Jessica Adams

Reproductive STP

Jessica joined us in 2013 as part time as a member of the scientific team alongside her studies. Joining us full time now, Jess is currently undertaking the Scientist Training Programme (STP) with specialism in Reproductive Science. She is also trained in Embryological and Andrology techniques including oocyte retrieval and semen analysis.

Jessica completed her BSc(hons) in Human Biosciences at the University of Plymouth and has recently completed her PhD in Male Fertility at the University of Exeter.

Jessica says “Getting the opportunity to work alongside the team at Fertility Exeter has been the highlight of my PhD. Treatments for infertility are constantly developing, with time-lapse embryo monitoring one of the latest additions, and getting to see how research is helping patients is fascinating. The enthusiasm within the team is catching, assisting patients through their journey is such a privilege.”

Frances Dennehy

Healthcare Science Support Worker

Following completion of a BA degree(hons) in German with French at the University of Exeter, Fran joined us in 2005. Initially a member of the administrative team, Fran quickly became more involved in scientific support.

Fran is now trained in Andrology techniques and assists in the Embryology laboratory, as well as providing administrative support to the Embryologists. Fran is also responsible for recording the information on our treatment cycles for the HFEA.

Fran says “After graduating from the University of Exeter and working abroad for a while I was keen to move back to Exeter and Fertility Exeter offered me the opportunity to do that. As a modern languages graduate I wasn’t expecting to stay long but this soon changed. I found the science of fertility so interesting and the team I work with so lovely that I have never moved on. I have learnt many new skills and enjoy being a small part of helping our patients try to achieve their dream of parenthood.”

Gloria Milton

Scientific Administrator

Gloria is a long standing member of our team. She joined us in 1998 as part of the administration team as a Support Secretary and since then Gloria has held key roles in the clinic as a Medical Secretary and as Finance and Administration Manager.e

Despite retiring, Gloria returned to us in a new role of Scientific Administrator in 2014. She provides essential administrative support to the embryologists, including maintaining annual contact with our patients who have samples in storage here at the clinic.

Gloria says “I have loved working here at the Fertility Clinic and, even though I am now retired, I still feel I have much to give. My role of supporting the embryology team gives me satisfaction and makes me feel I am doing a worthwhile job. I could not imagine working anywhere else as I feel proud of what we have all achieved towards our patients’ journey through whatever treatment they are undertaking. ”

Nurses

Mary Cawthron, Fertility Nurse Specialist

Mary Cawthron

Fertility Nurse Specialist

Denise Davies, Theatre Sister

Denise Davies

Theatre Sister

Sharon Doswell, Senior Healthcare Assistant

Sharon Doswell

Senior Healthcare Assistant

Sandy Frith, Staff Nurse

Sandy Frith

Staff Nurse

Teresa Poole, Fertility Nurse Specialist

Teresa Poole

Fertility Nurse Specialist

Stephanie Prout, Fertility Nurse Specialist

Stephanie Prout

Fertility Nurse Specialist

Jodie Woods, Senior Healthcare Assistant

Jodie Woods

Senior Healthcare Assistant

Mary Cawthron

Fertility Nurse Specialist

tbc

Denise Davies

Theatre Sister

tbc

Sharon Doswell

Senior Healthcare Assistant

Sharon has an NVQ level 3 in Health and Social Care and has a background in haematology, oncology and elderly care. In 2013 Sharon opted for change and joined us as a HCA.

As a HCA, Sharon’s role sees her assisting with theatre procedures and ultrasound clinics. Sharon is also provides patient support and injection training and is trained to take blood samples

Sandy Frith

Staff Nurse

Sandy joined us in July 2012 as a Staff Nurse. In this role she runs pre-assessment clinics, provides patient care and technical assistance during procedures and recovery care post procedure.

She qualified in 1989 and her career has included roles in Obstetrics and Gynaecology theatres, Day Surgery and at the Contraceptive Clinic, in Exeter.

Sandy says “Having worked in Women’s and Sexual Health for most of my career, it has been a speciality I find fascinating. I became particularly interested in Fertility when I had fertility problems and treatment myself. I was adopted as a baby and have had a wonderful life, so I know there are many different ways to become a parent.”

