Executive group

Meet our committed IFNA – UK and Ireland Chapter Executive Group!

Professor Veronica Lambert – Co-Lead of the IFNA – UK and Ireland Chapter


Veronica Lambert, PhD, BNS (Hons), RGN, RCN, is a Full Professor of Children and Family Nursing at Dublin City University (DCU), Dublin, Ireland. She is a member of the IFNA Board of Directors, Conference Planning Committee, Resource Advancement Committee and Dyadic Research Cluster. She is co-lead and member of the Executive Board of the IFNA – UK and Ireland Chapter and Chair of the Local Planning Committee for the 15th International Family Nursing Conference, originally planned in Dublin, Ireland. As a Registered Children’s and Registered General Nurse, Veronica has over 20 years’ experience of working in the Irish Health Service and Higher Education. She leads an inter-disciplinary research programme on Children and Family Focused Research with national and international collaborators from academia, clinical and community contexts. Her research predominately focuses on understanding children and family experiences particularly in the context of children and family healthcare communication, children and family shared self-management of chronic/long-term conditions, psychosocial wellbeing and impact of illness on children and the family. Currently, she is leading on developing a family-focused intervention around parent-adolescent shared responsibility for type 1 diabetes management. Other research interests include: paediatric early warning systems, virtual reality distraction, integrated person-centred care, and public and patient involvement (PPI) in health care and research. Veronica is the Health Research Board-Irish Research Council PPI Ignite Lead for DCU and DCU site lead for development of a National PPI Network. She holds a strong track record for consistently attracting substantial research funding and is widely published.

Professor Veronica Swallow – Co-Lead of the IFNA – UK and Ireland Chapter


Veronica Swallow PhD, MMedSci, BSc (Hons), RGN, RSCN, is Professor of Child and Family Nursing and Healthcare in the Department of Nursing and Midwifery at Sheffield Hallam University in Sheffield, England. She is also Honorary Professor at the University of Leeds, and Adjunct (Visiting) Professor at Charles Sturt University, Australia. Veronica is a member of the IFNA Board of Directors and is the current President-elect of IFNA. She co-leads and is a member of the Executive Board of the IFNA – UK and Ireland Chapter; is a registered nurse with over 30 years’ experience of contributing to, developing and leading NHS paediatric services. She moved to academia mid-career. Veronica has established productive research collaborations in national and international universities and clinical communities. She is enthusiastic about supporting nurses to engage with child and family healthcare research to help them enhance patient care, and in engaging children, young people and parents as research participants and co-researchers. She was a member of the NIHR INVOLVE Advisory group from 2012 and is proactive in helping to co-create developmentally-appropriate research resources.  She regularly reviews for national/international funders and peer-viewed journals. With an accrued grant income of over £1.8 million as lead and co-applicant, and over 70 publications in peer-reviewed journals, she has presented/co-presented the work of her research teams at national and international conferences. She currently supervises six PhD students in child and family healthcare.

Dr Pauline Black


Pauline Black PhD, PGDip, PGCert, BSc (Hons), RN, FHEA, is programme lead for Return to Practice in the School of Nursing at Ulster University and has worked in nurse education for 19 years. She has a clinical background in critical care. As a researcher, Pauline has investigated family member involvement in providing psychological care to critically ill patients and the impact this has on the patient’s recovery. Other research interests include older people and their carers and person-centred practice and education. She holds a variety of roles in higher education including curriculum design and development and is the School Lead for user engagement across nursing programmes.

