Alice Dunning

PhD start date: October 2017
PhD project title: Self-affirmations, wellbeing and patient safety perceptions in nursing staff: How effective are self-affirmation interventions for improving levels of wellbeing amongst nurses?
PhD supervisors: Dr Judith Johnson, Professor Karen Spilsbury, Dr Angela Grange, Dr Gemma Louch

Email: ps13ad@leeds.ac.uk
Twitter: @alicedunning1

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Background
Alice graduated from the University of Leeds with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology in 2017. During her degree she undertook a placement with the YQSR Group as an honorary research assistant, during this time she developed an interest in patient safety. She is currently undertaking a PhD, funded by NIHR CLAHRC Yorkshire and Humber and the University of Leeds.

PhD overview
The project aims to establish the feasibility and effectiveness of using a self-affirmation intervention with nursing staff to help improve levels of wellbeing and patient safety. The intervention involves manipulations which affirm the self and aims to address the way individuals respond to threat. Self-affirmation interventions have been used in research previously to help improve levels of wellbeing, but have yet to be implemented for this purpose with nurses.

Research interests
Alice is broadly interested in the wellbeing of healthcare professionals, including the implications of poorer wellbeing i.e. patient safety, and looking at methods to support this.

Publications
Johnson, J., Johnson, O., Heyhoe, J., Fielder, C., & Dunning, A. (2018). Parent experiences and preferences when dysemlia is identified during the prenatal and perinatal periods: A qualitative study into family nursing care for rare diseases. Journal of Family Nursing, 24, 271-293. doi: 10.1177/1074840718772808

Lauren Ramsey

PhD start date: October 2017
PhD project title: H
ow do staff use and respond to patient feedback to inform improvements to the quality and safety of care in a hospital setting?
PhD supervisors: 
Dr Jane O’Hara, Professor Rebecca Lawton, Dr Laura Sheard, James Munro CEO of Care Opinion

Email: L.ramsey@leeds.ac.uk
Twitter: @LaurenPRamsey

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Background
Lauren has a background in Psychology, graduating from the University of Leeds with a BSc (Hons). Lauren is currently studying for a PhD with the University of Leeds and Bradford Institute for Health Research funded by the NIHR Yorkshire and Humber Patient Safety Translational Research Centre under the research theme Patient Involvement in Patient Safety.

Prior to beginning her PhD, Lauren spent a year working with the team at Bradford Institute for Health Research assisting in various projects aiming to improve the quality and safety of care in the NHS. She also worked as a research assistant on a European Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) at The University of Leeds, and at Inhealthcare helping to develop digital health solution for the NHS.

PhD overview
Lauren is completing a PhD which is focused on understanding how staff use and respond to patient feedback to inform improvements to the quality and safety of care in a hospital setting. NHS policy and guidance highlights the important and unique perspective of patients, and the potential value of their feedback in informing improvements to care. In light of this, the healthcare service is increasingly collecting feedback from patients, with collection often being mandated across many aspects of care. Despite this, recent research suggests that there is not enough being done with patient feedback to use it to inform meaningful change. Based on the findings from a systematic literature review Lauren completed, the PhD adopts an exploratory approach to focus more specifically on patient-initiated online feedback, how this is responded to and how it is used in practice to inform improvement.

Research interests
Lauren has a general research interest in the quality and safety of care in the NHS. More specifically, Lauren is interested in how both digital health technologies and patient involvement in patient care can help to alleviate pressures on the NHS, and improve the quality and safety of care for both patients and staff. Lauren also has a particular interest in how qualitative methodological approaches can help to answer key research questions in this area.

