King's Health Partners Haematology connects the expertise across our partner organisations.  

Our vision is to elevate health outcomes by advancing clinical services, supporting research, and enhancing education to deliver exceptional, equitable and holistic patient care to individuals with blood disorders. 

Our Clinical Academic Partnership 

King’s Health Partners Haematology is a world leader in rare blood diseases and unique in the UK for having an infrastructure that harnesses collaboration between academic and clinical experts to produce new tests and treatments in gene and cellular therapy. Each year we provide care for more than 20,000 patients and serve a diverse regional network of more than eight million people. We ensure our expertise and knowledge is shared globally through our education and training programme. 

Blood disorders have significant and often lifelong effects on patients’ mental and physical health, and the purpose of our Partnership is to make a difference to their lives. We seek to provide the best possible care for our patients and the communities we serve, that meets all of their needs and to develop cures and vaccinations for haematological conditions - from blood cancers (like leukaemia) to haemoglobinopathies (blood disorders and diseases that affect red blood cells, such as sickle cell disease and thalassemia) - so that future generations will not have to face a lifetime with these diseases. 

Our aim is to sustain and grow our world leadership in innovation, research and education in all areas of blood diseases, extending our reach and impact and providing a patient-centred research programme. 

Personalised medicine and advanced therapies are widely recognised as key to the future of healthcare. Haematology is at the forefront of therapeutic innovation in these areas, particularly cell therapy (replacing diseased or dysfunctional cells with healthy, functioning ones) and gene therapy (using genes to treat or prevent disease) and remains the primary area for initial translation of scientific discoveries into new treatments. Our aim is to grow as an international hub for the development of novel strategies for the treatment of all blood disorders. We aim to cover the entire breadth of blood diseases, with our large and diverse patient population providing a platform for scientific discovery made locally, to be applied globally. 

Our strengths  

King’s Health Partners Haematology has the largest myeloid (a type of blood cells in bone marrow) practice in Europe and an internationally renowned service for myelodysplastic syndrome (a group of disorders resulting from poorly formed or dysfunctional blood cells). We have the largest adult transplantation programme for blood stem cell and marrow transplants in the UK and are a national lead for both haemophilia (an inherited disorder in which the blood does not clot) and thrombosis (the formation or presence of a blood clot in a blood vessel). We also house the largest UK centre caring for patients with sickle cell disease and have the largest trial portfolio in the UK for the condition. Our work on understanding age-related clonal haemopoiesis (a blood cell condition that can pose several health risks), through our King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, King’s College London and Bristol-Myers Squibb partnership, is world leading.  

We are one of the largest chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CART-T) centres in Europe offering autologous (transplants from the same person who will receive the transplant) and allogeneic (transplants from a person other than the patient) CAR-T therapy to patients with Lymphoma, B-ALL and myeloma. These are genetically engineered cells used in immunotherapy treatment (a treatment which can start an immune response against a disease or boost the immune system in a general way). 

Key projects

Our Partnership is currently focusing on a number of key projects: 

Mind & Body 

For many people suffering with blood diseases, the effects on their mental health can be as significant as the physical ones. That is why ensuring physical and mental healthcare are integrated for those with blood disease is one of our main areas of focus. In partnership with the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London, we link clinical and research teams focussed on whole-person care. This Mind & Body programme will assess the effect of holistic care on disease outcomes. 

Developing a Centre of Excellence for Sickle Cell Disease 

Our ambition is to create meaningful change in the treatment of sickle cell disease. We are developing a plan for a Centre of Excellence which will bring together a team of multidisciplinary specialists to create and share ways of delivering healthcare. Through this planned centre we aim to achieve world-leading outcomes; directly address health inequalities; pioneer transformational change through research; and extend our education services and knowledge to national and international partners to ensure everyone receives care in line with best practice. 

Working across the system and beyond 

We work with a wide range of local stakeholders to deliver our work including the South East London Cancer Alliance, and Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Foundation Trust. We aim to share learnings and models of care with the wider healthcare system to help improve care both within and beyond the scope of haematology. We also provide education and training resources that support the development of healthcare professionals across all levels of care.  

Patient and public involvement 

We want to ensure the experience and voice of patients, their families and carers is central to the delivery, ongoing improvement and development of Haematology services provided by King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust. We have a range of projects and focus groups that you can get involved in, click here to find out more

In addition to partnerships with major multinational companies, we intend to accelerate international collaborations with centres of excellence. 

Read our latest news and learn more about upcoming events

To get in touch with the team and learn more about our work, please email  

Our leadership

Our programme team helps enable and mobilise activity across our partnership, working closely with colleagues in our partner organisations to drive delivery of our vision and mission. 

Dr Leonie Penna, Senior Responsible Owner

Leonie is the Senior Responsible Owner for King’s Health Partners Haematology.

Dr Leonie Penna circleLeonie has worked at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust as a consultant obstetrician for 14 years. She has an interest in fetal medicine and high-risk obstetrics and is committed to both undergraduate and postgraduate education in this area.

Leonie has held a number of leadership roles at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, initially limited to women’s health but in 2017 she became the Divisional Medical Director for urgent, planned and allied clinical services, before becoming Chief Medical Officer in 2020. 

Leonie also has an interest in fetal monitoring education, undertaking this locally and for organisations such as the Royal College of Obstetrician and Gynaecologists (RCOG). She also spent a short period in 2010 working in Ethiopia and is interested in global women’s health. Leonie lectures for the RCOG and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Dr Susan Robinson, Joint Clinical Director

Dr Susan Robinson Clinical DirectorSusan graduated from King’s College London, before becoming a consultant at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in 2010. At the Trust she is now a clinical director, clinical lead and an internationally recognised expert in obstetric haematology and transfusion medicine. 

Susan’s wider roles include: clinical lead for the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership South East London Pathology Programme and member of both the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Transfusion guideline group and Quality Standards and British Society for Haematology Transfusion Task Force. Susan also sits on the UK Blood Services’ Standing Advisory Committee where she helps improve blood for patients and analyses adverse outcomes, providing recommendations through the National haemovigilance scheme.

Dr Karen Breen, Joint Clinical Director

Karen Breen, Haematology June 2022Dr Karen Breen is a consultant haematologist with a specialist interest in thrombosis and is based in the haemostasis and thrombosis centre and in the department of haematology.

She trained in haematology in Ireland and moved to the UK to conduct research in antiphospholipid syndrome leading to an MD.

Her main area of clinical interest is in thrombosis and in particular, in the field of antiphospholipid syndrome. She is currently involved in several clinical trials and in translational research in antiphospholipid syndrome.

Prof Roopen Arya, Joint Clinical Director

Prof Roopen Arya Clinical DirectorRoopen is Clinical Director for Haematology and Pathology at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. His other roles include: Director of King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s Thrombosis Centre; Professor of Thrombosis and Haemostasis at King’s College London and Director of the National VTE Exemplar Centres Network in England.

Roopen trained at the University of Oxford and King’s College London. His main interests are venous thromboembolism, thrombophilia, and women’s health. He is passionate about thrombosis research and advancing safety and quality of care through innovative and patient-centric approaches.

Jennifer Owen, Programme Director Jennifer Owen

Jennifer started her career as a Unilever graduate trainee and joined the NHS soon after. She has worked in a number of large teaching hospitals, including University College London Hospital and St. George’s University Hospital, and in a number of operational, commercial and programme roles. This includes being part of creating, transforming and running South West London Pathology. Prior to joining King’s Health Partners, Jennifer was the Associate Director, Commercial, at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.

To get in touch with the teamand learn more about our work, please email