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Meet the team

All our trainers are enthusiastic GPs and practice nurses who understand the challenges at the coalface of primary care. We’re all passionate about improving sexual health care in general practice, as well as experienced teachers in this field.

Dr Mel Gardner - Director, Clinical Co-Lead

Dr Melissa Gardner is GP, working in King’s Cross, London since 2011. She has been SHIP Clinical and Educational Lead and trainer since 2013 and has a broad medical education portfolio covering teaching, assessment and mentoring. She also worked as clinical teaching fellow at UCL Medical School from 2008 to 2015 as well as facilitated on London Deanery and UCL postgraduate teaching courses.

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Dr Philippa Matthews - Education Lead, Clinical Co-Lead

Dr Philippa Matthews has been an inner-city GP for over 25 years, with an interval working in an HIV population research institute in rural South Africa in Clinical Governance. She is SHIP Education Lead. 

Phil has been involved in sexual health and HIV education for primary care for decades and has written books, e-learning and other teaching materials on the topic. Somewhere out there, there is even a VHS video called Sex Lives and Videotape. She was a founder of SHIP.

She feels passionately that, where possible, there should be evidence of efficacy for educational interventions such as SHIP and has been lead author on SHIP’s papers.


Dr Alexandra BarehamGP

Dr Alexandra Bareham is a GP working in Islington. She has an interest in gynaecology, sexual health and contraception and fits contraceptive coils and implants in her practice. As part of her GP training she worked in a sexual health clinic. She has also worked in obstetrics and gynaecology posts in Scotland, Australia and London. She has been a SHIP trainer since 2014.

Dr Emily Simon - GP

Dr Emily Simon is a GP with a special interest in women's health and sexual health, working mainly in Tottenham. She has previously worked at The Brandon Centre (a teenage sexual health clinic) and more recently in Community Gynaecology at the Royal Free Hospital. She is a contraceptive coil and implant fitter and has just competed an Introductory Course in Psychosexual Medicine. She is a GP tutor to 3rd year medical students at King's College and has been a SHIP trainer since 2014. She is on the clinical advisory group for the London Sexual Health Transformation Project. 


Dr Jayran Mistry - GP

Dr Jayran Mistry is a sessional GP working primarily in South London. He has a keen interest in primary care blood borne virus medicine and has worked with the HIV department at St Mary's Hospital. He has further interests in early detection of HIV in the community and medicines management. He has extensive experience as a clinical examiner for King's College London as well as supervising third year and final year medical students in practice. He has been a SHIP trainer since 2017.

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Dr Shabneet Kaur Chadha - GP

Dr Shabneet Kaur Chadha is a GP in North London working in Barnet / Enfield / Haringey. Her particular interest is in sexual health and contraception and she fits intrauterine coils and implants as part of her role. She has been a SHIP trainer since 2011. She is a GP appraiser and also teaches women's health workshops for medical students at UCL Medical School and simulated GP surgeries for KUMEC medical school.

Sheila Bell - Practice nurse

Sheila Bell is a Practice Nurse in South London, who also works for Public Health in Lewisham, supporting Primary Care with delivery of sexual health and contraception services. She has been involved in an evolving scheme across South London to engage Practice Nurses and HCAs to increase HIV screening with GP settings. She has facilitated successful train session to encourage high quality sexual health services in pharmacies: increased referral for CuIUD /commencement of LARC, quick starting of COC/POP as part of an EHC consultation, STI testing and point of care testing for HIV. She has been a SHIP trainer since 2011.

Emma Harvey - Head of Operations

Emma Harvey has been in charge of administering and organising SHIP training sessions since 2011 (in Bexley, Camden, Enfield, Haringey, Islington, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark). She has over 16 years administration and project management experience working in both the not-for-profit and private sectors.

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Our story so far

SHIP training is an educational programme originally conceived nearly 20 years ago by a Birmingham GP, Dr Philippa Matthews, and her colleagues Judith Mullineux and Rita Ireson. For over fifteen years SHIP successfully delivered sexual health education to many primary care clinicians and teams across Birmingham. Latterly it was funded by Public Health England and was based in the Heart of England Foundation Trust (HEFT). SHIP started delivering training in London in 2008 in collaboration with a range of other organisations including Haringey Public Health and MEDFASH as well as the South East London Sexual Health and HIV Network. 

When working in new areas, SHIP aims to identify and train new peer educators, who will often act as catalysts for change in their own practices as well as in other local contexts. 

After HEFT sexual health stopped operating in 2016 and MEDFASH closed in December 2016 we set up SHIP community interest company (not for profit organisation) in order to continue developing and delivering SHIP teaching. 

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