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The Portland hospital Blog... Blog Contributors

Find out more below about our consultants who contribute to the blog articles. 

Professor Ellis Downes

Ellis DownesI am a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist based in London, United Kingdom.  After 11 years as an NHS Consultant at Chase Farm Hospital, London, I am now in fulltime independent private practice.  I have extensive experience of all aspects of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Obstetrically I offer antenatal care and delivery including caesarean section and am experienced in high risk and low risk obstetrics.

Gynaecologically I have a particular interest in endoscopic surgery and urogynaecology (incontinence and prolapse).  I offer investigation and treatment for the majority of benign gynaecological conditions with an emphasis on urinary incontinence, menstrual disorders and advanced laparoscopic surgery.  I also offer hysterectomy sparing surgery for menorrhagia.

I am an Editor of the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Chairman of the Conference Committee of the International Society of Gynaecological Endoscopy – responsible for organising international meetings.  I am regularly invited to lecture and operate nationally and internationally.

Outside of medicine I am married with two teenage children and enjoy trying to improve my golf handicap and flying light aeroplanes.

Mr Mohamed Abdel-Aal

Mr Abdal Aal Mr Abdel-Aal is a Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at Ealing Hospital NHS Trust, London. He graduated at Alexandria Medical School, Egypt in 1986.

He has 22 years of experience in Obstetrics and Gynaecology including 15 years in the UK.

He started training as an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Al-Shatby Maternity University Hospital which is one of the biggest teaching maternity hospitals in Egypt in 1988 for three years. During that period he gained a very valuable experience in general obstetrics & Gynaecology, which exposed him to a wide spectrum of complicated cases .He, also achieved his master degree in 1991. In 1992 he moved to Saudi Arabia and worked there for more than three years and expanded his experience in a multi-ethnic society with different needs and conditions in Jeddah.

He moved to the United Kingdom in 1995 and achieved his membership of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in 1997.He was also elevated to the fellowship of the Royal College in September 2010. He worked in many prestigious hospitals including the Royal infirmary of Edinburgh, Barts and the Royal London, the Royal Free Hospital, Guys and St Thomas’ and Kings College Hospital.

He has broad experience in fetal medicine and Obstetric Ultrasound and obtained the RCR/RCOG Diploma in advanced Obstetric Ultrasound in 2004. He also achieved the certificate of competency in Nuchal translucency from the fetal medicine foundation in 2004.

He also has vast experience in early pregnancy and Gynaecological ultrasound and had excellent training in this area at Kings College Hospital followed by accreditation in early pregnancy and Gynaecology scan that was awarded by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

He can offer all Obstetric scans including early pregnancy, Nuchal fold scans for Down Syndrome screening, anomaly scans, 3D & 4D scans, fetal sexing, growth and fetal well being scans as well as Gynaecology scans. The scans are done at the Portland or Ealing Hospital and Harley Street.

He also has up to date antenatal care clinic with screening tests including the Obstetric scans and eventually safe delivery of the baby in private practice sector at the Portland hospital. Mr Abdel-Aal has huge experience in looking after pregnant women also as a consultant in the NHS and as the labour ward lead  2005-2010.  

As a Gynaecological surgeon Mr Abdel-Aal is a competent surgeon in all general Gynaecological operations as well as laparoscopic surgery. His experience and qualification in Gynaecology scanning allows him to do a one stop clinic when he sees his patient, scan them if needed and plan the management whether surgical or medical.   

 Mr Abdalla Fayyad

Abdalla-Fayyad Mr Fayyad is a Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) accredited subspecialist in Urogynaecology and Minimal Access Surgery.

Mr Fayyad obtained his doctorate degree from the University of London and did his postgraduate training in Manchester and the United States in the world’s leading centres in laparoscopic urogynaecology.

He has vast experience in advanced laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery for the treatment of prolapse, incontinence and other benign gynaecological conditions. He is able to perform laparoscopic sacrocolpopexy, hysteropexy and hysterectomy as one night stay procedures. Mr Fayyad has clinical interests in the treatment of recurrent prolapse with mesh, management of intractable urinary incontinence and overactive bladder.

