About Us | Bath Institute for Rheumatic Diseases

About Us

About Us

Who we are

The Bath Institute for Rheumatic Diseases (BIRD) exists to support arthritis research, education and patient engagement so that we can improve treatment for patients with rheumatic diseases.

Bath has always been at the forefront of bone and joint disease research, education and patient care, as part of its history as a city with thermal waters since at least Roman times, and with one of the first national specialist hospitals in the country founded in 1738. BIRD was formed in 1975 by the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (known affectionately as ‘the Min’ and now part of the Royal United Hospital, Bath) and the University of Bath. Although we became an independent charity in 1981, we collaborate closely with both organisations, because bringing clinicians and scientists together is at the heart of what we do.

...

What we do

Our work falls into four main areas.  We make ‘pump priming’ grants to support research in the field of bone and joint diseases and fund the training of PhD students, clinical research fellows and post-doctoral research assistants. We provide free educational and professional development opportunities, such as conferences and courses on the impact of bone and joint diseases for healthcare professionals. 

We run a programme of Patient and Public Engagement which supports patients, their families and carers with the latest information in their diseases areas and involves them in research. Lastly, we raise awareness of the impact of arthritis and funds for our work as a charity.

Meet the team


Chris Johns

Chair of Council of Management

Chris has a background as a leader in health, social care, regulation and academia. Previously on the board of the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases.

Dr Amanda MacKenzie

Vice-Chair of Council of Management

Senior Lecturer, Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology, Founding Director of the Centre for Therapeutic Innovation

Dr Nick Hall

Council Member, Finance committee member

Previous Chair of BIRD's Council of Management, Senior Lecturer

Stephanie Lear

Council Member, Chair of Public Engagement committee

Head of Individual Philanthropy at University of Bath and previous rheumatology patient

Professor Neil McHugh

Council Member, Research committee member

Professor, Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology; EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Statistical Applied Mathematics (SAMBa) and Centre for Therapeutic Innovation

Dr John Pauling

Council Member, Research committee member

Consultant Rheumatologist at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology

Dr Raj Sengupta

Council Member, Research committee member

Lead Consultant for Ankylosing Spondylitis at RNHRD, Clinical Governance Lead Chief Clinical Information Officer at RNHRD; Trustee of National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society (NASS)

Jim Sherwin

Council Member, Chair of Finance committee

Financial advisor and investment specialist

Dr Will Tillett

Council Member

Consultant Rheumatologist RNHRD. Senior Lecturer, Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology.

Executive Office

A team of contractors and seconded staff manage our work programmes, fundraising and administration.

Governance and reporting

Governance

BIRD is governed by a Council of Management which oversees the work of three committees, Finance, Research and Patient Engagement supported by the executive office. A guide to our organisational structure is available to download here

Annual report and impact statement

BIRD issues its annual report and produces a short summary of its impact in the previous year, both are available to download here:

...

Help support BIRD by making a contribution

Our work is built on the kind donations and bequests of previous generations. If you like what we do and would like to help, please consider giving us a donation, or a gift in memory of someone dear to you, inscribed on our benefactors’ board, or even a legacy. £100 would provide refreshments all year for a monthly patient support group meeting. £1000 would cover the print and postage costs for a patient information day and newsletter. £2000 would pay for a Summer Studentship for a scientific researcher. £10,000 would fund a small-scale pilot research project.

Support Us

Our work is built on the kind donations and bequests of previous generations. If you like what we do and would like to help, please consider giving us a donation, or a gift in memory of someone dear to you, inscribed on our benefactors’ board, or even a legacy. £100 would provide refreshments all year for a monthly patient support group meeting. £1000 would cover the print and postage costs for a patient information day and newsletter. £2000 would pay for a Summer Studentship for a scientific researcher. £10,000 would fund a small-scale pilot research project.