The following are members of the team conducting the research implementing Needs Rounds in the UK.

Team members for the Australian studies are noted in the authorship of our published articles.

Chief Investigator

Dr Liz Forbat is a Professor of Palliative Care, and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, at the University of Stirling. Liz is also a family psychotherapist and brings extensive experience from leading the Needs Rounds trial in Australia. Her research and clinical expertise focus on specialist palliative care, ageing interventions, user involvement, family relationships, qualitative research, and case study methodology. Liz won an award for her user involvement work from the National Cancer Research Institute (2011). 

Email: Elizabeth.forbat@stir.ac.uk

Twitter: @LizForbat


Research Fellow

Aisha is based within the Dementia and Ageing Research Group at the University of Stirling. Aisha has a background in sociology and social policy and completed her PhD at the University of Glasgow. Aisha’s interests are in the lived experience of health and social care provision, focusing on relational practices within these contexts. Aisha’s expertise include sociological approaches to mental distress and compulsory treatment, qualitative methods, human rights, and feminist ethics of care.

Email: aisha.macgregor@stir.ac.uk

Twitter: @aishamacgregor


Our co-investigators

Jo trained as a nurse in London. She worked with Dame Cicely Saunders at the beginning of the hospice movement and then set up two hospital-based palliative care teams (St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London; Western General Hospital, Edinburgh).  Since being awarded her PhD in 2006, Jo has worked exclusively in research and quality improvement initiatives in care homes. She was awarded an OBE in 2013. Jo currently leads the Care Home Innovation Partnership across Lothian with the vision for a teaching/research-focused care home centre for excellence and community engagement in SE Scotland. 


Karen is a Professor of Nursing at the University of Leeds and is the academic director for NICHE-Leeds. Karen is a nurse and applied health and care researcher with a portfolio of research with and for care homes. She is supporting DACHA work packages 1, 2, 3 and 5 and will lead a consultation group.


Brendan’s internationally recognised work focuses on person-centred practice, gerontological nursing, and practice development and he serves on a number of editorial boards, policy committees, funding panels and development groups in these areas.  He has a particular focus on the use of arts and creativity in healthcare research and development.  Brendan has more than 600 published outputs, including 220 peer-reviewed publications in international journals and 12 books.  He is the ‘Editor Emeritus’ of the “International Journal of Older People Nursing”.  Brendan is a Fellow of The European Academy of Nursing Science, Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing, Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. In 2014 he was awarded the ‘International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame’ by Sigma Theta Tau International and listed in the Thomson Reuters 3000 most influential researchers globally.  In 2015 he was recognized as an ‘Inspirational Nursing Leader’ by Nursing Times (UK nursing magazine) and in 2019 was listed in the New Year ‘Top 100 outstanding nurses’ by the Twitter Group #wenurses.


Maisie’s experiences as a carer for multiple family members with serious medical conditions led to an interest in public involvement and patient engagement. She currently supports two of the National Institute for Health Research policy research units as a patient representative on its collaboration groups, which focus on data use in research and clinical trials. Maisie has worked in operational management, health promotion and disease prevention for the NHS in a non-clinical capacity. She currently works as an adult mental health first aid associate and trainer with Mental Health First Aid England. 


I am Margaret Ogden & have been doing PPI for 15 years. I started off in the cancer networks & then began working in other fields. My specialism is palliative care & I have undertaken projects in sedation, breathlessness, frailty, social determinants, EOL & bereavement. I am also an Expert by Experience for the CQC & have carried out 30 inspections in care homes with nursing & dementia. In 2019 I won an award from South London CRN for outstanding contribution to clinical research (palliative care) – putting patients and carers first.


Irene Soulsby with long blonde hair and a white jacket standing on a bridge.

I’m Irene and live near Newcastle upon Tyne.  I am one of the Public contributors for Needs Rounds.  I’m very pleased to have been given the opportunity to contribute to the Needs Rounds project and share my thoughts as a public member.  I will be drawing on my experience of friends and family in care homes, as part of the “Patient and Public Involvement” (PPI).   I would be greatly comforted to know that expert skills and palliative care would be there for loved ones, be they family or friends, and that is why I wanted to be involved with the Needs Rounds project.   

Alasdair Rutherford is a professor of social statistics at the University of Stirling. His research focus is the analysis of administrative and survey data in the fields of charity, regulation, ageing and volunteering. He has also been involved in a number of initiatives to build data analysis skills amongst third sector practitioners. Alasdair’s academic background includes economics, sociology, psychology and artificial intelligence. Prior to becoming an academic, Alasdair worked for seven years in marketing and fundraising for a large social care charity. He has been in the Faculty of Social Sciences at Stirling since 2013.

Barbara Hanratty’s research is concerned with older adults and encompasses three complementary themes; care homes, end of life care, the health consequences of loneliness and isolation. Equitable access to care, patient and caregiver experiences and the influence of socioeconomic disadvantage are particular interests. Barbara’s clinical work is as a GP and she is also an honorary consultant in public health.

Theme by the University of Stirling

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