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Dr Catherine Tuffrey

Consultant Paediatrician

My role

I am the consultant lead for research in community paediatrics in Solent. I am also chair of the Solent Children’s Services Research, Quality Improvement and Audit Group. My aim in chairing that group is to improve dissemination of improvement work and encourage all services to develop continuous learning processes rather than completion of individual projects in isolation which are then shelved and the good work forgotten!

I am also the medical Quality Improvement representative for Solent on the Wessex PIER (Paediatric Innovation Education and Research) network.

My responsibilities

I make sure that our department gets involved with as many national research projects as possible. I am Principle Investigator for projects in our service and I supervise research nurses and other members of the team to ensure that we deliver on the research we commit to. I promote research in my specialty locally as well as nationally and I also support research in other areas of Children’s Services where I can.

I share learning from our Quality Improvement work with colleagues across the region through PIER as well as bringing ideas from elsewhere to our Trust.

My background

I have been a consultant paediatrician in Solent for the last seven years. I came here after completing a PhD at Newcastle University, which I undertook following completion of my clinical training in Wessex. My PhD involved developing a questionnaire for measuring social participation for adolescents with disabilities.  My main area of clinical interest is paediatric neurodisability, but I also work in child protection.

Why I love my job

Paediatric neurodisability has a very poor evidence base due to the complexity of conditions and interventions and paucity of research active clinicians. Doing research in this area is very rewarding from an intellectual point of view as well as being essential for children and families to ensure we are providing the best care and directing scant resources to the most effective interventions.

More about me

When not at work I am involved with the home education of my two sons which ensures that I am continually improving my knowledge base in a range of areas including, at the moment, Mesopotamian history, Italian, the baroque composers and economics.

Current projects/research studies

We are currently recruiting to two projects for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder – the ASD-UK database and the Polani study which is looking at the costs of diagnosing ASD. We are also recruiting families to the 100,000 genome study, which will enable some of our children with complex disabilities to get a diagnosis for the first time. We are about to start recruitment for the G-PATH study which is looking in detail at one of the feeding clinics in Southampton which has been identified nationally as an exemplar service.

I am currently working with colleagues across the region to develop grant applications to fund studies around gastro-oesophageal reflux and feeding difficulties in children with disabilities.

Published work

Parr J, Todhunter E, Pennington L, Stocken D, Cadwgan J, O'Hare A, Tuffrey C, Williams J, Cole M, Colver A. The Drooling Reduction Intervention randomised trial (DRI): comparing the efficacy and acceptability of Hyoscine patches and Glycopyrronium liquid on drooling in children with neurodisability.  Archives of Disease in Childhood, 2017

Sanders E, Hill CM, Evans H, Tuffrey C. The development of a screening questionnaire for obstructive sleep apnoea in children with Down syndrome.  Front. Psychiatry 2015; 6:147. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2015.00147

MacLeod R, Tuffrey C. Immunisation against HPV in girls with intellectual disabilities. Archives of Disease in Childhood 2014 doi:10.1136/archdischild-2013-305919

Tuffrey C, Bateman B, Colver AC. The Questionnaire of Young People’s Participation (QYPP) – a new measure of participation frequency for disabled young people. Child: Care Health and Development 2013 Jul;39(4):500-11

Tuffrey C. Adolescents with physical disability – seeing the individual in context. Arch Dis Child 2013;98:5 373-377

Tuffrey C. Children as carers. (Commissioned article) Archives of Disease in Childhood 2012; 97:93-95 doi:10.1136/archdischild-2011-300442

Tuffrey C, Finlay FO and Lewis M. The needs of children and their families at end of life: an analysis of community nursing practice. International Journal Palliative Nursing, 2007; 13(2): 64-71

Tuffrey C and Finlay FO. Use of the internet by parents of paediatric outpatients. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 2002; 87: 534-536

Tuffrey C and Finlay FO. Immunisation status of children attending special schools.  Ambulatory Child Health 2001; 7: 213-217

Tuffrey C and Pearce AV.  Transition from paediatric to adult medical services for  young people with chronic neurological problems. (Commissioned Editorial) J Neuro Neurosurg Psych 2003;74:1011-1013. Authors reply to correspondence: J Neuro Neurosurg Psych 2004; 75(8): 1208

Billson AL, Pearce AV and Tuffrey C. Key Topics in Paediatrics, 2nd Edition. Oxford: BIOS   Scientific Publishers Ltd. 1998

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