Research in MPFT is led and managed by Ruth Lambley-Burke supported by a skilled Research and Innovation (R&I) team located at sites across Shropshire, Staffordshire and surrounds.

We deal with all aspects of R&I including NHS permissions, setting up studies, grant applications and offering support and guidance on specific studies that sit on the NIHR portfolio.

We have a team of Clinical Studies Officers (CSOs) and research nurses who are embedded within the R&I team that support specifically NIHR studies, individual researchers and evaluation services.

Below is more information on the MPFT delivery team and professorial unit.

SSSFT Research and Innovation Team

  • Ruth Lambley-Burke

    Head of Research and Innovation

    Ruth started her research journey in 2001. Ruth has worked in a number of research management roles including holding a regional position across West Midlands South as an employee of the National Institute of Research (NIHR) as a Research Manager and regional training lead 2010 to 2014.  Ruth continues to hold an advisory role regionally sitting on the West Midlands steering committee for the ENRICH programme and is also a member of the continuous improvement regional strategy group. Within the Trust Ruth is responsible for leading the Trust’s research strategy, working closely with the Professorial team to support and develop home grown research. Ruth leads on resource management and planning. She is responsible for reporting to Trust Board and other Trust Committees, supporting external funding applications, performance management of open studies and ensuring that all research projects meet national governance standards also providing guidance and support to staff and researchers across the organisation.  Ruth is also a certified leader and applies the Virginia Mason lean methodology approach to all areas of work.

    Tel: 01785 783124

  • Kate Honeyford: 

    PA to Ruth Lambley-Burke and Prof. Eleanor Bradley


    Tel: 01785 783183

  • Audrey Bright

    Research Governance Facilitator and Administrator

    Audrey has been involved with the NHS since 1980. She transferred into Research in 2009 as a Governance Administrator and subsequently as Governance Facilitator and is responsible for all governance checks on both Portfolio and Non–Portfolio studies. She represents the department on the research Group with Staffordshire and Keele University.


    Tel: 01785 783170

  • Debra Green

    Senior Research Assistant and PA to Professor Sumathipala and Dr Farooq

    Debra is Research Assistant and PA to Prof Athula as part of a secondment programme.  She has a background in laboratory based research and has a PhD in medical science (Neuroscience). She is currently writing proposals to start her own research project. She has an interest in post partum depression.


    Tel: 01785 783183

  • David Dobel-Ober

    Service Evaluation Lead

    David joined the Trust in 2008; he manages a wide range of evaluation projects and provides support and advice to colleagues who undertake research and evaluation in the context of post-graduate studies of service improvement.His recent interests include the development of new ways of working in mental health care (e.g. non-medical prescribing, functionalisation, assisitive technology) and the involvement of service users in research and in service provision and development (i.e. co-production). David previously worked with the National Children’s Bureau where he focussed on research and evaluation of projects aiming at developing education and health outcomes for Children Looked After.

    Tel: 01785 783176

  • Tina Hamilton

    Research Associate

    Tina took up her post with the trust following completion of a three year PhD studentship with Staffordshire University in 2013.  In her role as Research Project Lead she is responsible for the delivery of two research projects. Tina has a BSc (with 1st class hons) in Psychology and counselling from the University of Derby and expects to submit her PhD thesis in November 2014.

    She also holds post graduate certificates in Research Methods and Higher and Professional Education. Prior to commencement of her PhD studies she worked for the trust’s CAMHs service in a support worker role.


Associated Professors and Academic Staff

We work closely with a number of academics at Keele University as well our Associate Director of Research and Innovation, Professor Eleanor Bradley from the University of Worcester.

  • Professor Eleanor Bradley

    Professor Eleanor Bradley

    Professor of Health Psychology
    Institute of Health & Society, University of Worcester

    Associate Director of Research and Innovation
    South Staffordshire & Shropshire NHS Foundation Trust

    Dr Eleanor Bradley is a Professor of Health Psychology. Her research interests focus on the experiences of people diagnosed with serious mental illness and she has a particular interest in communication about treatment options, admission to acute care and the impact of non-medical prescribing in practice.

