The Penn Clinic was established nearly 40 years ago by the clinic founder Caroline Penn. The directorship was recently passed to Alex Bidlake-Corser who has worked under Caroline since 2011.



Philosophy of patient care:

When Caroline started the clinic in 1979 she was still recovering from serious head injury. She determined to establish a clinic where patients would feel at home and be heard on two levels; both their verbal description of their problems and their body’s inner message.

She found that cranial osteopathy would comprise a major part of what she wanted to make available to patients, but she also realised that there is no single answer to everything; we need to be open to whatever is needed for individuals at the particular time we are working with them.

Caroline has benefited hugely herself from an integrated approach to her own recovery and the clinic still operates with this ethos today. Alex is extremely proud that the clinic is able to offer such a wealth of talent and professionalism.



ALEX BIDLAKE-CORSER - Clinic Director & Osteopath


 Alex took over the directorship of the clinic in April 2017 and is enjoying her first venture of running a busy clinic. 

 Alex qualified from the European School of Osteopathy and holds a Masters degree in Osteopathy.

During her studies Alex developed a focus on preventative care and now enjoys treating a broad range of patients - from babies through all decades to the elderly, using whatever approach most suits the individual.

Alex also spends one day a week as a clinical supervisor at the London School of Osteopathy working with undergraduate Osteopathy students and preparing them for their final exams. 

DO M.Ost

Alex’s Insights

My training in contemporary dance was instrumental in my decision to study osteopathy – a hip injury took me to an osteopath to aid my recovery. My experience of injury and recovery deepened my understanding of how the body works and I decided to learn more. I chose to study osteopathy as it had worked so well for me. I enjoy helping people to better understand their own body through osteopathic treatment. With this better understanding I enjoy working with them to learn how to avoid injury whilst continuing to enjoy the activities that are important to them.

I am passionate about treating all ages to help people to achieve their best health no matter what time in life they come to osteopathy. 

Alex’s Passions
My passions are walking in the countryside with my dog, dance and a good meal out with friends. I am expecting my first baby and I look forward to the new challenge of motherhood!

CAROLINE PENN - Osteopath, HANDLE Practitioner

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Qualified from the BSO in 1979 with an honours diploma. Began post graduate studies in cranial osteopathy immediately and was invited to join the BSO post-graduate faculty in 1982. Since then Caroline has been involved in teaching osteopathy at undergraduate and post-graduate levels and in many countries including Germany, France, Switzerland, Denmark, New Zealand, Australia, USA. Caroline is a qualified teacher and established an accredited teacher training programme specifically for osteopaths in 1993.

Caroline is a founder member of The Sutherland Cranial College (an independent cranial teaching faculty). Also a founder Osteopath with the Osteopathic Centre for Children (Now The Foundation for Paediatric Osteopathy). Caroline is also an instructor with The HANDLE Institute.

DO(Hons), MSc, FSCC, PHI

Caroline completed a Masters degree in Osteopathy in 2003 undertaking research with infants under three months old with breathing difficulties.

Caroline is an authority on problems in babies and has worked with infants in special care baby units in Hertfordshire and London, and collaborated with audiology services in Hertfordshire for glue ear problems in children.

Caroline has been a member of the BSSCMD (British Society for the Study of Cranio-Mandibular Disorders) for more than 20 years and has pioneered working osteopathically with dentists and orthodontists. She has a close working relationship with a number of dentists and orthodontists.

Caroline has also taken further study in areas which include, gestalt psychotherapy, traumatic and disc injuries, sleep problems, scoliosis and neurodevelopmental and behavioural issues see HANDLE.  Caroline is a fully qualified HANDLE Practitioner & instructor since 2012.

 Caroline’s Insights
I enjoy working with patients across their whole life span, from birth through to the winter years. I place an emphasis on preventative care which had fired my enthusiasm for working with infants and for helping people throughout life to understand their body and be pro-active in maintaining their own health.

