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The University of Southampton
PDSAFE- A randomised controlled trial

Meet the PDSAFE team

Professor Ann Ashburn

Chief Investigator

Professor Ann Ashburn, University of Southampton

Ann is the Chief Investigator of the PDSAFE trial. She leads an internationally recognised research programme into the rehabilitation and the management of falls and has published widely. Her background is in physiotherapy and she has specialised in the rehabilitation of people with neurological conditions in particular Parkinson's Disease and stroke.


Dr Kim Seymour

Trial Manager

Dr Kim Seymour, University of Southampton

Kim is the Trial Manager for the PDSAFE trial and has overall responsibility for the day-to-day running of the trial. Kim has a sound understanding and experience in a range of qualitative and quantitative research processes and methods; in particular, specialising in trials management. She has a PhD in Health Sciences and before this role, was the lead research fellow and coordinator for the Macmillan CREW study


PDSAFE Trial Data Administrator

Matt Saxby, University of Southampton

Matt works with the Trial Manager, Research Administrator and Research Team members; to coordinate clinical trials data entry for the PDSAFE trial and provide general administrative support.


PDSAFE Administrative Assistant

Nick Parton, University of Southampton

Nick provides administrative support including clinical trials data entry to the PDSAFE trial and its external customers.

PDSAFE Co-applicants

Dr Vicki Goodwin

Dr Goodwin, Senior Research Fellow, NIHR CLAHRC South West Peninsula, University of Exeter Medical School. Vicki is an experienced physiotherapist, specialising in rehabilitation of older people, with a special interest in falls prevention and Parkinson’s disease both clinically and academically. She is part of the Complex Interventions team at Exeter. Vicki is a co-applicant on PDSAFE, and has been responsible for developing the intervention and physiotherapist training, along with the other physiotherapists on the team.

Dr Emma McIntosh

Dr McIntosh, Reader in Health Economics and Deputy Director of Health Economics and Health Technology Assessment, Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow. Emma is an experienced health economist who has worked on a range of economic evaluations across many disease areas including Parkinson’s. Emma recently completed a Senior Research Fellowship with Parkinson’s UK. Her methodological interests are in the area of economic evaluation alongside clinical trials, evaluating public health interventions, stated preference methods and cost benefit analysis more generally. Emma is a co-applicant on PDSAFE, is responsible for leading the design and analysis of the economic evaluation and supervising Yiqiao Xin, the health economist researcher working on PDSAFE.

Professor Alice Nieuwboer

Alice is a professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Leuven. She is head of the Neuromotor Rehabilitation Research Group. She and her team are investigating the mechanisms of gait and balance disturbances in Parkinson's disease (PD). They also conduct several training studies on the effectiveness of motor learning, using virtual reality while walking on a treadmill, offering and withdrawing motor feedback and dual tasking in PD. Underlying all these studies is the question whether learning can still occur in neurodegenerative disease and how it will imprint in the brain at the neurological systems level. In PDSAFE, Alice uses her expertise to give input in the design of the intervention and the monitoring of the clinical trial.

Professor Lynn Rochester

Lynn is Professor of Human Movement Science, based in the Institute of Neuroscience at Newcastle University and an academic physiotherapist. She is Director of the Brain and Movement Research group based in the Clinical Ageing Research Unit where she is also Deputy Director. Lynn is a co-applicant on PDSAFE, and contributed to the intervention development. Lynn is interested in neurodegenerative disease and the motor and non-motor mechanisms of gait and falls, surrogate markers of disease and disease progression, development and evaluation of novel interventions, and technological applications in healthcare. She serves on various National and International committees and takes a key role in professional leadership within the university developing clinical academic careers for healthcare professionals. Lynn also leads an academic physiotherapy team which is integrated into the Regional Movement Disorders Service.

Qualitative Study Lead

Dr Claire Ballinger, University of Southampton

Claire is a co-applicant on PDSAFE, and is responsible for the longitudinal qualitative study, exploring understandings, expectations and experiences of the PDSAFE intervention through qualitative interviews. Claire is an academic occupational therapist and applied health researcher, with a longstanding interest in falls and falls prevention for older people, and long term health conditions and rehabilitation more broadly. She is a Principal Research Fellow, and the lead for patient and public involvement in the NIHR CLAHRC Wessex.


Qualitative Research Fellow

Ali Rowsell, University of Southampton

Ali is the qualitative research fellow on the PDSAFE team and will be interviewing people with Parkinson’s just before the start of our physiotherapy programme and again six months later. She has worked at the University of Southampton since 2005 as a researcher in Health Sciences or Psychology. Her research interests include health psychology, rehabilitation research, web-based interventions, health services research, learning disability, consent and abuse.


Assessor Co-ordinator

Carolyn Fitton, University of Southampton

Carolyn leads the assessment team for the PDSAFE study and she is also the assessor in the Portsmouth area. Carolyn qualified as a Physiotherapist from Cardiff University in 1992. Her early working career was based in the NHS and she still maintains a private clinical caseload of Neurological patients. She has worked at the University of Southampton doing research into Parkinson’s disease and Stroke since 2002.


Therapist Co-ordinator

Dr Sophia Hulbert, University of Southampton

Sophia is a Research Fellow and Neuro-Physiotherapist with a special interest in working with people with Parkinson’s. She has recently completed her PhD at the University of Southampton as well as working clinically in both the NHS and private sector with people with neurological conditions. Sophia is the lead therapist on the PDSAFE trial providing practical and theoretical support for all the therapists involved across all study areas.


Philip Brown

Phil is a Research Physio in the Institute of Neuroscience for Newcastle University

Deborah Dellafera

Deborah is a Nurse Practitioner and an Assessor for the PDSAFE Trial working at the University of Southampton & Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust. Her speciality is Acute Trauma Orthopaedics, Stroke , Parkinson’s & Falls Services.

Jane Hall

Jane is a Research Nurse for the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

Rob James

Rob is a Research Nurse for the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

Megan Liddiard

Megan is a Trial Assessor for PDSAFE. She is a physiotherapist with a BSc in Physiotherapy from the University of Southampton where she qualified in 1999. Megan has since worked as a physiotherapist both in the UK and in New Zealand and Australia. She is interested in health research and prior to this role worked within the NIHR Research Network from 2008 helping to set up research projects in primary care.

Tracy McElwaine

Tracy is an experienced Parkinson's Disease Nurse seconded from the Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust

Clare O'Reilly

Clare is a Research Nurse for the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

Kathy Polverino

Kathy is a Research Nurse for the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

Meryl Rowlands

Meryl is a Registered General Nurse specialising in clinical research


Liz Ashdown, Solent NHS Trust

Liz is a Senior Physiotherapist with Solent NHS Trust and is based in Southampton. She is currently on a research secondment, part of which includes providing the Therapy Intervention for the PDSAFE Research Trial. Her clinical background is in older people's rehabilitation with a specialist interest in Parkinson’s.

Katie Castle, Solent NHS Trust

Katie is a physio based at St Mary’s Hospital in Portsmouth, specialising in advanced neuro-rehab.

Pippa Collins, Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Pippa is a Senior Physio for the Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Carly Fricker, The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Carly is a senior physiotherapist working for Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch NHS Foundation Trust specialising in neurological rehabilitation.

Meryl Goddard, Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Meryl is a physiotherapist based at the Poole Long Term Conditions Therapy Team specialising in the rehabilitation of patients with neurological conditions in the community.

Tricia Norman, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

Tricia is a physiotherapist based with the Southern Health Foundation Trust, Research and Development Department. She has a special interest in the rehabilitation of people with neurological conditions and in falls prevention.

Kathleen Reilly, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

Kathleen is a Research Physio for the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

Emily Rogers, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

Emily is a research physiotherapist based at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital specialising in neuro-rehabilitation and clinical research

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