The Centre team collaborate on a number of research projects across the University.

Collaboration between:

  • Anki Odelius (Surrey)
  • Helen Cowie (Surrey)
  • Jo Moran-Ellis (Surrey) 
  • Helen Allan (Middlesex University)
  • Dr Brenda Gladstone, Research Scientist, The Hospital for Sick Children and Adjunct Lecturer, Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto,
  • Professor Malmo Hogskola, Halsa och samhalle, 205 06 Malmo, Sweden 
  • Professor Gillian Bendelow, School of Law, Politics and Sociology, Friston, 256, University of Sussex

Date: 1st March 2013 to 31st July 2013
Funding: £5,000 - Funded by the SHI Foundation Research Grant Development Award

For further information contact: Professor Jill Shawe

Collaboration with:

  • Khim Horton (Health and Social Care)
  • Jennifer Jackson (Arts)
  • Aliah Shaheen (Mechanical Engineering Sciences)

Overview: There is a recent move towards the employment of dance techniques to improve the interaction of older people with their environments and reduce risks of injury. Ballet is believed to improve spatial awareness, posture, movement coordination and proprioception; and could be used to inform rehabilitation of older people.  However, it is not yet known whether the skills gained from ballet training translate when performing functional activities of daily living, and the effects of ageing on movement and stability parameters are also not well understood. The study aims to understand the effect of ballet dance and ageing on movement and stability.

Date: 1st February 2013 - 14 June 2013

Collaboration with: 

  • Professor Karen Evans, (Professor in Education, (Lifelong Learning), Institute of Education, University of London), 
  • Professor Martin Johnson, (Professor in Nursing, School of Nursing, University of Salford)
  • Dr Elaine Ball (University of Salford) 
  • Jill Windle (University of Salford) 

Funded by:  The General Nursing Council for England and Wales Trust

Surrey team

Project news

Project information sheets

Project summary


  • Professor Jill Shawe (PI),
  • Professor Helen Allan (York University),
  • Dr Anki Odelius (Research Fellow),
  • Dr Ann Gallagher (Director, ICE),
  • Professor Karen Bryan (Sheffield Halam University),
  • Dr Wendy Knibb (Lecturer)

Collaborating with:

Funded by: High Coombe Trust

RESPONSE project summary:

Service delivery can be improved by nurses and midwives effectively addressing informal complaints at ward level; whereas escalated complaints can be indicative of poor service delivery and administratively costly for NHS trusts.
In phase one of this two phase study researchers will analyse complaints data from five NHS trusts in Surrey; conduct interviews with key staff and conduct a literature review. Findings from this will inform Phase two which uses action research. Action research is a process where researchers work with service users and practitioners to agree the project interventions and to analyse findings. This study will investigate the role of nurses and midwives in responding to care concerns raised by service users in acute care settings at ward level. It will examine: the communication strategies used by nurses and midwives when care concerns are expressed by service users at ward level;  how communication contributes to both the escalation and resolution of care concerns at ward level and how nurses and midwives can learn from the expression of these concerns; the knowledge, skills and qualities that nurses and midwives need to respond to expressed care concerns respectfully and effectively at ward level; and the interventions that promote and sustain effective communication for nurses and midwives to improve the experiences of service users. Working with the local Programme Lead for the Energising Excellence for Care Programme in Surrey and the Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (RSCH), the research team will scope information about complaints from five local NHS trusts; they will work with practitioners and service users to agree design and implement interventions to improve how nurses and midwives respond to care concerns; and evaluate the effectiveness of the chosen interventions in improving the patient experience and reducing NHS costs.

The objectives of the RESPONSE project are:

1. To develop an understanding of the role of communication by nurses and midwives in contributing to informal complaints;
2. To develop an understanding of the role of communication in nurses and midwives responding to informal complaints;
3. To identify how effective communication might be defined when discussing informal complaints with service users or their carers;
4. To understand how such forms of effective communication are fostered in staff;
5. To identify whether senior  staff facilitate effective communication in junior  staff in their roles as clinical leaders;
6. To explore the role of clinical leadership in understanding how nurses and midwives use effective communication in responding to informal complaints;
7. Complete two Action Research (AR) Cycles using interventions designed to foster effective communication by nurses and midwives when discussing informal complaints with service users in labour ward and acute surgery;
8. Compare service user complaints data before, during and after AR cycles in two selected areas (labour ward and acute surgery) with two other clinical areas;
9. Measure cost of staff time  in handling complaints;
10. Measure the number of informal complaints progressing   to formal, written complaints before, during and after the AR cycles;
11. Elicit service user views on the complaints system at the RSCH before and after the AR interventions;
12. Develop a toolkit of best practice for discussing complaints with service users.

