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Dr Irene Tuffrey-Wijne

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 Areas of expertise

Find out more about Dr Irene Tuffrey-Wijne

Overview

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.  

Qualifications

Year gained Subject
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.

Career Highlights

Year Position held
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).

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Contact us

General enquiries:

Journalists only:

  • Communications team
    Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 3034
    Email us
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