William Lea

PhD start date: November 2017 (part-time)
PhD project title: Producing effective and achievable safety strategies from adverse event investigations in healthcare.
PhD supervisors: Dr Jane O’Hara, Professor Rebecca Lawton, Professor Charles Vincent

Email: william.lea@york.nhs.uk
Twitter: @DrWilliamLea

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William has been a trainee doctor in North Yorkshire since 2012, currently working at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. William has had a growing interest in patient safety and healthcare improvement/quality improvement (QI) science. Having undertaken many QI projects he completed the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Improvement Coach Program in Boston in 2016. William is an Improvement Fellow with the Improvement Academy and member of Q (The Health Foundation).

William is interested in all areas of patient safety and healthcare improvement, and particularly in building capacity and capability in frontline healthcare staff. He has developed training programmes for junior doctors and other frontline staff/teams (mutli-disciplinary).

William is an honorary lecturer for the Hull York Medical School, teaching 3rd and 5th year medical students (Bedside/Seminar/Simulation).

William’s PhD is supported by York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (https://www.yorkhospitals.nhs.uk/)

PhD overview
William is interested in how we respond to errors and adverse events within healthcare; when and how we should investigate, how we decide what to do with the findings of an investigation and how we design, test and implement changes. His PhD is about how we produce more effective safety strategies from adverse incident investigation, but also more broadly how we respond to the findings of investigations.

Research interests
Patient Safety; Quality Improvement in Healthcare; Human Factors.

Caitlin Wilson

PhD start date: September 2019
PhD project title: Enhancing feedback for ambulance service staff to promote workforce wellbeing and patient safety
PhD supervisors: Dr Jon Benn, Dr Gillian Janes, Professor Rebecca Lawton

Email: hc15c2w@leeds.ac.uk
Twitter: @999_Caitlin

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Caitlin is a paramedic by background and has worked for North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust since qualifying in 2012. She has worked mainly as a frontline paramedic on the emergency ambulance but has also completed a 12-month secondment as a research paramedic on the NIHR funded Paramedic Acute Stroke Treatment Assessment trial in 2017. Following her paramedic DipHE qualification at Edge Hill University and top-up BSc(Hons) degree at the University of Cumbria, Caitlin was granted an HEE/NIHR Master of Clinical Research Studentship. This enabled her to undertake an MSc in Clinical Research Methods at the University of Leeds in 2015/16. Currently, Caitlin is undertaking a PhD at the University of Leeds/Bradford Institute for Health Research funded by the NIHR Yorkshire and Humber Patient Safety Translational Research Centre under the Workforce Engagement and Wellbeing theme. Caitlin continues to work one shift per week as a paramedic to ensure her research remains relevant and can be translated into clinical practice.

PhD overview
The overall aim of this PhD is to explore whether pre-hospital feedback improves patient safety by enhancing paramedic decision-making and promoting ambulance staff engagement and wellbeing. The initial mapping phase will include a systematic scoping review of pre-hospital feedback literature alongside a comparative case study of existing pre-hospital feedback schemes. Following this, two research studies will be conducted: a diary study to capture paramedics’ unanswered (feedback) questions and a national cross-sectional survey of work-related well-being, staff engagement, patient safety & current feedback provision in UK ambulance services. The later phases of the PhD will involve developing a feedback intervention/framework in collaboration with ambulance staff, patients and stakeholders, as well as evaluating this intervention in a quasi-experiment alongside qualitative process evaluation and health economics.

Research interests
Pre-hospital care, patient safety, staff wellbeing, evidence-based practice, decision-making.

Darci Tillbrook

PhD start date: October 2019
PhD project title:Uncovering the invisible labour that patients and families undertake to support the safety and quality of cancer care
PhD supervisors:Dr Jane O’Hara, Dr Laura Sheard, Dr Kate Absolom, Dr Ruth Baxter

Twitter: @DarciTillbrook


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Darci graduated with a BSc in Psychology and Counselling from Abertay University in 2018, followed by an MSc in Psychological Research Methods (with a specialism in Cognition and Neuropsychology) from the University of Stirling in 2019. During both of the previous degrees Darci volunteered as a research assistant on a variety of psychological projects (Growth Mindset, Laterality and Facial recognition and processing). Her MSc project sparked an interest in applied health research; she investigated the awareness of alcohol consumption as a risk factor of cancer amongst adolescents in the UK, using Cancer Research UK funded data. Darci is currently undertaking a PhD, funded by NIHR Yorkshire and Humber Patient Safety Translational Centre.

