Barbara Ansell National Network for Adolescent Rheumatology (BANNAR)


BANNAR started in 2013. Since 2020 the network has been ‘nested’ within Versus Arthritis.

BANNAR are a group of professionals from medical, nursing, allied health professional and third sector backgrounds working in adolescent and young adult (aged 10-24) rheumatology.

The network aims to:

  • Act as a UK-wide professional network in adolescent and young adult rheumatology research.
  • Empower young people with rheumatic disease (and their families/social networks) to contribute to relevant research and help develop future research priorities.
  • Develop adolescent and young adult rheumatology as an area of research.
  • By working collaboratively, we can do more together to promote best practice, share advice and feed into research and help to improve paediatric, adolescent, and young adult rheumatology services in the UK.

Submit your research

If you are conducting research and feel it fits BANNAR’s work, please complete our research submission form. (Word, 52 KB)

This helps link researchers with other BANNAR members to knowledge share and collaborate.

Read more about our research projects:

More information

Learn more about the history of BANNAR and our ways of working.

Follow us on social media

Keep updated by following @BANNARgroup on Twitter.

How to join BANNAR

To join BANNAR, please complete our membership form. This should only take 15 minutes to complete. 

Upcoming events

BANNAR members meetings

Our BANNAR members meetings take place once every quarter. These are usually held online via MS Teams, with an annual face to face meeting.

The meetings are an opportunity for the members to discuss updates, research initiatives and projects.

Every meeting will have a section where one of our members can present their research, or current working practice to get feedback from other members.

Next meeting

When: 22nd March 2023
Timing: 11-3pm

The meeting will be held in Manchester at The Studio.

BANNAR members will be sent a meeting invite in due course and more details will follow closer to the time.

Please contact if you would like any further information.

BANNAR webinar series (Autumn 2022)

Starting from Autumn 2022 our webinar programme includes:

  • Team Working; The Role of Reflective Practice in Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology with Nicola Webb, Senior Clinical Psychologist
  • Risk factors associated with injury in the active adolescent with Angela Jackson, Chartered Physiotherapist / Youth Athlete Consultant.

Complete our short application form to register your interest. 

Your Rheum

In 2016, the national youth advisory panel to BANNAR was established, and members named the group ‘Your Rheum’.

Young people co-produced this animation to introduce the work of Your Rheum.

The Your Rheum website shares more information about the work of the group. Young people can join the group by emailing

Introducing Your Rheum

This short animation explains what Your Rheum is, how we work and the benefits of being a member.

The BANNAR leadership team

Janet McDonagh - co-chair

Janet started her training as an adult rheumatologist in Newcastle and London and then in paediatric rheumatology in Birmingham and London and is currently the clinical senior lecturer at the University of Manchester and honorary adolescent rheumatologist at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

Janet’s research is focussed on developmentally appropriate health care for young people including health transition and vocational readiness.

She is the project lead for the national youth advisory panel to BANNAR - Your Rheum and involved in the training for health professionals in adolescent medicine, including being a module author for the adolescent health e-learning project and a faculty member of the European Teaching Effective Adolescent Care and Health initiative.

Flora McErlane – co-chair

Flora McErlane is a Consultant Paediatric Rheumatologist at the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle.

Flora looks after children and young people with chronic rheumatological disease up to the age of 18. She leads the Paediatric Rheumatology Adolescent Service across the North East and North Cumbria (NENC) and is presently transitions lead for the NENC Child Health and Wellbeing Network.

Flora has a particular research interest in JIA, collaborating with consumer, clinical and research teams across the UK with the aim of improving quality of care and outcomes in juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).

Flora is a clinician representative on the NIHR/CRN: Children / Versus Arthritis Paediatric Rheumatology Clinical Studies Group.

Recognising that providing the best clinical care for adolescents and young adults with rheumatic disease requires a good evidence base, and that adolescent rheumatology is a neglected research area, Flora has been a member of the BANNAR network since inception. She was appointed Co-chair in 2021.

Rachel Tattersall – co-vice chair

Rachel is an Adolescent Rheumatologist in Sheffield.

She works across both children’s and adult services to lead a seamless service for 10–25 year olds. This is designed to make the transition from children's to adult services as smooth as possible and to provide developmentally appropriate care to young people in the service.