In addition, he offers the unique expertise of uterine preserving prolapse surgery (laparoscopic) for women with prolapse who wish to keep their uterus or retain their fertility. Mr Fayyad also has a special interest and expertise in minimal access gynaecological surgery including laparoscopic hysterectomy and minimal access hysteroscopic techniques for the treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding (e.g. Novasure).

Mr Fayyad is an associate member of many international learned societies, including the International Urogynecology Association (IUGA), International Continence Society (ICS), and British Society of Urogynaecology (BSUG). He serves on the clinical governance sub-committee of the British Society of Urogynaecology and is actively involved in promoting education and training opportunities in the UK and developing countries. He is an RCOG preceptor for the advanced training skill module in Urogynaecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery. Mr Fayyad is a regular organizer of many courses and meetings in the fields of urogynaecology and laparoscopic surgery.

Mr Fayyad has an active research program both in the UK and abroad focusing on innovations in urogynaecology, and the effect of ageing and chronic medical disorders on lower urinary tract function. He has published many peer reviewed papers in Urogynaecology and General Gynaecology and has been an invited speaker to national and international conferences. He is a regular reviewer for the leading journals in Urogynaecology and Urology.

Mr Fayyad is a recognised opinion leader by patients’ organizations, scientific societies, academic institutions and pharmaceutical companies. 

Dr Mike Thomson

Mike Thomson Dr Thomson is a recognised world leader in endodiagnostic and endotherapeutic approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of gastro-intestinal disorders in childhood. He runs the International Academy of Paediatric Endoscopy Training in Sheffield Children’s Hospital, is the Head of Endoscopy Working Groups in Europe and the UK and is the endoscopy representative of the Gastro-intestinal Committee of the European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. 

He is relatively unique in that he has been trained in gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition, having successfully carried out his Medical Doctorate in energy expenditure in cystic fibrosis, and spent 10 years in liver transplant units with associated gastroenterological expertise, and subsequently made endoscopic assessment and treatment his main area of interest since being made a Consultant in 1994 in London.  He spent 11 years at the highly acclaimed Centre of Paediatric Gastroenterology at the Royal Free Hospital in London helping to develop the unit there before moving to Sheffield Children’s Hospital.  Since 2004 he has created the ideal unit in terms of paediatric endoscopic intervention and diagnosis. 

He travels down to London 1-2 days per week in order to conduct paediatric gastroenterology clinics and endoscopy lists and has travelled widely around the world performing endoscopic procedures and clinics.  He prides himself on being able to react quickly to clinical situations in order to provide quick outpatient and then if necessary endoscopic interventions.  He has presented international invited lectures on over 300 occasions, has published over 100 internationally peer-review original papers, has published many abstracts from international meetings, has written over 30 chapters in internationally recognised text books, and has edited and published 6 text books in paediatrics.  He runs an active research programme and is the Director of the International Academy of Paediatric Endoscopy Training, attracting graduates from North and South America, Europe, Australasia and other regions around the world.

He is married with 3 children and lives in the Peak District National Park near Sheffield. He is a former rugby player and now races in fell runs, is a mountain biker and rock climber. 

 Mr David Albert


  • 1982        David Albert became fascinated with children’s ENT problems while in training at King’s
    College Hospital in London, England
  • 1983        He studied the effects of intubation on the neonatal larynx
  • 1984/9    He completed a comprehensive training in paediatric ENT at the prestigious Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond  Street.
  • 1986/9    He spent 2 fellowships at Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati, USA and was Director of Paediatric ENT  Research
  • 1989        Appointed as Paediatric ENT Consultant at Great Ormond Street (first full time paediatric ENT consultant in UK)
  • 1991        Performed first Single stage laryngeal reconstruction in UK
  • 1991        Developed Osseo-integration program with Mr. Bailey
  • 1992        Performed first Cochlear Implant at Great Ormond Street
  • 1995        Developed bipolar diathermy tonsillectomy and suction diathermy adenoidectomy in the UK
  • 1996        First paediatric crico-tracheal resection in UK (in Sheffield with Mr. Peter Bull)
  • 2004        First UK endoscopic resection of subglottic haemangioma
  • 2007        First UK endoscopic cricoid split
  • Current    Developing outcomes measures for paediatric ENT
  • Current    Endoscopic and minimally invasive laryngeal surgery
  • Current    Lead Clinician (Paediatric ENT) at Great Ormond Street

Mr Manoj Ramachandran

Mr Manoj Ramachandran is a Consultant Paediatric and Young Adult Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon at St Bartholomew’s and the Royal London Hospitals (Barts and The London NHS Trust), the Portland Hospital, Viveka, the London Independent Hospital and the Princess Grace Hospital, London.

