Helen O'Neil

Theme: Multimorbidity, ageing and frailty


My current role is Frailty Advanced Practitioner Pharmacist, part of the multi-disciplinary Frailty Team, providing an in-reach service to admission wards at Sunderland Royal Hospital. As an experienced pharmacist, I undertake clinical examination, in-depth medication reviews, prescribe existing and new treatments, deprescribe inappropriate medications and follow-up test results, in order to support the care of patients.

I independently manage diabetes patients in an outpatient clinic. As part of my role, I’m involved at a strategic level locally and nationally. Locally, I participate in quality improvement projects, such as SugarWISE, which improves knowledge and safety around insulin administration through nurse education. Nationally, I sit on a UK Clinical Pharmacy Association (UKCPA) committee and have contributed to regional and national projects including collaborating on a NICE scoping consultation.

I hope to combine skills I have gained through these specialist roles, to improve the care of frail diabetic patients as a clinical academic in a consultant pharmacist post. This ambition has driven my desire to conduct independent research and be a clinical champion and research leader for this patient population.

Area of work

My research area is treatment pathways and targets for frail patients with diabetes. Over the ARC fellowship I will undertake:

  • A systematic literature review on treatment targets in frail patients living with diabetes and I will aim to publish this during the fellowship.
  • Alongside this I will use patient and public engagement to establish areas where further research is needed and also to explore ways to improve clinical management of frail patients living with diabetes.

Areas of interest

  • Frailty
  • Polypharmacy
  • Diabetes
  • Deprescribing


Recent or relevant publications (if appropriate)

  • O’Neil H, Pearce MS, Todd A, Husband AK. 2021. Investigating the relationship between harm and over or under-treatment of frail patients living with diabetes, admitted to hospital. Practical Diabetes. May 2021;39(3): 23-26a. https://doi.org/10.1002/pdi.2395


Get in touch

Email:  [email protected]
ORCID ID: 0000-0001-8041-4171