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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
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 limb reconstruction, chronic back pain, osteoporosis and joint arthroplasty.

Karen is Clinical Director for the Orthopaedic and Trauma Directorate of Oxford University Hospitals and Head of Therapy Services at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre.

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

Catherine Minns Lowe PhD

Catherine joined the Unit in 2004 as a Superintendent Research Physiotherapist. She was awarded a Department of Health Researcher Development Award/NIHR Training Fellowship in 2005 and was awarded a PhD in 2009 (University of Birmingham). Before working at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Catherine held lecturing and research posts at the University of East London and at Keele University in addition to senior clinical posts.

She is currently a Senior Lecturer in Post Graduate Studies at the University of Hertfordshire, leading Research Investigations Modules and supervising postgraduate research studies.

Her research interests include musculoskeletal pain and rehabilitation and she is experienced in both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies.

Meredith Newman MSc

Meredith has been working in the Physiotherapy Research Unit since 2005 and currently works remotely from her native country of Australia.

Her current research activity is focused on the analysis and dissemination of the findings from the PROVE trial.

She has completed and published a survey of rehabilitation practice following revision Total Hip Replacement (THR) and contributed to the development of a grant application in this area.

She completed an investigation into the validity of the Timed Loaded Standing Test and supported the delivery of the PROVE trial.

Meredith has an MSc in Rehabilitation Science from Southampton University and a Postgraduate Certificate in Postural Management from Oxford Brookes University.

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

Jon Room MRes

Jon joined the Physiotherapy Research Unit in September 2014 having worked previously at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Outpatients, Hands and Haemophilia.

He has successfully completed two steps on the National Institute for Health Research's Integrated Clinical Academic Pathway, undertaking a research internship at the Physiotherapy Research Unit in 2012-13, before completing an MRes in Clinical and Health Research at the University of Southampton during 2013-2015.

His dissertation focused on the facilitators and barriers to physiotherapists providing lifestyle advice as part of their treatment.

Jon works as the research physiotherapist and Oxford PI for the CORKA trial. He is also undertaking a PhD with the Centre for Movement, Occupational and Rehabilitation Sciences (MOReS) at Oxford Brookes University looking at interventions to improve exercise adherence in older patients.

His research interests include rehabilitation after arthroplasty, treatment adherence and physical activity and exercise for those with musculoskeletal conditions.

Jon Room

Tamsin Hughes BSc

Tamsin joined the Physiotherapy Research Unit in November 2013 to recruit and assess participants and collect data, including recruiting and assessing participants for the PEP-Talk (A behaviour changed physiotherapy intervention to increase physical activity following hip and knee replacement) study and PANDA-S (Prognostic AND Diagnostic Assessment of Shoulder pain) study.

Previously Tamsin was recruiting to BOOST (Better Outcomes for Older people with Spinal Trouble) and assisting with the FAIT and TARVA studies.

Tamsin worked as a Band 6 rotational physiotherapist working with adults and paediatrics 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 graduated as a Physiotherapist from the University of the West of England in July 2014 and joined the Physiotherapy Research Unit in September 2014. She has been involved with the WiSPA trial.

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.

In 2019 Martha began a six-month internship on the National Institute for Health Research's Integrated Clinical Academic Pathway at the University of Hertfordshire. She also secured a preparatory fellowship award from the Oxford Biomedical Research Centre to conduct a study in 2020 into a backwards walking programme for patients following hip and knee replacement.

Martha also works clinically in the inpatient physiotherapy department at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre.

Martha Batting

Erin Hannink DPT

Erin joined the Physiotherapy Research Unit in January 2015 and has led two studies: the MAPS Study (Measuring Alignment and Posture in the Spine) and the WiSPA Study (Walking and balance related to sagittal Spinal Posture and Alignment). She has also been involved in the PEP-TALK Trial and PANDA-S Trial.

Erin is completing her PhD at Oxford Brookes University as part of the OxINMAHR Clinical PhD Programme sponsored by Oxford University Hospitals. Her PhD research focuses on the sagittal curvature of the spine and its functional implications.

Erin's primary clinical focus is in musculoskeletal rehabilitation, and she has clinical experience in both the UK and USA. She obtained her Bachelor of Science from the University of California Los Angeles and received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Mount St Mary's University in California.

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