Project publication:

Anki Odelius, Helen Allan, Billie Hunter, Karen Bryan, Ann Gallagher, Wendy Knibb (2012) Reflecting on action research exploring informal complaints management by nurses and midwives in an NHS trust: Transformation or maintaining the status quo? International Practice Development Journal 2 (2) 8

If you would like to receive further information on this project, please contact Jill Shawe (+44 (0)1483 684635).


  • Yeda Aparecida de Oliveira Duarte (University of Sao Paulo)
  • Khim Hortom (Surrey)

Funding by:  FAPESP

  • Project lead: Khim Horton
  • Funding by: IMPACT
  • Project dates: June 2013 to November 2013

Project team

  • Jill Shawe (HSC),
  • Martin Whyte (FHMS / NHS)
  • Kathryn Hart (FHMS)
  • Debbie Cooke (FHMS)

HSC and NHS Collaborators

  • Bariatric Centres London.

Project dates: June 2013: 12 months:

Phase 1 of project: pump priming fund

To receive further project information please contact Dr Jill Shawe, Director of CRNME.


Project aim

The aim of this project, led by older people is to explore how empathy and understanding between student nurses and older people can be developed through a collaboration involving the creation of a radio play.

AFREsH Making Friends radio play snippet

Khim Horton (PI) (with Prof Helen Allan, Alison Rhodes and Sharon Markless)
A project supported by FHMS, University of Surrey

Khim Horton, Pam Smith, University of Maribor - Slovenia & University of Dublin
Funded by: EU Lifelong learning: transversal
January 2009 to December 2010

Leonardo da Vinci Project
Funded by: EU (LLP)
November 2009 to October 2010

The CyberTraining two-year project was completed in 2011. The UK team, Helen Cowie and Pat Colliety, contributed to the research-based training manual which contains information on cyberbullying, its nature and extent in Europe, current research findings, initiatives and approaches, as well as the latest ideas on how to tackle the problem. The UK team wrote Module 4 ‘Tackling cyberbullying’ – an overview of the situation - and Module 7 ‘Working with young people’ – an experiential training package for trainers to use in schools and youth centres. Target groups in this manual are children and young people, parents and trainers. 
For more information, please go to:

Lifelong Learning Programme, Leonardo da Vinci Project
Helen Cowie & Pat Colliety
Funded by: EU (LLP)

AVC@SL – the Virtual Anti-Violence Campus at Second Life Project – is now complete. The UK team based at UniS consisted of Helen Cowie, Pat Colliety and Nabil Asif. The team ran a series of lectures on bullying and cyberbullying and delivered a virtual six-week course on the prevention and reduction of school violence. These events were took place in the virtual classroom in the Adult Education Centre where Helen, Pat and Nabil, using their virtual avatar personas, gave lectures and facilitated role plays, discussions and problem-solving groups. The students – also in their virtual avatar identities - came from a wide range of countries, including Brazil, Australia, US, UK, Spain, Finland, Germany and Romania. The AVC addresses the topic of school bullying, violence, discrimination and xenophobia. The students also had access to film displays, lectures from experts in the field, a virtual resource centre and exhibitions. 
To visit the AVC go to

Khim Horton & Pam Smith in collaboration with European Partners
Funded by: Education, Audiovisual & Culture Executive Agency. Education & Culture, Lifelong learning Programme (EU)
October 2007 to September 2010

Helen Allan & Ann Gallagher

Funded by: Ted Adams Trust
July 2010 – December 2010

Tina Koch, Pam Smith, Nimmi Hutnik & Rose Turner
Leverhulme Trust
Timescale:  September 2009 to July 2010

Khim Horton and Biomedical Engineering (University of Surrey)
Funded by: Thomas Pocklington Trust
May 2008 to July 2010

How can the University use e-learning to improve the non-traditional student experience?
Mike O'Driscoll, Lee-Ann Sequeira & Vicki Simpson
The Access Agreement Funds (University of Surrey)
Timescale: 1 August 2009 to 1 September 2010

Helen Allan - Quality Assurance Reference Centre

Liz Rockingham, Sid Carter & Pam Smith
The Access Agreement Funds (University of Surrey)
Timescale:  July 2008 to July 2009

In collaboration with Universities of Newcastle, East Anglia, Edinburgh and Manchester
Researchers: Pam Smith, Carin Magnusson
Timescale: April 2006 - December 2008
Funded by: Department of Health/Patient Safety Research Programme

