Dr Susan Neilson PhD, MSc, BSc(Hons), DPSN DN, RSCN, RGN, PGCLTHE

Dr Susan Neilson

School of Nursing

Contact details

School of Nursing
Institute of Clinical Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Sue Neilson is a lecturer in the School of Nursing. She is a qualitative methodologist, her research focusing on, but not exclusive to, children and young people’s palliative and end of life care and bereavement support.


  • Post-Graduate Certificate Learning and Teaching in Higher Education 2017.
  • Non-medical independent and supplementary prescribing, 2010.
  • PhD Paediatric palliative care, 2009.
  • MSc Cancer Care, 1998.
  • BSc (Hons) Health Studies, 1995.
  • DPSN DN Professional Studies: District Nursing, 1993.
  • RSCN, 1988.
  • RGN,1983.


Sue Neilson has an extensive clinical nursing background in paediatric oncology and holds an honorary contract with the palliative care team at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

Sue has undertaken research examining palliative, end of life and bereavement care for children and young people in both hospital and community settings. Her work to date has focused on the experiences of the child/young person, family and health professional. 




Principles of palliative care for children and young people

Sue also contributes to other modules in the areas of palliative, end of life, bereavement care and research methods.

Postgraduate supervision

Sue is interested in supervising doctoral research students in the following areas:

  • Palliative and end of life care
  • Bereavement support
  • Nursing
  • Research using qualitative methodology

If you are interested in studying in any of these subject areas please contact Sue on the contact details above or for any general doctoral research enquiries, please email mds-gradschool@contacts.bham.ac.uk

For a full list of available Doctoral Research opportunities, please visit our Doctoral Research programme listings  


Research themes

  • Health care professionals experience of palliative care.
  • Children and young people’s palliative and end of life care.
  • Bereavement support.
  • Qualitative methodology.

Research Activity

Children and young people’s palliative, end of life and bereavement care.

The main emphasis of Sue’s work has been in paediatric palliative and end of life care. Areas have included health professional’s experiences of providing palliative care to Children and young people in the family home and exploring the role of the GP in paediatric palliative and end of care and bereavement support.

Other activities

  • End of Life Research Programme, School of Nursing, University of Birmingham.
  • Birmingham Woman’s and Children’s Hospital Research Foundation Scientific Committee
  • Birmingham Woman’s and Children’s Hospital Palliative and Bereavement Research Interest Group (Chair).
  • West Midland Paediatric Palliative Care Network Research sub-group (Co-vice chair).
  • Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Nurses, Midwives and Allied Health Professionals Research Group (NMAHPS).


  • Tyldesley-Marshall, N, Greenfield, S.M., Neilson, S., English, M., Adamski, J., Peet, A. (2019). Patients’ and parents’ views on brain tumour MRIs. Submitted to Archives of Disease in Childhood. Accepted 16.07.19. In-press.
  • Neilson, S., (2019). Using draw-and-tell methods to inform clinical nursing assessments with children aged 6–12 years. Evidence-Based Nursing, pp.ebnurs-2018
  • Neilson, S. & McNamara, K. (2019). Paediatric Palliative Care Learning in the UK: summary of a national meeting. ehospice. 27th March. https://ehospice.com/inter_childrens_posts/paediatric-palliative-care-learning-in-the-uk-summary-of-a-national-meeting/
  • Neilson, S.J. and Reeves, A. (2019). The use of a theatre workshop in developing effective communication in paediatric end of life care. Nurse Education in Practice36, pp.7-12.
  • Neilson S. (2019). Developmentally appropriate social and mental health support could improve quality of life for children receiving cancer treatment.  Evidence-Based Nursing Published Online First: 03 January 2019. doi: 10.1136/ebnurs-2018-102992
  • Reeves, A. and Neilson, S. (2018). ‘Don’t talk like that: It’s not just what you say but how you say it’: The process of developing an applied theatre performance to teach undergraduate nursing students communication skills around paediatric end-of-life care. Journal of Applied Arts & Health9(1), pp.99-111.
  • Neilson, S., Gibson, F., Jeffares, S. and Greenfield, S.M., (2017). GPs and paediatric oncology palliative care: a Q methodological study. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care, pp.bmjspcare-2015.
  • Neilson S.J., Gibson F., Greenfield S. (2015) Pediatric oncology palliative care: Experiences of general practitioners and bereaved parents. Pediatric Palliative Care and Medicine 5:214. DOI: 10.4172/2165-7386.1000214.