Emma’s a rising star in research thanks to UK-wide patient study!

Dr Emma Worrell, Principal Maxillofacial Prosthetist at Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead has been named a rising star in the world of health research.

Beating off strong competition from researchers from across Kent, Surrey and Sussex, she was awarded the Rising Star Award at the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network Kent, Surrey and Sussex Awards. 

Emma was nominated for the work she is doing leading a new national study looking into comfort and outcomes for people using an artificial eye. She is undertaking this alongside Mr Raman Malhotra, QVH Consultant Ophthalmologist and Oculplastic Surgeon. The study has partnered with hospitals across the UK including the Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust to enable as many patients as possible to be involved.

With over 25 years’ experience within the maxillofacial prosthetics field, alongside her clinical work, Emma has always had a keen interest in research. She believes this is an exciting opportunity for the hospital which has always been a specialist centre for reconstructive surgery, oculoplastics and prosthetic rehabilitation.

On winning the Rising Star Award, Emma said: “It is lovely to get the acknowledgement for everybody’s hard work and it is great to see the study coming together and gaining good recruitment numbers. So far more than 400 patients have participated and we’re working with 34 hospitals from across the UK, with more looking to get involved. In understanding the needs and experiences of people currently using an artificial eye we can better provide for our patients, and further improve our patients’ experience. It’s a really exciting time.”

Professor Geeta Menon, Clinical Director at the NIHR Clinical Research Network in Kent, Surrey and Sussex said: “Emma has shown dedication and motivation to this home-grown study by engaging Kent, Surrey and Sussex sites not previously involved in eye research. A large number of sites across the country have now signed up. Emma is very proactive and is now a co-lead for the ophthalmology specialty within the south east of England.” 

The study is being funded by an Ocular Award from the Institute of Maxillofacial Prosthetists and Technologists. In addition, this is a National Portfolio study and fully supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network.

Pictured: Left to right

●     Dr Kate Jones, Chief Operating Officer NIHR Clinical Research Network Kent, Surrey and Sussex
●     Dr Mark Hill, Co-Clinical Director, NIHR Clinical Research Network Kent, Surrey and Sussex
●     Professor Geeta Menon, Clinical Director, NIHR Clinical Research Network Kent, Surrey and Sussex
●     Dr Emma Worrell, Principal Maxillofacial Prosthetist, QVH
●     Dr Jonathan Sheffield, Chief Executive Officer, NIHR Clinical Research Network