The Team

Caroline Penn, DO(Hons), MSc(Osteopathy), FSCC, PHI

Caroline Penn, osteopath for more than 40 years and HANDLE Practitioner since 2012 brings a unique range of experience and skill to the Ross Clinic.  Caroline set up the Penn Clinic in Hatfield, Hertfordshire in 1979.  Caroline writes:

“When I set up in osteopathic practice in 1979 I knew from my own personal experience that what has become known as ‘cranial osteopathy’ would comprise a major part of what I wanted to do. I also knew that there is no one answer to everything; we need to be open to whatever is needed for each individual at the time. I never cease to be amazed at the healing power of the body and the incredible changes that osteopathy can achieve.  I enjoy working with the broad spectrum of issues for which patients seek help; from teeth to toes and from birth to end of life. Osteopathy is such a powerful tool.”

Caroline enjoys working with all age groups.  She is, in particular, an authority on babies.  She has worked with infants in special care baby units in London and Hertfordshire, and collaborated with audiology services in Hertfordshire for children with glue ear problems. Caroline has pioneered osteopathic work in the dental field, with jaw and occlusion problems. She has a close working relationship with a number of orthodontists. Caroline has also taken further study in areas which include gestalt psychotherapy, traumatic and disc injuries, scoliosis and neurodevelopmental and behavioural issues and she qualified as a HANDLE Practitioner in 2012.

Caroline became interested in HANDLE through her own experience of serious head injury.  The philosophy behind both HANDLE & Osteopathy resonate perfectly; both approaches concentrate on finding what the body needs in order to make its own changes from within towards ease & better health.

HANDLE (Holistic Approach to Neuro-Development & Learning Efficiency) maintains that most so-called ‘behaviours’ are adaptations to neuro-developmental differences and that individuals show by their behaviours what their system needs in order to function most comfortably.  HANDLE develops a unique profile of the individual’s neuro-developmental functions, for example, vision, hearing & touch but also the less considered vestibular (inner ear) and proprioceptive functions and many more.    HANDLE concentrates on the facility of the body to organise the brain by providing home programmes of simple activities specially designed for each individual.  HANDLE is for all age groups and focusses on the goals set by the individual client.  Examples of past clients’ goals include:

  • Get to sleep more quickly
  • Be able to go shopping without getting a headache from the bright lights
  • Stop fidgeting and getting into trouble at school
  • Concentrate
  • Reduce anxiety and overwhelm, especially at work, school or in relationships.

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Caroline is also a qualified teacher and has been involved in undergraduate and post-graduate teaching for many years (more detail below).

Caroline has seen patients at the Penn Clinic for 40 years and the Ross Clinic for 20 years.  She writes:

“I love cycling the hills of Herefordshire and Wales, swimming in the lakes and rivers and gazing across wide vistas.  Yoga & Tai Chi are important parts of my daily life.  I enjoy playing my clarinet, dancing (especially jive & tango) and spending time with partner & family.”

Teaching history: Caroline began post graduate studies in cranial osteopathy immediately after qualifying as an osteopath in 1979 from the British School of Osteopathy (now University College of Osteopathy).  Caroline was invited to join the BSO post-graduate faculty in 1982 and 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.  She established an accredited teacher training programme specifically for osteopaths in 1993.

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

Caroline is a co-founder of The Sutherland Cranial College of osteopathy (an independent cranial teaching faculty) and also a founder Osteopath with the Osteopathic Centre for Children (now The Foundation for Paediatric Osteopathy). 


Nicholas Handoll, D.O., F.S.C.C.

Nicholas Handoll qualified at the British School of Osteopathy, London, in 1971 and attended the very first cranial course held in this country in 1972. He established the practice in Hereford in 1975 and in Ross-on-Wye soon after. He was a member of the Editorial Board of the British Osteopathic Journal for six years.

Books written include Osteopathy:Your Questions Answered (1983), Osteopathy in Britain (1986) and Anatomy of Potency (2000), an examination of quantum physics and how it can help us to understand who we are and the environment in which we live. Anatomy of Potency is now in its second edition and has been translated into German, French and Italian.

His articles and papers have been published in various journals, including The Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Journal of the Health Visitors Association.

The Osteopathic Management of Children with Down's Syndrome was published in the British Osteopathic Journal in 1988, and his paper on Energy Medicine was published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2004.

Nicholas Handoll has taught for over 40 years to both under-graduate and post-graduate osteopaths in England, Europe, America and Australasia. He has taught at the British School of Osteopathy, the European School of Osteopathy and the British College of Osteopathic Medicine and he has designed and directed a number of advanced courses both in the UK and abroad.

He has been instrumental in the development of the teaching of the cranial concept in this country. In 1993 he co-founded the Sutherland Cranial College the independent post-graduate educational institution for teaching the cranial concept of osteopathy.

In 2011 he brought together the independent osteopathic postgraduate teaching colleges into what has become the Osteopathic Alliance, an organisation like the medical Royal Colleges, to represent and advise on osteopathic philosophy and practice.

Nicholas lectures regularly to osteopathic groups, to doctors, dentists and osteopathic associations both within the UK and internationally.

Nicholas stresses that since he terminated his registration with the General Osteopathic Council in 2018 he no longer uses the title ‘osteopath’ nor claims to be an osteopath in the U.K. in accordance with the terms of the Osteopaths Act 1993, but this has not changed his osteopathic care.


Pam Dryden, BA, ITEC, MCThA(Embody), Massage Therapist

Massage is an excellent way to manage muscular pain and injury.  It keeps muscles toned and supple, helping to minimise the likelihood of injury. Massage stimulates the body’s natural painkillers and ‘feel-good’ hormones so can be particularly successful in treated stress-related conditions such as headaches, anxiety and insomnia, particularly when combined with the relaxing and therapeutic qualities of essential oils.

Pam Dryden has trained extensively in a wide range of massage styles and techniques, allowing her to draw on both Western and Eastern approaches to maintaining and promoting good health.  She is trained in body massage, sports massage, Indian head massage, on-site acupressure massage, and aromatherapy.  

She offers highly effective treatment to reduce pain, stimulate the body’s own healing mechanisms and achieve a deep sense of relaxation and well-being.    


Phone: Ross-on-Wye:  01989 563813