CHAS appoints new Clinical Director

Categories: People & Places.

Children’s Hospices Across Scotland, better known as CHAS, has welcomed a new senior doctor to lead its medical services.

Dr Annabel Howell, from the Scottish Borders, will take up her new post in mid-February, working alongside the charity’s outgoing Medical Director Dr Pat Carragher for a few months before he retires in summer 2022.

As Clinical Director, she will be responsible for leading CHAS’s medical services and will work closely with the Director of Children and Families, Sue Hogg as well as other colleagues to deliver care.

Dr Howell has extensive experience working in palliative care. She is currently the Palliative Care Lead in NHS Borders, Chair of the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care, and Chair of the Paediatric End of Life Care Network (PeLiCaN). During her career she has developed a passionate interest in transitions between children’s and adult services for young people, and hospice at home services.

She has also served as Associate Medical Director for acute services, clinical governance, and primary and community services in NHS Borders, where she has worked for the last 14 years.

Before that, Annabel worked as a General Practitioner and trained at the Royal Free Hospital in London. She went on to work in anaesthetics, adult intensive care and St Mary’s paediatric intensive care, and spent short periods working in the children’s hospitals in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Dr Howell, who is a trustee of the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, also sits on the British Rowing Medical Advisory Panel and is highly respected for her work as a team doctor for the GB Rowing Team ahead of the Beijing Olympics.

Welcoming Dr Howell, CHAS Chief Executive Rami Okasha, said: “Having met Annabel on a number of occasions, I have been hugely impressed by her attention to high-quality care, her focus on supporting people dying and their families, and her partnership work at a strategic level across various parts of the NHS in both paediatric and palliative care. I am looking forward to welcoming her to CHAS and am sure colleagues will enjoy meeting her.”

Dr Howell said: “I am delighted to be joining CHAS, a charity well recognised for providing high quality care for children and their families at a very challenging time in their lives, and keeping the joy alive for all including their own people.

“Working with many others in the field, and learning from the past few years, there is a real opportunity to build on this solid foundation and shape future services with children and their families at the centre of all we do. My experience across palliative care, paediatrics, general practice and leadership, with a passion for quality and values, will be key to my contribution. It is a real privilege to be involved at such an exciting time and I look forward to meeting all my new colleagues and working with families across Scotland supported by CHAS.”

Pic caption: Dr Annabel Howell, new Clinical Director at CHAS


About CHAS

  • CHAS is the only charity in Scotland that provides hospice services for babies, children and young people with life-shortening conditions. The national charity offers palliative care and respite for the whole family via its two hospices, Rachel House in Kinross and Robin House in Balloch, and its CHAS at Home service supports families in their own homes and has teams working in hospitals across the whole of Scotland.
  • Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS) is on a mission to reach every family in Scotland that needs us.
  • The hard truth is that right now, CHAS only reaches one in three children who die of a life-shortening condition in Scotland; we are determined to reach them all. Quite simply we need more specialist care providers to help reach every family, and to do that, we need to raise more money.
  • We make sure that no matter how short family’s time together may be, it is filled with happiness and vitality. We keep the joy alive by helping families to celebrate the lives of their children while they are together, and to honour their memory when they are gone.
  • In light of the coronavirus pandemic, CHAS has innovated to meet the needs of children and families which has accelerated their ability to reach every child. The charity did this by launching the UK’s first virtual children’s hospice at the beginning of the pandemic and is continuing to prioritise end-of-life and emergency care in hospice and children’s homes and supporting the NHS and the Scottish Government in this national effort.
  • Follow CHAS on Twitter and Instagram: @supportCHAS, or like us on Facebook:



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