PhD overview
The aim of the project is to explore, document and understand how patients and their families support the safety and quality of cancer care. In particular, the project will focus on the role of ‘invisible labour’ undertaken by patients and their families across the cancer pathway. 

Research interests
Patient safety and quality improvement in healthcare generally, but particularly in cancer care and mental health settings.

Olivia Joseph

PhD start date: January 2021
PhD project title:  Incivility in the NHS: Experiences of racial and ethnic minority healthcare workers, consequences and potential impact on the quality and safety of care
PhD supervisors: Professor Rebecca Lawton, Dr Beth Fylan and Associate Professor Ghazala Mir

Email: Olivia Joseph
Twitter: @LiviJosephHD

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Olivia graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Science from De Montfort University, followed by an MRC awarded scholarship for an MRes in Inflammation: Cellular and Vascular Aspects. During both degrees Olivia became particularly interested in research communication with patient, public and healthcare staff and equity in health research, which lead to a five-year career as a Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) Specialist within NHS research.

She is currently conducting a PhD research project at the University of Leeds, funded by NIHR Yorkshire and Humber Patient Safety Translational Research Centre within the Workplace Engagement and Wellbeing theme.

Olivia works one day a week as a PPIE Research Fellow within the Partners at Care Transitions research programme to maintain her involvement expertise and sustain relationships.

PhD overview
Despite an increasingly diverse NHS workforce, workplace mistreatment reported in the NHS Staff Surveys remains persistent for racial and ethnic minority healthcare staff. In addition, both experience of, and observation of incivility in healthcare has been reported to have an effect on the wellbeing of the individual, wider team performance and ultimately staff experience has been shown to be associated with patient care.

Olivia aims to explore how racial and ethnic minority healthcare workers conceptualise, perceive, experience and attribute rude and disrespectful behaviour at work (often described as incivility) from both colleagues and patients, the contextual factors, triggers and potential consequences/ implications for patient care. The project aims to inform potential avenues for an intervention to improve the experience of racial and ethnic minority healthcare staff in the NHS.

Research interests
Incivility, negative workplace behaviours, equity, healthcare staff wellbeing, patient care

Hague, C., Foran, B., Hall, E., Guild, S., Joseph, O., Moule, R., Nutting, C., Parsons, S., Prestwich, R., Slevin, N. and West, C., (2018). Patient Involvement in the Design of a Phase III Trial Comparing Intensity-modulated Proton Therapy and Intensity-modulated Radiotherapy for Oropharyngeal Cancer. Clinical Oncology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clon.2018.01.018

Holmes, L., Cresswell, K., Williams, S., Parsons, S., Keane, A., Wilson, C., Islam, S., Joseph, O., Miah, J., Robinson, E., & Starling, B. (2019). Innovating public engagement and patient involvement through strategic collaboration and practice. Research Involvement and Engagement, 5(1), 30. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40900-019-0160-4

Nicholas, O. J., Joseph, O., Keane, A., Cleary, K., Campbell, S. H., Gwynne, S. H., Crosby, T., Radhakrishna, G., & Hawkins, M. A. (2020). Patient and Public Involvement Refines the Design of ProtOeus: A Proposed Phase II Trial of Proton Beam Therapy in Oesophageal Cancer. The Patient – Patient-Centered Outcomes Research. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40271-020-00487-8

Daniel Ford

PhD start date: October 2020
PhD project title: Understanding and measuring the impact of in-hospital stress on post-hospital outcomes
PhD supervisors: Professor Daryl O’Connor, Professor Rebecca Lawton

Email: psdmf@leeds.ac.uk
Twitter: @Dr_Dan_Psych 

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Daniel graduated from Durham University with a BSc (Hons) in Applied Psychology (2019). After which, he remained in Durham for another year, receiving a distinction in MSc Cognitive Neuroscience (2020). Daniel is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Leeds, funded by NIHR Yorkshire and Humber Patient Safety Translational Research Centre.

PhD overview
The project aims to identify, understand, and measure stressors associated with the in-hospital environment. This will be accomplished by exploring factors such as susceptibility to these stressors, and their impact on patient outcomes (i.e., post-hospital syndrome). The PhD will conclude by producing a tool to assess in-hospital stress; designed and evaluated by Daniel.

Research interest
Patient safety; patient outcomes (particularly, post-hospital syndrome); in-hospital stress.

None as of yet.

