Senior research fellow in the Faculty of Health. Social Care and Education, Kingston University and St George's, University of London.
Dr Irene Tuffrey-Wijne is an expert in the palliative care of people with learning disabilities. She holds a first degree in palliative care nursing and completed a PhD in the palliative care of people with learning disabilities. She is now a senior research fellow at the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, run jointly by Kingston University and St George's, University of London.
Dr Tuffrey-Wijne's research is concerned with improving the end-of-life care of, and communication with, people with learning disabilities. She also has a particular research interest in how to better-involve people with learning disabilities as participants, advisors and co-researchers.
In December 2013 she published a National Institute for Health Research-funded report which looked at the factors affecting the safety of patients with learning difficulties in NHS hospitals. The research found the vulnerabilities of people with learning disabilities can, and do, lead to compromised patient safety in NHS hospitals. "There has been consistent evidence that people with learning disabilities experience health inequalities and poor NHS health-care provision, which in turn leads to avoidable harm and premature, avoidable death," she said. The report called for further research to help improve the outlook for such patients, who by law are entitled to reasonable adjustments to better facilitate their hospital care.
In addition to her research, Dr Tuffrey-Wijne is chair of the Palliative Care for People with Learning Disabilities Network, which raises awareness of the palliative care needs of such patients, provides a platform to share best practice, and enhances collaboration between health care providers, carers and people with a learning disability.
Dr Tuffrey-Wijne, who qualified as a nurse and has also practised as a palliative care nurse, has written several books, including guidelines on how to break bad news to people with learning disabilities. She is also a co-author of Books Beyond Words, a series of picture books designed to help people with learning disabilities navigate potentially challenging life situations.
|2007||PhD "Palliative care for people with intellectual disabilities," Maastricht University, The Netherlands.|
|1999||BSc Nursing studies (first class honours), King's College, London.|
|1996||Diploma of Higher Education in Nursing Studies (palliative Care) with distinction, King's College, London.|
|1985||HBO-V (registered nurse), Gijsbreght Academie (College of Nursing), Amsterdam, The Netherlands.|
|2012 -||Senior research fellow in nursing, Kingston University and St George's, University of London.|
|2008 -||Senior research fellow, University Maastricht, The Netherlands.|
|2005 - 2008||Honorary Research Fellow, University Maastricht, The Netherlands.|
|2004 - 2010||Research fellow, Kingston Univesity and St George's, University of London.|
|2001 - 2004||Research and development nurse, st George's, University of London.|
|1993 - 2001||Palliative care nurse specialist/ward sister/staff nurse, Trinity Hospice, London.|
|1987 - 1988||Registered nurse in The Netherlands.|
|1985 - 1987||Residential care support worker, L'Arche Lambeth, London (Learning Disabilities).|