Background: Hilary trained as a research scientist with a Ph.D. in Neuroendocrine Pharmacology. Her fascination with investigative research is equalled by her enthusiasm for education and she feels fortunate to have been able to combine the two throughout her professional career.
As a post-doctoral Senior Research Fellow in the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London, Hilary became a tutor and lecturer, teaching medical students and providing mentorship and supervision to those undertaking intercalated B.Sc. and M.Sc. courses. Alongside her teaching Hilary led on several successful research projects focused on the development of regenerative therapies for chronic and degenerative conditions including Parkinson’s disease, publishing her findings in numerous high quality international scientific journals.
Hilary has also spent considerable time working within the NHS, most recently as Lead Scientist for cellular therapies at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, where she led on research projects exploring regenerative treatments for diabetes. In this role she again combined her research activities with the training of Biomedical Scientists and supervision of Clinical Fellows during their M.D. and Ph.D. studies.
Hilary joined Birmingham Hospice in February 2022.
At the hospice: Hilary’s role within the organisation is to co-ordinate and oversee education and research activity and she collaborates with the various teams to provide a range of education and training opportunities for staff and volunteers. The education team ensures staff are compliant with statutory and mandatory training requirements and receive instruction in the relevant clinical skills to remain competent and have confidence to deliver the best care to our patients. Hilary also leads on the development and delivery of internal palliative and end of life care education and external education that benefits healthcare professionals working with us in the community. She works to ensure that all of those learning opportunities are sustainable and remain relevant in liaison with our clinical leads, commissioners and other stakeholders. The Hospice Charity Partnership is involved in the education of undergraduate medical students from University of Birmingham and Aston University and Hilary takes pleasure in supporting the palliative care training for these students recognizing its importance in framing their future practice and professional development.
Birmingham Hospice has an ambition to become a level 3* research active organization and Hilary shares that ambition, actively seeking to increase research activity and create opportunities for patients, carers, staff and volunteers to be involved in research. She recognises the importance of evidence-based care and the benefit that this brings to patients and their families and believes that we can play a leading role in raising the profile of palliative and end of life care research in the West Midlands and beyond. The research that we do as an organization has the potential to transform our services and ensure that the care provided is always of the highest standards. The hospice has a desire to reach those in our surrounding neighbourhood that do not presently engage with or use our services, and Hilary is focused on using research activity as a means of opening a dialogue and partnership with these communities, eliminating the barriers both real and perceived, and identifying their unique needs at end of life, so that our services meet their expectations.
Hilary is humbled by the commitment and dedication of the staff and volunteers working at the hospice and feels honoured to have the opportunity to work alongside them. She believes that both education and research have an important part to play in the ongoing success of the organization by ensuring that every individual has the opportunity to realize their full potential, achieve their career ambitions and to pursue important research that has relevance to their roles.