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Dr Helen Barratt
Room 112
Department of Applied Health Research
1-19 Torrington Place
Tel: 020 7679 8285
  • Senior Clinical Research Associate / Honorary Consultant in Applied Health Research
  • Applied Health Research
  • Institute of Epidemiology & Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences
  • Honorary Clinical Lecturer
  • Epidemiology & Public Health
  • Institute of Epidemiology & Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences

I am a consultant public health physician and a clinical academic working in health services research. My research uses quantitative and qualitative research methods to study health care and public health services. I have a particular interest in evaluating and improving acute hospital services.

I qualified in medicine from Imperial College and undertook my specialist clinical training in London. I completed a PhD within the Department of Applied Health Research at University College London, funded by a Wellcome Trust Research Training Fellowship. I have Masters degrees in both Public Health (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine) and Bioethics (University of Surrey).  Prior to undertaking my PhD, I held an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship in public health at UCL. Before that I was an academic foundation trainee at Imperial College London, and worked as a junior doctor at Charing Cross and the Hammersmith Hospitals.

I am currently participating in the 2016 NIHR leadership development programme for senior postdocs. In 2014, I was awarded the European Health Management Association's annual research award for my doctoral work. I was also the first non-US recipient of the Presidential Scholarship for early career researchers, awarded by AcademyHealth, the American professional association for health services research and policy.

Research Themes
Research Summary

I work as part of NIHR CLAHRC North Thames, based in the Department of Applied Health Research at UCL. As a research methodologist, I am part of the CLAHRC’s research partnership team, responsible for collaborating with health care and public health providers across North East/ North Central London and beyond to develop and deliver research aimed at improving patient care and public health.

I am Principal Investigator on two CLAHRC projects. One studies care for mental health patients attending Emergency Departments; the other is a mixed methods evaluation of improvements to NHS elective orthopaedic care across England.

My doctoral research used qualitative methods to examine the process of large-scale service change, for example consolidating facilities on fewer sites to centralise access to emergency care. In 2010, I provided independent academic input into a high profile review of plans to downgrade acute services at Chase Farm Hospital in north London, described at the time as a 'test case' for the NHS. I have also carried out a number of other projects using quantitative methods, including a propensity-matched analysis of the impact of transferring critical care patients to other hospitals when there is a lack of beds locally. 

Teaching Summary

I have an interest in research capacity building and within the NIHR CLAHRC North Thames, I am Deputy Director of the CLAHRC Academy, our teaching and training arm. The Academy seeks to increase capacity and capability to co-produce applied health research, and use its outputs, across the CLAHRC. I am responsible for the day to day management of our successful portfolio of work, which includes short training courses for health care and public health staff (over 200 people trained since Oct 2014); a research fellowship programme for nurses and allied health professionals; and a PhD training programme.

I currently supervise three PhD students, as well as a HE NCEL/ CLAHRC clinical fellow. I also provide supervision for MSc students and clinicians in training, when required. In addition, I contribute to a number of teaching programmes at UCL, mainly for MBBS students, focussing on health care organisation and public health. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

10-JAN-2015 Clinical Senior Research Associate/ Hon Consultant Department of Applied Health Research UCL, United Kingdom
27-SEP-2013 – 09-JAN-2015 Hon Clinical Lecturer Department of Applied Health Research UCL, United Kingdom
27-SEP-2010 – 26-SEP-2013 Wellcome Trust Research Training Fellow Department of Applied Health Research University College London, United Kingdom
01-AUG-2007 Speciality Registrar in Public Health   London Deanery, United Kingdom
01-APR-2007 – 31-JUL-2010 NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow Department of Epidemiology and Public Health University College London, United Kingdom
01-AUG-2006 – 30-JUN-2007 Academic Foundation Trainee   Imperial College London, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2014 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Health Services Research University College London
2008 MSc Master of Science – Public Health London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
2005 MBBS Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery – Clinical Medicine Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
2004 MA Master of Arts – Bioethics University of Surrey
2003 BSc Bachelor of Science – Gastroenterology Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
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