Professor Susan M Carr


Susan Carr PhD, MSc, CertEd Teacher Training, is Professor of Public Health Research at Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne, England and Associate Director of Fuse (Centre for Translational Research in Public Health). She is also Director of Research and Innovation for the Department of Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing in the Faculty of Health & Life Sciences. She has held Professorial Adjunct posts in Australia at Federation University and University of New England. Susan holds a degree in Nursing and is a Registered Nurse and Health Visitor. She has a substantial clinical history in primary care and public health. She has taught nurses and related professional groups at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Most recently, she has led the Professional Doctorate Framework at Northumbria University. She has extensive experience in doctoral supervision and examination. Her research portfolio focuses on complex public health interventions and proximal and distal outcome identification and measurement. Her work embraces knowledge articulation, understanding and responding to needs of a variety of groups, notably of hard to reach or disengaged population. She has an interest in researching family roles in a variety of caring situations and understanding how they can best  be supported. These subjects require a diverse methodology with an emphasis on qualitative, realist and soft systems approaches. You can visit Susan’s ResearchGate profile here.

Barbara Davies


Barbara Davies BSc (Hons), RGN, RSCN, SFHEA, PCAPL, is Director of Education and Senior Lecturer in Children’s Nursing at the University of Northumbria in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and regularly reviews applications. Barbara is an Adult Registered Nurse who then qualified as a Registered Sick Children’s Nurse. Within clinical practice, she has 20 years’ experience of working with children, young people and their families in a variety of roles. Her final post was as a Paediatric Rheumatology Nurse Specialist / Clinical Co-ordinator setting up the regional rheumatology service for children and young people. Moving into academia, Barbara is involved in both teaching and research. Following collaborative research with the Great North Children’s Hospital and Newcastle University to explore the needs of nurses working with children with inflammatory arthritis, pmm.nursing, an online, free, educational resource, was launched in November 2017. Barbara has presented the research findings at national and international conferences and it was at a conference in Denmark that she became acquainted with the concept of Family Nursing and is now a member of the Executive Group of the IFNA – UK and Ireland Chapter.

Dr Christine English


Christine English is an experienced educator, researcher, children/adult nurse and family nursing advocate. She passionately believes in education and networking as powerful tools in transforming practice. Christine is an Executive Committee member of the IFNA – UK and Ireland Chapter. She has also been a member of IFNA since 2015. Inspired by the organisation’s supportive culture and leadership, she has served as a member of the Conference Planning Committee; Resource Allocation Committee; Scientific Review Panel, Country Liaison Co-ordinator and moderator for IFNC14. Currently a Visiting Scholar at Northumbria University, her career has spanned education, research and practice. Her previous academic roles were based at Northumbria University and include: Head of Subject (Nursing Midwifery and Health); Director of Student Engagement/ Experience; Faculty Director of Outreach/ Widening Participation and Programme Director (Children’s Nursing). Previous NHS roles include: Staff Nurse, Ward Sister, Senior Nurse (Practice Development), Nurse Practitioner/Senior Lecturer ; Senior Matron/Researcher (Children and Young People’s Oncology). Christine is a qualitative researcher interested in quality care and service user views, she was awarded a PhD in 2017 – “Judging Quality: Parents’ perspectives on the quality of their child’s hospital experiences”. She is also co-author of the international paediatric musculoskeletal matters pmm-nursing website, a free to access, evidence-based e-learning resource aimed primarily at nurses and nursing students which is endorsed by the Royal College of Nursing. Christine is currently serving on St.Oswald’s Hospice Trustee’s Board and is Chair of their Clinical Governance and Quality Committee. She is also a Children’s Cancer Fund Trustee (a local charity supporting children and families with cancer). Christine has presented her research and teaching nationally and internationally. She is committed to using her expertise to support and inspire the next generation of nurses to use research evidence and improve healthcare experiences for families.

Tracey Forrester

Tracey Forrester is a Lecturer at Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, Scotland and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Qualifying as an Adult Registered Nurse in 1985, Tracey became a Registered Sick Children’s Nurse in 1988. Her clinical roles have included Lead Nurse for Children and Young People’s Cancer Services and Head of Children’s Services at a local hospice. Both roles involved setting up and developing new services, Tracey worked with and involved children, young people and their families in the design and delivery of services. Since 2008, Tracey has worked in Higher Education and is involved in teaching and development of curricula.

