Primary Care and Palliative Care research group

The Primary Care and Palliative Care research group hosts primary care and palliative care academics and researchers and applies rigorous health service research methods to understanding issues related to primary care, to cancer diagnosis, supportive care, advanced disease and end of life issues.

Hull York Medical School and the University of Hull’s Primary Care and Palliative Care research group is directed by Professor of Palliative Medicine Miriam Johnson and Professor of Primary Care Research, Professor Joanne Reeve.

The group works closely with colleagues in the Centre for Health and Population Sciences and other colleagues in the Universities of Hull and York. The group’s overall aim is to apply rigorous health service research methods to understanding issues related to primary care, cancer diagnosis, supportive care, advanced disease and end of life issues.

Professor Miriam Johnson is also Director of the Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre which sits within the group. Professor Joanne Reeve is research director for the Hull York Medical School Academy of Primary Care.





Academic and research staff

Professional support staff

Postgraduate research students

  • Marie Acton
  • Naima Benelhaj
  • Alison Bravington
  • Alina Buture
  • Chris Dalgliesh
  • Sunita Daniels
  • Myriam DellOlio
  • Helene Elliott-Button
  • Deborah Hukins
  • Jamilla Hussain
  • Gillian Jackson
  • Dan Jones
  • Mary Kariuki
  • Carl Marincowitz
  • Hannah Miles
  • Zivarna Murphy
  • Ugochinyere Nwulu
  • Sophie Pask
  • Claire Reid
  • Kim Sein
  • Helena Sinclair
Research projects
Cancer Studies Yorkshire (CS-Y): Understanding and reducing inequalities for people with cancer in East Yorkshire

Cancer Studies – Yorkshire (CS-Y) is a five year programme of research that aims to understand and then reduce social inequalities in healthcare for people with cancer in East Yorkshire. There are two workstreams: ‘Early diagnosis’ and ‘Advanced disease’. Within these workstreams are five studies.

Funded by: Yorkshire Cancer Research

Cancer Diagnosis via Emergency Presentation Study (EMPRESS)

This study investigates what happens to patients in the period before an emergency presentation. The aim of the study is to determine whether there are differences in the pathway to diagnosis between patients who are diagnosed as an EP compared to those diagnosed via the 2WW pathway for lung and colorectal cancer.

Funded by: Cancer Research UK NAEDI

The validation of an assessment tool to identify the palliative care needs of people with irreversible interstitial lung disease for use in every day clinical practice

To psychometrically test and validate a needs assessment tool (NAT:PD-C) adapted for use in people with ILD (NAT:PD-ILD).

CSS: Cervical Screening Study: The views and experiences of patients and practitioners regarding cervical screening amongst women (55-64 years old) in Yorkshire and Humber

The incidence of cervical cancer is highest in women aged 25-49; it then declines, but there is a second peak in women aged over 70. This is thought to be related to a reduction in the uptake of screening in women at the older end of the screening age group. The reasons why older women are under-represented within cervical screening programmes are not clear. This qualitative study therefore explores cervical screening amongst older women (55-64 years) living in Yorkshire, exploring the attitudes of healthcare professionals regarding cervical screening in older women. Patient and professional perspectives will be obtained via in-depth interviews/focus groups, and targeted health promotion material will be developed to increase uptake among older women.

Funded by: Yorkshire Cancer Research

Factors Influencing Smoking in Hull (FISH): A study of women smokers and non-smokers

Research demonstrates that smoking takes its toll on health and places a burden on local health services. In Hull, levels of smoking are high, particularly among women: 33.9% of women over 16 smoke compared to 18% in the rest of England. It is also the case that the prevalence of women’s smoking is higher in more deprived areas of the city. Statistics on smoking mortality among women in Hull are startling: between 2009 and 2011 an estimated 800 women died as a result of an underlying cause directly linked to smoking. Figures such as these raise questions as to why so many women in Hull smoke, and whether any further steps can be taken by health care professionals to assist with long term smoking cessation.

This study aims to understand in greater depth the reasons why so many women in Hull take up smoking. It will also examine women’s access to and their perceptions of smoking cessation services.

Funded by: Hull Clinical Commissioning Group and Hull City Council

Cancer Needs Assessment in Primary Care (CANASSES:PC)

A cluster randomised feasibility trial (cRCT) to test the routine use of the Needs Assessment Tool Progressive Disease Cancer (NAT:PD-C) in primary care to reduce unmet patient and carer needs and determine the feasibility of a definitive trial.

