Meet the Team
Hormones are chemicals that affect how other parts of the body work. Sometimes the hormones and the endocrine glands that release them don’t always work as they should and this can be a particular problem for children and young adults as they grow and develop.
Paul Carruthers, children’s endocrine nurse specialist, said: “Endocrinology[the science of studying the glands and hormones] is incredibly diverse as hormones affect us all differently so no patient will neccessarily have the same symptoms or require the same treatment.”
The paediatric endocrinology team support all young patients who have problems with growth, puberty or other related disorders because of the level of hormones in their bodies. This could be because of a variety of conditions, including Turners syndrome, adrenal failure and Prader-Willi syndrome, as well as following treatment for certain types of cancer. Currently over 400 of our patients are receiving regular growth hormone injections, which is just one of the treatments available.
The Leeds Children’s Hospital is also home to one of only two young person’s Gender Identity Services (GIDS) in the country. The paediatricendocrinology team run this service for the North of England and see young people, aged 15 to 18 years, and their families who are experiencing difficulties in the development of their gender identity. This includes children who are unhappy with their biological sex. The LTHT team work in partnership with the other centre, based in London, to provide a national service.
Paul explains: “GIDS is an ever growing and diverse field and we’ve seen the clinic sizes triple in recent months. It’s really exciting to be part of one of only two units providing this service and be able to offer our patients such specialist care.”
LTHT is also a specialist centre for paediatric obesity, where theendocrinology team provide public health advice, testing for genetic and hormone deficiencies that may cause obesity and work with dieticians and community outreach teams.
The team provide clinics at the Leeds Children’s Hospital at the LGI, as well as running outreach clinics in Bradford, York, Airedale, Halifax and Huddersfield. The clinical nurse specialists also do home visits, school visits and work as part of the wider multi-disciplinary community services across Yorkshire.
Jenny Walker, children’s endocrine nurse specialist and team leader, adds: “We see a really wide range of patients in our clinics every week, from babies right up to young adults about to celebrate their 18th birthday. It’s really important to us that we can provide each patient with individual care that’s right for their needs, answer any questions they may have and support them through difficult times.”
Consultant Staff 0113 3923700 (sec)
Dr Sabah Alvi
Dr Talat Mushtaq
Dr James Yong
Endocrine Specialist Nurses
Sister Jenny Walker
Sister Amanda Whitehead