Debbie Clark

PhD start date: October 2021
PhD project title: The dark side of standardisation: When is it safer to ‘work around’ a protocol
PhD supervisors: Professor Jane O’Hara, Professor Rebecca Lawton

Twitter: @deb_clark2

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Debbie qualified as a Nurse in 1998 and has spent most of her clinical career working within Critical Care at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. Debbie completed a B. Med Sci in Critical Care Nursing in 2004.

Since 2008, Debbie has worked at Sheffield Hallam University, most recently as a Principal Lecturer in Adult Nursing. Debbie completed an MSc in Healthcare Education in 2016. Whilst working within education Debbie has focused upon enhancing patient safety, human factors, and quality improvement within pre and post registration nurse education.

During her lecturing career, Debbie has enjoyed a secondment with the Yorkshire and Humber Improvement Academy which allowed her to work with the team to support regional work on Human Factors education and collaborated on a Health Foundation funded safety project: The measurement and monitoring of safety framework (Vincent, 2013)

Debbie is currently undertaking a PhD with the University of Leeds funded by THIS Institute.

PhD Overview:  

Debbie’s PhD is concerned with exploring how and in what circumstances a flexible approach to safety management supports safety. The work aims to understand how, when and if ‘work arounds’ contribute to safe care and will explore the impact of using Safety II approaches within healthcare.

Initially a scoping review will be used to map the when, why and what type of standards are work round within healthcare. A focused ethnography within a range of different healthcare settings with then be conducted to observe adherence to or deviation from specified standards. This data will then be used to inform a series of stakeholder workshops to try and establish safe parameters for when workarounds could be used. The safe parameters (work as done) will then be tested against the exemplar standard (work as imagined) in a simulated environment to explore the impact on pre-determined outcomes such as efficiency and safety.

Research Interests:

Patient Safety, Human Factors, Critical Care


The Introduction of “Safety Science” into an                                                                  

Undergraduate Nursing Programme at a Large University 

in the United Kingdom 

Nick White, Deborah Clark, Wayne Robson, Robin Lewis

Int. J. Nurs. Educ. Scholarsh. 2016; 13(1): 1–8


Teaching patient safety and human factors in undergraduate nursing                        

curricula in England: a pilot survey

Wayne Robson, Debbie Clark, David Pinnock, Nick White and Bryn Baxendale

British Journal of Nursing, 2013, Vol 22, No 17

Qandeel Shah

PhD start date:  November 2021
PhD project title: De-implementation of low value practices (clinical and non-clinical): A patient perspective
Email: ll14qs@leeds.ac.uk

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I graduated from the University of Leeds with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology in 2018. After working in inpatient mental health services for some time I returned to Leeds to study MSc Psychological Approaches to Health (2021). I am currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Leeds, funded by NIHR.

PhD overview:

The project will explore clinical and non-clinical care practices patients consider to be low-value. In particular, the research will focus on care in mental health services. Mixed methods will be used to identify targets for de-implementation and an intervention will be developed alongside patients to reduce, replace, or stop low-value practices.

Research interests: Patient safety, low-value care, mental health care.

Megan Smith

PhD start date: 1st September 2022
PhD project title: Improving support for people with severe mental illness to quit smoking: comparing a bottom up with a top-down quality improvement approach
Email: psmes@leeds.ac.uk 

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PhD overview:

Bethany Pritchard

PhD start date: June 2022
PhD project title: Using Individualised Feedback to Optimise Recall Rates in Screening Mammography

PhD Supervisors: Dr Jonathan Benn & Professor Robbie Foy
Email: psbgp@leeds.ac.uk

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PhD overview:

Jessica Rich

PhD start date: 1 September 2022
PhD project title:  Understanding and improving experience and safety at transitions of care for patients with mental illness

PhD Supervisors: Professor Rebecca Lawton, Professor Jane O’Hara and Professor Gerrard Armitage
Email: psjr@leeds.ac.uk

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PhD overview:

Bethany Griffin

PhD start date: 1 October 2022
PhD project title: Exploring psychological safety in inpatient mental health settings

PhD Supervisors: Dr Judith Johnson and Professor John Baker
Email: psblg@leeds.ac.uk 

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PhD overview:

Hannah Sharp

PhD start date: 3 October 2022
PhD project title: Exploring system approaches to enhancing the safety of their care experiences for people who self-harm on acute mental health settings

PhD Supervisors: Dr Judith Johnson and Professor John Baker
Email: hches@leeds.ac.uk 

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PhD overview: