Chiara is an Associate Professor within the Health Workforce & Systems theme in the School of Health Sciences, and deputy theme lead for the NIHR ARC Wessex Workforce and Health Systems theme. Chiara leads a research programme around health workforce wellbeing and performance, with a specific focus on work hours and workforce configuration. Chiara's expertise lies in analysing workforce routinely collected data from rostering systems. Her work is supported by NIHR and ESRC grants, and an Academy of Medical Sciences Springboard award.
- Health workforce organisation
- Shift work
- Occupational health - burnout
- Occupational health - sickness absence
- Patient safety
- Improving patient safety, workforce wellbeing and NHS efficiency through improved shift patterns for nursing staff
Funded by the Academy of Medical Sciences (Springboard award). This study is the first study that explores possible modifications to shift patterns for nursing staff using the perspectives of nurses, their managers and patients. It deployes a technique from economics – discrete choice experiment to identify nurses’ preferences and trade-offs when it comes to shift patterns. It involves an international advisory group with world-leading interdisciplinary researchers in the field of shift work.
- Developing and applying data science solutions to identify optimal allocation of work hours for nurses
Funded by Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) South Coast Doctoral Partnership. Through this doctoral studentship I have recruited an exceptional doctoral student who is undertaking the first study to apply operational research methods to create multi-criteria optimisation methods that can support rostering and scheduling decisions which are not only cost-effective, but also take into account staff wellbeing and patient outcomes.
- Consequences, costs and cost-effectiveness of different workforce configurations in English acute hospitals: a longitudinal retrospective study using routinely collected data
Funded by NIHR Health and Social Care Delivery Research (HSDR) Programme. Collaboration with Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust. This study seeks to understand how variation in the size and make-up of care teams on hospital wards in England influences patient outcomes and the costs of care. Our research group was the first to use these new sources of information to explore how the mix of staff in the nursing team affected outcomes and cost of care, but it was in one hospital only. This study is expanding our work into three more NHS Trusts located in different geographic areas. As part of this project, I am leading two systematic reviews and the staff outcomes analysis work package.
- A Study to Evaluate the Introduction of new Staffing Models in Intensive Care: a realist evaluation (SEISMIC-R) (Natalie Pattison, University of Hertfordshire)
Funded by NIHR Health and Social Care Delivery Research (HSDR) Programme. Collaboration with University of Hertfordshire, University of Plymouth, Intensive Care National Audit & Research Centre, University of Exeter, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London South Bank University. Our research plans to look at different staffing models across the UK. We aim to examine new staffing models in ICU across different Trusts. We will examine what combinations of staff numbers and skills result in better patient care and improved survival rates. I co-lead the work package of routinely collected data extraction and analysis.
Current PhD Students
My education contribution is strongly linked to my research, where I design new courses around patient safety and workforce development. My education contribution shapes my research, where I co-develop research with students in our programmes.
I am passionate about supporting our students read and critically appraise research, so I have developed a video series in partnership with Elsevier to aid students move their first steps in understanding research: Research video series
My current teaching contribution is:
- Module Lead for Preparation for RN Dual Field (NPCG6003)
- Theme Lead for Influencing Innovation & Change - Human Factors & Patient Safety theme
- Leading sessions linked to my research:
- Health Workforce Wellbeing & Burnout
- Safe Staffing & Resource Allocation
- Critical Appraisal of Research
- Patient Safety for Postgraduate Students
External roles and responsibilities
Chiara qualified as a Registered Nurse after completing her Bachelor Degree in Italy, at the Universita' degli Studi di Milano Bicocca in 2011. In 2013 she gained a Masters Degree in Nursing and Midwifery Sciences at the Universita' degli Studi di Milano Bicocca.
In 2018, she was awarded a PhD in Health Sciences at the University of Southampton, where she was then employed as a research fellow. Since 2023, Chiara has been an Associate Professor within the School of Health Sciences, where she splits her time between research and education.
- IJNS Rosemary Crow Award (2016)
- Best abstract session presentation HSRUK 2018 (2018)