Nursing and Midwifery Research

We undertake a wide variety of empirical research, which contributes toward improving and informing the quality and effectiveness of care delivered by nurses and midwives in the NHS and other healthcare organisations. These include studies of patient and service user experience, evaluation of healthcare interventions, developing areas of practice, such as advanced practice, and research with childbearing women and their babies, families and carers. Some of our research has a methodological focus, including the area of qualitative evidence synthesis.

The current key themes within our nursing and midwifery related research portfolio includes the following:

  1. support for people living with long-term conditions, especially self-management in men and those with skin conditions
  2. palliative care
  3. advanced practice
  4. midwifery.

However, our work also explores broader themes encompassing those issues at the interface between nursing/midwifery and the thematic areas of other Departmental research groups, including, for example, the areas of cancer care, mental health, public health, cardiac rehabilitation and trial evaluation.

Our team of nursing and midwifery lecturers also engage in a range of scholarly activities to ensure that our teaching is informed and shaped by current research evidence. Key nursing and midwifery research related staff within the Department include: 

Dr Helen Anderson, Lecturer in Advanced Clinical Practice: Helen’s research focuses on advanced practice, primary care and professional identity.

Dr Helen Bedford, Lecturer in Midwifery: Helen’s research focuses on qualitative studies within midwifery education, midwifery and maternity care

Dr Cathryn Britton, Senior Lecturer in Midwifery: Cathryn’s research focuses on midwifery, especially normality in childbirth, breastfeeding and learning simulation in midwifery education.

Professor Steven Ersser, Professor in Clinical Nursing Research: Steve’s research programme focuses on nursing-related skin health, skin care and dermatological nursing. It includes complex intervention development and evaluation related to self-management support for those living with long-term skin conditions and the early detection of skin cancer. Some of his work links with the Department of Dermatology, and he has an honorary appointment at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Research Group: Epidemiology and Cancer Statistics.

Dr Kate Flemming, Senior Lecturer: Kate leads on the integration of research into teaching in the Department on our new undergraduate nursing curriculum. Her research programme focuses on complex interventions including patient and carer experience of palliative care across different service models, disease types and morbidities, including motor neurone disease and heart failure. This work is closely integrated with her methodological expertise in qualitative evidence synthesis. Kate has strong leadership, practice and research links with St Leonard’s Hospice in York. Research Group: Public Health & Society.

Professor Paul Galdas, Professor in Nursing and Deputy Head of Department (Nursing & Midwifery): Paul’s research programme primarily focuses on self-management support for men living with long-term conditions, including men’s help-seeking and engagement with health services in relation to coronary heart disease, mental health and chronic illness. Research Group: Cardiac Care and Education.

Dr Beth Hardy, Lecturer in Nursing: Beth undertakes research related to palliative and end of life care with a particular focus on the experiences of older people, families and carers in the community setting.

For more information on the Nursing and Midwifery Research undertaken at the Department of Health Sciences and enquiries from potential doctoral students, please contact Steven Ersser, email and for general information on PhDs visit