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 Tamsin Ford

Tamsin Ford

Honorary Clinical Professor



Tamsin Ford is Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at UEMS. She completed her clinical training at the Bethlem and Maudsley Hospitals and her PhD at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London supported by a Wellcome Clinical Fellowship.  She moved her MRC Clinician Scientist Award to Exeter in 2007.  The group of researchers that she leads studies the effectiveness of services and interventions to support the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people, with an increasing focus on schools.

In addition, Tamsin is the lead for the medical school in relation to integrated clinical academic training for junior doctors and medical students; she is also an honorary consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist at Devon Partnership Trust.  She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the Chair of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Surveillance Service, and a founder member of the Child Outcome Research Consortium (CORC) and on the Board of the Association of Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH).

Broad research specialisms

The focus extends from the study of patterns of service use and access, to service organisation, the accurate identification of psychopathology and the generation or synthesis of evidence for interventions directly with families or indirectly through practitioners working with children.  The research methods used in the child mental health research group include secondary analysis of large epidemiological datasets, mixed qualitative and quantitative observational studies, economic analyses, systematic reviews and randomised controlled trials.



Research group links


Research interests

The group comprises mental health services researchers from various practice and academic disciplines. Both mental health and services are interpreted broadly to include wellbeing as well as distress and all levels of psychopathology rather than children exceeding somewhat arbitrary cut points to meet diagnostic criteria; as well as all services dealing with children rather than just specialist mental health services. Every contact with a professional represents an opportunity to recognize distress or dysfunction and intervene to improve a child's developmental trajectory. The interface between the education system and mental health systems is a particular area of interest.

The themes covered by the child mental health research group are inherently translational and multi-disciplinary, and involve strong links with education, psychology, pediatrics, epidemiology, trial specialists, statisticians and health economics both within and external to the University of Exeter.

Research projects

  • Current Projects
  • STARS: Supporting Teachers and Children in Schools. (NIHR - PHB)
  • RAIS: Review of ADHD Interventions in schools (NIHR -HTA)
  • CosTED: The cost and cost-effectiveness of models of care for anorexia nervosa. (NIHR - HR&SD) (PI - Sarah Byford)
  • Children and Young People’s suicide and self-harm research collaboration (PI Rhiannon Evans) (GW4 Building Communities Initiator Fund)
  • Data we have and data we need to understand the lives separated families (PI Caroline Bryson) (Nuffield Foundation)
  • CATCh-uS The children and adolescents with ADHD in transition between children’s services and adult services project


External Engagement and Impact

Committee/panel activities


UEMS lead integrated clinical academic training for junior doctors, including INSPIRE (medical student research) and the national INTERgrated Academic Training Committee (INTERACT)

UEMS Director of the Wellcome funded GW4 clinical academic training scheme

Member of the Board for the Association of Child and Adolescent Mental Health since June 2011

Committee Member of the Child Psychiatry Research Society

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Surveillance Service (CAPSS); founder member (2005) and chair since January 2012. This unit is based within the College Centre for Quality Improvement at the Royal College of Psychiatrists and uses surveillance techniques to study rare events and disorders.

Editorial responsibilities

Seconded to the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Faculty Executive Committee for school based mental health and to the Academic Faculty committee for child and adolescent psychiatry



  • Worrying Child Week for third year medical students
  • Research in Action Special Study Module for fourth year medical students.
  • Research dissertation supervision for final year BSc in Psychology and Medical Sciences
  • Placement year supervision BSc Psychology and BSc Medical Sciences

Supervision / Group

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