Publications

Ramsey L, Sheard L, Lawton R, O Hara J. How do healthcare staff respond to patient experience feedback online? A typology of responses published on Care Opinion. Patient Experience Journal. 2019;6(2):42-50

Ramsey, Lauren Paige; Sheard, Laura Dr; Lawton, Rebecca Professor; and O’Hara, Jane Dr (2019) “How do healthcare staff respond to patient experience feedback online? A typology of responses published on Care Opinion,” Patient Experience Journal: Vol. 6 : Iss. 2 , Article 9. DOI: 10.35680/2372-0247.1363

Johnson, J., Panagioti, M., Bass, J., Ramsey, L., & Harrison, R. (2016). Resilience to emotional distress in response to failure, error or mistakes: A systematic review. Clinical psychology review.

Raabia Sattar

PhD start date: October 2016
PhD project title: To develop a communication training intervention to improve the practice of adverse event disclosure to patients in UK maternity services.
PhD supervisors: Dr Judith Johnson, Professor Rebecca Lawton

Email: ps15rs@leeds.ac.uk
Twitter: @Raabia_Sattar

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Background
Raabia graduated from the University of Bradford with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology in 2015. She went on to study an MSc in Psychological approaches to Health at the University of Leeds (2016). Raabia is currently undertaking a PhD, funded by NIHR CLAHRC Yorkshire and Humber and the University of Leeds.

PhD overview
Raabia is completing a PhD which focuses on supporting healthcare professionals with the disclosure of adverse events to patients. The Duty of Candour regulation which was introduced within the UK in 2015 states that every healthcare professional has a professional responsibility to be open and honest with patients when something that goes wrong with their treatment or care. Despite these policy advancements and implementation around open disclosure, there is currently limited training available for healthcare professionals on disclosure. This project involves developing and assessing the feasibility and acceptability of a communication intervention to support maternity healthcare professionals with this disclosure process.

Research interests
Raabia has a general interest in improving the quality and safety of care within the NHS, with a specific focus on improving the delivery of service to patients and enhancing the wellbeing of healthcare professionals.

Siobhan McHugh

PhD start date: October 2016
PhD project title: Evaluating video-reflexive ethnography as a tool for improving teamwork and communication in acute maternity handover.
PhD supervisors: Professor Rebecca Lawton, Dr Jane O’Hara, Dr Laura Sheard

Email: ed13skm@leeds.ac.uk
Twitter: @skmc84

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Background
Siobhan graduated from the University of Cambridge with a BA (Hons) in Natural Science in 2005, and then from the University of Durham with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology in 2007. She completed a Masters in Psychology, graduating from the University of Northumbria in Newcastle in 2009. Following her degree, Siobhan worked as a research assistant on a number of projects encompassing various areas of health psychology, primarily the use of patient reported outcome measures following surgical and medical interventions. She is currently undertaking a PhD funded by NIHR CLAHRC Yorkshire and Humber and the University of Leeds.

PhD overview
Siobhan will evaluate the process of video-reflexive ethnography to determine whether this can be used to improve elements of teamwork and communication in high-risk multi-disciplinary healthcare teams. The research will focus on multi-disciplinary handovers in UK maternity units. The project will consider elements of feasibility and acceptability of video-reflexive ethnography in healthcare staff, as well as the sustainability of any improvements.

Research interests
Video-reflexive ethnography; multi-disciplinary handover; teamwork; communication; patient safety; quality improvement; qualitative methods; human factors research.

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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Background
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.

Mary Smith

PhD start date: October 2018
PhD project title: A study exploring the experience of patients and their carers / families who make complaints about their acute mental health inpatient care.
PhD supervisors: Professor John Baker, Dr Jane O’Hara

Email: hcmls@leeds.ac.uk
Twitter: @MLSmith96

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Background
Mary is an experienced social worker of 20 years, operating as an Approved Social Worker (ASW) and then Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) under the Mental Health Act. Mary is also a Best Interest Assessor (BIA) under the Mental Capacity Act and has held various roles including senior social worker, service manager, Lead AMHP and Head of Adult Social Care. Mary is also a Specialist Advisor (SpA) for the Care Quality Commission, taking part in various regulation visits and projects to support performance and delivery of mental health services nationally. Mary completed her Masters in Advanced Interventions in Mental Health during 2011, studying the role and purpose of family intervention and education programmes for families and people experiencing psychosis. Mary is currently undertaking a PhD, funded by the NIHR Yorkshire and Humber Patient Safety Translational Research Centre and the University of Leeds with a contribution from Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust.

