Consultant Updates



Dr Jocelyn Briggs, Consultant Physician retired in May 2020. Locally raised, Dr Briggs became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 1994, following which she worked for brief periods for both the then Board of Health and the MSG in the 1990s. Dr Briggs returned permanently in 2002 and was closely involved with the provision of services for the elderly across the island but continued her interest in the general medical care of people of all ages.

Following her retirement, she wrote “Returning to Guernsey was coming home. Both I and my husband, together with our children, were all welcomed by old friends from my schooldays as well as new colleagues from both the MSG and the PEH. The best part of the job was always the people I saw as patients, and their relatives, who were understanding and humorous, despite the circumstances.”

Replacing Dr Briggs is Dr Tom Saunders, Consultant Physician who joined us in April 2020. Prior to his arrival, Dr Saunders previously worked in a similar role in Western Sussex Hospitals where he was the lead for Community Geriatrics, optimising support to remain well within their own homes.

Dr Saunders has a passion for service improvement and education, playing an active role in the education, training and the assessment of junior doctors. Dr Saunders regularly writes questions for their national speciality examinations and is a regular examiner on behalf of the Royal College of Physicians.

2020 also saw the retirement of Consultant Anaesthetist, Dr Nola Van Heerden. Dr Van Heerden joined the Medical Specialist Group in 2001, bringing with her special areas of expertise in Paediatric Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine.

Prior to coming to Guernsey, Dr Van Heerden worked as a Consultant Anaesthetist in the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town and then at Lewisham University Hospital in London.

Dr Van Heerden’s position will be replaced in June 2021, but until the candidate is in place she has kindly agreed to continue to work with the MSG to provide the service as an Associate Locum until then.

Local Dr Kate Allen joined the Group as a Consultant Physician in January 2020, replacing our last founding member Dr George Oswald. Dr Allen has gained experience as a physician in numerous centres around the UK, completing her specialist Diabetes and Endocrinology training in Oxford and in 2009 took up the post of Consultant Endocrinologist in Bath.

Dr Allen developed a specialist interest in pituitary disease and was lead for the endocrinology and weight management branches of her service. She has helped develop a collaborative project with primary care in their development of diabetes services.

Also joining the Adult Medicine Department was Dr Mohammad Butt who joined us in January 2020 as the third Consultant Oncologist. The third post was approved following a recommendation in the general medicine review to maintain the service.

Dr Butt completed his Oncology training in Republic of Ireland and Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology, and has been the principal oncologist for the management of breast cancer for North Lincolnshire and Goole (NLAG) NHS Trust. He has gained extensive skills in all chemotherapy and immunotherapy options for the management of breast cancer patients and has held a private practice in Spire Hull and East Riding hospital where he provided expert services for breast, urology and gynaecology portfolios.

Dr Butt will lead the Genitourinary and Gynaecological service in Guernsey as well as looking after Breast cancer patients.

The MSG also saw the arrival of another local; Dr Michelle Le Cheminant, who originally joined in May 2019 as a Locum Anaesthetist to aid in reducing the Orthopaedic waiting list by offering extra theatre lists to the Orthopaedic Consultants. Dr Le Cheminant was appointed to the permanent position in January 2020.

Whilst training as an Anaesthetist in the UK, Dr Le Cheminant gained extensive experience and spent 6 months working in Zambia at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka as a Visiting Lecturer in Anaesthesia during 2017. She developed a specialist interest in Paediatric, Ophthalmic and Obstetric Anaesthesia, having completed advanced training in each of these areas during her time in the UK.

Dr Le Cheminant also completed the diploma of the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (DRCOG) in 2016 and became a fellow of the Royal College of Anaesthetists in 2014.

Following the approval of a 5th Paediatric Post, Dr Gopinath Rao joined the Paediatric Department in April 2020 as a Consultant Paediatrician.

Dr Rao trained in paediatrics and specialised in neonatal medicine in the UK between 2003 and 2014, where he was a Consultant at Hammersmith hospital and St Mary’s hospital in London.

During his time at a tertiary referral centre in his hometown, Chennai, Dr Rao improved paediatric and neonatal services and has experience in managing preterm babies as early as 24 weeks. He has a particular interest in helping new mothers and babies with breast feeding issues and is also qualified in managing paediatric nutritional problems.

Lastly, the MSG welcomed the arrival of Dr Kalaivani Ramalingam, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist in April 2020.

After her specialist training in Southampton in high risk pregnancy and pelvic floor surgery, Dr Ramalingam worked as a pelvic floor research fellow in Southampton. She subsequently went on to take the role as a Consultant with a special interest in Pelvic floor problems at Kingston upon Thames until 2014.

Dr Ramalingam is well versed in working with several international healthcare systems and worked for Apollo Hospitals in India from 2014 to 2020, the biggest international private care corporate hospital.


The MSG is proud to say that when it was announced that Guernsey was going into lockdown back in March 2020, we continued to support the patient’s needs as quickly and efficiently as possible.

However, working from home did present its own issues and employee’s wellbeing during this stressful time was one area that was monitored closely. Managers were on hand to support employees, night and day, and information from HR was sent to all employees with tips and guidance notes to ensure that employees had the necessary support if they were found to be struggling by isolating at home.

Obviously, all training was suspended in 2020 but the MSG will continue to monitor the situation and ensure that it invests heavily in the wellbeing of its Consultants and staff during 2021.


As with all businesses, Covid-19 forced the MSG to change its working practice virtually overnight and with the majority of our staff working from home it highlighted areas in which improvements to our processes and systems could be made. Therefore, in June 2020, the MSG incorporated a new committee entitled “Business Strategy Committee” which is chaired by our Consultant Anaesthetist, Dr Nicholas Sheppard. The Committee is also attended by a further four Consultants, the Chief Executive, the Chief Operating Officer and the Chief Financial Officer.

The Committee’s terms of reference are to look to the future and explore and examine new ways of using technology more efficiently. A number of projects have been identified which we are extremely excited about and plan to bring these ideas into fruition during 2021.

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