Dr Ruth Simms-Ellis

Programme Manager/Principal Researcher, Involving Patients and Families in Serious Incident Investigations project (NIHR HS&DR)

Email: R.Simms-Ellis@leeds.ac.uk
Tel: 01274 383982
Twitter: @RSimms-Ellis

Orcid iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1010-6648 

Ruth joined the YQSR Group in April 2017, managing, first, the ‘Evidence based transformation with the NHS’ theme within the NIHR CLAHRC Yorkshire and Humber, and, second, the ‘Improvement Science’ theme in the NIHR ARC Yorkshire and Humber. She currently works on the Patient and Family Involvement in Serious Incident Investigations programme. This research aims to (1) co-design processes and resources to guide the role of patients and families in serious incident investigations at a national, and local level, and (2) test these processes to understand their impact upon experience, learning and likelihood of seeking legal recourse.

Ruth is a psychologist with over 20 years’ experience of working in the field of occupational health psychology. As a trainer and organisational consultant she has collaborated with diverse organisations to help them reduce stress, build resilience and enhance team functioning, through individual coaching, team workshops, Management Development Programmes and Human Resources support. Ruth has also worked extensively with people exposed to traumatic events. In the financial services industry, she supported teams involved in armed robberies and developed a national anticipatory anxiety programme to boost team resilience in the event of a robbery. As a clinician, she worked in the Ministry Defence’s Department of Clinical Psychology, assessing and treating military personnel with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. She is currently involved in projects to support the “second victims” of adverse events (i.e. healthcare professionals). These include (a) the design and pilot of a prophylactic Resilience intervention and (b) the development of a national “second victim” website resource, to support healthcare professionals when they are exposed to adverse events.

Prior to joining the team, Ruth was a researcher at the University of Leeds. In the School of Psychology she managed a large cluster randomised controlled trial testing a complex intervention to reduce smoking initiation in adolescents. At the Psychological Therapies Research Centre, Ruth worked on a national survey of counsellors working in primary care. She also evaluated mechanisms of change resulting from a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction programme for staff.

Ruth has a BSc (1st hons) Psychology from the University of Leeds, an MSc Occupational Psychology (distinction) from the University of Leicester and her PhD at the University of Leeds investigated how the retention of organisational cluster sites can be maximised in longitudinal research. In the School of Psychology at the University of Leeds Ruth is a visiting research fellow and guest lecturer at postgraduate (MSc Psychological Approaches to Health: ‘Understanding, Predicting and Changing Health Behaviours’) and undergraduate levels (BSc Psychology: ‘Occupational Health Psychology’). She was recently involved in developing a new undergraduate module on ‘Work Psychology’, launched in 2020.

Recent Publications

Conner, M., Grogan, S., West, R., Simms-Ellis, R., Scholtens, K., Sykes-Muskett, B., Cowap, L., Lawton, R., Armitage, C.J., Meads, D. and Schmitt, L., 2019. Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of repeated implementation intention formation on adolescent smoking initiation: A cluster randomized controlled trial. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 87(5), p.422. https://psycnet.apa.org/fulltext/2019-12078-001.html

Conner, M., Grogan, S., Simms-Ellis, R., Flett, K., Sykes-Muskett, B., Cowap, L., Lawton, R., Armitage, C., Meads, D., Schmitt, L. and Torgerson, C., 2019. Evidence that an intervention weakens the relationship between adolescent electronic cigarette use and tobacco smoking: a 24-month prospective study. Tobacco control, pp.tobaccocontrol-2018.

Conner, M., Grogan, S., Simms‐Ellis, R., Scholtens, K., Sykes‐Muskett, B., Cowap, L., Lawton, R., Armitage, C.J., Meads, D., Schmitt, L. and Torgerson, C., 2019. Patterns and predictors of e‐cigarette, cigarette and dual use uptake in UK adolescents: evidence from a 24‐month prospective study. Addiction, 114(11), pp.2048-2055. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/add.14723

Lawton R, Johnson J, Janes G, Foy R, Simms-Ellis R. Supporting doctors who make mistakes. BMJ. 2019 May 17;365:l2161.

Hugh-Jones, S., Rose, S., Koutsopoulou, G. Z., & Simms-Ellis, R. (2018). How Is Stress Reduced by a Workplace Mindfulness Intervention? A Qualitative Study Conceptualising Experiences of Change. Mindfulness9(2), 474-487.

Conner, M., Grogan, S., Simms-Ellis, R., Flett, K., Sykes-Muskett, B., Cowap, L., … & West, R. (2017). Do electronic cigarettes increase cigarette smoking in UK adolescents? Evidence from a 12-month prospective study. Tobacco control, tobaccocontrol-2016.

Conner, M., Grogan, S., Lawton, R., Armitage, C., West, R., Siddiqi, K., Gannon, B., Torgerson,C., Flett, K., Simms-Ellis, R. (2013) Study protocol: A cluster randomised controlled trial of implementation intentions to reduce smoking initiation in adolescents. BMC Public Health, 13:54.. Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3623649/

Mellor-Clark J, Simms-Ellis R, Burton M. National survey of counsellors working in primary care: evidence for growing professionalisation?. Occas Pap R Coll Gen Pract. 2001; (79):vi-7.

Simms-Ellis R, Madill A. Financial services employees’ experience of peer-led and clinician-led critical incident stress debriefing following armed robberies.. Int J Emerg Ment Health. 2001; 3 (4):219-228.

Left out in the cold: Line managers’ experiences of supporting staff with mental health issues at work. Short paper, British Psychological Society Division of Occupational Psychology (DOP) conference. Chester, UK, January 2013.