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Dr Victoria Shepherd

Dr Victoria Shepherd

Research Fellow - Nurse

Email
shepherdvl1@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2068 7641
Campuses
413, Neuadd Meirionnydd, University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff, CF14 4YS
Users
Available for postgraduate supervision

Overview

I am a Research Fellow based in the Centre for Trials Research where I have a special interest in research involving populations where informed consent can be challenging such as older people living in care homes, critical care and emergency settings, and trials involving the use of proxy and deferred consent models.

I lead a programme of methodological research exploring the ethical, legal and practical issues around research involving adults who lack capacity consent. This includes a current NIHR Advanced Fellowship and a previous NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship. This research programme includes the development of complex interventions to address the ethical and methodological barriers to conducting trials with adults who lack capacity.

I am involved in and lead a number of care home research studies, including leading a study to establish the research priorities in care homes using consensus-based methods, and am a member of a number of national and international care home research collaborations. I am Chair of the ENRICH Cymru Advisory Group. Prior to this I had an extensive clinical career as a Registered Nurse, the majority spent in critical care settings in England and Wales. I am also an expert member on an NHS Research Ethics Committee.

Biography

Honours and awards

PhD Deciding about research for others: normative, empirical, and legal accounts of proxy decision-making for research and the development of a decision support intervention (November 2019)

Finalist in in Wales Nurse of the Year Awards 2019 - Supporting Improvement Through Research Award (runner up)

BSc Acute and Critical Care, MA Healthcare Law and Ethics. Dissertation: Vulnerable populations in medical research: is research regulation ‘protecting them to death'? (September 2014)

Professional memberships

NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council)

Institute of Medical Ethics

RCN Wales Nurse of the Year Alumni Network

Committees and reviewing

Member of NHS Research Ethics Committee (2019-present)

Consultant Editor in clinical trials & care homes studies for Geriatrics, Gerontology and Aging (March 2020-present)

Cjair of ENRICH Cymru Advisory Group (2021-present)

Publications

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

Adults with impaired capacity to consent

My primary research interest is addressing the ethical and methodological challenges around the inclusion of adults lacking capacity in research. I currently hold an NIHR Advanced Fellowship 'Deciding about research for others: a feasibility study and effectiveness trial of a novel decision support intervention for consultees and legal representatives of adults lacking capacity to consent (CONSULT)' (2021-2024). I previously held an NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship to explore the ethical, legal and practical challenges around the inclusion of these under-represented populations, using mixed-methods and interdisciplinary approaches (2016-2019).

I have developed a novel complex intervention (a decision support tool) to enhance proxy decision-making for research (https://doi.org/10.1186/s12911-021-01390-4). I led a follow on study to conduct cognitive testing of the decision support intervention (DECISION 2 Study) funded by the Wellcome Trust through ISSF Institutional Funding (2020). I am also leading the development of a core outcome set to evaluate interventions that enhance proxy decisions about participation on behalf of adults who lack capacity (COnSiDER Study) which is registered on the COMET (Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials) database (http://www.comet-initiative.org/Studies/Details/1409). I supervise a number of Intercalated BSc medical student projects in this area and recently curated research and resources on 'Research and capacity to consent' for Social Care Wales' website https://socialcare.wales/curated-research/research-and-capacity-to-consent (Welsh version: https://gofalcymdeithasol.cymru/curadur-yr-ymchwil/ymchwil-ar-gallu-i-gydsynio ).

Care Homes

I have a special interest in care home research. I led a UK wide Research Priority Setting in Care Homes Study, which aimed to identify a set of research priorities for care home research with a key group of stakeholders, and a current core outcome set for the prevention of COVID-19 in care homes (COS COVID PCARE). I am also involved in collaborating with other national and international researchers/institutions to develop research proposals involving older people in long term care, some of which address areas identified as research priorities.

Clinical Trials

Previous research activities include contributing to the design, delivery and reporting of multicentre randomised controlled trials, including: Children with Eczema, Antibiotic Management - CREAM Study (NIHR HTA), Oral STeroids for the Resolution of otitis media with effusion (OME) In Children – OSTRICH Study (NIHR HTA) and Probiotics to Reduce Infections iN CarE home reSidentS – PRINCESS Study (NIHR EME).

Trials Methodology Research

I am interested in research to improve the conduct of trials, with a particular focus on improving inclusivity of under-served populations in research. I co-lead the inclusivity theme of the Trial Conduct Working Group of the MRC-NIHR Trials Methodology Research Partnership.

Research Ethics

I am involved in a number of projects exploring ethical aspects of research, including models of consent used in different research contexts such as emergency situations, and patient and clinician decisions.

Supervision

I am interested in supervising PhD students in the areas of:

  • trials methodology research focusing on the inclusion of under-served groups
  • ethical and legal issues in research involving populations where there may be challenges around capacity to consent
  • care homes and care home research