Professor Brendan Delaney

Professor Brendan Delaney is a leading exponent internationally of the “Learning Health System’ (LHS) concept. His initial training in research was in health technology assessment, real-world (pragmatic) clinical trials and clinical research in Family Medicine. Since 2003 he has worked in the area of Clinical Informatics, being appointed to a Chair in Medical Informatics at Imperial in 2015 and elected one of the first 100 founding fellows of the new UK Faculty of Clinical Informatics in 2017.

Prior to moving to Imperial, he was Wolfson Professor of General Practice at King’s College London. At Imperial, Brendan works in the Institute of Global Health Innovation, with research in Artificial Intelligence, cancer diagnosis and learning systems, eSource for clinical trials and global eHealth. He is a member of the Medical Research Council Data Science Strategic Advisory Group. Brendan’s interests lie at the intersection of health services research (how to deal with patient problems equitably and efficiently), the use of data in research and service development and ‘pressing’ clinical problems.

Dr Nisreen Alwan

Dr Nisreen Alwan MBE is Professor of Public Health at the University of Southampton and Honorary Consultant in Public Health at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust. She leads research in maternal and child health towards optimising the wellbeing of families, preventing future chronic disease and reducing health inequalities.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, she focused on the quantification and recognition of Long Covid. She was awarded an MBE for services to Medicine and Public Health during the pandemic in the Queen’s New Year Honours 2021, and named among women leading change from across the world in the BBC 100 Women 2020 list. Nisreen delivered a TEDx talk describing public health communication, power, objectivity and vulnerability themes around the topic of Long Covid. 

Helen Hughes

Helen Hughes is the Chief Executive of Patient Safety Learning, a charity and independent voice for improving patient safety. The charity seeks to support safety improvement through policy, influencing and the development of ‘how to’ resources such as the hub, a free platform to share learning for patient safety.

Helen’s passion to improve patient safety is informed by personal family insight into the impact of unsafe care and the ineffectiveness of organisational responses to learn from error. She has been a Director and CEO at several healthcare, social justice and equality organisations, including the National Patient Safety Agency and the WHO.

Dr Caroline Dalton

Dr Caroline Dalton is an Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Genetics. She leads the Living Well with Chronic Disease theme at the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre, and the Health and Disease group at the Biomolecular Sciences Research Centre, both at Sheffield Hallam University. Dr Dalton has a BSc in Biochemistry and a PhD in Immunology. Her research interests include the investigation of the molecular mechanisms underlying responses to interventions to treat complex conditions such as schizophrenia, depression and obesity.

She has been working with Long Covid Support since summer 2020 and has contributed to resources supporting people with Long Covid including a booklet on management of fatigue symptoms that is used in Long Covid clinics. She is currently carrying out studies on symptom and activity tracking in Long Covid, alongside mechanistic studies that investigate the underlying biological causes of Long Covid symptoms.

Carolyn Chew-Graham

Carolyn A. Chew-Graham, GP Principal in Central Manchester, Professor of General Practice Research at Keele University. Carolyn’s main areas of interest and expertise include the primary care management of people with mental health problems, multiple health conditions and unexplained symptoms; and the mental health and wellbeing of clinicians. She has qualitative research methods expertise, drawing on theories from social sciences and psychology, but always with a focus on clinical practice – trying to answer questions that are important to patients, their families, health care professionals and the NHS.

Carolyn is a member of the NHS England Long Covid Taskforce and has published articles and research on Long Covid. Her 2020 paper Finding the ‘right’ GP was the first qualitative study describing the experiences of people with Long Covid in navigating healthcare. She has co-written an e-learning module for GPs on Long Covid. Carolyn chairs the RCGP ‘Research Paper of the Year’ panel. She was Chair of the Society of Academic Primary Care 2019-2022. Carolyn was a member of the NICE Clinical Guideline Development Group Depression (update) - work which directly impacts on commissioning decisions and patient care. She is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Health Expectations. Carolyn was awarded the President’s Medal by RCPsych in 2021.