PhD overview
The project aims  to understand from a service user / family perspective how feedback about mental health inpatient care is received, how complaints are responded to and whether services are learning any lessons from the data that they routinely collect / have access to.

The project aims to identify:

  • What is the evidence telling us about people’s experiences in mental health in-patient settings?
  • Locally and nationally – what are people telling us and how are they responded to?

Research interests
Mary is primarily interested in the welfare and experience of people using mental health services with a focus on quality and safety and the methods used to explore this.

Publications
Care Quality Commission AMHP review (click here to access report)

Daisy Halligan

PhD start date: February 2019
PhD project title: Identifying, understanding and stopping low-value safety practices
PhD supervisors: Professor Rebecca Lawton, Professor Mark Conner, Dr Gillian Janes

Email: psdh@leeds.ac.uk
Twitter: @HalliganDaisy

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Background
Daisy graduated from Newcastle University with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology in 2016. She then went on to study an MSc in Health Psychology at Northumbria University (2017). Daisy is currently undertaking a PhD with the University of Leeds and Bradford Institute for Health Research funded by THIS Institute.

Whilst completing her MSc degree, Daisy worked as a Psychological Assistant at a Maggie’s Cancer Care Home in Newcastle. Since graduating, Daisy has worked as a Research Assistant at Manchester University and a Research Project Manager at a company providing a digital solution for the NHS: Digital Diabetes Prevention Programme.

PhD overview
Daisy will use bottom-up methodology to better understand what procedures, practices and interventions do not contribute towards patient safety in the NHS. The research will initially focus on identifying a target ‘low-value’ safety practice before working with healthcare professionals and patients to develop a behaviour change intervention to stop the embedded practice from being carried out.

Research interests
Daisy is interested in the use of psychological theory to develop behaviour change interventions that improve health. She is also interested in improving patient safety through qualitative research methods.

David Mehdizadeh

PhD start date: October 2018
PhD project title: Anticholinergic medication exposure in older people living with frailty: Exploration of prescribing patterns and associations with adverse health outcomes

Email: d.mehdizadeh@bradford.ac.uk
Twitter: @DM_Zadeh

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Background
David has a clinical background in Pharmacy, graduating from the University of Bradford in 2012 with a MPharm (Hons). David is currently studying a PhD at the University of Bradford, funded by the NIHR Yorkshire and Humber Patient Safety Translational Research Centre, under the Safe Use of Medicines, and Digital Innovations research themes.

Prior to beginning his PhD, David worked full-time as a Practice Pharmacist in General Practice, responsible for the safe and effective use of medicines in the management of both acute and long-term conditions. David served a predominantly elderly population, and developed an interest in safer prescribing in the care of the elderly. He maintains a clinical day once a week to ensure his research remains relevant and can be translated into clinical practice. He has also previously worked within the Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre, contributing to the Patient Safety Collaborative initiative.

A new career in patient safety…thanks to the Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Collaborative!

PhD overview
David is completing a PhD which focuses on high-risk prescribing in older people living with frailty. It is well established that certain high-risk medicines are associated with adverse health outcomes in the elderly, such as physical dysfunction, falls, cognitive dysfunction, institutionalisation and even death. However, this is not well established in older people living with frailty, with very limited research worldwide. Frailty has emerged as a very important aspect of geriatric medicine, recognised as a state of vulnerability to poor resolution of homoeostasis after a stressor event and is a consequence of cumulative decline in many physiological systems. Minor stressor events may trigger disproportionate changes in health status, therefore David’s research will explore the associations with adverse outcomes when exposed to high-risk prescribing in frailty, and explore whether frailty modifies these associations. More specifically, anticholinergic medicines with antimuscarinic properties will be explored, as there is international consensus that these medicines should ideally be avoided in the elderly. David will use a mixed-methods approach in his PhD, with a sequential explanatory design. Methods such as systematic literature reviewing, quantitative analysis of prospective cohort data and routinely collected electronic health records, and qualitative interviews with clinicians will be incorporated.

