Clinical Research Office. A partnership between Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Sheffield

Professional Services

Key Contacts

Name Role
Dr Sue Pownall
Research Lead
Revd Mark Cobb Clinical Director
Ray Ward General Manager
Jane Lynch
Service Manager
Julie Broscomb Group Finance Manager
Katie Allen Directorate Accountant
Aimee Card
Clinical Research Office Coordinator
(Portfolio and Non-Portfolio Studies)
Gaurika Kapoor
Clinical Research Office Coordinator
(Industry-Sponsored Studies)


The Clinical Directorate of Professional Services is a dynamic configuration of healthcare resources (people, facilities, technology, information etc) from which we provide a broad range of therapeutic interventions, patient and carer benefits, and service solutions that create and deliver value to patients and activity to the Trust. The size and expertise of the directorate and its strong links to both the local Universities and professional networks, means that it is well placed to initiate and contribute to research, which in turn supports innovative service development. The directorate achieves the best possible patient outcomes and user experiences through effective interventions and high performing services that are aligned to clinical pathways and are supported by evidence.

PPI in Therapeutics & Palliative Care - Sheffield Clinical Research

The Therapeutics & Palliative Care Patient Panel is a new research panel for patients and the public. Our panel is made up of individuals and carers of individuals with a wide variety of diseases and health conditions who have knowledge and experience of our services. For more information on the patient panel, please click here


Research Strategy

The directorate has some of the key ingredients necessary to contribute to quality research including extensive clinical expertise across a wide range of professions and a solid base of pre-existing trials activity. A current research strength is the directorates’ affiliation to the CLAHRC programme. The Director of Professional Services is a Theme Lead and several researchers from across the eleven themes are embedded within the directorate. The Directorate also has two research fellows attached to specific studies.

Research activities within the directorate contribute to the standing of our services within the professional community, resource the knowledge and skills of the practitioners and can provide new evidence for service innovation.

The Directorate has established connections with the Topic Specific Networks (eg Trent Stroke Research Network) and hosts the ‘Clinical Research Therapy Post’ appointed as part of the National Stroke Research Network. Clinicians from the Directorate are also members of the Local Priority Groups.

The Research Lead for Professional Services is involved in the provision of the MSc Clinical Research which is based within STH and the University of Sheffield.

Click here for the Academic Directorate of Professional Services Research Strategy

Research Topics and Leaders

  • Chaplaincy Services - Martin Kerry
  • Speech & Language Therapy - Dr Sue Pownall
  • Therapy Services - Alan Murray
  • Dietetic Services - Sarah Thornton

Topic 1: Chaplaincy Services

Research Direction

Assessment and provision of spiritual care needs.

Current And Recent Grants

  • User-Centred Healthcare Design. STH & Sheffield Hallam University. Funder: NIHR (CLAHRC)
  • A prospective longitudinal study to determine the prevalence, aetiology and natural history of depression and demoralisation in patients with advanced metastatic cancer. St Luke's Hospice Sheffield & University of Liverpool. Funder: Dept of Health
  • Transitions to palliative care for older people in acute hospitals. Sheffield University. Funder: NIHR (SDO)

Important Publications

  • Cobb M (2009) Spiritual Assessment and Audit. In, Ross L & McSherry W. Spiritual Assessment in Health Care Practice. M&K Publications – in press
  • Cobb M (2009) The Dying Soul: Spiritual Care at the End of Life. In, Earle S, Komaromy C & Bartholomew C. Death and Dying: A Reader. London: Sage/Open University Press
  • Newitt M (2009) Chaplaincy Services are not only for Religious Patients. BMJ 338:b1403

Topic 2: Speech & Language Therapy

Research Direction

Computer assisted therapy in dysphasia and dysphagia assessment and management.

Current And Recent Grants

  • Research for Patient Benefit. Evaluating cost effectiveness of computer therapy compared with usual
  • stimulation for people with long standing aphasia: a feasibility study
  • NIHR Programme Grant. Evaluation of a new stroke outcome measure LUNS (Longer term unmet needs after stroke
  • CLAHRC Dysphagia Project
  • Sheffield SLT Service Research Award. A comparative cohort study of the outcomes derived from clinical bedside and Fibreoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing for patients presenting with dysphagia in the areas of critical care and head and neck oncology.
  • Funding to write proposal for RfPB for Sue Pownall: Dysphagia and patient adherence to management interventions.

