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Dr Sally Anstey

Dr Sally Anstey


School of Healthcare Sciences

+44 (0)29 206 88571
13.14, Eastgate House, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 0AB


I am currently a Reader in Adult Nursing, and Research Theme Lead: Optimising wellbeing and management in health and disease at the School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University. I am a Registered Nurse (Adult Nursing) and have a clinical background and teach across undergraduate and postgraduate programmes specifically cancer, genetics, palliative and end of life care, research and ethics. I was appointed to my lecturing post in 2006.


I obtained my RGN in 1981 (St Bartholomew’s Hospital) and subsequently obtained an MSc in Palliative Care from the Institute of Cancer Research University of London. My PhD, awarded in 2012, explored the referral practices of consultant physicians to specialist palliative care services and was an interpretative phenomenological analysis.

My clinical experiences have focussed on the care of people with cancer specifically those with a life-threatening diagnosis.  I worked as a nurse specialist in palliative care in the community, hospice and hospital settings in South East Wales.  In 1998 I became the Welsh Service Development Manager for Macmillan Cancer Support which was linked to National Assembly.

Honours and awards

Honours and awards

  • Cardiff University Enriching Student Life Awards Personal Tutor of the Year 2014
  • 2016 May Awarded Betsi Cadwaladr Foundation Scholarship.
  • RCN Wales Nurse of the Year 2016 Finalist and Runner-up Nurse Educator category, Nominated 2018.
  • Cardiff University Celebrating Excellence Awards 2016: Stonewall project team Winners in the Outstanding Contribution to Innovation and Engagement category
  • 2009 Nursing Standard Nurse of the Year awards.  Innovation in Palliative Care category shortlisted finalist, runners up Very Highly commended ‘Palliative Education for District and Community Nurses’.

Professional memberships

  • Member of the Royal College of Nursing

Committees and reviewing

Other academic and professional contributions:

  • National policy development expert witness working with Welsh Government Cross Party Group ‘Inequalities in Palliative Care’ July 2018,
  • Member of Welsh Government Cancer Implementation Group leading the Education, Workforce and Development workstream 2016-ongoing,
  • Invited member of GW4 Lancet Commission Value of Death working group,
  • Member of Cardiff University Biobank scientific review committee
  • Educational advisor Hospice UK
  • Member of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) assisted suicide working party,
  • Member Welsh Government Palliative Care Implementation Board.
  • Development learning materials framing cancer as long term condition for eCancer (a global oncology channel) for their ecancerprofessional and ecancerpatient platforms – output from a Tenovus iGrant.














Teaching and Learning Responsibilities:

I am actively involved in teaching, supervising and supporting undergraduate, post–registration, postgraduate and doctoral students.  My specialist subjects for which I hold primary responsibility for developing and delivering across the undergraduate curriculum include: Person-centred care,  Cancer Care, End of Life and Palliative Care specifically for people with conditions other than cancer and those with serious mental illness, Genetics, Qualitative research, ethics and governance.

Research Grant Reviewer – I am a grant reviewer for the following organisations:

  • NIHR HS&DR workstreams
  • Tenovus Cancer Care
  • Marie Curie Cancer Care and Dimbleby
  • National Institute of Health Research (NIHR)
  • General Nursing Council Trust


  • reviewing book proposals for the journals Health and Social Care in the Community, Palliative Medicine and End of Life Care publications and for Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins
  • reviewing manuscripts and journal article proposals for Palliative Medicine, International Journal of Palliative Nursing, BMJ, European Journal of Cancer Care, Medical Anthropology, Nurse Education Today and British Journal of Community Nursing;

My main areas of research and research interests are:

Patient Experiences impacting on education, practice and research, Cancer Care living beyond treatment, Palliative and End of Life Care, Dementia, Research Ethics and Governance, Qualitative Research.


