What are sickle cell and thalassaemia conditions?

Sickle cell and thalassaemia belong to a group of genetic blood disorders known as haemoglobinopathies.

Sickle cell disease is the name for a group of inherited health conditions that affect the red blood cells. The most serious type is called sickle cell anaemia. Learn more about sickle cell disease here.

Thalassaemia is the name for a group of inherited conditions that affect a substance in the blood called haemoglobin. People with thalassaemia produce either no or too little haemoglobin, which is used by red blood cells to carry oxygen around the body. Learn more about thalassaemia here.

Paediatric Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Service

At Darent Valley Hospital we provide a consultant-led acute and outpatient service for children with sickle cell and thalassaemia conditions.

The service we provide begins at birth and continues until patients are transferred to the adult team. When the time comes, our specialist adolescent transition nurse will make sure there is a smooth transfer from children’s care to adult care.

We offer:

  • Weekly outpatients clinic
  • Multidisciplinary management of sickle cell disease and thalassaemia with Kings College Hospital
  • In-patient management of sickle cell disease and thalassaemia
  • Management of patients who are on blood transfusion programmes and hydroxycarbamide

The team

Sickle Cell Team.JPG

From left to right:

Natasha Chandler-Honnor - Paediatric Sickle Cell and Haemoglobinopathy Nurse

Dr Suresh Kumar – Lead Consultant Paediatrician

Alero Omaghomi - Lead Paediatric Haemoglobinopathy Clinical Nurse Specialist


Based in the Children's Resource Centre at Darent Valley Hospital, our clinics take place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9am to 1pm - some of which are joint multidisciplinary team clinics.

To book a nurse-led telephone consultation, please email Alero Omaghomi or Natasha Chandler-Honnor

Please arrive for your appointment on time to help us run the clinic smoothly and avoid delays.


Patients are usually referred to this service by GPs, the Newborn Screening Programme, or by other healthcare professionals.

If you are living in the catchment area and would like to be referred to this service, please ask your GP or healthcare professional.

Nurse-led Parent Support Group

This group provides peer support, advice and community outreach to parents, carers and friends of children with sickle cell disease and thalassaemia. Click here to visit the Facebook Parent Support Group.

There is also a gathering on the last Wednesday of every month at 4:40pm via Zoom. Here members can share experiences and receive advice on holistic healthcare and benefits.

Emergency Service

If your child has a sickle cell crisis or feeling unwell and you are unable to resolve the problem at home, go to the hospital emergency department and let the staff know that you have Sickle Cell or Thalassaemia disease.

Alternatively, if your child has open access to Paediatric Assessment Unit, you can call them on: 01322 428100 ext: 8998 / 8554 during open hours, or the Paediatric Willow Ward out of hours on: 01322 428702.

Paediatric Assessment Unit
Phone: 01322 428100
Ext: 8998 / 8554
Opening Times: 9:30-20:00

Willow Ward
Phone: 01322 428702
Ext: 8997/8702
Opening times: 24/7