The Management team
Phil HibbertFounder of UIG, with responsibility for patient information and first point of contact for all Patient support.
Phil was diagnosed with a rare form of posterior uveitis, retinal vasculitis in1996. After experiencing deteriorating eye sight he lost one of his eyes due to rare complication. Through aggressive treatment at a leading Uveitis centre, the condition was largely controlled in his remaining eye, although he lost some central vision. He is passionate about being able to lead a normal life and if you met him you would find it hard to believe he was visually impaired.In April 1998 he set up the UIG, working alongside prominent ophthalmologists to provide support and help to both consultants and patients. He has continued to devote himself to patient support and to raising the profile of uveitis and is now well known nationally and internationally as a patient expert on uveitis.
Phil lives in the Shetland Isles, and his greatest successes have been in Scotland where he is part of a managed clinical network for uveitis and has extensive experience of working with patient groups to inform the health service. He also has extensive personal experience of resources for visual impairment and has helped many patients access appropriate care and equipment.
Prior to developing uveitis and being forced to stop working, Phil was a single handed dentist and has retained his patient focus through his work with UIG.
As a patient his knowledge and interest is in all forms of uveitis and he provides support for patients who need help with these conditions. In his spare time he coaches fencing, cycles and enjoys gardening.
Rea Mattocks and Annie FolkardRea and Annie joined the UIG in 2008. They originally met at an International Birdshot Symposium in Boston in 2007. Because of their personal experiences, they decided that they would like to do something to raise the profile of uveitis and to help other patients with uveitis who are struggling to find appropriate treatment. Rea has taken on the Chair and Annie is the Secretary. They provide support for people with Birdshot Chorioretinopathy and other forms of white dot syndrome.
Rea (pronounced Raya) was diagnosed in January 2006. She experienced difficulties in obtaining medication that controlled the disease. Later, she was forced to leave work due to the side effects of the medicine she eventually received.
Rea aims to improve services in the UK for people with uveitis, promote the work of the UIG, support patients through their experience and provide appropriate information for patients on posterior uveitis.
Rea is a qualified social worker, who worked in health and social care until her condition brought her here. Her most recent post was as Director of Adult Social Services for a large county council. This background has proved extremely useful in understanding the internal workings of the NHS and public sector in general.
Annie was diagnosed with Birdshot Chorioretinopathy in 2004. Unusually she was diagnosed on her first appointment, but received no treatment for two years. During this time her eye sight slowly deteriorated and tests revealed that her rods and cones were slowly dying. Eventually she found a consultant who provided her with aggressive treatment. Tests have shown that one eye is improved whilst the other hasn't deteriorated further. Because of her experience she is passionate that all suffers should receive the appropriate treatment to deal with their different conditions. A correct early diagnosis can be vital to save sight. Annie lives in London with her family. Throughout all this she has retained her job, running a small business on her own. She trained in design, and has a long association with the charity WaterAid where she helped it grow from a three man organisation towards the sizeable organisation it is today. She would like to be able to help to do the same for the Uveitis Information Group.
Carri-Anne WalkerDirector of Fundraising
Carri joined in 2009. She was originally diagnosed with colour vision impairment in 1984, and after a serious illness in 1992, she experienced a severe episode of Anterior Uveitis in both eyes. The condition continued to grumble, eventually developing into Pan-Uveitis, Choroiditis and Vasculitis.
Carri lives in Fife but she has experience of treatment across four NHS trusts in Scotland. She is also the patient representative on the Clinical Standards and Guidelines committee, in Scotland, working to ensure that the same care standards, patient pathways and treatments are available no matter where you live.
Despite trying a vast array of secondary immuo-suppressant therapies, Carri has yet to find a medication that halts her sight loss for any great period of time. Despite this she never gives up hope that one day she will find a permenant treatment - Carri frequently agrees to trial new therapies for clinical trials.
Carri is registered Disabled, Partially Sighted, yet continues to work full time within the private sector as a sales and marketing manager, liaising with blue chip clients and suppliers worldwide. She is also a mum to two small children. In her spare time, Carri is an avid runner, and is working towards her first half marathon.
She is the patient representative on the Clinical Standards and Guidelines committee, in Scotland. She wishes to ensure that the same care standards, patient pathways and treatments are available to everyone across the nation.
Karen WilkinsonKaren is our Treasurer with responsibility for finance, accounting, data protection and charity regulators. She does not have uveitis!
Karen is a qualified accountant and has worked for a medium sized London Accountacy practice for 16 years having joined as a graduate trainee. During her time in accountancy practice Karen audited a range of charities from small charities to the UK section of an international charity. Karen has strong experience in reviewing business systems. After having children Karen stopped working on a full-time basis and has taken on a range of roles including the Treasurer of the Barnet Branch of the National Childbirth Trust.