Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust is a key strategic partner for the University of Portsmouth. The two organisations are working together to further healthcare research that has a real world impact on the city and local communities with several big projects in the pipeline such as SIGHT 2 and setting up a medical school to combat the shortage of GPs in Portsmouth. Here we take a look at the work being done and the people doing it:

The Portsmouth Technologies Trials Unit (PTTU)

The Portsmouth Technologies Trials Unit works in collaboration with clinical researchers, academics, patients and commercial partners to develop research studies relevant to our community. We specialise in working with commercial partners, including SMEs to develop research trials in new health care technologies, however we have a broad portfolio of studies including observational studies and qualitative research. We work with a range of academic, clinical and healthcare partners including the Research Design Service (RDS) South Central.

Professor Anoop Chauhan, Clinical Director PHUT

Professor Chauhan has been Director of Research and Innovation at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust since 2009. He has driven an exponential growth in research within the trust and developed a reputation within both the commercial sector and academia for the delivery of high-quality research and innovation in healthcare technologies.

Professor Gordon Blunn, Director Health and Wellbeing Research Theme UoP

Professor Blunn  joined the University of Portsmouth in 2017 to become the Director in Health and Wellbeing. He spent over 25 years as a Biomedical Engineer at UCL he has developed and translated a number orthopaedic implants into clinical practice. He is a past President of the British Orthopaedic Research Society and has been awarded the UCL prize for enterprise and innovation, an NHS innovation award and the UCL consultant’s award. Gordon sits on a number of scientific advisory boards and has been involved in the generation of three spin out companies. He holds several patents and has published over two hundred peer reviewed scientific papers.

Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust

Joe Shoebridge, Research and Development Manager

Having worked in the NHS for over a decade, Joe leads the Research & Innovation Office function whilst also heading up the oversight, assurance and management of safety, quality and governance for all research at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust.

With experience in research development, delivery, management and funding (in both NHS and higher education settings) he works with clinical and research teams in ensuring studies are set-up and run to the highest possible quality and safety standards.

Having also worked at the University of Portsmouth for a number of years, Joe supports the partnership between the institutions at both the strategic and delivery levels, building collaborations, supporting grants and nurturing an efficient environment for joint working.

Alexandra Jones, Head of Research Operations

Alex works closely with the Director of Research & Innovation to build and shape the future of research and innovation within the Trust. This is achieved by progressing and implementing the Trust Research and Innovation strategy as a new University Hospital, growing PHU led research activity and developing the Portsmouth Technologies Trials Unit (PTTU) alongside other new research infrastructure. Her background is in research management having spent 9 years with the NIHR working across several clinical areas and more latterly, expanding research into social care and public health. 

Lucy Sayer, PHU/UoP Partnership Manager

Lucy supports the collaboration between University of Portsmouth  and Portsmouth University NHS Hospital Trust with a view to increasing interdisciplinary collaborative research and educational projects between the university and hospital; medical and beyond.  Her role is very much building connections between the two organisations and working towards fulfilling the potential of the partnership in terms of joint grant applications, clinical academic pathways, and supporting the joint community of those holding honorary contracts at PHU and UoP.  She manages the Strategic Partnership Board meetings held quarterly and works closely with Yvette Hibberd who facilitates joint research projects, spending her time between UoP and PHU (R&I Dept).  Her background is STM (Science, Technical, Medical) publishing and she has managed portfolios of academic society journals and commissioned book lists in a variety of clinical specialties and life sciences.  She would love to hear from you to learn about your current projects as well as your plans looking forward.

Sharon Court, Patient and Public Involvement Facilitator

Sharon is a qualified teacher and youth worker with thirty years’ experience of working with children and young people. She worked for 10 years as a freelancer, developing and managing community engagement programmes including projects funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Armed Forces Community Covenant. Prior to joining the PTTU, Sharon worked with a number of local organisations including Portsmouth Cathedral where she devised and led their community engagement programme. Sharon brings a wealth of knowledge, community experience and networks to her role as the Patient and Public Involvement Facilitator creating new opportunities to engage the public with healthcare and social research.

University of Portsmouth

Rosie Mackay, Research Development officer, Health and Wellbeing

Rosie Joined the University of Portsmouth in January 2022 after working as a research scientist and lecturer at the University of Oxford and the University of Southampton for over 20 years.

Her role involves working across the university to enhance interdisciplinary, collaborative research within the Health and wellbeing theme (directed by Professor Gordon Blunn). This includes supporting joint research initiatives across all faculties as well as our external partners in the city council, the NHS and industry. Rosie is also involved in supporting bid development and funding applications and provides a link between the SIGHT programme, UoP and PHU.

Yvette Hibberd, University Research Facilitator

Yvette joined Portsmouth University NHS Hospital Trust in December 2021 and has a wealth of experience working in Health Research in both NHS and Higher Education settings. Prior to moving to Portsmouth, Yvette worked in both Bath and London as a Trial manager for international, multidisciplinary studies in chronic pain, adolescent rheumatology as well as oncology. Experienced in Research governance and Patient & Public Involvement gained from work at UCL. Yvette facilitates collaborative health research between the university and the hospital in Portsmouth.

Supporting Innovation and Growth in Healthcare Technologies (SIGHT) programme, University of Portsmouth

Dr Phil Jewell, Director of Healthtech and SIGHT Programme CEO

Phil has a wealth of experience supporting collaboration between business and academia. For over 10 years Phil managed a number of University funding schemes at the University of Southampton, including the EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership, Knowledge Transfer Secondments programme, and the Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnerships scheme. Prior to this he undertook a part-time PhD in ancient history. For a number of years Phil has also been running his own bid writing and collaboration support company. Phil takes the lead in business engagement for the SIGHT programme, liaising with potential SIGHT members, growing the network and providing them with guidance at the start of their business and clinical approval path.

Dr David Lubega, Collaboration Manager

David took up the Collaborations Manager role at the University of Portsmouth in 2015, developing and managing collaborations between the university and businesses, and the public and voluntary sectors. David graduated from Tongji Medical University, received an MBA from the University of Hull, and holds a Diploma from the Beijing Languages and Cultural University. Prior to joining the University of Portsmouth, David ran a medical devices and supply company.  He has also held senior level operational and advisory roles in marketing, business development, and knowledge management and exchange at multinational pharmaceutical companies and at a medtech consultancy firm. David supports SIGHT programme member companies to navigate the funding landscape. Where appropriate, he enables access to academic expertise and specialist research and development competencies and facilities.

Claire Antsey, SIGHT Programme Administrator

Claire joined the SIGHT team in January 2021. Bringing extensive experience in administration in a variety of businesses, Claire brings invaluable organisational and project management skills to the team. She plays a critical role in managing the support of SMEs within the SIGHT programme as well as working with other members of the team on joint PHU-UoP projects and initiatives.

Helen Hill, SIGHT Project Manager

Helen joined the team in May 2022, bringing more than 12 years of experience at the University of Portsmouth in a variety of roles in the areas of European-funded programmes (including external audits). She has experience of Study Abroad/International student exchange partnerships, information disclosure and governance and collaborative cross-sector projects. Helen works closely with SIGHT members, the Portsmouth Technology Trials Unit (PTTU) and the University’s Research and Innovation Services to facilitate meetings, events, and to support the delivery of SIGHT grants to SME members.

You can find out more about the work of SIGHT and how it can help you combine business with research here. And follow them on social media here.