Dr Christine Furber


Christine Furber PhD, MSc, BSc, Cert Ed (FE), RN, RM, ADM, MTD, SFHEA, is a Reader in Midwifery and Lead Midwife for Education in the School of Health Sciences, Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work at The University of Manchester, Manchester, England. She is Vice Chair of the Greater Manchester Midwifery Education Group. She has a Master’s degree in Public Health and is also Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Christine’s clinical midwifery expertise focuses on public health and the impact of the midwife’s role on future health of families and communities. Christine’s research encompasses topics including baby feeding, maternal mental health and antibiotic stewardship.  This background has generated an interest in how midwives can work with nurses to enhance support for young families.  Christine is an expert in programme design, development, implementation and management and is regularly asked to peer review midwifery undergraduate and postgraduate programmes across the UK. She has also developed education programmes nationally and internationally, including public health for nurses in Singapore and China, and safe birth practices for skilled birth attendants in the global context. Christine teaches qualitative research methods involving researchers in Pakistan and Sub-Saharan Africa. She has almost 50 peer-reviewed publications and regularly presents her work nationally and internationally.

Professor Diana Greenfield


Diana Greenfield PhD, PG Cert Onc, BSc (Hons), CertEd, APACS, Cert Endo Nurs, RN, is Consultant Nurse and Clinical Academic Lead for Nursing at Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. She is also Honorary Professor at the University of Sheffield, and a National Institute for Health Research Senior Nurse Research Leader. Diana is a registered nurse with over 30 years’ experience as a clinical academic. For the last two decades, Diana has specialised in the late effects of cancer treatment and leads a multi-disciplinary team for survivors of childhood and adolescent cancer. She also provides late effects care for people who have received high dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplant. At the heart of her clinical practice is the commitment to delivering compassionate, person-centred holistic care, learning from the paediatric team at transition and taking this approach well into adult services. Diana’s late effects team have been recognised nationally in the prestigious Health Service Journal/Nursing Times Awards as Cancer Care Team of the year. Diana was awarded Inspirational Leader of the year by the Yorkshire and Humber NHS Leadership Academy and a finalist in the national NHS Leadership Academy. She was also commended for a Macmillan Excellence Award in Innovation. Striving to keeping research close to the patient, Diana is committed to the cycle of practice-generating research questions and research to inform practice. With an accrued grant income of over £3 million as lead and co-applicant, and over 60 publications in peer-reviewed journals, she has presented at national and international conferences and regularly reviews for peer reviewed scientific journals. Diana is a trustee at St Luke’s Hospice in Sheffield.

Dr Helen Kerr


Helen Kerr PhD, RN, MSc, BSc(Hons) Dip Counselling, PGCHET is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Nursing and Midwifery (SoNM), Queen’s University, Belfast (QUB). Helen is a registered Specialist Nurse in oncology with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) with previous nursing and counselling experience in oncology and palliative care.  Helen is the Lead for the Specialist Practice in Oncology pathway at the SoNM, QUB and a Senior Fellow with the Higher Education Academy.  Educational research is focused on the development of innovative pedagogical digital methodology in the undergraduate and postgraduate nursing curriculum. Health services research involves interventions to improve services for young adults with life-limiting conditions.  Previous realistic evaluation research funded by the Public Health Agency and All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC) as part of a PhD identified the factors associated with a successful transition from children’s to adult services from the young adult, parents/carers and healthcare professionals’ perspectives.  Helen was presented with the International Journal of Palliative Nursing Researcher of the Year award in 2017 and runner up in the Royal College of Nursing, Northern Ireland Nurse Researcher of the Year in 2016 for this research.  A Marcia Mackie award supported the development of this research with international collaborators at the University of Toronto, Canada and clinicians at the Hospital for Sickkids. Toronto. Subsequent research was focused on the use of a Healthcare Passport for young people with life-limiting conditions.  Helen is secretary for the Palliative Care Research Forum Northern Ireland (PCRFNI) executive committee and member of the All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC) Palliative Care Research Network.

