She is dual-trained in palliative medicine and public health medicine. She has developed and validated two outcome measures both freely available and used widely in palliative care: the Support Team Assessment Schedule and the Palliative care Outcome Scale.
She is Director of the Cicely Saunders Institute, at King’s College London, the world’s first purpose-built Institute of palliative care, integrating research, education, clinical services and support and information.
Professor Higginson is an NIHR Senior Investigator and was in 2013 awarded Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences, for her contribution to the field. She has several active research programmes, leads the MSc, Diploma and Certificate in Palliative Care, supervises several PhD students and is active in teaching.
She has published over 450 articles in peer-reviewed journals, plus several books; her research interests and publications are in the following areas: quality of life and outcome measurements, evaluation of palliative care especially of new services and interventions, epidemiology, clinical audit, effectiveness, psychosocial care, symptom assessment, breathlessness, cachexia/anorexia, and elderly care.
She plays an active role in the clinical service, including on-call, and is Director of Research and Development and Assistant Medical Director at King’s College Hospital.