Staff profile

Dr Charlie Whiffin

Associate Professor in Pre-Qualifying Health Care

Charlie Whiffin




College of Health, Psychology and Social Care


School of Nursing and Midwifery




Derby Campus



I am an Associate Professor in pre-qualifying health care.

Teaching responsibilities

I currently work on the Doctorate of Health and Social Care Practice programme and contribute to the Doctorate of education programme where appropriate. I supervise a range of PhD and Professional Doctorates both internally and externally. 

I am also visiting researcher with the University of Cambridge in the NIHR Global Health Research Group on Neurotrauma with whom we have launched NEURO_QUAL, a free online training resource for qualitative methods in neurosurgery. 

Professional interests

My principal research interests lie in how families are affected by head injury.  I pursued this interest through a doctoral study with the University of Southampton and hold a PhD entitled “A study of family transition in the first year post-head injury: perspectives of the non-injured members”.  Additional research expertise includes the use of narrative inquiry methodologies and the value of pre-nursing care experience in nurse education.

I am chair and founder of Anchor Point, a special interest group for those who are passionate about improving the lives of families after brain injury. Follow Anchor Point on Twitter.

Research interests

Current research interests include:

  • The impact of head injury on the family
  • Use of narrative inquiry to inform and support healthcare practice
  • Pre-nursing care experience
  • Research capacity building in Low- and Middle-Income countries
  • Qualitative methods

Membership of professional bodies

  • Nursing & Midwifery Council
  • Royal College of Nursing
  • Senior Fellow Higher Education Academy
  • Ordinary Council member Society for Research in Rehabilitation 


Recent conferences

September 2021 invited speakerWho are we now? An exploration of family identity following brain injury’ Ahead Together, Oxford

November 2019 invited speaker 'An exploration of family in the context of head injury: a narrative understanding of change' British Society of Rehabilitation Medicine & SRR joint conference

November 2019 “An exploration of family in the context of head injury” (invited speaker), South Yorkshire Acquired Brain Injury Forum Autumn Event

September 2019 invited speaker and expert panel member ‘The family experience of head injury’ St Andrew’s Healthcare; Reducing the Journey from Injury to Home: Sustaining Innovation in Specialist Brain Injury Rehabilitation, Nottingham

June 2019 invited speaker “An exploration of family in the context of head injury” Acquired Brain Injury Rehabilitation Alliance; University of East Anglia

June 2019 expert panel member Graduate Entry Nursing International Network Student and Alumni Conference, Norwich

May 2019 invited speakerFamily Transition: the first year’, Head First, Family Matters: Understanding and addressing Family Needs after Acquired Brain Injury, London

July 2018 ‘An exploration of biographical narratives and identity change following Traumatic Brain Injury’ Research Showcase University of Derby

Experience in industry

Trustee and Director for Headway Derby

In the media

Recent publications

Whiffin, C., J., Smith, B., G., Selveindran, S., M., Bashford, T., Esene, I., N., Mee, H., Barki, M. T., Baticulon, R., E., Khu, K., J., Hutchinson, P., J., and Kolias, A., G. (2021). 'The Value and Potential of Qualitative Research Methods in Neurosurgery'. World Neurosurgery, pp. 1-9

Kenward, L., Whiffin, C. and Townend, M., (2021). The needs of clients coming to counselling following second harm: A Q methodology study. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research

Whiffin, C.J. and Ellis-Hill, C. (2021). 'How does a narrative understanding of change in families post brain injury help us to humanise our professional practice?' Brain Impairment, pp. 1-9

Whiffin C.J., Smith BG, Esene IN, et al (2021) Neurosurgeons’ experiences of conducting and disseminating clinical research in low-income and middle-income countries: a reflexive thematic analysis, BMJ Open 2021;11:e051806

Whiffin, C.J., Gracey, F., Ellis-Hill, C. (2021), Whiffin CJ, Gracey F, Ellis-Hill C. The experience of families following traumatic brain injury in adult populations: A meta-synthesis of narrative structures. Int J Nurs Stud. 2021 Jul 21;123:104043

Smith, B.G., Whiffin, C.J., Esene, I.N., et al. (2021) Neurotrauma physicians’ perspectives on the contextual challenges associated with long-term follow-up following traumatic brain injury in low-income and middle-income countries: a qualitative study protocol. BMJ Open 2021;0:e041442

Whiffin, C.J. Smith, B.G., Esene, I.N., et al (2020) Neurosurgeons’ experiences of conducting and disseminating clinical research in low- and middle-income countries: a qualitative study protocol, BMJ Open, 10:e038939

Whiffin, C.J. (2020). 'How to conduct a systematic search for a systematic literature review', OH Today, 27(1), pp. 12-16

Whiffin, C.J., Baker, D., Henshaw, L., Nichols, J., Pyer, M. (2019) The value of providing pre-nursing care experience for aspirant nurses, Nursing Times. 115(11):33–36

Whiffin, C.J., Baker, D. Henshaw, L., Nichols, J. & Pyer, M. (2018) ‘Am I a student or a Health Care Assistant?’ A qualitative evaluation of a programme of pre‐nursing care experience. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 74(11) pp.2610-2621 

Whiffin, C.J., Ellis-Hill, C.E., Bailey, C., Jarrett, N. & Hutchinson, P.J. (published online 2017) We are not the same people we used to be: An exploration of family biographical narratives and identity change following traumatic brain injury., Neuropsychological Rehabilitation

Whiffin, C.J., Clarke, H., Brundrett, H., Baker, D. & Whitehead, B. (2017) Collaborative development of an accelerated graduate entry nursing programme outside of traditional funding mechanismsNurse Education in Practice , 28,pp.314-317

Kenward, L., Whiffin, C., Spalek, B., (2017). Feeling unsafe in the healthcare setting: patients’ perspectives. British Journal of Nursing 26, 143–149

Whiffin, C.J., Bailey, C., Ellis-Hill, C., Jarrett, N., (2014). Challenges and solutions during analysis in a longitudinal narrative case study. Nurse Researcher 21, 20–62

Whiffin, C.J., Bailey, C., Ellis-Hill, C., Jarrett, N., Hutchinson, P.J., (2015). Narratives of family transition during the first year post-head injury: perspectives of the non-injured members. Journal of Advanced Nursing 71, 849–859

Whiffin, C.J., Hasselder, A., (2013). Making the link between critical appraisal, thinking and analysis. British Journal of Nursing 22, 831–835

Whiffin, C. (2012) A study of family transition in the first year post-head injury: perspectives of the non-injured members. University of Southampton, Faculty of Health Sciences, Doctoral Thesis

Clark, C., Brown, J., Bailey, C. and Hutchinson, P. (2009) Supporting families in the context of adult traumatic brain injury, British Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 5(5) pp 216 - 220

Clark, C. (2005) Health and alcohol use: Educational innovations, Journal of Substance Use 10(4) pp 199 – 206

Hollinworth, H., Clark, C., Harland, R., Johnson, L. and Partington, G. (2005) Understanding the arousal of anger: a patient-centred approach Nursing Standard 19(37) pp 41-47

Silhouette of a man staring out of a window

The impact of a traumatic brain injury on an individual and their family can be devastating enough, and a sense of isolation at any time can exacerbate that. The restrictions of the coronavirus lockdown have caused us all to experience the feeling of being isolated over the past year, so what has been the effect of that on those who are recovering from TBI?

Traumatic brain injuries and the impact they have on families has recently been debated in Parliament, with politicians crying out for more support for those affected. But what support can be offered and how complex is the situation? Charlie Whiffin, Senior Lecturer in Pre-qualifying Health Care at the University of Derby, explores.