Andy Irving image          

Andy Irving Bsc Msc (MBPss)

Research Associate

ORCiD: 0000-0002-1175-716X


I studied for my first degree in Human Psychology at Aston University in Birmingham in 2000. There, as part of a sandwich course I was able to work with Volunteers For Mental Health ( in a psychiatric hospital in central Romania as part of my sandwich year placement. I also began my ideas for research travelling around Romania surveying mental health care services. I then moved into the drug and alcohol treatment field working as a Probation Service officer in the new court mandated Drug Rehabilitation Requirement (DRR) team in Barnsley. I then went on to direct treatment services as arrest referral and court liaison with Barnsley police and magistrates courts. In 2008 I returned to University to complete a Masters degree in Health Psychology at the University of Nottingham whilst then working for Phoenix Futures adult residential service in Sheffield (a large residential therapeutic community drug/alcohol treatment centre) I completed my masters with a dissertation based on the life story narratives of recovery of residents in treatment at Phoenix. I worked as care team manager at Phoenix Futures for two years until my move here to ScHARR to pursue my research career aspirations.

Current Projects and Research Interests:

MATTS: Major Trauma Triage Tool Study. Aim: To develop an accurate, acceptable and usable pre-hospital triage tool to identify patients with major trauma benefiting from MTC care, optimising over/under-triage. I will be assisting PI Dr Gordon Fuller in set up and gaining the necessary ethics and governance approvals. 

Local alcohol treatment and recovery service commissioning practices and their perceived outcomes for service provision: an in-depth exploration (Alcohol Research UK - Research Innovation grant - co-applicant) I am working alongside PI Dr Penny Buykx undertaking in depth case studies of local authorities (LA) commissioning practices. The findings will provide detailed information about the range of approaches taken by LAs in meeting their responsibilities to ensure treatment provision, including views of stakeholders regarding what has worked well and ongoing challenges. This information will be of interest to all alcohol service provision stakeholders in shaping future LA commissioning processes. 

EDARA (Evaluating the Diversion of Alcohol-Related Attendances)
I am the Project Manager on a mixed methods study in collaboration with Cardiff University to evaluate the impact of Alcohol Intoxication Management Services (AIMS) on patients, professionals, the health service and the night-time economy.The project is funded by National Institute for Health Research Health Services and Delivery Research Programme. It is scheduled to start in January 2016 and will run for 30 months with £925,000 funding. 

Yorkshire Ambulance Service - Evaluation of Mental Health triage intervention within the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).  The aim of the project is to assess the strengths and weaknesses of implementing a mental health nurse triage system in the Emergency Operations Centre as a resource for managing patients with mental health problems. This work is being carried out jointly by staff at the University of Sheffield and Yorkshire Ambulance Service. See final report (June 2016) in the downloads list.

PAINTED  (Pandemic Influenza Triage in Emergency Departments) now set up and in 'hibernation' pending an influenza pandemic. See the project website for my screencast demonstrations of the PAINTED study.

PhOEBE  (Pre-hospital Outcomes for Evidence Based Evaluation) Working on work stream one; Identification of possible indicators or measures using a range of methods including evidence reviews, patient interviews, consensus workshops and a Delphi Study. I helped develop a Delphi expert panel survey, managed the recruitment of participants, coordinating data collation and analysis, managed the PPI reference group and produced an innovative animation video. Watch the animation here 

Lab2Go Demonstrating Minicare, a miniaturized biophotonics platform for fast and lab-equivalent Point-of-Care diagnostics of Cardiac Troponin-I. The Lab 2 Go project is a European Union funded multicentre Research and Development project (project nr. 621035) coordinated by Philips Electronics Nederland B.V. involving 6 hospitals in the European Union (Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, St George's Healthcare NHS Trust, Stichting Catharina Ziekenhuis Eindhoven, Hôpital de la Pitié-Salpêtrière Paris, Medizinische Universitaet Innsbruck and Klinikum Nürnberg), HandHeld Diagnostics and industrial partners (Conworx Technology GmbH, MicroSystems (UK) Limited and Scienion AG) My role was to project manage the UK study arm, working with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals - Clinical Research Facility (Northern General site) to ensure effective patient recruitment in line with ethical and regulatory governance procedures.

Sheffield Addiction Recovery Research Panel (ShARRP) Having identified a gap in the provision of Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) relating to drug and alcohol addiction/ recovery I developed the ShARRP. In 2004 I worked with colleagues at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Clinical Research Office, gaining funding from Sheffield City Council's Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DACT) and Sheffield Hallam University Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice to run the group.  The panel constitutes the first of it's kind in the region providing a valuable resource to researchers and academics requiring drug/alcohol specific Patient and Public Involvement (PPI). The panel has contributed towards several large studies helping researchers gain research funding. 

Sheffield Addiction Recovery Research Group (SARRG) Alongside Professor David Best and Dr Jamie Irving at Hallam University we formed the SARRG; an addiction/recovery research working group comprised of key stakeholders within Sheffield's treatment provider and research community.  We undertake research and action focused on enhancing recovery from addiction. Inform treatment, policy and practice that challenges exclusion, stigma and discrimination. Our long-term vision is that Sheffield becomes known as the recovery capital of the UK, providing a model of advanced recovery research and action for others to follow.

Social Media

Twitter: @irvingad82 and @PhOEBE_PPI and @SARRGSheff


LinkedIn: Andy Irving

Professional Activities:

Teaching the ILA Substance Misuse Masterclass for the undergraduate medical degree. Given my existing links with drug and alcohol services in Sheffield I am able to provide students with a unique learning experience visiting treatment providers and looking at the wider public health and societal implications of alcohol and drug use.

I worked for the Royal College of Psychiatrists quality improvement network (Community of Communities) as lead reviewer and TC specialist visiting therapeutic communities around the UK and abroad.

I worked with Dr Ahmed El-Missiry (Professor of Psychiatry & Regional Representative of the Royal College of Psychiatrist Addictions (KSS)) to develop addiction treatment services in Qatar in line with Royal College quality standards.Qatar

I am also a member of the British Psychological Society.


Andy is based in the section of Health Services ResearchCURE

Address: School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) University of Sheffield , Regent Court, 3rd Floor, Room 3036, 30 Regent Street,  Sheffield, S1 4DA

Tel: (+44) (0)114 222 4292
Fax: (+44) (0)114 222 0749

Journal articles