Professor Susan Kirk


Susan Kirk PhD, MSc, District Nursing Cert, BNUrs, RN, RHV, RM, is Professor of Family and Child Health in the School of Health Sciences, The University of Manchester , Manchester, England. She has a clinical background in health visiting and midwifery. As an author of over 100 publications, her established programme of research focuses on the experiences and support needs of children and young people with long-term/life-limiting health conditions and their families. This research programme includes studies examining areas such as self-care support, transition and service design. Susan has expertise in qualitative research, systematic reviews and in conducting user-centred research with young people and families. She has advised a range of policy-making bodies and has made a significant contribution to key UK government policies and to professional practice. You can visit Susan’s academic profile here.

Professor Alison Metcalfe

Alison Metcalfe PhD, PG Certificate (Family Therapy), BSc, RN, is Professor of Health Care Research and Pro Vice Chancellor for Teaching and Learning and College of Health and Wellbeing at Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, England. Alison leads a programme of research activity focusing on genetic risk communication and management of genetic conditions within families and between health professionals and families. Her work spans different life stages from antenatal to end of life care. The research examines the impact the genetic risk information has on people’s lives and Alison collaborates with families and health professionals to co-design new interventions to facilitate improved family communication and functioning in living with a long-term or inherited genetic condition. With an eclectic background, clinically Alison is a registered nurse working systemically with families to facilitate their coping and adaptation to living with an inherited genetic condition and its risks for children and young people. Academically, she has a joint honours degree in psychology and biology, a PhD in biomolecular science and a postgraduate certificate in family therapy. Having significant research management experience in both university and the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) settings, Alison is now the Pro Vice Chancellor for Health & Wellbeing at Sheffield Hallam University and was previously the Vice Dean for Research at the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery (2011-2017). Alison has undertaken a number of leadership roles across universities in developing research activity from the entrepreneurial to translation and implementation of research into practice and has particular interests on improving development opportunities for staff and students. From her work, Alison publishes widely in the leading relevant peer-reviewed journals, regularly gives international plenary talks, lectures and invited workshops for health professionals and patient groups. She currently and has previously served on committees nationally and internationally that have focused on topics within Alison’s areas of experience and knowledge including; integrating genomics into practice, care and support of families, development of health professionals research skills and translation of research into practice. You can contact Alison by email, or you can find her on Twitter.

Dr Linda Milnes


Linda Milnes PhD, MPhil, is an Associate Professor in Children and Young People’s Nursing at the School of Healthcare, University of Leeds, Leeds, England. Linda was an adult and children’s nurse for 15 years, before commencing her academic career at The University of Manchester. She has an MPhil and PhD in Nursing, the latter funded by an NIHR Doctoral Fellowship. Linda’s main teaching and research areas of expertise are children and young people with long-term conditions and their families, patient and parent/carer experiences of living with long-term conditions, self-care support and self-management interventions in healthcare across conditions such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, ADHD and young people’s participation in consultations. Linda is an Associate Editor for the Future Healthcare Journal, RCP/London, has published in peer review journals and supervises PhD students including an NIHR Clinical Doctoral Fellow and an Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research funded studentship.

