Introducing the Team

Dr Alexandra Battersby

Dr Battersby is one of the clinical leads for Healthier Together North East. She is a paediatric consultant at the Great North Children’s Hospital. Alex trained in the northern region in paediatrics and paediatric immunology and infectious diseases. She has an interest in acute paediatrics and infectious diseases and immunology. Dr Battersy is involved in guideline development within GNCH and I have a research interest in social prescribing in the community. 







Dr Emma Lim

Dr Emma Lim works at The Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle upon Tyne and is a paediatric consultant with an interest in paediatric Infectious diseases.  She is the Paediatric Sepsis Lead for the trust, has written the  RCPCH podcasts on sepsis and is course director for the national RCPCH sepsis course.  She is heading the North East regional team piloting the new national System-wide Paediatric Observation Tracking Project (SPOT) to introduce a national paediatric early warning system.  She is a researcher with the Horizon EU PERFORM and DIAMONDS studies looking for new tests for fever in children.  Emma is also passionate about working alongside children, families and young people, she believes that easy access to high quality information is the key to empowering families and collaborating with primary care.






Dr Christopher McKie

Dr McKie trained in Paediatrics in the North East of England and has been working as a Consultant Paediatrician for primary care in South Tyneside and Sunderland Foundation NHS Trust since 2018. He has been writing paediatric cate pathways with colleagues in primary care for over 5 years. Chris is passionate that children and their families have access to high quality information about their health as well as access to high quality, safe urgent and emergency care.







Dr Devasmitha Venkataraman

Dr Venkataraman has been a consultant paediatrician at South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust since 2013. Dr Venkataraman is the deputy regional lead, RCPCH, North East region as well as faculty at the RCPCH Paediatric Allergy Training (PAT) course.   

She is passionate about providing patient centric, innovative and high-quality care and has been involved in various quality improvement projects locally in Allergy Services within the South Tees Trust as well as with the CCG.  Her previous work as a Quality Improvement fellow in a Tertiary Neonatal Unit has brought about significant efficiency savings with reduction in medication errors culminating in a degree in Leadership and Quality Improvement. The Medication safety project was a Finalist at the National Patient Safety Congress 2013.   

Digital Health tools and services play a significant part in healthcare of the future, empowering knowledge and giving patients more control over their own health.  Dr Venkataraman has already worked in various digital projects in the past and currently working on the Cow's milk allergy project, Teesside to support self-care. She also happens to be the British society of allergy and Clinical immunology (BSACI) digital health representative to the Royal College of Physicians (RCP).  



Dr Subhan Christudas

Dr Subhan Christudas is a General Paediatrician with ambulatory paediatric interest, working in North Tees University Hospital, since 2017. For the initial three and half years and up until 2020 he was the Clinical Director for Paediatric Department. Subhan is currently leading the paediatric work streams for the Tees Valley Managed clinical networks and in an honorary position as advisor for the Child Health and Well-being Network’s Operational Oversight Committee. He has recently taken up an interim position as Training Programme Director for level 1 trainees in the region; as well as being a member of the Healthier Together Team.

Subhan is a keen photographer and has regularly posted photos of the Northeast in the hospital magazine ‘Anthem’. He is a keen cricketer and currently plays for the Durham City Cricket Team. One of his accolades is getting England cricketer Gary Pratt (who ran out Ricky Ponting in the famous ashes victory) caught behind during a match in yester-years. Subhan is also a serious audiophile and regularly keep up to date with developing technology.

Subhan commented that ‘it has pleasure working alongside these fantastic colleagues to bring HT initiative forward’.



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Dr Jessica Hollingsworth

Dr Hollingsworth trained at University College London before moving to the North East. She has worked across the region in secondary care before moving into General practice. She is a GP Partner at Linthorpe Surgery, Middlesbrough. She has an interest in personalised care, social prescribing, and preventative population health. She is Clinical Lead for Social Prescribing in Holgate PCN, working with MIND. She is Clinical Lead for CYP Social Prescribing for the Child Health and Wellbeing Network in North East and North Cumbria ICS. She is committed to improving the development of equitable services for patients and progressing collaborative provision of population based healthcare






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Catherine Bird

Catherine is the Quality and Safety Lead in Paediatrics in Cumbria, which involves assuring the organisation that children are kept safe whilst in care. Her role involves managing the risk and incidents within Children’s Services.  Catherine also leads on proactive work in Organisational Change to improve services and integrating learning from incidents when things go right or wrong.

Catherine's background is in Physiotherapy and has worked in out-patient and primary care settings for 20 years. She moved to Cumbria in 2004 and has worked in various locations in the UK, Australia and New Zealand and draws on her experiences 

Catherine is passionate about Healthier Together being a successful advice platform for families and professionals. 




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Laura Cassidy

Laura Cassidy joined the North East and North Cumbria Child Health and Wellbeing Network in November 2021 as the Network Development Manager. She is responsible for development and implementation of the Healthier Together Website and Mobile Application for the North East and North Cumbria. Laura joined the network from Sunderland City Council, Public Health Team where she worked as a Public Health Practitioner, her work focused on improving the health of children and young people. Laura has over 15 year’s experience of working in the field of Health Improvement and Public Health. She has MSC in Public Health and is  UKPHR registered Public Health Practitioner. She has a passion for reducing health inequalities and for making a difference for children and young people and their families.





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Anne Jones

Anne joined North East and North Cumbria Child Health and Wellbeing Network in November 2021  as a Senior Administrator - Data and Digital. She is responsible for managing the website content, editing pages and communicating with stakeholders to make sure the information is current and relevant.

She joined the network after working as a Project Support Officer for Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust. Anne has a BA Hons in Accounting and Computing and is passionate about utilising her skills in an environment geared towards equalities in health for children and families.

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Dr Richard Freeman

Dr Freeman specialises in Children's & Adolescent Services









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