Dr Edward Purssell

Associate Professor
Faculty of Health, Medicine and Social Care
School of Nursing
Research Supervision:

Edward is a Children’s and Adult nurse, with a particular interest in infectious diseases, children’s hospice care, and meta-analysis.  He has an MSc in microbiology, as well as nursing qualifications, and clinical experience in a paediatric medicine, infectious diseases, and hospice care.

[email protected]


Edward is a registered Children’s and Adult nurse, with a MSc in microbiology, and a PhD studying the treatment of fever in children.  Edward’s main clinical experience has been in paediatric medicine and infectious diseases, but more recently he has been working as a Staff Nurse at a Children’s Hospice.  Before starting at ARU Edward has also been a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer at two other UK universities.

Edward has a particular interest in guideline development and implementation, in particular the use of the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) system, and advanced meta-analytic techniques using the R language.  He has co-authored NICE Guidance on the treatment of fever, and a book on systematic reviewing.  

Research interests
  • Infectious diseases
  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Paediatrics, and transition from child to adult services
  • Children’s hospice care
  • Meta-analysis

Edward has a background in paediatric medicine and infectious diseases, supported by an advanced degree in microbiology.  He is particularly interested in antimicrobials and antimicrobial resistance, and the prevention of infection through vaccination and infection control.  His recent clinical experience has also allowed him to develop a research interest into the care of children in hospices, and with complex life-limiting conditions.  He is skilled in the use of the R statistical language, and advanced meta-analytic techniques.

Areas of research supervision
  • Infectious diseases
  • Paediatric medicine and broader child health
  • Edward has supervised both PhD and DHC students to completion
  • 2006 - PhD,  King’s College London.  A study of normal temperature in childhood and parental views of fever
  • 2001 - MSc in Microbiology, Birkbeck College, University of London
  • 1998 - BSc in Nursing, King’s College London
  • 1993 - RSCN (Registered Sick Children's Nurse), Birmingham College of Health Studies
  • 1991 - RGN (Registered General Nurse), North London College of Health Studies
Memberships, editorial boards
  • Member of the NIHR Statistical Literacy Group
  • Member European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases Guidelines Sub Committee
  • Member European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases
  • Member Microbiology Society
  • Member British Infection Association
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

Gould, D.. & Purssell, E. (2021). Review of Guidelines for the prevention and control of Covid-19 in health care settings in the UK.  Royal College of Nursing. The Royal College of Nursing. https://www.rcn.org.uk/professional-development/publications/rcn-independent-review-control-of-covid-19-in-health-care-settings-uk-pub-009-627

Black, R., Purssell, E., Whiting, L. & Children's Hospices across London (CHaL). (2017). The Burdett Trust for Nursing - Empowering nurses to lead sector wide change by recruiting, developing and retaining a resilient children’s palliative care nursing workforce which is responsive to patient need - £260,320

Purssell, E. (2017). King’s College London Education Enhancement Initiative. The future role of the University-Practice Link Lecturer - £6 000

Purssell, E. (2017). King’s College London Education Enhancement Initiative. What skills do children’s nurses need? - £6 000

Selected recent publications

Purssell, E., & Sagoo, R. (2021). Managing fever in children: developing guidelines that turn evidence into practice. Nursing Children and Young People. doi: 10.7748/ncyp.2021.e1411

Gould, D., Purssell, E., Jeanes, A., Drey, N., Chudleigh, J., & McKnight, J. (2021). The problem with ‘my five moments for hand hygiene’. BMJ Quality & Safety, bmjqs-2020-011911. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjqs-2020-011911

Kelly, D., Purssell, E., Wigglesworth, N., & Gould, D. (2021). Electronic hand hygiene monitoring systems can be well-tolerated by health workers: Findings of a qualitative study. Journal of Infection Prevention. https://doi.org/10.1177/17571774211012781

Peven, K., Taylor, C., Purssell, E., Mallick, L., Burgert-Brucker, C. R., Day, L. T., Wong, K. L. M., Kambala, C., & Bick, D. (2021). Distance to available services for newborns at facilities in Malawi: A secondary analysis of survey and health facility data. PLoS One, 16(7), e0254083. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0254083

Purssell, E., & Gould, D. (2021). Teaching health care students hand hygiene theory and skills: A systematic review. International Journal of Environmental Health Research, 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1080/09603123.2021.1937580

