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New head for School of Healthcare Sciences

30 October 2015

Heather waterman profile shot

Internationally-renowned eye nursing researcher takes helm at Cardiff’s UK top five school

An internationally-renowned eye nursing researcher has been appointed to lead Cardiff’s School of Healthcare Sciences.

Professor Heather Waterman, who joins the School from the University of Manchester, will replace Professor Sheila Hunt as head of School, where she will work to build on its reputation of excellence for teaching and innovative health research.

Following the assessment of a government-backed panel, the School of Healthcare Sciences’ research was recently ranked among the top-5 schools of its kind in the UK. Ninety per cent of its research was deemed ‘world-leading’. The School’s physiotherapy course was also ranked best in the UK by the latest Complete University Guide.

With over 25 years’ experience in healthcare sciences research, Professor Waterman will bring to the School an expertise in medical and surgical eye problems, with a specific focus in glaucoma – a vision impairing condition that affects around half a million people in England and Wales.

Speaking of her appointment, Professor Waterman said: “I am extremely excited and honoured by the opportunity to lead the School of Healthcare Sciences. Cardiff University is a Russell Group university with excellent traditions in teaching and research.

“My vision for the School is to build on its existing strengths; its reputation for high education standards, an incredibly high rating for research in the latest Research Excellence Framework, and its size – such a large School can command serious influence.  Above all, of course, the School’s biggest strength is its people; academics, professional services staff, and students alike. They are what makes the School what it is.

“My aim as head of School is for us to continue to deliver an excellent student experience which gives rise to caring, competent, ethically aware and knowledgeable health care professionals, who will be future leaders in their field. “ And I want to ensure that we deliver world-leading research that generates knowledge which has direct impact on the well-being of people living in Cardiff and beyond.”

The University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan welcomed the new appointment: “Professor Waterman is a key appointment for the university as it develops the School of Healthcare Sciences. I am confident that her experience and expertise will be a great boost for the School, and to the delivery of the University’s overall strategic aims.”

The focus of Professor Waterman’s current project - which she will bring with her from the University of Manchester’s School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work – lies in patients’ perspectives of living with both dementia and glaucoma.

She qualified as a nurse from Manchester Royal Infirmary in 1983. After gaining her degree from Kings College London, she joined the University of Manchester where she gained her PhD in 1994. Once there, she became Professor of Nursing and Ophthalmology for some 13years.

She also has an international reputation for her research into the promotion of self-care of patients with long-term conditions, particularly those concerning loss of sight.