His main research interests are in pain management in advanced disease, and evaluating decision making and interventions at the end of life.
He trained in internal medicine and pain management in Birmingham and Leeds (awarded FRCP and FFPMRCA) before becoming Clinical Senior Lecturer in Leeds 1997–2007.
After winning a Churchill Fellowship in 2006, he spent time in Houston, USA and in Edmonton, Canada observing academic palliative medicine, before moving to Lancaster University to become Professor of Palliative Medicine (2007–2011).
He has been Cochrane Field Editor for palliative and supportive care, has chaired the National Cancer Research Institute palliative care studies group from 2008 and has chaired scientific and organisational committees for several research congresses of the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC).
He chairs the Cancer Pain Committee for the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP).