Dr Sarah Barnes BA(hons), PgDip, PhD

Public Health Section Director

Senior Lecturer in Public Health

Sarah Barnes profile photoUniversity of Sheffield
School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR)
Section of Public Health
Regent Court
30 Regent Street
S1 4DA

Office: Room 2037, Regent Court

Tel: (+44) (0) 114 222 0727
Fax: (+44) (0) 114 222 0749

email : s.barnes@sheffield.ac.uk

ORCiD: 0000-0003-3279-6368


I joined the University of Sheffield in 2000 as a Research Associate in Sheffield Institute for Studies in Ageing (SISA). Here I worked on the multi-disciplinary EPSRC-funded project Design in Caring Environments (DICE), a study of quality of life and building design in residential and nursing care homes for older people. Following on from this I successfully managed a three year, multi-method, longitudinal study identifying the need for end of life care among older people with heart failure and their families, funded by the Department of Health.

In January 2007 I joined ScHARR and am currently working as a Senior Lecturer in Public Health where I have retained my commitment to interdisciplinary/cross departmental research collaboration.

In September 2018 I took on the role of Section Director for Public Health, ScHARR.

Research Interests

My primary research interest is in 'improving the quality of life of older people'. Key research areas arising from this are:-

  • The impact of the physical environment on the quality of life of older people
  • Evaluating the housing needs of older people
  • Improving hospital environments for the end of life care of older people
  • Assessing the palliative care needs of older people with life-limiting illnesses
  • Improving communication between patients with life-limiting conditions and their health care professionals

Teaching Interests

I gained my Certificate in Learning and Teaching (CiLT) in 2009.  I am a Module Leader for Dissertations and since working as a Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Public Health I have also led modules in Research Methods, Health Needs Assessment and International Health Policy.

I also contribute to the public health components of the Undergraduate Medical Degree (MBChB) and supervise several MPH dissertations each year.

I am interested in supervising PhD Students using qualitative and mixed methods approaches and am particularly interested in aspects of environmental gerontology and palliative care.

Professional Activities

  • School Dissertation Co-ordinator (2017-)
  • Lead for ScHARR's Health and Environment research theme (2013-)
  • ScHARR Postgraduate Admissions Officer (2012-2015)
  • Member of the Research for Patient Benefits (RfPB) Advisory Committee (2015-)
  • Member of the British Society of Gerontoloty (2012-)
  • Academic reviewer for a wide range of journals and funding bodies

Research Projects

  • Roche Products Limited: Patient perspectives in geographic atrophy (GA), Carlton J, Barnes S, Haywood A.  £38,500.  May to December 2017.
  • Sheffield Wildlife Trust: Evaluation of Wild at Heart, Barnes S and Jordan H, £14,000, May 2015 -December 2016.
  • EPSRC; ESRC; AHRC:  Design for Well-being programme.  How better design can facilitate mobility, connectivity and well-being for older people.  A participatory approach to design research.  Wigglesworth S, Barnes S, Tait M, Crookes L.  £642,082.  October 2013 to October 2016.
  • NIHR Physical Environment Research Programme. Built environment in acute care for older people. Parker S G (PI), Barnes S, Nolan M, Booth A, Deardon A. £274,440. February 2011 - March 2013.
  • BUPA Foundation: Phillip Poole-Wilson Seed Corn fund. Pre-protocol work to develop a Randomised Control Trial to enhance patient-professional communication about end of life issues in life limiting conditions other than cancer. Barnes S (PI), Gott M, Payne S, Gardiner C, Small N, Seamark D, Halpin D. £19923. February 2010 - February 2011.
  • Supportive and Primary Care Oncology Research Group (SPORG). Improving hospital environments for the end of life care of older people dying of malignant disease. Gardiner C (PI), Barnes S, Ingleton C, Gott M. £3960. January 2010 - December 2010.
  • Dunhill Medical Trust. A pilot study to explore the palliative care needs of older patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Gott M (PI), Barnes S, Payne S, Small N, Seamark D, Halpin D, Ruse C. £56890. January 2008 - January 2009.
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Design evaluation of older people's extra care housing: development and testing of as assessment tool (EVOLVE). Torrington J (PI), McKee K, Barnes S, Netten A, Darton R. £658000. October 2007 - October 2010

Key publications

Orrell A, McKee K, Torrington J, Barnes S, Lewis A, Netten A, Darton R.  The relationship between building design and residents' quality of life in extra care housing schemes.  Health and Place (2013); 21: 62-24.

Barnes S, Gradiner C, Gott M, Chady B, Small N, Payne S, Seamark D, Halpin D.  Patient-professional communication interventions in life-limiting illness:  A review.  Journal of Pain and Symptom Management (2012); 44(6): pp 866-879.

Small N, Gardiner C, Barnes S, Gott M, Halpin D, Payne S, Seamark D.  "You get old, you get breathless, and you die".  Chronic Pulmonary Disease in Barnsley, UK.  Health and Place 2012: 18(6): 1396-403.

Barnes S, Torrington J, Orrell A, Lewis A, Netten A, Darton R.  Does the design of extra-care housing meet the needs of the residents?  A qualitative study.  (2012) October, Ageing and Society.

Gott M, Small N, Barnes S, Payne S, Parker C, Seamark D and Gariballa S. Older people's views of a good death in heart failure: implications for palliative care provision. Social Science and Medicine 2008; 67(7): 1113-1121.

Gott M, Barnes S, Payne S, Parker C, Seamark D, Gariballa S, and Small N. Dying trajectories in heart failure. Palliative Medicine 2007; 21: 95-99.

Barnes S, Gott M, Payne S, Parker C, Seamark D, Gariballa S and Small N. Prevalence of symptoms in a community-based sample of heart failure patients. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 2006; 32(3): 208-216.