RDS-SC Portsmouth and Isle of Wight Region

Sarah Brien

Sarah Brien

Dr Sarah Brien (PhD) is RDS SC Portsmouth site lead and both Principal Enterprise Fellow, University of Southampton & Principal Research Fellow University of Portsmouth. In addition, Sarah is Principal Research Advisor at both our Southampton and Portsmouth sites where she provides advice in qualitative and mixed methods methodology as well as generic research advice.  She is also the Southampton lead for NIHR fellowship applications

Sarah has a broad range of expertise in research methodologies, which are informed by her own research over the previous 14 years. Primarily, she has expertise in qualitative methodology, but is additionally experienced in quantitative and mixed methods methodologies.

Sarah conducted her own research whilst based in the Department of Primary Care, University of Southampton. Her research interests have mainly focused on self-management in long term medical conditionsShe has a particular interest and expertise in the role of complementary medicine in the management of long-term conditions. Sarah was awarded two fellowships within this area, including an NIHR postdoctoral fellowship (2004-2008). She has been CI on 16 studies  obtaining funding, as the lead researcher of just under £1million (including NIHR funding) to run her research, as well as and experienced PhD and MSc supervisor. Her studies have utilised different methodologies: ten qualitative studies, three clinical trials and one mixed method study, and two surveys. She has 41 publications, most as lead or final author.

Her current research is exploring psychological and behavioural determinants of quality of life impairment in people with the lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, with a view to developing interventions to improve poor quality of life in this patient group.

Sarah joined the RDS SC in July 2014. In addition to her current RDS SC posts, Sarah has also worked as a non-clinical researcher in Primary Care, University of Southampton since 1998. Additionally Sarah has undertaken consultancy work in the field of herbal &  nutritional medicine in the self-management of long term conditions,  and as a consultant researcher since 1998 too.

Amy Halls

Dr Amy Halls is a Research Adviser at the RDS SC Portsmouth site and a Research Manager in the Identification and Prioritisation team at the NIHR Evaluation, Trials and Studies Co-ordinating Centre (NETSCC).


Amy has a strong and diverse background in the utilisation of qualitative research methods within applied health research. Previous research studies have included the use of simulation training for multidisciplinary teams in primary care in order to successfully manage emergency situations; emergency anaesthesia in pre-hospital medicine; parents of children with eczema and their use of online forums; and respiratory tract infections and the use of antibiotics. Her Economic and Social Research Council-funded doctoral research focused on the experiences of men who had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and stimulated an ongoing interest in sex and gender within health research.


Amy has taught qualitative research methods to both undergraduate and postgraduate students and enjoys exploring how qualitative methods can be used to answer pertinent questions regarding people’s health and wellbeing. She is an active reviewer for a number of national and European journals.


As a Research Manager at NETSCC Amy works with clinicians and other stakeholders to identify potential areas for future commissioning by the Health Technology Assessment programme.

Kinda Ibrahim

Dr Kinda Ibrahim is a senior research adviser at the RDS SC Portsmouth site and  also a Pharmacist and Senior Research Fellow, working in Academic Geriatric Medicine at the University of Southampton. She is a key member of the NIHR Wessex Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) working as the Associate Lead for Academic Career Development and also the Deputy lead for the Ageing and Dementia Theme.

Kinda has specific expertise in qualitative methodology and currently leads an international Qualitative network supported by the ARC Wessex including over 200 members nationally and internationally from multidisciplinary backgrounds https://www.arc-wx.nihr.ac.uk/our-academy/networking-support-events/the-arc-qualitative-network/ . She has also significant expertise in a range of research methodologies informed by her own research experience and teaching practises over the last 11 years. She has expertise in mixed method design and implementation science in applied health research with a focus on evaluating the implementation of guidelines and evidence-based research into clinical practice, investigating barriers and facilitators for implementation and the development and evaluation of novel interventions. She has led a number of implementation studies such as the assessment of frailty and sarcopenia among older people with fragility fractures sponsored by the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) program. Kinda teaches qualitative research to healthcare professionals completing MSc degrees and supervises PhD students (one completed and three on-going).

Kinda/s current research interest is on Medicines Optimisation and Deprescribing among older patients living with frailty who are exposed to inappropriate polypharmacy. She leads the MODIFY study, funded by the NIHR ARC Wessex, which aims to develop and implement a multidisciplinary medication review and deprescribing intervention among older people living with frailty in primary care.  She is a co-chair of the steering committee for the Network of European Research in Deprescribing steering committee, a key member of the joint AHSN/ARC Wessex Medicine Optimisation network and an active member of the European Geriatric Medicine Society Polypharmacy Special Interest Group which bring together national and international researchers interested in deprescribing.


Anna Maguire Elliott

Anna Maguire Elliott (PhD) is Senior Research Administrator for the RDS South Central in Portsmouth, and she provides PA support to Sarah Brien, the Portsmouth site lead.

Anna has many years of experience in university administration, including ten years for New York University’s London Centre.  She also holds a PhD in Literature and has taught English to undergraduates in the US and UK.

Dia Soilemezi

Dia Soilemezi

Dr Dia Soilemezi (PhD) is a Research Adviser at the RDS SC, based at the Portsmouth site

Dia is a qualitative researcher, but has also worked in mixed-methods research projects. Dia’s main research interests focus on dementia care and support, older people’s needs, home care and impact of family caregiving, therapeutic healthcare environments, falls prevention at hospitals, and meaning of home. Dia graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Crete (Greece) and has an MSc in Health Psychology from Sussex University. Dia’s PhD is investigating the impact of the home environment in dementia care and was shortlisted for best research 2016 by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

Before joining RDS SC in 2017 Dia worked as a Research Fellow in ageing-related projects, University of Portsmouth. Before embarking on research, Dia was employed in a variety of clinical settings in Brighton and Portsmouth, supporting adults and the elderly with stroke, dementia and mental health problems.  She has also been a project worker implementing European integration projects, focusing on work-training and education for ex-drug addicts in Athens, Greece.