Dr Heather Iles-Smith

Dr Heather Iles-Smith

Head of Nursing Research and Innovation Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. Honorary Clinical Associate Professor.


Dr Heather Iles-Smith (PhD, MSc, RGN) is Head of Nursing Research and Innovation, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust  and Honorary Clinical Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Leeds.

A registered nurse since 1986, Heather has worked in a variety of clinical settings as a staff nurse, junior sister and a range of Clinical Research Nurse roles as well as Research Management and Governance. Her clinical and research expertise relates to renal and cardiac care.

Heather currently holds a senior research leadership position within Research and Innovation at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. She has strategic responsibility for capacity and capability of the Trust’s staff to deliver on clinical research and developing clinical academic careers for nurses, midwives and Allied Healthcare Professionals. Leadership and workforce development have been key to Heather’s career. In October 2014 she led the Lancashire Care Research Nursing Team to successfully win the Inaugural Nursing Times Clinical Research Nurse award.

Her National roles include Chair of the Nurses FRoNT (UK Forum for Trust/Health boards Research Leads), with membership of over 100 senior nurses with strategic responsibility for research delivery within their respective organisations. FRoNT is inclusive of Trusts across England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The group aim to share good practice, influence research delivery initiatives both nationally and internationally and promote the development of clinical research nurses as a profession and research capacity build within this cohort of nurses.

Heathers personal research interests include the psychological health of patients with heart disease and other long term conditions. The projects that she is currently involved with include:-

· AffecTech (a Marie SkĊodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network) to advance state-of-the-art personal health technologies for affective disorders; the project involves 15 related PhD's- Heather is responsible for supervising one of the PhD’s

· Health-related Information Technology (IT)- investigating ubiquitous technologies in healthcare in collaboration with the University of Lancaster

· LifeInfo- investigating patient and public opinions on linking their consumer data and electronic health records for research purposes. Heather is joint Chief Investigator, working with the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics (LIDA)

· SSHeW- investigating the potential benefits of healthcare staff wearing slip resistant footwear to reduce slips at work study-  Heather is a Co-investigator and Principle Investigator for LTHT, working with Chief Investigator Professor Torgerson, University of York and involving the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).