Teresa Poole

Fertility Nurse Specialist

tbc

Stephanie Prout

Fertility Nurse Specialist

tbc

Jodie Woods

Senior Healthcare Assistant

Jodie started in the trust in 2000 as an auxiliary nurse working on a variety of wards including surgical outpatients and ENT. Jodie has NVQ level 3 diploma in Health and Social Care.
Jodie’s role as an HCA sees her assisting with theatre procedures and ultrasound clinics. She is trained to take blood samples and provides injection training and patient support throughout a treatment cycle.

Jodie says “I’ve been working in health care for many years and love the challenge of helping people in different settings. Having had fertility treatment myself, I feel I have an insight into the thoughts and feelings that can be common during treatment which I hope I can use to help support our patients.”

Counsellors

Linda Breeze, Counsellor

Linda Breeze

Counsellor

Gisela Lockie, Counsellor

Gisela Lockie

Counsellor

Linda Breeze

Counsellor

Linda has worked at this clinic from its beginnings, developing a counselling service to support both staff and patients.  She has achieved a postgraduate Infertility Counselling Award and is a senior accredited member of BICA (British Infertility Counselling Association).  Linda is also a psychosexual therapist and is particularly interested in supporting couples through the stresses that fertility treatment can bring, both emotional and sexual.

She has also worked for many years as a HFEA inspector, ensuring that a high standard of counselling is available in clinics throughout the UK.  Linda now splits her time between Fertility Exeter and her private practise as a counsellor, trainer and supervisor.

Linda says “Counselling is often almost unnoticeable; it is a quiet space where there is time for patients to sit and talk and be listened to, without judgment or assessment, in confidentiality.”

Gisela Lockie

Counsellor

tbc

Admin and Finance

Karen Sewell, Admin and Finance Manager

Karen Sewell

Admin and Finance Manager

Emma Priest, Financial Accounts Administrator

Emma Priest

Financial Accounts Administrator

Helen Howe, Secretary Team Leader

Helen Howe

Secretary Team Leader

Veronica Palmer, Medical Secretary

Veronica Palmer

Medical Secretary

Christine Roberts, Admin Assistant

Christine Roberts

Admin Assistant

Sarah Parkman, Receptionist

Sarah Parkman

Receptionist

Karen Sewell

Admin and Finance Manager

tbc

Emma Priest

Financial Accounts Administrator

Emma has worked in Administration and Finance since 1997. She joined the Trust in 2008 and began working as a Receptionist here at the Fertility department. Emma has qualifications in both Business Administration and Leadership and Management.

In 2011, Emma began working in the Finance department. Her role is to ensure that the financial side of treatment runs smoothly, responding to queries from patients, funding bodies and our suppliers. Emma also works closely with the Scientists to help co-ordinate our donor sperm programme.

Emma says “I thoroughly enjoy working within the Fertility department and all the challenges it brings. It’s so great to work as part of a large but very close team as we all have the same goal: to provide patients with the care, support and expertise needed to help them create their families. It’s such a fulfilling place to work and I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

Helen Howe

Secretary Team Leader

tbc

Veronica Palmer

Medical Secretary

Veronica became a full-time Medical Secretary to the Fertility team in October 2016. She moved to Exeter and joined the Trust in May 2011 as a Medical Secretary in the Centre for Women’s Health, this included medical secretarial support to the fertility service.

She qualified as a medical secretary and her career spans medical secretarial and administrative roles in hospitals and GP practices across NHS, private and overseas healthcare facilities.

“My role is to work collaboratively with the fertility team and across the specialties to ensure a professional, efficient and accurate service is achieved. I enjoy the mix of activities this involves and liaising with patients positively to assist them on their chosen treatment pathways.”

Christine Roberts

Admin Assistant

Chrissie has worked in healthcare administration for the (year) past 12 years. Having made the move to Devon in 2008, she took up a position at the RD&E Foundation Trust. Chrissie then joined our team in 2012. As an administrative assistant, Chrissie supports the work of the clinical team. She deals with all the new referrals coming into the clinic, arranges appointments as patients progress through their pathway of treatment and provides administrative support to Egg-sharing service.

Chrissie says “I have held various roles within the NHS but working in the fertility department is by far my favourite. I feel very proud to be part of a fantastic team of people who all strive so hard within their job roles. My motto would be my glass is always half full.”

Sarah Parkman

Receptionist

Sarah joined the reception team in February 2016, after moving to Exeter in 2014. Her background is in Customer Services and Finance.

Sarah worked in a face to face environment in a Post Office for over 7 years and prior to that as a Receptionist for a local paper and for a Hotel.

Sarah says “I enjoy working in a busy atmosphere and chatting to the public.”