    She is an experienced qualitative researcher and has spent the last 10 years working closely with clinicians to develop their research skills. She is currently engaged in a number of collaborative research projects and advises on research design and methodological approaches.

    She also works closely with colleagues to develop their publication and writing skills, with a view to enhancing dissemination of research. At the University of Worcester, she jointly leads a post-graduate certificate in professional practice (leadership and organisational research) and is the course leader for a professional doctorate in health science, in addition to supervising 7 PhD students.

    Tel: Please contact the Stafford office on 01785 783183

  • Professor Athula Sumathipala Prof Athula sml

    Professor Athula Sumathipala Prof Athula sml

    Professor of Psychiatry
    Research Institute for Primary Care & Health Sciences, Keele University

    Athula Sumathipala is Professor of Psychiatry at Keele University. His research interests are centred on inter-connected disciplines. These are the epidemiology of chronic disease and multi-morbidity, especially physical and mental illness combinations; evaluation and implementation of complex interventions, using twin methods in the study of illness aetiology and ethics related to research.


    Tel: Please contact the Stafford office on 01785 783175

  • Dr Saeed Farooq Dr Farooq sml

    Dr Saeed Farooq Dr Farooq sml

    Senior Clinical Lecturer
    Research Institute for Primary Care & Health Sciences, Keele University

    Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist
    South Staffordshire & Shropshire NHS Foundation Trust

    Visiting Professor
    University of Chester

    Saeed Farooq established an academic department of psychiatry in Pakistan which is well reputed for research on treatment of mental illness in developing countries.

    He developed a Research Methodology and Medical Writing Workshop for the College of Physicians and Surgeons which later became a mandatory requirement of the Fellowship programme of the College

    He developed an innovative approach for treatment of Schizophrenia in developing countries, termed as STOPS (Supervised Treatment for Schizophrenia in Outpatients) and developed a CPD module on how to work effectively through interpreters for the Royal College of Psychiatrists, UK. He is a member of the WHO Working group on classification of Psychosis in the ICD -11.

    Tel: Please contact the Stafford office on 01785 783175

  • Professor Carolyn Chew-Graham Carolyn Chew Graham sml

    Professor Carolyn Chew-Graham Carolyn Chew Graham sml

    GP Principal
    Central Manchester

    Professor of General Practice Research
    Research Institute for Primary Care & Health Sciences, Keele University

    Honorary Professor of Primary Care Mental Health
    South Staffs and Shropshire Foundation Trust

    My main areas of interest and expertise include the primary care management of patients with depression, multimorbidity and unexplained symptoms. I have qualitative research methods expertise, drawing on theories from both social sciences and psychology, but always with a focus on clinical practice.

    I am Royal College of General Practitioners ‘Curriculum Advisor, Mental Health’, a member of a number of National Institute for Health Research funding panels, and currently a member of the NICE Clinical Guideline Groups Depression (update) and Multimorbidity - work which directly impacts on commissioning decisions and patient care.

    I am Editor of the journal Health Expectations and Associate Editor of BMC Family Practice.

  • Tom Kingstone Kingstone

    Tom Kingstone Kingstone

    Research Associate

    Research Institute for Primary Care & Health Sciences, Keele University

    I am a Research Associate in Mental Health at the Research Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences at Keele University (Staffordshire). My role is supported by South Staffordshire and Shropshire Foundation Trust. I am also currently studying for a Ph.D. at Keele.

    My research interests include exploring experiences of mental and/or physical chronic conditions, ageing, and the role of the environment in health and well-being. My expertise lies in applying qualitative and mixed methods. I also actively encourage patient and public involvement throughout the research process.

    I enjoy collaborating on research with external organisations. I have worked with various third sector organisations and also with Staffordshire Country Council as part of their work on Healthy Ageing. 
    And when I am not busy with research you can usually find me walking my dog, Mo.


Get in Contact

Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Trust Headquarters, St. George's Hospital, Corporation Street, Stafford ST16 3SR


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0300 790 7000
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