Centre for Health Sciences and Services

Welcome to the Centre for Health Sciences and Services at UON

The Team

Claire Poole, Alison Ward and Sarah Wickes Mental Health specialists

The Centre for Health Sciences and Services (CHSS) has 20 members from across the different Faculties and external partners. Dr Alison Ward is the Centre Lead and is supported by Sarah Wickes and Claire Poole, co-theme leads for the Mental Health work.


About the Centre

The Centre for Health Sciences and Services is uniquely placed to bring together academic researchers and health professionals in nursing and allied health sciences and services both within the University and externally.

Building on established local, national and international partnerships the Centre will deliver interdisciplinary, collaborative, high quality health research and enterprise projects to advance knowledge designed to improve the health of the population.

Central to our work will be a focus on working with patients and the public to ensure research is relevant for those whose health we aim to improve.

Together the members of the Centre will provide a home for the development of research and enterprise knowledge and skills in students, staff, and health service users from undergraduates to postdoctoral researchers, early career and independent researchers.

Our areas of focus are:

  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Participatory research across the life-course
  • Learning and teaching in health and social care

Aims and Objectives of the Centre for 2018 – 2021


  • To deliver innovative interdisciplinary collaborative research and enterprise in partnership with patients and the public* to address local, national and international health agenda
  • To align our research and enterprise activity to the Universe of Northampton’s Changemaker Plus Challenge 2 (to make Northamptonshire the leading county in the UK for Health and Wellbeing)
  • To develop health research and enterprise leaders, including clinical academics for today and tomorrow in collaboration with our health service partners
  • To diversify income streams to include knowledge transfer activities, continuing professional development and intellectual property

* The term ‘patients and the public’ is used interchangeably with the term ‘service users’.

Café Scientifique

CHSS is pleased to host Northampton’s Café Scientifique. This is an opportunity for people to hear about the latest thinking in science, research and innovation. Held in a café in the town centre, this is an informal way of sharing research with a wide audience, and where for the price of a coffee, the public can hear about a range of different topics.

Recent talks have included:

For further information and to book a place on future talks, please visit our Café Scientifique website.

Our Work

Current Projects

  • UON and Age UK Northamptonshire report: A Place For Me? Older people and the future of Northampton town centre. Involving: Dr Kim Woodbridge-Dodd, Dr Kimberley Hill, Jane Taylor, and Laura Graham (Age UK Northamptonshire)
  • Evaluation of a theatre programme for people with additional needs, involving: Dr Alison Ward and Dr Michelle Pyre
  • Exploring young people’s perceptions of aspirations. Involving: Dr Alison Ward and Dr Michelle Pyre
  • Evaluation of diabetes training. Involving: Dr Alison Ward
  • Understanding the use theatre with people with young onset dementia. Involving: Dr Alison Ward
  • Evaluation of Happy Hairdressers training. Involving: Dr Kim Woodbridge-Dodd and Dr Michelle Pyer
  • An evaluation of Action for Happiness training in primary care. Involving: Dr Kim Woodbridge-Dodd
  • Before Arrival at Hospital (BeArH) project. Involving: Professor Sarah Neill (PI), Dr Kim Woodbridge-Dodd, and Natasha Bayes
  • CyGen project. Involving: Dr Michelle Pyer (PI), Professor Helen Lomax (VP), Dr Jane Murray (FEH), Dr Kim Woodbridge-Dodd
  • The HUB Partnership project – exploring the impact of ReStore foodbank on people’s wellbeing. Involving: Natasha Bayes

Contact Us

If you are interested in working with the CHSS or would like further information, please get in contact with Dr Ali Ward, Senior Researcher.