Funded by: Yorkshire Cancer Research

A qualitative sub-study to address the quality of life and patient experience of participants enrolled in the select-d trials

Cancer patients have a greater risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) than the general population. It is the commonest cause of death during chemotherapy. Current treatment for cancer-associated thrombosis (CAT) is six months’ low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH).

The Anticoagulation Therapy in SELECTeD Cancer Patients at Risk of Recurrence of Venous Thromboembolism (select-d) trial is a randomised, multi-centre pilot study of dalteparin (LMWH) vs rivaroxaban (direct oral anticoagulant [DOAC]) to assess the optimal duration of anticoagulation.

The aim of this sub study isto provide qualitative data on the experiences of patients receiving an anticoagulant as part of the select-d trial and their family carers, to compliment the safety and efficacy data derived from the main trial. It addresses the key question: What are the experiences of patients and their family carers of receiving rivaroxaban or dalteparin, and how do they approach the risk-benefit balance of two different ways of anticoagulant administration?

Funded by: Bayer Pharma AG via University of Warwick

PB-PG-0614-34007 HIDDEN: Hospice Inpatient Deep vein thrombosis Detection study

The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of lower limb DVT and its associated symptoms in cancer patients admitted to SPCUs.

Doppler ultrasound scans will be performed to test for VTE in cancer patients on admission to a SPCU and then weekly for the duration of their stay.

This study is currently recruiting at 5 SPCUs: Princess Alice Hospice, England; Northern Ireland Hospice, Belfast, Northern Ireland (NI); Marie Curie Hospice, Belfast, NI; Macmillan Unit, Antrim NI; Marie Curie Hospice, Cardiff, Wales.

Funded by: NIHR - Research for Patient Benefit programme

Exploring women’s views on the appropriateness of including information leaflets about ovarian cancer with ‘all-clear’ breast and cervical screening results

The aim of this study is to explore strategies to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of different cancers among appropriate populations. This will be done initially through lay and professional perceptions of the inclusion of information leaflets about cancer symptoms with clear (i.e., no abnormality) results of cervical or breast screening. Focus groups have been conducted with 38 women in the North, North East and Greater London. Telephone interviews are planned with professionals working in the breast and cervical screening services. The policy question the study aims to answer is: In what ways can clear (no abnormality) cancer screening results be utilised to help raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of other cancers? 

Coordinated by: Department of Health Policy Research Unit Cancer Awareness, Screening and Early Detection (CASE)
Sponsored by: Dept of Health

BETter TreatmEnts for Refractory Breathlessness - BETTER-B
Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre

Our vision in the Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre is to be a world leader in well-designed research, relevant to the needs of people living with and dying from serious illness, their families and communities. We aim to improve quality of life and reduce inequalities in care which are driven by socio-economic status and poor diagnosis.

We will do this by:

  1. Generating new knowledge in four broad substantive areas:
    • Assessment and management of common but under-researched distressing symptoms (such as breathlessness, and cognitive impairment)
    • Inequalities in access to palliative care and how to reduce them to improve outcomes
    • Venous thromboembolism in people with advanced cancer
    • Bereavement and pre-bereavement support - needs and effective interventions.
  2. Developing better methods to conduct research in palliative care
  3. Raising the profile of palliative care and building research capacity for the nation:
  4. Translating the results of palliative care research to improve services:

The Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre is situated in the new Allam Medical Building on the University of Hull's new Health Campus, embedded in the Institute for Clinical and Applied Health Research (ICAHR). It is supported in meeting these strategic objectives by the ICAHR’s research support service infrastructure including data collection and management. The new building, which is specifically designed to encourage cross-fertilisation of research ideas, will provide space required for a growing programme.

The Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre is part of the Primary Care and Palliative Care research group.

Academy of Primary Care

Driving primary care delivery and design for 21st century needs through championing excellence in primary care scholarship

The Academy of Primary Care combines excellence in education, research and scholarship to support and drive the redesign and delivery of the workforce, clinical care, and service design needed for 21st century primary care practice.

The Academy consists of a team of clinicians and academics working in collaboration with partners from across health and social care sectors - local practitioners, members of the public, Clinical Commissioning Groups, Health Education England, the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Society for Academic Primary Care.

Our work covers four areas of practice: supporting innovation in and delivery of primary care research, education, workforce development, and implementation.

For more information, contact: