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Our research


Find out about the latest research projects and development opportunities at Pilgrims Hospices.

As one of the largest hospices in the UK we are continuously developing our research portfolio into end-of-life care at a local and national level.

We benefit from excellent links with the University of Kent and other educational partners, and actively share our best practice findings.

In this way, Pilgrims Hospices helps to ensure that palliative care meets the needs of its service users and that new ways of working are developed, evaluated, and tested before being put into practice.

Our research team

Dr Declan Cawley is a Consultant in Palliative Medicine and Research Lead at Pilgrims Hospices. Declan chairs the Hospices’ Research Facilitation and Governance Forum. He is also a Research Fellow at the University of Kent where he is in the final stages of completing his PhD on the holistic needs assessment of COPD patients and their carers. He has been a principal investigator for a national portfolio study looking at the use of Modafinil in patients with advanced lung cancer.

Dr Andrew Thorns is Medical Director and a Consultant in Palliative Medicine at Pilgrims Hospices. Andrew is Research Lead for Kent for the Kent Surrey Sussex Palliative Care Group supported by the NIHR Clinical Research Network. He is site principal investigator for national portfolio studies in the hospice and has a research interest in the area of palliative sedation.

Mrs Rose Ward is a research nurse working three days each week, funded by the NIHR Clinical Research Network Kent Surrey Sussex and based at Pilgrims Hospices. Previously she was a palliative care nurse at the Canterbury inpatient unit at the hospice.

Mrs Charlotte Brigden, Research Facilitator. Charlotte supports current research projects, the development of new research, and increasing awareness of research within the hospice. Charlotte brings previous experience as an academic health services researcher and as a Research Adviser for the NIHR Research Design Service South East.

If you’d like to get involved

 If you are a service user our member of the public please read our flyer on how you could be involved in our research.

We welcome your research ideas to help us improve our services and care.

To contact us about our research or send us your ideas please contact Charlotte Brigden:


Tel: 01227 812625


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