He qualified from King’s College School of Medicine, University of London in 1996 with a double honours degree and proxime accessit to the University of London Gold Medal. After basic surgical training on the Oxford and Hammersmith rotations, he trained on the Stanmore rotation in London and undertook 3 fellowship positions in paediatric and young adult (aged 15 to 50) orthopaedics in Sydney, Australia, Los Angeles, California, USA and the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore, Middlesex, UK.

Mr Ramachandran has authored 12 books, published over 50 papers in peer–reviewed journals and presented at over 100 national and international meetings. He is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the William Harvey Institute, Charterhouse Square, part of Queen Mary’s and Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of London. He is the current Associate Editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine and sits on committees at the Royal College of Surgeons of England and the British Orthopaedic Association.

Mr Ramachandran has extensive experience with teaching at all levels from medical students to established Consultants, and runs a management and educational medical consultancy for individuals and organisations (KRI Group Ltd). He also runs several clinical and basic science courses as part of the orthopaedic educational portfolio at Barts and The London and is on the invited faculty on courses at several other institutions in the UK and worldwide.

Dr Rina Agrawal

Rina Dr Rina Agrawal is a Consultant in Reproductive Medicine and in Obstetrics / Gynaecology in the NHS.  She is also a Hon. Associate Professor in Reproductive Medicine at Warwick University and has dual accreditation in both UK and in India.

Dr Agrawal has had 25 years experience in Gynaecology and Obstetrics and over 15 years experience in Fertility and Assisted Conception.  She provides a Holistic approach to patient care and besides being able to competently deal with medical issues she focuses on the overall wellbeing of her patients.  She is well known amongst her patients for her kind, sensitive, caring and warm nature.

Her several years of experiences both in UK and overseas has given her a greater insight into the care of complex clinical problems.  She also works closely with several experienced colleagues in various specialities which makes it possible for her to provide a multidisciplinary approach to patient care.

She is able to offer Continuity of care and is available around the clock for emergency advice and consultations which patients have found very reassuring.

Dr Rina Agrawal’s main speciality and clinical expertise are consultations, procedures and operations related to Assisted, Conception, Fertility, Reproductive Endocrinology and Gynaecology. The services provided are:

  • All consultations and procedures related to Assisted Conception and Fertility such as “One Stop Fertility Clinic which provides easy screening on the Fertility potential of an individual, Ovulation induction, monitored cycles, IVF, ICSI, IUI, management of Polycystic ovary syndrome and premature ovarian failure, Egg, Sperm and Embryo donation, Egg and Sperm cryopreservation and Preimplantation genetic diagnosis.
  • 3-D and Doppler Pelvic Ultrasonography
  • Investigations and Treatment of Recurrent Miscarriage and Early Pregnancy problems.
  • Diagnostic Hysteroscopy and Hysteroscopic procedures such as polypectomy, resection of fibroids and adhesions.

Diagnostic Laparoscopy and Laparoscopic procedures (key hole surgery) such as adhesiolysis, ovarian cystectomy, treatment of endometriosis, laparoscopic ovarian diathermy, tubal surgery and treatment of fibroids.

The key hole approach to surgery has dual benefits of short hospital stay (usually a day stay) and a quick recovery thus making it possible to resume work quickly.

Dr Donald Gibb

Donald Gibb Dr Gibb has been delivering babies at The Portland Hospital since 1989. During the 1990s he was lead obstetrician at Kings College Hospital. He has been a fully private doctor for 10 years. He currently delivers about 170 babies per year at The Portland Hospital.