Dr Graham Lloyd-Jones

Dr Graham Lloyd-Jones is a Consultant Radiologist at Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust. He is an educator in the field of medical imaging and the founder/director of Radiology Masterclass, a leading UK-based online educational resource for medical students and junior doctors. During the COVID-19 pandemic Graham has worked on gaining a collaborative and interdisciplinary understanding of disease mechanisms. His work highlights the vascular nature of the acute lung disease in COVID-19 and how this differs from conventional viral pneumonias. He takes the view that similar disease processes are implicated in those with symptoms of long COVID.

His work on disease mechanism also highlights the importance of poor oral health, especially gum disease, in contributing to disease severity in acute COVID-19. He is leading a local project to optimise the oral healthcare of inpatients with COVID-19 and is sharing this work widely with infection prevention and control teams across the UK. Graham is a member of the FDI World Dental Federation whole body task group which acts to highlight the connections between oral health and body health. He continues to work with multiple research teams to further understand disease mechanisms as they relate to the radiology and oral health aspects of acute COVID-19 and long COVID.

Claire Higham

Claire graduated in Combined Studies specialising in Philosophy & the History of Science, Medicine & Technology from the University of Manchester. She has a special interest in the history of Hysteria and the female experience in medicine, and how this relates to the treatment of chronic conditions and 'medically unexplained symptoms'. Her understanding stems from the personal and academic. After receiving some of the highest academic grades in the country and competing at a national level in martial arts Claire contracted a viral infection, then suffered from ME/CFS for 8 years.

After 4 decades of dealing with the medical system through periods of remission and relapse with Long EBV, Long Flu and Long Covid, she is clear that there is still a substantial knowledge gap in medicine around post-acute viral illness. Claire is building connections between the worlds of ME/CFS and Long Covid to help ensure that the mistakes made through the application of the Biopsychosocial (BPS) model, or Cognitive Behavioural Model (CBM) are not repeated. Her previous academic experience with the Philosophy of Psychiatry, Psychology and Philosophy of Mind helps bring clarity to these issues. Claire regularly blogs on these subjects as Long Covid Advocacy. She is also a member of the patient advisory group in the World Health Network.

Dr Tim Nicholson

Dr Tim Nicholson is a Reader in Neuropsychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN), King’s College London. He is also an Honorary Consultant Neuropsychiatrist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust where he currently works in a Long COVID clinic focusing on neurological and psychiatric complications. He co-leads the NIHR funded Post COVID-19 Condition Core Outcome Set (PC-COS) study in collaboration with the WHO and many other national and international groups, including key input from Long COVID Support. This study aims to arrive at international consensus on how to measure Long COVID in both research studies and clinical settings which is key to optimising and accelerating understanding of Long COVID and the development of evidence based treatments.

 He leads research into immune and genetic biomarkers of cognitive and pain symptoms in Long COVID as well as the physiology and role of interoception and cognition in respiratory symptoms.  He is also involved in a neuroimaging study of fatigue and leads the neuropsychiatry working group of the COVID-CNS study, a UKRI funded national study of acute neurological and psychiatric COVID complications. During the early stages of the pandemic he set up and led the neuropsychiatry complications ‘early warning’ surveillance system and an international team that published a ‘Neuropsych COVID’ blog to disseminate the rapidly emerging data which also published several key early ‘meta-analysis’ reviews that pooled together this key early data.

Dr Mark Faghy

Dr Mark Faghy is an associate professor and the Long COVID research lead at the University of Derby. His research prior to pandemic aimed to understand the slow recovery of community acquired pneumonia patients following discharge from hospital. In the early stages of the pandemic, he used learning from this research to profile the recovery pattern of patients discharged from hospital and recovering in community settings following a COVID-19 infection. The research clearly demonstrated that some patients were still experiencing persistent and debilitating symptoms that has led to further research to increase the mechanistic understanding of Long COVID. At the heart of Dr Faghy's is the lived experience and patient voice and he regularly conducts projects alongside patient representatives. He is also passionate about creating a platform for the patient voice which has also led to the development of public awareness showcases to continue to increase public knowledge of Long COVID.

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