Acute, Critical and Emergency Care

Our mission is to ensure that all patients requiring urgent and emergency care have treatment and services that offer them the best chance of survival, of avoiding functional limitation and of returning to a meaningful life. We do this by bringing together nurses, paramedics, operating department practitioners, doctors and other clinical researchers to work in partnership with patients to develop our research and educational agenda. This collective insight and expertise ensures we understand and tackle high priority contemporary clinical challenges.

Research interests

Acute care ‘encompasses a range of clinical healthcare functions, including emergency medicine, trauma care, pre-hospital emergency care, acute care surgery, critical care, urgent care and short-term inpatient stabilization’ (WHO, 2013). 

As populations continue to grow, there is an increasing demand for acute and emergency healthcare. Emergency care can often mean the difference, not only between life and death, but in returning a patient to a meaningful quality of life. Health services need to be responsive to life-threatening medical emergencies, major accidents, acute exacerbations of chronic illness and health issues that require immediate and critical intervention.

Our research seeks to develop and implement the most safe and effective acute emergency care, through novel diagnostics, interventions and systems of care.

Through integration of pre-hospital, community, hospital and public health services, we aim to continually improve acute medical care; to save lives and allow the best possible outcome for our patients.

Research areas

  • Pre-hospital resuscitation
  • Trauma care
  • Self-management following acute illness
  • Human factors in system performance
  • Patient safety

Research methodologies

  • Randomised controlled trials
  • Systematic reviews
  • Simulation approaches
  • Design methods – evaluation of product design and safety
  • Physical assessment methodology
  • Novel technology development and evaluation

Research partnerships

  • Surrey Perioperative, Anaesthetic and Critical Care Collaborative Research Group (SPACeR), a clinical academic group within Surrey Health Partners
  • South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb)
  • Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust
  • Faculty of Pre-hospital Care, Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh
  • Kent, Surrey & Sussex Clinical Research Network
  • Resuscitation Council (UK)
  • College of Paramedics (UK)
  • NHS partners including St George’s, Kings College & Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals


Cluster lead

Margaret Lau-Walker Senior Lecturer                                                                             

Cluster members

Simon Bettles Teaching Fellow and Lead for Simulation Education
Lizzie Crowhurst Teaching Fellow in Integrated Care Adult Nursing
Annette Davies Teaching Fellow in Integrated Care Adult Nursing
Simon Downs Teaching Fellow in Integrated Care Paramedic Practice
Mark Joy Senior Lecturer in Data Modelling and Population Health
Jacqui Laden Teaching Fellow in Integrated Care Adult Nursing
Richard Lyon Professor in Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine
Carin Magnusson Lecturer in Integrated Care
Emily McWhirter Honorary Lecturer
Scott Munro PhD Student
Liz Rockingham Adult Field Lead, Teaching Fellow
Andi Sambrook Director of Studies for Paramedic Practice and ODP
Verity Snook Teaching Fellow in Integrated Care Paramedic Practice
Mark Stobbart Teaching Fellow in Integrated Care Paramedic Practice
Emma Vyvyan Teaching Fellow in Integrated Care Paramedic Practice
Claire Tarrant Teaching Fellow in Integrated Care ODP
Nicola White Teaching Fellow in Integrated Care ODP
Allison Wiseman Senior Teaching Fellow in Integrated Care Adult Nursing


Lyon RM, De Sausmarez E, McWhirter E, Wareham G, Nelson M, Matthies A, Hudson A, Curtis L, Russell MQ . Pre-hospital transfusion of packed red blood cells in 147 patients from a UK helicopter emergency medical service.
Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine 2017, DOI 10.1186/s13049-017-0356-2

Lyon RM, Crawford A, Crookston C, Short S, Clegg GR .The combined use of mechanical CPR and a carry sheet to maintain quality resuscitation in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients during extrication and transport.  Resuscitation 2015; 93: 102-106

Lyon RM, Vernon J, McWhirter E, Nelson M, Durge N, Tunnicliff M, Curtis L, Russell MQ  The need for a UK Helicopter Emergency Medical Service by Night: a prospective, simulation study. Air Medical Journal 2015; 34(4): 195-198

Lyon RM, Perkins ZB, Chatterjee D, Lockey D, Russell MQ . Significant modification of traditional rapid sequence induction improves safety and effectiveness of pre-hospital trauma anaesthesia. Critical Care 2015; 19:134

Arrowsmith V, Lau-Walker M, Norman I, Maben J (2016) Nurses' perceptions and experiences of work role transitions: a mixed methods systematic review of the literature. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 72(8): 1735–1750

Lau-Walker M, Landy A & Murrells T (2016) Personalised discharge care planning for postmyocardial infarction patients through the use of the Personalised Patient Education Protocol – implementing theory into practice. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 25(10): 1292–1300

Lau-Walker M, Presky J, Webzell I, Murrells T, Heaton N. (2016) Patients with alcohol-related liver disease – beliefs about their illness and factors that influence their self-management. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 72(1): 173–185