His antenatal practice including ultrasound scanning is based in Harley Street, at The Birth Company. He only delivers at The Portland Hospital. His experience ranges from birth in a water pool to elective caesarean section. He has been chairman of the risk management committee both at Kings and at The Portland Hospital. He has a particular interest in the treatment of late miscarriage by cervical sutures in which he is a world authority. He provides comprehensive one stop pregnancy care service in his clinic. He is accredited with the Fetal Medicine Foundation for ultrasound scans.

Miss Sohier Elneil

Miss Sohier Elneil is a Consultant Urogynaecologist and Gynaecologist at University College Hospital and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London. She started her career in the field of Urogynaecology in the early 1990’s when she became involved with patients who suffered vesico-vaginal fistulas and female genital mutilation in the developing world. Despite surgery, many of them went on to suffer further problems with incontinence. This formed the basis of a career that started with gynaecology and went onto sub-specialisation in the field of urogynaecology. This included the specialist assessment, investigation, diagnosis and management of urinary incontinence, faecal incontinence, and utero-vaginal prolapse. All of these urogynaecological problems led her to pursue further surgical training in gynaecology, urology and aspects of colorectal surgery in order to become proficient in performing complex reconstructive pelvic floor surgery, laparoscopic continence and prolapse surgery, as well as general and complex gynaecological procedures.

Her research interest led her on to study the physiology and pharmacology of sensory bladder dysfunction in women. This was with a view to determine whether the pathophysiology could be elucidated, and hence form the focus for new drug therapies. This naturally led on to her current interest in the neurology of the bladder and its surrounding organs at a cellular level, and the role they play in both neurogenic and non-neurogenic bladder dysfunction. As a result she also looks after women with uro-neurological problems, which incorporates the investigation, diagnoses and treatment of patients with neurological bladder dysfunction. At the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square in London, she runs the Sacral Neurostimulator programme for bladder dysfunction, which is used in patients in whom all other treatment modalities have failed.

Though she worked in Obstetrics for twelve years throughout her training career, she no longer does so because of the remit of her NHS Consultant position. However, she still has a direct attachment to the speciality. In the last few years it has become increasingly evident that women need specialist surgery following childbirth. Perineal injury and rectal sphincter trauma remain a problem in the postpartum period. She has recently become even more closely involved with this group of patients in her NHS practice as part of the post-partum clinic team. Often the specialist reconstructive surgery is the first step on the road to recovery. However, it is essential that the surgery is supported by excellent midwifery and nursing care. Many patients respond well to this multi-disciplinary approach, which may also include a psychological or psychiatric nursing and medical team. This has increasingly become an important clinical area in the modern role of the Urogynaecologist.

Mr Christian Barnick

Barnick Christian Barnick is a Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. He works both in the National Health Service, at the Homerton University Hospital and as a private Consultant where he consults from his rooms at 212-214 Great Portland street.

Born in Kensington in 1960 he grew up in London and then on the South Coast where he went to Dover College. He then went up to study Medicine at Guys Hospital Medical School from which he qualified in 1984. Having worked as a Junior Doctor in Dover and Lewisham he obtained his full registration  in 1985 when he started to specialise in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

His first job in the speciality was in South London at Kings College Hospital and the old Greenwich District Hospital. After 2 years at Senior House Officer level he took up a 2 year research post at Kings in the world acclaimed Urogynaecology department headed by Professor Cardozo.

His research was clinically based and investigated the role of physiological testing in the assessment of bladder function and the affect of drugs and surgery on the symptoms of bladder dysfunction. This was to become a lasting interest sub-specialist interest which continues as an important part of his practice.

In 1990 he obtained a training post as Registrar at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington. Here he practiced for  three and a half years and developed strong skills in the care of pregnant women and  a keen interest in difficult gynaecological surgery. He also completed his specialist exams and became a member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) in 1991.

The Royal London Hospital and St Bartholomews hospital in the East End of London was his next appointment. Here he worked as a Senior Registrar and later as a Lecturer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at London University. This was a very busy appointment and introduced him to all the problems that are inherent in dealing with pregnancy in a high risk, socially deprived, multi-ethnic population. High risk obstetrics was a major part of this appointment but he also continued his interest in Urinary incontinence as well as obtaining Sub-Specialist Accreditation for his Minimally Invasive Surgical expertise from the RCOG.

