Safeguarding children in the acute hospital

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences,
Oxford Brookes Universityl.


Professor Jane Appleton - Oxford Brookes University

Dr Jan Davidson-Fisher - Oxford Brookes University

External advisor - Dr Catherine Powell – Safeguarding Consultant

Clinical Collaborator

Dr. Nettie Dearmun, Head of Governance and Nursing, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.


Following a recently completed NSPCC funded research study looking at children’s missed health care appointments, this studentship will provide the successful candidate with an opportunity to explore an aspect of safeguarding work with children, young people and families.  There remain some gaps in knowledge of 'what is happening' in terms of responding to children's missed health care/DNA appointments in the acute hospital that can only be addressed through a more extensive study that involves children, young people and their families as key participants. We would welcome receiving research proposals in the following areas:

  • To understand missed appointments from the perspective of children and their families and to explore what they perceive as relevant interventions. 
  • A tracking study to follow a cohort of children who DNA, through their health care pathway with particular attention given to the interface and communications between primary and secondary care.
  • The core business of safeguarding children in the acute hospital setting.

Jane Appleton is Professor of Primary and Community Care at Oxford Brookes University. She is Co-Editor of Child Abuse Review the leading UK inter-professional journal for research, practice and policy in childhood harm.  Jane was an expert member of the NICE Guideline Development group on ‘When to Suspect Child Maltreatment’ and in 2015 published a book with Dr. Sue Peckover on Child Protection, Public Health and Nursing

For further information about the research project please contact Professor Jane Appleton on

Applicants should be of the highest quality and capable of submitting a PhD thesis within 4 years alongside undertaking clinical duties within the trust. The successful applicant’s should have a first class or upper second class (minimum 2.1) honours degree from a Higher Education Institution in the UK or an acceptable equivalent qualification from a recognised Higher Education Institution. A Master’s degree with research methods training and/or evidence of the skills required for higher research study would be desirable. 

Please see the main OUH Studentships page for the full requirements and application process.