Professor Sarah Neill


Sarah Neill PhD, MSc, PGD Ed with RNT, BSc (Hons), RGN, RSCN, PGC Research Degree Supervision,  is Professor of Nursing at the University of Plymouth, Plymouth, England, Adjunct Associate Professor at Charles Sturt University, Australia, Co-Chair of the International Network for Child and Family Centred Care, Country Liaison Co-ordinator and member of the IFNA Conference Planning Committee and member of the Executive Board of the IFNA – UK and Ireland Chapter. Sarah is an academic children’s nurse with over 25 years experience in higher education. Sarah is a passionate about research with patients and the public and her work focusses on patient experience research in the field of acute childhood illness and the co-development of interventions to support parents caring for acutely ill children with a total grant income over £300,000. Sarah leads the Acutely Sick Kid Safety Netting Interventions for Families (ASK SNIFF) research programme. Sarah has supervised two PhD and two Professional Doctorate students to completion. She has over 30 publications, 3 invited editorials, an edited textbook and over 45 national and international conference presentations. Sarah has made a significant contribution to professional practice through invited contributions which have ensured that her research has informed national policy, national practice guidelines, patient facing information, evidence based films for professionals and parents of young children and digital documentation of child health. She has contributed to the work of the leading professional organisation for nursing in the UK, the Royal College of Nursing, for over 25 years. Her work illustrates the consistently interconnected nature of research and professional practice.

Dr Suja Somanadhan


Suja Somanadhan PhD, MSc, GradDip (Quality & Risk), GradCert Education, BA (Hons), RCN, RGN, RNT, is the Director of BSc Nursing (Children’s and General) Registration Programme and Assistant Professor at the UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems, Dublin, Ireland. Dr Somanadhan has been actively engaged with IFNA as a Country Liaison Co-ordinator, member of IFNA Pediatric Research Cluster, IFNA International Research Collaboration Subcommittee and a member of the Executive Board of the IFNA – UK and Ireland Chapter. She is a registered children’s nurse (RCN), registered general nurse (RGN) and registered nurse tutor (RNT) with over 20 years of clinical background in chronic and medically complex Illness in the paediatric population with a special interest in rare genetic disorders. Dr Somanadhan leads interdisciplinary research projects in the field of child and family health and well-being related to Rare and medically complex conditions. Examples of ongoing projects: SAMPI Project, IMPACT Study, Co-VisION Project. She is also the founder and lead of Rare Disease Research Partnership (RAinDRoP) in Ireland, a collaborative research partnership of the rare disease community in Ireland. Most recent appointments include Higher Education Institutions representative at the Rare Disease Taskforce Ireland, Executive member at the UCD CHilD Research Centre and Advisory Committee member at the Children’s Research Network Ireland and Northern Ireland. Dr Somanadhan has an honorary research associate fellowship with the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland and she is the recipient of the prestigious Fulbright Scholar health impact award to pursue a research role at the University of Pittsburgh, Center for Rare Disease Therapy at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, and at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA. You can contact Suja by email: suja.somanadhan@ucd.ie or you can find her on Twitter.

Dr James Turner


Jim Turner PhD, MA, PGDip Ed, BA (Hons), Dip CAT, HND, RMN, RNT, SFHEA, is Professional Lead for Mental Health Nursing at Sheffield Hallam University and has worked as an academic for 17 years following 20 years in practice. He worked in a number of clinical settings as a nurse and nurse leader including acute care, older adults, Nurse advisor, Acting Director of Nursing and now as an academic. He is the incoming vice chair of the Mental Health Nurse Academics UK Group and is involved with several national and international networks and consultations. As a researcher, Jim has strong foundations, investigating a range of topics such as end of life care, therapeutic encounters, clinical supervision, young people’s mental health, and wellbeing through sport. He is particularly interested in teaching and researching therapeutic interventions as applied to mental health and wellbeing in general.
As a therapist and nurse he remains clinically active as a Cognitive Analytic Therapy Practitioner, alongside having training and experience in other interpersonal therapies; Humanistic Counselling; Cognitive Behavioural Therapy; Group Analysis; and Interactional Dynamic psychotherapy.

Susan Wakefield


Susan Wakefield MA, PG Dip, PGCert, RMN, FHEA, is Head of the Department of Nursing and Midwifery at Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, England and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Susan is a Mental Health Nurse and spent most of her clinical career working with families in primary and community care settings. Susan also worked as a research nurse and led on the development and implementation of clinical care pathways. She has held a number of roles in higher education and her research and scholarly interests are around practice supervision and assessment and Chatbots to support families.