Gerard O’Donoghue qualified in medicine in University College, Cork in Ireland and undertook his otolaryngology training in London and Oxford, availing of Fellowships at University Hospital in Boston, USA and at the University of California in, San Francisco. He is Professor of Otology and Neurotology at the University of Nottingham and Consultant Neuro-Otologist at Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham.
In 1989, he established the Nottingham Cochlear Implant Programme and led many multi-centres studies in the field. He has held a Hunterian Professorship at the Royal College of Surgeons of England (1999) and has delivered the Toynbee Memorial Lecture of the Royal Society of Medicine and Royal College of Surgeons of England (2011). He co-founded the British Skull Base Society and is founder member of the European Academy of Otology and Neurotology. He was awarded the Sir William Wilde Medal of the Irish ENT Society (2011), The Brinkman Medal of the University of Nimegen (2009) and delivered the William House Memorial Lecture of the American Neurotologic Society (2016). In 2008 he co-founded the Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Centre of the National Institute of Health Research. He has been President of the Section of Otology, Royal Society of Medicine, London (2014) and will be Master of the British Academic Conference in Otolaryngology (2020). A passionate believer in humanitarian medicine, he has worked extensively in India and was recently made Professor of Surgery at the University of Belgrade. He established the The Ear Foundation (1989), a major educational charity supporting deaf children and their families. He has led the recent Lancet review of global hearing health and is contributing to the current WHO’s World Report on Deafness.
In 2004, he was cited in the Guinness World Records for Surgical Innovation and was named by The Times in 2012 as one of Britain’s Top Doctors.
Following completion of a BSc (Hons) in Nursing with RN at Ulster University in 1995, my first job as a Registered Nurse was in a Plastic and Maxillofacial Unit based at the Ulster Hospital in Belfast. In 2000, I was appointed as a Macmillan Clinical Nurse Specialist in Head and Neck Cancer. Keen to deliver evidence-based post-treatment care, I commenced a full-time three-year doctoral fellowship in 2002. A resulting initiative was to implement a telephone support aftercare service. Another recent project has been redesigning the surgical follow-up clinic which included the introduction of an educational leaflet on the signs and symptoms of recurrence and electronic holistic needs assessments (eHNA) using the Patient Concerns Inventory (PCI). A nurse-led clinic was also established for the low-risk patients who were in year three of their cancer follow-up.
In Feb 2018, I was appointed as a Reader in Clinical Cancer Nursing, being a joint clinical academic post between Ulster University and South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust. This innovative nursing post allows me to deliver direct care on the frontline for patients and their families newly diagnosed with head and neck cancer, embrace patient-centred research and innovations to drive forward improvements in cancer nursing, supervise PhD students and impact teaching programmes. Currently I lead a programme of work on the support needs of patients who are of a parenting age with dependent children. This is especially relevant for healthcare professionals (HCPs) involved in the care of individuals with head and neck cancer, with an increasing number of younger patients, of a parenting age, diagnosed with HPV positive SCC. An output of this research has included the development of an e-learning training module to equip HCPs when communicating with parents newly diagnosed with cancer. My second area of research is exploring what impacts patients QOL following treatment for head and neck cancer, with the aim to improve healthcare outcomes.