Important Publications

  • Ross S, Barton J, Read J. (2009). Staff in-service training on post-stroke sychological and communication issues. International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation 16, 6
  • Pownall S. (2009). An overview of Dysphagia. Network Health Dietitians
  • Batty S. (2009) Communication, swallowing and feeding in the intensive care unit patient. Nursing in Critical Care 14, 4
  • Thornton J. (2008) Working with the transgender voice: The role of the Speech and Language Therapist. European Journal of Sexology 17, 4
  • Palmer & Enderby. (2007) Methods of treatment for stable dysarthria: a review. Advances in speech-language pathology,9(2):140-153 .
  • Palmer, Enderby & Hawley (2007) Addressing the needs of speakers with dysarthria: traditional and computerised therapy compared. International journal of language and communication disorders. 42(S1) 61-79.
  • Enderby, P & Palmer,R (2006). Using computers to help with the management of rehabilitation services. International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation,13 (3) 100.
  • Shaw J.L, Sharpe S, Dyson S.E, Pownall S, Walters S, Saul C, Enderby P, HealyK, O Sullivan H.(2004) Bronchial Auscultation: An Effective Adjunct to Speechand Language Therapy Bedside Assessment when Detecting Dysphagia and Aspiration. Dysphagia. 19, 4. 211-8

Topic 3: Therapy Services

Research Direction

Pelvic floor exercises, Use of Wii for stroke rehabilitation and balance disorders, Conservative management of orthopaedic surgical cases.

Current And Recent Grants

  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. SMART: self management supported by assistive, rehabilitation and telecare technologies.
  • Wii treatment of balance disorders in conjunction with medical consultant.
  • Funding to write proposals for RfPB for Nat Jones: Wii for stroke rehabilitation, Michael Reddington & Ruth Newsome: Conservative management of orthopaedic surgical cases, Women’s Health Team for pelvic floor exercises.

Important Publications

  • Newsome R (2009) A prospective randomised trial of immediate exercise following lumbar microdiscetomy. A preliminary study. Physiotherapy 95, 4
  • Reeve S (2009) Exploration of patients' perspectives of quality within an extended scope physiotherapists' spinal screening service. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, Volume 25, Issue 8 November 2009 , pages 533 - 543
  • Jones V (2009) Physiotherapy in the management of tennis elbow: a review. British Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, October 2009, (p 108-113)
  • May S, Greasley A, Reeve S, Withers S. (2008) Expert therapists use specific clinical reasoning processes in the assessment and management of patients with shoulder pain: a qualitative study. Australian Journal of Physiotherapy 54

Topic 4: Dietetic Services

Research Direction

Nutritional assessment and management

Current And Recent Grants

  • British Renal Society. A multi-centre trial to assess whether increased dietary fibre intake reduces laxative requirement in peritoneal dialysis patients
  • British Dietetic Association. Psychometric validation of a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy quality of life tool
  • CLAHRC Nutrition project

Important Publications

  • Houston AM, Barnes MS, Horigan G, Wallace JMW (2009) Prevalence of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and their relationship with waist circumference in healthy, young adults. Selected abstracts from the British Dietetic Association’s Research Symposia for Dietitian’s New to Research. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics 22,3
  • A Taylor C. Chapter 5.3 of Manual of Dietetic practice 4th edition, “Spinal Cord Injury” 2007. edited by Thomas, B and Bishop, J. Blackwell publishing.
  • Diet and nutrition for SCI people, by Taylor C and Twist, A, in Managing Spinal Cord Injury: Continuing Care. 2006. Ed by Harrison, P. published by Spinal Injuries Association.
  • N, Singaroyan et al, A patient’s perspective of our CF related diabetes service, Journal of Cystic Fibrosis, Abstracts of the 32nd European Cystic Fibrosis Conference, Volume 8; supp 2; June 2009
  • Mackie R, Thornton S,J, Edenborough F.P (2003)Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes. Diabetic Medicine. 20, 425-436