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Posted By Donna Wicks, March 23, 2017

Robert Smith

Chair Person and Trustee

August 2014, Introduction (Biography to follow).
RobSmithI’m tremendously proud and greatly honoured to be taking up the role of Chair of the HMSA. Our previous Chair, Nick Bane, has led the HMSA through some challenging times and there is no doubt that her stewardship has left the charity in a very positive place. I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for her commitment, passion and hard work over the years, and I’m pleased to confirm that she will continue to support the present board.

My first official role, as Chairman, is to thank our amazing team of staff, volunteers and dedicated medical professionals, for their hard work leading up to, and over, the Residential Conference weekend. The conference would not have been possible had it not been for Donna Wicks and Alan Hakim, who worked tirelessly to pull the event together. They were more than ably assisted by fellow Trustees Ben Cooper & Jenny Parris and I am sure that all those who attended would like me to pass on our thanks for all of their hard work and dedication. We have been truly overwhelmed with the positive feedback and correspondence we received over the weekend and in the last few days. The team will now have a small chance to catch their breath and then the planning for 2016 will begin!

The charity has a challenging and very exciting time ahead and I believe that we are on a path to great things. It is clear to me that a positive soul runs throughout the whole charity, which will provide a solid foundation from which to grow and further develop our work in providing support, education and raising awareness of the issues associated with hypermobility syndromes.

As many of you are aware, we have recently re-branded, and our members have already received our amazing new HMSA Journal. As part of our on-going commitment to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information possible, our editor, Claire Smith, has recently reviewed and revised the HMSA ‘Guide for Schools. The 32-page guide is a valuable source of advice for all parents and school staff who care for children (from primary school age through to higher education), who are affected by the hypermobility aspects of Heritable Disorders of Connective Tissue. We are very grateful to Claire for undertaking this comprehensive piece of work. The guide will further complement our amazingly successful new HMSA Educational Support Group run, on-line, by our Education Development Coordinator (and newly elected Trustee) Jenny Parris.
Finally, I would like to thank all of our HMSA members for their loyalty to the Charity. With your on-going support, we will continue in our mission to drive forward knowledge and understanding and to provide you with trusted, safe, information and advice, backed up with the highest possible standards of service and good long term value.


Dr Phillip Bull

Deputy Chief Medical Advisor and Trustee

Dr Philip Bull, FRCP

Dr Bull trained at St Thomas’ Hospital Medical School and then undertook senior specialty training in both Rheumatology and Acute Medicine at a Westminster and Charing Cross Hospitals. He worked as Consultant Rheumatologist at East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust based at the William Harvey Hospital from 1990 to 2014. During that time he developed a major interest in joint hypermobility and also held a senior management role as Clinical Director for medical services from 1994 to 2010.

Dr Bull has brings  his particular experience in hypermobility spectrum disorder and service development as Deputy Chief Medical Advisor to the HMSA. With regards to his clinical practice ( private) these include two rheumatology clinics , at the ‘One Hospital’ in Ashford  and  also ‘The Chaucer Hospital’ in Canterbury.

Dr Bull is also involved in medical education , running a rheumatology syllabus for East Kent Hospitals  medical students and junior doctors as well as local GP’s , health professionals and patient groups.

Dr Bull is the clinical lead  for the Kent Hypermobility Network and works on a voluntary basis for the HMSA and also, as a hospital governor for East Kent Hospitals. He has a particular interest in the Alexander Technique and Mindfulness.

In his spare time , Dr Bull plays bass guitar in an acoustic rock band.

Dr Bull joined the HMSA’s medical advisory board in November 2016.

‘It is great to welcome Dr Bull to the board. His governance experience and knowledge base developed throughout his NHS career will be a significant benefit for the HMSA, as it moves forward with its plans for the next 5 years. Fantastic news!’ – Donna Wicks CEO

You can contact Dr Bull by clicking HERE.


Hannah Ensor

Kids and Teens Patron and Trustee

Hannah has a BSc (Hons) Environmental Health and worked in the field for 5 years, before being medically retired at age 28 due to hypermobility spectrum disorder and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. She has been an active volunteer for the HMSA for over 10 years, working closely with Donna Wick (CEO) on a variety of projects and programmes.

Hannah also became the HMSA Youth Patron since 2012 and has contributed to the development of the Youth Reporter role , as well as running focus groups for young members at events.

Hannah will continue to push our youth work forward in her new role as trustee.

Alongside her voluntary work with the HMSA, Hannah also founded Stickman Communications®; a company using stickman cartoons to break down the barriers and communicate positively, yet realistically, about a wide range of disabilities, conditions, needs and symptoms. Her products, blogs, and talks are used worldwide by people with disabilities and medical professionals.

In addition, Hannah is an entertaining and insightful speaker, and has been featured in the 2016 and 2017 ‘Power 100’ lists of Britain’s most influential people with a disability or impairment. Hannah has also worked on projects with a various other charities including Pain UK, MIND, Whizz-Kidz and PoTS UK.

In her spare time Hannah is a contemporary dancer. You can contact Hannah by clicking HERE.


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