research student

Nigel Roberts

Theatre Lead Postgraduate Research Student

Nigel Roberts in a surgical room wearing a face mask


College of Health, Psychology and Social Care





Hi, my name is Nigel and I am in the first year of my PhD, commenced in July 2021.

I commenced my career in the National Health Service (NHS) in 1996 at Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Royal Hospital (CNDRH) as a Theatre Support worker. After being there for a short while I successfully applied for the ODP training and qualified in 1998. After qualifying, I stayed at CNDRH for a short period prior to leaving and working as a locum for a number of years. In 2005, I took a permanent position as a Senior ODP in cardio-thoracic at the Northern General Hospital (NGH), in Sheffield. Over the proceeding years, I was promoted to Clinical Procurement Specialist and then finally Theatre Manager. Whilst at the NGH I had a shift in my career towards safety, risk, and medical equipment. In April 2016, I commenced my employment at the Royal Derby Hospital as the theatre lead. During my employment, we went through a merger with Queens Hospital Burton to become UHDB. In 2021, my job role changed to concentrate more on Quality, Risk and Safety and this is what led me to commence a PhD.

I am passionate about patient safety in the operating theatres and trying to understand why harm and never events still occur is something that interests me a great deal. Since July 2021, when I commenced my studies, I have published three articles. The articles were on the following subjects,

  1. Safer Surgical Checklist – Literature review, The Operating Theatre Journal, November 2021, 374, 3. Further reading
  2. Never event audit at the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton following Covid-19, The Operating Theatre Journal, January 2022, 376. For further reading
  3. LocSSIPs – An audit of NHS England Hospital Trust operating theatres, The Operating Theatre Journal, Due 15 March 2022

During my career I also have worked as a specialist Advisor to the Care Quality Commission.

In my downtime, I like going to the gym and Lego.

Thesis title

Why are intra-operative surgical never events still occurring in NHS operating theatres? - Wrong site surgery - Wrong implant/prosthesis - Retained foreign object post procedures