I live life to the full and have researched solutions to my own health problems which began with serious head injury in 1977. I never cease to be amazed at the healing power of the body and the incredible changes that osteopathy can achieve. I have great respect for the different healthcare disciplines and pride myself on seeking out the best complementary approaches and therapists to enhance our osteopathic work at the clinic. With tough cases, or those wanting to push themselves to higher levels of health and fitness, working as a team offers so much more than one practitioner alone can achieve.

Caroline’s Passions
I love walking in wild places especially mountains, swimming in lakes and rivers, gazing across wide vistas, singing, playing my clarinet, dancing, cycling and spending time with my family and friends.

CARA DAW - Osteopath

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Successful osteopathic assistance with family and especially childhood ailments enabled Cara to keep her family clear of drugs and more conventional treatments. She was inspired to move away from a successful business career to study osteopathy.  Cara graduated with Distinction from the British School Of Osteopathy and was awarded the R.K. Hardy Research prize for Critical Analysis and Enquiry.  She keeps the rest of the osteopaths at the Penn Clinic on their toes with her lively sense of enquiry!



Cara is interested in developing her skills in the gentlest types of work that can benefit her patients.  Cara looks deeply into what may be underlying the issues that lead people to seek help.

Cara’s Insights
Cara includes consideration of the types of reactions that individuals may have to prescription medications and she includes this in her assessment.  Cara says; ‘The fundamental principle of Osteopathy is to help the body return to health. Once health is restored the need for medication can be reduced or even made redundant.’

With previous work history in a corporate environment I understand the stresses and strains that modern lifestyles and sedentary occupations can place on the body.   I have first-hand knowledge of being a patient and in particular seeing my three children supported by osteopathy towards the most robust health.  My personal experience enables me to trust in the body’s ability to move towards health and my work confirms that trust everyday!

Cara’s Passions 
"Family and friends, the great outdoors, good food, music, books and movies.”

Allison Brown - Osteopath


Allison has over 30 years clinical experience and has been at the Penn Clinic for many years. She has worked extensively with pregnant women, babies and children as well as providing osteopathic support for many people in their recovery from physical and emotional trauma and injury.

She has a wealth of knowledge upon which she draws to provide a unique treatment protocol for each client.

Allison has a strong belief in the healing potential of our bodies. She feels that if an individual is supported in understanding and resolving the issues which are impeding their recovery, remarkable change is possible.




Catherine has worked at the Penn Clinic for 10 years, developing extensive clinical experience of treating all age ranges from new born to the elderly.

She graduated with a distinction from the four year full time Bachelor of Osteopathy course at the British School of Osteopathy in London.

Catherine has undertaken postgraduate training in Cranial Osteopathy, including Paediatrics, which enables her to be recognised as a Member of the Sutherland Cranial Collage (MSCC).

Prior to training as an Osteopath Catherine worked in the IT industry in the City of London so has excellent firsthand experience of the physical and emotional pressures of city life.

BOst.(Hons), MSCC

Catherine’s Insights 
It was my own experience of the power of osteopathic treatment to relieve aches and pains from work related physical stress that led me to train as an osteopath. Subsequently in my osteopathic practice I have found that prolonged standing or sitting perhaps combined with computer, telephone, musical instrument or equipment use often results in strains and postural problems that can cause headaches, backache, neck and arm pains, which are amenable to osteopathic treatment.

Many of my patients have suffered symptoms for years before seeking osteopathic help. I find it particularly satisfying working with these patients to help them regain and maintain their mobility. I have found that by using gentle osteopathic treatment generalised aches and pains and even arthritic or rheumatic pain can be relieved enabling patients to engage more in their favourite activities and hence enjoy a higher quality of life.

As rewarding as working with patients in their later years is my work with children. I enjoy using osteopathy to support the muscular skeletal challenges that growing up and being active place on the developing body. From my work with babies I have learnt how these challenges can start within the womb or during a difficult delivery and how osteopathy can gently but powerfully provide relief

 Catherine’s Passions

Walking, fruit and vegetable gardening, cooking and baking. My ideal day involves a fast car, a splendid lunch and a long country walk.


