Justin is a consultant-level, clinical-academic and service lead, specialising in dysphagia in benign and malignant head and neck disorders. He works at 2 internationally renowned centres of excellence. He has been employed at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust (RMH) since 2008 and is currently Head of the Speech and Language Therapy Department. He was appointed the Clinical Service Lead at the National Centre for Airway Reconstruction and Ear, Nose and Throat Service at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (ICHT) in 2016. He received his honorary academic appointment in the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London in 2016. Alongside these roles, Justin has been appointed to the board of the Clinical Oversight Group for the new RM Partners Accountable Cancer Network, one of the 3 national Acute Care Collaboration Cancer Vanguards.
Justin completed his first degree, majoring in psychology, in 1993. He trained to diploma level in therapeutic hypnosis and advanced psychotherapy in 1996. He qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist with a post-graduate diploma in Language and Communication Science at City University, London in 1999. In 2005, he completed a research masters at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He was awarded his PhD from the Institute of Cancer Research in 2013 in which he evaluated swallowing outcomes following treatment with intensity-modulated radiotherapy for head and neck cancer.
As a specialist advisor to the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) in head and neck oncology and palliative care, Justin represents the organisation at a national level, including the recent Macmillan/ Cancer Research UK Strategic Review of the Cancer Workforce. He has also contributed to a number of key policy and position papers, including RCSLT’s response to the Assisted Dying Bill. He chaired their Head and Neck Oncology Clinical Excellence Network from 2014-2018 leading on the provision of continuing professional development opportunities. As well as encouraging members to present their clinical and research work, during his tenure speakers included patient experts and international leaders in the field of head and neck cancer rehabilitation.
He is a member of the RM Partners Living with and Beyond Cancer Pathway Group. He chaired the Speech and Language Therapy Professionals subgroup within the London Cancer Alliance which preceded RM Partners. In this role, he led a project to successfully implement consistent outcome measurement in patients being treated with radiotherapy across North, West and South East London head and neck cancer services and agreed protocols for prophylactic swallowing exercises in this population. He is now a steering committee member for the Head and Neck National Audit (HANA). He is an invited member of Macmillan's virtual multidisciplinary team (V-MDT). He sits on scientific committees including the United Kingdom Swallowing Research Group (UKSRG), the swallowing committee for the American Speech-Language-Hearing-Association’s (ASHA) convention and the academic committee for the British Academic Conference in Otolaryngology.
Justin has completed clinical observerships at a number of international centres of excellence. In 2006, he visited The Netherlands Cancer Institute-Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital (NKI-AVL) in Amsterdam. He was awarded the Catherine Renfrew Travelling Fellowship by the RCSLT in 2012 and spent time at the Center for Voice and Swallowing Research at Boston Medical Centre, Boston University School of Medicine, the Head and Neck Cancer Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston and the Thyroid Head and Neck Cancer (THANC) Foundation Research Center, Beth Israel Medical Centre in New York. Most recently, Justin joined the Tata Memorial Hospital's head and neck cancer service in Mumbai.
Justin’s academic work is focused on those with head and neck/ lung cancers and laryngotracheal stenosis. He is involved in a number of national and multinational cooperative studies as a co-applicant, co-investigator and trial management group/ trial steering committee member. He is a co-investigator and lead SLT for a Cancer Research UK-funded phase III randomised multicentre study of dysphagia-optimised intensity-modulated radiotherapy (Do-IMRT) versus standard intensity-modulated radiotherapy (S-IMRT) in head and neck cancer. He is also a co-applicant on an an NIHR Research for Patient Benefit-funded feasibility study evaluating PentoxIfylline and Tocopherol for the treatment of poST radiotherapy fibrOsis in head and neck cancer Patients (PITSTOP).
Justin is committed to quality improvement and patient-centred care. He is leading a qualitative study evaluating the rehabilitation needs of patients with advanced lung cancer funded by the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. He has completed training in experience-based co-design (EBCD) with the Point of Care Foundation and is working with quality improvement specialists to deliver on an co-production initiative with patients with airway disorders at ICHT, as well as an EBCD project with head and neck cancer patients at RMH. In 2018, Justin was awarded a Certificate of Excellence based on patient feedback submitted to IWantGreatCare.org, the online healthcare review site. In March 2018, he was awarded an Imperial Health Charity/ Imperial NIHR Biomedical Research Centre Post Doctoral Fellowship, during which he will continue his work in partnership with healthcare professionals and patients to produce a Patient Concerns Inventory for people diagnosed with Airway Stenosis (PCI-AS).
Justin provides academic supervision and mentorship to clinicians completing post-graduate research programmes and has examined at doctoral level. As well as being a reviewer for several journals, he has published a number of peer-reviewed papers on head and neck cancer, lung cancer, palliative care and ethical issues and spoken at meetings and conferences internationally.
Justin is a member of the British Association of Head and Neck Oncologists, British Laryngological Association, European Head and Neck Society and United Kingdom Swallowing Research Group.