Peven, K., Mallick, L., Taylor, C., Bick, D., Day, L. T., Kadzem, L., & Purssell, E. (2021). Equity in newborn care, evidence from national surveys in low- and middle-income countries. International Journal for Equity in Health, 20(1), 132. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12939-021-01452-z

Aitken, L. M., Kydonaki, K., Blackwood, B., Trahair, L. G., Purssell, E., Sekhon, M., & Walsh, T. S. (2021). Inconsistent relationship between depth of sedation and intensive care outcome: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Thorax, thoraxjnl-2020-216098. https://doi.org/10.1136/thoraxjnl-2020-21609

Gould, D., Hawker, C., Chudleigh, J., Drey, N., Gallagher, R., & Purssell, E. (2021). Survey with content analysis to explore nurses’ satisfaction with opportunities to undertake continuing professional education in relation to aseptic technique. Nurse Education Today, 98, 104749. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2021.104749

Harris, J., Purssell, E., Cornelius, V., Ream, E., Jones, A., & Armes, J. (2020). Development and internal validation of a predictive risk model for anxiety after completion of treatment for early stage breast cancer. Journal of Patient-Reported Outcomes, 4(1), 103. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41687-020-00267-w

Harris, J., Purssell, E., Ream, E., Jones, A., Armes, J., & Cornelius, V. (2020). How to develop statistical predictive risk models in oncology nursing to enhance psychosocial and supportive care. Seminars in Oncology Nursing, 36(6), 151089. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soncn.2020.151089

Peven, K., Bick, D., Purssell, E., Rotevatn, T. A., Nielsen, J. H., & Taylor, C. (2020). Evaluating implementation strategies for essential newborn care interventions in low- and low middle-income countries: A systematic review. Health Policy and Planning, 35(Supplement_2), ii47–ii65. https://doi.org/10.1093/heapol/czaa122

Purssell, E., Drey, N., Chudleigh, J., Creedon, S., & Gould, D. J. (2020). The Hawthorne effect on adherence to hand hygiene in patient care. The Journal of Hospital Infection, 106(2), 311–317. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhin.2020.07.028

Gould, D. J., McKnight, J., Leaver, M., Keene, C., Gaze, S., & Purssell, E. (2020). Qualitative interview study exploring frontline managers’ contributions to hand hygiene standards and audit: Local knowledge can inform practice. American Journal of Infection Control, 48(5), 480–484. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2020.02.005

Purssell, E., Gould, D., & Chudleigh, J. (2020). Impact of isolation on hospitalised patients who are infectious: Systematic review with meta-analysis. BMJ Open, 10(2), e030371. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019- 030371

Drey, N., Gould, D., Purssell, E., Chudleigh, J., Moralejo, D., Gallagher, R., Jeanes, A., Wigglesworth, N., & Pittet, D. (2020). Applying thematic synthesis to interpretation and commentary in epidemiological studies: Identifying what contributes to successful interventions to promote hand hygiene in patient care. BMJ Quality & Safety, bmjqs-2019-009833. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjqs-2019-009833

Peven, K., Purssell, E., Taylor, C., Bick, D. and Lopez, V.K. (2020). Breastfeeding support in low and middle-income countries: Secondary analysis of national survey data. Midwifery, 82. doi:10.1016/j.midw.2019.102601.

Walsh, H., McNeill, A., Purssell, E. and Duaso, M. (2020). A systematic review and Bayesian meta-analysis of interventions which target or assess co-use of tobacco and cannabis in single or multi-substance interventions. Addiction. doi:10.1111/add.14993.

Books or book Chapters

Gould, D., & Purssell, E. (in press).  Infection Control.  Wiley.

Purssell, E., & McCrae, N. (2020). How to perform a systematic literature review: a guide for healthcare researchers, practitioners and students. London, Springer.  ISBN: 978-3-030-49672-2

Purssell, E. (2020). Antimicrobials.  In: Khan, E., & Hood, P. (eds).  Understanding pharmacology in nursing practice. London, Springer.  ISBN: 978-3-030-32003-4

Recent presentations and conferences

15th - 17th March 2019 – Paediatric Expert Summit - RIU Pravets Hotel, Bulgaria. Fever and antipyretic use in children.

7th - 8th March 2014 – Paediatric Expert Summit - Dubai. Management of childhood pyrexia in clinical practice.