COVID-19 Updates: For advice and updates for staff, students, and applicants who may have concerns about the coronavirus outbreak please visit our Situation Updates page.

Research Profile

Dr Sarah

Associate Professor (Children's Nursing)

  • Associate Professor Sarah Neill is an academic children’s nurse with over twenty years of experience in higher education. Awarded the role of Associate Professor in Children’s Nursing in 2013, her research centres on the patient experience in child health and children’s nursing, with a specific focus on parents’ decision making during acute childhood illness and the development of interventions to support parents. Methodologically her expertise is in qualitative research and, within that, grounded theory.

    Sarah is committed to working collaboratively with children & families in research projects. She believes that interventions will only be effective when developed with the people for whom they are intended. Sarah set up a panel of parents with children under 5 years for a research project 5 years ago and now leads this work in collaboration with the lead parents. She also acts as Patient and Public Involvement Lead for the Centre for Family Life with the Institute of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Northampton.

    Sarah is keen to further develop patient centred care in the field of child health through research and education in collaboration with colleagues nationally and internationally. Her research constituted part of the REF returns in 2013.

  • Sarah is the course leader for the Masters in Clinical Practice, a part time programme for health care professionals who are seeking to develop a clinical academic career. She also teaches qualitative research on a range of other masters programmes, within Professional Doctorate and discipline based training for PhD students within the School of Health. She also leads a university wide Grounded Theory forum.

  • Current projects

    ASK SNIFF (Acutely Sick Kid Safety Netting Interventions for Families)

    Programme of research Associate Professor Sarah Neill co-leads this programme with Professor Monica Lakhanpaul, University College London. This is a collaborative co-production research programme to develop interventions with and for parents to help them identify signs of serious illness in children under 5 years of age. The programme also runs a parent panel to ensure parents’ voices are central at every stage. Please see the programme’s website for detailed information.

    Child Death Overview Project Associate Professor Sarah Neill is a Collaborator

    This project is reviewing child death reporting, implementation of recommendations and impact on child health outcomes in one area of the North West of England in partnership with the local Strategic Clinical Network and University of Central Lancashire. October 2014 – present

    Digital Badges – evaluation of psychosocial impact Associate Professor Sarah Neill is the Principal Investigator

    This is a collaboration with Digital Badge pioneers, commissioned by NHS England.

    November 2015 – present

    Completed projects

    • ASK SNIFF research programme completed projects include:
    • ASK SaRA Safety-netting Review and Analysis
    • ASK PIP Parent Information Project
    • ASK SID Safety-net Intervention Development
    • ASK PIP and ASK SID were both NIHR Portfolio projects.

    Please see for details

    Choose Well Insight project Associate Professor Sarah Neill was the Principal Investigator

    Commissioned by Nene Clinical Commissioning Group, December 2012 to July 2013, to explore parents decision making about which health services to use for an acutely sick child.

    Early Help in Early Years project Associate Professor Sarah Neill was the Principal Investigator

    Commissioned by Northamptonshire County Council’s Children & Young People’s Partnership Board, in two phases to establish the feasibility of, and to develop, a universal family assessment document for use with all professionals involved in a child’s care.

    Phase 1 Feasibility study October 2012 to November 2012

    Phase 2 Development and testing of a universal family assessment tool July 2013 to December 2014

    Family Management of Acute Childhood Illness at Home: a grounded theory project

    PhD thesis King’s College London

    Further information about Associate Professor Sarah Neill’s research publications can be found on ResearchGate: Sarah Jane Neill.

  • For publications, projects, datasets, research interests and activities, view Sarah Neill’s research profile on Pure, the University of Northampton’s Research Explorer.