Co –Applicant Experiences of cancer immunotherapy with immune checkpoint inhibitors: insights from people affected by cancer and oncology healthcare professionals in South Wales. Macmillan Cancer Support 18 months from July 2019 £54 201.10

Principal Investigator Identifying the unique contribution, impact and future direction of Tenovus Cancer Care by exploring the perceptions and priorities of supporters, service users and professionals. Tenovus Research Strategy Grant April 2019- October 2020. Funding Achieved £58,577

Principal supervisor for KESSII funded PhD studentship in collaboration with Tenovus Cancer Care’ An exploration of the experiences of cancer for people with pre-existing physical disabilities in Wales’. Commenced October 2018

Co-Applicant NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research Programme End of life care for people with severe mental illness: an evidence synthesis (the MENLOC study). Funding achieved August 2018 £148,069.60

Co-Applicant Cardiff Education Innovation Award Inclusive Curriculum Project May 2017.

Co-applicant for a Pathway to Portfolio funding follow on study to further develop a decision making algorithm to support skin care at the end of life February 2017

Co: Principal Investigator with Dr Dikaios Sakellariou (an Occupational Therapist) “Challenges of Cancer and Disability Study” (CoCaDS) December 2016

PI CU Strategic Development Fund HCARE June 2016 Project: Stories of People Affected by Dementia

PI Tenovus Innovation Grant The Cancer Survivor Voice: messages for education and practice, an evaluated co-production for Wales. Due to complete December 2016,

Co-Applicant General Nursing Council Funded study Nurse decision-making about physical care of advanced cancer patients at the end of life: a feasibility study to develop a decision support algorithm Commenced May 2016

Member of the Macmillan funded Associate Lecturer Evaluation Research Team completed Summer 2015.

Member of the team Dimbleby Cancer Care & Marie Curie Cancer Care funded. A phase I-II feasibility trial of Cancer Carer Medicines Management (CCMM): an educational intervention for carer management of pain medication in cancer patients at end of life. Completed End 2014.


Research students:

PGR Supervision:

Since completing my PhD in 2012 I have been a supervisor for eight research doctorate students PhD (three international and five UK students (including one from the School of Architecture) and twelve taught professional doctorate students Doctorate in Advanced Healthcare Practice (DAHP) (all UK).

PGR Completions:

Successful Completions: 8 PhD (2 international) and 9 professional doctorate successful completions

All students completed studies within the allocated registration period.

PGR Current Supervision:

3 PhD and 3 Professional doctorates.

PGR External Examining

PhD Birkbeck, University of London. IPA Methodology (Jonathan Smith PhD student)

PhD College of Medicine Cardiff University Mental Health and Qualitative methods study

Prof Doc Royal Holloway University of London

Prof Doc University of Luton

PGR Internal Examining:  

8 PhD and DAHP doctoral examinations. Chair for 4 vivas.

6 of the 7 internal examinations have used the IPA methodology, for which I am the School lead.

The subjects have included cancer, resilience, well-being and nurses experiences of end of life care,

External Examiner Professional Doctorate programme Northumbria University 2015- January 2019

I am currently supervising 7 students:

PhD Students: (co supervision):

  • Pelvic prolapse and quality of life (International)
  • Disability and Cancer (KESS 2)
  • The impact of the building on hospice care (Architecture student)
  • FERTICOMM Sensitive communication in Assisted Conception (ESRC)

Professional Doctorate students: (co-supervision):

  • An Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis of Resilience in Undergraduate Students Undertaking a BSc in Health & Social Care.
  • Exploring understanding of Neural Stem Cell Transplantation (NSCT) as an intervention for Huntington’s disease (HD)
  • How children’s nurses working in hospices manage emotional labour and professional integrity? : A longitudinal study

Past projects

Previous PGR projects:

  • Erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular risk
  • Diabetic foot ulcer – pain and quality of life (Malaysia)
  • Needs of Saudi Women following treatment for Breast Cancer
  • Educating Children about Physical Maturation, Reproduction and Relationships: An Exploration of Factors that Influence Parental Involvement.
  • Head and Neck Cancer
  • Nurses experience of care at the end of life for the frail elderly