She qualified in medicine in 1995 and trained in adult rheumatology in Yorkshire and in paediatric rheumatology in Nottingham taking up her consultant post in Sheffield in 2008.

She is deputy chair of BANNAR and co-chair of the Hyperinflammation and Haemophagocytosis Across Speciality Collaboration.

Victoria Harbottle – co-vice chair

Vic has worked as a paediatric physiotherapist at the Great North Children’s Hospital (GNCH) in Newcastle upon Tyne since 2014. She worked for several years within the paediatric rheumatology service, but now works with children with non-inflammatory musculoskeletal services.

Vic’s academic work focuses on the use of transdiagnostic health and wellbeing indicators for children and young people, and in particular those indicators that take the perspective of young people and families.

She is passionate about the role of allied health professionals (AHPs) in clinical academia and is AHP representative to the NIHR/CRN: Children / Versus Arthritis Paediatric Rheumtology Clinical studies Group and a member of the Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists national MSK committee.

Vic is also interested in ensuring children and young people have a voice in both health service development and research, and helps to support the newly formed Youth Forum at GNCH.

Sarah Yorke – project officer

Sarah has a varied background working with adolescents and young adults. She began her career at BBC Radio 1/1Xtra, in both radio production and live events. She was an integral part of the team that delivered BBC Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend, where she mentored young people who would otherwise have no other connection to the Olympic games that were happening on their doorstep.

After the BBC, Sarah focused on research within music and mental health. She has an MSc in Performance Science and worked alongside her studies as the Project Officer/Research Assistant for the award winning singing and postnatal depression project, Music and Motherhood

Sarah then focused her qualitative research skills in Women’s Health, running PPI groups with women and their families discussing the impact of gynaecological conditions and cancers. In 2020 Sarah was delighted to accept the position of Project Officer for BANNAR.

Useful resources

Adolescent and young adult rheumatology

  • Adolescent and Young Adult Rheumatology in Clinical Practice. McDonagh JE, Tattersall R (eds), Springer Nature ISBN 978-3-319-95518-6, 2019

A textbook edited by BANNAR members and includes authors from the BANNAR and Your Rheum membership. It highlights the specific issues facing young people with rheumatic disease and the professionals involved in their care.

A useful evidence based toolkit to evaluate rheumatology services for adolescents and young adults arising from research conducted by BANNAR members.

Adolescent health

An excellent online resource, freely available to all NHS staff working with young people aged 12-18 years of age.

A resource curated by the Association for Young People’s Health, collating data relevant to the 10-25 year old age group.

Generic health websites for young people

A UK based charity providing free, confidential support for young people under 25.

Communication with young people

Examples of freely available apps for health professionals detailing the trigger questions encompassed by the HEEADSSS approach to psychosocial screening in consultations with young people.

These video learning resources are for health professionals and focus on how to use HEEADSSS conversations to engage with young people and do holistic health and wellbeing assessments.

What to consider when working with young people?

This guidance covers how to involve young people in research from the Your Rheum team.


A free app for people aged 13 to 25, to help young people with arthritis to manage their symptoms, talk confidently to their healthcare professionals and connect with other young people facing the same challenges.

  • MyTransition app

The MyTransition App is a tool developed by the McMaster university in Canada to help young people feel ready to transfer to adult health care system.

Developmentally appropriate health care

The toolkit is designed to support everyone working in the NHS, from clinicians to chief executives, to promote the health of young people and help make healthcare work for this age group at the consultation, team and organisation level.

Developmentally appropriate care top tips

A top tips document developed by BANNAR and the British Society for Rheumatology to support the entire rheumatology multidisciplinary team in caring for adolescents and young adults.

Youth friendly health services

A set of criteria to guide evaluation and future development of youth friendly health services.

Guidance from the RCPCH Young Person’s Health Special Interest group and other colleges produced during the COVID pandemic for health professionals during virtual consultations with young people.

A Royal College of Physicians toolkit to guide acute care for adolescents and young adults in adult care settings.

Youth involvement

The RCPCH involvement initiative to ensure the voice of children and young people(of all ages), parents and carers are heard and their views sought and shared in order to influence and shape policy and practice.

An online book to support healthcare professionals with their assessment of young people presenting MSK conditions.

A free, evidence based online tool and information resource about paediatric musculoskeletal medicine for health professionals.