Patient Safety in Health Care Professional Educational Curricula: examining the learning experience

Researchers: O'Driscoll M & Sanders P
Timescale: 2008
Funded by: Fund for The Strategic Development of Learning & Teaching (University of Surrey)

Researchers: Larsen J A (and partners at the Universities of Durham, Essex, Manchester and Royal College of Psychiatrists)
Timescale: November 2006 to March 2008
Funded by: ESRC

Researchers: MacLaren J A, Booth H & Volante M
Timescale: September 2006 – September 2007 (extended to February 2008)
Funded by: SCEPTrE (UniS)

Survey Report
Researchers: Allan H, Smith P & O'Driscoll M
Timescale: January 2006 – February 2008
Funded by: General Nursing Council Trust

Researchers: Larsen J A & Volante M
Timescale: September 2006 to November 2007
Funded by: South East Coast Strategic Health Authority

Nursing researchers: Larsen J A & Acott K
Timescale: May 2006 to October 2007
Funded by: Foundation of Nursing Studies (FoNS)

Researchers:  Maureen Mackintosh (OU), Pam Smith,  Helen Allan, John Larsen & Leroi Henry (OU)
Timescale:  January 2004 to June 2006
Funded by:  European Social Fund (ESF)

Researchers: Volante M, Finnerty G, O'Driscoll M, MacLaren J & Rockingham L
Timescale: July 2006 to May 2007
Funded by: UniS FSDLT

Researcher: Allan H
Timescale: September 2006 – September 2007
Funded by: Foundation of Nursing Studies (FoNS)

Researchers: Allan H & Ballard K
Timescale: September 2006 – August 2007
Funded by: FSDLT

Researchers: Volante M, McDonnell J & pre-registration teachers
Timescale: August 2006 – July 2007
Funded by: University of Surrey Fund for the Strategic Development of learning and Teaching

Horton K, Gray R (RSCH), Lawrenson R (PGMS) Lovell D (PGMS) & Williams J (PGMS)(2005) A Case Control Study of Osteoporosis Screening in Women.
Final report: A Case Control Study of Osteoporosis Screening in Women

Smith P, Bryan K & Asmussen K (2004) Evaluation of six Sure Start Local Programmes

Horton K, Bryan K, Knibb W (HWRC) & Daly T (2004) An Evaluation of the Assessment and Treatment Centre at Ashford Hospital
Final report: An Evaluation of the use of fall detectors and bed occupancy sensors in responding to falls in older people

Smith P, O'Driscoll M & Magnusson C (2004) Evaluation of the Diploma of Higher Education in Nursing Studies (Adult) with Professional registration (part-time)
Final report: An evaluation of the diploma in higher education nursing studies (adult) pre-registration part-time programme

Smith P, O'Driscoll M, Magnusson C & Axelrod L (2004) Higher Education Institutions Mapping Clinical Placements
Final report: Higher Education Institutions Mapping Clinical Placements

Allan H, Clawson L, Bryan K, Smith P & Pope R (2003) Evaluation of the Multi-disciplinary Learning Project at the Townend Medical Practice
Final report: 'It's stepping out of the box a bit and surprising ourselves'; a retrospective evaluationi of phase one of the multi-disciplinary learning project at Townend Medical Practice

Pope R, Finnerty G, Graham L & Magnusson C (2002) An Investigation of the Preparation and Assessment for Midwifery Practice within a range of hospital and community settings
Final report: An Investigation of the Preparation and Assessment for Midwifery Practice within a range of hospital and community settings

Pope R, Graham L, Magnusson C, O'Driscoll M & Robinson A (2002)Evaluation of Pre-registration
Final report: Evaluation of Pre-registration Nursing & Midwifery Curricula

Pope R, Graham L, O'Driscoll M & Clawson L (2002) Evaluation of the Implementation of the ENB Quality Assurance Framework for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting Education
Final report: Evaluation of the implementation of the quality assurance framework and standards for approval of higher education institutions and programmes

Arber S & Horton K (2001) International Review of Interventions in falls among older people
Final report: International Review of Interventions in falls among older people

A Study into the Feasibility of 'stepping on' and 'stepping off' points in Pre-registration Midwifery Education Programmes and the role of the Maternity Support Worker
Final report: The Results of a A Study into the Feasibility of 'stepping on' and 'stepping off' points in Pre-registration Midwifery Education Programmes and the role of the Maternity Support Worker

Evaluation of the Implementation of the Quality Assurance Framework and Standards for Approval of Higher Education Institutions and Programmes. English National Board for Nursing, Midwifery & Health Visiting - February 2002 (ENB Highlights No.50)