KIM MARTIN - Clinic Manager



I have worked at the clinic since 1996 and have enjoyed seeing the range of help available to patients here develop. I work closely with Caroline Penn in my job as clinic manager. I am responsible for coordinating all the different practitioners as well as managing the systems we have in place – it can be challenging, but it is very interesting and satisfying when everything runs smoothly! It is very rewarding when patients comment that their visits to the clinic are not only helping their health, but that they are grateful that the reception team is a familiar force! 

As I have now been at the clinic for 20 years I have seen many patients who first came as babies growing up through the years. It is marvellous to see them doing well! Some have now brought their own baby to the clinic!  Prior to working at the Penn Clinic I worked within two financial institutions holding a variety of positions ranging from secretarial cashiering and administration. My idea of heaven? A jigsaw puzzle of Elvis Presley and a rainy day!


JACKIE GESS - Counsellor

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MBACP Snr Accred Counsellor, UKRC Reg Ind Counsellor 
Gained accreditation in 1999

EMDR Therapist (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing)
Particular areas of expertise: trauma therapy and helping people with the psychological consequences of physical illness.

Jackie’s insight
Jackie has been working as a therapist for many years, offering counselling and more recently EMDR to adults, children and young people. She works in private practice and also in agency, company and school settings.  Jackie uses an integrative approach and enables clients to determine the focus, pace and depth of their counselling. Her role is to help clients find their own solutions to their problems.

SATU JACKSON - Registered Nutritional Therapist and NLP Practitioner

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Satu was born in Finland where health challenges associated with climate and culture have stimulated novel solutions, some of which have resulted in a dramatic reduction in deaths from heart disease. Satu is multi-lingual and has worked in many countries, from the USA to Sweden, witnessing at first-hand, different health problems and benefits associated with dietary trends driven by lifestyle, geography and culture. 

 Satu is a qualified Nutritional Therapist with a MSc in Personalised Nutrition from Middlesex University and a graduate of Institute for Optimum Nutrition (ION), a programme pioneered by Patrick Holford, world-renowned nutrition guru. Satu has also completed a course for Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice with the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) to further inform the evidence-based and individually tailored dietary and lifestyle recommendations for her clients.

MSc Personalised Nutrition DipION CertNLP mBANT CNHC 

Satu’s Insight
Satu enjoys exploring the variety of dietary components and lifestyle options available to identify practical measures that could make a difference to everyday life and wellbeing. ‘Life is for living – to the full!’

Satu’s passions
I enjoy the amazing beauty of nature in its many forms, walking, hiking or just allowing for a moment of quiet contemplation. My absolute favourite is a rugged coastline with empty beaches, the ones that are not meant for sun worshippers, ideally with a hot drink and a good old-fashioned cinnamon bun!

YVETTE LAVENDER - Medical Herbalist & Massage

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Yvette gained a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Herbal Medicine from Middlesex University. 

Yvette is also a qualified massage therapist including Aromatherapy Massage and Indian Head massage.


 Yvette’s insights

"Plants have played a pivotal role in the history of medicine with some of the worlds greatest healing agents derived from the plant kingdom. Not many people know that the willow tree provided the original source of aspirin, the prescribed anti-cancer drug, Taxol, is derived from the Yew tree and a compound from the daffodil bulb is used to treat Alzheimer's disease.

Nature is the master-chemist and I am truly fascinated by the idea that our hedgerows and our own gardens are potential medicine cabinets providing a wealth of natural anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-tumour agents contained in common plants and even weeds such as elder (Sambucus nigra), nettles (Urtica dioica), dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), plantain (Plantago majus, P. lanceolata), cleavers (Galium aparine) and yarrow (Achillea millefolium).

I am passionate about helping people to further their knowledge and understanding of the medicinal potency of plants and how they can be used to prevent disease and restore us to optimum health.

Yvette’s passions

I am passionate about my herb garden and I love researching and creating medicinal and healing soups!  I enjoy live music events and festivals, reading, studying, travelling, walking, undertaking new projects and spending time at home with family and friends & digging around in my herb garden!"