Who We Are
NIHR Devices for Dignity MedTech Co-operative (D4D) operates nationally, bringing together the optimal team of expert clinicians, academics, members of the public, carers, charities and industry to deliver solutions to address specific needs.
D4D has a multidisciplinary Core Team hosted at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Members of the team come from a range of backgrounds – healthcare, research, management, charity, technology, industry – and work together with other experts to take projects from concept to commercialisation.
Our Core Team
Professor Wendy Tindale
Professor Wendy Tindale OBE is Consultant Clinical Scientist and Director of Innovation at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and holds a Chair at the University of Sheffield. She leads one of the largest NHS medical technology centres in the UK and has extensive experience in front line patient care and healthcare innovation. She has contributed to national and international committees, including Royal College and Government advisory bodies.
As Clinical Director of NIHR Devices for Dignity MedTech Co-operative and with many years of experience in the medtech sector, Wendy leads D4D’s national positioning and strategy, and provides oversight of our delivery of innovation excellence.
Professor Tindale was honoured with the title of Healthcare Scientist of the Year at the 2016 Healthcare Science Awards.
Liz manages relationships across our national network of industry, academic, NHS and third sector partners and is responsible for capturing the impact of our work and communicating this to our stakeholders. The relationship management element of the role allows Liz to work closely with the consortium to develop business cases for new D4D high-profile initiatives, ensuring the NIHR Devices for Dignity MedTech Co-operative (D4D MIC) continues to develop its national brand as a key player within the health and technology innovation sectors.
As D4D’s Programme Manager Liz provides overall management for the programme and day-to-day operations. As part of her role she works with key personnel within the consortium to co-ordinate all activities to secure a coherent approach to administration, communication, project development and budget management. Liz works closely with our Clinical Director to develop the overall NIHR Devices for Dignity MedTech Co-operative strategy and ensures that we are responsive to the ever-changing innovation landscape.
Patient Partnership Lead
David advises and facilitates quality patient, carer and public involvement and engagement across the D4D portfolio, driving the NIHR Devices for Dignity MedTech Co-operative’s reputation as a patient-centric organisation.
David’s professional background is in the private sector and includes roles in Corporate Planning, Management Consulting and Board level line management roles. David has worked for SMEs, public limited companies and venture capitalists to turn ideas and concepts into realistic implementation plans that deliver tangible outcomes.
With over 40 years of experience as a patient receiving a range of health care treatments across the UK and in Europe, David is well embedded within the renal community. He is a representative on Patient Advisory Groups, a public reviewer for several funding bodies, and co-applicant and PPI lead on a number of funded research projects and service initiatives. David has also been appointed Chairman of the National Kidney Federation (NKF) after previously being a Trustee and he is founder and former chair of the Kidney Patient Involvement Network (KPIN), a national network of renal clinicians, charities, universities and patient experts promoting quality patient involvement and engagement.
Kirsty Kassim has supported administrative and logistical functions for D4D’s Core Team and clinical/cross-cutting themes since D4D was established. She is well-connected with operational staff across Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and with staff at our partner organisations. Kirsty chairs D4D’s weekly team meetings, contributing to the day-to-day co-ordination and management of our multidisciplinary team’s operational activities and events. She is also the initial point of contact for collaboration requests.
Kirsty has worked at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in various administrative roles for over 20 years. In addition to supporting the NIHR Devices for Dignity MedTech Co-operative, for the last ten years Kirsty has worked with the Department of Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering.
Dr Avril McCarthy
Avril is Medical Device Innovation lead at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and D4D’s MedTech Theme lead in addition to being a member of the NIHR Devices for Dignity MedTech Co-operative’s core management team. She advises the team and collaborators from industry, academia and the NHS, to ensure that devices and technologies emerging from projects are safe, meet, or will meet, relevant regulatory requirements, and are likely to be exploitable. Avril has been an active member of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Medical Technology’s Advisory Committee (MTAC) since 2017 contributing to NICE technology adoption guidance spanning a wide range of medical technologies.
Avril’s extensive background blends clinical, academic and industrial experience in the medical device and in vitro diagnostics sectors. She has a BSc (Hons) from the University of Liverpool and is dual registered with the Health and Care Professions Council as a clinical scientist and biomedical scientist in two different disciplines: clinical engineering and blood sciences, previously spanning NHS clinical delivery of specialist human systems modelling with routine and emergency diagnostic services. She has a PhD from the Faculty of Engineering, attained while an ESPRC researcher investigating the use of virtual reality systems for surgical training at the University of Sheffield. This was followed by post-doctoral experience in medical imaging and computational modelling in orthopaedic device development gained via pan-European research and development collaborations with industry and academic partners. Examples include: Smith and Nephew Ltd, Engineering Systems International, NEC Europe Ltd, Advanced Numerical Technologies BV, the Max-Planck Institute.
Avril is passionate about supporting the development and adoption of medical devices that deliver NHS value and which bring benefits to people living with long-term conditions. She has experienced a wide and varied range of device development projects, from urological to rehabilitative, incorporating collaborative working with industry, academic colleagues, and product users, within multi- and interdisciplinary teams.
Paediatric Programme Manager
Nathaniel Mills works across both NIHR CYP MedTech Co-operative and NIHR Devices for Dignity MedTech Co-operative as Paediatric Programme Manager. He was instrumental in establishing the TITCH (Technology and Innovation Transforming Child Health) network of experts from across the paediatric health sector, and continues to support the development, evaluation and adoption of paediatric health technologies. He also oversees management of the Starworks project, which is developing technologies for children who require prosthetics. His passion and drive for his role comes from the belief that children and families should be at the centre of medtech development, and that openness, honesty, and transparency within innovation leads to good outcomes.
Nathaniel is a trained nurse and prior to his role with NIHR CYP MedTech he was the lead nurse for the South Yorkshire Clinical Research Network (since renamed the NIHR CRN Yorkshire and Humber).
Abigail is a D4D Project Manager. She Managers both the Renal Theme , which aims to add ‘life to years’ for patients living with kidney failure and Rehabilitation Technologies Themes on behalf of D4D.
Abigail also supports Starworks which is the young people’s prosthetic research collaboration, developing technologies for users of paediatric prostheses. Abigail supports the project teams who were awarded follow on funding as part of Starworks 2, the Starworks Expert Network and also managers the Starworks website (https://www.starworks-innovation.org.uk/)
Abigail is a trained Physiotherapist and prior to joining D4D was working in the pharmaceutical industry. She has over 12 years experience working in sales and account management, gaining knowledge and experience in numerous areas including Diabetes, Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Vaccines.
NHS Innovation Manager
As an NHS Innovation Manager Lise has recently delivered priority setting events, proof of market studies, and clinical research of technologies that are now commercially available. She also manages the Diabetes Theme, working together with a network of patients, carers, professional organisations and industry partners to develop and harness new technologies and interventions in order to support people living with Diabetes.
As Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) Lead, Lise has responsibility for overseeing development of creative ways of engaging patients, carers and members of the public. This collaborative approach is an essential aspect of the identification of priority areas of unmet need and patient outcome measures, and ensuring that lived experience and patient-centred technology evaluation are a central component of all technology projects within D4D’s portfolio in order to develop technologies and services that are fit for purpose.
Lise has over 20 years’ experience delivering patient care as an Allied Health Professional in the NHS, and expertise in the development and delivery of research studies.
Dr Clare Bartlett
Clare is a Project Manager for the NIHR Devices for Dignity (D4D) MedTech Co-operative managing the Long-term Neurological Conditions theme and the Human Factors cross-cutting theme. Prior to joining NIHR D4D, Clare worked as a Project Manager for the NIHR Children and Young People MedTech Co-operative (CYP MedTech) for over three years in which she managed four themes namely Rare Diseases, Surgical Technologies, Neonatal Technologies and Epilepsy, Muscle and Muscle Disorders. In that role, Clare contributed significantly to the successful operation of CYP MedTech in facilitating the development and delivery of key innovative projects to improve paediatric healthcare. Her role involved multiple tasks including managing finances and timelines, communication activities, liaising with multiple stakeholders, writing successful grant applications, contributing to Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) activities and offering project management support. Prior to CYP MedTech, Clare acted as a Project Manager and Research Manager for the Sheffield Diagnostic Genetics Service at Sheffield Children’s Hospital and has managed multiple collaborative research projects in academia, industry, and healthcare in both England and Canada for over 15 years. These research projects have helped to find innovative therapies and improve diagnostic pathways for both paediatric and adult conditions including Neurodegenerative Disorders, Metabolic Disorders, Cancer, Pain, and Rare Diseases.
Hayley has joined the NIHR Devices for Dignity team as a Project Manager to work on incorporating Mental Health and Wellbeing research across the existing D4D portfolio, identifying areas in which we can provide the best Mental Health support through innovation and technology, and creating an expert network that will continue to address these challenges in the future. Mental Health Funding Boost – NIHR Devices 4 Dignity MIC (devicesfordignity.org.uk).
With a background in Tissue Engineering and 10 years’ experience in the development of implantable Biomaterials, Hayley is experienced in translational research, establishing Quality Management System procedures for products, and navigating the relevant regulatory and design and development pathways to effectively evidence the pre-clinical safety and performance of medical devices.
Patient and Public Involvement Officer
Sarah is the Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) Officer for NIHR Devices for Dignity.
In this role Sarah supports the development of engaging and inclusive PPI activities for a wide range of projects and themes across the D4D portfolio. This collaboration is key to identifying the true unmet needs in patients with long term conditions and ensuring that the best patient outcome is at the forefront of everything we do.
Sarah started her career with an undergraduate degree in Neuroscience from the University of Nottingham. She then worked in a range of administrative roles, including within the NHS, before joining the D4D team.
Dan has joined the D4D team as a Project Manager, joining from the Clinical Research Facility (CRF) in Sheffield where he was part of both the Vaccine Team and Operations Team. He is responsible for managing the SHAPES study, which supports participants with post-stroke arm spasticity. Dan will also help to take responsibility for the D4D social media and website.
Previously working in research within Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Dan has experience working alongside clinical teams responsible for vaccine studies including tasks such as helping recruit participants to studies, communicating with sponsors and maintaining quality assurance. Dan also was a member of the CRF’s Operations Team. During this time, he was tasked with setting up feasibility meetings for potential studies, ensuring approvals were in place for study amendments and authorisations, and checking governance standards were upheld by scheduling quarterly CV and Good Clinical Practice (GCP) audits of staff.