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Physiotherapy at the NOC

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The team

Professor Karen L Barker OBE PhD FCSP

Head of Therapies at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre

Professor of Physiotherapy, NDORMS, University of Oxford

Visiting Professor, School of Health Sciences, Oxford Brookes University

Karen has been part of the Physiotherapy Research Unit since 1997 and the Director of the Physiotherapy Research Unit since 2000.

She has an MSc in Ergonomics from Loughborough University and a PhD from Oxford Brookes University. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

Her research interests are primarily in the fields of bone health, chronic back pain and joint arthroplasty.

Karen was Clinical Director for the Orthopaedic and Trauma Directorate of Oxford University Hospitals from 2012 to 2022.

She was awarded Professor of Physiotherapy by the University of Oxford in 2017 and an OBE for services to healthcare in 2020.

Karen Barker

Francine Toye PhD

Fran studied Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge University (1986-1990) and later qualified as a physiotherapist (1996).

She first joined the unit in 1999 when she was funded and successfully completed a PhD thesis, which explored the assessment of need for total knee replacement. Prior to this Fran practised as an outpatient physiotherapist at Queen Mary's in Roehampton.

Fran's research aims to explore how culture, context and narrative effect patients and clinicians healthcare decisions. She has published a body of qualitative research and has expertise in qualitative research methodology, including qualitative systematic review.

Fran's research plans are to focus on maximising the impact of qualitative research through complementary modes of dissemination such as audio visual media.

Francine Toye

Meredith Newman MSc

Meredith has worked in the Physiotherapy Research Unit since 2005. Prior to this she held a post as a Physiotherapy Lecturer at Oxford Brookes University.

She has an MSc in Rehabilitation Science from Southampton University and has worked clinically in Australia and the UK in both neurological and musculoskeletal rehabilitation.

Meredith's research interests include rehabilitation and exercise for those with long term conditions and impaired bone health. Her current research is focused on osteoporosis and scoliosis.

Currently she is the trial manager and principal investigator for the OpT-In trial which investigates promoting adherence to physiotherapy exercise in people with osteoporosis and vertebral fractures.

Meredith Newman

Cathy Jenkins MPhil

Cathy has worked in the Physiotherapy Research Unit since January 2000.

Her current responsibility is an ongoing audit looking at outcomes following the Oxford Unicompartmental Knee Replacement (UKR). This database monitors over 5000 Oxford UKRs and is now reviewing patients who had surgery over 20 years ago.

In addition to the UKR audit there are many UKR studies based in the Physiotherapy Research Unit. These include a study on Cementless versus Cemented UKRs, outcome in the second decade following UKR and, in conjunction with the surgical teams, the development and introduction in 2016 of a daycase pathway for all patients undergoing UKR surgery at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre.

Whilst working in this unit Cathy completed her MPhil in 2008 with Oxford Brookes University on the subject of kneeling after Unicompartmental Knee Arthroplasty.

She previously worked on the orthopaedic wards at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in various roles since February 1989.

Cathy Jenkins

Tamsin Hughes BSc

Tamsin joined the Physiotherapy Research Unit in November 2013. Her role is to recruit and collect participant data for physiotherapy trials and as an assessor for orthopaedic surgical and rheumatology studies. She has worked on trials about physiotherapy for bone health.

Tamsin has worked as a Band 6 Rotational Physiotherapist with adults and children since 2004.

Tamsin graduated from St Margaret's University, Edinburgh, in 2000 and completed her junior rotations at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust.

Tamsin Hughes

Martha Batting MRes

Martha joined the Physiotherapy Research Unit in September 2014. In October 2017 she successfully completed the MRes programme in Clinical Research at Southampton University where she looked at the validity and reliability of the Four Square Step Test for both knee and hip replacement patients.

Martha is currently working on the OpT-In study.

Martha Batting

Erin Hannink PhD

Erin joined the Physiotherapy Research Unit in 2016.

Funded by the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Clinical PhD studentship, she completed her PhD in 2021 which explored sagittal spinal curvature and its implication on functional mobility.

Her current areas of research include quantitative and qualitative methods to understand and treat long term musculoskeletal conditions, and the evaluation of clinical measurement tools.

Erin obtained her Bachelor of Science in Psychobiology from University of California Los Angeles and received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from Mount St. Mary's University. She has clinical experience from both the UK and US.

Erin Hannink

Clare McKenzie BSc

Clare joined the Research Unit in August 2015.

Alongside her clinical role as Occupational Therapist for the Oxford Sarcoma Service, Clare's research focus is on the rehabilitation for sarcoma patients following limb salvage surgery and occupational therapy for musculoskeletal conditions, including through the WORKWELL study: Testing work advice for people with arthritis.

Clare previously worked in the musculoskeletal Occupational Therapy service as Occupational Therapy team lead and has worked for the Sarcoma Service since 2008.

Clare graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy and is currently working towards an MSc in Cancer and Research.

Clare McKenzie

Simon Wood MSc

Simon joined the physiotherapy research department in March 2020 after gaining a two-year National Institute Health Research Pre-Doctoral Clinical Research fellowship.

He has a particular interest in femoral acetabular impingement and is undertaking collaborative research in this area.

Simon joined the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in 2005 and has since developed specialist clinical knowledge in musculoskeletal conditions and completed an MSc in advanced manipulative physiotherapy (MMACP) in 2009.

He has worked in OxSport at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre since 2006 specialising in sports injuries.

Simon Wood

Leila Heelas MSc

Leila Heelas is a Consultant Physiotherapist in Pain Rehabilitation. She gained an MSc in Pain Management in 2011 as well as a PG Cert in Professional Practice and a PG Cert in Business Administration.

Leila joined the research unit in 2020 and as a full-time clinician has been involved in an action research study, has co-authored several papers and published a rapid review regarding individuals with chronic pain who frequently attend the accident and emergency department.

Leila is interested in writing about psychologically informed practice and has published about use of stratification models in pain rehabilitation.

She is currently undertaking a part-time PhD with UCL Social Biobehavioural group using mixed methods to explore social prescribing for people living with chronic pain.

Leila Heelas - Optimise

Leila Heelas

Philippa Nicolson PhD

Pip joined the Physiotherapy Research Unit in 2022. She also holds a Versus Arthritis Research Fellowship at the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences at the University of Oxford.

Pip qualified as a Physiotherapist from the University of Otago (New Zealand), and has worked clinically in New Zealand, the UK and Australia. Her PhD, completed at the University of Melbourne, investigated adherence to exercise among people with knee osteoarthritis.

Pip's research interests focus on combining quantitative and qualitative methods to optimise outcomes for people with hip/knee osteoarthritis, before and after joint replacement surgery and following revision joint surgery.

Philippa Nicolson - NDORMS

Philippa Nicolson
Last reviewed:23 November 2023