Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Surgery & Cancer

Research Fellow



r.lear12 CV




Digital Collaboration Space, 1A Sheldon Square, W2 6PYQueen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Wing (QEQM)St Mary's Campus





Rachael Lear is a Research Fellow in Digital Health and Care Innovation, with a clinical background in nursing.  Based at Imperial's new Digital Collaboration Space, Rachael's role involves working closely with patients and clinicians to co-design and evaluate digital interventions. Rachael leads on evaluation for the iCARE team (Imperial Clinical Analytics Research and Evaluation) and the BRC's Digital Health Theme.

Formerly, Rachael worked in the NIHR Imperial Patient Safety Translational Research Centre (PSTRC) under the Research Theme 'Partnering with patients for safer care'. During this time, Rachael research focus was on understanding patients' experiences of accessing their own health records through a web-based patient portal called the Care Information Exchange (Patients Know Best).

Rachael has worked clinically in the vascular unit at St. Mary's Hospital for over 7 years, latterly as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner. Rachael held Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust's first clinical academic post for nurses and , as an NIHR Clinical Academic Training Fellow, she undertook her PhD in Imperial's department of Surgery & Cancer ( her thesis is entitled 'A Systems Approach to Identifying Patient Safety Problems in Arterial Surgery').

Rachael later became a Senior Lecturer at St George's University of London. She was module leader for the MSc Healthcare Practice research dissertation module as well as modules for healthcare assistants, nurses, midwives, and paramedics on assessing and managing deteriorating patients.

Rachael is is a Fellow of the High Education Academy and contributes to Imperial College London's MSc in Health Policy.

Rachael's research interests are at the intersect between quality improvement and research - seeking to develop pragmatic, innovative approaches to evaluation that are academically robust, relevant to real-world care delivery, and can provide evidence in a timely manner. Rachael has particular interest in using data and digital technologies in innovative ways to support clinical decision making and release time back to clinical staff for direct care delivery.  



Lear R, Ellis S, Ollivierre-Harris T, et al., 2023, Video recording patients for direct care purposes: a systematic review and narrative synthesis of international empirical studies and UK professional guidance, Journal of Medical Internet Research, Vol:25, ISSN:1438-8871, Pages:1-21

Barrow E, Lear RA, Morbi A, et al., 2023, How do hospital inpatients conceptualise patient safety? A qualitative interview study using constructivist grounded theory, Bmj Quality & Safety, Vol:32, ISSN:2044-5415, Pages:383-393

Lear R, Freise L, Kybert M, et al., 2022, Perceptions of Quality of Care Among Users of a Web-Based Patient Portal: Cross-sectional Survey Analysis, Journal of Medical Internet Research, Vol:24, ISSN:1438-8871

Lear R, Freise L, Kybert M, et al., 2022, Patients’ willingness and ability to identify and respond to errors in their personal health records: a mixed methods analysis of cross-sectional survey data, Journal of Medical Internet Research, Vol:24, ISSN:1438-8871

Lear R, Godfrey AD, Riga C, et al., 2017, Surgeons' Perceptions of the Causes of Preventable Harm in Arterial Surgery: A Mixed-Methods Study, European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Vol:54, ISSN:1078-5884, Pages:778-786

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