In 1999 he became part of the Consultant staff at The Homerton University NHS Trust as a specialist in Obstetrics, Urogynaecology and Minimally Invasive Surgery. He also started to practice privately at The Portland, The London Clinic and St Johns and Elizabeth’s Hospitals.

At the Homerton he was until recently the Lead Clinician in a busy Obstetrics and gynaecology department. The hospital was one of the first Foundation Trusts in the UK and delivers over 5000 babies annually. He is also the clinical lead for Urogynaecology and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and Minimally Invasive (Keyhole) Surgery.

At the Portland Hospital he supports the Midwifery Lead Delivery Service, delivers his own private patients and performs Gynaecological surgery.

His approach to obstetrics is that safety is paramount. Many women will express a keen desire to follow a particular process or plan for childbirth. These views are respected and are accommodated wherever appropriate, he feels that the process of childbirth is a matter of maternal choice and that care should be offered on an individual basis.

He has a keen interest in promoting natural childbirth combined with modern, medical intervention where appropriate. This open approach means that he is happy to support women who request low intervention childbirth, but also women who desire induction of labour or elective caesarean section.

Having practiced gynaecology for 25 years he has wide experience in all areas of gynaecology, which has seen many advances over recent years particularly in the area of minimally access endoscopic surgery (MAS). The main advantages with this type of surgery is that it is more precise, involves less tissue trauma, does not involve large ugly inscisions and allows a much quicker recovery from surgery. Mr Barnick has been actively involved in the development of these techniques and practices them to a very high standard. He is able to perform a wide range of endoscopic operations ranging from the very simple to the highly complex. All of his care is highly patient centred and individualized. Wherever possible surgery is avoided but if it must be performed then MAS techniques are employed.

He is widely published in the area of Urogynaecology and pelvic floor dysfunction and has contributed to magazine articles and major textbooks.

He is a member of many relevant sub-specialist organisations.and has presented at many national and international meetings.

He lives in Islington North London, 15 minutes from both the Homerton and the Portland hospitals and has three children the oldest of which has just started at medical school!

Mr Niall Jones 

Niall Jones Mr Niall Jones MD FRCSI(Paed) is a consultant Paediatric Surgeon with Barts and the London NHS Trust.  He completed specialist training in Paediatric Surgery after accredited training in the United Kingdom and Australia in April 2007.  He provides laparoscopic (keyhole) gastrointestinal surgery for children from birth to teenage years.  This includes minor procedures such as hernia repair and appendicectomy as well as complex procedures such as fundoplication and colectomy.  He is the first Paediatric Surgeon in the UK to undergo fellowship training in bariatric (obesity) surgery. He has several years experience with establishing multidisciplinary weight loss services for adolescents in the NHS. He has published and presented both nationally and internationally on the merits of bariatric surgery to treat obesity in children and thereby improve their quality of life.


Jones NM.  Yes, there is a place for Bariatric surgery (and Paediatric surgeons) in childhood obesity. Arch Dis Child 2008 April; 93(4):354

Jones NM, Viner RM, Kiely EM, Curry JI.  Establishing a bariatric surgery service for obese adolescents.  J Pediatr Surg Specs 2008 Mar; 2(1):6-9 (

Mr George G Fayad

Mr Fayad I am an Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon. I have had an extensive training in Oto-Rhino-Laryngology. I have trained in Europe and the USA.

My expertise covers a wide range of medical conditions including treatment of snoring and sleep disorders. Vertigo and balance. As well as all the conditions of the Ear, Nose and Throat. Both in adults and children.

I am lead Rhinologist and Chairman of the ENT department in my NHS hospital: Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals. I also run the allergy clinic. We have set-up 1 of the first multidisciplinary units in the UK and introduced the first combined clinic for patients suffering from a combination of nasal polyps, allergy and asthma. Now we are the first unit to offer a treatment to cure the condition as opposed to only treating it.

I have been involved in many research and audit projects, ranging from nasal problems during pregnancy, to novel treatment for snoring as well as finding a cure to nasal allergic polyps and asthma.

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