Research interests
David has a general research interest in the quality and safety of prescribing. He is interested in how innovative technological approaches can be used to make prescribing safer and reduce patient harm. The development of clinical decision support tools to support clinicians and patients in decision making with regards to medicines is at the forefront of his research.

Emily Parker

PhD start date: October 2019
PhD project title: Reducing inappropriate admissions to hospital: Understanding and enhancing tolerance of uncertainty amongst staff and patients
PhD supervisors: Professor Rebecca Lawton, Dr Gemma Louch and Dr Beth Fylan

Email: ll14eep@leeds.ac.uk
Twitter: @emilyeparker22

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Background
Emily is from a Psychology background, receiving her BSc (Hons) from University of Leeds in July 2019. She is currently carrying out a PhD between University of Leeds and the Bradford Institute for Health Research, which is funded by NIHR Yorkshire & Humber Patient Safety Translational Research Centre. Emily’s PhD research comes under the workforce engagement and wellbeing theme. Emily did not have any time out of education and came straight from undergraduate Psychology to PhD study however throughout university has worked part time in several NHS settings including domestic, administrative and data management teams.

PhD overview
The project aims to understand uncertainty as a concept in the emergency department amongst junior doctors and patients. It will firstly focus on the management or tolerance of uncertainty and use findings from studies to inform interventions with the hope of enhancing it. The necessity to develop tolerance of uncertainty in the NHS is evident from its links with burnout, anxiety, loss of confidence and inappropriate admissions, to name a few.

Research interests
Uncertainty in medicine; patient safety in the emergency department.

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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Background
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

Email: umdti@leeds.ac.uk

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Background
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.

Daniel Okeowo

PhD start date: October 2019
PhD project title: The role of community pharmacists in developing and implementing deprescribing initiatives in primary care
PhD supervisors: Professor David Alldred, Dr Iuri Marques, Dr Tabish Zaidi

Email: umdao@leeds.ac.uk
Twitter: @DanielOkeowo2

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Background
Daniel graduated from the University of Durham/University of Newcastle with a Masters in Pharmacy (MPharm) in 2018, with a dissertation title “Clinical Practice Guidelines for older patients with multi-morbidities – what are the implications for deprescribing”. He then underwent his pharmacist pre-registration training at University College London Hospitals, providing pharmacy support in multiple clinical rotations. Daniel became a registered Pharmacist in August 2019. He is currently undertaking a PhD funded by NIHR Patient Safety and Translation Centre Yorkshire and Humber and the University of Leeds.

PhD overview
It has been documented that polypharmacy, the use of 5 or more medicines concurrently, is on the rise. With this comes the risk of patients receiving potentially inappropriate medication leading to adverse drug reactions. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has started a campaign known as “Medication Without Harm” looking to reduce avoidable medication-related harm by 50% in the next 5 years. Deprescribing of inappropriate medication may help to achieve this. Furthermore, pharmacists are routinely involved in the management of patient medication at the primary care level. Daniel will explore and study the role of a pharmacist within current primary care practice, explore the feasibility of a deprescribing in primary care practice model and investigate whether pharmacists can feasibly be utilised in deprescribing of inappropriate medication. The research will focus on deprescribing as a service within the NHS and will consider the pharmacist role in medicines management and optimisation.

Research interests
Deprescribing, medicines optimisation and management, pharmacy, patient safety

Publications
Okeowo D, Patterson A, Boyd C, Reeve E, Gnjidic D, Todd A. Clinical practice guidelines for older people with multi-morbidity and life limiting illness: what are the implications for deprescribing?. Therapeutic Advances in Drug Safety 2018.